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Dienekes

Fighting

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Understanding that I'm a total nerd who would probably be the only one to actually read through this part. I would like to see different fighting styles and developements. Like the basic techniques of the Westerosi longsword and greatsword, the Braavosi waterdancing, Dothraki whip/arakh fighting, ect. I think the development of these fighting styles would be an interesting portion of the WoIaF maybe a one or two page section that gives brief details or something.

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I'd love such a section as much as any geek with a hard-on for HEMA, but let's face it, the authors are unlikely to be advanced practitioners of such arts. As such, I can only see two ways they could do a chapter on ASoIaF fighting styles: 1) by getting someone who does that stuff for a living to write it, which would be expensive and probably not that good of a fit to the feel of the novels, unless they manage to find a life-long HEMA scholar who also loves GRRM's work -- in any case a lot of trouble to go through for us few freaks; 2) unrealistically, in which case it would be of no interest to most people interested in martial arts.

Still, if you want to know how Westerosi men-at-arms work their longswords and greatswords, actual medieval manuscripts on these weapons must be a very close fit indeed. For waterdancing, consider the Renaissance martial arts of Italy. Etc.

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I'd love such a section as much as any geek with a hard-on for HEMA, but let's face it, the authors are unlikely to be advanced practitioners of such arts. As such, I can only see two ways they could do a chapter on ASoIaF fighting styles: 1) by getting someone who does that stuff for a living to write it, which would be expensive and probably not that good of a fit to the feel of the novels, unless they manage to find a life-long HEMA scholar who also loves GRRM's work -- in any case a lot of trouble to go through for us few freaks; 2) unrealistically, in which case it would be of no interest to most people interested in martial arts.

Still, if you want to know how Westerosi men-at-arms work their longswords and greatswords, actual medieval manuscripts on these weapons must be a very close fit indeed. For waterdancing, consider the Renaissance martial arts of Italy. Etc.

Well, love Martin and his books, but accuracy in his representation of medieval combat is unfortunately not his strong suit. In particular the use of a sword and shield with full plate harness in combat.

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Well, love Martin and his books, but accuracy in his representation of medieval combat is unfortunately not his strong suit.

No, indeed. And I believe this is a deliberate choice, as well as a lack of background - he wants a more dramatic, fanciful style, even if this comes at the cost of some inconsistencies or inaccuracies. This is yet another aspect of the fact that ASOIAF is first and foremost a fantasy series. It's best to keep this in mind. :)

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No, indeed. And I believe this is a deliberate choice, as well as a lack of background - he wants a more dramatic, fanciful style, even if this comes at the cost of some inconsistencies or inaccuracies. This is yet another aspect of the fact that ASOIAF is first and foremost a fantasy series. It's best to keep this in mind. :)

I think some of the choices are more lack of background. I would expect for instance swords to be much more prevalent then normal, and i don't expect to here much about halfswording a longsword and Jon calling his sword razor sharp (iirc Longclaw is described as that) is certainly understandable. But I think as a whole his knowledge of historical combat isn't strong, and I think to say hes taking liberties for creative purposes presumes he knows where he is inaccurate.

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Yeah, there are certain things where it's lack of knowledge and GRRM doesn't mind being corrected on those (a friend of mine picked him up on the fact that oak isn't actually a good wood to use for spear-shafts, for example). But the point is that the liberties he is taking on purpose would render a chapter on fighting techniques pretty pointless.

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Well, love Martin and his books, but accuracy in his representation of medieval combat is unfortunately not his strong suit. In particular the use of a sword and shield with full plate harness in combat.

I'd like to know, how is it unrealistic?

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I'd like to know, how is it unrealistic?

Because your basically already wearing more protection than a shield over 99% of your body already. Adding a shield doesnt really do a whole lot for you. What you do in full harness is get a nice halberd or other long 2h weapon. This has a number of advantages over a shield. First is the matter of reach, which allows you to strike your opponent outside of their range if they are using a shield. Second is raw killing power. A halberd or similar 2h weapon actually can generate enough power and penetration to defeat plate armor. Its not easy, but it will do the job. Third, chances are if your fighting in plate there is a good chance its going to degenerate into a wrestling match where you try to jab something sharp into an unprotected portion of flesh, and a shield isn't terribly helpful in that. Better to have something you can free yourself of quick and wont get in your way.

Longswords (otherwise thought of as bastard swords or 2 handed swords) themselves were used in a style called half-swording in harness vs. harness. Basically one hand on the hilt, 1 hand on the blade. It becomes a stabbing/bludgeoning instrument at this point (the hilt/pommel makes a great bludgeoning instrument). Cutting and slashing attacks are completely useless against plate, so most of the blade wont help you.

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I happen to be a long time fencer, and would therefore like to see a more detailed description of both waterdancing, and the weapons involved. Are they talking about rapiers, courtly foils? Although I know that at least Arya wields a rapier, as when in the first book, when she kills the stableboy, he grasps the sides of the blade and his hands come up bloody and cut. Just a thought. (As for the fighting style, as the Bravvosi seem to be similar to renaissance Italians, I would expect that they would therefore emanate their fighting styles.)

(P.S., in response to the comments made by the gentleman by the name of "nine of spades", tests were made on some not-quite-physically-fit individuals in England in the late 19th century, involving the wearing and extensive usage of Wars of the Roses (16th century) period quality full harnesses, and said individuals were able to run a full obstacle course with relative ease while holding a shield (even though by the time of the Wars of the Roses, knights were generally not wearing shields anymore, as they felt that the protection provided by their extensive full plate was sufficient). By the time period in which this kind of armor is being used, many developments towards the mobility of the joints of armor, as well as weight distribution had been made, and many would say that, in fact, the full range of motions required for the more developed fighting styles of the period would have been fully possible, even while in full harness, but again that's just from one test.) :fencing:

Cheers!

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Arya doesn't wield a rapier. They don't exist in ASOIAF. I believe GRRM said somewhere that the Braavosi waterdancer swords are not rapiers with bowl-shaped hand guards, since those were invented in the Renaissance. ASOIAF is supposed to be medieval, not Renaissance.

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Arya doesn't wield a rapier. They don't exist in ASOIAF. I believe GRRM said somewhere that the Braavosi waterdancer swords are not rapiers with bowl-shaped hand guards, since those were invented in the Renaissance. ASOIAF is supposed to be medieval, not Renaissance.

It didn't neccesarily have to have a bowl-shaped hand guard, just that it would have an edge would mean that it was pretty much a rapier for all intents and purposes. And if he's doing a Wars of the Roses-like time period, then while he may not be in the renaissance yet, he sure is getting pretty close.

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I'd like to know, how is it unrealistic?

Heres an example of Tactical unrealism. At the Battle of the Whispering Woods. GRRM has a heavy cavalry charge, downhill, over rough terrain, at night. No real world heavy cavalry would ever do anything like that. all you'd hear is a loud snap, crackle, and pop of horses legs breaking, and riders being thrown and breaking bones, and getting trampled.

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