15
Feb
08

The Grim Reaper Strikes Again!!

Besides the last scythe post with the futuristic fancy schmancy super skull scythe, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see another scythe again. How wrong was I!

The Monster Scythe

Monster Scythe
[view full size]

Yes, this is indeed a scythe-like monstrosity. Simple lines. A loooong wood shaft. A mean looking sliver of razor sharp steel serving double duty as a blade. All in all a rather evil looking weapon, quite worthy of the Grim Reaper. Except for one thing. This isn’t what a scythe is supposed to look like.

This is what a scythe is supposed to look like:

A modern day scythe

A Contemporary Scythe
[view full size]

See the difference? Notice the two handles? The curved shaft? The blade canted at an angle to the shaft? That’s what a scythe is supposed to look like. In fact, in my oh so humble opinion, the original design looks a whole lot more sinister than the straight shaft design above. I suppose it’s cheaper to sell a straight shaft, but it just loses soo much character that way…

Ya know, just as a side note, I’ve always wondered how effective your average a scythe would be in a battle situation. I kinda think it would suck. Yes, yes, I know. No, I don’t hear the Grim Reaper complaining, but hear me out. The traditional scythe is designed to cut grass or crops at around ankle level. The curve in the shaft and the cant to the blade is designed to keep the blade parallel to the ground while the wielder holds the handles, and rotates their upper body from side to side,  standing upright.

Now while that may be fine for the farm, in battle, it would make a rather tough weapon to wield. Especially if you wanted to hit anything but your opponents ankles. if you tried aiming for an opponents head, let’s say, the grip would be wrong, the blade would be canted in the wrong direction, it would be a nightmare! So given the scythe’s design inadequacy for battlefield use, how come the Grim Reaper is always portrayed with a traditional scythe, reaping some poor saps head off like it was a head of wheat? Just a random thought…

And yes, I am already undergoing counseling, thank you very much…

The Monster Scythe – [True Swords]

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9 Responses to “The Grim Reaper Strikes Again!!”


  1. 1 Sam
    February 15, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I wonder how well a scythe would work if you flipped it end for end, in which case the cant of the handle would actually serve to raise the blade from waist height to roughly neck height. I can imagine it being a little ackward to swing seeing as you’re now fighting gravity rather then being helped by it, and you would essentially be using it in the off hand, however a lefthanded scythe being wielded upside down by a righthanded individual might be rather effective, or atleast very scary.

  2. 2 ladyofspiders
    February 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I have to say I much more approve of this design than the last in spite of its flaws. It does make a cool reaping staff, even if it is not a traditional scythe, but on the other hand, I do not think the Reaper really uses his scythe as a battle weapon, I don’t think he has to do much fighting, he just sits back and waits untill the battle is over then collects.

    As far as why the Grim Reaper is often portrayed with a scythe, it has to do with the symbolic fact the the reaper, as it is in his name, reaps the souls of the dead, the way the farmer reaps his fileds. As well the Grim Reaper is a harvester of the souls of the dead.

  3. February 16, 2008 at 1:28 am

    @Sam
    Yeah, I agree, even flipped upside down, so that the blade occurred at neck/head level, it would be kinda like one of those weapons that is soo awkward that the wielder might be dead before they ever got a swing in. However you are certainly right, It would be a rather scary spectacle… 🙂

    @Lady of Spiders
    I know the scythe is symbolic and all, but certain movies (“The Frighteners” with Michael J. fox comes to mind) show peeps using a scythe like it was some kind of medieval cleaving weapon… 🙂 I guess Hollywood needs to do moar research… LOL

    But anyway I figured you might like this one better than the last one. So here’s a question: Given the choice between the Monster Scythe versus a traditional scythe, say as a Halloween accessory, which one would you find more intimidating?

  4. 4 ladyofspiders
    February 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Hehe I think if you took the blade from the Monster Scythe and put it on the shaft of a traditional scythe, that would top it.

  5. February 17, 2008 at 3:09 am

    LOL OK, you couldn’t just pick one huh? LOL You just have to be difficult eh? 🙂 …. Actually that would be a nice combination… 😛

  6. 6 ladyofspiders
    February 18, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    LOL of course

  7. 7 Niccolo
    April 28, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Actually… I’ve sorta been working on a design for a scythe that would be usable in a battle situation. It’s affectionately picked up the nickname “crescent” since it actually looks more like a sliver of a moon rather than a scythe… but yeah.

  8. April 29, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    That’s pretty cool. I’d certainly like to see pics of it when you are done… 🙂

  9. 9 Kuroshi
    October 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    yeah scythes as they look today not so good. Secondly, if you look back through history the scythe actually gets a lot simpler (I.e. nearly straight and only occasionally having a perpendicular handle part. Third, where as the blades are nearly 1/16th to 1/8th perfectly flat not so originally, they used to be heavier and more wedge shaped since their manufacturing methods were not remotely what they are today. Last, that halloween gimmick thing wouldn’t work well cause of blade design and a number of other flaws regarding shape, but if you would like to see a real scythe being used in a battle you would have to look up historical documents where farmers would use them to cut off the heads of oncoming cavalry utilizing a side step. If used correctly with a blade thats designed right they are VERY effective.


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