Posts Tagged ‘HellBoy’

Elven swords and spears are just too cool…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I recently ran across an interesting set of weapons, both from the movie “Hellboy II : The Golden Army”. Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Luke Goss. The original HellBoy movie had quite an array of interesting weapons and this latest incarnation is no exception. This time around, I’ll be talking about two weapons in particular, a spear and a sword, both the weapons of renegade elven Prince Nuada, played by Luke Goss:

Prince Nuadas Weapons from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Weapons from the movie HellBoy II

If memory serves, both of these weapons were worn by Prince Nuada at various points in the movie. In the final challenge battle he gives the sword to Hellboy to challenge him with. Quite the honorable, if misguided fellow. Up until he tried to stab HellBoy in the back. Quite the angsty type. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand where his angst came from. But I’m rambling.

I found both weapons interesting for a several reasons. When I compared the design of each of the two weapons, I found their designs to be both conflicting and complementary. They both appear to display completely opposing levels of sophistication, and yet are furnished identically, almost as if designed by different people, then finished to match. In addition, each appears almost specifically designed to fulfill a role that the other cannot. I’ll start with the Sword:

Prince Nuadas Sword from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Sword from the movie HellBoy II

The sword is of an interesting, but rather limiting design. It is wide, heavy, of medium length, and has no point. Franky as Elven swords go, it is not of the characteristically edgy but beautiful design that elven swords are known for. It appears to be designed purely for cutting and cleaving, and possesses absolutely no thrusting capabilities whatsoever.

In fact, it almost appears to have none of the characteristics of traditional elven swords whatsoever, save for the hilt furniture. If I were to hazard a guess, I might speculate that the sword was not really of elven design, but may have been commissioned, only as an afterthought by the prince, to match the the spear, which was actually his favored weapon.

An interesting feature of the swords design, is that it carries a little notch at in the spine, just before the tip, (if you can even call it that). This notch could theoretically be used to capture and break other swords. It’s almost as though this sword was designed purely for very close quarters combat with other swords, and nothing else. As you will see, I think there is a purpose for that, which becomes a little more plausible once we’ve looked at Prince Nuada’s other weapon, (and probably his favorite) his elven spear:

Prince Nuadas Spear from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Spear from the movie HellBoy II

Now this spear, that is an elven weapon. So much more elegant than the sword. From the pommel to at least midway through the deceptively short shaft, it is identical to the sword, but from there on out it is a completely different story. Prince Nuada was perfectly capable of using the spear in it’s short form for melee combat, however its use would be restricted mainly to thrusts, with limited slashing capabilities provided by the relatively large (by spear head standards), but comparatively short (against a sword), broad and beautifully crafted spear head.

In the movie, the spear is imbued with eleven witchery and was capable of extending about 4 extra feet, to achieve the full spear length of around 6 feet. And what a beautiful 6 feet of black and gold elven rune etched spear they were!! We also see in the movie that the spear also has an auto-magically repairing tip. A very handy feature, especially given how beautiful that spear head is. No worrying about broken spear heads and all that.

Anyway, while the spear provided Prince Nuada with much greater reach, it would still have been limiting in close quarters battle, and against a skilled sword wielding opponents, using weapons whose entire edge could be used to inflict lethal cuts, he may have found it necessary to resort to using a sword. My hypothesis would be that, at this point there would be very few of the elven race left, and so the sword would have been forged by a non-elven smith, which would describe it’s crude nature.

Of course in reality, whoever designed these weapons may not have had anything of the sort in mind, but I thought those particular design choices were an interesting coincidence. Perhaps the sword was designed that way purely because the designer knew HellBoy would eventually be using it. In which case I’d say the design was spot on.

Anyway, I think that’ll be enough of me forging speculative logic for the design and function of fictional weapons for a fictional prince of a fictional race from a fantasy movie.

Oh, wait…

Actually this works. I am actually not real myself.

Never mind. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. 🙂

Prince Nuadas Sword – [True Swords]
Prince Nuadas Spear – [True Swords]

A very unique sword.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The aesthetically cool, but seriously flawed, Twin Dragon Blades I posted about recently reminded me of a much simpler, but considerably more practical weapon from a cool movie I watched a while back. This weapon was used by an equally unique character. Which, given the nature of the movie, may not be saying much. I am talking about the sword used by a character called Kroenen, from another comic-book turned movie Hellboy:

The Sword of Kroenen

The Sword Of Kroenen
[view full size]

In the movie version of the Hellboy saga, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, was a Nazi assassin who, obsessed with witchcraft, mechanics and surgery, had turned himself into what I can only describe as an un-dead cybernetic organism. Essentially a killer cyborg zombie. Hey. These things happen ya know…

Anyway one of the tools of his trade with which he showed a remarkable ability was a pair of swords that looked like bladed versions of the Japanese tonfa. If you’ve ever seen police batons with the side handle, you are essentially looking at a fancy modern tonfa. And if you replace everything but the side handle with a razor sharp steel blade, Voila! You’ll have Kroenens lethal sword.

The thing is, tonfa are immensely effective and versatile impact weapons in thier own right. Even without blades. Replacing the impact surfaces with blades actually adds a dimension of deadliness to them that I found appropriately menacing, and absolutely perfect for this particular character. I love it! And the beauty of it is that this is a very, very simple weapon.

The sword has a simple, double edged, double pointed blade. The black, wire-wrapped handle is pinned to the blade, with gold accents in the pommel and at the attachment point. The handle is has a generous swell in the middle, which, in all likelihood would provide for much more control over the movement and/or swiveling of the blade, especially if it is used in the traditional tonfa style.

I also imagine that one might have to develop a new combat style in order to wield this, as traditional tonfa or sword methodology wouldn’t exactly work the same, since tonfas have no blades and can be gripped anywhere along it’s length, and swords do have blades, but they aren’t usually at right angles to the grip.

Even more noteworthy, is that this design has the added benefit of being both a close quarters as well as a distance weapon. By swinging the blade around, and allowing the grip to rotate 180° in your hand, you have access to both a long blade and a short one. It’s genius. And simply beautiful. Why is it that the psychotic evil assassins always get all the cool toys?

The Sword of Kroenen – [Hot Movie Props]

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