As fantasy nerds, it probably goes without saying that we really dig sword fights. But it also probably goes without saying that the fights we see in, say, Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings aren't particularly true to life. As these two historical fight choreographers show, things were actually much messier.
In a recent episode of the History Channel series Museum Secrets, father-and-son team Kelle and Gernot Longbow (cool names, right?) were asked to re-enact a realistic Viking fight. Kelle explained right away that what they were about to demonstrate would not look as it does in the movies.
"It's definitely not Hollywood, because our techniques are fighting based on hit the enemy," he said. "It's not like stage fighting, when you're standing out of distance and out of range."
In between bouts with his son, Kelle went on to explain why many of the moves we see in the movies don't make sense when you're talking about practical swordsmanship. Big sweeping overhead sword swings and nifty spin moves might look cool on camera, but in a real fight they're likely to get you killed. You also don't attack your enemy head-on, because (in Viking fighting, at least) that makes it much easier to block your blow with a shield. Instead, you work with side steps until you've gotten around your opponent's defense.
Check out the video below to see the Longbows' techniques in action.
Sure, it's not as elegant as Legolas taking down a horde of orcs, but we'd still watch a movie full of this stuff.
(Via Discovery News)