The Monroe Militia has outlawed civilian ownership of firearms, so most people living in this post-apocalyptic America resort to defending themselves with broadswords, knives and crossbows.
“It’s a variety of different weapons from the crude to the more sophisticated as you work through the more grassroots rebels to the advanced militia,” Meerdink explained. “With any given conflict, the opposing sides may have technologies that come from different decades. It’s allowed us to look back at the history of weapons from the last 150 years and pull from a variety of options.”
The choice of the broadsword for Miles Matheson was born of a request from the producers and stunt coordinator Jeff Wolfe.
“Early on, Favreau, Kripke and the stunt coordinator said they wanted a different kind of fighting,” Grobler recalled. “They didn’t just want sword fighting but lots of punching too.”
Grobler’s research led him to a World War I weapon called a trench knife that inspired Miles’ sword. Its metal knuckle guard on the handle is ideal for throwing a few bone-shattering punches.
Grobler also explained the thinking behind the show’s choice of crossbows, which many viewers have pointed out appear to be held backwards. Don’t worry – Charlie and Danny aren’t about to shoot themselves in the face. The prop master opted for crossbows with reversed limbs chiefly for their smaller size.
“Most modern hunting crossbows looked huge when slung over someone’s back. It dwarfed any person,” Grobler said, adding that the reverse limb crossbow is believed to have better accuracy.
NEXT PAGE: In the streets of Philadelphia