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Strong Belwas


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Belwas was born to fight at the Pits.  He has never lost a fight.  That is saying something about his skills.  We have only seen him use an arakh but he must know how to use other types of bladed weapons as well as his hands.  Bow and arrow is not likely in his skills but surely he must know how to use a sword and a regular shield. 

We have a poor impression of the arakh because of the HBO show turning what should have been a weapon into sickle.  What kind of weapon would you like to see Belwas use?  I want to read how well he can handle a hammer.  

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Since Belwas has fought in the fighting pits, I see him more like a street fighter. I am sure he can use a number of weapons, i just dont see him being extremely skilled with any of them. His fights would be all about the spectacle and winning at all costs, so I dont think it would be all that fun to see him fight with a specific weapon if one wishes to see a skilled use of that weapon.

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1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

Since Belwas has fought in the fighting pits, I see him more like a street fighter. I am sure he can use a number of weapons, i just dont see him being extremely skilled with any of them. His fights would be all about the spectacle and winning at all costs, so I dont think it would be all that fun to see him fight with a specific weapon if one wishes to see a skilled use of that weapon.

A fighter who has never lost in the fighting arts is a good candidate for the best fighting man there is.  It's just prejudice that would make anyone think otherwise.   He has to be highly skilled in order to survive what may come his way.  He fought opponents who used a multitude of weapons and defeated them.  He fought bears and lions one day.  The next he fought Dothraki.  The next a swordsman from Braavos or even Westeros.  He was entertaining but his act was not the same as lions chasing dwarfs.  He entertained with his fighting skills. 

4 hours ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

Belwas was born to fight at the Pits.  He has never lost a fight.  That is saying something about his skills.  We have only seen him use an arakh but he must know how to use other types of bladed weapons as well as his hands.  Bow and arrow is not likely in his skills but surely he must know how to use a sword and a regular shield. 

We have a poor impression of the arakh because of the HBO show turning what should have been a weapon into sickle.  What kind of weapon would you like to see Belwas use?  I want to read how well he can handle a hammer.  

No arrows but I would not at all be surprised if he was also skilled with javelin and lance. 

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29 minutes ago, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

A fighter who has never lost in the fighting arts is a good candidate for the best fighting man there is.  It's just prejudice that would make anyone think otherwise.   He has to be highly skilled in order to survive what may come his way.  He fought opponents who used a multitude of weapons and defeated them.  He fought bears and lions one day.  The next he fought Dothraki.  The next a swordsman from Braavos or even Westeros.  He was entertaining but his act was not the same as lions chasing dwarfs.  He entertained with his fighting skills. 

I'm not saying he's not a skilled fighter. He has probably never been trained to use any weapons. He would lack technique. If he were to fight, let's say, Robert Baratheon in his prime with a war hammer, Robert would probably win because of better technique. 

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2 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

Since Belwas has fought in the fighting pits, I see him more like a street fighter. I am sure he can use a number of weapons, i just dont see him being extremely skilled with any of them. His fights would be all about the spectacle and winning at all costs, so I dont think it would be all that fun to see him fight with a specific weapon if one wishes to see a skilled use of that weapon.

I wouldn't bet against him. It's true that some fighting styles are more about putting a show than a fight.  But in Meereen, in the pits, every fight is to the death. That tends to make one take them more seriously.  He may not have much formal training ... or he may; he probably has a lot of free time between fights, and his owner might have invested in training for him.  But to live a long time in that career, he must at least have good instincts, situational awareness, and the ability to size up and read his opponents.

And of course there's this:

Quote

The huge brown eunuch swaggered forward, sheathing his arakh. “I am Belwas. Strong Belwas they name me in the fighting pits of Meereen. Never did I lose.” He slapped his belly, covered with scars. “I let each man cut me once, before I kill him. Count the cuts and you will know how many Strong Belwas has slain.” Dany had no need to count his scars; there were many, she could see at a glance.

 

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8 minutes ago, Aebram said:

I wouldn't bet against him. It's true that some fighting styles are more about putting a show than a fight.  But in Meereen, in the pits, every fight is to the death. That tends to make one take them more seriously.  He may not have much formal training ... or he may; he probably has a lot of free time between fights, and his owner might have invested in training for him.  But to live a long time in that career, he must at least have good instincts, situational awareness, and the ability to size up and read his opponents.

His opponents would likely be street fighters too, so unlikely to be trained with specific weapons. I have no doubt he has very, very good instincts. But I wouldn't turn to Belwas to look for proficiency with weapons.

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1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

I'm not saying he's not a skilled fighter. He has probably never been trained to use any weapons. He would lack technique. If he were to fight, let's say, Robert Baratheon in his prime with a war hammer, Robert would probably win because of better technique. 

Really? I always pictured Robert as a brute force fighter and Rhaegar as the one who was all technique. We know who won there.

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5 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

His opponents would likely be street fighters too, so unlikely to be trained with specific weapons.

I don't mean to be argumentative, but you got me thinking about this some more, and I really don't think that "street fighter" is a correct description. A more accurate term would be "professional athlete."

We know that the fighting pits are big business in Meereen. There's a lot of money and fame to be had by the best ones. From the things they told Dany, we know that some of them have quite a nice lifestyle -- except for the slavery part. They are slaves. Their owners can make them train full time, six days of the week, in order to be in peak form for the fight on Saturday.

We've only seen Belwas have one actual fight, against the "hero" of Yunkai, who was mounted at the time. Belwas dispatched him quickly and professionally. That didn't seem like the work of a poorly trained street fighter.

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10 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Really? I always pictured Robert as a brute force fighter and Rhaegar as the one who was all technique. We know who won there.

But as compared to strong belwas, Robert would likely have better technique. And Rhaegar was known to be a good with a sword, but it wasn't his passion.

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5 hours ago, Aebram said:

I don't mean to be argumentative, but you got me thinking about this some more, and I really don't think that "street fighter" is a correct description. A more accurate term would be "professional athlete."

We know that the fighting pits are big business in Meereen. There's a lot of money and fame to be had by the best ones. From the things they told Dany, we know that some of them have quite a nice lifestyle -- except for the slavery part. They are slaves. Their owners can make them train full time, six days of the week, in order to be in peak form for the fight on Saturday.

We've only seen Belwas have one actual fight, against the "hero" of Yunkai, who was mounted at the time. Belwas dispatched him quickly and professionally. That didn't seem like the work of a poorly trained street fighter.

It's all good, the purpose of these threads is for us to tell each other what we think :) 

Going by the professional athlete analogy, I think of belwas as someone trained for sprints. I'm sure he could manage a long distance race, but it wouldn't be as much fun to watch as watching someone trained for long distance running.

 

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I think that there's a possibility (based on Belwas' connection with Illyrio and thru him with Varys) that previously Belwas had appeared in the books under a different alias - Big Belly Ben. In 281 AC he briefly was (in my opinion) a (temporary) member of the Kingswood Brotherhood.

If my assumption that those two - Ben and Belwas, are actually the same person, is correct, then it means that he is not a skilled fighter. Because then, in 281, a 15-years old Jaime managed to chase him off.

ASOS, Jaime VIII - "Summed up like that, his life seemed a rather scant and mingy thing. Ser Barristan could have recorded a few of his other tourney victories, at least. And Ser Gerold might have written a few more words about the deeds he'd performed when Ser Arthur Dayne broke the Kingswood Brotherhood. He had saved Lord Sumner's life as Big Belly Ben was about to smash his head in, though the outlaw had escaped him. And he'd held his own against the Smiling Knight, though it was Ser Arthur who slew him."

Also, it seems that in the past (if they are the same person), he indeed was using some sort of weapon like a hammer. Though later, because of his defeat by Jaime, who was using a sword, he noted that a hammer is not the best choise of weapon, and thus later switched to arakh.

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We first need to establish what Belwas is.  He is a professional fighter of a very high caliber.  He's a highly trained gladiator.  He is not a soldier.  In other words, he's not an infantryman.  His best use is for fighting duels and one-to-one combat. 

Belwas is absolutely a professional.  He wasn't fighting farmers, shepherds, and weekend warriors.  He was fighting equally trained, just as professional gladiators.  He also proved himself quick on his feet.  That move against the mounted Oznak was impressive.  Sure, Oznak could have tried to ride through instead of pass, but Belwas would have evaded just as easily.  The big man moves well, employs the right strategy, and knows his business.  I strongly suspect that he has faced mounted knights in the arena and dispatched them almost as quickly. 

A gladiator who could face a surprising variety of opponents has to be adaptable to survive.  Against, an armored knight, I may give him a net or some type of long spear.  He will have the advantage in mobility.  Armored knights are far from invincible.  The best of them fell to a Crannogman with a fishing net and a frog spear. 

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14 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

His opponents would likely be street fighters too, so unlikely to be trained with specific weapons. I have no doubt he has very, very good instincts. But I wouldn't turn to Belwas to look for proficiency with weapons.

That is incorrect, sir.  Belwas demonstrated great proficiency with his small shield.  It takes skill to time the lance and block it with a small hand shield.  His evasive move was perfectly timed and executed.  Belwas is a skilled gladiator. 

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11 minutes ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

That is incorrect, sir.  Belwas demonstrated great proficiency with his small shield.  It takes skill to time the lance and block it with a small hand shield.  His evasive move was perfectly timed and executed.  Belwas is a skilled gladiator. 

'Skilled' is a relative term. I am not saying he is unskilled. I'm saying he likely hasn't been trained with specific weapons. Would this matter in a real fight with a fighter that has been trained with weapons, we don't know since we haven't seen him fight someone who has been formally trained.

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Your mention of a "real fight" does bring up a good point. A professional athlete is not a soldier. Whatever training Belwas has had, it was surely oriented toward pit fighting: battles of short duration, in open pits with no obstructions or cover, and no armor. Those conditions are much different from actual war, as demonstrated when Ser Barristan took on Khrazz (in ADWD chapter 67). In that sense, Belwas is certainly not well trained for the his next fight, outside the gates of Meereen.

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On 1/17/2022 at 7:07 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

That is incorrect, sir.  Belwas demonstrated great proficiency with his small shield.  It takes skill to time the lance and block it with a small hand shield.  His evasive move was perfectly timed and executed.  Belwas is a skilled gladiator. 

Calling him skilled gladiator would not do justice to his capabilities. Evading a lancer's charge is no mean feat.

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45 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Calling him skilled gladiator would not do justice to his capabilities. Evading a lancer's charge is no mean feat.

It's not that impressive, really. Here's why:

  • Belwas can see the horse coming from a long way off
  • The ground is flat, dry, and open
  • The lance is fourteen feet long


My grandmother could avoid that lance, easy. I agree that Belwas is a great fighter, if his scars are any indication, but this fight doesn't show me that at all (I hope he lives to end of the series, to eat his liver and onions). 

 

I'd like to see him fight with a warhammer. 

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On 1/16/2022 at 3:56 PM, Only 89 selfies today said:

Belwas was born to fight at the Pits.  He has never lost a fight.  That is saying something about his skills.  We have only seen him use an arakh but he must know how to use other types of bladed weapons as well as his hands.  Bow and arrow is not likely in his skills but surely he must know how to use a sword and a regular shield. 

We have a poor impression of the arakh because of the HBO show turning what should have been a weapon into sickle.  What kind of weapon would you like to see Belwas use?  I want to read how well he can handle a hammer.  

The show was only for show as they say.  The one in the novels is a longer version of a Kukri.  A hammer is an ideal weapon for such a large human specimen.  We know what it can do to plate armor.  I love Belwas.  He is one of the most fascinating people in Dany's circle. 

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