Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Single Combat

Holmgang is a kind of single combat, practised in a saga (here) and in Poul Anderson's first future history (here). In Anderson's second future history, Dominic Flandry defeats Cerdic in a sword fight here. Is there any other single combat in Anderson's works?

In SM Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis (New York, 2007), Chapter Twelve, Lord Bear defeats a Protectorate knight in single combat before a battle. Circumstance has allowed life-long role-play:

"'You do me great honor in meeting me lance to lance, Lord Bear!' the young knight said, grinning from ear to ear." (p. 318)

For comparison, here are examples of single combat from three other works:

in Robin And Marian, Robin Hood (Sean Connery) defeats the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw);

in From Russia, With Love, James Bond (Sean Connery) defeats Donovan Grant (Robert Shaw);

in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, when Lisbeth Salander is attacked in an empty warehouse by her massive, murderous half-brother, she staples his feet to the floor, exits the warehouse, phones a biker gang to tell them where they can find him, watches them enter the warehouse, phones the police to tell them where they can find the biker gang, watches the police arrive and hears gun-fire from a safe distance. (Not quite single combat but nifty.)

Addendum, 13 Apr 2017: Single combat between the King of Ys and his Challengers, of course.

11 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I can think of another example of one of Poul Anderson's characters engaging in single combat. Holger Carlsen, in THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS, fought and "slew" a knight of Faerie. But it was actually an empty suit of armor!

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
That still counts! (I think.)
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think it does count! Duke Alfric was somehow manipulating that suit of armor.

Sean

David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
Steve Matuchek versus the were-tiger emir in the first segment of *Operation Chaos*. Steve against the succubus in the third portion as well.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Strictly, I have to agree. But I think Paul and I had more in mind rather formal fights like Flandry and Aycharaych's sword fight in the presence of the Sartaz of Betelgeuse in "Honorable Enemies."

And I rather like the idea of a were-TIGER!

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Flandry and Aycharaych is another one!

David Birr said...

Sean:
I'd considered the fact that Steve didn't fight them in formal combat. But then, Bond against Grant wasn't remotely formal, either.

Paul Shackley said...

Indeed it was not.
In that novel and film, there was a fight between two gypsy girls which did meet the criteria.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

David. The fight between Bond and Grant was a crudely brutal struggle for survival. I agree.

Paul, It's been so long since I last read FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE that I've forgotten the fight between the two gypsy girls.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean and David,
See Addendum to this post.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Dang and drat! I completely forgot how Kings of Ys gained and defended their crown by single combat with challengers!

Sean