In PIC:1x04 "Absolute Candor" - we see Picard challenged to a sword fight by Romulans on the planet Vashti.

In the episode we see Picard tear off a sign, 'Romulans Only' and stomp on it, to challenge their tribalism. In that sense he picks the fight. The Romulans talk of their prior knowledge of Picard. They drag him outside and put a sword in his hand.

This leaves two possibilities:

  1. They know of Picard's sword fighting skill and are seeking a fair fight on his terms.

  2. Sword fighting is a common way to solve matters of honor in Romulan culture.

Is there a precedent for Romulans settling honor battles in a sword fight?

  • 1
    I don't think Romulans are even aware of the concept of "honor" from TOS to DS9. Maybe their culture (d)evolved into some warrior society on that planet due to the exodus and continued refugee status instead of continuing as the cloak-and-dagger society they used to be.
    – Morfildur
    Feb 17, 2020 at 14:06
  • 3
    I think PIC is introducing us to the idea that there is no single "Romulan culture". It may be that these particular Romulans have swords as a part of their culture. It could also be that disruptors are scarce in their colony and they have adopted the use of swords out of necessity. Feb 18, 2020 at 22:17
  • @BrianOrtiz, maybe they're just Klingonboos, but use more practical swords instead of Klingon antler-"sword" Bat'leth?
    – user28434
    Mar 11, 2020 at 12:07
  • @Morfildur This is the right take. “Precedent for Romulan honor—…” Whoa, whoa, let’s stop right there with the crazy talk. Dec 8, 2021 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


There is some slight precedence for this in the book Spock's World by Dianne Duane. One of the greatest sword makers in Vulcan history is living at the time of the Romulan split, at which time the Vulcans gave up the use of swords for violence and only continued to make them for art. The would be Romulans, of course, came to no such enlightenment.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.