headquarters of Team Khaleesi

“The maesters call it ‘obsidian.'”

Image: VICKY LETA/MASHABLE

Is there a corner of culture untouched by Game of Thrones? Absolutely not.

In advance of Sunday’s Season 8 premiere, museums around the world have been getting in on the Thrones fandom, in the best way they know how: by being extremely helpful and informative!

In Game of Thrones, one of the few ways to kill a White Walker or wight is with a tool made of Dragonglass — or, as Samwell Tarly informed us all in Season 2, “the Masters call it obsidian.”

To help us all prepare for Winter and the southward march of the White Walkers, museums have been sharing images from their collections and factoids about Dragonglass/Obsidian. Ah, museums: the Masters of our world!

On Sunday morning, London’s Natural History Museum shared a Twitter thread about the origins of obsidian, how to form it into a weapon, and why some ancient peoples used it as such.

“When winter comes, we’ll be ready with our own supply of dragonglass,” the museum tweeted.

Obsidian is a smooth black stone that has been discovered all over the world. It forms when volcanic lava rapidly cools. According to the Game of Thrones Wiki, obsidian in Westeros and Essos is the same as it is here in our world. Neanderthals even used obsidian to fashion weapons by chipping away at the rock, which is too brittle to forge.

London’s museum wasn’t the only cultural institution to get in on the fun. The Corning Museum of Glass, located in New York, is a museum dedicated to… glass. So they are something of Dragonglass experts. We know who to call if there’s ever a North American White Walker invasion!

The deYoung Museum in San Francisco shared their Dragonglass knowledge, too. It turns out that obsidian has helped establish and protect more than one early civilization (looking’ at you, Children of the Forest!)

In Game of Thrones, one of the largest caches of Dragonglass is at Dragonstone, the former home of Stannis Baratheon, and current headquarters of Team Khaleesi. Jon Snow’s quest for dragonglass is what brought him to Dragonstone — and Daenerys Targaryen — in the first place.

But here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, you don’t need to go to the Baratheon Beachfront to stock up on dragonglass. As the National Parks Service (NPS) shared in a 2016 blog, the U.S. has its own Dragonstone-esque cache: Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone.

“Obsidian is known as Dragonglass throughout the series because of the presence of dragons, which in reality connects to the fact that obsidian forms due to the quick cooling of volcanic lava,” the NPS writes. “Considering the Yellowstone National Park sits on top of the world’s most active thermal features, known as the Yellowstone hotspot, it is no surprise that Dragonglass in the book/television series would come from the breathing of fire by dragons. All in all, Obsidian Cliff demonstrates that not only can a desirable resource make its way all across the country but it can, in fact become a desirable resource, even in fiction.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Props to our IRL Maesters, the museums. Now let’s just hope that Jon Snow and the gang can get their hands on enough dragonglass, Valyrian steel, and dragon fire to actually stop the Night King.

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