Archangel of Thune, by James Ryman

Archangel

Archangel of Thune, by James Ryman

“Even the wicked have nightmares.”

Confession time: I added this image to my “random wallpapers” folder immediately when I found it. I think this might be the most effective armor I’ve ever seen on a girl with wings. Maybe it’s the whole “heavenly bodies” motif, but I feel like angels in general have become overly sexualized in fantasy adventure in particular. And of course with this over-sexualization comes the sexualization of their armor. The portrayal of angels for their piety and virtue has become sadly less common in artwork of late.

Thus this fighting archangel was a refreshing discovery when I stumbled across it the other day. The Archangel of Thune is a Magic: the Gathering image by artist James Ryman. While the card itself seems crazy overpowered, I love the artwork in terms of aesthetics as well as the overall look of our angel’s armor.

Archangel2Her choice of scale armor instead of plate or chain is an intriguing one. I kind of like scale armor and feel like it’s kind of underrated as far as armor types go. While not as durable as chain mail, it’s lighter and at least as flexible. Plus the flat scale surfaces offer similar deflection to that of plated mail. The bronze disk mesh across her right side offers additional minor protection in melee combat. The armored collar protects her neck while a pair of metal spaulders keep the shoulder joints safe. Her shirt sleeves are loose for free movement during swordplay. Metal bracers keep her hands and wrists safe while leaving her hands free for her swordsmanship.

Interestingly, our angel’s waist and leg armor are heavier than her torso armor. Her pants are leather, and her hips, thighs, knees, and calves are protected with heavy plate armor, as opposed to the lighter scales at her chest. In infantry combat this would be a bad idea, slowing her footwork while protecting non-vitals. For a flying warrior, however, this might not necessarily be a bad thing, protecting her from attacks from below, be they infantry arrows or teeth and claws of flying hell-spawn.

I love as well the various minor details of this image. The leather harness protecting her wings. The straps and buckles on her leg plates. The book and scroll case hanging from her right side, signifying her as possibly a war cleric or battle mage, depending on if they are filled with divine secrets or arcane lore. All in all, our archangel wears one of the more impressive battle ensembles I’ve seen. My compliments.

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