Medieval fantasy swords
Discover the difference between medieval swords and medieval fantasy swords
Much of our knowledge on medieval swords is largely influenced by mass media. The popularity of films, television sitcoms, and magazines has made it possible for millions of people to know our history, without ever worrying about taking a school test afterwards. Through entertainment, historically-based movies, and exciting novels, ancient heroes come alive in our modern times.
But there is no other media that has hastened the popularity of medieval swords than the interactive video and computer games. Games like Dungeons and Dragons, World of WarCraft, and Excalibur have heightened our fascination to medieval swords. Our fascination is, in fact, so much that production of swords has enjoyed a second lease of life.
Medieval Fantasy Swords
Medieval fantasy swords are, in all sense, fantasy swords. They come in all unusual shapes and sizes, all of them grabbing our attention on the first glance. Some of them have forking blades. Some have peacock-feather shaped hilts. Some have pommels of a dragon’s head like those found in Viking’s famous longboats.
They are forged with creativity and imagination in mind rather than historical accuracy. But wait, how about the word medieval?
The “medieval” in Medieval Fantasy Swords
As you may know, fantasy swords are not bounded by function and form. A blacksmith can create an Excalibur with a whip at the end of the blade, and call it fantasy sword. Or a sword with a fire-breathing gargoyle on the pommel. This may look like nonsense, but this is what fantasy is all about --- a figment of imagination.
Medieval fantasy swords on the other hand are bounded by the historical timeline of Middle Ages. Thus, their sword-makers can do only one thing: tweak the designs of medieval swords. But this does not mean they can’t produce stunning masterpieces.
The Art in Medieval Fantasy Swords
There are four main differences between what is a medieval sword and what is a medieval fantasy sword.
Medieval fantasy swords stand out precisely because of their strange embellishments. A sword-maker can put a blue diamond on Moorish scimitar, or a small angel on a claymore. He or she can forge an intricate hilt that looks like small tongues of flame to a Knight sword. The Celtic wolf of John Lundemo (from the company Odinblades) is an interesting example.
Medieval fantasy swords also stand out because of what they explore. A sword-maker may start with a wishful thinking: for instance, what would it be like to have a Knight Templar katana? What would a Viking rapier look like?
Cross-design or hybrid
Medieval fantasy swords stand out too because of their interesting mold. A sword-maker may run his imagination wild and disregard history. He or she can produce a Knights Templar sword with Roman gladius hilt. Or he may decide to put the history of medieval sword all in one product: a Knights Templar sword’s blade, the hilt of Knights sword, the tang of Viking sword, and the pommel of Middle age claymore. Hanwei’s Dark Sentinel series is an example.
Medieval fantasy swords stand out lastly because of their enticing features. For example, a sword-maker may forge a katana with a forked blade, and its hilt richly embellished with semiprecious stones. Or a Moorish scimitar, like the famous Zulqifar, with small knives at both sides of the guard. Kit Rae’s highly decorative swords are good examples of wild fantasy sword designs.
Decorative and battle ready Medieval Fantasy swords
Some medieval fantasy swords are intended solely for decorations. They may be seen hanging on the walls of hotels, bedrooms, and office spaces. Some however, are intended for decoration and function. In fact, the Fantasy Leaf-blade Longsword made by Michael Tinker is sharp enough for an actual medieval sword fighting and dueling.
Somehow, a decorative and battle ready medieval fantasy sword is irresistible. It puts science, sword craftsmanship, and magic into reality. It is a wondrous product that erases the gap between real and unreal.