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Here's The One Problem With That Arya–Brienne Fight Scene

Spoiler/nitpicking alert.

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I'm sorry, but it's not possible! Now, if Needle was enchanted with super strength somehow, this would make sense. But I'm pretty sure it's just a regular smallsword Jon gave her.

I should also say that in high school and college I had a very nerdy hobby.


I used to like to go to stage-combat workshops up and down the East Coast hosted by SAFD (the Society of American Fight Directors).

Stephen Michel

And through Dueling Arts International I got certifications in unarmed combat and rapier and dagger (my personal favorite, and not far off from Arya's new arrangement!).

Now, I know that doesn't make me the biggest expert in weapons in the whole world, but I do know a couple things.

Smallswords are designed for one thing, and that's speed.

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They're long, sharp, fragile, and very light, even lighter than a rapier. Smallswords are made for poking (yes, with the pointy end) and not necessarily to withstand impact. Historically, the best smallsword fights were over in only a few seconds, because you're supposed to get in and get out before anyone can touch you.

The weapon Brienne is practicing with is built very differently.

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Hers looks like a blunt arming sword, which is much heavier. Brienne uses swords that are heavier than they are sharp and they're made for hacking. They're good for fighting in close proximity and are designed to take a beating, but not for fast maneuvers.


Even if Arya had the beefiest arm in the world and was much stronger than Brienne (and come on, is there anyone in Westeros stronger than Brienne?), Needle still wouldn't have been strong enough to block the force of her sword.

But being able to block Brienne with a smile on her face? I'm sorry, but...not today.