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Why are greatswords so freaking huge?

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Forums: Index > Lore Discussion > Why are greatswords so freaking huge?

Out-of-universe the reason for the greatswords is probably a combination of Rule of Cool and a (successful) attempt to make single-handed and two-handed sword combat more distinct. I am curious, however, if there's an in-universe reason why greatswords in Thedas are as massive as they are. (Or, if there isn't, if we can find any possible explanations.) Don't get me wrong. Two-handed warriors are fun. But this particular aspect of lore does make me scratch my head a little. The easiest real-world weapon to compare the series' two-handed swords to would be the Zweihänder, but even the largest sword in history would be a little small, rather thin and really lightweight compared to a standard Ferelden greatsword. Bearing this in mind, what's the advantage of swinging around something so frankly oversized? --Deep Cover (talk) 02:35, March 4, 2017 (UTC)

All I can assume is that IRL, knights didn't accrue the incredible strength one does in an RPG. Isn't it obvious that due to simple physics, the more massive your wedge-shaped club is, the more damage you'll do slamming it into an opponent's body? (And I really don't think a 2-hander's damage is "cutting," btw.) F=m*a and KE=½*m*v2, and all that. Not that I'm even close to being a physics geek! My husband Debnor, who actually is my source for those equations I airily produced just now, suggests that a claymore might be heavier than a zweihaender, but admits that it might be his Scottish cultural bias showing. -- Bitter Lily (talk) 19:12, March 5, 2017 (UTC)
Magical swords could also be lighter than they appear due to...magic. Also, dwarves could be much stronger than humans, being a fantasy race and all. And obviously qunari are big and strong enough to have less of an issue with swinging the games' greatswords, giant mallets, hammers, and battle axes. Plus, magical armors, rings, etc. could give the characters supernatural strength - some of them actually do raise the strength stat, and there's no reason not to interpret that literally.
So, in sum...because magic. Silver Warden (talk) 22:40, March 5, 2017 (UTC)
Which leads us to a further question, possibly a forum topic in its own right: What Strength do RL human Olympic weightlifters have? That is, what's the upper limit that mere training can take us to -- humans, not dwarves or Qunari -- without magical assistance of any kind? (Let's specify: also without steroids...) -- Bitter Lily (talk) 16:36, March 7, 2017 (UTC)
That's easy enough to look up. It depends what type of event you mean, but apparently the record for lifting a barbell entirely over the head (for men) is 263kg. See: weightlifting [1] Note that simply lifting a heavy object is much easier that slinging it about with enough ease to use it as a weapon. I think it's safe to say that the warriors of Thedas are supernaturally strong, either because they are a fictional race, or they are using magical items, or through some other means. Silver Warden (talk) 23:27, March 7, 2017 (UTC)

Nor really, lighter swords can be swung faster so the force is greater then big swords, also when it comes to swords, unless you are dealing with unarmored opponent the swing is not really how you do damage, you will just break your sword, you are trying to get into gaps and for that a thinner and particularly shorter weapon is more suitable, hence half-swording, greatswords (not to be confused with longswords or bastard swords) were primarily designed to combat Halberds, the exact way they were used is not exactly clear but they were definitely meant to be used more like a polearm then a sword. --Samoja1 (talk) 06:55, April 16, 2017 (UTC)

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