The hero receives a weapon that once was carried
by his father or a more distant ancestor. Nine times out of ten this is either a sword or a gun, depending on the setting.
If the person who has it has a choice about who to give to, or even whether, may also fall under It Was a Gift
If people want the hero to not Turn Out Like His Father
, they will try to keep the weapon from him. Whether they surrender, or he gets it behind their back, he will metaphorically as well as literally take up the ancestral weapon
If Magic, may flat out not work for someone not of the Heroic Lineage
May overlap with Older Is Better
when the weapon is older and more powerful than modern weapons, as well as with Legendary Weapon
. When the weapon did not belong to a blood relative but to a predecessor, see Take Up My Sword
Do not confuse with the gaming weapon class of the same name, which is more about how powerful or magical the weapon is and less about where it came from.
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- The Revolver Knuckles of the Nakajima sisters in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. This is a rare case where the ancestor was their mother. Also, Lutecia's Asclepius was owned by her mother. Both said mothers used to be partners and were assaulted in their mission, where one of them was killed.
- Kakashi Hatake of Naruto used the tanto of his father in Kakashi Gaiden. The tanto gave off a white streak of chakra when it was swung◊, which gave the original owner, Sakumo Hatake, the nickname "Konoha's White Fang" Unfortunately, it broke when Kakashi used it to defend himself and Rin from a swarm of Iwa-nin. Here's a picture of it◊ and another◊
- Negi Springfield of Mahou Sensei Negima! uses his (famous and extremely powerful) father's staff as his primary weapon.
- At least until he gets a magic ring that allows him to cast spells emptyhanded (several other characters use a similar device), which fits his fighting style much better. He still occasionally uses the staff, though. Notably by turning it into a giant lightning halberd.
- It was hinted (but not explicitly said) that Yuuna Akashi's magical artifact previously belonged to her deceased mother.
- in Dragon Ball, Goku's extendable staff was given to him by his adopted grandfather Gohan. In at least one of the movies, Gohan is seen carrying it as well.
- Mazinger Z: Kouji Kabuto counts if you consider his grandpa's giant robot as an ancestral weapon.
- Inuyasha, the title character and his brother use swords forged for their father and left to them as heirlooms. Kagome later qualifies and she inherits Kikyo's bow.
- Not only are they inherited from their Father...they are MADE from their father. He ripped two of his own fangs out (Inu-No-Taisho is GIGANTIC in his true form) and forged them into the twin swords.
- Record of Lodoss War does this with Parn's original sword, as well as his armour. When asked to receive the arms and armour of a Holy Knight of Valis from King Fahn, he tells the King that the Sword and Armour of his father. He takes the Shield though, lifting it in an Item Get. This trope is later subverted when his father's Sword breaks, and Parn takes up the King's Sword of Light.
- In Romeo X Juliet, Juliet fights with her father's sword.
- Ga-Rei: Yomi's Shishiou blade, which contains the spirit of Ranguren.
- Kaze no Stigma: Enraiha, a spirit-blessed Flaming Sword passed down to the next head of the Kannagi family.
- Both Raijin and Fujin Swords in Yaiba, together with many others, are really old weapons from the past.
- Sailor Moon:
- The titular character inherits the Silver Crystal from the ancestral Moon Kingdom.
- Sailor Neptune's and Uranus's Talismans may also count, although its a strange situation since, although they are certainly ancient, they belonged to their own selves before being reincarnated, which may dispute them being actually ancestral (can you be your own ancestor?). Sailor Pluto's Talisman avoids this completely since due to time shennanigans she has always existed owning her own Talisman.
- In Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, the killing goods are weapons passed down by serial killers to their descendants and are supernaturally stronger than normal weapons.
- A Boy A Girl And A Dog The Leithian Script: After his father's death, Beren wields his sword, Dagmor.
- The sword originally wielded by an ancestor of Kyon's (Usui Sadamitsu/Taira no Tadamichi to be precise) in Kyon Big Damn Hero. While the sword itself isn't usable anymore, he still uses the hilt for his Laserblade.
- One of the main characters of In The Service received his Intelligent Device from his grandfather. Being an Empathic Weapon with something of a mind of its own, and coming from more than seventy years ago, Steelheart is very different in behavior from more modern Devices.
- In the Firefly fanfic Forward, it turns out that Vera, Jayne's rifle, belonged to his uncle. How exactly he got it was one hell of a story.
- Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand has Dawn's Might, a katana that is a family heirloom from Kairi's birth mother Rimi's side of the family. It is traditionally handed down to the oldest son when he finds the woman he loves or to the man who loves the eldest daughter when he meets the father's approval. In chapter 30, the ghost of Kairi's birth father Kaname gives the blade to Sora.
- In Avatar, the dying Eytukan gives his daughter his bow and charges her with protecting their clan. She kills Quaritch with it.
- Minstrel Boy was the theme song of The Man Who Would Be King.
- In the movie Puma Man, Tony receives a very gaudy-looking belt, which once belonged to his father, and gives him the powers of the Pumaman. He never does much with them of any consequence, though.
- As the quote above notes, Luke's first lightsaber in Star Wars once belonged to Darth Vader. He later makes one for himself.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, he recovers the one Anakin used, and gives it to Mara Jade. Given some of Zahn's opinions on the matter, it seems this was meant to be sort of like giving her a ring that costs two months' salary. Turns out it was about ten years early. Other parts of the EU make the gift of a lightsaber something that represents a profound bond.
- Apparently it's a family heirloom now; Ben's holding it on the cover for Backlash, and the Legacy Era Campaign Guide says it was passed down through the line, though where it is by 137 ABY is unknown.
- In The Three Musketeers (1993), Musketeer-wannabe D'Artagnan bears a sword carried by his father, a Musketeer killed years earlier by Rochefort. After D'Artagnan is captured, Rochefort takes the sword. D'Artagnan later gets it back and uses it to avenge his father.
- True Grit, two westerns, one released in 1969 and the second in 2010. Mattie, a 14-year old daughter of a killed Rancher seeking revenge, carries her father's revolver (a Colt Dragoon) with her. Her insistence on using it in the latter film actually comes back to bite her in the ass when her first shot misfires on her, leading to her capture by her father's killer.
- In The Hobbit, Glóin wields the axes that his son Gimli will use in The Lord of the Rings. It's later revealed that Glóin's father had these in his possession as well.
- Bilbo is given the sword Sting, that would later be used by his nephew Frodo.
- In Skyfall, James Bond uses an old hunting rifle that was once his father's to fight off the Big Bad. How'er, it's his old ASTON MARTIN, the one from Goldfinger that really is his true ancestral weapon.
- In the multi-generational game Massive Chalice fallen heroes have a chance of creating a relic that can be passed on down through their bloodlines; giving stat boosts and other bonuses.
- Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings inherits the shards of Narsil, the sword of his ancestor Elendil, which Elendil's son Isildur used to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand 3000 years prior. In the books, the Elves of Rivendell reforge the shards of Narsil into Andúril in Fellowship of the Ring, and Aragorn uses it as his primary weapon for the rest of the saga. In the movie trilogy, however, Narsil isn't reforged into Andúril until Return of the King.
- Averted in The Hobbit with Glamdring: you'd think Elrond would be slightly interested in his great-grandfather's (Turgon's) sword, but he lets Gandalf have it without even mentioning the connection. Seeing as Galdalf is a Maia he may have given it to him out of respect.
- Roland's six-guns in The Dark Tower are family heirlooms which, according to legend, were forged from the broken scraps of Excalibur itself.
- The Dragonlance stories have several instances of this. Sturm Brightblade wears his father's armor. He also wields the Brightblade which is described as a "....splendid, if old-fashioned, two-handed sword". This editor is not sure if it belonged to his father, like the armor. However, the Brightblade does get handed down to Sturm's son, Steel Brightblade.
- Also, Raistlin Majere passed down a powerful magical artifact he was given, the Staff of Magius, to his nephew Palin Majere.
- Power-forged heron-mark blades in The Wheel of Time all date back more than three thousand years (back to the time when Aes Sedai were still allowed to make weapons), and have been passed from one blademaster to the next the entire time. Protagonist Rand al'Thor receives his from his father.
- Arguably reconstructed in the Discworld book The Fifth Elephant. After saving the dwarven kingdom from a crazy plot, the Low King grants Sam Vimes with a dwarven axe. In keeping with the "tradition versus modern-thinking" spirit of the rest of the book, he goes on to indicate his own axe and explain how, despite having been given new handles to keep with the fashions, and new blades when the old one wore out, and in fact having been remade completely several times as time went by, it was still his ancestral axe in every detail-that there was more to the "ancestral" component than simply "his father handed him a really old axe at some point."note
- Carrot's sword. The dwarves that raised him found the sword in the same cart where they found him after a bandit attack killed his family, and it later turns out to be the Sword of the Kings of Ankh. When it first appears, several paragraphs are devoted to describing how plain the sword is and how nothing indicates it's anything special. It's rather well-balanced, though. It's actually so ordinary it's a kind of special. For example, it's so un-enchanted, it has less than the ordinary background level of magic. Carrot's ancestors didn't want a magical perfect sword that could pull all sorts of tricks; they just wanted one that was really good at killing other people. Indeed, its efficiency at killing enemies is supposedly part of why that first ancestor became king.
- In the Dresden Files, there are 3 ancient swords, each of which has one of the nails from Jesus's crucifix worked into it. When doing God's work, the wielders of the swords are well-nigh invulnerable and can shrug off powerful mind control magic, while being a One-Man Army. However, the Swords themselves cannot be used to harm an innocent and the Knights must be truly noble individuals in more than one sense of the word. Michael Carpenter is the most often seen wielder and is truly a modern day Paladin who shows the best of Lawful Good traits.
- In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, Jame carries her father's broken sword, Kinslayer, to return to her brother; it is reforged, but in a subversion, by the enemy. Jame comes across it within the Master's House and retrieves it, and discovers that its legendary ability to cut its way through enemies like butter remains, along with its fearful joy in slaying; the name is hardly auspicious in that regard, either...
- The Reynard Cycle: Thunderclap, a sword once held by the kings of Aquilia. It was supposedly unbreakable, but is now in thirteen pieces.
- In the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Valyrian steel swords (the knowledge of making it has been lost) are passed down through the lines of noble houses. These heirlooms are so important that even the most impoverished noble houses will not sell them. Tywin Lannister spent years trying to purchase one from another house since the Lannisters' sword Brightroar was lost at sea long ago. Too bad houses would rather sell their daughters than sell their swords. After he gains possession of the Stark's Valyrian greatsword he has it melted down and reforged into two new swords for his son and grandson.
- The Mormonts have Longclaw, which Jeor Mormont notes his son at least had the decency to leave behind when he fled the kingdom after being caught slaving. He later gave it to Jon Snow, though since men of the Night's Watch aren't supposed to have children it's not intended to be ancestral in his case. It's unclear whether the other Mormonts now consider it Night's Watch property, or if they expect to get it back at some point.
- Also Dawn, the ancestral weapon of House Dayne. which stands out from the crowd by being Thunderbolt Iron rather than Valyrian steel. Whoever currently holds it is known as 'The Sword of Morning'. Dawn also stands out because the Daynes don't automatically give the sword to the oldest son like the other houses do; instead, the entire house decides who is most worthy of it, and will withhold the blade if they think there is no one worthy of it.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Gods of Mars, a young man John Carter meets recounts setting out with his father's sword.
- The sword of Grand Master Mandulis in the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights. Unsurprisingly, it's a plot element.
- Riva Iron-Grip's sword in the Belgariad: forged at the instruction of Riva's father-in-law, with a built-in clamp on the pommel for the Orb of Aldur (which makes the thing light enough to wield - it's portrayed as being roughly the same size as the Dragonslayer), it collects dust for a few centuries until Garion finally shows up to collect it.
- The Spear of Telesto from the Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novels, wielded by the Space Marine Chapter's primogenitor Sanguinius and said to be forged by the God-Emperor of Mankind himself. It's a definite plot element.
- In Empire In Black And Gold, Tynisa is given an old Mantis sword by her father, Tisamon; he rarely used it, but it has special significance for the Weaponmasters, making this a combination of Ancestral Weapon and Take Up My Sword.
- The Sword of Martin the Warrior from Redwall, held in Redwall Abbey and given to its champion.
- The Vorkosigan Seal dagger willed from Count Piotr to Miles. While mostly used for mundane purposes throughout the series, it is used in a rather disconcerting way during the Tau Verde campaign. It also comes in very handy during an academy training exercise. (Both in The Warrior's Apprentice.) It also plays a significant role in Miles' apology letter to Ekatarin in A Civil Campaign. That fact that it is a rare antique and belongs in a museum gets lampshaded:
When genuine seal daggers from the Time of Isolation appeared on the market, they were bid up in to the ten of thousands of marks. Miles probably used his as a letter opener, or to clean under his fingernails.
- In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, they find a box containing a complete set of seal daggers from all the counts at the time of the Occupation. Ivan is staggered by it, and uses it to show the nature of the hoard to those who found them.
- The Scourge of Rkard from The Prism Pentad is this for the main character. In a variation, it's later revealed that it was used by the Big Bad when he was still in human form.
- The Sword of Leah in the Shannarra series has been passed down by kings and princes of Leah for generations. Due to the enchantment put on it by Allanon in Wishsong, it avoids the Ship of Theseus question because while the scabbard and hilt occasionally need replacing, the blade itself remains the same (Save for the time it was broken and had to be magically remade). The titular Sword of Shannarra does not count, as while it is used by various members of the same bloodline as generations go by, it tends to be left in storage for centuries at a stretch between uses.
- Trapped on Draconica: Kalak inherits his mother's halbred. Being a Momma's Boy, he treats it like a sacred relic.
- In Dune, houses have ancestral nuclear weapons.
- In John C. Wright's The Count to the Eschaton, Menelaus realizes that the Chimarae's Named Weapons spring from their having preserved Empathic Weapons with AIs — and having lost the secret of changing their bloodlocks, had to make them hereditary.
- For the first five books in the Harry Potter series, the wand used by Neville Longbottom was originally his father's, a famous Auror who had been tortured into insanity by Death Eaters when Neville was a baby. Subverted, though, in that wands work best when either they choose the wizard who will use them, or the wizard wins their loyalty. Since Neville did neither, the wand doesn't work particularly well for him, and it's broken rather early into the fight in the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. He gets another wand of his own in the next book, and it seems to serve him well for the rest of the series.
- The Marauders' Map may also count, although it's not a weapon. Harry gets it from Fred and George Weasley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and he doesn't learn until later that it was made by his father and his closest friends. Harry uses it often in every following book in the series. Rowling later stated in an interview that Harry's son James got the map (by sneaking it from his father's desk).
- And then there's his Invisibility Cloak. A literal ancestral item as it dates back around a thousand years to the time of the Peverells and it has been passed from father to son over the generations.
- The Mortal Instruments:
- Clary is given her mother's stele in City of Ashes. Subverted since she loses it.
- In City of Heavenly Fire, Clary gets one of two swords her father commissioned that was specifically meant to be an Ancestral weapon. Sebastion/Jonathon already has the other. Emma's Cortana also counts.
- As noted under film above, Mattie's father's Colt Dragoon revolver in the 1968 novel True Grit on which the two films were based.
- In Brotherband, Hal receives his father's sword. He considers it superior to the sword he was supposed to receive upon graduation.
- In Phoenix Rising the Justiciars carry weapons and armors that has been handed down for several thousand years. Averted with Kyri, who has the Spiritsmith forge her an entirely new set of weapons and armor.
Live Action TV
- In Blue Bloods, Police Commissioner Frank Reagan carries a .38 Fitz Special revolver because it's the weapon his father and his grandfather carried.
- Discussed further with Henry's old "slapper", (a small blackjack). Frank says he never carried one, and as PC reminds everyone that they're not authorized. Danny uses Henry's old one anyway. Jamie wants nothing to do with it.
- Fat Neil's D&D character in Community, named DuCain, has inherited the Sword of DuCain from his ancestors.
- D'Argo's Qualta Blade in Farscape.
- Valyrian steel weapons from Game of Thrones are so valuable they are usually these. Examples include Ice of House Stark and Longclaw of House Mormont. House Lannister lacks such a sword, so after defeating House Stark, Tywin Lannister has Ice reforged into two Valyrian swords for his House. Jaime's sword is named Oathkeeper after he gives it to Brienne, and Joffrey dubs his Widow's Wail.
- The Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek: Enterprise "In a Mirror Darkly" featured Mirror Commander Archer having and treasuring the shotgun used by Mirror Zefram Cochrane to kill the Vulcans who made first contact with them
- Duncan used his father's sword twice in Highlander
- Babylon 5 - In one episode Garibaldi shows Zack his grandmother's old .38 Police Special (aka a slug thrower). It's an antiquated weapon and probably a really bad idea to use in a space station, but he finds a use for it in that very same episode.
Mythology and Religion
- Older Than Feudalism: In Greek Mythology, Theseus received his father's sword from his mother Aethra, and his father Aegeus recognized him because of this sword.
- Norse Mythology:
- In the Völsunga saga (as well as in Richard Wagner's 19th-century operas based (in part) on them), the hero Sigurd (Siegfried) receives the fragments of his father's sword, which he must then reforge.
- In the Poetic Edda, Thor's sons Modi and Magni inherit his hammer Mjolnir after his death battling the Midgard Serpent during Ragnarok.
- The Saga of Hervor and Heidrek relates how the sword Tyrfing is passed on in a family line over five generations.
- Stormbringer and its twin Mournblade are these in The Elric Saga. They are only able to wielded by Melnibonean royalty, in fact it's believed that not even the gods are able to hold onto them. The two swords are passed down from one royal generation to another until they were lost for centuries, only to be rediscovered by Elric and his evil cousin Yrkoon.
- BattleTech frequently has ancestral Humongous Mecha; House Kurita is most explicit about this sort of thing, 'Mechs being passed down from one warrior to another much like swords were passed from father to son in a line of samurai, but many 'Mechs have histories that can be traced back decades or even centuries. In one scenario from an early gamebook, a pair of Mackies from the original production run, the first BattleMechs ever designed and over two and a half centuries old, are powered up to fight the Black Widow Company. They usually acquit themselves with great distinction. The passing-down of mechs gradually fades away (but never disappears) as the Inner Sphere rebuilds its factories and infrastructure after the 300 years of total warfare deescalates and Lost Technology from before the wars is discovered.
- In Mortasheen, they directly say in the description for Oodoov that certain examples of this creature are passed down as family heirlooms. Of course, given that the creature's power to absorb pain tends to turn the user into The Berzerker, surviving long enough to pass it on is easier said than done.
- The Kragg Swords in Eon are generally this. The Kragg pass these mighty swords through several generations, and sometimes they might end up in the hands of a PC. Unfortunately, by the time the sword is actually passed on to a PC, the durability of the sword is usually severely diminished, making it break in a matter of fights unless maintained.
- In Exalted, even a common jade daiklave can be a legendary sword passed down through a Dragon-Blooded family line since the First Age.
- Legend of the Five Rings is all over this trope. A samurai's sword is traditionally passed on to their grandchild. Virtually all magical weapons are passed down in the same manner, most notably the "Ancestral Swords" of each clan, and the Ancestral Sword of the Hantei (Rokugan's equivalent to Kusanagi).
- Pathfinder lets a new character take a trait to start with one of these at creation. It's up to the player what form or outward appearance that weapon takes, but it'll always be easier to hit with than any other weapon that character can use.
- Rifts has the Ascended Glitter Boy character class, which is a Gitter Boy pilot whose power armor suit has been handed down generation after generation since the Time of Man. Given how hard it is to repair Glitter Boy armor even in the main setting, it's a testament to their hardiness that they've survived for roughly 300 years on a Crapsack World like Rifts Earth.
- A large amount of fabled wargear passed down through the ranks of the Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 is stated as belonging either to a particularly strong commander or, in a lot of cases, to the marines' genetic father himself. Various helms (Alpharius, Lorgar, the Lion), blades (Talon of Horus) or artifacts (Vulkan's Sigil) were created by the Primarchs and handed down to be revered over the millennia.
- The Adaptus Mechanicus are constantly on the search for technology from the 'Dark age of Technology' (as if the current age of constant war with several Alien races, Demons, and Traitor humans wasn't a Dark Age).
- This is actually just using the proper, original meaning of a Dark Age: all the records are gone so they have only a very vague idea what they could do and what happened.
- This is the hat of the Vostroyan Firstborns who, instead of having weapons issued to them which are expected to be returned to the Munitorium at the end of service like every other regiment, instead each weapon is property of the family that has it. Where possible, weapons are brought back to the homeworld and returned to the families to which they belong, who then pass the weapon down to the next firstborn. Their weapons are all considered priceless family heirlooms, especially the older ones.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff RPG Rogue Trader, an option to have one of these can be taken at character creation. Your choices include a Lost Technology laser pistol, a chainsword that was used in the Crusade that conquered the region of space where the game is set, and a set of Powered Armor that once belonged to one of the honor guard of an Imperial saint.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Klaives and Grand Klaives were handed down from generation to generation. They counted as some of the post powerful melee weapons a character could have.
- Fading Suns allow the players to start the game owning powerful weapons such as the Wireblade. It is described rather clearly that this usually means inheritance, given the price and the nobility's taste for melee weaponry.
- Gordito from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja uses his father's guns.
- In American Barbarian, the Star Sword.
- In Doodze, they weren't always sh'leep herders
- Homestuck: Both Vriska and Eridan were able to find the Infinty Plus One Weapons formerly belonging to their ancestors, the Fluorite Octet and Ahab's Crosshairs respectively; being that they found them long before the story began, they essentially acted as Disk One Nukes throughout Sgrub. Additionally, if Vriska rolls all eights (8^y, where y=8) using the Fluorite Octet, she activates the "Ancestral Awakening", where she gains the outfit and Cool Sword of her ancestor, Spinneret Mindfang, in addition to a significant power boost.
- Roy Greenhilt's sword in The Order of the Stick belonged to his grandfather. He's also named after it.
- In Rusty and Co., the proposed beginning to their adventures.
- Possibly Torg's talking sword Chaz from Sluggy Freelance. Whether Torgamous (Chaz's previous owner) is Torg's ancestor, past life, or simply a random medieval warlord who looks exactly like Torg is the subject of fan speculation.
- In The Specialists, Balmung, the sword of Siegfried is -- just a sword. Hitler still likes it as a precious relic of their Aryan ancestors.
- In Underling Caleb uses this to justify Grave Robbing.
- Lily from Wayfarers Moon refuses to give up the axe that belonged to her father. It's her most important weapon in fights.
- In Darths & Droids, in addition to Anakin's laser sword, Obi-Wan also gives Luke Padmé's underwater oxygen extraction apparatus and grappling hook. both of these came in handy.
- Iron Kid in Iron Kid has the Iron Fist that will only work for people of his family line — of which he happens to be the last.
- In ThunderCats (2011), Lion-O inherits his father King Claudus's Sword of Omens, which has been passed down from the earliest days of the ThunderCats' empire.
- On Adventure Time, Marceline's bass guitar is actually her family's axe.
- In one episode, Finn and Jake's dad, Joshua, challenged them to traverse a dungeon to find their family sword, which is made out of demon blood. Sadly, it was eventually destroyed in a fight by the demon whose blood was in the sword.
- Played straight with well made swords in many cultures, Japan being the most famous for the practice. Except for the Japanese Shin-Gunto type blade, which is a subversion in Japan, being issued by the military, and played straight in the United States, where they were brought back as war trophies and became family heirlooms.
- Coats-of-arms. While not strictly a weapon, it originates itself as the device on a fighting shield. The design of a coat-of-arms, blazon, is hereditary and inherited from parents to children, thus symbolizing a family lineage. The oldest blazons today in use can be traced to the 12th century.
- Firearms also have a high potential for this trope, and while obsolete weapons eventually get relegated to wall hangers a quality gun can stay in use for multiple generations with proper maintenance and storage.
- AK-47s are becoming these for some families in Africa and Asia.
- Becoming a bit of a problem in the US, where service weapons of WW2 vets are having some legal issues being passed on to the next generation.
- Shields were often this to Greek Hoplites. While spears were expendable, Greeks thought shields were really cool and would hang them over their fireplace.
- The British Royal Family has five swords as part of their regalia.
- Before gunpowder, swords and armour would most likely be passed down the line since they were quite expensive.
- Warships. Not only can these sometimes last for decades, even after a given ship is destroyed another ship will often be named after it. The US Navy still had World War II battleships in service two or three generations after their time (the Iowa class, launched late in WWII, remained in service until the early 1990s, mostly because those gigantic guns were such a useful source of More Dakka for shore support). Two of the four-ship class remained in the "mothball fleet" (the reserve of ships kept in case of emergency) for about 20 years after that, but currently all four Iowas are museum ships.
- As of September 2011, about 13 of the old B-17 Flying Fortress bombers were still airworthy and some are still in use (though not as bombers anymore). And still others are in the process of being restored to flying condition. Boeing stopped producing B-17s in 1945.
- There are 49 airworthy Spitfires, and some 230 airworthy P-51 Mustangs.
- The B-52 Stratofortress originally entered service with the US Air Force in the 1950s, and around a hundred are still in service in 2014 (the youngest B-52 entered service in 1962). There are currently pilots of this plane who can claim to have grandfathers who flew the same model. Much of this is due to the Boring but Practical nature of the B-52's design: It is already a jet that can fly all the way around the world to drop upwards of 70,000 pounds of bombs with a high degree of precision. Any would-be replacements (the B-58 Hustler, XB-70 Valkrie, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, etc.) tend to verge into Awesome but Impractical for various reasons in comparison. Mainly cost. Other aircraft used around the world find themselves in similar situations, to include the KC-135 Stratotanker and the Russians' Tu-95 Bear.