Sword Throwing Rant
Throwing a sword. I’ve seen this in so many otherwise good fight scenes on film, I must complain now to you, lovely lurkers.
How many times have you seen this move done in film and TV? It’s been done far too many times,
hasn’t it? Filmmakers, stop doing this! It makes no sense at all: 1) when one throws a sword, it doesn’t fly at all straight through the air, even if the thrower is an expert. It’s just not built for that. Any sword isn’t. If you throw a sword, it most likely won’t hit the target blade-first, let alone pierce as effectively as, say, in Branagh’s Hamlet, or in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Most swords are too hilt-heavy for this to work. 2) Even if you don’t do the ridiculous sword-flies-like-a-spear thing, and allow the sword to fly end-over-end, it’s still not going to stick, quivering, in a pirate ship’s mast, or skewer straight through a human torso (or eye-socket: there’s no way one can be that precise. With knives or shuriken maybe. Not with a sword). It won’t.
I thought this was just an old or cheesy device, but I saw it happen on Legend of the Seeker just the other day. No!!! Can’t you think of a better “heroic desperation” move, directors and choreographers?
Love this take on the film gimmick, “Throwing Swords Always Works.” The author states, “When a hero does this, it is a sign of heroic desperation, but in fiction Throwing Your Sword Always Works, despite the fact that logically there should be an at least fair chance of hitting your target with the wrong end.” More than fair. Likely. What I also love about this article is the long list of all the places where this silly move shows up, with some interesting discussion of anime, video games, and literature (!) as well as remembering some film moments I had forgotten about. They should have Cutthroat Island on there too, though. Thanks, TVtropes! I know it’s a wiki, lovely lurkers, but it seems pretty comprehensive to me.
Yes, I have done a sword throw in a stunt show. But it wasn’t a throw to kill or hurt; it fell under what TVtropes calls “Give me a sword” instead–my character was disarmed, and another character tossed me a sword to arm me. That was done after about a million years of practice, and still I only was able to catch it about 50-60% of the time. And it was a broadsword, with a simple, spare crosshilt and two-handed grip.
Tell me where you’ve seen the sword throw, lovely lurkers, and tell me what your verdict is. ~Jenn