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All Episodes Talk: Blades of Glory

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I find the whole premise very absorbing. I guess I really admire people who commit themselves to mastering a dangerous and complex skill. The show does a great job of balancing the obligatory reality comp drama with actual information about how metal is forged, what exactly is going right or wrong with the work the contestants are doing, and why the winner is the winner. I shut my eyes during the parts where they test the weapons for function by disemboweling dummies with them, but it's still educational to realize just what an effective weapon a crusader's sword, e.g. actually was when in use. "It will kill!"

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A few simple thoughts I have about this show:

 

  1. I really like that the competitors on this competitive reality show are cut from a different cloth from the typical reality show contestant. That puts this show above a lot of other shows regardless of what the actual competition is.
     
  2. This show makes me think that making knives is something I should be doing. Even though that is a completely ridiculous idea. But when an episode is over, I'm sometimes sitting there thinking about what kind of knife I could use in my kitchen.
     
  3. It is a strange problem created by the show when they send these guys home and give them five days to work in their own shop, and then we find out that one or both of them don't actually have the right equipment to make a three foot long sword. If they do another season, which they should, it might be a good idea to help out these guys with a little extra equipment should their home forges be literally a "home" forge.
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Just watched the 'Elizabethan Rapier' challenge. I am constantly surprised by the contestants who are told the parameters of the challenge in clear simple terms and immediately forget what they are told. Using just one type of metal in your Damascene blend when you were specifically told to use a minimum of two types? Completely ignoring the requirement that the blade has to be between 9 and 12 inches, not including the tang? Is this just the bladesmiths being distracted and overwhelmed by the circumstances?

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Completely ignoring the requirement that the blade has to be between 9 and 12 inches, not including the tang? Is this just the bladesmiths being distracted and overwhelmed by the circumstances?

 

I guess so? I really couldn't understand the guy with the really long blade who finally realized his blade was super long, went to measure, and still wound up with an 18 inch blade.

 

I enjoy the show and am really glad there is no manufactured drama. I especially like that they seem to be given a realistic time for the challenges and aren't met with, "Well why didn't you do all these things better (even though we know we didn't give you enough time)?" Critiques seem to based on what should be reasonably accomplished in the time frame.

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Oh Lord, yes - that test scared me watching it though a TV screen. And leaving aside the fear of what would happen if one of the blades did snap, I can't imagine what it must have been like for the contestants watching what was happening to the blades they'd just spend a week of their lives making.I'm sure their first impulse after the test was over was to grab their blade and check it out for themselves that it hadn't been permanently damaged. But they all maintain such a stoical presence. I'd hate to play poker with these guys! :)

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I love this show.  As an edged weapons geek I'm very pleased with the results of all of the final challenges, and all of the interim challenges, really.  The judges have consistently chosen functionality and craftsmanship over flash (the most common mistake contestants make in the final challenge has been losing sight of what the historical weapon was originally designed to do and adding bells and whistles that add too much weight and throw off the balance).

 

Good job, show!

Edited by GreyBunny.
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I like this show a lot, even though I can't decide if I like Doug or if he scares me a little. It's neat watching people doing kind of obscure jobs and being super passionate about it. I wish it was a higher profile. I hope it comes back.

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The Moro Kriss was a very neat challenge. I wish they had shown more of how the bladesmiths made the wavy deep edge, and more about how they chose and produced the handles. I also wonder how much research the smiths have to do before they make a knife like that. The judge whose expertise is historical re-creations mentioned that it was primarily a chopping weapon, and I thought one of the smiths talked about it as if he believed it was more of a thrusting weapon.

I felt bad for Roy, who surely had all the skills necessary to dominate this competition, plus a very chill and funny personality. Did he know he was risking creating a weak spot in the blade when he forged it just from two ball bearings? He clearly had the time to have added more/another metal at the beginning! Or was this just one of those things where the metal has a mind of its own, and sometimes the best laid plan goes wrong?

I wonder what happens to the weapons the losing contestants are told to "surrender." I imagine some of them have value to the maker, even if they weren't good enough to take the title.

Edited by Ketzel.
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The skill level of all of the competitors was impressive in yesterday's episode. It was pretty cool to see the 70-year-old blade smith. I'm curious about the competitor whose knives are used by the White House chefs!

 

Murray Carter is his name and he caught my attention for the same reason.  Plus turns out he's a very local lad to me!  His website is http://www.cartercutlery.com/ Waaayyyy out of my price range but yeah I could see professional chefs shelling out those kinds of prices....  I am seriously considering getting one of the 'apprentice' paring knives as a Christmas present, just because....

 

Based on the comments above, it looks like this show has a devoted following and I have to say I'm glad I discovered it one night when the TV schedule was singularly uninspiring.  Now it's "date-TV" for me!   I do hope TPTB keep more of the technical bits as those are the most interesting to me.

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I hope the show stays this way and doesn't attract talentless attention whores during the second season. I'm really loving it as well!

I keep checking to see if History Channel has announced a second season, but so far, silence. I think that, given the skills required, there may be a problem finding qualified contestants for this show, but I doubt too many of the talentless will take the chance. Unlike, say, Face Off or Top Chef, coming on this show without a solid training and lots of experience means the contestants risk more than embarrassment on the teevee. I mean, this is literally playing with fire! :)
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"It will kill!"

Get it correct, it's "Eet weel keel!"

 

I wonder what happens to the weapons the losing contestants are told to "surrender." I imagine some of them have value to the maker, even if they weren't good enough to take the title.

ITA. I always think they should tell them to "Pack your knives and go" rather than "surrender your blade".

 

Another fan of the show here, sorry that it's only 8 episodes. I always appreciate it when shows on the History Channel have some actual history I can learn!

 

I enjoy the process they go through, but I don't get invested in the individual contestants much. (A few of them have been over-confident jerks, but they generally get sent packing after the first round. )  In fact, once they do the final testing, I usually turn the show off before they pick the winner.

 

I'll definitely watch if it comes back for a 2nd season.

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The skill level of all of the competitors was impressive in yesterday's episode. It was pretty cool to see the 70-year-old blade smith. I'm curious about the competitor whose knives are used by the White House chefs!

I really liked the older guy as well. His knife was beautiful. It is too bad he didn't start off with more raw material, as the smaller knife ended up being the biggest reason he was eliminated.  The other guys passed the chop test with bigger, heavier knives.  Move metal probably also would have prevented the weak spot in his blade.

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I really enjoyed the first season, but for some reason the S2 premier just left me bored.

Actually, I agree - I was kind of let down by it. But the second episode tonight, with the khopesh, was as good as any episode last season. I guess a lot depends on the personalities of the contestants, and these guys were funny. Edited by Ketzel.
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Actually, I agree - I was kind of let down by it. But the second episode tonight, with the khopesh, was as good as any episode last season. I guess a lot depends on the personalities of the contestants, and these guys were funny.

Yeah, the 2nd episode was much better tonight. Totally surprised that the bearded dude didn't make the final 2.

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Yeah, the 2nd episode was much better tonight. Totally surprised that the bearded dude didn't make the final 2.

Not as surprised as he was! :) Seriously, he was clearly the most skilled of the three, but he didn't have control over the time. I think that trips up a lot of the experienced bladesmiths - they get into a zone in their heads because of the hyper-focused nature of the work and they lose track of the fact that 3 hours is not much time to get everything done.
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Nice to see there are other fans of this show. I actually didn't think there would be a forum for this.

 

I am hoping this show continues to do well so whoever is in charge of programming on channels like History see that not every show needs manufactured drama or a "Chumlee" to do well.

 

And to an earlier poster, you aren't the only one who watches this show and feels like they want to take the hobby up. Don't think my neighbors would appreciate a forge in my backyard though...

 

One critique...can we have ONE show where someone doesn't make a damn Bowie knife? Yes, I know it hasn't been EVERY show, but man, it sure seems like it.

 

Very happy they did a season 2!

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I'm still enjoying this! Agreed on episode 2. Somehow making a Warhammer just wasn't as interesting as making a sword. Weird. Maybe because there wasn't as much hammering? I don't know. But episode 2 was cool, and the winner made the best looking kophesh that I've ever seen. 

 

Also loved: "I'm going to have three gin & tonics and make the man in the back of my head go away."

 

Doug's happy smile when says, "it will kill".

Edited by Merneith.
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Just hopping on here to say that I know Salem (and his wife, Heather)-- he and his wife are my daughter and son-in-law's best friends! I actually stayed with them while I was up visiting in Tonasket a few months ago, such good people.

It was a real delight to see Salem work and I'm so happy for him getting the win. He works with my son-in-law at a local metal shop, and I knew he was skilled, but hadn't realized just how talented he is until I saw this. Also, he cracked me up repeatedly with his laid-back attitude and utter inability to engage in standard reality-show (apparent) competitiveness. His little "winning would be improbable" remark at the beginning was great.

I'm hoping the kopesh he made is hanging in his house now, I'd love to get a chance to see it up close someday. Though I can't help being biased, I really did think he deserved the win.

In regard to the other guy, after the episode, all I found myself thinking, in response to his remark about ancient Egyptian men wearing "skirts" was, "dude, say that to a Scotsman's face!"

I'm not a big reality-show watcher generally, but I was pleasantly surprised by the this show's format (each episode self-contained) and the relative lack of drama. So nice to mostly focus on the capabilities of skilled artisans!

(Oh, and yes, Salem does look like Frank Zappa. He hears it all the time. Hee!)

Edited for spelling: kophesh. Oops!

Edited by cuppasun.
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I really enjoyed the Claymore episode, despite nearly every stage of the competition featuring at least one catastrophic failure. It was full of twists and turned and in the end, it seems no one truly deserved the win. I guess using a coal forge with no electric equipment and/or making a working Claymore is harder than it would appear! All that said, however, I do have to admire how all the bladesmiths kept their good attitude and sense of humor throughout.

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At least half the problem is that they're trying to make a four foot loong blade with two foot long forges. The show really needs to spring for bigger equipment and put the guys up for a week so that they can do it right.

 

Also - I hated seeing the poor piggie bodies hanging there.

 

Also also - I wish the editors wouldn't interrupt the shots of Doug doing his thing. Don't cut away when he's mid swing! I like seeing a graceful martial artist at work. I can wait three seconds for the stupid reaction shot.

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Hah! They showed that Skyrim shield and even before they identified it, I said, "Oh, that's the Targe of the Blooded from Skyrim."

 

cFKER6E.jpg

 

 

 

Guess those guys took the Arcane Blacksmith perk.

Edited by Merneith.
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I liked the shield episode. I felt bad for the first guy who couldn't get his material to hold together, and then I loved the older guy who was obviously in so much pain.  His little speech about making a gnome weapon that would take out your ankles was awesome.

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I hope they continue to do non blade episodes.

 

This is Forged in Fire after all, not "Blade Master".

 

Heh, I didn't recognize the shield from Skyrim....despite having put in more hours than I am going to admit on that game.

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Good episode. I just can't help but love guys with Russian accents named Ilya. ;)  I have pictured all the contestants being independent craftsmen, so I was surprised when the other finalist (Joseph?) said he was part of a business with 3 previous winners of FiF.

 

After a slow first episode the second season has really taken off. Although they do try to create a little artificial drama (no electricity!), it's the contestants who really make the show. Many of them are quite the character. I also like that each episode is self-contained, so there is no drama hanging fire from week to week.  

 

ETA: I'm having a senior moment - was there actually a show called Blade Master? Because that sounds familiar/

Edited by Quilt Fairy.
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ETA: I'm having a senior moment - was there actually a show called Blade Master? Because that sounds familiar/

 

Funny, it DOES sound familiar...but nope, couldn't find any info on a show called that.

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I really enjoyed the spiked shield episode. There were some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, such as when Ilya took off his hat and pulled his hair tie off to use as a binder, and the camera went slow-mo on him shaking out his surprising long, thick and shiny hair. A moment straight out of a romance novel, followed by Ilya, back in real time, tying his hair with a sweaty bandana and shoving it all under his hat, saying matter-of-factly "Safety first!"

Edited by Ketzel.
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I actually love this show even though I can't watch the "eet will keeeel" part because it is too gruesome for me. I am not really watching for the weapon part of it, I am watching for the skilled blacksmithing and metallurgy. I don't mind the chopping ice or bamboos or sand bags, but I could really do without the ballistic dummy and the joy on the face of Doug whats-his-name when he says "it will kill."

 

Haven't seen the first season, but on this season it would seem to me as though contestants would be a bit more aware of their metallurgy - frequently they are handed something (dead car, scrap bits of metal) and it is pretty clear some of them have no idea what metals various things are made from. Did that happen last season as well?

 

I also really like the three judges - they may get a little testy while watching the competitors, but they are generally quite supportive and even when someone has failed some part of the challenge they encourage him (or the one her) .

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Wow, huge ramp up in quality when they're given 4 hours instead of 3 for the first blade. I wonder if they did that after the judges were presented with essentially elongated lumps of metal the last 2 shows.

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Wow, huge ramp up in quality when they're given 4 hours instead of 3 for the first blade. I wonder if they did that after the judges were presented with essentially elongated lumps of metal the last 2 shows.

I think there is an excellent chance that they made this change on the fly.  And they were right to do so, because there is NOBODY watching this show to see somebody fail.  We all pretty much want to see exactly what happened with the car, which is when something didn't work, the guys were smart enough to go back to the car, and had enough time to go back to the car, and start over.  There was now a time pressure on them, but still enough time to get something good to turn in.  

 

In my opinion, this was far better to watch than some poor guy having no chance because something didn't work half way through the time.

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S2 E7 winner Burt is the best bladesmith on the show so far. He really got the gist of what the show is about. 

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Burt's shotel was super impressive. At first I thought maybe he'd have a problem with his blade not having such an extreme hook, but his blade preformed so well it was like he took the shotel into the next generation. Also, the steel pattern was stunning and the dark wood handle was elegant. It was just an aesthetic triumph all around. And - it would keel.

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This show has inspired my husband to take forging classes this summer.

The "Eet will Keeel" guy is adorable.  I love the way he handles the blades.

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I saw a History commercial for shows they're airing this summer, and it looks like we may be getting a new season of FiF already. Can't find any confirmation on their website, though.

Edited by Quilt Fairy.
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According to the Wiki for the show, the new season starts August 23, 2016, will be 13 episodes and will include a "championship" show. Dunno if that is past champions or just the successful candidates this season.

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Season 3 starts this Tuesday night.  It's listed as a championship show, so that must mean past winners.  

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That was a good episode. Ben and his lovely accent was the only guy I remembered anyway so I'm happy with the results. They've only had 18 "champions" so going for an all-champions season seems unlikely. Next week is listed as "Fan Favorites", though, so it's definitely Forged In Fire - The Gimmick Season.

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Or Forged In Fire - Shit, We Really Don't Have Much of a Pool of Contestants, Do We?? season.  :-)

Edited by Ketzel.
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I love this show and am glad it's back.  My husband is going to take a smithing class in the fall and we love this stuff.  However, I am sure blacksmith, like special effect make up artist, is not a profession a lot of people are doing these days.

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I agree, @qtpye. I really hope FiF doesn't go the way of Face Off and start casting people  who have taken one adult ed course in metalwork where they learned to  made a fork. (An exaggeration, but you know what I mean AFA Face Off goes, I'm sure! :))

(Not that I mean to dis your husband - learning is good!)

Edited by Ketzel. Reason: edited to clarify unintended reference. :)
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I liked how they had to pretend there was a decision to be made after one of the claymores sliced through that pig like it was butter.

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HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE BEN'S CLAYMORE SLICE RIGHT THROUGH THAT PIG?!?!?  Amazing! Especially after they had such catastrophic fails with the Claymore previously.  Wow!

Good to see old champions compete against one another, even if it means previous winners go home no longer winners. I do love this show, and am glad it's back - I like how they blacksmiths all wish each other the best, respect one another's talents and offer no excuses if they don't do well.  I admired what Burt, the first one to be eliminated said as he left, about how it's easy to say don't be afraid to take risks when you're winning, but be willing to say the same thing when you've lost as well. Class acts, all the way around. 

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8 hours ago, scootypuffjr said:

HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE BEN'S CLAYMORE SLICE RIGHT THROUGH THAT PIG?!?!?

Well, I was trying to be cool about it but you're right, THAT WAS AWESOME!

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On 8/25/2016 at 11:12 AM, Ketzel said:

I agree, @qtpye. I really hope FiF doesn't go the way of Face Off and start casting people  who have taken one adult ed course in metalwork where they learned to  made a fork. (An exaggeration, but you know what I mean AFA Face Off goes, I'm sure! :))

If my husband is ever recruited for this show, that is when we know there are no more real blacksmiths left in America.

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The Swiss Army Knife of swords?  In case anyone is interested, here's an extra clip of the judges actually judging the hook swords.  Those things looked nearly as dangerous to the people wielding them as they were to the person being attacked!

Was I the only one who was really put off by Rio saying he liked to get in the water with sharks and kill them with his knives? I can't quite fathom the thought process that would lead to that particular form of "entertainment."

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Did anyone notice Kelly getting seriously injured sometime during the second challenge? Because at testing, she had a substantial bandage on her left hand that wasn't there before.

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16 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Did anyone notice Kelly getting seriously injured sometime during the second challenge? Because at testing, she had a substantial bandage on her left hand that wasn't there before.

At one point they showed her hands and she had large scrapes on them. I assume it was for that.

Rio is one weird, weird dude.

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