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Discussion: Why is Your Sword So Big?

giant sword

Today’s topic comes from QSFer and Admin Angel Martinez:

Why are fantasy swords so dang big and complicated?

We’ve shared this before, but there’s a great post on Fantasy weapon tropes here:


Which includes:

7. The Weapon Too Big to Be Useful: Like mystical metals, this is a trope that’s supposed to act as a metaphor. See how big this weapon is? It’s directly proportional to either how awesome or evil its owner is. There is no doubt that for many characters in fantasy, their sword is tied into their identity. But, seriously, unless the size is meant to show that a character cares more about appearing badass than being badass, they just look silly. In Codex Alera, the corps with swords like this are used as a battering ram. Rule of cool, and all, but those are just too big swords.

Of course, it might be something other than a sword that Angel is referring to.

So let’s talk Fantasy sword tropes – what are your favorites in books you’ve read? The most absurd? Have you written any yourself? And what can be done to stop this menace?

Join the Discussion


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