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File:Rapier 4546.jpg

A type of Cool Sword, the rapier is often associated with those of high class, or at least some suave character.

Note that in the hey-day of the rapier, it was as likely to be associated with traveling entertainers who gave what we would call “performances” with the rapier and buckler (small shield -- hence the term Swashbuckler) as with the courtiers, like Pietro Monte, whose favorite weapon it was. Old-fashioned gentlemen of the Elizabethan period tended to despise the “foining” and dancing they associated with the weapon, and preferred the good old longsword.

If your characters are living in The Cavalier Years, and especially musketeers are involved, you can definitely expect them to use rapiers.

Also included is the espada ropera.

Examples of Royal Rapier include:


Anime and Manga

Film - Live Action

  • The Princess Bride: both Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black wield them.
  • The Three Musketeers 1973 and The Four Musketeers (1974). Both the Musketeers and the Cardinal's Guard use them.
  • The Musketeers in Disney's The Three Musketeers 1993 use them.
  • Used in the latest adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. Fairly accurately, at that. Toward the end of the movie, Albert takes advantage of the blade's flimsiness to break the Count's own rapier in two with his own similar, yet more durable blade.
  • In most of adaptations, the weapon of choice of Zorro seems to be a Spanish rapier.

Literature

  • In The Riftwar Cycle, the rapier is the Weapon of Choice for Prince Arutha. At the end of the first series, it gets infused with a magic-repelling artifact, which lets it harm demons and other supernatural foes. Arutha's popularity causes rapiers to become much more widely used in the Kingdom during and after his reign.
  • In Scaramouche, the rapier is Andre-Louis' weapon of choice.
  • In the Dragaera series, Vlad Taltos uses a rapier while most Dragaerans prefer a Dual-Wielding longsword-and-dagger style.
  • Played straight in The Color of Magic, the first Discworld novel where it is used to reinforce Rincewind's perpetual incompetence. Rincewind is challenged to a sword fight; his opponent wields a rapier, while Rincewind is stuck with a short sword that looks more like a shovel.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Winterfell's master of arms makes one for Little Miss Badass Arya Stark. It's unusual in Westeros (where most swords are of the "as long and heavy as you can lift" design) but Arya's father hires a fencing master from overseas Braavos to teach her what they call the "water dancing" style.

Live Action TV

  • In the Firefly episode 'Shindig', the local nobility like using these in duels. Inara shows a little proficiency too.
  • Along with the main gauche, the rapier was the short range weapon for the French Musketeers on "Deadliest Warrior". It received 195 kills in the simulation
  • In one episode of Blackadder I, Prince Edmund challenges Lord Dougal MacAngus to a duel. Edmund uses a rapier, but MacAngus effortlessly snaps it in half with his longsword.

Real Life

  • Rapiers did see use around the early renaissance era, usually by richer men who studied fencing, or for general self defense use against unarmored opponents. It was at the time a favorite weapon for use in duels. From a more militarized point of view, the rapier did see some limited use on the battlefield, but proved ineffectual due to its difficulty penetrating even the lightest of armor, the hard time involved in using it to slash effectively, and the tenancy of its long narrow blade to break. There is however no denying that it is more classy then the more practical military blades, which were typically more pragmatically designed to kill things without such niceties as looking good or elegant doing it.
    • Amusingly, the earliest origin of the rapier was anything but Royal, and began life as a street fighting weapon amongst common thugs. Only later was it adopted by the higher classes and gained a 'refined' reputation.
      • In the early Renaissance, calling someone a "good fencer" was kind of like saying, "You're a heck of a coke mule." It implied you were the kind of scummy bastard who would learn how to fence, and clearly only people up to no good would want to know that. England even tried banning fencing schools. It didn't work.
    • Rapiers were not inferior weapons nor impractical. They were different weapons designed for a completely different role. The rapier was designed for civilian use against a foe who had no armor in a duel, brawl, or mugging. The Capoferro lunge with a rapier killed off "old school" duelists. Military cut and thrust swords developed differently to suit the needs of their users. What was effective in warfare was just not effective in Renaissance streets, just as a Kalashnikov would make a terrible hunting rifle. Prior to this time, there really wasn't a difference between civilian and military arms.


Video Games

Webcomics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • My Little Pony: In the episode "The Prince and the Ponies", the palace guards (who are of uncertain loyalty until the end) carry rapiers, and there's a bit where some of the Little Ponies swordfight with them (using their mouths to hold the rapiers).
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