by Gabriel Valdez
This quick video is a superb illustration of all the things movies get wrong about combat in heavy armor. We like to think that they all fought like Gandalf and Aragorn, whirling dervishes of blades whipping this way and that while cutting down enemies with a single blow. I’m a big fan of that fantastical style of swordplay – I even wrote an essay about fight choreography as myth, using Troy and Serenity as examples.
All that said, I wouldn’t mind an historical movie that actually treats combat in heavy armor like the mix of precision strikes and ground-based grappling it really was. Mel Gibson involved some in the choreography for Braveheart, while Ridley Scott has come close with his choreographies in films like Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, but Hollywood is still a good distance away from giving us real, gritty choreographies that are more thrusts and grapples than wild swings and balletic dodges.
Observe a more accurate view of the mobility of heavy armor and the techniques used in medieval warfare:
Thanks to Wilson Freeman of Drifting Focus Photography for the heads up on this.