A fantasy swords guide to famous collectible movie swords as seen in Highlander movie
The 1986 fantasy film Highlander is considered one of the biggest franchises of pulp fiction.
Its story is continued, retold, and shared in various forms of media. Already, five movies and television series have been made following the storyline.
Animation for TV, movie, and internet has also made the rounds for the new generation. Moreover, the original movie Highlander has been successfully launched in comic series, with about seventeen books to its credit, and in novels as well.
The Highlander story follows the journey and the life of Connor Macleod, and in later episode, his clansman and student Duncan Macleod. The Macleods are Immortals, the undying group of people coming from another planet. Together they need to defeat Kurgan, the villain, who ambitions to kill all Immortals to make himself the strongman and tyrant on the face of the earth.
Fantasy swords in Highlander movie
As if movie sequels, TV spin-offs, comic books, and novels were not enough, legions of fans are now taking themselves to the memorabilia: they are collecting original movie props and licensed Highlander film sword replicas. Some of the swords, blades, and knives used during filmmaking were put to auction to the delight of the fans.
A few of them have been shown to the public in some exhibits, including those hosted by Planet Hollywood. On the other hand, the demand for movie replicas of Highlander sword continues to grow.
Replicas of the swords in Highlander motion picture
Fantasy movie swords in Highlander are all decorative. Not one blade is battle ready, since the use of the swords in fiction is filled with sorcery and magic. Another important characteristic of replicas is that they are not exactly a copy of the original movie prop sword. There are no templates or standard designs issued to third party contractors and licensed sword makers.
Duplicates of Highlander blades are thus made by approximating the appearance of the fantasy sword in Highlander TV series or in the film.
Sword of the Dragon: the popular Highlander fantasy sword
Perhaps the most famous, the Sword of the Dragon or Dragon Sword is the iconic hilt and pommel of Highlander movie swords. Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, the teacher of the protagonist Connor Macleod, is its owner. By all accounts, the prominent mark of the sword is its sculpted dragon form coiling around the handle.
Oriental scenes of swordplay are carved on the hilt too, and the pommel features the head of the dragon with its roaring mouth. The Sword of the Dragon later became the sword of Connor, when teacher Ramirez died for the first time (only to be resurrected in the second sequel of the Highlander film).
The Sword of the Dragon is a single-edged, single-handed Japanese katana sword with a gracefully curving blade. The characteristic hamon (temper line) is distinctly wavy and shiny. The hilt and the pommel are forged, in the movie, in gold or ivory. The tsuba (guard of the hilt) is the traditional samurai circular guard made of or plated with gold. The scabbard, according to generally accepted form, is a black sheath wrapped with delicate fabric.
Connor Macleod Sword
Connor Macleod, as the protagonist, carries the Scottish claymore in the earlier episodes of the plotline. He used it in the battle of Frassier, the first time he was fatally wounded by his sworn mortal enemy, the Kurgan.
The Connor blade is borrowed from Celtic sword design: a blade tapering to a rigid point, the hilt plated in pure silver, and the handle is wrapped with suede leather with a wound brass wire. This medieval sword has a cross guard etched with the sans-serif words “Macleod”, insignia of the clan to whom Connor belongs.
Later sequels of the motion picture Highlander have a new protagonist at the helm, Duncan Macleod, a kinsman and student of Connor Macleod. Duncan appeared in Highlander: Endgame (the fourth film installment) and Highlander: The Source (the fifth film installment).
Duncan sword is not quite different from the Sword of the Dragon, with the following exceptions: the neck collar of the dragon head is bronze colored, and its blade is made of stronger steel and tempered to hardness.
Kurgan, as mentioned earlier, is Connor Macleod’s ultimate enemy. He knows that by killing fellow Immortals, the energy and power of the slain will be transferred to him. As he looks forward to becoming the sole ruler of Earth, he kills and beheads as many Immortals as he can. His menacing sword reflects his violent, malicious traits. The Kurgan sword is a European broadsword, with a fuller along the centerline.
This Highlander movie sword is collapsible; a button in the hilt can be pressed to retract or reveal the blade. In replicas however, this design is impractical. Kurgan sword has a metal ball for its hilt, a leather-wrap on the grip, and a sleek toothed crossguard.
Sword of the Sorcerer
The third sequel, Highlander III: The Final Dimension, is also subtitled as Highlander III: The Sorcerer. Kane, the villain of the sequel and the enemy of Connor, has his own distinct and quite elaborate sword to match. The dark fantasy sword of the Sorcerer looks like the Sword of the Dragon, except that the hilt and the pommel are painted in somber black.
A fell beast of unknown name is placed on the pommel, its long spindly scales on the wings and brutal slithery body coils around the grip. On the forehead of the beast is a red gem. There are other replicas of the Sword of Sorcerer that feature two red gems on the eyes of the beast.
Collectible Highlander sword and replicas
If you are looking for a perfect, closer to the original duplicate of any Highlander swords, most collectors would recommend you to make your own. This might be a surprise since many sword maker companies have been offering them as merchandise.
The truth of the matter is, sword replicas copied from Highlander weapons are quite different. The probable reason is that the Highlander film company has issued some restrictions on the reproductions of the movie swords.
It is therefore ideal if you can have your own custom-made Sword of the Sorcerer, Kurgan Sword, Duncan Sword, Connor Sword, or Sword of the Dragon. This is not only fun, it also gives you free hand in deciding on the final embellishment of the sword. You can also enjoy watching the whole Highlander film series, and then have a precise duplication of the movie props and swords.
A final reminder: be prepared to shell out extra money (as custom-made swords are sure to be more expensive than the mass-produced blades) and protect your cash by choosing only reliable and reputable sword smiths.