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Javelin Thrower
Javelins as weapons of choice.


(permanent link) added: 2012-01-12 15:10:47 sponsor: Ryuuma (last reply: 2012-01-21 09:33:38)

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NOTE: There was such a YKTTW some time ago, but apparently got lost, so I'm trying to restart it.

One of the oldest weapons of all humanity, along with the wooden clubs, is the javelin. Short, light spears that can also be simple sharp sticks, Javelins differs from Blade on a Stick for many things: usually, while spears and lances are melee weapons associated to guards, soldiers, armies and-or cool-headed, calm individuals, javelins are different. They're weapons associated with speed, as its much lighter to carry than the spear.

Javelins are favored by horse riders who can use it instead of bows and arrows (javelins are much more economic to build and easier to use). Is also a very old weapon, so it's usually seen in the hands of wild, primitive looking cultures. If the work takes place in a sea setting then you'll probably see its water cousin, the harpoon.

Sometimes certain powerful characters won't be satisfied with mere shortspears and will show off by tossing very large spears around to fight. In Video Games, there'll often be the trick of javelins returning to the thrower or magically respawning in his or her hand.

Often associated with the Lightning element, in some cases they'll be coated in venoms.

See also Blade on a Stick, Prongs of Poseidon and Harpoon Gun for the technological version.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Darbula the Demon King from Dragon Ball Z can summon and shoot spears at his enemies.
  • Crocus from One Piece is seen using harpoons with great skill.
  • Elsa's Giant Armor is made for boosting her throwing skills and equipped with an evil-banishing spear, which she throws at Galuna's moon in order to end the curse.

Comic Books

  • The DC Comics villain Javelin, an Olympic javelin thrower who decided to turn to crime one day.

Film

  • Wonder Woman (1974). The renegade Amazon Ahnjayla uses her javelin throwing skills to trick George into losing a couple of sucker bets. When Wonder Woman shows up riding the burro Ahnjayla tries to skewer her with a javelin but Wonder Woman catches it and throws it back. Watch it here.

Literature

Live-Action TV

  • Kung Fu
    • The opening sequence includes Kwai Chang Caine dodging and striking aside spears being thrown at him by other monks. Watch it here.
    • The pilot episode. After the Royal Nephew shoots and mortally wounds Master Po, he hides behind his chair to reload. Kwai Chang Caine kills him by throwing a guard's spear through the chair.

Mythology and Religion

  • Cu Chulain's spear Gae Bulga. It was also said to spread a thousand of shards inside the enemy wound.
  • In Norse Mythology Baldr was finally slain by a javelin (or arrow) made of mistletoe.

Video Games

  • In Age of Empires II Skirmishers are javelin-wielding archers strong against other archers. Oddly enough, they're unable to strike enemies too close to them.
  • In Age of Mythology Ipaspita soldiers are javelineers strong against archers, while the heroine Regenlief use her long spear as a throwing weapon. The expansion has the Turma, atlantidean horsemen who attacks by throwing spears.
  • Some units from The Battle For Wesnoth can use javelins, the most noticeable being the Javelineer.
  • Kratos in God of War Ghost of Sparta can use the spear from the Arms of Sparta as a javelin. Said spear can magically respawn in his hand after being tossed.
  • The Avernum series has Javelins as one of the possible weapons. They look like Roman Pila.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, rogue knight Greham can make javelins out of light.
  • Fire Emblem has the Javelin, Spear and Short Spear weapons.
  • In Diablo II the Amazon can specialize in javelins.
  • The Qunari from Dragon Age II use javelins.

Real Life

  • Roman soldiers went to battle armed with "pilum": wooden javelins with a metallic point which could bend. Their main goal, was to get struck in enemies' shields and bend in them, making them heavier.
  • Hellenic Peltast were armed with throwing spears.
  • The african Assegai weapon.
  • Most ancient cultures west of India made heavy use of javelins because the javelin's greater weight made it more effective against men wearing armor than most of the bows available, and the bows that were more effective, or effective to a longer range than javelins (like the composite bows favored by the Egyptian nobility) took too long and cost too much to make to really mass-produce.

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