Broad-bladed axe and long white knife – #219

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Hmmm...

Getting through chainmail is almost impossible, you'd need something like an estoc or magic elvish stuff which cuts through metal.

The gladius is a perfect weapon in close formation combat, the perfect SIDEARM for a guy with a pilum and a large shield.
Would Tolkien have called a gladius-like weapon a knife? I always imagined the hobbits barrow-blades or the numenorean eket as gladius-like.

Otherwise i agree, i also didn't like the jackson-elf blades much, there should have been more glamdring and anduril-like swords and less naginata-like designs.

I wonder...

Legolas is an archer, a bowman.Could this profession give us any clue about the nature of his weapon? What would have been the typical sidearm of a noble archer but a sword? What type of knife?

A lower class archer would have worn a seax, later an archers pick or bollock dagger. A nobleman? Russian archers seemingly used a boyarin knife a long machete-like weapon, that indeed is not that far from legolas double knives in the jackson films... other noble archers though would have used a sword or long dagger indeed not very unlike a gladius.
 
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Getting through chainmail is almost impossible, you'd need something like an estoc or magic elvish stuff which cuts through metal.
Nope, it's not impossible to get through chain mail, it's only almost impossible to cut through it with a slashing attack. But iff you force the tip of your blade with a thrusting attack against the chain mail it can break the chains and let the blade through. It's not about cutting through the metal but breaking up the structure. An arrow will do the same trick. And it works, why do you think they've invented full plate armour?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Right, I didn't think of that. That'd be something like this (picture from wikipedia):

View attachment 4079

Those one-sided blades are about 1 meter long and became popular in the very end of the medieval age and the beginning of the renaissance. Woudn't quite fit to the time frame frame Tolkien had in mind and I picture a more elegant for an elf.


I still believe the colour is meant to describe the blade, not the hilt or handle. That'd be an unusual use of wording. I wrote 'purest metal', comparison, for a reason. So yes, polished white steel or mithril could do the trick.
Are you sure it is not something modelled after a Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife of the British Army?
 

Forodan

Active Member
But... the Roman gladius did not have cross-guard. Neither did the larger spatha. In fact, the whole idea of a cross-guard is a medieval invention. All ancient swords in the Mediterranean area were plain straight blades, though the top of the hilts of some might be slightly larger than the blade to prevent the slipping you are talking about. Maybe someone else invented cross-guards before medieval Europe?
 

Octoburn

Active Member
But... the Roman gladius did not have cross-guard. Neither did the larger spatha. In fact, the whole idea of a cross-guard is a medieval invention. All ancient swords in the Mediterranean area were plain straight blades, though the top of the hilts of some might be slightly larger than the blade to prevent the slipping you are talking about. Maybe someone else invented cross-guards before medieval Europe?
while gladiuses and spathas did not have cross guards, they did have guards. cross guards are not necessary to prevent your hand slipping onto the blade with a thrust, but some type of guard is. Legolas' knives in the films have almost zero protection of that sort, just a slight taper near the blade. I believe that cross guards were actually invented to protect the wielders hands from the blades of his opponents slashing his own hands.
 
while gladiuses and spathas did not have cross guards, they did have guards. cross guards are not necessary to prevent your hand slipping onto the blade with a thrust, but some type of guard is. Legolas' knives in the films have almost zero protection of that sort, just a slight taper near the blade. I believe that cross guards were actually invented to protect the wielders hands from the blades of his opponents slashing his own hands.
Yes, I take my statement back a cross guard is needed, just a protection to prevent your hand to slipping onto the blade whilst thrusting. Here's a picture of the kind of weapon I have in mind and can connect to Legolas:
1646685356382.png1646685399165.png
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Nope, it's not impossible to get through chain mail, it's only almost impossible to cut through it with a slashing attack. But iff you force the tip of your blade with a thrusting attack against the chain mail it can break the chains and let the blade through. It's not about cutting through the metal but breaking up the structure. An arrow will do the same trick. And it works, why do you think they've invented full plate armour?
Lots of things can happen but thrusts through riveted mail with a blade? Needs a very hard sharp point to get through and lots of power... an estoc and spear can do it, most other blades or even arrows hardly so.Modern bows maybe but medieval or antique ones... with lots of luck perhaps.I have zero doubt though elven and numenorean ones could do that...

It is really mostly the category "long knife" which makes me think it was most likely not intended to be a short sword or anything too close like it.But... many things possible.
 
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Halstein

Active Member
I like to think of Legolas' knife as some sort of broken-back seax:
Not necessarily with especially long blades.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I like to think of Legolas' knife as some sort of broken-back seax:
Not necessarily with especially long blades.
Yess! A cool and stylish blade...

If i had to design a wood-elf longknife i would go for almost exactly that design but add a bit more guard to it.
 

Woofbarkyap

New Member
All i can say in his wordlists he often uses knife and dagger synonymously, but not sword. I really do not know what kind of weapon he had in mind, most likely a one-edged weapon, one that is slender and longer than a normal knife or dagger and is not a sword, probably with no crossguard?

If it was no langes messer type, for which youre right, it probably is the wrong era, maybe a long viking knife or long knife seax like weapon?or a celtic, la téne long knife?

On colour...yes maybe white does refer to the somewhat otherworldly character of the blade too, maybe it was some magical titanium-ceramic-silver steel alloy.
Could it be mithril?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Somehow i would think that would have been mentioned if it was.mithril is described as being dark blue silver or silver steel, not white.That doesn't exclude the possibility of white mithril alloys of course..
 
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