Today’s Top 5 list is Swords used in literature or movies! There are ton of weapons out there used in hand to hand combat, especially in the fantasy world, and some even have names. Today, we honor those weapons that our heroes or villains use to uphold justice or destroy lives with. If you have a favorite character from any fantasy series (Aragorn, Gandolf, Eddard Stark, Eragon, Rand, Cloud Strife) chances are they have a weapon that also has a name. There are real life examples of swords becoming famous as well. William Wallace’s sword can still be seen in Scotland. There is a sword called The Sword of Mercy that is symbolically broken (Link here) that British Monarchs are still coronated with. United States Marine Corps officers are still given a sword:
“The oldest weapons still in service in the United States Armed Forces belong to Marines. Today, the swords Marines carry represent the Marine Corps’ rich heritage as America’s original defenders. Officers carry the Mameluke Sword, which was originally given to Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon in 1805 by a Mameluke chieftain in North Africa. Lt O’Bannon and his Marines marched across 600 miles of North African desert to rid the “shores of Tripoli” of pirates and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia. By 1825, all Marine Officers carried the Mameluke sword in recognition of this historic battle—the Marine Corps’ first on foreign soil.”
So anyway, Swords are used for many things in fantasy. They are used to cleave peoples limbs and heads off, they are used for defense, they are used for symbolism. What are you favorite swords?
Here is my top 5 list of swords:
5. Hattori Hanzo sword – Uma Thurman kicked some MAJOR ASS in the two Kill Bill movies. She did it with the help of a man who swore to never make a sword again though, Hattori Hanzo. She convinced him that she would kill Bill with it, and he made her one all her own. After the Bride received the sword, there was nothing left in her wake but blood, guts and about 88 of the Crazy 88’s lying dead. The sword got her all the way to Bill, but she doesn’t actually even use it to Kill Bill. Doesn’t even matter, it is a bad ass sword.
4. Sting – A dagger to the “tall folk”, Sting was the sword found and used by Bilbo and later given to Frodo to use in his quest. It was an Elven sword that Bilbo found with 2 others, Glamdring (The sword used by Gandolf) and Orcrist (Sword used by Thorin Oakenshield). Sting was enchanted to glow blue when Orcs were around, which is super helpful when Orcs are out to kill you. Bilbo named the sword after fighting off some spiders in Mirkwood after the spiders called it “Bilbo’s Sting”. The sword survived two rather large quests and protected two rather curious creatures while doing so. For that reason, it makes the list.
3. Longclaw – Oh Jon Snow. Long Claw belongs to Lord Jon Snow and was given to him by Lord Jeor Mormont. It was passed down from Mormont to Mormont (symbolism) but Jorah clearly wasn’t worthy since, well, he sold slaves. So the Old Bear decided Jon was as much of a son as he will ever have and passed down the Valyrian steel blade to Jon. Since the pommel burnt in the fire that Jon caused saving Jeor’s life, he had it remade in the form of a white dire wolf. Jon then said wolves have claws just like bears, and kept the name of the sword to honor the Old Bear.
2. Anduril – Really brief history: The sword was called Narsil when it was used by Elendil and then it broke. His son, Isildur used it to cut the One Ring from the hand of the evil lord Sauran (and seriously, how did that even happen!?). The shards were returned to Rivendell after Isildur’s death. There, they waited until they could be reforged for Aragorn into Anduril, which means Flame of the West, and used throughout as a symbol of hope against the evil powers. Aragorn uses the sword to establish his credentials, as well as slay many Orcs and protect his little hobbit friends. A sword with so much history that ultimately helps end Sauran’s rule twice is a sword worthy of making anyone’s list!
1. Darth Vader’s Lightsaber – Ok, it doesn’t have a cool name, but the sword itself is steeped in history and symbolism. It certainly isn’t as a clumsy or as random as a blaster, but instead is graceful and elegant. The fact that it’s wielded by one of the most terrifying and oppressive figures in the galaxy makes it even cooler. And, oh yea, the color is blood red! We see a ton of green, blue and even purple light sabers in the Star Wars saga, but only bad guys (at least in the movies) carry red sabers, and Vader is the baddest of them all. Or is he? Isn’t he redeemed at the end? Doesn’t he choose to help Luke after Luke cuts his hand off, the one holding his evil colored lightsaber? Maybe the sword makes the person, not the other way around, just saying…
Honorable mention: Cloud’s Buster sword, Ice, William Wallace’s sword, Excalibur.