Last week we talked about sword vocabulary, the post was ended with a challenge section where you were asked to identify different swords. Did you come up with the same answers? Let’s see!
Sword #1 – William Wallace Highland Claymore Sword
From the picture we can clearly see that this is a straight double-edged sword meant to be used with two hands, making this a long sword or bastard sword. There is a false grip above the guard for added control and force. This sword does not have a fuller. Historically, the Highland Claymore sword that real Wallace used had a slightly curved cross guard and no false grip. Learn more about the Wallace Sword and Claymore swords here.
Sword #2 – Wesley’s Rapier
Wesley uses a one-handed rapier with a complex or swept hilt. The width of the blade determines the difference between sword and rapier and Wesley’s blade is both thin and flexible. This rapier would have had a ricasso at the base of the blade so a finger could be slipped over the guard for added control, the ornate hilt would serve to protect that finger from being lopped off should the opponent’s blade slide. Rapiers in general did not have fullers. An interesting note, in this picture Wesley is holding Inigo Montoya’s rapier. On Wesley’s rapier the hilt is less ornate. Learn more about Rapier here
Sword #3 – Duncan McCleod’s Katana
Although hard to see in this picture, Duncan is using a Japanese Katana, which can be considered a type of backsword. Only the leading edge and tip are sharpened and the blade has a slight curve to it. The grip is long enough for two hands for greater control and accuracy but light enough for one. The hilt pictured is meant to be ivory, one of the traditional materials used. Duncan was originally from the Highlands of Scotland and used to use a Claymore until his extended stay in the orient where he adopted the use of the more elegant Katana. Learn more about Katana here.
Sword #4 – Richard Cypher’s Sword of Truth
Finally we get into what I would consider one the typical Medieval blades used in fantasy writing. The one created for the production of the Legend of the Seeker TV series has all the visual elements of a great sword. Due to the shorter hilt I hesitate to call it a long sword, it would be hard but not impossible to use the other hand. It might fall into the hand-and-a-half category. The sword is heavy enough that being able to use the other hand would be desirable. It’s said that its magical properties make it feel light to its user. This is the first blade pictured that has a fuller which runs nearly to the tip. Another features of note is the curved guard and simple pommel. Richard gained his sword when he accepted he would be the “One True Seeker” the sword is an extension of the magic he holds and only he has the power to turn the blade white. Part of the magic is that the blade is unable to harm friends, only enemies.
Sword #5 Aragorn’s Sword, Anduril, Flame of the West
This fictional sword was reforged from the shards of Narsil which was wielded by King Elendil of the Dúnedain. It has many similarities to the Seeker sword except its size. Anduril is much bigger and its history more compelling. It has a full two-handed hilt with a weighty pommel to balance the weight of the blade. The fuller runs the length of the blade. To read Narsil’s full history, click here.
How did you do in the challenge? Let me know in the comments!