[[quoteright:250:[[Film/TheMaskOfZorro http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zorro999_5812.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:The pointy end goes in the other man.]]

->''"The sword is a simple tool, but in the hands of a master it becomes the most versatile of weapons. And just as the imagination is limitless, so too are the possibilities of the sword."''
-->-- '''Master Piandao''', ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''

A character noted for his or her mastery of the UsefulNotes/{{sword|s}}. Might be a deadly duelist, a skillful swordsman, or just someone who is notably better at putting holes in other people. They may or may not posses ImplausibleFencingPowers depending on the level of realism within the work. Their weapon of choice might be a CoolSword, {{katana|sAreJustBetter}}, [[RoyalRapier rapier]], {{BFS}} or something completely mundane. Some might be undefeated and renowned as the best swordsman in the world, while others might be an anonymous badass trying to stay alive.

Often a Mentor, often helping other characters TakeALevelInBadass. Occasionally an OldMaster. May be BadassNormal if there are superhumans to compare to.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': The ambidextrous Sesshoumaru masters [[AllThereInTheManual any weapon]] the second he touches it, and sometimes even ''before''. He [[CrypticConversation advises]] the struggling Inuyasha on how to properly use [[EnergyAbsorption Dragon-Scale Tessaiga]] after overhearing a single conversation and handles even Sango's [[BattleBoomerang Hiraikotsu]] with ease. The only weapon he ever struggles to master is his own sword Tenseiga, which requires mastering [[HealingShiv compassion]] instead of physical strength or skill.
* Balgus, Allen Schezar and Van Fanel from ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne''.
* Future Trunks from ''Franchise/DragonBall'', to date the only main character to use a weapon in a world where someone's finger poke could topple a mountain. Mind you it's not as much of a gimmick as it could have been. Trunks has proven to use it effectively in battle, even getting several techniques utilising his sword in his video game skillsets.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Dracule "Hawkeye" Mihawk is the best swordsman in-universe. He could, upon introduction, effortlessly hold off the previously unstoppable [[DualWielding tri-wielding]] Zoro with ''[[CherryTapping a three-inch dagger]]'', or use his main sword to chop an entire fleet of at least fifty galleons in half from a distance. His main sword is a large [[RuleOfSymbolism cross-shaped]] [[{{BFS}} affair]] that's longer than he is tall ([[AllThereInTheManual he's 6'6"]]!), that he uses on whatever he feels like. He's skilled enough to deflect bullets with it, playing into his iconic line, "A sword without subtlety is but an iron bar."
** Zoro himself also qualifies. While his main specialty is three swords, he is proficient at two swords and one sword as well, able to cut down a man made of steel, a legendary samurai, and bring down a government assassin. Despite having the second-lowest supernova bounty, even the other supernova are wary of him. His only major loss was against Mihawk, whereas even the main character has lost more times. While he was initially very power based, Zoro has honed his skills. After the time-skip, during which [[spoiler:'''Mihawk''' personally trained him]], Zoro has taken a few pages from Mihawk's book by casually slicing a ship in half while half asleep.
* Star Saber from ''Anime/TransformersVictory''.
* Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn: Sword Emperor Tyr, [[BloodKnight Superbi]] [[ThreateningShark Squalo]], [[MyMasterRightOrWrong Genshiki]], [[CulturedWarrior Ugetsu Asari]], and [[NiceGuy Yamamoto Takeshi]]. Sword Emperor Tyr was the original boss of the Varia before Squalo managed to [[ChildSoldier kill him]] [[ChildProdigy in two-day straight duel when he was fourteen]]. Squalo was thought to be the presumptive leader if he didn't step down for [[BadBoss Xanxus]]. Yamamoto is also a ChildProdigy learning his father's "Shigure Soen Ryu", a style known to be invincible because it's forms branch out to be either be weak or strong depending on the master and student's contribution. Yamamoto learned the style in a week, and defeated Squalo by learning it's secret. Later, he was mentored by Squalo to further expand the style in the Future Arc.
* Mifune from ''Manga/SoulEater''. Bonus points for having a set of literally ''dozens'' of katanas he carries around in over-sized holsters. ''Bonus'' bonus points for being the only full-blooded human to be able to go toe-to-toe with people and creatures with supernatural powers.
* Hiei from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' cut Seiryu 16 times before his enemy knew what hit him. Keep in mind said guy could throw [[SuperSpeed 100 punches in a split second]]! There's also the time Hiei cut Makintaro's arm off, and held said arm in the air, because Makintaro had no idea what was going on. Or the time Hiei stabbed Sniper in the abdomen, intentionally missing every vital organ and muscle, making the stab just enough to put him down.
* Just about ''everyone'' in ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', with ImplausibleFencingPowers out the wazoo. Special mention goes to the hero, Himura Kenshin, Shinomori Aoshi, Hiko Seijuro, Saitou Hajime, Makoto Shishio, Seta Soujirou and Yukishiro Enishi.
* Guts and Griffith of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' fame. Guts especially stands out for his ability to wield his giant [[{{BFS}} Dragon Slayer]] with as much speed and skill as someone who mastered the use of an ordinary sword.
* Master Tiellagory of ''Anime/LeChevalierDEon''.
* Eishun Konoe and Kurt Godel in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''.
* Master Yupa of ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' is yet another very [[OldMaster old swordmaster]] who manages to hold his own against small armies. His swordsmanship is an InformedAbility for at least half of the movie, until he finally lashes out and sweeps down an army full of enemy soldiers.
* Many characters from ''Manga/BladeOfTheImmortal'' at least claim to be examples of this trope.
* Fuhrer Bradley in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. The man can take on a tank and win with nothing but his saber, and it wasn't even an AbsurdlySharpBlade. He's later shown slicing bullets in half - and when [[spoiler:Scar cuts off his arms, he holds the blade of the broken saber ''in his teeth'' and still keeps fighting]]!
* Jintetsu of ''{{Manga/Kurogane}}'', despite being JustAKid, is an extremely capable swordsman and renowned assassin.
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'': Vicious is so skilled with his katana that he can hold his own in a future setting with a whole lot of guns, and is a match for Spike's shooting ability.
* ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'':
** The two heroes are master swordsmen, Jin, and Mugen. Jin is a traditional swordsman, while Murgen relies more on his incredible speed, unique and unpredictable fighting style, and killer instinct rather than any traditional martial arts. This is largely why Jin's hardest battles are usually classic sword duels, whereas Mugen is conversely pitted against unconventional foes who don't rely on swords.
** Various antagonists also qualify. Chief among them are jovial mercenary swordmaster Inuyaka, the deadly Shaolin Tsujigiri Ukon and Kariya Kagetoki - a peerless swordsman of such great talent that he is known widely as the 'Hand of God'!
** During Episode 21, Jin meets an old hermit called Matagi. Later, when the hermit is asked about his real name he quietly mutters that he is actually ''Miyamoto Mushashi'' - perhaps the most legendary Japanese swordsman in history! When Jin asks him to repeat himself more loudly the old hermit dismisses the topic.
* ''{{Manga/Naruto}}'':
** [[ScaryBlackMan Killer]] [[UncleTomfoolery Bee]] can fight with ''[[UpToEleven seven]]'' swords at once by holding them in every possible place on his body, ''[[CrazyAwesome except for his hands]]''.
** [[SamuraiInNinjaTown Mifune]] is a master IaijutsuPractitioner capable of holding his own against high level shinobi despite [[BadassNormal having no ninjutsu or genjutsu]].
** Anyone who becomes one of the 7 Swordsmen of the Mist is this by default as well, particularly Zabuza, who probably has the most [[spoiler:relatively]] normal sword out of the group, and was able to give Kakashi a run for his money [[spoiler:even after his resurrection by Edo Tensei]].
* ''{{Manga/Yaiba}}'' is full of powerful swordsman, including the eponymous hero by the end, [[TheRival Takeshi Onimaru]], UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi, UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro, UsefulNotes/YagyuJubei, [[NiceGuy Soshi Okita]], and [[CoolOldGuy Kenjuro Kurogane.]]
* ''Manga/LoneWolfAndCub'':
** Ogami Itto. Being the former Executioner of the Shogun, he was expected to fight for the right to get such a cushy job, presumably besting every other swordsman in Japan for the right to be "the Shogun's right hand". Consequently, when he goes rogue, no man/woman/ninja hit squad can stand against him. At one point in the series he literally fights off an entire crowd of female assassins while drugged unconscious. Despite this, the series is fantastic for trying to find new, creative ways for the bad guys to provide some challenge worthy of him. His enemies, acknowledging him as the greatest swordsman in Japan, will attempt to send, say, the greatest rifleman in Japan against him, or some such.
** Yagyu Retsudo, the series main antagonist, is also a master swordsman and {{Ninja}}.
** Yamada Asaemon is the Shogun's sword-tester, and is thought to be the only swordsman in Japan who can match Ogami. [[spoiler: He goes up against Ogami, and is only defeated because Retsudo secretly tampered with his sword]]. The creators later made a spin-off starring Asaemon, ''Manga/SamuraiExecutioner''.
* Oyuki from ''Manga/LadySnowblood'', is a Master Swordswoman who uses a short sword concealed in a parasol.
* Hattori Hanzo in ''Path Of The Assassin'', in addition to his Ninjutsu skills.
* Goemon Ishikawa of ''Franchise/LupinIII''. His demonstrations of ImplausibleFencingPowers pretty much fit into every category, and it would actually be shorter to list the things he ''hasn't'' managed to cut in half. His fighting skills without the sword are nothing to sneeze at either.
* Nanashi and Luo-Lang from ''Anime/SwordOfTheStranger''.
* ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'':
** Captain Unohana is [[AllThereInTheManual reputed]] to be a master swordsman even though she's the top CombatMedic of the Gotei 13.
** Hisagi's fame with swordsmanship is [[AllThereInTheManual solidified]] when he proves to be capable of defeating the also renowned swordsman Yumichika in a sword duel.
** Jinemon Kotsubaki, former 7th Division lieutenant and father of 13th division third-seat Sentaro, was renowned as a master swordsman.
** Yachiru is the name given to the only shinigami that ever mastered all known styles and forms of sword combat, who was also the person that founded both the 11th division and the "Kenpachi" title, which is given to the strongest captain in any given generation of captains. [[spoiler:She is eventually revealed to be Captain Unohana.]]
* ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'':
** [[TheAce Conrad]] is the 'best swordsman in Shin Makoku' and turns out to have an international reputation; he takes after his father, Dan Hiri, who was a widely known master in his day. ''Gunter,'' who is easily taken for a SquishyWizard, turns out to be amazing with a blade as well. (Yuuri has still never seen him fight.)
** In season three we learn Gunter ''trained'' Conrad--in his adolescence (i.e. [[HalfHumanHybrid maybe fifty years old]]?) he was getting to be cocky and bitter due to his [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer social isolation]] and genius, and Gunter, who was still teaching back then, [[CurbStompBattle handed him his ass]] to show how much he still had to learn. Their only battle during show-time (probably best fight in the series) was inconclusive, since Conrad had a separate agenda and ran away at the first opportunity he could make.
** Hube is also pretty damn good, and prone to cutting improbable things; he fixated on Conrad in his first appearance because he knew only a master-level fighter [[DeathSeeker could defeat him]].
* Kuno, from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', is a KendoTeamCaptain and is capable of doing tremendous damage with a bokken. He is a scarily skilled fighter, despite his ''many'' personality flaws and general idiocy.
* Kamika from ''Manga/ShikabaneHime''. Her sword skills earned her the in-universe [[TheyCallHimSword title]] "Sword Princess" and she's even been shown capable of creating [[SwordBeam massive explosions]] just by drawing her [[DualWielding twin katana's]].
* ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'':
** Shiki Ryougi is mainly known for being a KnifeNut, but her skill with a sword was enough to [[spoiler: surprise and eventually kill an [[BigBad immortal Buddhist mage]] who had basically set up an alternate reality to capture her.]]
** Shiki's father is also implied to be one, since he trained her in the first place. We only see him in flashbacks and in one practice match with her that he wins handily, though.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** Signum, the MagicKnight ancient leader of the Wolkenritter. She's introduced in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' as someone who could match [[MultiMeleeMaster Fate]] in melee combat even while holding back, and is later shown fighting a [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS Post-Strikers]] Nanoha on [[SuperMode Blaster Mode Lv 1]] to a draw even though she was fighting in standard form.
** In ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'', Cypha was introduced as the master swordsman of the Huckebein group and, [[TheWorfEffect as a show of power]], {{curbstomp|Battle}}s Signum in their first duel after she's shown to be immune to all of Signum's attacks. And as it turns out Curren is even better, stomping Erio and Vita without even needing to go SuperMode.
* Hinagiku Katsura of HayateNoGotoku is also the KendoTeamCaptain in addition to being the StudentCouncilPresident and has proven to have far greater skill than the rest of the club put together. She has acquired two magical swords so far. The first is [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter Wooden Masamune]] which lets her cut ghosts and brings out its wielder's maximum potential, and seems to be semi-sentient as it is very fond of her, either for wielding it so well in battle or because [[EvenTheGirlsWantHer everyone is fond of Hinagiku]]. The second is Shirosakura which seems to be made out of crystal and she's been shown easily slicing through boulders with it and it seems like it may be able to kill ghosts as well...and let's her fly (which she's used only once due to [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes her intense fear of heights]]. Notably, she is able to pull these swords [[SummonToHand seemingly from nowhere]], though we did get a humorous short of Isumi lamenting that Wooden Masamune keeps disappearing, shown to be from answering Hinagiku's call for it whenever she finds monsters and ghosts in need of a beat-down.
** While he claimed otherwise early on in the series, Hayate himself is about on-par with Hinagiku. In a duel with [[StalkerWithACrush Kotetsu]], Hayate nearly killed him with the incredible speed and power of his strikes and in Greece he was able to one-shot a 12 foot tall Minotaur with little effort using only a decorative sword from a nearby suit of armor. Borrowing Wooden Masamune he could even deflect the StormOfBlades from the Greece Arc's BigBad and defeat it without taking much more damage than he already had.
** Athena may count as this due to being the one who taught Hayate. She certainly had skill in the End of the World {{Flashback}} arc but hasn't done much fighting in the present.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', there's Erza Scarlet, one of the strongest characters in the series, has lot and lots of swords. She usually {{Dual Wield|ing}}s two {{BFS}}es.
* Lafarga of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' is a swordsman with no magic, but he's strong enough that he can create RazorWind just by [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower swinging his weapon]]. Even Hikaru, who's pretty good with a sword, can't beat him while he's BrainwashedAndCrazy. The title given to him in-universe is "Dal".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Cutter from ''Comicbook/ElfQuest''. [[MeaningfulName No, really.]]
* {{Katana}} in Franchise/TheDCU.
* John Doe, the eponymous protagonist of ''ComicBook/NthManTheUltimateNinja''.
* The Swordsman from ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse.
* Don Cabellero, a CaptainErsatz of Franchise/{{Zorro}} in Creator/DCComics western titles.
* "Comicbook/{{Blade}}" has his name for a reason.
* In ''Comicbook/TheTombOfDracula'' (#49), the Count defeats both Zorro and D'Artagnan with the blade. Given the age of Dracula's birth and the length of his Unlife, it makes sense that he'd be a consummate duelist; as ''Film/GroundhogDay'' showed, practice anything for enough centuries and you'll get really good. Then again, the story does leave us asking OrWasItADream
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Practically every Jedi character with a real role in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy. Qui-Gon Jinn displays quite a lot of skill, but even he's defeated by Darth Maul, who fights him and Obi-Wan Kenobi to a standstill at the same time. Obi-Wan later defeats General Grievous (who notably wields ''four'' lightsabers against Obi's one), as well as the newly minted Darth Vader. Yoda also reveals himself to be an incredible swordsman despite appearing to be decrepit in the original trilogy. However, Darth Sidious (who earlier in the film defeated ''four'' Jedi Masters single-handed) manages to best him in their duel. In episode II, Dooku easily handles both Obi-Wan and Anakin; in episode III, after Dooku incapacitates Obi-Wan, Anakin easily bests him.
* ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' features ''two'' master swordsmen in the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya, who have a memorable duel. The film also name-drops a number of historical fencing masters during their duel.
* Many characters from ''Film/KillBill'', especially the Bride, Bill, and O-Ren Ishi. The Bride uses her [[CoolSword Hattori Hanzo sword]], and of course every swordsman uses a {{katana|sAreJustBetter}}.
* [[Creator/TimRoth Archibald Cunningham]] in ''Film/RobRoy'' is a master swordsman with sadistic tendencies. He spends most of the final SwordFight toying with Rob Roy, dancing around him and bleeding him slowly until he's collapsing from fatigue.
* Kyuuzou and Kambei from ''Film/SevenSamurai'', though not the other samurai.
* Sanjuro from ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' and ''Film/{{Sanjuro}}''.
* Madmartigan in ''Film/{{Willow}}''.
* Hirayama Kujuro, Shimada Shinzaemon, Kuranaga Saheita, and Kitou Hanbei from ''Film/ThirteenAssassins''.
* Ichi, from ''Franchise/{{Zatoichi}}'', is one of the Trope Codifiers for BlindWeaponmaster and HandicappedBadass.
* ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' is a master swordsman in all his incarnations and movies. It's helped in both the 1922 and 1940 versions of ''Film/TheMarkOfZorro'', where he's played by Douglas Fairbanks and Tyrone Power, respectively, both of whom were expert fencers.
* Nameless and Broken Sword in ''Film/{{Hero}}''.
* Aragorn in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy.
* Lancelot in ''Film/{{Excalibur}}''.
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'': Cloud, who expertly uses a composite BFS composed of [[BifurcatedWeapon six component swords]], either individually or in DualWielding combos.
* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'': William Wallace occasionally uses other weapons, but he always goes into war with his signature claymore and never loses a fight with it in his hand.
* Maximus in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' uses his gladius to good effect.
* Most of the immortals in ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}''.
* ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'': He-Man and the antagonist Blade.
* ''Film/ByTheSword'' is centered on a conflict between two fencing masters.
* Most of the characters in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' are pretty good with a sword, but Will is noted to be the most skilled (at least in terms of technique). Pity that he's usually fighting pirates and rarely has the CombatPragmatist qualities required to take them on.
* Both [[VillainProtagonist Ryunosuke Tsukue]] and Toranosuke Shimada in ''Film/TheSwordOfDoom'' are the best swordsmen around, easily cutting down scores of other swordsmen.
* In ''Film/CaptainKronosVampireHunter'', Kronos himself and Lord Hagen Durward (whose tombstone proclaims him the finest swordsman of his day). Unsurprisingly, the film ends with a duel between the two.
* Blade in the ''Film/{{Blade}}'' film series.
* ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982''.
* Azazel from ''Film/XMenFirstClass''. Add the teleporting, and it's a deadly combination.
* ''Film/StarTrek'': Sulu takes out two Romulans with a [[KatanasAreJustBetter fold-out katana]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Many knights and some other characters are noted as such in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
** [[PosthumousCharacter Ser Arthur Dayne]] is generally remembered as the quintessential "greatest swordsman," aided no doubt by his ThunderboltIron sword Dawn. Jaime Lannister tells Ser Loras Tyrell, "I served with Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who could have slain [all six of the other current Kingsguard] with his left hand while taking a piss with his right."
** Jaime is famed as possibly the best swordsman in Westeros in his prime.
** Syrio Forel is the former First Sword of Braavos, a culture that takes its fencing very seriously. He kills several armed and armored guardsmen with his wooden practice stick.
** Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard, is near the [[BadAssGrandpa age of 60]] and generally held as the last representative of a bygone age of chivalry and heroes. He's quick enough to kill two guardsmen without a weapon and is also no slouch with a quarterstaff. According to WordOfGod, Selmy in his youth could have fought even Dayne to a standstill, if the latter was armed with a normal sword instead of Dawn.
** Qhorin Halfhand is a legendary ranger of the Night's Watch, famed for his skill with a sword. He's got his nickname when the fingers of his right hand were cut off by a wildling; he sprayed the blood into the wildling's eyes and killed him. He then spent years training his left hand with the sword, and became as good with his left hand as he had with his right.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'': Blademaster is an actual title within the setting, earned either by being recognized as such by a group of pre-existing blademasters or by killing one in a duel. The Heron-mark sword is the symbol of a blademaster, and you're only supposed to carry one if you've earned it.
** [[TheChosenOne Rand]] earns his position as a blademaster after killing [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking a Seanchan High Blood]] at the climax of the second book. At this point in the series, he's still not very far removed from a being a simple sheepherder, so it's quite an accomplishment.
** Lan is the stand out in the series--in the prequel to the series, seven men come to kill him. He muses to himself as he faces them that only in stories does one man face seven and come out unharmed...or alive. He doesn't do the former, but obviously manages the latter. There are many others, too, and having a 'Heron Marked' blade is the sign of a true master swordsman.
** Other significant ones include Galad, Gawyn, and a couple of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Forsaken]], notably Be'lal (who helped ''invent'' swordsmanship, or at least rediscover it as a form of combat, apparently) and [[spoiler: Demandred, who proves himself in the last book to be quite possibly the greatest swordsman in the entire series, beating three master swordsmen in succession in one battle, and only dying because [[TakingYouWithMe the third was willing to take a fatal wound in order to get close enough to deliver one in return]]]]. Commonly-taught Warder history is that a Warder named Jeroam was the greatest swordsman in history; in his lifetime he supposedly fought in ten thousand battles and duels, at one time defeating ten men at once, and lost only one of those fights (to a farmer with a quarterstaff).
** Notably averted by the Aiel, who are some of the most badass people in the world, but refuse to use swords.
* ''Literature/{{Dune}}'': The planet Ginaz is famed for training the best swordsmen in existence.
** The most famous of the Ginaz swordsmen is Jool Noret, the first true Swordmaster. His skill with a blade was so great that no man or machine could kill him. Only a massive tidal wave finally ended him.
** Duncan Idaho. A Ginaz-trained swordsman, bodyguard and fencing teacher, who is entrusted with protecting and tutoring Paul.
** Gurney Halleck (who notably is ''not'' Ginaz-trained), is also a master by any standard, perhaps even moreso than Duncan. While public perception is that Duncan is clearly better (if not ''much'' better), Duncan states that Gurney beats him six times out of ten when they spar.
* Benedict in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber''. Most of the male members of the Royal Family of Amber are expert with a sword, but Benedict is universally acknowledged as being the greatest among them.
* There is an ancient order of Mantids in ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt'' known as the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Weaponsmasters]]. While many of them prefer the [[ImprobableWeaponUser Claw]] (an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge), there're a good number of rapier specialists - including [[spoiler:Tynisa]], by the end of the second book.
* In the Literature/TortallUniverse we have Gareth the Elder of Naxen, who Alanna says is the best swordsman in the kingdom. Alanna herself becomes one later- the ''Protector of the Small'' series mentions that she's never lost a fight as King's Champion.
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'' has several characters noted for their sword skills. It's unusual in that much of this skill comes from [[ExtraOredinary metalcrafting]], magical abilities that increase their mental focus and pain resistance, and allow them to sense metal.
** The best of them is generally held to be Araris Valerian, whose abilities are advanced enough [[spoiler: that he can transform his skin into metal]]. Since most of the [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking high lords]] are excellent metalcrafters stone knives are favored for assassination attempts.
** [[NobleDemon Aldrick ex Gladius]] and [[DarkActionGirl Phrygiar Navaris]] are both only ''just'' below Araris in terms of skill, and are similarly famous for their abilities.
** Sir Miles is also up there, before his leg got crippled, he was just below Aldrick [[spoiler: his crippled leg is thanks to his brother Araris pushing him in front of cart so that Miles wouldn't be killed by Aldrick]], [[spoiler: Tavi]] is also pretty good after training from[[spoiler:Araris, he]] also kills [[PsychoForHire Phrygiar Navaris]]. The epicness of the duel that took place between Aldrick ex Gladius and Araris Valerian prior to the first novel is such that many characters continuously cite it as the greatest contest of skill ever seen in Alera, [[BerserkButton Aldrick does not share that sentiment.]]
** Princeps Gaius Septimus may in fact be the only person to equal Araris Valerian, its ambiguous whether Septimus is the most skilled swordsman to have lived or that Araris deliberately underplayed his abilities when sparring with the Princeps to give this illusion.
* Alan Breck Stewart in Stevenson's ''Kidnapped''.
* Franchise/{{Zorro}}, of course. In ''The Curse of Capistrano'', he easily is the best swordsman in the area, and later works only cement his status as a Master Swordsman.
* Hiro in ''Literature/SnowCrash''. Says so right on his business card. The claim seems dubious at first. His success in VR seems to come from the fact that he wrote the swordfighting code himself. In the real world, however, he proves to be just about as good as he claims he is.
* In Creator/DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Flag in Exile]]'', Steadholder Burdette was ranked among the top fifty swordsmen on Grayson. Unfortunately for him, he discovers the hard way that tournament rankings don't translate to skills in life-or-death battles, as it doesn't really engage the "kill or be killed" mindset.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse:
** Luke Skywalker has become such a god with a lightsaber that one VillainSue who thinks of himself as a GodModeSue admits to himself that Luke is better with a lightsaber than he is. In ''[[Literature/FateOfTheJedi Fate of the Jedi: Abyss]]'', Luke is able to pick apart a Sith teacher ''in one opening'' while facing two highly skilled attackers simultaneously, despite having been weakened for several ''weeks'' (and near death!) by performing the Jedi equivalent of astral projection. And when lightsaber sparring with his own son Ben, no slouch despite his youth, he defeats him without taking out his lightsaber for a very long time, and at the start doesn't even have to take a step.
** In the ''RevengeOfTheSith'' novelization, author Matt Stover's own knowledge of martial arts comes into play in terms of stylistic matches. Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku) is the unparalleled master of Makashi, the lightsaber form that is more or less fencing, good enough to match none other than Yoda to a draw and edge out Mace Windu back in the days when they dueled regularly. However, Anakin's preferred form of Djem So, which involves inexorable advancement and pure kinetic power, proves to be the weakness of Makashi (in combination with Anakin's significant physical strength and Count Dooku being an older man). Mace Windu, for his part, outshines Yoda and Darth Sidious. Furthermore, due to his use of the [[GameBreaker shatterpoint]] Force ability, Mace can see the weaknesses of nearly anything in life. Those two things are what allowed him to defeat Sidious. Only Anakin's intervention prevented him from achieving victory (although it's never been quite clear if Sidious allowed Windu to win, anticipating Anakin's arrival and intending to use it to turn him to the dark side). Earlier, Windu acknowledged Obi-Wan as ''the'' master of Soresu, the [[StoneWall ultimate defensive saber form.]] He also notes that despite his own terrific skill with a blade in having ''invented his own lightsaber technique'', and Master Yoda's mastery of Ataru (the most nimble and acrobatic form), they were styles chosen to overcome deficiencies, whereas Obi-Wan refined his mastery of Soresu to the point he did almost entirely out of tactical considerations and because it fit best with his personality, making him the best choice to take on General Grievous, who fights with ''four'' lightsabers at once.
* In the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', [[BadassNormal Brys Beddict]], [[PhysicalGod Anomander Rake]] and [[BadassGrandpa Kallor]], [[WorldOfBadass amongst others]], would all qualify. The Seguleh are [[PlanetOfHats a whole race of these]]; their culture focuses on swordsmanship to the exclusion of all else, to the extent that they're ranked according to their sword skill, and as such are regarded as some of the deadliest hand-to-hand combatants in the whole WorldOfBadass.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' by Creator/JimButcher, we have Shiro, Knight of the Cross. He is only around for a single book, but in that book we see him as being a swordsman without mortal peer. In the space of a second and a half, he kills two mooks and holds a fallen angel hostage. He is so skilled that a [[TimeAbyss two-thousand year old]] {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le villain possessed by a FallenAngel, who has killed over a hundred Knights of the Cross, is scared of him. As Michael put it, "Shiro knew fencing like Mozart knew music".
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'', Inigo spends many years trying to become a Master Swordsman. When he's finished his training, he's actually graduated to the even higher level of "Wizard." Even still, the Man in Black defeats him.
* In RA Salvatore's ''Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy'', the drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden is one of the greatest swordsmen in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. His primary disadvantage is that he is small and, while in excellent shape, not as strong as, say, an orc king or an ogre warrior. He starts training at sixteen; in most of the novels, he's around seventy or eighty, but for a dark elf that's still young.
* Many characters in Creator/SMStirling's Literature/{{Emberverse}}, notably Mike Havel, Norman Arminger, Pam Arnstein, Astrid Larsson, Tiphaine d'Ath, Rudi Mackenzie, and Mathilda Arminger.
* Literature/TheThreeMusketeers, especially the hot-blooded D'Artagnan and the wise OldMaster Athos. Porthos is prodigiously strong and Aramis is quite the BadassBookworm.
* Literature/JohnCarterOfMars, the greatest swordsman of two worlds, at least. He's not the only one, though, what with swordsmanship being an incredibly prized skill among the Martian races, almost all of whom are varying degrees of {{Proud Warrior Race|Guy}}. In particular, Carter complements the [[PathOfInspiration Therns]] for their swordsmanship (though it's the ''only'' thing he finds praiseworthy about [[AlwaysChaoticEvil them]]), and the Okar (Yellow Martian) elite guard [[BadassGrandpa Solan]] gives Carter a serious run for his money in the third book.
* This is one of the things about Commissar Literature/CiaphasCain that makes one stop and wonder just how fair he's being to himself in insisting he's no hero. He's explicitly said to be very good at it, and all kinds of inhuman monstrosities and {{Super Soldier}}s have found their rampage stopped by one (usually secretly terrified) human officer wielding a chain sword who just won't die.
* Richard of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' becomes this due to the memories magically imbued in the titular sword, accrued from every single former user of the blade. He unlocks the knowledge in battle with ''thirty blademasters''. Each one is also an example of this trope, coming from a culture that has been training for 3,000 years just to help Richard unlock the sword's power. Richard also becomes an expert with all sorts of bladed implements. His skill with the symbolic language of magic is ultimately explained by it being analogous to swordsmanship.
* Lancelot from Arthurian myth, including literature such as ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'' and ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'', is the greatest knight in the realm.
* Gilbert of ''Literature/TheWitchWatch'' appears to be this. He talks about swords frequently and trained with them from a young age. [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Being able to disarm someone by letting them stab you and just turning away]] is useful, but Prince Leopold is clearly in another class.
* ''Literature/{{Lyonesse}}'': Aillas doesn't come across as someone who's even interested in fighting, but when he encounters a legendary outlaw and swordsman sent to murder him, he [[SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat suddenly reveals]] that he's just about the best swordsman in the land. A character who witnesses the duel warns her family that "he's a demon with a sword!"
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica: In terms of skill Taurok outclasses everyone else in the setting.
* In The Literature/InheritanceCycle, Eragon apparently becomes one of these. It's hard to tell, sometimes, although after he loses his special Rider sword, he gets himself a falchion without losing any level of proficiency.
* Adolin Kholin of ''Literature/TheWayOfKings'' is generally agreed to be ''the'' single best swordsman on the planet, to the point where his central purpose in life is dueling.
* ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' has several. Among them, Prince Arutha in the early books is well-known for his skill with the rapier; in the later books, Talwin Hawkins and his son Tyrone are both declared Champions of the Masters' Court (that is, winners of worldwide swordfighting tournaments).
* Litereature/ElsabethSoesten and Brother Hieronymus both are highly skilled with the sword, the former preferring the longsword, while Hieronymus prefers the sword and buckler. UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship is a major influence.
* In XVII century Poland, fencing was an important skill,so it comes to reason that most (male) characters in Literature/SienkiewiczTrilogy are at least decent at it. But Michał Wołodyjowski is repeatedly stated and shown to be cream of the crop. PlotArmour is the only thing that can save you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Nasir in ''Series/RobinOfSherwood''. Usually uses [[DualWielding two swords at once]], but is just as deadly with only one.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' have their share:
** Hiba Takayuki from ''Series/TaiyouSentaiSunVulcan''
** Doggie Krueger from ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger''. In a police-themed series, he's the ''only'' character using a sword - and his first scene as a Ranger involves wiping out 100 henchmen without breaking a sweat. [[Series/PowerRangersSPD His American version]] matches up.
** All of the Rangers in ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' seem to have more of a focus on swordplay than the standard Ranger team, but especially Shiba Takeru and Fuwa Juzo in the former and their counterparts Jayden and Deker in the latter. Understandably, [[BloodKnight Juzo/Deker]] sees Takeru/Jayden as a WorthyOpponent. An interesting partial subversion in ''Shinkenger'' is that Takeru is stated to only be the third most skilled swordsman of the team (and that was before the SixthRanger for the season showed up), but his {{Determinator}} status more than closes the gap.
** Joe Gibken from ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger''
* From ''Series/{{GARO}}'', we have the protagonist Kouga Saejima, his father Taiga Saejima, and his rival-turned-best friend Rei Suzumura. Later, the second season introduced [[BigBad The Man in The Red Mask]] the one-off character [[{{Samurai}} Igari Juzo]] in episode 8, Kouga's mentor Wataru Shijima and [[spoiler: Makai Priest Reo Fudou]].
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Syrio Forel, Jaime Lannister and Ned Stark all display high skill at swordsmanship. For his part, Jaime Lannister describes the swordsmanship of Barristan Selmy with awe, calling him "a painter who only uses red".
* Every Immortal in ''Series/{{Highlander}}'', since they depend on their swordsmanship to stay alive for centuries.
* Richard in ''LegendOfTheSeeker'' can defeat pretty much anyone with the Sword of Truth, in large part thanks to the sword's abilities. The BigBad Darken Rahl is also pretty good with a sword, although he is known to use magic to trick his opponents.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The kensai/weapons master class kit is a subclass of fighter who forfeits all armor in favor of sword mastery. He can take ''five'' skill levels in a single weapon (other fighter classes can take up to two) and do, indeed, crazy things with swords. For example, a level 16 Weapons Master DualWielding {{katanas|AreJustBetter}} (which he is fully proficient with) with Haste buff can land as much as 24 successful hits in one round.
** Any fighter that specializes in a sword will get a bonus to attack and damage while using a sword, turning him or her into, essentially, a master swordsman.
** The Duelist prestige class from 3rd Edition is a master fencer. The class focuses on combat with a light weapon (usually a rapier), with the off-hand kept free.
** The Player's Option Guide for 2nd Edition introduced Weapon Mastery, High Mastery and Grand Mastery for Fighters opening the door for Grand-Master swordsmen.
* ''WarhammerFantasy''
** High Elf [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Swordmasters]], an order of warrior-ascetics who wield [[{{BFS}} massive two-handed swords]] with enough speed and dexterity to deflect arrows.
** Sword wielding [[TheBerserker Champions of Khorne]] are similar, but don't fight in a particularly graceful manner. They can still easily match Swordmasters blow for blow.
** Chaos Chosen in general fit fairly well with this trope, and have the advantage of [[TinTyrant superior]] [[ImplacableMan durability]] over most examples.
** Wood Elf [[DanceBattler Wardancers]] are some of the only infantry in the game up to par with the Swordmasters, though since they focus on DualWielding they tend to be more durable and hit with more attacks than the Swordmasters at the expense of some stopping power.
* Many examples from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''.
** The Dark Eldar Incubi. Unlike most Dark Eldar who fight for [[CombatSadomasochist pleasure]], [[YourSoulIsMine souls]] or [[{{Greed}} riches]], the Incubi are a warrior sect who believe [[BloodKnight the fight is the reason]]. Their WeaponOfChoice is a {{BFS}} which can cleave clean through [[PoweredArmor Terminator power armour]], and the Incubi wield this weapon with the grace of a cheerleader wielding a baton.
*** Lelith Hesperax, Wych Champion supreme. Well over 10 thousands year old, regularly participates in Wych arena performances [[note]]More like free for all bloodbaths against the most dangerous things from the galaxy and beyond that Dark Eldar manage to bring to arena. In most artistic and painful ways of course.[[/note]], raids in Imperial Space and internal power struggles with the later being the most dangerous. Notable for total abstain from use of combat drugs and lack of any scars to show for her trouble. She fights with a pair of short blades.
*** Drazhar, Living Sword. No one knows what he is, but he is wearing original Pre-Fall Incubi armor and the same sword, never speaks a word and can best [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Hierarch of Great Incubi Shrine]] with ridiculous ease. Rumored to be fallen Phoenix Lord.
** The Craftworld Eldar [[AmazonBrigade Howling Banshees]]. Armed with similar weapons and similarly skilled as the Incubi, these ladies are utterly deadly. [[note]] Disregard that, Banshees no longer carry AP2 swords.[[/note]]
*** Jain Zahr, the Storm of Silence. Phoenix Lord of Howling banshees. The founder of the Aspect and the single best swordsman of the Eldar race.
*** Avatar of Khaine has superb weapon skill on the tabletop rivaled by none. He often fights with a longsword made of molten metal.
** Interestingly, [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranid]] Hive Tyrants, armed with razor-sharp bone blades on arms. The Swarmlord takes this to an even greater degree, wielding FOUR swords at once and creating an impenetrable wall of whirling blades to anything that tries to engage it in melee.
** The Tau are more known for their skill at long-range combat, but they have produced a few skilled close-quarters combatants. [[DefectorFromDecadence Commander Farsight]]'s AceCustom Crisis battlesuit is armed with a huge sword, the Dawn Blade, speculated to be of Necron, Chaos or Eldar origin, and he's good enough with it to have fought the previously-mentioned Swarmlord to a draw. The [[CoolOldGuy Ethereal Aun'shi]] is a master with the ritual [[BladeOnAStick Honour Blade]]; in one battle where a mining colony was under attack by Orks, TheCavalry arrived just in time to find him at the gates to an Ethereal shrine, surrounded by Ork corpses, his Honour Blade slick with blood.
** The [[SuperSoldier Space Marines]] often wield swords of various kinds and are extremely proficient at wielding them. Even among the Space Marines, Lucius the Eternal is considered a supremely powerful swordsman, capable of cutting down several times his number of elite Space Marines with little difficulty.
*** Lucius has weird fluff. While it is established that he is a superb swordsman, same fluff outright states that Lucius loses duels rather often. Even worse is the fact that due to Lucius ability[[note]]Due to patronage of Slaanesh, Lucius is reborn in the bodies of those who kill him. The souls of those unfortunate are eternally bound to his armor.[[/note]], it results in the fact that Lucius rather often kills Xenos and Chaos Champions that [[NiceJobFixingItVillain possess skills superior to his own.]]
*** Abaddon. Joke about his arms all you want, he is the only living thing in M41 that comes close to the might of the Primarchs. His sword, Drach'Nyen was witnessed to destroy a Land Raider and flay souls of those it touched.
*** On the Loyalist side the best sword fighter is probably Lord of Death, Mephiston.
* The advantage Weapon Master in ''{{TabletopGame/GURPS}}'' is designed for this exact purpose. Not only can you do more damage with your chosen weapon, but you're also proficient with anything similar to it.
* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'', with the right Schticks, can create a character like this. The Leaping Storm fu path in particular is based on Wuxia and specializes in high-flying swordplay.
* According to [[WordOfGod Ed Greenwood]], the creator of ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', the top swordsmen in the Realms are in order: the human Harmel Artru of Sembia, the half-elf and son of Alustriel Maethrammar Aerasume of Silverymoon, the human Loaros Hammarandar of Narubel, the human Ember Tsartaera from Aglarond, the human Skoalam Marlgrask from Chessenta, and the dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden. Artemis Entreri, Drizzt's nemesis, ranks around ninth. Greenwood also clarified that the rankings can change very quickly given that all of them are ''so close'' to each other in skill level.
* In all incarnations of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'', the Kakita and Mirumoto are entire families of master swordsmen.
* ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'':
** skills worth mentioning are usually rated from Average (+1) to Superb (+5), a one-point difference in modifiers is significant, and a two-point difference is a pretty good indication of who will usually win a straight dice-off.
** According to his ''Our World'' writeup, Shiro Yoshimo has a baseline Weapons skill of ''Fantastic (+6)''...''plus'' easily 2-3 aspects invokable in combat for another +2 or a reroll each, assuming sufficient fate points...plus another couple of combat stunts and the usual holy powers of a Knight of the Cross on top of that, and none of this is really figuring in the innate powers of his Sword yet.
** The other two Knights as well as experienced Wardens like Morgan are also sword masters, though not as great as Shiro.
* Solar and Abyssal ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' who favour Melee can do things with a sword that would make Miyamoto Musashi swear to be a better person for the rest of his life in exchange for just one lesson. Titan-slaying power is nice like that.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Several from the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series, which shares many characters with ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''. Though the main characters wield giant Keys, they are functionally magic swords. In that vein, MickeyMouse and Riku are Master Swordsman, as well as Terra, Xehanort, and Eraqus from the prequel (Aqua and Ven from the prequel probably don't count as one specializes in {{magic|Knight}} while the other is just generally inexperienced). You also have [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Auron]], {{Disney/Mulan}} eventually, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Leon]], and [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa]]. However, the main character, Sora, comes to eclipse them all due to the sheer amount of experience he has whacking {{Eldritch Abomination}}s and Disney Villains with his Keyblade.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has plenty of them:
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'': Cecil and King Baron (Who gets to show them off as the Eidolon Odin).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': Cyan.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Sephiroth and Cloud.
** The ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' prequel ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'': Genesis, Angeal, and Zack to a slightly lesser extent.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': Squall and Seifer were renowned for being the only two to master a notoriously difficult type of sword.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': General Beatrix and Steiner.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': Auron.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'': Basch.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'': Lightning.
** ''{{VideoGame/Dissidia|FinalFantasy}}'': [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]].
** [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh Gilgamesh]] [[ThatOneBoss in]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV all]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII of]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX his]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII appearances]].
* Tricolour in the second ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' can take on the Nazi Army and keep up with Freedom Force's super powered heroes with just Olympic level fencing.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games all had several examples in the in-game literature.
** Alix Lencolia in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' is acknowledged as the best sword fighter (with the exception of the PC if you max out the Blade skill) and the only Master Blade Trainer (who can train Blade to the highest level of 100) in the game.
** Frandar Hunding was a Redguard hero known as an "Ansei": swordsmen that could create weapons ''[[InsubstantialIngredients with their minds.]]'' Says Allena Benoch, another Master Swordsman, of Hunding and swordsmanship in general:
-->"Frandar Hunding lists thirty-eight grips, seven hundred and fifty offensive and eighteen hundred defensive positions, and nearly nine thousand moves essential to sword mastery. The average hack-and-slasher knows one grip, which he uses primarily to keep from dropping his blade. He knows one offensive position, facing his target, and one defensive position, fleeing. Of the multitudinous rhythms and inflections of combat, he knows less than one."
** An in-universe short story states that there were some Redguard masters so skilled that their blades could be used to [[FantasticNuke cut atoms]], causing the massive explosion that destroyed their home continent of Yokuda. Cyrus the Restless (the protagonist of the spin-off game ''Redguard'') bluffs out Vivec, an archetypal GodModeSue, with the very ''idea'' of it and forces the god to flee.
* Most characters belonging to the Myrmidon class and its ascended class Swordmaster in the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series are portrayed this way. Ayra and her [[InTheBlood daughter]] from the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral fourth episode]] are the most "emblematic" example. If she falls in love and [[BattleCouple fights alongside her mate]], Lakche, Ayra's daughter, can attack up to [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill forty times]] per turn with a 99% chance of doing a critical hit each time.
* The old ''Tales'' character cameo BonusBoss in the ''Franchise/TalesSeries'' coliseums will invariably be billed as either a stupendously skilled foreigner or the greatest swordsman in the world. There are also these in actual canon, and often they will berate the BookDumb main character for their crude self-taught technique instead of a "real" style. Early examples: Ras to Rid in ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'', Kratos to Lloyd in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''.
* Royal Guards and Elvish Champions from ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'': the Falcon Rune is a good indicator of the really skilled, accomplished swordsmen among the Stars of Destiny. Standout examples are Valeris (''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' and ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'') and Belcoot (''VideoGame/SuikodenV'').
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'': Georg Prime. He has nations across two continents calling him [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "Deathblow"]] like it's his first name. There's [[CrutchCharacter a good reason]] that, in [[VideoGame/SuikodenII one of these games]], you don't get him until pretty close to the end, and in the [[VideoGame/SuikodenV other]], he spends about 2/3 of it unavailable to your party because he's on some 'secret mission'.
* Karel from ''VideoGame/FireEmblem 6'' and ''7''. In ''7'' (the prequel), he's reviled and admired as the infamous [[BloodKnight 'Sword Demon']], but, after [[spoiler:the death of his sister]], he becomes OlderAndWiser by the time the events of ''6'' occur, and changes his title to 'Saint of Swords'.
* The various Links in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series all become master swordsmen sooner or later (depending on the game). After all, they ''do'' wield the ''[[CoolSword Master Sword]]'' at one point or another.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', there is a sword school in West Clock Town run by an OldMaster Swordsman, who can teach Link sword techniques for a fee.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', Orca is an old man living on Outset Island who spent his life studying swordsmanship. He teaches swordsmanship to Link and gives him the Hero's Sword. He grades Link's ability until Link surpasses him.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Link's mentor is Rusl, who is another master swordsman. There's also the Hero's Shade, who passes up to seven secret sword skills to Link. He's a previous incarnation of Link, having been the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Hero of Time]] himself.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', Eagus has the role of teaching the students of the Knight Academy everything about swordfights. As expected, Link is one of those students.
* Ezio Auditore from ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII''. Certainly, one who can consistently strike the weak points of plate-clad opponents in a stand-up fight is no slouch.
* Edward Kenway in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIV'' is skilled enough to DualWield swords.
* {{Tykebomb}} Ramirez from ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia''. Coupled with his magic sword, Fina claims he is able to cut ''photons'' in half. His special ability involves him ''cutting a hole in time'' and using the moment of timelessness to beat up your entire party.
* Several of the units in ''{{Franchise/Disgaea}}'' start off with swords as their most effective weapons and definitely become this by the time you've learned all their moves.
* Meta Knight from ''{{VideoGame/Kirby}}'', although this characteristic is developed further in the [[Anime/KirbyOfTheStars anime adaptation.]]
* From the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series, Zero's primary weapon is his signature [[LaserBlade Z-Saber]], with which he is able to do many advanced techniques like a ThreePointCombo and a [[RollingAttack Rolling Slash]]. By comparison, when X attempts to use it in ''X6'', he swings it much slower and is much weaker with it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Rising|Revengeance}}'' has Sam, who comes from a long line of Brazilian sword martial artists. Raiden has shown in previous games he's not adverse to firearms in addition to his preferred swordplay. Sam, on the other hand, is never seen using another weapon aside from his sword. Among other other impressive displays of skill, his most notable technique is a super fast draw with a gun-like mechanism built into his scabbard. Allowing him to draw and slash his weapon with insane speed and force. Despite all this, he's actually something of a ''deconstruction'' of this trope. He's so good at sword fighting because he's trained all his life and feels no purpose beyond it. It's implied by Doktor that Raiden won their final bout, not because he was the better swordsman but because he had more ''reason'' to win.
* In StarWarsTheOldRepublic, the Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior player characters are reputed as the best in their faction for the entire ''galaxy'' by the end of their storylines. This is partly helped by the defeat or death of many of the other greatest swordsmen in the progression of the game's story.
* The Sword Master, Carla, in ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''. Guybrush must defeat her in order to [[AndAllIGotWasThisLousyTShirt win a T-shirt]] and impress the pirate leaders- through [[YouFightLikeACow superior repartee]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' there's Neo himself after having the [[PowersAsPrograms sword skills]] downloaded. Along with the A.I. sword master who tests Neo's skills. "I was told a man legendary with a blade would come. Are you worthy of the blade, can you beat me?"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Three characters in the ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''-verse are explicitly referred to as master swordsmen, and all three are different.
** Saber uses a heavy western sword and is, of course, of the actual Saber class, which by definition comprises nothing but Master Swordsmen.
** The standout example, however, is Assassin - actually some nobody who only got summoned ''because'' he was a master swordsman. He was the only person who ever really learned Tsubame Gaeshi - this being a technique which uses 'dimensional refraction' aka ''the Second freaking Magic'' to let him deliver three simultaneous strikes. Assassin achieved this not through some magical artefact or hidden superpower; he just trained really hard for a really long time, and was rewarded with this beast of a technique, on par with a Noble Phantasm all by itself. Further, while basically only fighting on the level of a human, he scares Lancer and would have beaten Saber (who uses bursts of mana to stand toe-to-toe with LightningBruiser Berserker), only his sword bent. In Unlimited Blade Works it's mentioned he successfully saw off Lancer, Rider, and ''Berserker himself'', again using nothing but his own ludicrous sword skill.
** The prequel novels ''LightNovel/FateZero'' add another to the roster, specifically Berserker aka The BlackKnight aka [[spoiler:Lancelot]]. He has a skill called 'Immortal Arms Mastery', only awarded to the most masterful Master Swordsperson in his or her era, which means his skill with a sword (or indeed anything else) is so great that the insanity that comes with the Berserker Class, which would usually rob him of all tactical and combat skill, doesn't affect it. How good is he? His first appearance has him fight his way through the StormOfBlades coming from Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon without a scratch, ''using only weapons stolen from the Gate while they were flying at him''. This is with random weapons he's picked up - using his own personal weapon, [[spoiler:Arondight]], he's even better - good enough to completely overwhelm Saber within ten seconds.
** Taiga Fujimura, of all people, is noted to be extremely skilled with a blade. She's nowhere near the level of a Servant (she challenges Saber at one point and is almost instantly defeated), but she is recognized as a world-class swordswoman despite her rambunctious personality.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{CHEVALIER}}'' in this romantic fantasy adventure Chevalier is a master swords-mouse. [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Chevalier Here]]
* Julio Scoundrel, Elan's mentor in the ways of the Dashing Swordsman, in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. Roy's grandfather is even better than he is.
* [[SacrificialLion Bro Strider]], [[TheAce Dirk Strider]] and [[HeroKiller Jack Noir]] of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. Bro's feats include slicing a meteor in half with a katana. Dirk's proven to be no slouch as well holding his own against [[TheBrute HB]] and [[EliteMooks an army of imperial drones.]] Jack Noir however takes the cake. Duelling Bro to a stand still and later defeating him out right.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Admiral Harper from ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' is a legendary swordsman. Unfortunately, at the height of his career, he was recruited as a trainer for special assignments by his government's intelligence agency. In order to justify his transfer out of the field, they faked an accident where he allegedly broke his leg. Because of his apparent lack of {{determinat|or}}ion to recover from his 'injury', his reputation has since gone bad.
* [[LovableSexManiac Tucker]] of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' gets a Energy Sword known only as the [[NamedWeapons Great Weapon. ]][[SubvertedTrope He's not very good with it initially,]] [[ZigZaggingTrope but soon learns]] [[TookALevelInBadass how to kick some ass.]] He even takes down some of the resident [[SuperSoldier Freelancers]] using it.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Master Piandao of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. {{Backstory}} has him retiring from the Fire Nation Army when he grew sick of war. The Firelord sent a hundred soldiers to force him to rejoin, or kill him. He sent them all back.
* Jack from ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' definitely qualifies. He's a master of just about every weapon and martial art known to man, but his primary weapon is a sword.
* The Duelist in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Thundercats 2011}}'' episode "The Duelist and the Drifter," a man who goads less experienced swordsmen into duels, and uses his skill to divest them of their swords, which he keeps as trophies.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi. He is most legendary for perfecting the Niten Ichi-Ryu, or DualWielding a katana and wakizashi or two katana style. He wrote ''Book of the Five Rings'' on swordsmanship and was quite the CombatPragmatist.
* UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro was renowned for inventing several sword techniques, most famous of which being the Tsubame Gaeshi, or the "Swallow's Tail."
* [[GeniusBruiser Johannes Liechtenauer]] is often described as the grandmaster of western swordsmanship, though his mastery included a variety of weapons. Said to have been born in Liechtenau or Liechtenstein, Germany in the 13th or 14th century, he toured Europe to study various armed combat techniques under a variety of masters. The puzzle poem he wrote unified all these concepts and techniques and provides us with the earliest example of such an efficient sword art in the West. Many later fencing masters would go on to directly reference Liechtenauer, and many that didn't clearly retain elements of his art.
* Hans Talhoffer was a German fencing master who was probably a student of Liechtenauer. He wrote a fencing manual that clarified many of Liechtenauer's concepts, and may have been a founding member of the Brotherhood of St. Mark, one of the most prominent and influential fencing schools in Europe.
* Sigmund Ringeck was a student of Liechtenauer whose own fechtbuch is one of the earliest known to translate the poems into a form that can be used for practical teaching, and therefore is the foundation of the modern understanding of German martial arts.
* [[GeneralBadass William Marshal]] is widely considered the most skilled knight in history. He earned fame and fortune fighting in tournaments, where he claimed to have defeated 500 knights, and even killed the horse from under the future King Richard the Lionheart. He prosecuted a number of wars for various lords and kings, and was still leading from the front lines [[BadassGrandpa at the age of 70]].
* [[DashingHispanic Don Jeronimo Sanchez de Carranza]] is often called the Father of Spanish fencing, ''Destreza''.
* Camillo Agrippa was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance and a renowned fencing theorist. His ''Treatise on the Science of Arms with Philosophical Dialogue'' made radical changes to the fencing of his time, including the focus of turning the rapier into a thrusting weapon. His work is considered the foundation for Jeronimo Sanchez's ''Destreza''.
* Gerard Thibault d'Anvers was a Dutch fencer who wrote a highly detailed fechtbuch about his unorthodox style of swordsmanship. He was also a [[GeniusBruiser brilliant mathematician]], and wrote that a knowledge of geometry is essential for true fencing mastery. Oh, and he wrote books on [[HermeticMagic ritual magic]] too.
* Salvator Fabris was a storied Italian fencer who served as the instructor of Christian IV. He also produced a very popular fencing manual.
* Luis Pacheco de Narváez was the fencing master of Philip IV of Spain, as well as one of the most prolific fencing authors in history.
* Francisco de Quevedo was one of the most prominent poets of his age as well as a pugnacious and highly skilled swordsman. His novel ''El Buscón'' lampoons a duel he fought with Luis Pacheco de Narváez, during which he knocked the fencing master's hat off.
* Vincentio Saviolo, though an Italian, produced the first fencing manual written in English.
* Fiore dei Liberi was a Medieval fencing master who wrote ''Flower of Battle'', one of the oldest and most comprehensive fighting manuals in existence. New research suggests that Fiore may even have been a student of Johannes von Liechtenauer, further spreading the latter's influence into the Italian school.
* Ridolfo Capo Ferro was an Italian fencing master probably best known today for getting name-dropped in ''Film/ThePrincessBride''.
* Achille Marozzo was an Italian fencing master of the Dardi school, whose style was extremely influential in the 16th century.
* Giacomo di Grassi was one of the foremost masters of the Elizabethan age, whose style was highly influential for its use of the smallsword, [[DualWielding the use of a dagger as a defensive weapon]], and the emphasis of defense in general.
* Francois Vivonne, a celebrated swordsman of his day, is best known for being on the receiving end of the original "coup de jarnac." He was defeated in a duel by the [[CombatPragmatist Baron of Jarnac]], a far inferior swordsman who learned a tricky cut to the leg from an Italian dueling instructor. Today, "coup de jarnac" is a French idiom for a deceptive or underhanded action.
* During the end of the Bakumatsu era, the samurai Kawakami Gensai, Kirino Toshiyaki, Tanaka Shinbei and Okaa Izo became known as "the Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu", ''hitokiri'' translating into "manslayer" or "assassin." They were considered more or less impossible to defeat by normal swordsmen.
* Supporting the Tokugawa shogunate during the Bakumatsu era were Okita Souji, Nagakura Shinpachi and Saito Hajime, who were all captains of TheShinsengumi and the three best swordsmen in that group. Nagakura is said to have later described Okita as a "sword of valor" and Saito as a "sword of invincibility."
* Aladar Gerevich, a Hungarian fencer, is the only Olympian to win gold in the same event six times, and one of only two athletes to medal in six different Olympic Games. This is all in spite of ''missing two Olympics'' due to World War 2.
* Fencing master Nedo Nadi won five gold medals in the 1920 Olympics. No athelete won more gold medals in a single Olympic games for 68 years. He won gold in every event he entered.
* An unlikely example is UsefulNotes/JosipBrozTito, before he became the communist leader of former Yugoslavia. In his youth, during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, he won the silver medal at an Austro-Hungarian army sword-fighting championship.
* The [[BadassFamily Yagyu Clan]] produced many of these in the Japanese feudal era, and were the official katana instructors for the Tokugawa Shoguns. Their most famous member is YagyuJubei, but his father Yagyu Munenori, grandfather Yagyu Munetoshi, and cousin Yagyu Hyogonosuke were all master swordsmen.
* [[ActionGirl Julie d'Aubigny]], AKA [[SpellMyNameWithAThe La Maupin]], is a rare example of a master swordswoman. She was trained in fencing by her father and supported herself while on the run by singing and giving demonstrations of her skills for audiences. She was a professional duelist and opera singer. On two separate occasions, she defeated three men at once.
* [[MartialPacifist Yamaoka Tesshu]] was a swordsman who lived at the end of the Edo era, and was briefly a supervisor to the Shinsengumi. After the end of the Edo period, he taught a style of swordsmanship in which purity and mastery of technique is everything, since there were no swordsmen left to fight.
* Robert Roy Mac Gregor was a well-known swordsman and fought in a number of sword duels even before he got into his famous dispute with the Marquis of Montrose. At the time, it was often claimed he was invincible with a sword. Some attributed his skill to his long arms.
* Sir William Hope was a famous Scottish fencing master who published many fencing manuals dealing with different kinds of swords.
* The Chevalier de Saint-George was a mixed-race musician and conductor in 18th century Paris as well as one of the finest swordsmen of his day. He beat a fencing master who had insulted his race while still a student.
* [[RealMenWearPink The Chevalier d'Eon]] was a famous 18th century soldier, spy and crossdresser who spent the second half of his life as a woman. He was also quite a swordsman, defeating the much younger Chevalier de Saint-George in an exhibition match while wearing a dress.
* Explorer, soldier and all-around RenaissanceMan Sir Richard Francis Burton studied swordfighting with the same enthusiasm he pursued his many other areas of expertise. He wrote ''A New System of Sword Exercise for Infantry'' as well as his uncompleted ''The Book of the Sword''.
* George S Patton is the Army's youngest ever Master of the Sword. In 1912, he sought out Europe's greatest swordsman of the time, the French Cavalry's Adjutant M. Clèry, and returned to America to redesign the Army's saber, giving us the Patton Saber.
* Hollywood swordmaster Bob Anderson. Chances are, if there was a swordfight in a film during his 50 years in action, he probably choreographed it. ''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'', ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', that's all him. He passed away at the age of 89 while teaching fencing to actors for ''Film/TheHobbit''.
* Jean Baptiste le Perche Du Coudray was a French fencing master of the 1600s. He was considered the first "modern" fencer, emphasizing the importance of the riposte.
* Isao Machii holds world records for a number of iaido stunts, including "most martial arts sword cuts to one mat (suegiri)," "fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts," "most sword cuts to straw mats in three minutes," and "fastest tennis ball (708 km/h) cut by sword." He can also cut airsoft [=BBs=] out of the air.
* The tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh is remembered as a master of ''śastravidyā'', the Sikh "knowledge of the sword." He was the Guru who introduced the mandate that all Sikhs carry a Kirpan, a curved sword, on their person at all times.
* Alasdair Mac Colla was a Scottish master swordsman who is thought to have invented the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_charge Highland charge]], the Scottish tactic of sprinting into English musket lines to hack the soldiers apart with broadswords before they could affix their bayonets.
* William Machrie was known as "Judge and Arbitrator of all who make any publick Trial of Skill in the Noble Art of the Sword, within the Kingdom of Scotland" in the 17th and early 18th centuries.
* As a very credible crossover with BadassBookworm, René Descartes was a noted duelist (and, amusingly enough, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism dualist]]).
* George Silver was a 17th century gentleman and fencing master who championed the English system of swordsmanship. He heavily criticized Italian rapier fencing and wrote his own system focusing on the backsword, ''Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defence'', that was used centuries later to train soldiers in the Boer War.
* Alfred Hutton was a Victorian military officer who was regarded as the best fencer in the British military from a young age. He helped improve fencing techniques in the army and popularize the revival of historical fencing.
* Pietro Monte was an Italian fencing master and instructor who was described as "the true and only master of every form of trained strength and agility." None other than Leonardo da Vinci consulted him when working out the calculation of trajectory.
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