Wheel of Time Weapons

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Author: Whil al'Gwin

Wheel of Time weapons and their real-life counterparts

The Two Rivers Longbow

Main article: Two Rivers Bow

The Two Rivers longbow is generally known for two things: it's large size, and it's impressive and deadly range. Described as "even when strung nearly as tall as the men who drew them.", the Two Rivers longbow is between 60" and 70" when strung. They're described as unusually heavy, as well as much longer than bows found in other regions. The English longbow, which I'll be using for my real-life examples, is considered to be any bow over 5.5 to 6 feet in length with a draw weight of 80 to 110 pounds. Possessing straight ends and being wider at the arrow plate than at any other part of the bow.

The range of the Two Rivers longbow is commonly regarded as impressive. Described as being able to "...kill a man at three hundred paces and more.", during the battle for the Two Rivers in "The Shadow Rising". The longbow's real-life counterpart had an average bowshot of 200 yards. However it should be mentioned that the Two Rivers longbow is always said to be drawn to the cheek. This differs from the described use of the English longbow which was drawn to the chest before firing.

The tactics involved in using the Longbow correlate well. Longbows are said to be fired from a distance, raining down on opponents. Stakes or other obstacles were driven into the ground to slow the advance of the enemy, while bowmen attacked. This fact is best evidenced in the Wheel of Time by the tactics used by Perrin Aybara during the battle for the Two Rivers in "The Shadow Rising".

Throwing Daggers

A very popular weapon in the Wheel of Time series, the throwing dagger is a weapon of stealth, hidden up sleeves, in boots etc. The length is estimated around 10 to 12", with no guard to hinder their removal from their hiding places, with an estimated weight of 10 oz. Not a practical weapon for use in real-life, I quote Paul Postuma "the only reasonable historical example I've found is that of the Japanese bo-shuriken, more a throwing spike than a knife, as used in ninjutsu."

Perrin's Axe

A powerful weapon balancing a wicked half-moon blade with a thick curved spike, Perrin Aybara's axe is most easily compared to the larger European war-axes.Described as "A broad half-moon blade on one side of the head and a curved spike on the other ..." the axe head can be estimated to weigh around four pounds, including the spike. The European war-axes sported a thick spike which was either slightly curved or straight, around 5 to 6". This corresponds with Perrin using the spike of his axe to kill a Trolloc in "The Dragon Reborn". Finally, the haft of the axe is described in "The Eye of the World" as "as long as his arm, and smooth ... to the touch", and "a pace long" in Lord of Chaos which would be around 36" in real-life measurements.