Why silver?

This is the place for discussion and voting on various aspects of werewolf life, social ideas, physical appearance, etc. Also a place to vote on how a werewolf should look.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by jake5564 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:52 pm

Well met all,

As the shift is magick related it will be of course seen by the followers of many Dogma related religions as "evil." As such

As a steeped silver tisane is taken for the relief for the disease Lupus which is the common beginning of the werewolf in the everyday realm. It was or is not a big leap to see that a silver bullet is a way to kill a werewolf. (Google Lupus for more info there.)

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Grey » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:14 am

It would also seem to me a form of irony. Since silver is importent to many Lunar Religions, to which Were Wolves would seem to be followers of in ancient times. Lunar being represented by silver.

My take is, it would be a form of irony on par with killing a christion with a cross.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by Werewolf Warrior » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:10 am

Well according to legend Sliver is the only thing that can kill a werewolf, while other thing would bounce off them. makes no sense though :? ??
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Re: Why silver?

Post by Noir-Okami » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:30 am

Yeah, like we're supposed to believe that a Maverick Missle or an armor-piercing round will do absolute squat, while a little silver jewlery will kill them? :roll:

It's not like War of the Worlds, where the aliens died from disease.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by Grey » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:43 am

Story tellers prolly just needed a foil for the were wolf.

It's like the irony that an all powerful vampire is killed by something as simple as a wooden stake. Or a dragon with impenetrable scales has a soft underbelly. Every monster has a weakness.

Though in real life, filling anything with the right amount of lead will prolly kill it anyway.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by RongYao » Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:44 am

Maybe the changed body not resist to the silver by some chemistry reaction .
Maybe there have werewolfs, dragons, vampires for real, I like the first type of creatures .
I don't know, in every myth, legend there have 50% truth but we know only the part of the lie and this truth is not discovered yet .
If some myths are real or may be real, then most of the users here are potential werewolves .
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Re: Why silver?

Post by WerewolfKeeper3 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:15 am

IN Blood and Chocolate, {yeah, i read that book}, one of the legends the pack has, is that the light of the moon was turned into a weapon against them for some reason...

I like the concept... but i prefer silver only killing evil weres, and having the good ones immune to it, except in extreme situations...
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Re: Why silver?

Post by RedEye » Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:02 pm

Well, silver is a toxic heavy metal, and there are such things as idiosyncratic reactions (fancy-speak for strange or unusual sensitivity).
Werewolves are high-metabolism creatures, so responses are faster and more violent...
And more importantly, the Silver bit originated in the Movies. :P

IRL, silver is a lot harder than copper or lead. A Werewolf shot with a silver bullet would probably have the bullet pass through them completely, rather than stay lodged and do damage.
If I were trying to shoot a Werewolf, I'd probably use a 12ga shotgun slug through the head. It's a lot cheaper than silver, and a Werewolf with no head is most likely going to die; sooner rather than later.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by JoshuaMadoc » Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:49 am

Remember kids, silver is much better off as jewellery and cutlery. Unless you're Dio Brando.

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Vagrant » Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:59 am

That's something I think we can almost all agree on. The Werewolf weakness to silver reminds me of Superman's weakness to kryptonite, and it's all very amusing and silly. It's nonsense, but in a way it's wonderful nonsense. It's not something I'd ever use in my tales though, unless it was a jest.

I remember a long time back, I gave one of my superhero characters a random weakness to tin, and he'd freak out if he ever happened to encounter a cupboard of tinned goods. Or tinned bads! That character was created pretty much just to take the mickey out of weaknesses that seem entirely arbitrary; like silver and kryptonite.

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Re:

Post by Ember » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:28 pm

I think it was killed with consecrated lead bullets. I read somewhere that it was only in 1935, in some novel or other, that it was said that the Beast of Gevaudan was killed by a silver bullet. But I can't remember what the book was called or who the author was, so....

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Terastas » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:49 am

Um. . . Okay, I mean absolutely no offense by this. . . But a Christian was once killed with a cross. In fact, it was the first Christian. That's why the cross is significant to Christians, right?

I still prefer the "we don't know why because we can't afford to study it and there are no elder werewolves lived long enough to tell us" approach, but if I had to venture a guess, I'd say that silver was likely first employed by medieval alchemists, who could very well have just been making it up as they went. The reality is, of course, that silver is toxic to just about everything, but because silver was seen as one of the pure/holy metals, they likely never thought of it as such. Inevitably one of them would have had the bright idea to try stabbing a werewolf with silver and had some actual results. That would have given him some notoriety as a "wise" alchemist, and his findings would have circulated and been copied by other practitioners.

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Aki » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:35 am

[quote="Terastas"] The reality is, of course, that silver is toxic to just about everything, but because silver was seen as one of the pure/holy metals, they likely never thought of it as such. /quote]

This is actually probably why they thought of it as such, actually. Silverware - made from actual silver - tended kill bacteria, meaning those with fancy silver utensils didn't get sick and die so often. Which makes the stuff look rather holy and such.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by Moonfire88 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:57 pm

perhaps its not just a holy thing, perhaps its an actual alergic reaction to silver? :howl:  :oo

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Re: Why silver?

Post by versipell74 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:13 pm

Maybe it was created by werewolves themselves to discourage as many people hunting them down back in the old days since it was hard for most of the general population to get ahold of it.
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Re:

Post by AreTheyReal...Yes » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:45 pm

If the fact that Jesus was sold for silver is taken out of the equation then yes it should be silver, but blessed silver. On the other hand if jesus was sold for silver shouldn't it be unholy therefore harmless??? I would sujest wolfsbane or mountain ash.

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Terastas » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:16 am

It could work in reverse too. Could be that they perpetuate (if not created) the myth because it gives werewolf hunters a tell. Silver is highly impractical as a working metal -- the only weapons ever made out of it were purely for decorative or ceremonial purposes (even Blade the vampire hunter didn't use silver in any of his primary weapons), so presumably the only reason anyone would ever want something as mundane as bullets made out of silver would be if they thought it was the only thing that could kill whatever they were hunting.
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Re: Why silver?

Post by Volkodlak » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:33 am

Well in my view virus is weakened if it comes in contact with silver becouse of that it takes away werewolfs ability to shift and revert, but only large quantity of silver in blood stream will kill a werewolf, but also at that quantity human would not surivive it also.
Werewolfs can eat with silvery cutlery and wear jewellery made out of silver becouse you need to penetrate werewolf skin first and soon as solid silvery object is removed effects are gone, but silver in blood stream is tricky you need to wait for body to discard it.

Guys it got me thinking if silver takes away werewolfs ability to shift and revert would not drinking colloidal silver in normal quantity would it help werewolf if he works in stressful job by taking his ability of transformation away?
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Re:

Post by JoshuaMadoc » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:17 pm

I've thought about this for a week, and no, no, and no.

Silver poisoning can actually make for a very fatal weakness for a werewolf, and humans would actually have a VERY large chance of defending themselves.

For werewolves, think about the lengths they need to go to to avoid even BREATHING silver dust that could come from and go anywhere, and the amount of protection needed to avoid contact with silver, let alone creating silver weapons to exterminate rival tribes the same way humans use protection to create weapons with potent venom or other nasty side effects.

For the humans, the possibilities are vast if humans would just stop panicking and use their stupid brains. I alone already came up with several concepts that, while untested, could still tip the scales in a significant way. These include:

- Fragmentation grenades with silver shrapnel
- Whole silver bolts shot from a modern compound crossbow (exploding broadheads optional)
- Silver caltrops
- Silver-spiked barricades
- Silver buckshot
- Silver shotgun slugs
- Warhammers with silver beaks
- Silver lined maces with piercing flanges
- Slingshots with silver balls (NOT A JOKE, SLINGSHOTS CAN PIERCE HUMAN SKULLS)
- Homemade submachineguns with silver bullets (The Luty SMG in particular has been made by hobbyists and criminals alike, and some of them have firing rates of up to 1200 shots per minute)
- Silver-plated guns with silver bullets

And it's not just silver, too. If you think a werewolf's regenerative capabilities is enough to scare you out of the offensive, you're still limiting your options. No one said you can't use homemade napalm and flamethrowers and IEDs and molotov cocktails, either. Or even thermite, if you can find any. Hell, maybe strong acid to slow down the regeneration enough that silver can finish it off. Or even better, use pressurized air cans on spike hammers, and jab a werewolf's skull full of CO2 so that all that freezing air completely destroys a werewolf's brain from the inside. THAT'S even cheaper.

And unless proven otherwise, use explosive weapons. Maybe find a surplus or smuggled RPG-7 and aim it square at a werewolf's stomach. If silver doesn't affect a werewolf... just use bigger guns and other weapons, and aim for the head.

Now, I know that some of you are probably going to ask me, "Where are you going to get all of that material?" You know what? I don't know. I'm sure the stuff needed for most of what I listed is very expensive and hard to find. I'm just saying, quit limiting your options. If you want to survive a werewolf ambush, or you want to kill off a rival tribe easily, you'd better start getting inventive about how to kill something with a specific and frankly lame-a** weakness.

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Drachona » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:01 am

A lot of people have already mentioned the whole "holy" metal concept, which is true. Someone also mentioned The Beast of Gevaudan, which is probably the most popular example. It really has no significant history. The closest concepts are things like the idea of throwing iron over a werewolf's head to force a transformation back into human form. Honestly, I like the idea which I first heard in the old Goosebumps episode, and a similar idea in a documentary about The Beast of Gevaudan: silver may have been chosen as a bane for werewolves because it was more expensive. As is suggested in the Goosebumps episode, this was "so poor people couldn't afford to hunt them down", but it's also interesting that silver bullets are less accurate and less damaging than lead bullets. If I were being shot at, I would want to be shot at with silver bullets because they'd probably miss and, if they hit, they would cause minimal damage.

In movies, the concept definitely became popular as a means to stop a werewolf. They had to make werewolves seem mysterious and ridiculously supernatural, so they made them essentially invincible; all except for the slightest wound from a single piece of shiny metal. Simply put, if it doesn't make sense, Hollywood made it up.

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Re: Why silver?

Post by Kveldulf » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:05 pm

I think ultimately it's going to depend on your proposed mechanism for lycanthropy.

Primarily supernatural - plenty of folk on this list have already discussed the ongoing belief in silver as a generally "pure" metal that can affect a wide variety of supernatural beings where cold iron can't (unless the target is one of the fey, who are known in folklore throughout Northern Europe to be specifically vulnerable to it; certain forms of Scandinavian undead are also vulnerable to, and only to, iron - there is a type of ghost, for instance, which is solid black except for one white spot, wherein lies a bone from the original corpse, and the only way to get rid of it is to stick an iron or steel blade into said bone). Oddly, while the mara (a usually-female being who leaves her body at night to cause, literally, *nightmares* - yes, it is the same word, and probably stems from a very old belief!) is sometimes closely related to the werewolf - if a pregnant woman, for instance, stretches out a fresh horse placenta and crawls through it, she will, according to Scandinavian folklore, give birth painlessly; but a female child will be a mara, a male child will be a werewolf) - she is also vulnerable to iron/steel, but not silver.
Of course, given the right magical context, one might see werewolves who could be harmed by cold iron, but not lead (or, for that matter, silver) - bad news for any prospective human slayers who aren't skilled archers; a human going into close-up one-on-one combat with a werewolf is probably on a swift hiding to nothing. Steel-jacketed bullets, maybe? But first they'd have to get through all the cultural lore and figure it out, in a situation which does not predispose to living and learning one's lessons for the next fight.

Physical contagion - I'd go with the antibacterial properties of silver myself there. Not sure that it does any good against viruses (and everyone these days seems to like the "virus" explanation when a physical explanation is needed, probably because, retroviruses, genetic editing), but it could happen. If there's an allergy involved, one would suspect anaphylactic shock; as has been noted, contact hypersensitivity reactions (sadly, some people really *do* have hypersensitivity reactions even to water) can range from "a little irritation" to pretty extreme (ever had a bad case of poison ivy/oak? Looks like you're dying of smallpox, only it itches a lot worse).

Historical canon - I think it's just that generic "good for use against supernatural" thing, inasmuch as there was a thing before That Movie came out. Which, of course, solidified silver as a bane of werewolves right along with the "mandatory shifting under the full moon" deal.

Also: I doubt anyone has ever tried using gold against werewolves on a serious basis because, price and availability. Theoretically, at least from a Western magical point of view, it should work even better, and also be suitable for disinfectant use. But I suspect that one of the reasons silver is so strongly associated with the Otherworld in general, at least in Northern Europe, is because a well-off family of farmers might reasonably have a bit of silver about them, whereas gold would be much harder to come by.

Can't say silver has ever caused me a moment of distress in human form (in fact, I was a professional jeweller mainly working in silver for several years, back in my long and chequered past, and still do the odd bit of jewellery and precious-metal sculpture as a hobby in my copious spare time), but I'm reasonably certain I wouldn't try to shift while wearing it, or go into my workshop while shifted. Because, why take risks?

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