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"See that sword? It's called Heartsbane. It's been in our family for 500 years. It's Valyrian steel. Only a handful of them left in the world. It's supposed to go to my firstborn son after I die. To him. He will never wield that sword."
Randyll Tarly to Gilly, referring to Samwell Tarly[src]

Heartsbane is the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Tarly. The Tarlys have held the blade for some 500 years, and it is usually displayed proudly on a mantle in an antler sword stand at their seat at Horn Hill.[1]

The hilt is wrought in the shape of a bow and arrow, with the pommel fashioned as arrow fletching, and the crossguard forming the limbs of the bow. This reflects the sigil of House Tarly - the huntsman.

The scabbard appears to have been carved from wood with a large gnarl in the center. The wood itself is largely left uncovered and undecorated, leaving a unique pattern that evokes a matching theme of the forest, the huntsman's domain.

History

Heartsbane hilt, close-up

Close-up of Heartsbane's hilt while sheathed.

During the reign of Aenys Targaryen, "Savage Sam" Tarly was Lord of Horn Hill. When the Dornish Vulture King rebelled against King Aenys, Sam led the royalist forces in the Vulture Hunt to defeat him. He wielded Heartsbane, which was said to run red from point to hilt with rebel blood.[2]

Two centuries later during Robert's Rebellion, Lord Randyll Tarly led the vanguard of House Tyrell, Tarly men-at-arms among them, as part of the royalist forces. With Heartsbane in hand, Randyll won the Battle of Ashford, against the forces of Robert Baratheon, the future king's only military defeat.

Season 6

606 Heartsbane

Heartsbane above the hearth at Horn Hill.

While dining with his banished son Samwell, Randyll discovers that his partner Gilly is a wildling. Furious, Randyll points out Heartsbane, briefly explaining its history and stating that it will never go to Samwell.

Later that night, Samwell steals Heartsbane as he leaves Horn Hill with Gilly and her baby, intending to use the sword in his studies about Valyrian steel in the Citadel.[3]

Season 8

Samwell, feeling guilty, tells Daenerys and Jorah Mormont that he "borrowed" Heartsbane.[4] Samwell later gives his family's ancestral sword to Jorah (due to its Valyrian properties allowing it to kill White Walkers), who promises to wield it for the Battle of Winterfell to honor of his late father, Jeor Mormont, who Sam also saw as father figure. Towards the end of the Great Battle, Jorah fends off many wights in order to protect Daenerys, getting stabbed multiple times in the process and eventually succumbing to his wounds.[5] The current owner of the Valyrian blade is unknown.

Image gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Heartsbane has been in the possession of House Tarly for five hundred years. Like Ice, it is a two-handed greatsword. It is currently wielded by Lord Randyll Tarly and, like the lands and titles of House Tarly, will pass to Dickon Tarly after Randyll passes away.

See also

References

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