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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Thranduil's weapons and fighting style

Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Aug 3, 5:44am


Views: 1781
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Thranduil's weapons and fighting style Can't Post

So from the trailer, we see HeartThranduil's badass sword skills and with twin sword! Naturally I had a small discussion with Kerewyn on the Thranduil Appreciation thread, but I'd also love to hear what learned Ringers might think. So here's what's been gathered so far:

Firstly, I LOVELOVELOVE Thranduil's swords


And the way he works it Heart

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On Thranduil's swordgrip

The reverse handgrip Thranduil does on his left-hand sword when we got the quick flash of his left-hand when he was cutting orcs down in the teaser is very interesting to me.


A closeup


It seems to be how Thranduil usually holds that sword and not a fluke since it's the same grip in the earlier scene when he was walking through the carnage.


Closeup


My thoughts
I guess more learned folks would say it's not a practical or feasible grip for combat, but I think for a good all-round defense-offense in a one-against-horde situation that grip complements the conventional grip on his right-hand sword. Plus this is an ELF with both the reputation and the cred of a swordsman! I think employing the different grips for his twin-sword fighting style make perfect sense. Of course it helps that he works it like the best pros!

Kerewyn observed
That’s a hold that I imagine would be better suited to a stabbing downward / chopping motion – like you might hold a dagger for a fatal stab. He must be – and of course he is – marvelously ambidextrous and with such strong flexible wrists to wield it that way in full fight.
My comparison I did in my earlier post with Jadis – she is holding both the swords the same way, and performing almost mirror-image movements, or swipes that reflect each other. Imagine having the supreme fighting ability to wield two swords in different ways, as needed. Game changer indeed.

My thoughts
The mirror movement thingy is the typical twin-sword fighting style I believe. Again, I'm no expert but I reckon I've watched enough kungfu stuff growing up to earn some armchair critic cred. It dawned on me that twin-sword fighting is quite a limiting style (mirror moves leave a lot of potential openings for attackers too and is just limiting in the wielder's reach) and probably more stylised and suited for one-to-one action or in a tournament kind of thing. Plus, that mirror-style can look a bit too oriental (and for some strange reason it tends to be heroines who do twin-swords, twin-something else is more common for the guys), which would have been odd on HIS MAGNIFICENCE. So I am chuffed to see him in action and looking like nothing from kungfu movies or conventional fight stylesHeart Heart That reverse grip is the sword-grip equivalent of the sideway pistol hold that gets flaked for being unrealistic and for show only. It does require a lot more power and control to wield this grip well (I got a bit of a primer on it when I visited a forum discussing the villians, incidentally silver-haired bishies, in the animation movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a long way back...) and if it was the grip on a single sword, or the main one in a twin-sword style, I'd say meh (logically only and just momentarily of course because there is no meh where our ELF is concerned) but as the secondary sword, I do believe it works, and effectively and realistically complements the conventional main-sword grip. Plus it removes the element of anticipatory offence by his attackers if they can't take advantage of the repetitive conventional style. And as you say, the flexibility of the different gripes is ability supremo, not to mention cool and absolute badass. No one can touch himHeart


Kerewyn observed
(in ref to conventional twin-sword fighting styles) Hmm, yes, quite stylised, thinking of the very few female fighters I have seen. And yeah, it's more 'pose-y' than gritty and real - the kind of fight where attackers are waiting in a line or circle for their 'turn'.

The conventional sword-fighter would usually be holding a shield in left hand. Thranduil raises the bar on that - his defence arm is also an attacking arm. It's either one opponent has to look out for two attacking swords (deadly!) or two opponents have to look out for this one attacker (even more deadly) - and each sword with a 'mind of its own'."


To add on, in the vlog12 bit, its the same grips

In action




On his sword sheath(s?)
I am also intrigued by the accessory he uses to hold his sword, so much so that I started a thread on it. Hopefully we'll get more information in one of the coming WETA artbooks. For one, it's not a conventional full scabbard, more like a partial sheath, very gun holster-like now that I think about it. But it is on his left hip only. Just like in the orc interrogation scene, but on his right there's no sheath so where does the main sword's twin go when not in action? Could that left-side sheath be a double-sword holder for combat situations? Oh I'm dying to know!



Closeup


Another view of the sheath from the orc beheading scene. Notice how there is there scabbard and the sword itself shows through the other side of the sheath as it slides in.



One other detail
Those trailing bits from his armour we see in that first backview doesn't seem to serve any function except flap around don't they? But I'm wondering if the slightly dragonny motif on the shape and the fabric might be a sort of resonance re his desire for treasure and just his formidable reputation as a game changing swordsman and isolation aka let sleeping dragons lie but when they waken, watch out?



So to the wise of TORn's forums, any thoughts you care to share? Thank you.


I'm a lurker. Fan of both books and movies; it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.


Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII
(Tis true! More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)


Laugh Thrall Wars!: What business do Elves, Dwarves or Men(?) have with drooling thralls, yea, with smartphones in tow, unto the slopes of Erebor? ... oh, yes, the Hobbit's lingering in some shadows, ever ready to swoop to the hairy rescue. Take cover if you dare!
Teh partsies: Prologue (aka the 'tater-mash of whatever came before), Two, Three, Four (new! posted 16 Jul)


"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk


(This post was edited by Lurker in the Mirk on Aug 3, 5:44am)

Subject User Time
Thranduil's weapons and fighting style Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 3, 5:44am
    the short answer would be he fights like this as the film makers think it looks cool. ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 3, 10:13am
        Absolutely! Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 1:41pm
    i dont know if this has been observed by others ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 3, 12:13pm
        love that gif! DaughterofLaketown Send a private message to DaughterofLaketown Aug 3, 3:15pm
            Totally! Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 1:19pm
        Oops... I guess I should read both your posts before answering Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 1:43pm
    Maybe he holds the left hand sword that way so he can stab to the back Elarie Send a private message to Elarie Aug 3, 1:12pm
        That's what I think Glassary Send a private message to Glassary Aug 3, 4:06pm
            Yeah! Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 1:45pm
    the Mirkwood elves and the C & D book Avandel Send a private message to Avandel Aug 3, 4:45pm
        I'm dying already! Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 1:47pm
    Samurai Retro315 Send a private message to Retro315 Aug 3, 4:49pm
        Fabulous post - THANK YOU for sharing that info! Avandel Send a private message to Avandel Aug 3, 6:02pm
            I'm still dying here you know Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 2:06pm
                but Lurker we'll lose you for a while Avandel Send a private message to Avandel Aug 4, 8:29pm
                    Well maybe some would appreciate the peace Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 1:18pm
            Totally agree Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Aug 5, 12:27am
                having a loose basis in reality only, even if an on set weapon master has some groundign in historical sword use it gets adapted and changed significantly to look good on film ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 5, 1:13am
                    Agree, and would apply to most theatrical fight scenes as well Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Aug 5, 2:21am
                    Sure Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 1:44pm
                I'm sure of it, Loresilme Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 1:20pm
        Wow... thanks for sharing Retro315 Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 2:04pm
        I don't get a "katana" vibe from it at all... Kathuphazgân Send a private message to Kathuphazgân Aug 5, 12:18am
            yes much closer to a messer than any type of katana ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 5, 1:16am
            Not precisely but... Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 2:02pm
                keen and correct observation about messers ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 5, 8:17pm
                    Thanks for the info! And questions Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 7, 2:25pm
                        Lurker my understanding is that the only definition is a sword mounted as a knife ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 8, 1:19am
                            Thanks, ElendilTheShort Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 8, 2:30pm
                                but isn't a messer single bladed? Cirashala Send a private message to Cirashala Aug 9, 12:28am
                                    Ah my bad!I had assumed it was conventional double-edged Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 9, 12:38am
    I've tried reverse grip main gauche, Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Aug 4, 1:12am
        TRUST Meneldor..He Knows of WHAT? he speaks... Bombadil Send a private message to Bombadil Aug 4, 11:34am
            We does, Bomby, we does! // Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 2:12pm
                Aww, gee guys, you're making me blush. Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Aug 4, 3:50pm
        Meneldor Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 2:10pm
    I think I know why he does the reverse grip!!! Cirashala Send a private message to Cirashala Aug 4, 5:04am
        Yup Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 4, 2:12pm
            Oh, for sure KeenObserver Send a private message to KeenObserver Aug 4, 4:15pm
                lol Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Aug 5, 12:32am
                Heheh Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 2:14pm
                    HA! // KeenObserver Send a private message to KeenObserver Aug 5, 2:22pm
        I have just learnt so much! Kerewyn Send a private message to Kerewyn Aug 4, 10:06pm
            Wow. Got to hand it to you and Cirashala Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 5, 2:16pm
            Sorry about that KeenObserver Send a private message to KeenObserver Aug 5, 2:24pm
    Thanks Lurker ! - Loved this thread ltnjmy Send a private message to ltnjmy Aug 6, 6:35pm
        *Waves* Hi ltnjmy! Lurker in the Mirk Send a private message to Lurker in the Mirk Aug 7, 2:58pm

 
 
 

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