Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Latin: argentum) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal.

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and it is used to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils, and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions.

According to popular fantasy culture, silver can repel certain supernatural threats such as vampires and werewolves.

Given its value throughout human history, silver has played a role in many Harry Turtledove works. This article deals only with those instances where silver was a critical plot-point.

Silver in Clever Rolf Stories[]

Silver was an effective weapon against werewolves. Clever Rolf defeated a werewolf by bombarding it with his silver ket.[1]

Silver in The House of Daniel[]

Silver was an effective weapon against werewolves. In Artesia, New Mexico in May 1934, House of Daniel pitcher Fidgety Frank Carlisle was approached by a ravenous werewolf. Using a tactic from a pulp story he had read, Carlisle hit the werewolf in the nose with a silver half-dollar, driving it off.[2]

Silver in "The Man who Came Late"[]

Theodo the blacksmith made silver charms, to ward off any werewolves that might stray in from the nearby woods.

Silver in "Not All Wolves"[]

While it was believed werewolves were vulnerable to silver, in reality this was not the case. For instance, in 1176, a werewolf named Dieter sought sanctuary in Saint Cäcilien's in wolf form. He frightened a priest who struck him with his staff that had a silver crucifix on the end. The blow hurt Dieter as much as it would have if he were a human, but the silver did not cause him any specific harm.

Silver in "Vilcabamba"[]

Silver was among the metals the Krolp prized. Fifty years after their first arrival, the Krolp discovered a deposit of silver (and a small amount of gold) deep below the surface of northeastern Utah within the territory of the rump United States and Canada. Despite a treaty recognizing the sovereignty of the U.S., the Krolp demanded access to the silver. U.S. President/Canadian Prime Minister Harris Moffatt III realized that the Krolp's mining efforts would probably leave what was left of his two countries uninhabitable, and staged a desperate, doomed uprising. In the end, the Krolp got their silver and gold.

See also[]

  • Iron, another metal used as a repellent against supernatural threats in fantasy lore.


  1. Amazing Stories, vol 57, no. 3, September 1983, pg. 122.
  2. The House of Daniel, loc. loc. 2398-2409.