Grimm

Why does shardplate have skirts?

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Hey guys, don't know if this has popped up in a thread somewhere (did a quick search under shardplate skirts), but I'm really curious about this. All the illustrations show Sharplate as having skirts attached. Why would they need a skirt? Generally, this was for protection around the groin area as it was impossible to fit plate right up your inner thighs and around your precious areas. 

 

Argument 1: The design is built this way to fit the same design model as current armour; "it just looks right" to the warriors of the time. 

 

OR against this

Argument 2: Because of the form-fitting nature of Shardplate, all these precious areas are well protected by the Shardplate itself. Thus, having a skirt is extra encumbering. 

 

Argument 2 makes much more sense to me: Radiants of the time were far above regular individuals; I don't see them designing their gear to fit in. Standing out was no problem. Why would they need skirts then, if the armor fits their bodies so well? 

 

I get conflicted when reading which way to visualise this. I like to stick with the idea of no skirts, as it makes more sense for Shardplate design to me. 

Your guys thoughts? 

If you have any evidence from the books, that'd be awesome. 

Edited by Grimm
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Hey guys, don't know if this has popped up in a thread somewhere (did a quick search under shardplate skirts), but I'm really curious about this. All the illustrations shows Sharplate as having skirts attached. Why would they need a skirt? Generally, this was for protection around the groin area as it was impossible to fit plate right up your inner thighs and around your precious areas. 

 

Argument 1: The design is built this way to fit the same design model as current armour; "it just looks right" to the warriors of the time. 

 

OR against this

Argument 2: Because of the form-fitting nature of Shardplate, all these precious areas are well protected by the Shardplate itself. Thus, having a skirt is extra encumbering. 

 

Argument 2 makes much more sense to me: Radiants of the time we're far above regular individuals; I don't see them designing their gear to fit in. Standing out was no problem. Why would they need skirts then, if the armor fits their bodies so well? 

 

I get conflicted when reading which way to visualise this. I like to stick with the idea of no skirts, as it makes more sense for Shardplate design to me. 

Your guys thoughts? 

If you have any evidence from the books, that'd be awesome. 

 

I'd assume that being from Roshar it fits in with the ideals and forms. 

 

Shardplate is armour at it's highest form.

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...Wait. The illustrations have skirts?

 

Would you mind linking those illustrations, because... I honestly don't remember that. Now, granted, I use the UK covers, neither of which really show below the chest too clearly, but... I can't remember any instance of chain mail-style skirts.

 

(For that matter, what do you call those armour-skirts? Just skirts? Or is there an offical name for them?)

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I don't recall seeing any with skirts, but they certainly weren't in the description of all the KR a that one keep Dalinar visits. If you've seen skirts on any drawings, they are either not KR or they are just fan art. 
 

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Dalinar absolutely mentions his armor having a skirt/kama in the first book.

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Thanks!

 

...But as for why? I got nothing. The drawing Outis has makes the skirt seem more decorative than functional in my opinion, and I always pictured Sharplate legs as being sealed right up to the waist (especially after Adolin's lines in WoR on the issue).

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Ah, those aren't what I was thinking of when he said "skirts."

I've seen a ton of fan art that basically cuts off the bottom of the armor for the women and gives them skirts.... like.... the breezy kind. That's what I thought he might be confused by because hell, it confuses me the most. 

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Ben actually talks a little about this on his deviantart page for the Shardplate illustration:

 

 

Shardplate is specifically designed to be all "plates" as far as anyone can see... no chain or cloth can be used (Adolin's chainmail skirt as described in the text is decorative, not inherently part of the suit). To that end, I tried a design of weaving metal strips in a sort of "laminar segment" design, with additional articulation to traditionally solid plates, suggesting mobility. With Shardplate there's little concern about weight, or the materials being weakened by too many small bits, so I could get a little nuts with the banding.

The plate skirt helps protect the vulnerable inner thighs and groin, but under the skirt (in the fiction) is still more interlaced strips of plate that covers that entire area. Yes, I remembered to think about how to handle that special, embarrassing concern. No, I won't show you the picture.

Part of the reason we went with a skirt is so that eventually, if we're lucky, someone can apply this design to a practical purpose. The plate scales cover that area and allows someone to avoid wrapping themselves up uncomfortably. I wanted this design to be useful over the long term, which is one reason why it's not heavier-looking. I know some fans were looking for something more in a Space Marines style, but Brandon specifically pointed me away from that.

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Plate is strong, but it can still be broken. Shape and thickness still matter when it comes to Plate. 

 

I imagine that you can't have Plate that is too thick or too awkwardly shaped around the groin/inner thighs area. A Plate skirt wouldn't be unreasonable. 

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Ben actually talks a little about this on his deviantart page for the Shardplate illustration:

 

 

Awesome WeiryWriter, that's exactly the kind of answer I was after! Thank you :)

Practical purpose...movie...hmm. It would be so hard to pull off. I'd love a series, you could happily make the first book into 20 episodes or so. Would be better than a 2-3 hour movie anyway.

But yes the design, I can see how it's needed now, for future-proofing. Although They could just use CGI like Iron Man suit. 

The other point of saying that the warriors themselves add the skirts on and stuff is cool; leaves that open to interpretation as well.

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