West World: Conan and the Riddle of Steel (10-17-17)

Bill talks about the movie Conan the Barbarian, Gods of the forge, the history and importance of steel-making in Europe, creating a good blade, and some deep thoughts about real strength and power.

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Should have covered the USMC officer’s sword a very interesting sword indeed.


Great discussion on steel and swords. Hadn’t ever heard of the Ulfberht sword before. Apparently it’s not connected with the one made from Damascan steel which is also has a lot of mystery to it. They must have paid a huge premium for the Ulfberht when swords were the weapon of the day.

Bill mentioned that the history of metals and swords is a bit shady. That doesn’t surprise me considering the military applications back then of the technology. Plus of course the commercial advantage of being able to produce a sword of such quality. Without patent laws to protect your innovative processes keeping them a secret was the best way to profit from them.


Forged In Fire on the History channel is worth watching. Most of the people on it, doing the bladesmithing, are white. I’ve watched each episode at least twice in the first three seasons. Swords are just awesome.