Dat glaive

When Loki materializes on the dais, he is holding one the key objects to The Avengers and indeed the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe multi-franchise Infinity Stones plot. What is it?


NIck Fury calls the thing a spear. Others call it a staff. The official Disney wiki calls it the Chitauri Sceptre, but this thing is very much a tool. Over this and the next several posts, I’ll talk about how it is used alternately as the following.

  • A melée weapon
  • A projectile weapon
  • A bad-mojo radiator
  • A teleconferencing device
  • An enthrallment knife

Notably, in no scene does he carry it on a ceremonial occasion as a symbol of sovereignty, so scepter really doesn’t fit our purposes. What does? Well, any RPG fan worth their Deck of Many Things knows that the blades-on-a-stick category of weapons are many and nuanced. Finding a perfect term is tough since historians and medievalists have categorized other pole arms according to their construction and function, and none of them are quite like this one.


So though it hurts to let go of possibilities like falx, svärdstav, or bohemian earspoon—and also because I apparently hate the SEO that would earn me all the millionsI think the thing fits most readily into the category of glaive, since glaives are defined as a single-edged (I know, but it’s not quite double-edged either) slicing pole arm with a piercing tip. Like this one. So debate the choice in the comments if you must, but you’ll have to be pretty convincing since I’ve already written and scheduled the other posts and I have a lot to do in the UK at UX London over the next weeks.

And of course recognizing it as a glaive also gives us an opportunity for this joke.


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