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In season 7 of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow spends a considerable amount of time in Dragonstone mining dragonglass.

Dragonglass is known to kill wights and white walkers.

Towards the end of "Eastwatch" (Game of Thrones, S07E05), Jon assembles a team of people to bring back a wight to convince Daenerys and Cersei.

Why don't they use dragonglass?

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    Jon Snow have a better weapon, valyrian steel – Kepotx Aug 18 '17 at 9:37
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    @Kepotx, but his team doesn't have Valyrian steel. – Silver Bebs Aug 18 '17 at 9:38
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    @LeonX you are correct: At least according to book canon, "necromancy animates these wights, yet they are still only dead flesh. Steel and fire will serve for them. The ones you call the Others are something more." (Melisandre, ASoS). Stabbing a person with dragonglass (i.e. something like obsidian) would cause stab wounds... but that won't hurt something that's already dead. Also, dragonglass (if similar to obsidian) is likely brittle and will break from repeated use. Therefore, dragonglass seems to be great against Others/White Walkers but terrible against wights. – errantlinguist Aug 18 '17 at 11:43
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    @SilverBebs "Dragonglass" (obsidian) doesn't need to be refined an forged, nor could it be. It's a rock, it just needs to be broken so it has a sharp edge. – EldritchWarlord Aug 18 '17 at 13:46
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    You're asking about why they didn't do something in an episode that has not aired. I'm not sure that we know they they actually didn't. Also, the mission isn't to bring back a corpse, it's to bring back a captured, animated wight to prove that the Army of the Dead is real. I'd think the plan is to quietly pick on off from the fringes, unnoticed, not to wade into the middle, provoking a confrontation with an army that threatens the entire world, with a just handful of people. This is clearly a job for Michonne from the Walking Dead. They need to find her! – PoloHoleSet Aug 18 '17 at 15:14
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They DO bring dragonglass (or equally effective weaponry) with them north of Eastwatch

enter image description here

  • Jon Snow - Valyrian steel longsword
    In "Hardhome" (Game of Thrones, S05E08), we learn that Valyrian steel kills White Walkers, as Jon Snow slashes his opponent with Longclaw, causing the White Walker to shatter, similarly to the way the White Walker that Sam stabbed with dragonglass shattered. If anything, Valyrian steel is more effective, given that we don't see a delay between the cut and the shattering, whereas Sam's dragonglass stab required a moment in which the White Walker could turn around and scream in shock, before finally dying.
    enter image description here
  • Beric Dondarrion/Thoros of Myr - Flaming longsword
    The flaming longsword is a surefire (pun intended) way to kill wights, considering fire is their primary weakness, and one of the few ways to permanently kill a member of the undead army.
  • Tormund Giantsbane - Dragonglass halberd
  • Jorah Mormont - Dragonglass daggers
  • Sandor Clegane (The Hound) - Gendry's war hammer (maul) + Dragonglass daggers/knives

Tormund's dragonglass halberd(more close-ups here) is evidence that they have already made use of the dragonglass they mined at Dragonstone, knapping some of it into weapons that they could use for this mission (they brought enough for Jorah and some of the extra, unnamed men, who seem to be using dragonglass spears, and Sandor ends up pulling out two dragonglass knives/daggers, once he gets fed up with whacking them in futility with the maul).

We already knew fire is a way to defeat wights, so the flaming swords are at least as useful as dragonglass. We also already knew that dragonglass and "dragon steel" (Valyrian steel) are effective against White Walkers, but now we also know (as implied by this scene in the show) that they are effective against wights.

Notice the pile of dead wights (aren't rising anymore) stacking around all our heroes, all equipped with suitable weaponry, except Sandor who is stuck with Gendry's war hammer (until later in the scene when he pulls out two dragonglass knives), so he has to use percussive force to poke holes into the ice - for a man of his stature, it is arguably as effective as the others' weapons in a situation like this, where interrupting the flow of wights charging at your group is important.

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I imagine dragonglass is being mined and shipped to Winterfell and throughout the North. Because maybe it can be mined, but to make weapons out of it... that takes lot of blacksmiths and the knowledge to do so. And knowledge of smithing dragonglass into weapons is not common.

That's why Jon said in first episode of season 7 that every maester in the North must search through books for every mention of dragonglass.

So I imagine that is not going so easy, although it is great relief to know there is a lot of dragonglass on Dragonstone at least. Making weapons is whole another problem.

Also, do we know that dragonglass kills wights? It kills White Walkers, which is amazing already. But for wights I think only fire helps. And smashing their bones to ashes.

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    ... and if Jon is a fire-wight, is his only weakness ice? – Stop Harming Monica Aug 18 '17 at 12:44
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    I believe regular steel kills the wights. We've seen regular steel shatter against an Other's ice weapons but it will take down a wight as well as anything. The thing is they get back up (or the limbs can be animated on their own) so you need to cut them up into pieces or burn them to prevent that. – Brad Aug 18 '17 at 13:41
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    Dragonglass (obsidian) is a rock that naturally forms knife-like edges. It doesn' t take a knowledgable blacksmith, it requires anyone to hit it with a hammer once to break off a razor-sharp chunk. (Think of broken glass, which also naturally forms razor edges) – Mooing Duck Aug 18 '17 at 20:33
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    @MooingDuck exactly - it's called knapping (dictionary.com/browse/knap - verb form). Obsidian tools have been found dating back over 7000 years... it takes very little skill and no tools beyond a fist-sized rock to make crude weapons from. – Doktor J Aug 19 '17 at 1:35
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Don't they? There's a scene in S07E05 around the 45 minute mark Jorah Mormont is seen putting a big wooden crate into the boat right after he puts in his longsword. It clinks when it's moved. Around the 54 minute mark, once they arrive at Eastwatch, Davos is seen taking this same crate out of the boat. The camera then pans out and two of the men are carrying this crate to the Wall. I took that to mean the crate contained obsidian (=dragonglass) weapons - those they've managed to create so far, at least.

Nobody mentions it or anything, but what's the point of that crate otherwise, and why would two men need to be carrying it?

In the leaked episode (S07E06)

Jorah kills the undead bear with a single stab of a dagger around the 24th minute mark. Why would he use a dagger when he has a perfectly good longsword within reach? It's safer to use a longsword, after all, you can stay further away from the mad bear, which is also on fire. Just before that we see the Hound ready to battle the bear with a similar dagger in his hand. Again, why a dagger? Because it's obsidian, while their swords are just everyday steel. At the 28th minute mark we actually get to see the dagger Mormont is wearing and it looks like black glass, so again, dragonglass.At the 30th minute mark he very obviously uses this same dagger to battle undead. At the 43rd minute mark, Mormont takes out another dragonglass dagger.

So it seems they do have some obsidian weapons with them, though not enough for everyone. They probably set out before they could mine or make any more?

  • Could it be food? – Silver Bebs Aug 18 '17 at 14:03
  • Food probably wouldn't clink, though, would it? As I said, I have no concrete proof, it's just conjecture, but it's the best I can do with just S07E05. In S07E06 we learn more, but I'm not supposed to speak of that, probably? – NyaNya Aug 18 '17 at 14:16
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    You are right, it clinks. You can say info about 706 with a spoiler tag. – Silver Bebs Aug 18 '17 at 14:19
  • IMO they only used the dragonglass daggers because they did not actually know if it would be effective or not since they only heard they are effective against the undead. – LeonX Aug 18 '17 at 15:26
  • @LeonX I'm not sure I understand what you mean to say - that they only forged daggers as opposed to swords and axes until they could make sure the dragonglass was actually effective? – NyaNya Aug 18 '17 at 15:52
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As I commented in the post, even if they took it. I can't see it being that useful in the fight they had.

Dragonglass isn't specially effective against Wights, only White Walkers. Plus, dragonglass shatters easily.

How much would they have to take to face that army of Wights? They probably had a piece with them for the Walkers, which they didn't actually face but the one that Jon killed.

EDIT

As @NyaNya said in his answer, they actually have some Dragonglass daggers.

  • Please mark out the spoilers! – curiousdannii Aug 18 '17 at 14:56
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    @curiousdannii The whole question is a spoiler... Didn't think it was necessary... – LeonX Aug 18 '17 at 14:56

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