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Northmen readying for battle


While Westeros is a continent wholly created from the imagination of George R R Martin, the nature of the armies is firmly based on historical precedent. Those of the Northmen for example are apparently based on northern English medieval armies (with an eastern European influence regarding Rycerzs), while those below the neck appear to be rooted in English, German, and French practice. Though the Westerosi culture is sufficiently too different to make any single comparison solid.


The weapons carried generally reflect those of the prototype armies and by far the commonest is the sword. This is to a very real extent the mark of a soldier and so carried by all, although it may not necessarily be the soldier's primary weapon.

Castle-forged weapons, are of high quality, generally better than those produced by smiths in the cities. However, usually only Rycerzs and nobles can afford them. The rarest and most desired swords are those forged in Old Valyria, of Valyriańska stal. These swords are stronger, lighter, and sharper than all others (except perhaps for Dawn), and the steel is typically dark, almost black. Though the secrets of making them have been lost and There are perhaps a couple of hundred of them left in Westeros, mostly as prized heirlooms by noble houses.

Other weapons are also common. Almost everyone carries a knife or dagger, as it is useful and practical in many circumstances. Effective spears and mauls are relatively cheap to make and are, thus, popular weapons for men-at-arms. A cheap spear can still be a good weapon; the same cannot be said of a cheap sword.

Known Weapon Types

Axes & Hammers

  • Battleaxe, A wicked, broad-headed axe that is larger than a hand axe, used to cleave through armor and shields. It can be wielded in one hand, and some battleaxes are double-bladed.[1]
  • Hand Axe: A warrior’s version of a hatchet, smaller than a battleaxe and balanced to be thrown. These short-hafted axes are used by the Żelaźni Ludzie to dance the finger dance.
  • Longaxe, A greater cousin to the battleaxe, this two-handed weapon may end in a double-bladed axe head or may have a spike on one side.{{ref|asos|51|585)
  • Woodsman’s Axe: A woodsman’s tool for chopping and splitting wood, this axe can easily turn into a deadly weapon. Normally used by smallfolk and brigands, it is normally single-bladed and smaller than its martial cousin, the battleaxe.
  • Warhammer:
  • Club/Cudgel, A short club fashioned of hard wood or sometimes metal. The Straż Miejska Królewskiej Przystani is armed with iron cudgels.
  • Mace, A blunt crushing weapon designed to smash armor, a mace consists of a heavy head of stone or metal set upon a wooden or metal shaft. The head is often flanged or knobbed to better penetrate armor.[2]


  • Arakh, Dothrakowie warriors favor this long curved sword[3], It's kind of sword with no guard and curved blade like a scythe.
  • Braavosi Blade, Slender swords, edged and balanced for the thrust[4]. The Water Dancers of Braavos made these narrow-bladed swords famous, though they can be found throughout the Wolne Miasta.
  • Longsword, A common weapon of Rycerzs throughout Westeros, these one-handed blades are also known as broadswords or simply "swords." The blades are about three feet in length, double-edged, and mounted on a hilt with a heavy crossguard.
  • Sword, Bastard, Neither a longsword nor a greatsword, the bastard sword is named for its lack of family. It has a longer blade and a more elongated grip than a longsword. However, the longer hilt is not so large as a greatsword and is meant for the off-hand to provide a bit more leverage, thus it is more like a hand-and-a-half weapon than a two-handed sword.[5]
  • Sword, Small, Shorter than a longsword but longer and heavier than a dagger, the small sword is a one-handed blade meant for thrusting.

Projectile weapons

  • Bow, Bows in the Siedem Królestw are made from wood, though bows from more exotic lands may be made from laminated horn or bone.[6] Bows are difficult to use while mounted and cannot normally be used with any accuracy if the mount is moving.
  • Longbow,The longbow is cut from a single piece of wood approximately six feet long, and when drawn back to the chin or ear will have a draw-eight of upwards of 100lb, sufficient to carry a shaft 250 yards or so and to drive one through plate armour at close range.Longbows will be used by all of the armies (and indeed unless someone is specifically mentioned as carrying a crossbow it can safely assumed that all archers are longbowmen) and will be a useful element of that army.
  • Bow, Double-Curved or Recurved, This small bow is double-curved and made from laminated horn, wood, or bone. These bows were originally made in Dorne, but they can be found in many places throughout the world. The Dothrakowie and Dornijczycy especially favor them, for these bows can be fired from horseback primarily to lay down arrow storms rather than pick individual targets..
  • Crossbow, Crossbows are shorter bows that shoot bolts or quarrels. There is a stock attached to the bow with a mechanical assist to draw the bowstring because of its shorter draw needing a higher draw weight to give the same amount of energy. The drawing mechanism can be a sturrup winch or a crank. It's been told of ungainly crossbows from Myr that can throw three quarrels at a time [7]


  • Spear: A simple weapon used for hunting and combat, comprising a wooden shaft up to 10 feet long tipped with a relatively small head of iron or steel. It can be used for individual combat.
  • Pike: A pike is a longer spear, normally 10-15 feet long. This weapon is characteristic of the Northern armies in particular and is used by large bodies of infantry operating together either to push through or over opposing infantry or hold off cavalry.[8]
  • Spear, Boar: A short version of the spear, the boar spear features a large blade and has a cross-piece just behind the head to prevent it from penetrating too deeply. Sometimes favoured by infantry officers it is as the name indicates primarily a hunting weapon
  • Spear, Frog: A weapon used by the Błotniacy, these small spears end in three prongs and are primarily used for hunting frogs and other small prey in the Przesmyk, but they can just as easily be adapted to fight men. Frog spears can also be thrown.

  • Flail, A military cousin to the farmer’s tool, a warrior’s flail is a length of chain attached to a rod. At the end of the chain is a heavy metal head, either blunt like a mace or spiked like a morning star.
  • Morningstar, Cousin to the flail and ball and chain, a morningstar is a length of chain connected to a rod at one end and bears a spiked ball at the other.


  • Dagger, A long knife used to stab and pierce, often carried as a tool as much as a weapon.
  • Dirk, A dagger designed for combat with a straight, narrow blade, often used in the off-hand to complement a primary weapon.[9]
  • Net, Made of strong rope, a net is typically a tool to catch fish or birds. Some people have adapted them for fighting, such as the Błotniacy from the Przesmyk, who use them to ensnare opponents or entangle weapons.[10]
  • Peasant Tool, Peasants rarely could afford traditional weapons and generally fought with what was at hand: sticks, clubs, tools or their bare hands, those weapons are of poor quality.
  • Lance, War, A weapon of Rycerzs and heavy cavalry, lances are normally 8-10 feet long, made of turned ash, and banded to prevent splitting. The lance is tipped with a sharpened steel point and is normally used for a single charge before becoming too unwieldy in close combat.
  • Lance, Tourney, Tourney lances are longer and more fragile than their battlefield cousins. Their tips are blunted to better unhorse an opponent without causing serious harm, and they are unbanded, meaning that they will often break upon impact. A tourney lance is normally 12-14 feet long[11] and may be made from a prettier wood, such as golden wood from the Wyspy Letnie. [12][13]
  • Khukuri Knife, a weapon of Nepalese origin used in the Middle to Far East. It is made of varying grades of steel. It is most recognizable for its inward bending cutting edge. This aggressive design helps the combatant in close quarters combat (CQC). A Khukuri style knife is seen in the Blackwater episode of season 2 of GoT. It is carried by Bronn at his lower back during the bar scene with the Hound.

Special Items

  • Bronze Armor, A relic of the Era Herosów, although not as good as modern armor, several sets of ancient plate armor are enscribed with runes that are thought to make their wearers immune to injury. like the set the Ród Royceów posses.
  • Smokglass, Volcanic material that can be fractured to create sharp knife blades or arrowheads, one of the few known weaknesses of the Inni.
  • Smokbone, Smokbone bows are highly sought after as they can fire arrows over a much farther range than normal wooden bows and especially prized by the Dothrakowie.
  • Valyrian Steel, Although extremely rare, thousands of Valyriańska stal weapons survived the Zagłada Valyrii, perhaps two hundred or more being in the Siedem Królestw. Most Valyriańska stal weapons are storied and highly prized, considered priceless by even impoverished houses, a minor lord is far more willing to sell off a daughter than a family weapon.

See also List of known Valyrian and famous Swords


Armour in Siedem Królestw is commonly forged from iron and steel, Occasionally one may find an ancient piece of armour forged from bronze, but that is a great rarity today. Advanced full plate and scale armour, made of relatively light weight steel is also available to those with the proper funds. Additional ornamentation can be quite elaborate. common methods involve paints, enamels, or bluing the steel. A truly skilled blacksmith, however, can work colour into the metal itself to ensure that it does not chip or flake off, Such work are expensive and can be afforded mostly by the nobility. In the real world, the technological level is comparable to the real world late medieval and early renaissance, which is overall advanced "for the time" in Westeros.

The most effective, and expensive, armor is plate/scale armour, which consists of a number of shaped plate/scale of steel fitted to the body, it's normally worn over chain mail and padded leather. Those who cannot afford plate may wear the chain and leather that goes underneath, and this coverage still provides good protection. It is also possible to add a few pieces of plate; a plate helm, for example, is common, as are breastplates and guards for the joints. Ring and scale mail are also known but possibly less common. Leather armor is worn by itself, particularly by scouts and levied men-at-arms. While little better than nothing, it cannot stop an on-target sword blow, whereas plate armor can.

Plate armor is more common in the Reach, while mail is more the rule in the Północ, and the Dzicy beyond Mur are much more primitively armored[14]

Known Armour Types

Plate armour schematic
  • Padded armour, Made of leather or canvas, which has been stuffed with cloth. This can be worn by itself, often called a gambeson, but is essential when wearing mail in order to absorb blows more readily. [15]
  • Boiled leather armour; Used by GRRM to denote thick leather, boiled in water, and usually worn under mail. In reality such leather would be dressed with oil to retain its flexibility. Boiled leather will set very hard and was moulded into rounded pieces to protect shoulders, elbows and knees before the ready advent of plate armour. [16]
  • Brigandine, Also known as Jack, is a cloth garment, generally canvas or leather, lined with small oblong steel plates riveted to the fabric. Commonly worn by: freeriders, mounted bowmen, and men-at-arms might wear (III: 841. IV: 133)
  • Hauberk, mail shirt, is made up of large loops of metal sewn onto a sort of leather jacket that extends down to the knees. it's usually made up of steel or iron, it's can be worn over layers of leather [17]
  • Byrnie, made of chainmail. May or may not be the same thing as a Hauberk. There are doubts about the exact definition (and length) of a historical byrnie, but both in Westeros and in history byrnies are some variety of armor jacket or shirt. Oberyn Martell's is especifically described as chainmail.[18]{
  • Scale armor, Garment with hundreds of small plates stitched and riveted onto it[17]
  • Heavy plate armor, Worn over mail and padded surcoat. Large rondels protect the juncture of arm and breast.[19] It's vulnerabilities are at the less protected joints, places at elbows, knees, and beneath the arms.[18]

Specific parts

  • Greathelm, simple cylinder with a flat top and sometimes rounded top to better deflect blows.[20][21] It has small slits for eyes and breathing/ventilation[22], that impedes sight and breathing, mostly used by Rycerz's during the "clash of lances".
  • ???, Round halfhelms with nasal guards[19]
  • Gorget, Steel collar that protects the neck.[19]
  • Rondels, Circular piece of metal used for protection of vulnerable point, commonly used to protect the juncture of arm and breast.[19]
  • Gloves, covering for the hand[23] Made of lather up to mail for additional protection.[24]
  • Gauntlets, Gloves that cover from the fingers to the forearms.
  • Skirts, knee length, skirt is designed to give the wearer manoeuvrability, protection.
  • Greaves, Something that covers the lower leg [23]
  • Schynbalds, Plate that covered only the shins, not the whole lower leg.[19]
  • Boots, well it's boots... made of leather up to steel for added protection[25]
  • spurs, tools worn on the heel of boots, used to direct a horse
  • Cuirass, A piece of solid plate armor worn over the chest and back, tightened at the sides. It is forged from steel or bronze. It is a vital piece of defensive equipment worn by all Rycerzs and high born combatants. Notably, Queen Cersei is seen wearing a cuirass during the battle of Blackwater episode of Gra o Tron Season 2. Hers appears to be gilded and more ceremonial in nature, thus fitting a woman of her status.


Westeros has a varied collection of Shields, from simple Wooden Shields, which are light, easy to use but don't provide much protection, to heavy triangular shields, almost four feet tall, made of heavy oak and studded with iron.[19] Stretching layers of hardened leather over the shields[15] and adding metal thin strips for reinforcements[25] improve durability and protection, without adding much weight. In Dorne and probably in Braavos small light weight round metal shields called bucklers are used. This is about the size of a plate and held in the left hand to parry sword blows in fencing.

Kite shields, considered old-fashioned since the Conquest, carried by the Synowie Wojownika[26].


  • A new hauberk of mail, gorget, greaves, and greathelm made by a good smith can cost 800 silver stags [27]

War Horses & Transportation

Zobacz także: Horse types

  • Destrier, Destriers are tall, strong, splendid animals and are often high spirited. Destriers give Rycerzs a majestic air at tournaments. They are normally the most valuable type of horse, being well bred and highly trained. Some even consider them too valuable to risk in war thus the courser is the preferred mount for fighting.
  • Courser, Lighter than a destrier and less costly, coursers are still beautiful animals. Coursers are also strong and fast.
  • Garron - North of Mur, Garrons are the only reasonable choice of horse (although other, rarer horselike animals might perhaps exist). Both the Night Watch and its enemies use them in considerable numbers, both for riding and carrying cargo. Among horses, garrons are notable for their capability to deal with irregular terrain and cold temperatures.
  • Rounsey, Lowest of all is the rounsey, a strong and capable steed of no particular breeding. Although rounseys are perfectly capable war horses, they are relegated to hedge Rycerzs, squires, and non-Rycerzly men-at-arms. Rounsey are common riding horses and may also be used as pack animals.
  • Sand Steed smaller than normal warhorses and cannot bear the weight of the armor a warhorse usually wears. They are able to run for a day and a half before tiring

Mounts and pack

  • Mules hardy pack animal, used for light transport. Remarkable capability for dealing with irregular terrain.
  • Oxen hardy pack animal, used for heavy transport.

Siege Weapons

Besieging armies use a wide variety of siege engines such as: scaling ladders, battering rams on wheels, wheeled siege towers covered in rawhide and various types of catapults, trebuchets, mangonels, spitfires, and scorpions. Some are mounted on warships. [28]

Scorpions and spitfires are used in the defense of a city.[29] Steel caltrops are used in warfare and the defense of encampments, and can be flung with trebuchets at enemies (II: 375. III: 721) Scorpions shoot out yard-long iron-headed shafts[30] and can be prepared with fire, making fire spears[31], Additionally Iron spikes may be set underwater to hamper crossings.[32]

  • Battering rams, Wooden turtles on wheels, often covered with hide to protect them from fire, can be used for sieges to protect men assaulting a gate.[33][34]
  • Trebuchets such as the Three Whores


StarkGreyjoy Bannermen sketches by Tribemun©
TullyLannister Bannermen sketches by Tribemun©
Free Folk by Mike S Miller ©




  • Skilled archers can shoot a small target accurately at 100 paces.[35] In battle however they normally tried to create what was called an arrow storm, shooting as many arrows as possible into the air as quickly as possible to drop them on to large bodies of enemy troops rather than shoot at individuals.
  • Dothrakowie bows supposedly outrange those of the Siedem Królestw, but this remains to be tested.[36]
  • Arrowheads are normally available both as broadheads with a sharp cutting edge and barbs at the rear for "soft" targets[37] and bodkins which will penetrate mail.[38]. Except at very close range arrows will not normally penetrate plate armour, but crossbow bolts will do so easily.
  • The double-curved goldenheart bows used by Summer Islanders are said to be able send a shaft four hundred yards [39]
  • Archers might smear their arrows with night soil to try and ensure that they poison those they wound, but many arrow wounds will become infected simply because when shooting quickly to create an arrow storm archers would stick their shafts in the ground rather than drawing them from their belt.[40]


Cavalry figure prominently in the story and a good mediaeval model for Westerosi troops raised between the Przesmyk and the Dornish Marches is provided by a 1364 muster of the troops belonging to the Duchy of Burgundy (the original French one before it expanded):

The troops comprised one chevalier banneret - in Westerosi terms a sworn bannerman

134 chevaliers/Rycerzs

105 ecuyers/squires

19 mounted archers

1 trumpeter

1 farrier

The only infantry were those 19 archers who rode horses to keep up with the rest on the march but dismounted to shoot.

Light cavalry

Light cavalry consisted usually of lighter armed and armoured men, who could have lances, javelins or missile weapons, such as bows. they tend to be in leather and mail.[41] Light cavalry was used as scouts, outriders, skirmishers or outflankers. Many countries developed their own styles of light cavalry, such as Dothrakowie and Dornijczycy.

Rycerzs and Heavily armed cavalry

Rycerzs are usually the best outfitted and trained soldier in the field, who could afford plate armour and a varied assortment of hand weapons. They are usually deployed as Heavily armed cavalry armed with lances. It Consisted of wealthy Rycerzs and noblemen who could afford the equipment and non-noble squires employed by noblemen.

"Common outfitting"

  • Common warriors may use short swords, double-bladed axes, bows, and other weapons[9]
  • Plate armor is more common in Reach, while mail is more the rule in the North, and the Dzicy beyond Mur are much more primitively armored (SSM: 1)
  • Jacks, a sort of armor such as freeriders, mounted bowmen, and men-at-arms might wear [42] [43]
  • Most freeriders have poor armor, usually made of boiled leather.[16]

  • The Straż Miejska Królewskiej Przystani, use iron cudgels and spears topped by black iron heads.[44] Wear cloaks, usually made of heavy wool, dyed gold.[44]
  • The Błotniacy of the Przesmyk, use frog spears, bronze knives, woven nets, and round leather shields [10]
  • The Dornijczycy prefer round metal shields, spears, short throwing spears or the double-curved bows, they wear lighter armor than in the rest of the Siedem Królestw made of metal disks, sewn in the manner of scales on the leather and turbaned helmets.

  • The Dothrakowie have only a light cavalry armed with arakh, and short bows suitable for shooting mounted. They do not use any protection, either in the form of shields, helmets and armor.
  • The Nieskalani, are light infantry, equipped with short spears, swords, round shields, and distinctive spiked caps.

Of old

  • The children of the forest used knives, leaf-shaped spear heads, and arrows made of obsidian (which is also known to smallfolk as smokglass [47] [48] [49]
  • It is not part of the Old Way to lay siege to castles. Glory can only be gotten by fighting man to man, not by flinging rocks [50]


  • The Manderlys can pack a dozen barges with Rycerzs, warhorses, soldiers, and siege engines [51]

forging techniques

  • Oilstones are used to sharpen blades [52]
  • Some to claim to still know the spells that must be used to rework Valyriańska stal, and some master armorers have revealed their ability to properly reforge it [53] [54] [55]

See Also

References and Notes

Note, Weapon/Armour types references refer to where these type where mentioned in the book, while some of their description are based on real-life equivalents.

  1. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 23, Jon III.
  2. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 61, Daenerys VII.
  3. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 11, Daenerys II.
  4. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 10, Jon II.
  5. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 60, Jon VIII.
  6. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 68, Jon VIII.
  7. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 25, Tyrion VI.
  8. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 53, Bran VI.
  9. 9,0 9,1 Gra o Tron, Wystąpił błąd w drugim parametrze.
  10. 10,0 10,1 Starcie Królów, Rozdział 21, Bran III.
  11. Błędny Rycerz,56.
  12. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 30, Eddard VII, 261.
  13. Uczta dla Wron, Wystąpił błąd w drugim parametrze, 6.
  14. SSM
  15. 15,0 15,1 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 26, Jon IV.
  16. 16,0 16,1 Starcie Królów, Rozdział 31, Catelyn III.
  17. 17,0 17,1 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 15, Sansa I.
  18. 18,0 18,1 Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 70, Tyrion X.
  19. 19,0 19,1 19,2 19,3 19,4 19,5 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 40, Catelyn VII.
  20. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 61, Daenerys VII, page 556.
  21. Błędny Rycerz page 481
  22. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 31, Tyrion IV.
  23. 23,0 23,1 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 35, Eddard IX.
  24. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 63, Catelyn X.
  25. 25,0 25,1 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 62, Tyrion VIII.
  26. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 36, Cersei VIII, page 536.
  27. Błędny Rycerz page 466
  28. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 22, Catelyn II.
  29. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 17, Tyrion IV.
  30. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 57, Sansa V.
  31. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 64, Jon VIII.
  32. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 39, Catelyn V.
  33. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 57, Daenerys V.
  34. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 69, Jon IX.
  35. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 30, Eddard VII.
  36. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 36, Daenerys IV.
  37. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 37, Bran V.
  38. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 39, Arya VII.
  39. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 35, Samwell IV, page 523.
  40. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 38, Jaime VI, page 566.
  41. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 59, Catelyn IX.
  42. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 73, Jon X, page 841.
  43. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 9, Brienne II, page 133.
  44. 44,0 44,1 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 65, Arya V.
  45. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 29, Tyrion VII.
  46. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 39, Arya VII, page 440.
  47. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 66, Bran VII, page 616.
  48. Starcie Królów, Wystąpił błąd w drugim parametrze.
  49. Bad reference param1, page 10.
  50. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 37, Theon III.
  51. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 56, Theon V.
  52. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 42, Tyrion VI.
  53. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 27, Eddard VI, page 235.
  54. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 32, Tyrion IV, page 359.
  55. SSM
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