This week on the podcast, there was Lego Talk, Marvel/Netflix talk, Choose Someone’s Own Adventure Talk that could have made the podcast suitable only for mature listeners despite the fact only truly immature listeners would enjoy that portion but probably came from Watson watching Anchorman recently, and then there was a sword spelling bee.
This led me to wonder…why do so many swords have names?
Naming weapons isn’t really new. It isn’t even limited to weapons. BB King named his guitars, after all. But the most likely weapon to get a name is a sword. Furthermore, sword names are not timid things. Even staid old Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell, had a sword simply named “Ice”. Compare Ice to any of the names noted dink Joffrey was tossing around when he got his own Valyrian steel sword, and it says a lot about Ned’s pragmatic approach to warfare versus Joffrey’s pretentious dirtbaginess.
If dirtbaginess was not a word before, it should be now.
Now, not every sword gets a name. It’s not like Luke Skywalker ignited his lightsaber for the first time and shouted, “Hot damn! I hereby dub this awesome weapon o’ righteousness BLUE DEATH!” You know, because Luke is not a redneck or Joffrey.
You know what else never gets a name? Defensive weapons. Thor’s hammer has a name, but it’s not like Captain America ever named his shield. Iron Man doesn’t name individual armored suits outside the model number.
Guns sometimes get names, but only sometimes.
You know what, though: swords are cool. Axes are badass, spears are often used by peasants and primitive types, and guns make for a quick threat, but swords are just cool.
Swords are, you know, not clumsy or random like a blaster. They tend to be elegant weapons of a more civilized age.
Actual sword fighting probably wasn’t pretty. Many experts will tell you that any attempt to sword fight like they do in the movies will generally end with a broken sword. But, true story, when I got married, I opted to give an unconventional gift to my groomsmen. I got them replica samurai swords designed to look like Uma Thurman’s in Kill Bill. You can guess how they reacted.
Well, except the best man. That was my brother. He had small children at home at the time. He had to make due with replica Star Wars posters because swords are really dangerous, man.