LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Magnoli Props LOTR Guthwine Sword & Scabbard
Indy Guthwine UCF 14.PNG
Indy Guthwine UCF 13.PNG
Indy Guthwine UCF 17.PNG
Indy Guthwine UCF 18.PNG


Introduction

This is the long awaited Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Supervised by Indy Magnoli of Magnoli Props, and made by a forge in Pakistan. Now before you immediately put this off because Pakistani made swords have a bad reputation, please bear with me… I’ll try to do a quick review, as I plan on doing a more detailed “Compare & Contrast” Review once I receive the United Cutlery version – thereby doing all 3: Weta vs UC vs Indy… I found this review difficult. I am both a Sword Collector as well as a LOTR Prop Replica Collector. I’m trying to review this both as how it holds up to a “real sword”, and how well did Indy do in replicating the Weta made prop for “screen accurate” critics (which, by the way, I’m currently the lucky caretaker of one of the actual Weta made prop swords). Indy’s Guthwine is currently $395 USD – which includes a hand-made, tempered, full tang, carbon steel, peened sword; & leather over wood scabbard with metal fittings; & display plaque with hardware; & all-inclusive international shipping. Only 100 of these were made, and last I checked, about 60 of them were already sold via pre-order (just over a week ago). So… here it goes:

www.magnoliprops.com/guthwine-sword-pre ... p-609.html


Historical Overview

As this is a fantasy sword, not much to say regarding the history of this sword. I guess all you really need to know is that Guthwine is the Sword of Eomer, a Rohirrim. I believe (someone correct me if I’m wrong) but the Rohan culture takes influences from both Celtic and Norse. The swords, such as this, always reminded me of a mix between Migration Era and Viking swords (two-part pommel, short guard, bronze fittings, short wide blade, etc.). As to the history of this specific replica, that is much more complex and spans 7 years! To summarize – Indy Magnoli is a long-time prop replica maker. Years ago, United Cutlery continually stated they had no plans to make Eomer’s sword. After many requests by numerous collectors over a long time, Indy finally decided to make a small run of this sword to help those collectors complete their Rohan Trio – swords of Théoden, Eowyn, and Eomer. The head of R&D of the UC LOTR swords sent Indy all the needed measurements and pictures. I also, over the years, sent measurements and pictures whenever needed. This project hit multiple speed bumps, few times requiring starting from scratch. If you’re interested, this is the entire story:

www.therpf.com/forums/threads/eomers-sw ... li.204828/


Full Disclosure

I purchased these swords with my own money. I have no affiliation with Magnoli Pros, Indy, United Cutlery, or anything related to LOTR. I’m just a nerd who likes swords. I do have prior experience purchasing prop replicas from Indy. My Arms & Armor collection contains quite a few LOTR pieces. And I guess for this review, I also have direct access to one of the Guthwine prop swords.


Initial Impressions
Indy Guthwine UCF 1.jpg


Ordering this sword was easy to do via the website. Once my sword was ready to ship it arrived from Pakistan in 4 days! Got to love DHL (sometimes, my prior DHL experience was not so good…). The $395 US price tag includes International Shipping, and any duties or taxes that might be there. It was $395 US to my door, all said and done – which was a nice surprise as I live in Canada, so usually shipping swords from the US sometimes doubles their price (after shipping, tax, duties, customs, and brokerage fees). The package itself, to be honest, wasn’t that impressive. The sword, scabbard, and plaque were all individually wrapped. There were a few Styrofoam pieces acting as dividers, and all inside one layer of a fairly thin cardboard box. That being said, there was no external damage to the box, and everything seemed to arrive in good shape. I don’t care for elaborate packaging (as it usually just ends up recycled or stored away), but would be nice to see something sturdier – especially when shipping from half a world away.


Statistics

Overall Length – 33.5” [vs Website – 33.5”] {vs PROP – 34.25“}
Blade Length to “Guard Point” – 26.75” [vs Website – 27”] (vs PROP – 27.37“}
Blade Width at guard – 2.13” {vs PROP – 2.25”}
Blade Thickness at end of Horse Heads – 5.6 mm {vs PROP – 6 mm}
Weight of Set – 2409 grams / 5.3 lbs.
Weight of Sword – 1612 grams / 3.55 lbs [vs Website – 1.4 kg / 3 lbs]
Weight of Scabbard – 796 grams / 1.75 lbs [vs Website – 900 grams / 2 lbs]
Point of Balance of Sword – 3” to “Guard Point”

For reference:
UC Herugrim Sword – 36.5” overall ; 27.5” blade ; Weighs 1.85 to 1.9 kg / 4 lbs.
UC Sword of Eowyn – 36.5” overall ; 30.13” blade ; Weighs 1657 grams / 3.65 lbs.
UC Anduril Scabbard – weighs 720 grams / 1.6 lbs.


Components

The Blade

The blade is “handmade, tempered, high carbon steel”. Unfortunately, I do not know what steel exactly. The first time I asked what steel is used, I was told the forge only said “high carbon”. Later I asked again, and was told they’d get back to me after asking the forge again… I still await that reply. The blade is shorter than the other 2 Rohan swords, wide, and has a double fuller. The double fuller makes the blade a bit stiffer, yet still has some flex. There is a lot of concern regarding Pakistani tempering, with a lot of collectors having the experience with other swords remaining bent after testing the flex. I’m happy to note that each and every time I bent the blade (in both hands, over my knee, or tip on ground) – it bent back to true. Therefore, the heat-treat and temper pass for me. The double fullers on either side (so 4 in total) on mine are fairly well done. They’re not even, nor perfect, but that’s just the result of a mass-produced item being handmade at this price point. My blade is fairly straight with no warps / bends to either side. However, the edges are very “wavy”, at one point it might even look a little like a twist in the blade, but only on the one side. Now, I have seen worse from the Balaur Factory Second swords as well as some Deepeeka’s and Windlass’s – so again, at this price point, I’m not too surprised. The polish seems to be a fairly nice satin finish out of the box. I already polished it with Mother’s Mag to help clean and even out some of the surface marks – looking better already!
:)


The Handle

The handle is very well done. The leather is comfortable and stitched on the side. I do like the 3 colour wire twist in the center of the grip. Although in the picture the prop sword shows a solid brass/bronze colour, the hero prop sword actually does have this multi-colour variance. But there are 2 issues: 1) The wire is a little smaller than on the prop; 2) The wire ends don’t line up to make a complete circle, they are a little offset, so when looking at certain angles the wire seems to be angled off center. My biggest issue, and the biggest issue of this entire packaged sword deal, is that my handle is bent! The blade is straight. The handle is straight. But where the handle ends and the blade begins, is bent front to back. So not noticeable when on display, and you don’t notice it in your hand, but it’s very obvious when viewed from the side. I have come to expect minor flaws at this entry level price point for a “real” sword; But even I believe this is a step too far, and probably more an issue with Quality Control.


The Guard

Zinc alloy, brass plated, with a special antique patina finish. Fairly well done. Seems to have all the general aspects of the prop, but just a little lacking in the detail. The way I see it – if you’re familiar with the Dragon Handles from the “Highlander” Hero Prop katanas, they were lacking in detail (for multiple reasons). Think of it as being worn out by usage over time lol. The colour of the plating and finish is nice. In person it looks like a cross between antique gold and lighter brass. When compared to UC swords and the Prop – it falls somewhere in the middle. You can be the judge of that. Overall, it works!


The Pommel

Pretty much the same as the Guard. One thing of note… I was initially worried about the durability of the fittings using the Zinc alloy instead of Brass or Bronze. But when in hand, there’s some good weight to the pommel, guard, and scabbard fittings. They seem to be stronger than I was expecting. I do not plan on testing them and their durability – but I have zero concerns swinging this sword around (as I have daily since it arrived last week lol).


The Scabbard

This is probably one of the highlights of this purchase! And partly why this sword was delayed. At first the scabbard was to be leather over wood – but flat, like most scabbards. After pictures of the first prototype were released, collectors noticed the Hero Prop had a grooved scabbard, matching the double fullered blade. Indy, wanting to do it right, decided to have the scabbard designed from scratch. As this would take too much time to handmake 100 wooden scabbards, the forge tried a plastic base I believe. However, this did not work for some reason, and they went back to wood. So yes, the scabbard is hand carved wood with decent quality leather! As seen in the stats above, it weighs quite a bit more than the UC Anduril scabbard (which is much larger). The fittings are the same brass plated alloy as used in the hilt components. And same issue as above – everything’s there, just lacking on some detail. The only issue I can really think about is the fullers. The leather over the fuller just floats above the grooves, they don’t seem to be “glued down”. Every person that also has this sword seems to have the same critique… I believe this was just not done, or the glue to hold it down just did not last. One minor point is that the stitching of the leather on the back is not straight. I know this varies considerably from sword to sword. It’s no issue to me, just wanted to make a point of it. Overall, the scabbard is awesome, and probably the main reason why a number of collectors purchased this set lol. On a side note, a few people were not happy with how the sword is loose in the scabbard. However, since the sword was not intended to go fully inside – I chalk this up more to the sword / scabbard design than to Indy’s version.


Handling Characteristics

At just over 3.5 lbs – it’s not a light sword. But… it’s POB is just 3” from the cross guard (or 2” from the end of the horse heads); making for a fairly well-balanced sword! Keep in mind replicas of Migration Era swords and Viking swords usually have POB’s further out. I personally find this sword nicely balanced and a joy in the hand.


Test Cutting (if applicable)

In order to help make international shipping smoother, these swords ship out dull. Mine has a slight edge to it – Indy and I discussed having mine sharpened years ago, and again last year. So, after the decision was made to keep these swords dull, he honoured our conversation and had mine sharpened. As you recall from the “wavy” blade flats above, the waviness is also seen in the edges. In addition, some parts are sharper than others – overall, not a good sharpening job (comparing it to the sharpening jobs done by Museum Replicas, Kult of Athena, and Reliks Canada). Once my other projects are completed, I’ll touch up the edge myself. However, there is a slight edge to it – so I tried it out against some dead twigs in the backyard – which isn’t much of a test to help you decide this sword’s cutting ability – but hey, it was fun! Due to this sword being full-tang, peened, with solid metal alloy fittings – I would be confident to try it on light targets. Definitely not for steel-to-steel reenactments. As to the degree of suitable targets, unfortunately I did not buy this as a cutting sword to help answer that question.


Conclusions

Guthwine is probably my favourite sword from the LOTR films. It was a dream to have a “real” version of Eomer’s sword one day. After a 7 year wait, does this sword fulfill those requirements? Yes… and No. As a “real” sword – it comes close. It’s using better quality materials than other movie replicas, and made in the “real” way (both the forging and assembly). It is tempered and comes with a very nice scabbard. However, the QC falls a bit short (think earlier or entry level Deepeeka swords); and I REALLY wish the Pommel and Guard were made from *at least* Solid Brass instead of Brass plated Zinc alloy (sadly the forge that made this sword ran into issues casting the brass components). So yes, it is “real” in my opinion, but could be “real-er” lol. Now as a movie replica – again, it comes close. The overall stats are very close to the prop sword. All the main components / figures / engravings are where they should be. However, they all lack in fine detail. I guess you could say when on a wall it will seem problem free; but if you had it next to the prop or possibly the UC version, the difference in detail will be evident. But let’s put this sword into perspective… It is $400 USD, shipped, after all fees. The UC sword is currently on pre-order for $210, and Anduril’s scabbard is $180. So, a UC sword and scabbard will run you $390-ish USD, plus shipping and tax. Roughly the same price. For many collectors, myself included, I do not live in the US. As many know, shipping UC/BudK swords out of the US costs quite a bit – plus tax, duties, customs, and brokerage – making Indy’s version cheaper than UC’s upcoming version. So, for the same price, or a little less, you’re getting the same sword, BUT slightly less screen accurate, BUT slightly more functional. Not to mention a scabbard that UC will most likely not produce.

Pros
- A more “functional” movie replica sword.
- Scabbard is leather over wood core with grooves & metal fittings.
- Under $400 USD for a handmade sword, scabbard, display plaque, shipping, and fees.

Cons
- Poor QC (bent handle).
- Poor Fit & Finish (uneven edges).
- Zinc Alloy metal fittings.


The Bottom Line

In sum:

Will it satisfy “real” sword collectors? Probably not – since the $400 USD can get you a nice entry level “battle ready” sword.

Will it satisfy “screen accurate” LOTR critics? Probably not – as I’ve already seen a few of them criticize one or two small lines on the guard… Plus, UC’s will fit in with their UC LOTR collection better.

BUT – will it satisfy the average LOTR collector that would like a slightly more functional replica, OR a sword collector that loves LOTR? Yes. Yes, it will. If you want a better quality “real” Guthwine, sword of Eomer, you’ll have to go custom, or wait until Peter Lyon’s Weta MSSC version is announced… either of which will be quite a bit more than $400 USD...
;)

( In case the pictures don't work, here's the review I posted on SBG Forums: https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/thre ... noli-props )

[One Sec as i try to fix the pictures - EDIT - could not, please find pictures below this initial post]
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Last edited by Jash on Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum!"

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Indy Guthwine UCF 25.jpg


Apologies for the multiple posts in a row - I think there's a limit as to how many pictures I'm allowed per a post?
Either way, hope it all works out! If not, the first post includes a link to the Review I also posted on Sword Buyer's Guide Forums.

Cheers,
Jash

EDIT:
Just to add to the review - overall I'm very happy with this sword by Magnoli Props. The minor issues I chalk up to being a handmade sword at an entry level price point. The ONLY thing that somewhat bothers me is the bent handle... That being said, I would definitely order this again!
:)
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Last edited by Jash on Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum!"

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Thank you Jash for the extensive and well written review. I decided to pass on this piece for many of the things you already mentioned.

There is one additional photo I would like to see if you have time. One with the Weta prop with the scabbard on next to the Indy version also with the scabbard. I noticed that with the Indy scabbard on does not have the horse heads line up evenly across like they should and the horse on the right (scabbard) is about 1/8" low.

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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I don't blame you N2 - this sword is not for everyone. If a LOTR collector only has "pristine" UC swords, this handmade replica will stand out. I really hoped the fit & finish as well as QC would have been better, especially given the time this sword has taken...
N2darkness wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:55 pm There is one additional photo I would like to see if you have time. One with the Weta prop with the scabbard on next to the Indy version also with the scabbard.
Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to take that picture for you, it won't work... The Weta scabbard that came with the prop sword is just a "2D" piece - has no opening! lol
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum!"

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Jash wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:00 pm Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to take that picture for you, it won't work... The Weta scabbard that came with the prop sword is just a "2D" piece - has no opening! lol
I had good prop photos, so to save on time and cost I asked Weta just to make me a non functional, unpainted urethane casting when I ordered those original props. I think nearly all the scabbards I got from Weta were like that.
N2darkness wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:55 pm There is one additional photo I would like to see if you have time. One with the Weta prop with the scabbard on next to the Indy version also with the scabbard. I noticed that with the Indy scabbard on does not have the horse heads line up evenly across like they should and the horse on the right (scabbard) is about 1/8" low.
Here is the hero prop and scabbard. The horse head on the scabbard throat was just supposed to be a mirror image of the one on the guard.
Image
KRDS

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Nasnandos wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:26 am...

Here is the hero prop and scabbard. The horse head on the scabbard throat was just supposed to be a mirror image of the one on the guard.
...
And it is not on the Indy version.
Were I to keep the scabbard, I never intended to display the sword sheathed. The scabbard would be hung along side the sword.
But for those who planned to display the sword in the scabbard, it doesn't look real good.
I believe N2 said (on another forum) that the unbalanced look would drive him nuts.
I daresay not a few people who wanted to display the sword in the scabbard would agree. I know it would drive me nuts.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Idril wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:47 pm I would have to think given Jash’s review that the scabbard won;t fit the UC one. Just look at the difference in the blade length. Well assuming United’s is the length of the prop I guess
I guess I wasn't clear... I meant the Indy scabbard with the Indy sword.... those two horses heads don't line up.
Yes, I saw all the posts from quite a while back that were on the RPF (thanks for that info source correction , N2) that the UC version would probably not fit the Indy scabbard.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: LOTR Guthwine, Sword of Eomer, by Magnoli Props

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Idril wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:47 pm I would have to think given Jash’s review that the scabbard won;t fit the UC one. Just look at the difference in the blade length. Well assuming United’s is the length of the prop I guess
The blade lengths on United's prop with the aluminum blade and the hero prop were not the exactly the same either. About 3/8" difference. I think the blade length I gave Indy was for the hero prop. I'm sure that's what I used for United's version too.
KRDS
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