The man and the legend

Lithe and listen, gentlemen, That are of freeborn blood, I shall you tell of a good yeoman, His name was Robin Hood – A Gest of Robyn Hood (c. 1450) Who was Robin Hood? The story of the outlaw, Robin Hood, has been told for centuries, having been continually re-imagined in poems, songs, plays, books, films, and TV shows. He is one of England’s most famous “historical” heroes, eclipsing the fame of many English kings, and Robin is known theRead more

A History of Zombie Slaying

Ahead of our ‘Science of Zombie Killing’ talk this October, we brush up on the many different ways to defend ourselves in the event of an outbreak of the living dead with Royal Armouries’ Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson.  Is this the ideal zombie weapon? Well, not really… It wasn’t the intention of the late George Romero, a progenitor of modern zombie culture best known for his zombie apocalypse films, but a lot of us seem to enjoy the killing ofRead more

Blade Runner blaster

As we eagerly anticipate the sequel of the science fiction cult classic ‘Blade Runner’, we reacquaint ourselves with the iconic ‘Blaster pistol’ with our Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson.  Known to aficionados as the ‘PKD’ (Steyr Pflager Katsumata Series-D Blaster or the ‘LAPD 2019’) the Blade Runner blaster was designed and crafted for Harrison Ford’s weary future detective/enforcer Rick Deckard in the celebrated science fiction movie ‘Blade Runner’ (1981). After decades of fanciful directed energy weapons (lasers, phasers, and energy-based ‘blasters’),Read more

Cutting Edge Fantasy

Following the season finale of HBO’s epic ‘Game of Thrones’, Stefan Maeder, Director of Collections here at the Royal Armouries gives us a fascinating insight into the legendary traits of Valyrian steel and it’s real life parallel – Damascus Steel.  Damascus Steel, A Myth? All attempts at “myth-busting” are doomed to fail when it comes to fantasy or fiction. On the other hand it is important to be aware of the degree to which even nowadays myths shape our perception ofRead more

Swords in A Game of Thrones

As HBO’s epic retelling of George R.R. Martins ‘Game of Thrones’ draws to a close, Stefan Maeder, Director of Collections here at the Royal Armouries gives us a fascinating insight into the swords of the series.  Swords and Symbolism  Having become obsolete as a weapon of war, the sword even today maintains its significance as a potent symbol. In the bible it epitomises the word of God, as well as being a synonym for justice, punishment, and violence in general.Read more

Arms and Armour in Popular Culture

Here at the Royal Armouries we have for some years collected objects associated with popular culture, including props for the movies and theatre. In 2008, the Armouries held an exhibition called Arms and Armour from the Movies; The Wonderful World of Weta. A new project called Collecting Cultures: Arms and Armour in Popular Culture has been supported by a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This project seeks to look at arms and armour through the lens of popularRead more