Kult of Athena


Friday, January 8, 2010

One Post to Rule Them All

Like any fan of the blade, I am quite partial to the works of master author and philologist J.R.R Tolkien. Tolkien, for anyone reading this who has not heard his name mentioned by Western martial arts experts, forge masters who have used his creations as their paramount inspiration, or Hollywood Actors who have made careers, Viggo Mortensen, or Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,

is the master behind the writings involved with The Lord of The Rings.

Now, this post is not pertaining to these works, as I could go on for pages about the philosophies, wisdom, and entertainment found therein, no. This post is to illustrate the power and inspiration this author and his works have had on the world and works of the sword.

The recreations of the works from the pages of Tolkien range from the extremely shoddy $40.00 swords found on Ebay and other sights looking to make a buck, to hand crafted, hand forged and detailed replicas costing as much as the dreaded engagement ring purchase.

The former are the ones to steer clear of. These bastard children of the rat tail tang mentality have, in my opinion, a very small part to play in the world of the sword. They serve as an uneducated beginning. They serve as a prototype for the genuine desire to possess a truly strong and balanced weapon and they are to be looked at as a bauble and then eventually discarded or given to someone who is just starting their journey in pursuit of the Savage Steel.

While a sword like this looks similar to the real movie prop made by the fine crafts people at the WETA Workshop , the armorers for movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, The Last Samurai, Guillermo del Toro's Hell Boy, and others, they do not possess 1/10 of the craftsmanship or the soul that WETA can produce.

Often times, they all possess the same characteristics:

  • Rat Tail Tang Construction: Where the blade is spot welded to the a thin cylindrical tang and then threaded into the cheap wooden handle.

  • Quasi-detailing that resembles the actual weapon but anyone looking at pictures side by side will know which is the superior with no prior knowledge

  • And finally, 440 Stainless Steel. Unlike high carbon steel or Damascus Steel, which has better flexibility, hardened edges, better resistance to rust and weathering, 440 Stainless is garden variety steel and should not be considered an excellent metal by any means.

These characteristics can be a terrible combination for any sword collector and can even lead to grave injury when your precious 440 decides to do this.

What you should be looking at, first of all, is what you want to get for your hard earned cash. When working with such a money maker like the Lord of the Rings, sword makers have the whole candy shop for you to choose from. They offer everything from the "Halfling Froto Sword" garbage from above, to magnificent pieces from United Cutlery

Now Extinct Museum Glamdring

to unbelievably strong pieces from Generation 2 (The Ranger and The Elven King Sword), Dark Sword Armory (The Ranger *DISCONTINUED*, Faramir Sword, Boromir Sword *DISCONTINUED* and an incredibly strong Samwise and Anduril!)

The latter are the pieces that I would recommend very highly. You all know that Darksword Armory is my favorite and in my humble opinion the by far the most superior forge. Alot of people would agree. The prices are great, the quality couldn't be better, and there is free shipping and even a 10% discount on almost of all of them from the Sword Buyers Manufacturer Store for members.

Now, for the customer who deals in the incredibly rare piece or replica from the Lord of the Rings literature, there are pieces out there that can accommodate. These pieces are from forgers at the top of their profession who not looking to sell wall hangers. They know their stuff is so good and so worth the money (albeit overpriced) that they dont even bother to show the pricing half of the time. Ladies and gentlemen, after much searching, both online and through my own sword collecting soul, I give to you the holy grails of the Lord of the Rings replicas. Enjoy!

If you can afford those boys then drop the name of my blog when you make a purchase and give this servant of the steel a little extra holiday cheer to bring in the new year.

All in all, people know that we are out there. We, the quasi-nerds of the sword world, are anxiously awaiting the return of Kult of Athena and the newest, best, and brightest the sword world has to offer us for new takes on the chosen weapons of some of our favorite heroes from literature and film.

I will leave you now with a sense, again, of authenticity. Just so you know, if somehow you do not already, that I share your fierce love of LOTR swords and have dropped serious coin in the past when they were at the height of their popularity with a personal photo of my collection taken only days ago.

'We will make them fear the Chamber of Marzarbul!' he said grimly, feeling the edge of his sword Anduril.(Lord of the Rings, Fellowship, page 324)



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