Kult of Athena


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Top 6 TV Shows About Swords You Should be Watching

Black Sails:

Captain Flint. Captain Charles Vane. Captain Edward “Blackbeard” Teach.

All of these men know how to wield a blade, steer a ship, win a battle, and inspire absolute terror in their enemies. And it is just so fun to watch! Taking place during the battle for Nassau in the Bahamas around 1715, this show grabs you by your puffy pirate shirt and absolutely never lets go.

In the early stages, you are hoping that Captain Flint will just kill Charles (or the other way around), take Elenor Guthrie to bed, then go and grab some treasure. And sometimes they do just that! But it is the amazing sets, characters, plots, and intrigue that truly set this show apart. You are keel-hauled into intricate stories of the politics of the street, and the secret lives of some of the most notorious men and women of history. 

It’s on the Starz network, so dig up that booty and pay yer way to the good life of blood and fire, sex and cannons, and everything that goes with it! 


Beowulf is an absolute sleeper on this list, but essential to anyone who loves the epic. On the Esquire Network, it is a diverse and modern take on the original epic poem. Hrothgar is dead. His queen, Rheeda, has taken over as Thane of Herot Hall, and his conniving (yet likeable) son, Slean, was passed over quicker than Fredo from the Godfather. It definitely makes for an entertaining story and a terrific appetizer for more established shows like Vikings and Game of Thrones.

While this Beowulf is kind of a dandy:

there are other amazing characters to help him and the plot move right along:

Like this man: RATE 

Actor must be of the method variety because he is more warrior then any man I have seen in a long time on any show. He has a battle cry. He has stunning warrior raiment, and he wields a Viking-era sword without fear or mercy. I want to know more about him, don’t you!?

Also, please forgive Beowulf’s ridiculously large sword. I think he’s overcompensating because his…legend…has gotten smaller.

(Still better than Gerard Butler)


When Vikings exploded onto the scene in 2013, I had my doubts. Gabrielle Byrne was about as Viking as my Italian grandfather, and Ragnar Lothbrok was a simple farmer. But now? Oof, ferocious! 

The rage of the Berserker (turned traitor, again!?) Rollo. The cunning mind of the shipwright and Norse priest, Floki. The gorgeous and deadly grace of the shieldmaiden queen, Lagertha. And of course, the man who embodies all, King Ragnar Lothbrok. Every other scene is a battle. Every other scene is blood and death, gods and thunder. It is so simple, yet so amazing. The language is easy. The swords and axes, sharp. The ships, busy. Give a watch on History Channel.

The Last Kingdom:

Now, take Vikings and turn it around. Change perspective and see things from the Saxon side. Defend against the raids of the Northmen, but still as a Northman yourself! 

This is EXACTLY what BBC America does! 

The warrior Utred, Son of Utred was banished from his home and robbed of his inheritance. Forced to fight for a foreign (sort of) king who only needs him b/c his kingdom is almost lost, he's threatened with death daily while trying to make his way by the edge of a sword. Add a grizzled Saxon warrior, Leofric, who will try and kill you in the morning, and drink with you at night, and you’ve got the makings of an amazing show! 

Oh, and did I mention it is based on the books of legendary epic author, Bernard Cornwall? Well it is, and it is spectacular! 


Like rugged, red-haired Scottish Gaels in kilts bringing down evil one basket hilt sword fight at a time? What about lots of drinking? Songs? Boning at free random in like every other scene? Yeah, me neither (I love it!). 

But what about an incredible story of love, time travel, wild hunts, Celtic tradition and celebration, history, nobility, muskets, and breaking the bonds of oppression? Dig that right?! 

Outlander, coming up on its second season in 2016 on Starz is just a straight up boiled haggis of all that and more, and a show absolutely not to be missed if you can swing the premium package from your cable provider. 

Check it out:

Game of Thrones:

Of course, HBO’s Game of Thrones. Of course! 

The Night’s Watch. House Lannister. House Stark. Queen Daenerys. The Ironborn. The international phenomenon that has brought us so much blood and fire is simply incredible. 

But, it should be watched for other reasons this season as well! For Season 6, the producers of the show have OUTPACED the author (George R.R. Martine) who provided the source material! That means that both the show and the books (whenever Martin chooses to finish it) may/will go in completely different directions! 

It’s like a two-for-one sale on Kult of Athena! You know I am in.

Forged In Fire:

This show holds a special place in my heart because it is bringing an ancient and sacred art back to the forefront of modern society. 

Bladesmiths are chosen from forges across the country, and have the opportunity to test their metal (ha! See what I did there?!) against some of the toughest challenges devised by man. It’s Chopped, the real game. 

Along with the entertainment value that History Channel provides, it also gives valuable lessons to amateur smiths, and gives us, the salivating public, some truly incredible works of steel art that we can drool over:

Set your DVRs boys and girls, because this show cuts the friggin’ mustard (and everything else). 


Not truly sword related – though they do have some very competent knife work going on during the action sequences – WGN’s (a network?) story about a mountain clan defending their home in Kentucky is so much fun. From the moonshine to the “couldn’t give a shit less” attitude, to the defiant natural spirit - complete with old druids - this show is definitely worth a watch (but don’t take it too seriously).

So there you have it! Free up some space, grab your favorite weapon and an ice cold beer and enjoy the fast-paced sword-swinging action that will make your life complete. 



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