Was Joffrey’s sword Valyrian steel?

In the opening paragraphs, we’ll provide quick answers to key questions about whether Joffrey’s sword was made of Valyrian steel in Game of Thrones.

Was Joffrey’s sword actually Valyrian steel?

No, Joffrey’s sword was not made of Valyrian steel. It was a regular castle-forged steel sword that he named “Hearteater.”

What evidence suggests Joffrey’s sword was not Valyrian steel?

There are several pieces of evidence indicating Joffrey’s sword was not Valyrian steel:

  • It did not have the distinctive rippled pattern of Valyrian steel blades.
  • No mention is made of it being Valyrian steel in the books or show.
  • Joffrey did not possess any Valyrian steel blades or artifacts.
  • The master-at-arms is doubtful Joffrey has the strength to wield Valyrian steel.

Why might some think it was Valyrian steel?

There are a couple reasons why some may believe Joffrey’s sword was Valyrian steel:

  • Valyrian steel swords are very rare and precious. Joffrey being a king may lead some to assume his sword was Valyrian steel.
  • Joffrey named his sword “Hearteater,” a bold name some may associate with a legendary blade like Valyrian steel.

Did Joffrey ever wield a Valyrian steel sword?

No, there is no evidence Joffrey ever wielded a Valyrian steel blade in Game of Thrones. The only Valyrian steel sword the Baratheons possessed was Oathkeeper, which was gifted to Brienne of Tarth by Jaime Lannister.


Despite the name “Hearteater,” Joffrey’s sword was not made of the rare and powerful Valyrian steel. It was a common steel sword. While some may have assumed the spoiled king wielded an ancestral blade, Joffrey never had the privilege, strength, or skill to wield one of the great Valyrian weapons.

The Significance of Valyrian Steel in Game of Thrones

Valyrian steel blades are treasured weapons in the Game of Thrones universe. Here is an overview of why these rare swords are so significant:

  • Forged with magic – Valyrian steel was forged using mysterious arcane magic of the ancient Valyrians, giving the steel preternatural strength and sharpness.
  • Extremely rare – Only a few hundred Valyrian steel weapons are estimated to still exist in Westeros. No more can be made since the Doom of Valyria.
  • Ancestral heirlooms – Valyrian swords like Ice and Longclaw have been passed down noble families for generations, representing ancestral power and prestige.
  • Status symbols – Owning a Valyrian blade marks the wielder as exceptionally wealthy, influential, and dangerous.
  • Kills White Walkers – Valyrian steel is one of the few known materials that can destroy the otherwise invulnerable White Walkers.

In summary, Valyrian swords are near-mythical weapons highly sought after both for their remarkable qualities and the immense stature they impart on their owners. They are vital symbols of authority, legacy, and glory in the GoT universe.

The Magic of Valyrian Steel

Valyrian steel was reputed to be forged using sorcerous rituals and dragonfire magic by the Freehold of Valyria before its doom. The precise spells, techniques, and materials used in its making remain mysterious, lost to history. But the magic woven into the steel gives Valyrian blades preternatural qualities:

  • Incredible strength – Valyrian steel is lighter, stronger, and more durable than ordinary or even the finest castle-forged steel.
  • Unmatched sharpness – Edges of Valyrian steel cut through even plate armor with disturbing ease and remain razor sharp indefinitely.
  • Wavy pattern – The steel has a distinctive rippling pattern like Damascus steel. The cause is unknown but related to its magical essence.
  • Holds magical enchantments – Some blades, like Longclaw, can have additional spells and glamors cast on them.
  • Never rusts or decays – Valyrian steel does not degrade or dull with age.

The magic woven into the steel makes Valyrian swords peerless in strength, sharpness, and beauty. Their ensorcelled essence is a crucial part of their value and significance.

Known Valyrian Steel Swords in Game of Thrones

Only a handful of Valyrian weapons still exist in Westeros. Here are some of the most notable Valyrian steel blades mentioned in Game of Thrones:

Sword House/Owner
Heartsbane House Tarly
Longclaw Jon Snow
Oathkeeper Brienne of Tarth
Widow’s Wail House Lannister
Nightfall House Harlaw
Red Rain House Drumm
Lady Forlorn House Corbray

Given their scarcity and value, most Valyrian steel swords are carefully passed down noble families or stolen in conquest. But very few new ones are ever forged.

The Doom of Valyria

The secret of forging Valyrian steel was lost over four hundred years ago in the Doom of Valyria. According to legend:

  • The Freehold of Valyria was destroyed by a cataclysmic event.
  • The city was consumed by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and a massive tsunami.
  • Nearly the entire Valyrian population was wiped out.
  • The exact cause is unknown but may have involved magic or wrathful gods.

With the destruction of the Freehold and most of its people, the spells and techniques for crafting Valyrian steel have been forever lost. The surviving relics are the only examples left in the world.

Valyrian Steel’s Significance in the War Against the White Walkers

One property of Valyrian steel that becomes crucially important in Game of Thrones is its ability to kill White Walkers. As Samwell Tarly discovers, Valyrian steel blades can easily destroy the otherwise invincible White Walkers:

  • Normal steel shatters on contact with White Walkers, having no effect.
  • Valyrian steel slays White Walkers in single blow, turning them to ice.
  • Makes Valyrian steel vital to humanity’s war against the White Walkers.
  • The rarity of Valyrian steel makes the few remaining weapons invaluable to that war.

With dragonglass also able to slay White Walkers, Valyrian blades give humans a crucial advantage in the coming war for the dawn. Their power highlights the significance of these last relics of Old Valyria.

Joffrey Baratheon: The False Heir

While Joffrey Baratheon never wielded Valyrian steel, he styled himself a mighty, heroic heir to House Baratheon’s legacy. The truth was much darker.

Joffrey’s Lineage and Claim to the Throne

Joffrey Baratheon took the throne as Robert Baratheon’s eldest son and heir after Robert’s death. But his actual parentage was one of the great secrets that ignited civil war:

  • He was not King Robert’s trueborn son.
  • His real father was Jaime Lannister, making him a bastard born of incest.
  • He had no legitimate claim to House Baratheon or the Iron Throne.
  • His ascent was based on deceit, treason, and cunning by the Lannisters.

Despite having no actual Baratheon blood, Joffrey presented himself as the rightful heir while cruelly repressing any hints of his true, incestuous origins.

The False Lineage versus Stannis Baratheon

Joffrey’s false public lineage clashed with the actual Baratheon succession in the civil war known as the War of Five Kings:

  • Joffrey Baratheon – Robert’s “eldest son” but actually a bastard born of incest.
  • Stannis Baratheon – Robert’s true heir and elder brother. Rightful heir by laws of succession.
  • Renly Baratheon – Youngest Baratheon brother. Charismatic but legally third in line.

Despite Stannis and Renly’s superior claims, Joffrey clung to the throne while branding his uncles as traitors. His ascent and cruelty ushered in a era of chaos and war.

Joffrey’s Cruelty and Cowardice

Joffrey projected an image of warrior nobility, but routinely displayed shocking sadism, cowardice and incompetence as King:

  • Delighted in cruelty towards peasants, servants, women, and the helpless.
  • Had knights beat and strip Sansa Stark in court.
  • Frequently defied and insulted his grandfather Tywin, showing no respect for wise counsel.
  • Showed cowardice and indecisiveness during the Battle of Blackwater.
  • Refused to show mercy or honor to the brave Ned Stark.
  • Revelled in tormenting his uncle Tyrion, showing no gratitude or wisdom.

Joffrey’s many vices, petty motivations, and feeble strategies as King stand in stark contrast to what was needed from the heir to the Baratheon dynasty during such troubled times.

Legacy of the Baratheon Dynasty

House Baratheon had a proud legacy as the lineage of kings raised in the War of Usurper. But its future was left in grave doubt due to Joffrey’s false claim corrupting the line of succession:

Origins in Orys Baratheon

House Baratheon was founded by Orys Baratheon, the legendary general who conquered Westeros for Aegon the Conqueror in the War of Conquest. Orys was Aegon’s friend and rumored bastard brother.

For his loyal service, Orys was granted dominion over the Stormlands and married the daughter of the last Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant. Orys adopted the heraldry and words of House Durrandon to seal his new dynasty.

House Baratheon thus descended from two great warrior lineages – the Targaryens and Durrandons. This legacy shaped its members as men of conquest, valor, and martial skill for centuries to come.

The War of the Usurper

Robert Baratheon truly engraved his house in history during the War of the Usurper against the Mad King Aerys Targaryen:

  • Robert’s betrothed Lyanna Stark was kidnapped by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • Aerys murdered Rickard and Brandon Stark for demanding her return.
  • Robert raised his banners in revolt against Aerys’ madness and cruelty.
  • He slew Prince Rhaegar in single combat at the Battle of the Trident.
  • Jaime Lannister assassinated King Aerys during the Lannisters’ Sack of King’s Landing.
  • Robert took the throne as the champion who freed the Seven Kingdoms from Aerys’ madness.

Robert cemented House Baratheon as Westeros’ new royal dynasty – strong, martial, and revered as liberators.

The False Heirs

Sadly, Robert’s legacy was deeply marred after his death when his “children” took the throne:

  • Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen were all actually born of incest between Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister.
  • They had no true Baratheon blood, nullifying Robert’s line of succession.
  • Their ascent led to civil war and nearly tore apart Robert’s kingdoms.
  • Far from noble heirs, they were petty, cruel, or unwise pawns of the Lannisters.

Instead of continuing the Baratheon dynasty, Joffrey and his siblings left its legacy and future in uncertainty thanks to their false claims.


Joffrey Baratheon desired the legendary status of owning a Valyrian steel sword. Unfortunately, he was an illegitimate pretender denied such glory. While imagined himself a mighty warrior-king and rightful heir, he was in truth a petty, cruel, unskilled boy playing at greatness. His false claim to House Baratheon’s legacy nearly destroyed it through civil war and strife. Without any true Baratheon blood, titles, or swords, Joffrey was a false heir who sadly embodied everything wrong with corrupt lines of succession.

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