Ecthelion III

Why is Nightblood extra heavy?

55 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, hwiles said:

When someone picks up a weapon that they are familiar with and that appears to be intricately customized and of obviously high quality, they don't expect it to be unwieldy or poorly designed.  They expect it's performance to match its appearance, and any deviation between the two is extremely confounding.  Think of an Italian sports car with an engine salvaged from a 70-year old rusted-out pickup truck; the idea simply boggles the mind.

As someone who has made a few swords, this solution appeals to me. We don't know if Brandon means only the awakening or the whole creation process, when he says that Vasher and Shashara 'created' Nightblood.

If they did actually forge the blade, or even provide the specifications, rather than just awakening any old sword, this could explain both why Nightblood is so large, and why he seems so heavy.

I know that it's generally explained away that Nightblood is huge because he was made for a Returned, who are taller. Realistically, however, a larger sword wouldn't be the best way to take advantage of the increased speed and strength of a returned, and a proper swordsmith would know this. Denth provides a great example of this, with his exceptional speed and skill using a normal sized sword. Historically, you only want a bigger weapon if you need the advantage of reach.

The weight would just be a similar lack of proper design, the shape and specifications set by someone who doesn't know how to balance a weapon, compounded by the fact that the weapon is already larger and more unwieldy than nessecary.

I don't know how likely it is, but I'll take any chance to talk about sword design.

Edit: I also doubt that Nightbloods weight has anything to do with mundane material. The only metal that fits the description (black and heavy) is tungsten, and it wouldn't have been available at the tech level in Warbreaker, let alone at the time of the five scholars, due to its rarity, extremely high melting point, and, most importantly, the fact that its extremely hard to work without fracturing it, even with modern diamond cutting tools.

On top of all that, it's also much heavier than steel, not just slightly heavier, so an unsheathed tungsten Nightblood would weigh about 20-30 pounds.

Edit again: And yes, I do think Brandon knows these things, as he talks about how Shardblades avoid the downfalls of huge, ornate fantasy weapons, because of thier intended use and light weight.

Edited by Cowmanthethird
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14 hours ago, Cowmanthethird said:

If they did actually forge the blade, or even provide the specifications, rather than just awakening any old sword, this could explain both why Nightblood is so large, and why he seems so heavy.

I think the reason Nightblood is so large is more mundane (not necessarily the weight though). He is proportioned for a Returned.

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8 hours ago, The Sovereign said:

I think the reason Nightblood is so large is more mundane (not necessarily the weight though). He is proportioned for a Returned.

Well, part of my point was that a smith wouldn't have made it bigger only for that reason, if he knew what he was doing. More reach is only helpful if you need the range (like fighting chasmfiends), otherwise it makes a weapon awkward and unwieldy when used against a normal sized opponent.

Basically, I'm saying that if he was made bigger just for a Returned, it was done by someone who didn't know how to design a sword.

Edited by Cowmanthethird
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Thank you @Oversleep

Nightblood is heavy because of the investiture. 

 

Quote

http://steelministry.com/viewtopic.php?p=17113&sid=96e36626db268a2d716ffbbeff024823#p17113

Q: Why are shardblades unnaturally light and Nightblood unnaturally heavy?
A: (I feel) he didn't really answer it directly, but basically it's because Nightblood is basically what Shardblades would be if they were "broken." It has to do why Nightblood leaks black smoke that falls down, as opposed to white mist that floats up, and things like this. They are built on the same principles, but in some ways opposites.

Still doesn't explain exactly why, but it's not just the material. 

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It is so heavy because of all the guilt from the Breaths the person has to carry.

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