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"Curved Swords" is a catchphrase associated with town guards from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In the game, guards will approach a player and say, "You see those warriors from Hammerfell? They’ve got curved swords. Curved. Swords." Due to the humorous nature of the quote and the emphasis on the end of "Curved Swords," the dialogue became a popular reference in memes, similar to "I Took an Arrow in the Knee".
The original quote can be found in Skyrim, released November 11th, 2011, when interacting with guards after a Saadia-aligned completion of the "In My Time of Need" quest, after which a pair of mercenaries from Hammerfell will be present at or nearby the entrances to every major city in Skyrim, most noticeably in Whiterun. When the player passes a city guard while the mercenaries are present, the guard may comment on the mercs' scimitars. The often-repeated phrase was first uploaded to YouTube on November 28th, 2011, by user Mucks and is the earliest known reference to the quote. The video (shown below) received over 247,000 views, 3,000 likes and 700 comments in roughly nine years.
"You see those warriors from Hammerfell? They've got curved swords. Curved. Swords."
Shortly after Skyrim's release, the quote was noticed by players and saw numerous references in memes, fan art and more. One such example was posted by DeviantArt user PlaviGmaz on November 27th, 2011, receiving over 14,000 views, 334 favorites and 123 comments in roughly nine years (seen below).
On December 9th, 2011, YouTuber Dyno Steve uploaded a video referencing the quote from their "Arrow in the Knee" series, accumulating nearly 54,000 views, 810 likes and 200 comments in about nine years (shown below).
On July 15th, 2017, the Faceboook page Skyrim Guard posted a Carl! meme referencing the line, receiving over 1,900 likes, 210 comments and 582 shares in three and a half years (seen below, left). On September 1st, 2018, Redditor ArminHaas posted another meme to the /r/SkyrimMemes subreddit, receiving 288 upvotes in six months (seen below, right).
 YouTube – Curved Swords
 YouTube – Arrow in the Knee 3 Curved Swords
 Facebook – Skyrim Guard
 Reddit – /r/SkyrimMemes
Dec 11, 2011 at 10:09PM EST
Dec 06, 2011 at 02:01PM EST
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