I'm not usually one for Trope Identification, but after watching the The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies I'm dying to know if this is identified...

Is there a name for the shot/sequence wherein the camera looks up at someone who is about to strike (often POV), and as the attacker raises their hand the hand is caught (often by the wrist) before they can bring the weapon/strike down on their victim?

The hobbit features many variations of this, with the limb sometimes being amputated. It almost seemed like a running joke.

What is this called?

  • Hmm, possibly a variation of Conveniently Timed Attack From Behind, though rather from the side (and it's an awful name anyway).
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 23:11
  • @Walt, this wasn't it, but the page you provide links to the correct trope: 'Thwarted Coupe de Gráce' ... you should really post as an answer, Walt... sets a bad precedent otherwise, even if you're unsure... also means I can mark correct and this isn't a false flag "Unanswered" Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 12:59
  • Saw TCdG there, but TBH thought it was even farther away from what you wanted. But if you think this fits, no rules against answering your own question. (I didn't answer because I couldn't find a trope that matches this exactly. But that doesn't mean it's not out there, whether in TvTropes or somewhere else.)
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 13:40
  • maybe something like Punch Catch or Bare-Handed Blade Block?
    – Trish Ling
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 23:17
  • @TrishLing, it's Thwarted Coupe De Gráce, its just because walt posted as a comment and not an answer I can't mark correct.. Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


With thanks to the contributors in the comments and based on their suggestions, I would call it a Thwarted Coup de Grâce by way of Punch Catch.

Whilst it is not directly catching a punch, the same concept is being applied to the wrist rather than the fist. (That was not intended to rhyme, just a happy coincidence).

The usual way this happens is when someone who isn't strong/good with weapons tries to use a knife to stab someone, and is completely ineffective.

This is the first thing I thought of that it could be, and thought it may have its own trope, but I can't find it. However, this scenario may fall under the realms of a Possessive Wrist Grab.

Stopping a sword this way I have seen happen less often (watching The Hobbit: BotFA this probably doubled the usage of it) which is likely why it isn't a trope in itself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .