I don’t know about all of you, but when it comes to fight scenes, the one at the Tower of Joy this past week was one of the best-done sword fights I have ever seen on
. Partly, this is because the show hasn’t always been willing to commit the time and money needed to pull off major fight scenes, or when they do, they’re usually large-slace battles.
There have been good moments—think the one-on-one between Jon Snow and White Walker X in the middle of the Hardhome Massacre, or the fight between Brienne and the Hound in Season 4. But intimate, well-done sword fights can be rare on the show. (The last time they tried a smaller-scale fight scene was the one between Jaime, Bronn, and the Sand Snakes in Dorne, and that was derided as the worst fight scene in the show’s history.)
So why was this fight so good? The good folks over at
Schola Gladiatoria, a historical European martial arts group specializing in medieval swordplay, have done a thorough (and I mean thorough—the video is thirty minutes) breakdown for us.
As you can see, this guy really knows his historical details, working through not only the why duel-wielding swords isn’t that commonly seen (because shields are a good idea and humans don’t have three arms), but all of the armor details, including what parts of the armor the production chose to cut for choreography purposes, and then, of course, the moves. He even goes through how the characters are killed and if these choices are historically accurate or not. (Spoiler alert, some or more accurate than you might think.)
And now that you have the thorough breakdown, click here to watch the scene again now that we’ve had all this historical knowledge added to it.
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