Created By: peccantis on May 15, 2011 Last Edited By: MorningStar1337 on September 24, 2014
Troped

Hungry Weapon

An EvilWeapon that literally hungers for victims.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
What is scarier than a bladed killing tool? Make it evil. What is creepier than an evil sword? A hungry evil weapon. A Hungry Sword hungers or thirsts for victims — or to be more precise, their blood, souls, life force, or what have you. If it wants to kill but is not hungry or thirsty, it's just Ax-Crazy. Yeah...

For some reason, To be hungry, a sword doesn't need to posses speech, but it often does because it's good for a hungry, evil, sentient sword's image. If the audience only has the wielder's word for the weapon's hunger, it's not this trope. If the hunger or thirst is stated by either the sword, the narrator or other charaters, it's this trope.

In case of narrator-revealed hunger or thirst, it's good to remember that some narrators are unreliable and some just like to be poetic. Swords in realistic, non-fantasy settings obviously cannot be evil or hungry, no matter what the narratos says.

Subtrope of Evil Weapon (because for some weird reason, good swords aren't ever hungry). Compare Weapons That Suck for a different version of "hungry"

Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • Episode 04 of La Blue Girl features a sword whose spirit thrives on blood and sexual stimulation. It drove its wielder to carry out acts of mass slaughter, followed by immediate stimulation. Given this is La Blue Girl, the sexual part should be no surprise.
  • Saika of Durarara!! is a demonically-possessed sword that "loves" humanity, and shows its affection by cutting them, and then adding them to its Hive Mind. Its goal is to possess all of humanity, and so seeks out strong individuals that are better suited to helping it possess more people, like Heiwajima Shizuo. In its own words, it craves strength like a human wants a partner with "good genes".
  • In Soul Eater all the Demon Weapons (good or evil) get more powerful by eating souls. The eponymous character literally eats them (apparently they have a nice texture). A straighter example would be Tsubaki's brother Masamune, who merges with his wielder, allowing him to eventually eat their soul as well as anyone they killed.
  • Naruto: Kisame's sword Samehada can absorb chakra and then give it to Kisame to heal/empower himself.
    • Zabuza's sword Kubikiribocho can repair itself using the blood of his enemies.

    Literature 
  • In Blue Moon Rising, one of the three Infernal Devices, Flarebright, uses the blood of its victims to fuel its flames.
  • The Kalevala: Kullervo speaks to his sword after a murderous revenge spree, contemplating suicide. The sword speaks its mind and replies that it wouldn't mind eating guilty flesh and flawed blood just as fine as innocent flesh and blood.
  • The sword in Lloyd Alexander's The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. It literally asks for blood to drink, until at a crucial time it decides it's had enough, and jumps out of the hands of its wielder.
  • Pretty much exactly the same scenario as with Kullervo in The Kalevala, a Finnish epic, plays out between Turin Turambar and his sword Gurthang in The Silmarillion. This is not entirely surprising, since The Kalevala was an influence on J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • The sentient sword Nightblood in the book Warbreaker is obsessed with killing evil people, though it can't distinguish between an actual 'evil' person, and someone who's merely in the way. Merely touching the sword when you aren't 'pure of heart' will lead you to go on a killing frenzy before eventually killing yourself.
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone novels. The sword Stormbringer is hungry for souls, often moaning when it wishes to feed. When it hits an opponent, it drains their soul and Life Energy, killing them. It can force Elric to strike at other people by controlling his mind.

    Manhwa 
  • Skurai from the mahnwa Ragnarok very much. He might even say the exact words. Of course his sword is evil and half-possessing/Brainwashing him and literally needs to drink blood (aka butcher people), so...it's almost justified in a way. There is no reason why he has to be such a Big Ham about it, though. That's just tasty, gratuitous villainy.

    Oral Tradition 
  • The Muramasa swords in Japanese legends drive the wielder mad and force him to spill blood, any blood when wielded.

     Tabletop Games 
  • An awful lot of evil artifact weapons from every incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons exhibit this behavior, as well as many lesser cursed items. Such as a weapon with the vampiric ability or similar will feed on opponents hitpoints and transfer them to the user is alignment free.
    • One specific example is a sword from Dungeons & Dragons adventure S2 White Plume Mountain, Blackrazor. It hungers for Life Energy and will try to force its wielder to use it to attack others so it can feed.

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2: The Eyelander thirsts for heads, and whispers repeatedly "heaadssss".
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 has the Malice Sword, Which consumes the souls of any CPUs slain by it. In a certain bad ending, Nepgear and Neptune finds the sword and the former was forced (or rather, asked) to use it kill her friends (and sister) to gain their power so that she can have enough power to stop Arfoire and avert The End of the World as We Know It. Said sword transforms into an Infinity+1 Sword called the Gehaburn.
  • WarCraft: Arthas' sword, Frostmourne, which consumes the souls of those slain upon it. This actually leads to Athas' Catch Phrase, "Frostmourne hungers!"
  • The Honedge line of Pokémon X and Y are based on this. The pokedex entry for Honedge itself states that it sucks out the souls of those foolish enough to wield it like an actual sword.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the warrior Umbra holes up in an Ayleid ruin mostly to isolate her sword (also called Umbra) from the souls it lusts for. Of course, you, the bastard that you are, will kill her and take this evil thing for yourself.
  • The Ebony Blade in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is your reward for helping the Daedric Lord Mephala, and she urges you to use it on those you love the most so that the sword can absorb their essence and grow stronger.
  • In a rare good example, the divine sword Lumina from Brave Fencer Musashi will devour the souls of your enemies and let you use their special attacks.
  • In Darkstalkers, the phantasmic demon samurai Bishamon wields a blood-thirsty sword known as a Kien. Due to a ritual used to keep the blade eternally sharp while crafting it, Kien hungers for death and destruction (a trait of the sword that was made only worse when it fell under the influence of the cursed armor Hannya). Donning said weapon and gear enslaves the user to the will of the artifacts and sends them on a mindless rampage.
  • Soul Edge from the SoulCalibur series has a tendency to eat the souls of both its targets and its wielders.
  • Enserric the Longsword from Neverwinter Nights expansion has different one-liners spoken for hitting enemies of different races.
  • The cursed swords in Muramasa: The Demon Blade cannot be sheathed until they have tasted blood. It there's no one around to kill, the swords will turn on their wielders.
  • In Dark Cloud, one of the swords you could get was called the Lamb Sword. In it's normal state, it was pretty weak, but if you didn't use it for a while, it became hungry and would become much more powerful. After it killed a few victims, it would return to it's natural state.

    Webcomics 
  • Torg from Sluggy Freelance has a magic sword ("Chaz") that glows red, speaks, and becomes SUPER EFFECTIVE for a period after it's been bathed in the blood of an innocent.
  • In one of the Cardboard Tube Samurai installments of Penny Arcade called The Wandering Age: Last Rites it is at first implied and then confirmed that the hero Tobun was possessed by an evil sword.

     Western Animation 
  • Katana in Beware the Batman was sent by the CIA to go undercover as a member of the League of Assassins and find an Artifact of Doom called the Soultaker Sword. Unlike similar entries on this page, it suck souls by a magic chant rather than straight up killing. Because of that, she decided to hide the sword, knowing that such power is too dangerous to be in any organization's hands. Of course, years later, the League of Assassins find it.

Examples needing elaboration

  • Stormbringer from The Elric Saga
  • Morganti knives from Dragaea
  • Ravenor features a vampire blade. (lit)
  • (Collectable card game) Sorin Markov, a vampire uses a sword with similarly vampiric tendencies.
Community Feedback Replies: 71
  • May 15, 2011
    Hadashi
    We already have Myswordisthirsty
  • May 15, 2011
    Hadashi
    We could merge them
  • May 15, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ I specifically created this YKTTW because the OP of My Sword Is Thirsty doesn't want actual hungry swords in My Sword Is Thirsty. IMHO these two things are distinct enough to have separate tropes.
  • May 15, 2011
    ElaineRose
    • Babylon5: The Narn have a special warrior's sword which tradition mandates cannot be re-sheathed until it has tasted blood. In one episode this trope was lampshaded, and later the proud warrior from the agrarian culture drew the sword for effect. He discretely cut his palm before putting the sword away.
  • May 15, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ I'm thinking a third YKTTW for that specific type of tradition/honour code

    So do the Narn weapons actually and literally need the blood or is it just a warrior's code? Or maybe an enchantment or something that repels the sword from its sheath unless it has drawn blood, without any need from the sword's part?
  • May 15, 2011
    elwoz
    The distinction from My Sword Is Thirsty is clear, but how many EvilWeapons aren't hungry? Should we maybe just rename that?
  • May 15, 2011
    tubefox
    I don't think we should rename Evil Weapons. Not all of them are hungry, some of them just drive the user insane/homicidal or possess their mind or whatever.

    For an example, Skurai in the "Ragnorak" manga series has Talatsu, an Ax Crazy sword that appears to have an extradimensional space inside its sheath, where it drinks the blood of people it kills and demands Skurai find more. All the time.
  • May 15, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ I see plenty of examples that are not hungry. The majority seem to control or posses their wielders.
  • May 16, 2011
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone novels. The sword Stormbringer is hungry for souls, often moaning when it wishes to feed. When it hits an opponent, it drains their soul and Life Energy, killing them. It can force Elric to strike at other people by controlling his mind.

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons adventure S2 White Plume Mountain. The sword Blackrazor hungers for Life Energy and will try to force its wielder to use it to attack others so it can feed.
  • May 16, 2011
    dalek955
    Actually, there are Hungry Swords that aren't evil. A couple of swords have stated that they don't mind feeding on people who deserve it. Also, I remember hearing about this one sword that gets powered up by "innocent blood", but one of the characters can just materialize the stuff as needed.

  • May 19, 2011
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    Dungeons And Dragons: a weapon with the vampiric ability or similar will feed on opponents hitpoints and transfer them to the user is alignment free, however there are also weapons that trap "souls" that are evil.
  • May 19, 2011
    jaytee
    So is this when a sword is literally hungry, as opposed to My Sword Is Thirsty, which is a Badass Boast using "thirsty" as a metaphor for "wants to cut people"? Just want to make sure I have this right, because right now the distinction isn't clear without unpacking both articles a bit.

    Definitely requires a "Not to be confused with" sentence, and fast.
  • May 19, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ Exactly. It does have a "not to be confused" already, but worth repeating before the examples.
  • May 20, 2011
    jaytee
    Oh man, did I really miss it? Probably because I'm looking for blue words.
  • May 20, 2011
    Aspie
    • In Dark Cloud, one of the swords you could get was called the Lamb Sword. In it's normal state, it was pretty weak, but if you didn't use it for a while, it became hungry and would become much more powerful. After it killed a few victims, it would return to it's natural state.
  • June 3, 2011
    dalek955
  • June 3, 2011
    TBTabby
    The cursed swords in Muramasa: The Demon Blade cannot be sheathed until they have tasted blood. It there's no one around to kill, the swords will turn on their wielders.
  • June 3, 2011
    OneMore
  • June 4, 2011
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    See also: Vampiric Feeding
  • June 25, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ and do they talk about its hunger/thirst?

    Moved two examples to a new Honorbound Sword YKTTW.
  • June 30, 2011
    OneMore
    ^ Yes, he (it?) comments on how he finds elven blood delicious and like. He's not evil though, just a Blood Knight.
  • June 30, 2011
    Confusion567
    • Soul Edge from the Soul Calibur series has a tendency to eat the souls of both its targets and its wielders.
  • July 1, 2011
    TinaBanina96
    Kisame's Samehada sword from Naruto eats chakra and gets attached to its targets (sometimes:) )
  • July 1, 2011
    TinaBanina96
    Samehada, Kisame's sword from Naruto eats through chakra and sometimes even gets attahed to its targets, like in the case of Killer Bee :)
  • July 1, 2011
    X2X
    Video Games
    • In Darkstalkers, the phantasmic demon samurai Bishamon wields a blood-thirsty sword known as a Kien. Due to a ritual used to keep the blade eternally sharp while crafting it, Kien hungers for death and destruction (a trait of the sword that was made only worse when it fell under the influence of the cursed armor Hannya). Donning said weapon and gear enslaves the user to the will of the artifacts and sends them on a mindless rampage.
  • July 1, 2011
    elwoz
    > "it's good for a hungry, evil, sentient sword's imago"

    Did you really mean imago, or did you mean image?
  • July 1, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    Frostmourne from the Warcraft series, a powerful icy runeblade with a hunger for souls.
  • July 1, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Stormbringer arguably fits here too-it's strongly implied in the text that the sword has a hunger that it transfers to its owner.
  • July 3, 2011
    belgarathmth
    Lilarcor from Baldur's Gate 2?
  • July 4, 2011
    Ninjat126
    The Eyelander from Team Fortress 2 wants heads.
  • July 4, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    Do we have My Sword Is Thirsty, because I'm getting a red link.
  • July 4, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • July 27, 2011
    HairlessThoctar
    Collectable Card Games
    • Sorin Markov, a vampire uses a sword with similarly vampiric tendencies.
  • July 27, 2011
    Acebrock
    Dawnfang/Duskfang from Oblivion gets stronger as you kill more people.
  • July 27, 2011
    dotchan
  • May 28, 2012
    peccantis
    ^^ again, please remember, only hungry/thirsty swords that really, actually, literally are hungry/thirsty.

    Kicking back up for more development. We have quite a good bunch of examples already, what else do we need?
  • May 28, 2012
    kjnoren
    Kalevala should probably go only under Literature, and not Oral Tradition.
  • May 28, 2012
    peccantis
    Um, true!
  • May 28, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • In R.A. Salvatore's novels based in Forgotten Realms there's the sword Khazid'hea, when Catti-brie has it it constantly tries to get her to kill. Eventually it manipulates it's way into the hands of a drow assassin.
  • May 28, 2012
    peccantis
    ^So, does the sword mention being hungry or thirsty? Or is it just Ax Crazy?
  • May 28, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Soul Eater all the Demon Weapons (good or evil) get more powerful by eating souls. The eponymous character literally eats them (apparently they have a nice texture). A straighter example would be Tsubaki's brother Masamune, who merges with his wielder, allowing him to eventually eat their soul as well as anyone they killed.
  • May 28, 2012
    troacctid
  • May 28, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    On Sorin Markov: Probably doesn't qualify. He himself feeds through the blood dripping down his sword. Said sword is mundane though, to the best of my knowledge.

    I seem to recall some sword held by one of the bad guys in Naruto that eats an adversary's chakra. That may qualify. (Which was discussed above.)
  • May 28, 2012
    darkjezter
    Lilarcor from Baldur's Gate 2 is a particularly amusing example because it gets antsy and impatient if you go too long without killing something.
  • May 29, 2012
    elwoz
    ^^^ "Black Blade" (the song) is a direct reference to the Elric novels -- in fact, if memory serves, the lyrics were written by Michael Moorcock himself.
  • May 29, 2012
    zarpaulus
    @peccantis: It does sometimes, mostly as a way of expressing jealousy towards her longbow or allies. Another one tries to steal from our plate.
  • May 30, 2012
    peccantis
    Samehada doesn't express hunger/thirst so it's a Vampiric Weapon but not a Hungry Sword.
  • May 30, 2012
    Bisected8
    So is Soul Eater not quite what you were thinking of?
  • May 31, 2012
    Wii
    Saika of Durarara is a demonically-possessed sword that "loves" humanity, and shows its affection by [[Yandere cutting them]], and then adding them to its Hive Mind. Its goal is to possess all of humanity, and so seeks out strong individuals that are better suited to helping it possess more people, like Heiwajima Shizuo. In its own words, it craves strength like a human wants a partner with "good genes".
  • May 31, 2012
    Tiiba
    The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion: the warrior Umbra holes up in an Ayleid ruin mostly to isolate her sword (also called Umbra) from the souls it lusts for. Of course, you, the bastard that you are, will kill her and take this evil thing for yourself.
  • May 31, 2012
    AgProv
    Black Blade (Music/Blue Ă–yster Cult) wsas in fact written by Moorcock. Do not omit The Chronicle of the Black Sword, a whole LP and stage performance worth of songs and music based on Moorcock's concept of the Black Sword in all its guises, and the Eternal Champion who wields it.Performed by Music/Hawkwind.

    See also Heavy Mithril.
  • May 31, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    @Ag Prov - only use alphanumeric characters for links. The special characters are dealt with with the custom title. So, just Blue Oyster Cult.
  • May 31, 2012
    raven2785
    The 2002 ps2 game Shinobi, main character Hotsuma wields Akujiki, a cursed sword that feeds on souls and it needs to be either sealed or constatly fed, if Hotsuma doesn't feed it souls on a regular basis (ie. killing anything and everything in sight) Akujiki will consume Hotsuma's soul instead.
  • May 31, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    Webcomics

    Tabletop Games
    • An awful lot of evil artifact weapons from every incarnation of Dungeons And Dragons exhibit this behavior, as well as many lesser cursed items.

    Video Games
    • In a rare good example, the divine sword Lumina from Brave Fencer Musashi will devour the souls of your enemies and let you use their special attacks.
  • June 1, 2012
    Chabal2
    Daemon weapons in Warhammer and Warhammer 40 K contain very angry daemons, and just about the only way to keep them from attacking the owner is to keep supplying them with new victims.

  • June 1, 2012
    YourBrainOnTaint
    • The Ebony Blade in Skyrim is your reward for helping the Daedric Lord Mephala, and she urges you to use it on those you love the most so that the sword can absorb their essence and grow stronger.
    • The sentient sword Nightblood in the book Warbreaker is obsessed with killing evil people, though it can't distinguish between an actual 'evil' person, and someone who's merely in the way. Merely touching the sword when you aren't 'pure of heart' will lead you to go on a killing frenzy before eventually killing yourself.
    • Every object in the book Spirit Thief and its sequels is a sentient spirit, including swords. Book 2's resident Psycho For Hire, Sted gets himself a sword that lusts for blood. Though he can't feel it himself (being a non-wizard), other characters comment with disgust/fear about how the sword is clearly as monstrous and battle-obsessed as he is.
  • January 18, 2013
    elwoz
    Bump with threat to launch.
  • August 15, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuuuuuuuump
  • August 17, 2014
    aurora369
    Elaboration on the Ebony Blade: it becomes super effective when you kill a friendly character with it. Spouses, companions, people you helped, fellow guildmates all count as friendly, while strangers do not.
  • August 17, 2014
    Tallens
    • War Craft: Arthas' sword, Frostmourne, which consumes the souls of those slain upon it. This actually leads to Athas' Catch Phrase, "Frostmourne hungers!"

  • August 21, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Video Games

    Western Animation
    • Katana in Beware The Batman was sent by the CIA to go undercover as a member of the League of Assassins and find an Artifact Of Doom called the Soultaker Sword. Unlike similar entries on this page, it suck souls by a magic chant rather than straight up killing. Because of that, she decided to hide the sword, knowing that such power is too dangerous to be in any organization's hands. Of course, years later, the League of Assassins find it.

    BTW does this trope need a Spoiler Warning? my first entry is ending-specific and the third one is back-story
  • August 21, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Nope. This isn't inherently spoileriffic.
  • August 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Weapons That Suck for another meaning of "hungry".
  • August 22, 2014
    Dark_Awesome
    Why has Soul Eater not been added yet? I mean, it's called Soul Eater for a reason.

    Is this YKTTW being edited by anyone? The sponsor hasn't posted on here in about 2 years.
  • August 22, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Guess I'm taking over then. I'm adding all the examples and removing all refernces to the My Sword Is Thirsty YKTTW because of the possibility this might get launched before the latter

    Can you post an example for Soul Eater then? It is bad form to withhold examples because you assume that everyone knows what title means or what the anime is about

    nvm. Already found one for soul eater. Does anyone have any examples I missed
  • August 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Add this plz
    • Na Ruto: Kisame's sword Samehada can absorb chakra and then give it to Kisame to heal/empower himself.
      • Zabuza's sword Kubikiribocho can repair itself using the blood of his enemies.
  • August 22, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Okay Besides Weapons And Wielding Tropes, what index can I put this on?
  • August 22, 2014
    DAN004
  • August 23, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Okay I'm gonna wait until tonight or tomorrow to launch this because i missed some examples and because there are still 3 examples that needs elaboration:

    • Morganti knives from Dragaea
    • Ravenor features a vampire blade. (lit)
    • (Collectable card game) Sorin Markov, a vampire uses a sword with similarly vampiric tendencies
  • August 23, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Okay I'm gonna launch this soon now
  • September 24, 2014
    kjnoren
    You have some examples in Blade of Bloody Honor YKTTW that you can mine.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=oe4cuc0vfqtqeg6khnivy2te