Quite some time ago, I wrote a post that proved to be one of my most popular to date. The post was titled “The Reality of Fantasy”, and it discussed the reality of weapons, armor and fighting techniques that are often depicted inaccurately in fantasy fiction because, well, most fantasy creators aren’t historians.
In the years since, my Internet wanderings have turned up several interesting individuals who’ve made YouTube careers of doing the same thing, in much greater detail. The first one I’m going to introduce you to is a fellow who goes by the nom du Net of Skallagrim.
Now, while there are riches to be mined from Skallagrim’s entire channel, my favorite playlists (and the ones most relevant to this post) are the ones on weapons, armor, martial arts, and evaluating video games and movies.
You might notice that that last one is the most relevant of all to what we’re talking about here today.
Anyway. Skallagrim answers reader questions on such topics as whether the swords shown in the Game of Thrones TV show are practical designs (short answer, yes):
And he lets us know why other weapons, such as the Kurgan’s sword from the original Highlander movie, would be complete disasters:
But for my money, my favorites among his videos are the ones where he discusses little-known martial arts techniques, such as half-swording:
And debunks such favorite fantasy/cinematic combat myths as the one-hit kill:
Of course, no writer of fantasy will want to miss his bread-and-butter videos, where he discusses what the weapons and armor that we so love to outfit our heroes with were really like:
So that’s one important source. Highly recommended. More to come…
PS – I wasn’t originally going to include this one, but I just have to ask – have any of you out there ever heard this one? I had no idea that this was a thing: