Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon. Conceived by American novelist George R.R. Martin, this fantasy epic has been adapted by HBO into one of the highest-grossing TV series of all time. The story takes place in a vast fantasy realm, with most of the plot focused on a land called Westeros – a dynastic empire reminiscent of medieval Europe.
The series has soared to widespread popularity thanks in part to the breadth of themes it delivers: Mystery, romance, action, intrigue – Game of Thrones brings them all and pulls no punches. With an average price tag of $10 million per episode, the show overlaps complex political trickery with heart-pounding action and dazzling special effects.
But amidst all the sex and swordplay, Game of Thrones presents some valuable lessons that still resonate in modern life. I’m not talking about courage or chivalry – this is a laser peening blog after all. I’m talking about material enhancement. And this billion-dollar fantasy franchise has more to say about it than you might think.
Lesson 1: Materials Matter
When it comes to critical tools, material quality sets elite components apart. This is just as true in modern manufacturing as it is in medieval fantasy. In a world where everyone packs a sword, material factors like damage tolerance and strength-to-weight ratio can turn the tide of combat. Nobody wants to break their blade in the middle of a pitched battle, just like nobody wants a fractured engine part in the middle of an overseas flight.
In the Game of Thrones universe, the most legendary weapons are swords manufactured from Valyrian steel. These ancient relics from a fallen empire are said to have been forged in dragon fire. (Basically the fantasy equivalent of laser peening.) Valyrian steel blades are rare and coveted. They are lighter, sharper, and stronger than anything manufactured by contemporary smiths. Crucially, Valyrian steel blades never lose their edge – a convenient feature when you’re fending off marauders or storming a castle.
Though they may not carry intimidating monikers like “Longclaw” or “Heartsbane”, laser peened components possess similar qualities to the Valyrian blades of fiction. Laser peened parts can last up to ten times longer than their untreated equivalents. They are more durable, more reliable, and provide unparalleled resistance to foreign object damage. If the noble knights of Westeros had access to laser peening, you can bet they’d apply it liberally to their arms and armor – lest they yield to the material might of a Valyrian blade.
Lesson 2: Some Structures Can’t Afford to Fail
Every system has critical features; those essential components without which everything falls apart. These are the linchpins of engineering, and their performance is as vital to their respective systems as… well… actual linchpins. These crucial components may be tiny and unobtrusive (like linchpins) or hefty and obvious like the pillars of a bridge.
In order to keep a system functioning, critical parts must be enhanced to their utmost reliability. Aerospace engineers know this well, which is why they apply laser peening to parts like wing attachments, turbine blades and landing gear. If any of these components fail, safe operation of the airplane is put in jeopardy. It’s one thing to lose your luggage during a flight, quite another to lose a wing.
The people of Westeros rely on a critical structure of their own. It’s 700 feet tall, 300 miles long, and it protects the populace from a horde of frozen zombies. I’m talking, of course, about the Wall.
The Wall is another artifact from ancient times, when good battled evil and legends wrote themselves. Spanning the northern breadth of the continent, the Wall was supposedly erected by a hero of old named Bran the Builder. The Wall was built to separate the world of men from the White Walkers – ancient ice creatures who lead armies of walking dead. The White Walkers are scary dudes, and for 8,000 years the Wall has done its part to keep them at bay.
Little is known about the creation of the Wall itself. Supposedly Bran (being the renowned Builder that he was) employed mythical giants and magic spells to construct an impenetrable barrier. This was important foresight on his part, because the Wall is inarguably the most critical structure in all of Westeros. Without the Wall, the White Walkers could range south with impunity and lay waste to civilization before winter has come and gone.
“If you need an unbreachable ice wall to stand for millennia, you build it with giants and magic. If you need a robust component to bear loads for millions of cycles, you peen it with high-energy lasers.” -Bran the Builder (Unverified)
Lesson 3: Always Bet on the Dragon
Some of the most popular characters in Game of Thrones are dragons. And with good reason! Dragons are awesome. They are massive, flying reptiles that breathe fire.
If you inhabit a medieval world of swordfights and cavalry charges, dragons present a distinct military advantage. A dragon can casually swoop across a battlefield, incinerate a horde of enemies, then settle atop a rampart to calculate its next move. It’s nice to have dragons on your side.
Unfortunately – and I hate to break this to you – dragons are not real. But fear not! For the modern-day equivalent of a dragon is assuredly the world’s most powerful laser peening equipment, the Procudo® 200 LSP System.
Think about it:
Dragons produce a fiery breath that can melt armor and shatter stone. The Procudo® Laser Peening System delivers a concentrated pulse of energy – enough to generate plasma and compress the strongest steels. While dragons are renowned for their strength and power, the Procudo® LSP System is known for producing incredible power densities (up to 10 billion watts per square centimeter) and generating millions of pounds of pressure on a part surface.
The Procudo® LSP System even has a sleek, red and black design that makes it almost indistinguishable from most dragons. Seriously, compare the images below. Can you tell which is an unstoppable marvel of light energy, and which is just a dragon?
The only real difference between the two is that the dragon can fly and the Procudo® LSP System can’t. (Though we’re working on that.) But even though the system itself doesn’t take to the air, the technology is used to enhance components for some of the world’s most powerful and sophisticated aircraft. It’s a tool worth having in your arsenal.
So while your competitors are busy flinging shot around, hoping for a few tenths of a millimeter of compressive residual stress depth, remember that the Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System has the power to dethrone them all. It is the most effective surface enhancement tool of our time, and reminiscent of the mighty dragons in the world’s most popular television series.
The importance of material enhancement is no fantasy. It protects critical components from costly failures, and enables engineers to push the limits of advanced systems. Whether you’re manufacturing steel structures, or fighting for an iron throne – it pays to have the strongest material around.
Contact LSP Technologies to learn more about laser peening and the power of material enhancement.