troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Cool Sword

"I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest sword. If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut."
Hattori Hanzo, Kill Bill

There is something a sword has that other weapons don't. It could be that it is an Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age, or perhaps it's because sword fights just look so impossibly cool. Often Heroes Prefer Swords.

These weapons even come in multiple categories:

  • Longsword (two-handed): The quintessential knightly weapon. A late medieval weapon, with an average blade length of 90 cm (35 in). Sometimes used as a generic term referring to any sword that long or longer. This type of sword came into vogue in late 13th century, and remained in use until the 17th century. It is intended to be used two-handed, but is balanced well enough to be used single-handed. Due to this, it is also sometimes referred to as a "hand and a half sword," or "bastard sword." Both the German and Italian schools of swordsmanship deal with this sword.
    • Zweihänder (two-hander): With a blade length of 120-150 cm (4-5 ft), was longest known sword, the real life BFS. Bigger. Longer. Better. Used for intimidation, decapitation, and decimation. Especially good on lopping enemy pike tips off, not to say enemy heads.
    • Claymore (two-handed): Scottish sword with a blade length of 100-115 cm (39-45 in). Sometimes used by blonde women to kill human eating monsters.
    • Claymore, Basket-Hilted (one-handed): Descendant of the above with a blade length of 75-90 cm (30-35 in) long. Probably the longest ever one-handed sword.
    • Falx (two-handed): The Dacian Legionnaire-killer. This awesome weapon is long, and it's curved, but the badass stuff is that it's sharp on the INSIDE, so it can hook up any lorica segmentata (Roman plate armor), decapitate you with a push and a pull and hack off limbs. One of the few weapons that actually changed Roman standard armor. There was also a shorter, one-handed version of the weapon as well.
  • Transition Sword Category: typically has an average blade length of 70 cm (28 in).
    • Tachi/Katana (two-handed): The weapon of choice of the Samurai and certain Ninja (especially of the highly visible variety). Tachi were in vogue before the 1400s, while katana became popular afterwards. Are considered the coolest swords of all by some people. Not all Japanese swords were katana, but popular culture doesn't know that.
    • Scimitar (one-handed): Includes all kinds of curved, non-katana swords, including the Pirate cutlass, the Indian talwar, the European falchion and sabre, and the Chinese dao. Usually wielded by heroes in the Arabian Nights Days, as well as good-hearted dark elves.
    • Falcata (one-handed): The incredibly badass pre-Roman Spanish machete. Iberians chopped the hell out of so many Roman soldiers with these babies, that the poor Romans had to redesign their shields and armor. Similar to a kukri or kopis, but independently evolved, these Roman-killing machines are curved downwards. Later gladius designs were influenced by it.
    • Spatha (one-handed): Longer than a Gladius, but too short for a longsword, pattern-welded for greater strength. From late Roman days to the First Crusade, this was one of the most common sword types in Europe. King Arthur is likely to have historically used one, and any Viking that isn't swinging an axe or stabbing with a spear might have one of these. Also called a broadsword or broadblade, the literal meaning of Spatha, although modern use of "broadsword" refers to an Arming Sword or a basket-hilted sword. The other translation for 'Spatha' is 'spade' or 'shovel', because it was 'invented' by enlarging the Gladius in order to make it more useful for jobs around the camp. It is therefore the ancestor of not just most later medieval European straight swords, but also of the entrenching tool.
    • Arming sword (one-handed): The classic, cross-shaped knightly weapon, descendant of the Spatha, and commonly paired with a shield. As such, this is usually found in the hands of the Knight in Shining Armor, though heroes of all kinds have made use of them. Often mistakenly called a "longsword," especially by Tabletop Gamers. The jian is the Chinese equivalent, with many of the same cultural associations.
    • Jian (one-handed): Known as "The Gentleman of Weapons", the jian is not just a national weapon but a cultural icon. One of what is considered the four "main" weapons of Chinese antiquity, the jian was the weapon of officers, nobles and men of high standing. The typical jian has a double-edged blade and often include a colorful tassel in the pommel. Most modern blades are flexible for ceremonial or performance purposes. A staple of Chinese historical fiction, it is a requirement of any proper Wuxia film.
  • Shortsword Category: Most variations are shorter than a transition sword, but not quite a knife, having an average blade length of 50 cm (20 in). Are so short that they are always one-handed.
    • Xiphos: A type of Greek sword that has a vague leaf-like shape to it. The end is slightly wider than the middle, so it has more centrifugal force and is thus much better for breaking things and cutting stuff.
    • Gladius: The sword of choice for stories set in Rome. If it's not a gladius but about the same size, it's a likely Weapon of Choice for children or Hobbits. The Japanese equivalent is the kodachi/wakizashi, which samurai often carried with the tachi/katana.
  • Rapier (one-handed): Ho ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust! Quip! About as long as a transition sword, but much thinner and lighter. The favorite weapon of The Cavalier Years, where swashbuckling heroes and Pirates roamed. Expect Implausible Fencing Powers and lots of Flynning.
    • See also: foils (which are blunt and used in fencing).

Sometimes the sword is especially special because:

This trope is Older Than Feudalism, because the sword is a very, very old weapon and there are tons of examples from mythology. Possibly the most iconic Cool Sword of all is Excalibur, the sword the Lady in the Lake gave to King Arthur (which supposedly wasn't the original Sword in the Stone).

And no, having a sword is not (necessarily) Compensating for Something.

Recording the sheer number of characters who use swords in media would make for a VERY long trope. Basically, name any hero from a Heroic Fantasy series or an RPG (of any genre), and chances are he'll be using a sword. Thus, this trope should be reserved for cool swords; those with some exceptional quality, name, or power. Not just any old sword will do (only exception would be Captain Carrot's sword from Discworld).

Compare its Gun Counterpart, Cool Guns. For non-cool swords (YMMV), see our Useful Notes: Swords page. Oddly Shaped Sword is the Sub-Trope for swords that have a really weird shape.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach. All Shinigami (and then some other characters) carry zanpaktou (soul swords). Usually they look like normal swords, but when the wielder achieves First Release (Shikai), they can be temporarily made... well, variations on larger, longer, sharper, they become two swords, one of them becomes something like a few dozen razor-sharp cherry blossoms. Final Release (Bankai) is something else entirely. Usually, the weapon can't even be classified as a sword anymore. The resident Mad Scientist has one that turns into a Kaiju Caterpillar, a member of squad 11 has one that's a giant combination of a Dao and some kind of pendulum-blade thing which he spins around to increase its power. It's Shonen Manga, so you get what you pay for.
  • Tokiya Mikagami of Flame of Recca has a family heirloom sword named Ensui, which also doubles as a ninja madogu. Inactive, it's just a little bone handle with a spike, but when he immerses it in water it becomes a very lethal water blade. Not only can he use any fluid in it (including blood and acid) but he can use any of the forms of water (ice, steam), manipulate his surroundings, and create water doppelgangers. The more liquid he uses, the stronger it gets. The fact that he's a damn good swordsman (and the only trained fighter in the group) does not detract from Ensui's coolness.
  • The Sunlight Heart Plus in Busou Renkin. The upgrade to a lance is a sword... that can turn into a lance filling the empty space with energy. And can fly to the moon.
  • Aion's sword in Chrono Crusade, which (in the manga) contains his horns, making it the source of his power. Father Remington also has a energy sword.
  • Lohengrin and the Prince's swords in Princess Tutu. The Prince's sword can even turn into two swans when broken, which... is a bit silly, but still cool, since it allows Mytho to call the sword to him after Fakir breaks it with Lohengrin's sword.
  • Mikoto's sword Miroku in Mai-HiME. Powerful enough to cut through gilded steel, and she can call it from anywhere if she isn't already holding it. It's also part of the body of the Big Bad.
  • Super Robot shows will often have the Humongous Mecha of The Hero wield some kind of Cool Sword, impossibly huge or otherwise.
  • Real Robot wise, such is the rule of every single Gundam in existence: each Gundam has to have a beam saber or otherwise similar weaponry made of metal.
    • Gundam SEED Astray takes this to wild extremes - Lowe Guele creates the Gerbera Straight katana so his Astray Red Frame doesn't run out of juice. Then, he built a 150 meter version of that sword. Then, he built the Tactical Arms for Gai Murakumo's Astray Blue Frame, with one of its forms being a sword! Later on, Lowe makes his own Tactical Arms after the Red Frame gets beat up pretty badly.
  • Signum's Laevatein from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a mechanical sword that can burst into flame, split into sections as a Whip Sword, and combine with its sheath to form a bow. And Laevatein speaks German with a Large Ham
  • Gourry's Sword of Light from The Slayers. A functional enough sword in its normal form, but if the blade is removed and Gourry's calls "Light Come Forth" it becomes a light-saber that can kill demons.
  • Berserk: The Dragon Slayer, a BFS among BFS'es, which has taken on a supernatural essence of its own due to all the demons that Guts has killed with it.
    • There's also the Sword of Resonance wielded by the Skull Knight, which has the ability to slice through dimensions.
  • Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann melted down a pair of swords to create a lethal, gigantic version of his sunglasses. It gets better too.
    • Kamina also wields a katana himself, and the katana is bigger than the sheath in which it is stored.
  • Nike in Mahoujin Guru Guru eventually learns to call upon the magic sword of light, "Kira Kira." It's highly effective when used properly, but can be finicky about anything interrupting the process. This has resulted in Kira Kira having where the point of the blade would be an old man's head and a little schoolhouse. On the other extreme, being summoned in an ice cave made it an ice sword.
  • Asuna's Ensis Exorcizans in Mahou Sensei Negima!, a huge demon-banishing sword that can also cancel any magic, even wide-range area spells used to decimate entire armies. Comes in the form of a Paper Fan of Doom if you don't summon it properly.
    • Then there's Jack Rakan. He's called "The Thousand Blades" for a reason.
    • Speaking of Akamatsu's work. In Love Hina the Urashima family had in its possession a sword simply called "Hina". It makes the wielder become a lot stronger and better in combat, but the thing is cursed and the demon that was sealed into it will possess the wielder if they aren't strong enough. It appeared once again in Negima in the hands of an enemy who likely stole it. The blade itself is pitch black and in combat it has its own aura that resembles black flames. Giving up yourself to the sword gives us this result.
  • Claymores use... well claymores. They're effectively a symbol of the human ability to resist the youma.
  • As a Shout-Out, a scene in Hayate the Combat Butler shows our hero with three swords stuck in his back. Between appearances, the actual weapons stabbing him change. This is because all six of them are various Cool Swords used by the Original Generation mecha of the Super Robot Wars series.
  • Soul Eater has Ragnarok, who varies in size and shape (though not to BFS standards), but most of the time looks like a longsword. A black longsword, who is not so much attached to his wielder as he is inside them when not being used in combat. Also counts as a Vibroweapon, and a bullying Talking Weapon.
    • Tsubaki would also count after she gains her Uncanny katana mode after defeating her brother and he allows her to absorb him. Then there are her forms after Black Star works out the Nakatsukasa Purpose.
    • Excalibur. To clarify: His sword form is perfectly symmetrical, and gives his meister powers that put them on the level of godhood (super speed, strength, etc.) Though, to wield him one must worship the very ground he walks on and follow all of his demands, if you don't do things EXACTLY his way, he won't do jack for you. The sword and his list of demands (1000 of them!) is SO annoying, nobody in the Manga has managed to use it (Some have tried, but when you bring it up, they always get the exact same look of dread on their face. It looks like a hybrid of the face one gets when constipated, combined with what occurs after a Groin Attack), with the occasional reference to one or two people who have managed to use it in the past. In an anime episode, Hiro (minor character only seen ONCE in the manga series), actually finds Excalibur tolerable and also enjoyable, and becomes the strongest meister in all of Shibusen, even taking out Black Star, Kilik and Death the Kid. This ended when Hiro couldn't stand Excalibur's constant sneezing and puts him back.
  • Major General Olivia Armstrong's saber in Fullmetal Alchemist has to count. It has cool carving on it, and it has passed down the Armstrong line for generations!
  • The many famous swords of One Piece with Mihawks 'Kokutou Yoru' or Zoro's 'Wadou Ichi Monji' only being a few examples out of the ever growing list of cool Swords.
    • Add Kizaru's sword of light to the list, it's a magic/chi variant of a lightsaber.
  • Yaiba is full of this, ad has a wide selection, including: Fujin's Sword, Raijin's Sword, Ryujin's Sword, the Devil King Sword, the Water Demon Longsword and the Fire Demon Longsword.
  • Naruto
    • Naruto features the weapons of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. Each has a unique ability or use, some more mundane than others.
    • There is also Hatake Sakumo's chakra blade, which is presumably why he was nicknamed White Fang. Kakashi inherited this blade. It is unknown whether it had any special abilities aside from glowing white when used.
  • Trunks' sword in the Dragon Ball series.
    • Except not really. It got chipped when Android 18 blocked the attack from Super Saiyan Trunks and he hardly used it ever since. And in the non-canon seventh movie, it broke into two when Trunks fought a One-Winged Angel Android 13.
  • The Gauntlet swords in Bakugan New Vestroia are similar to lightsabers.
    • In Mechtanium Surge Dan and Mag Mel (Barodius) create energy swords with no handles!
  • In Lupin III, Goemon has Zantetsuken, a katana made out of either a special alloy or a meteorite (depending on the version), which can cut absolutely anything. (Except particularly strong enemies' weapons. And konnyaku gel.)
  • Yoh's katana Harusame in Shaman King.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, the Cures gain the Cure Flurets, rapier-like swords which... they only use for a tag team finisher attack. In The Movie, it's revealed that Coco, in his human form, can create a gold one and when Cure Dream gains her movie-only Super Mode, she creates the Shining Fluret, which she promptly sword fights with against the movie's Big Bad.
    • The opening for Smile Pretty Cure! reveals that Cure Beauty will be able to create an ice sword. She ends up doing this in episode 25 and by episode 43 reveals that she can dual-wield them and uses them for her second finisher, the Beauty Blizzard Arrow.
  • In Blue Exorcist, Rin has Kurikara. Important for being a) handed to him by his father figure before he died b) acting as a Power Limiter for his Blue Flames and demonic abilities c) being an ancient demon slaying blade and finally d) also acting as a Flaming Sword when drawn.
  • In GUN×SWORD, Vaan wields a Whip Sword that he wears around his waist like a belt that also acts as the activation key for his Humongous Mecha.
  • Tenchi Masaki nets himself a few in the three continuities he's a major player in (re: ones where Sasami doesn't take over.) In the OVA, he has Tenchiken, the lightsaber-like weapon that belonged to his grandpa. It's also set so that if a non-Juraian touches it, it electrocutes them. He also has the Light Hawk Sword, an energy sword he creates from the Light Hawk Wings, powerful enough to disintegrate Kagato... and split his spaceship Souja in half!
    • Tenchi Universe goes back to just Tenchiken, but The Movie shows his mom Achika pulling more out of it by elongating it to the point where she could cleave the monster KAIN.
    • Tenchi in Tokyo gives Tenchi a crystal-like sword, comprised of six gems... but, because Tenchi wants to be normal, he separates the gems and gives them to the girls.
  • Kenshin's reverse-edged sakabato.
  • Inuyasha's Tessaiga. So cool that Sesshomaru's antagonism is partially out of jealousy over Inuyasha being able to wield it, but not him.
  • Kalsiss is the strongest holy sword of the Holy Sword clan. Her owner, Incia, uses her for the purpose of preparing dragon meat, because no normal sword can cut the flesh of a Kaiser Dragon.

    Comic Books 
  • The adamantium/titanium (depending on what version) sword in Blade that has an interesting security system built into it to mutilate the hand of any unknowing wielders. (When it's titanium, Blade has to actually behead the vampire to kill them.)
  • While few of the swords Hellboy has used were particularly elaborate, they were all very old. Only ever used as improvisational weapons, you'd think a rusty piece of metal wouldn't be that cool. But they are. May be Mike Mignola's love of Gothic antiquity rearing it's head.
    • He was recently given Excalibur, which appears as a somewhat ornate and unusually long gladius. There's also his father's sword, which waits for him in Pandemonium and will herald the Apocalypse.
  • The Ebony Blade (sounds like a brand of razor) of the Black Knight was forged by Merlin, can cut through pretty much anything like butter, can absorb and even reflect energy, and can be summoned to the Knight's hand. So what if it comes with a blood curse?
  • Soultaker, the blade of Katana from The Outsiders, drinks the souls of those it kills, and then makes them available as ghosts to answer questions.
  • The Moon Sword from Sláine: the Horned God is a weapon so terrible that it does not merely cut its foes; rather, their bodies rip themselves open to receive it.
  • The Makluan Sword used by the first Swordsman. Made by the Mandarin, it had a numrous weapons built in, including disintegrator rays, and a flamethrower.
  • The Muramasa Blade forged for Wolverine, containing a "shard of his soul", is said to be the only weapon that can kill him (or his kin, apparently) for good. It ultimately killed Sabretooth. Daken had part of it melted down and grafted onto his wrist claws (which retract, like Wolverine's).
  • There is a fictional version of the real-life mythical sword the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (the "Grass cutter") in the Marvel Universe, which plays an important role in the first "Ares" miniseries.
  • Martha from Give Me Liberty uses one (a saber) when she fights the gay nazis IN SPACE! (She wisely refuses to use firearms, since they'd puncture the station's outer hull, which would kill both parties. Her opponents are not that smart.)
  • In Fish Police, Inspector Gill acquires a Cool Sword which he names Suds-Guzzler.
  • Spider-Man has occasionally improvised a Webbing Sword during battles with sword-wielding opponents.
  • Ilyana Rasputin's Soulsword, forged from her very soul. It's incapable of cutting purely physical objects (though it still blocks things just fine), but it can cut through anything the least bit magical — artifacts, enchantments, demons, etc. — like a hot knife through butter. It also generates a kickass armor when she wills it. Ilyana's own magical abilities are also enhanced while wielding the Soulsword. Finally, the sword is a symbol of her mastery over Limbo.
  • The Odinsword. A huge sword several hundred feet in length, it's so powerful that it's considered a weapon of mass destruction by the Asgardians. Let that sink in for a second. A race of superpowerful warrior gods fear the Odinsword's power. In Fear Itself Odin revealed the sword's true name is Ragnarok.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Usagi's daisho, a katana and wakizashi named Willow Branch and Young Willow, respectively. While the weapons are nothing more than master-crafted swords Usagi won in his first tournament, they have seen extensive use over more than a decade, cutting tree trunks and nicking other swords in Blade Locks, and are still in pristine condition.
  • Interestingly, Antarctic Press had a series of "How to Draw Manga" books with one section on swords. The artist pretty much told the reader that if you're gonna draw a Cool Sword, make it practical.
  • Gram, formerly the sword of Sigurd the Ever-Glorious, currently belonging to Loki. It comes with the handy ability to reveal truths, free people from possession or parasitic influence, and in a pinch can be used to stab someone. It has a truly ludicrously] complex origin.
  • Drift has his Great Sword, which are a common weapon of the Circle of Light. There is a drawback in that they draw power from the user's soul, making it a case of Awesome, but Impractical, so Drift uses it sparingly. Even worse, one of the few times he does use it, it gets stolen and used to chop his legs off.
    • Later on, Cyclonus acquires a Great Sword of his own, and due to unique circumstances manages to charge it to impressive levels. He also at one point repurposes it as a Healing Shiv.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Blue Mountains, the princess leaves behind a sword for the soldier. When he despairs of finding her and goes to kill himself, it has writing on its blade to tell him where to go.
  • In Asbjørnsen and Moe's Soria Moria Castle, the trolls all own swords, and magical potions to drink when they use them, because they are too heavy even for trolls without them. Fortunately, they leave them where the princesses can have Halvor drink the potion and use the sword.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
    • Cloud's Fusion Swords, four BFS (and two regular-sized swords) that combine into one huge honking sword that looks just like the Buster Sword.
    • Also Souba, Kadaj's double-bladed katana.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The sword made by Domingo Montoya for the six-fingered Count Rugen and wielded by Domingo's son Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.
  • The same six-fingered sword prop is Top Dollar's weapon of choice in The Crow
  • The ancestral two-handed sword carried by Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke. Each wielder embeds a jewel on its handle to mark its lineage.
  • Star Wars: Lightsabers. Examples from the films include:
    • Darth Maul's double version.
    • Count Dooku's bent handle version, which mimics the current pistol-grip handle used in Olympic fencing so Christopher Lee could mix point-control techniques from his fifty years of experience in fencing with kendo techniques.
    • Luke's green one was unique in the original trilogy.
    • Mace Windu's purple lightsaber, which is unique in the films. Samuel L. Jackson requested the color so he could pick himself out in the big fight scenes.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) features two cool swords, the Master's Sword, which Conan's father makes, and the Atlantean sword that Conan finds. The Master's sword gets stolen and Conan is able to slash through it with the power of the Riddle of Steel, then uses the shards to kill Thulsa Doom. Each prop sword cost $10,000 to make.
  • The swords made by Hattori Hanzo from Kill Bill. Three people in the movie have had swords made for them by the legendary swordsmith: the Bride, Bill himself, and Budd.
  • Balian of Ibelin inherits his father's sword in Kingdom of Heaven. The DVD features include a piece on how they went about making the sword to look as cool as possible without compromising its functionality.
  • Lord Loxley's sword in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which the Sheriff of Nottingham pulls out in the last fight sequence. He dominates the fight until he drops it, but as soon as he picks it up again, he splits Robin's sword in twain.
  • Green Destiny, the sword everyone is fighting over in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • In Braveheart, William Wallace's claymore becomes a symbol of the man.
  • In the newest Star Trek film, when asked what his specialty was in combat, Sulu answers "fencing." Kirk is less than impressed until Sulu whips out a telescoping saber and kicks a little ass.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • The sword Will makes for James Norrington in the first film' shows up in all the sequels and is regularly noted as a "nice sword." It's replaced by Blackbeard's sword in the final movie which can control ships! It is later owned by Barbossa at the end.
    • It seems as if the only redeeming quality of working on the Flying Dutchman under the command of Davy Jones is that you get a really kick-ass sword. Just look at Hadras's.
  • Patrick Swayze's character in Steel Dawn fight with one. And it's shiny too!
  • The eponymous sword in the movie Excalibur was ... well ... Excalibur! It often reflects green light to make it look otherworldly.
  • In Highlander, Connor uses an ancient katana that was made far before its time. The Kurgan uses a two-handed sword that can be disassembled and hidden in a briefcase.
  • The "Alumutian" blades in Prince of Persia and the Sands of Time.
  • The Sword of Doom and the Sword of Fate in Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword.
  • The Vorpal Sword in Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • In The Sword and the Sorcerer, the hero is armed with a triple-bladed sword that can shoot two of its blades.
  • In Blade, the title character has a booby-trapped silver katana for fighting vampires.
  • In TRON: Legacy, as well as having discs to go hand-to-hand combat with, Quorra reveals a new weapon, a lightsaber-like sword.

    Gamebooks 
  • Lone Wolf
    • The Sommerswerd. + 8 to combat skill, double damage to the undead, only good weapon that can kill a Darklord. Granted, the Darklords made plenty of weapons to use against themselves via Enemy Civil War but those tend to be Artifact of Doom.
    • The Ironheart Broadsword from Book 11. It has a Badass description, a name that rivals "Sommerswerd" in coolness, and is the only weapon other than the Sommerswerd that can kill the Chaos-master. Unfortunately you don't get to keep it, and if you brought the Sommerswerd, the Sword of the Sun doesn't even let you find it. Maybe it was jealous?

    Live-Action TV 

    Literature 
  • Caspian's katana sword in Astral Dawn is an example of this. It has a silver blade and is made from his center. He later creates a more powerful version with a gold blade. Another awesome sword is the sword Caspian has to find in order to defeat Devlyn, Magali's crystal blade Sword of Fracture.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series:
    • Slightly subverted, as noted above, with Carrot Ironfoundersson's sword, which is the most unmagical sword there is. It has no power, it has no name, there is nothing written on it, there are no jewels on its hilt. It's just "a long piece of metal with very sharp edges." But it's still a Cool Sword, because, as Fred Colon observes, "Real kings had shiny swords, obviously. Except, except, except maybe your real real king of, like, days of yore, he would have a sword that didn't sparkle one bit but was bloody efficient at cutting things." Said sword can effortlessly rip through metal, and on one occasion, went right through a man and buried itself into the solid granite pillar behind him...because a real king doesn't just pull a sword from a stone, he can shove a sword into a stone.

      The tendency for swords to be magical and special and what not was lampshaded when Carrot first received his sword, as it was noted that the fact that it wasn't magical or special in any way made it one of the most unique swords in the world. In the same book, the fake heir to the throne has a glittery, gem-laden sword of inestimable coolness that utterly fails to save him vs. a dragon. The trick, though, lies in how magic on the Discworld works. Death and his family, for example, can pass through walls and such because they're more real than other things. If Carrot's sword truly has no magic in it, then it's got to be thoroughly real, which would make it extremely powerful when pitted against...well, most anything on the Disc.
    • Death's sword, however, is so thin it can barely be seen, and so sharp it can cut a flame in half.
    • Vetinari's sword is rumored to be one of these (supposedly made from iron extracted from human blood), but in fact it is completely ordinary. It's not even a sword. People assume his walking stick is a Sword Cane (with the aforementioned blood of a thousand enemies rumour), and he allows them to think this because "if people think you might have a sword, they forget that you definitely have a club".
    • The swords of Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde may look all worn and notched, but that's just because they've gotten a lot of use.
    • Hrun's sword Kring from The Colour of Magic is so cool it can not only hold a conversation (probably better than Hrun can), but can also take over anyone wielding it. It has various motivations, from forcing its wielder to be a hero, as with Rincewind, to avoiding being stuck in a coal seam for millions of years (it was thrown in a lake once, possibly for being annoying, and didn't enjoy that). Ironically, what it really wants is to be a ploughshare ("I have no idea what that is, but it sounds like an existence with some point to it").
  • J. R. R. Tolkien had several examples in his books:
    • Glamdring ('Foe Hammer'): this elven-blade was originally wielded by Turgon, the king of Gondolin; it was lost over the years, but was later rediscovered by Gandalf. Quite possibly, this was the weapon used to slay Durin's Bane, the Balrog in Moria.
    • Orcrist ('Goblin Cleaver'): Glamdring's twin. After it was rediscovered, Thorin Oakenshield used it as his weapon of choice. It was buried with him after his death.
    • Sting, an elven-knife discovered with Orcrist and Glamdring, and named by Bilbo Baggins. He used it several times, most notably against the spiders of Mirkwood. He later gave it to Frodo Baggins; his friend Samwise Gamgee used it to wound and drive off Shelob, a giant Eldritch Abomination in spider form.
    • Ringil: Fingolfin's sword that 'glittered like ice'note  and inflicted seven(?) grievous wounds on Morgoth, Tolkien's Satan figure.
    • Gurthang ('Iron of Death'):, the Sentient Sword Túrin Turambar used in all his greatest and most tragic acts, culminating with the slaying of Glaurung (father of dragons), and his own suicide shortly after. And Túrin will use it to kill Morgoth during Dagor Dagorath, the Final Battle.
    • Narsil ('Sun-Moon'):, Elendil's sword, which was one of two weapons (along with Gil-galad's spear) that vanquished Sauron at the end of the Second Age, but was broken in the process. Isildur used the sword's remnants to cut the Ring from Sauron's hand. It was later reforged as Andúril ('Flame of the West') and wielded by Aragorn, the Heir of Isildur.
    • Herugrim: Théoden's sword, which might not have had any particular powers but has possibly the coolest name of all Tolkien's swords.
    • Gúthwinë ('Battle Friend'): wielded by Éomer, Théoden's nephew and heir.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, there is Jason's Imperial Gold sword, which can also turn into a javelin. Sadly, it broke during the fight with Enceladus.
    • Though he gets a new one from Juno herself at the end of the book.
  • In "The Icemark Chronicles" the hero of the second book, Charlemagne is given a prophetical sword called the Balde Of Fire.
  • In The Wheel of Time we have the impossibly cool Callandor, a sword-shaped crystal artifact capable of greatly amplifying magic, one of the most powerful magical artifacts in existence, which only The Chosen One could pull out of its magical stasis. Our hero pulled it out, then jammed it back into the ground to remind everyone he was coming back for it, rather than use it. Turns out this was smart, as Callandor was flawed, and constant use would drive him insane even faster than normal, if it didn't kill him first. He's used it once or twice since then, and even for him, gone nutty.

    The series also has Rand's first sword, his father's, marked as a blademaster's weapon which could never be damaged. It was destroyed when he stabbed Ba'alzamon with it. Rand then got the sword of King Laman of Cairhien. Even Mat has an ashandarei, a spear with a sword blade on the end. There was also Justice, the sword of Artur Hawkwing. The swords with heron marks have different degrees of coolness. Most of them are mundane and modern, albeit of excellent workmanship. The rest are relics of the Age of Legends. Most of them are just mass-produced standard issue weapon (like the Japanese WWII-era Shingunto swords, but wrought with the One Power), while the very few are individually crafted for prominent personalities.
  • Stormbringer from The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock, which has the distinction of being a Cool Sword, a BFS, and an Artifact of Doom.
  • During the final confrontation in K. J. Taylor's The Fallen Moon each of the two opponents wields one. Arenadd uses the traditional Northern sickle specially made for him. Erian has his father's sword which he has had blessed by the sun god.
  • Changeling from C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle has a edgeless "blade" made out of crystal, which would make it harmless... except that, when unsheathed, its tip produces a rift in the fabric of reality that sucks up everything in its path.
  • The Sword of Riva from The Belgariad. An incredibly large sword made of meteoric iron, it's so heavy it needs the MacGuffin stuck on its pommel to lighten its weight. It also has a tendency to glow with blue fire when aforementioned macguffin is attached.
    • Garion is able to use the Orb of Aldur to give a friend's sword some similar properties. By the time Garion is done with it, 'Zakath is able to use his BFS as a rapier because it weighs absolutely nothing.
    • Cthrek Goru, Torak's black sword, is also pretty damn cool. A cursed BFS that leaks shadow with every swing, it intills fear in all those menaced by it. Wielded first by Torak, and then by the Demon Lord Mordja, it is present at both EVENTs and serves as the Evil Counterpart to the Sword of the Rivan King.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Ravenor Returned, they go up against a warp-tainted sword, which is vampiric. The wound freaks out the doctor they find to treat it.
  • The sword of Martin the Warrior from the Redwall series. Another case of meteoric iron, plus handed down through many followers.
    • It's been described as having an edge like midwinter, which is just pure Bad Ass. This weapon is proof a sword doesn't have to have a unique look (all it has going for it is a ruby pommelstone and black-cloth-wrapped handgrip) to be a Cool Sword.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peter is given a sword by Father Christmas. In Prince Caspian, when they have found themselves back in Narnia, they go to get their gifts, and Peter takes it down and announces that it is his sword, with which he killed the wolf.
    • In the Prince Caspian scene described above, he refers to the sword as Rhindon - Wiki Narnia has a detailed description.
    • Surely the rapier of Reepicheep the Mouse falls under this trope the one way or the other?
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Ibram Gaunt's swords are not only chainswords; his first one was a gift from his mentor, and after it is wrecked (much to his distress), he receives the power sword of Hieronymo Sondar, the founder of Vervunhive, while he tries to defend it in Necropolis. In Only in Death, Varl confirms Gaunt's death by showing the sword. Then Ezsrah takes it for a bludtoll, a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to culminate in his own death, and Mkoll chases after him to recover it. Rather than fight Ezsrah, he agrees to follow him until he dies and recover the sword then.
  • In the Diablo novel The Black Road, the main character, Darrick, looks for a sword, Stormfury, that will allow him to defeat the main villain of the book. When he finds it, the sword looks like a plain infantryman's weapon. When Darrick questions its lack of style, the sword's guardian points out that an impressive and awe-inspiring weapon would be more likely to be stolen, and the sword's abilities could not to be kept secret.
  • The titular blade of the Sword of Truth series. It's indestructible, can cut through anything the wielder perceives as an enemy, and feeds off the user's anger. And in the right hands, it can make the wielder a near unbeatable swordsman.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, Ragnor loses his sword defending the House of Belisarius. The Celestarch therefore gives him one: from the time of the Emperor, that had once belong to Skander. It fits his hand as if made for him, and the rune radiate a strange coldness.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Maggard wields a Kirlian blade — "forged on ancient Terra and said to be able to severe the connection between body and soul" — and Horus is impressed with how it killed the walking corpses (as well as with Maggard's own skill).
    • Horus himself carries a golden sword, forged for him by one of his battle brothers when he was made Warmaster.
    • Temba carrires a warp-tainted sword that Temba whispered Horus's name to before fighting with new skill (although the sword is too blood thirsty, and Horus manages to kill him). But Horus's wound is killing him, and Loken discovers the sword was a xenos artifact — too late to prevent Erebus, whom he knows responsible for this, from taking Horus to a shrine.
    • In James Swallow's The Flight of the Eisenstein, Garro's sword Libertas. Parts of it are older than the Age of Strife, and when he discovers Horus's treachery, he has his men swear their oath of moment on it. Later the reanimated corpses have "plague knife" which produce infection when they strike.
  • Various "great weapons" in Steven Brust's Dragaera series.
  • Parodied in the Dancing Gods series with Joe the Barbarian and his mighty sword Irving.
  • In Bernard Cornwall's Sharpe novels the title character wields a heavy cavalry sword. Whilst this weapon is not unusual for the period in which the books are set it is unusual for a light infantry officer to carry such a large blade. In Sharpe's Sword Sharpe was given the choice between a cool sword that was more like a work of art, a symphony designed to kill, and a mass-produced heavy cavalry sabre that had been customised with love by his friend Patrick Harper. Guess which one he chose.
  • Need, from Mercedes Lackey's Velgarth books, is an archtypical version. In the hands of a mage or other martially unskilled person, the sword confers the abilities of a master fighter, to the point of hijacking their body if need be. In the hands of a warrior or other magically unskilled person, it provides nearly complete immunity to any magic cast on them without their permission. No matter who holds it, she will heal with remarkable speed. The downsides? Need chooses its bearer and will only work for a woman, will not harm a woman even if the woman in question is trying to kill Need's bearer, and will... press... its wielder into aiding any woman in the area whether that woman wants help or not.
    Woman's Need calls me
    As Woman's Need made me
    Her Need I must answer
    As my maker bade me.
    • Somewhat amusingly, in her last appearances in the series Need is wielded by Firesong k'Treva, a gay male Hawkbrother archmage. Need, by this point fully conscious, explains that Firesong is able to make full use of her power because he is "balanced," his masculine and feminine qualities in harmony.
  • All of the live swords in Paladins; the Khan, the Nameless, and Nadide all appear in the novel, and many more are mentioned.
  • Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories series has a ton of cool swords, including the protagonists's blade Serpent Breath, so named because it has nearly-invisible lines in it that resemble a dragon's breath. Other names include Widow Maker and Heart Breaker.
    • Caledfwylch in his Warlord Chronicles, which would become known as Excalibur by the later generations.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Anaklusmos/Riptide, which is made of celestial bronze and can only hurt heroes, monsters and gods; it also turns into a pen and reappears in Percy's pocket. Then, there's Backbiter, forged of both steel and bronze so it can hurt everyone.
  • The Twelve Swords of Power in the books of Fred Saberhagen.
    I shatter Swords and splinter spears;
    None stands to Shieldbreaker.
    My point's the fount of orphan's tears
    My edge the widowmaker.
  • In Chris Roberson's Warhammer 40,000 Blood Ravens novel Dawn Of War II, Wisdom. Explicitly described as a rare sword so marvelous as to have a name. Lost in a fight with a tyrannid, it is found again in a collection of xenos artifacts, and one Space Marine immediately takes it up in order to undo the shame.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Swords of the Cross, which each have a nail from the True Cross worked into the blade. They are Fidelacchius, Esperacchius, and Amoracchius: the swords of Faith, Hope, and Love respectively. If that weren't cool enough, Ghost Story confirms that they are also respectively the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, Durandal, and Excalibur, or were at least reforged therefrom.
    • In due course, the Sword of Faith breaks, when used by one with impure intent. It is now nothing but a hilt. This hilt comes into the possession of a nerd, in a moment of great peril. The nerd is proved worthy. Fidelacchius appears to be delighted to become precisely the kind of sword that every nerd immediately thinks of when given the specifications "cuts through anything" and "starts out as just a hilt".
    • The Wardens of the White Council have some heavily enchanted swords which can cut through magic. Harry didn't get one when he was made a Warden in Dead Beat because the wizard who makes them was rendered unable to do so by the events of the book.
  • In The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines (think The Brothers Grimm meet Charlie's Angels) The Cinderella Captain Ersatz Danielle has a sword made of glass which contains her mother's soul.
  • Sadrao and Kuroinu's swords in Black Dogs. Sadrao's, which possibly counts as a BFS (if you're human-sized), is said to be so well crafted that if properly taken care of it could be used for a hundred years.
  • The spirit-sword Shadowmaker in Douglas Hill's Master of Fiends. Not only does it change shape depending upon the tactical situation, but it ends up in the hands of one of the few genuine Badasses in the series.
  • Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is about the three titular swords and their role in defeating (or not) the Storm King.
  • In The Song of Roland, we have Durandal, No, not that one., the sword of Charlemagne's paladin, Roland. Said to be indestructible, in addition to containing various holy relics in its hilt, including a tooth of St. Peter, blood of St. Basil, and a hair of St. Denis.
    • This sword was so indestructible, that when Roland attempted to smash it to prevent it being taken by the Saracens, he accidentally created La Brèche de Roland, a large gap in the Pyrennes mountains forty meters wide and a hundred meters tall.
  • In Book of the New Sun, Severian's executioner's sword "Terminus Est" has a hollow blade half filled with mercury, with the intent of causing its balance to shift when making a decapitating strike from above, thus making the strike more effective (NOT with the intent of poisoning the blade).
  • In The Scar, Uther Doul wields a "possible sword" from the Ghosthead Empire; when swung imprecisely, it simultaneously strikes everywhere it could have possibly struck.
  • In Book 2 of The 39 Clues, Dan Cahill gets a pair of Japanese swords.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Hour of the Dragon, Zenobia brings Conan the Barbarian a sword when she rescues him.
    Whatever else she might be, she was proven by that dagger to be a person of practical intelligence. It was no slender stiletto, selected because of a jeweled hilt or gold guard, fitted only for dainty murder in milady's boudoir; it was a forthright poniard, a warrior's weapon, broad-bladed, fifteen inches in length, tapering to a diamond-sharp point.
  • In the Shannara series by Terry Brooks there are two of these. The Sword of Shannara, which can reveal the truth about anything it touches, and the jet black Sword of Leah, which, having been dipped in the Hadeshorn, can now cut and parry magic as though it were iron and steel.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe expands on the types of lightsabers available. Mara Jade also has a pink one, as did Siri Tachi, a love interest for Obi-Wan when he was young. There are also tonfa-style sabers, the rapier-like lightfoils, and lightwhips which are almost always wielded by hot dark side temptresses.
  • Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive are this enormous Soul Cutting Blades, that often have fancy designs or symbols on the blade.
    • By the same author, we have Nightblood from Warbreaker. Created by forging a thousand souls into its black blade, it is sentient, quite intelligent, and bent on destroying all evil in the world. When drawn, it will vaporize anything you hit with it, at the cost of draining away your soul.
  • Many a young fantasy fan was introduced to this trope by Dyrnwyn in the Chronicles of Prydain.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has some:
    • Valyrian steel blades are, by definition, cool blades. There are only 200-something remaining blades in the world, as the secret of their making is lost. They are light, durable and incredibly sharp, and one of the only known weapons capable of harming the Others. Some Valyrian steel swords appearing on-screen and in the books:
      • Ice, the Stark's Valyrian steel greatsword
      • Longclaw, a bastard sword for a bastard
      • Oathkeeper and Widow's wail, two swords with a blood-red coloration made from Ice.
      • Aegon the Conqueror's Blackfyre. His sister/wife Visenya had Dark Sister. Both became legacy weapons, with Blackfyre wielded and inspiring the name of the bastard pretender Daemon Blackfyre, while Dark Sister would go on to be wielded by Prince Daemon Targaryen, Aemon the Dragonknight and Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers.
    • Other, cool swords also appear, including:
      • Dawn. It's made from a fallen star, milky-white color, one of the few non-Valyrian blades that are on par with them
      • Lightbringer, Azor Ahai's legendary sword
      • Needle, Arya Stark's skinny dagger-like blade
      • Thoros of Myr's swords, set on fire with wildfire or Blood Magic
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, the good guys' swords can not be wielded if stolen; this is what tells Raechel that Lucian was given the sword he carries.
  • In Harry Potter, there's the Sword of Gryffindor; which is a goblin-made, pure silver sword capable of being strengthened by the magical properties of creatures it slays. After absorbing basilisk venom, it becomes one of the few known methods of destroying a Horcrux.
  • In the first tie-in novel for Knightmare, Treguard of Dunshelm gains a Cool Sword when slaying the dragon Bealwit. The dragon's blood bestows magical power on his formerly mundane weapon, which is known thereafter as Wyrmslayer.
  • There are any number of cool swords in Simon R. Green's Blue Moon Rising (Forest Kingdom) novels, notably the Infernal Devices, Rockbreaker, Flarebright and Wolfsbane (gigantic, malevolent and sentient magical swords) and the Curtana, known as the Sword of Compulsion. They're all evil, but undeniably cool. The Rainbow Sword from the same novels is something of an inversion, as it appears to be an entirely normal blade, and doesn't even have a cool name, although it does have its own powers and proves pivotal in the story.
  • In The Unhandsome Prince, the enchanted sword that Prince Hal picks up at a tavern appears to be utterly useless—one character comments, "Mr. Genius here gets the only magic sword that guarantees you'll get your butt kicked"—but it's still a cool sword, beautifully crafted from the finest quality materials. It's a "singing sword", which, as Hal explains, doesn't mean it actually sings, but that it's so well made that it emits a musical tone when tapped. It becomes even cooler once Hal figures out the trick to using it.
  • In Victoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword, Landen's kingdom had a magical sword. Unfortunately not good enough to keep from being conquered. Landen's dying father ordered him to learn to sword-fight and use it.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Jack goes to Wayland for a sword to use against the nix. To have any hope, he must exchange for it without haggling. Once he describes what he is doing, and hands over the payment, Wayland hands over Mimung, and tells him that it is the sword of the fool, suitable for what he's setting out to do.
  • The Sword Of Kings in The Quest of the Unaligned. A massive sword somewhere between longsword and zweihänder, it has demonstrated powerful Anti-Magic properties (allowing its wielder to parry spells as though they were physical objects) and may have other magical properties.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Poetic Edda of Norse Mythology includes a story called The Waking of Angantyr. The story revolves around the magic sword Tyrfing ("The Finger of the War God"). Odin's mortal grandson Svafrlami managed to entrap some Dwarves and forced them to forge the sword for him. It gleamed like fire and could cut through metal and stone as if through cloth. It would also never miss a strike and the blade would never blemish. But angry at being forced to create it, the Dwarves cursed it so that whenever it was drawn it would kill someone. It was also designed to betray its wielders eventually. However, it was an awesome weapon and Angantyr uses it in a battle between his people, the Goths, and their far more numerous enemies the Huns. The Goths win because Angantyr cuts down much of their army using Tyrfing.
  • Before Arthur, Perseus had a special sword that could cut the armored neck of a Gorgon. Athena and Hermes gave it to him.
    • Other versions say that the weapon was the Sickle of Kronus, which had been claimed by Zeus as his personal weapon.
  • The swords of Japanese swordmakers, like Masamune and Muramasa, are treated like this.
  • Subverted in Beowulf. There's a lot of build-up to his use of Hrunting (any sword with a name is important). And then when he uses it against Grendel's mother it fails. He has to use a sword found in the home of Grendel's mother to defeat her. Being forged by giants makes it a cool sword in its own right, but again, Grendel's mother's blood melts the sword.
    • When Beowulf uses Hrunting again on the Dragon, it actually breaks.
  • The sword of the famed alchemist Paracelsus, which supposedly contained Azoth (a cure-all) in its pommel, and a gem containing an imp that could be sent out to wreak havoc.
  • The paired swords Gan Jiang and Mo Ye from the Wu and Yue Spring and Autumn Annals.
  • Excalibur, anyone? The original Sword in the Stone was also a cool sword. According to some versions, Excalibur was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake after it broke. Other versions have them as the same sword.
  • The Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven) from Japanese myth. Better known by the less cool name Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (Grass Cutting Sword) which can control the winds. It's possible that it was real weapon but most historians are convinced that even it was real it's been lost for a very long time.
    • The Kusanagi appears in many Japanese works of fiction. In Naruto, for example, Orochimaru uses it in several different fights.
  • The Saingeom(Four Tigers Sword) in Korean Mythology. Being forged in Tiger day's tiger hour, of Tiger year's Tiger month (plus, a metalsmith can only make one in his entire lifetime), it has powerful positive(Yang) force that can destroy monsters and evil spirits. In one story, a scholar named Shin Heum(1566 1628) was plagued by evil spirits in his house, and the King presented Saingeom to his son to stop it. While his son was returning from the palace, the saingeom suddenly flew out of its scabbard and struck one of the columns in Shin Heums house, causing the blood to spurt out of it. Shin Heum was not bothered by evil spirits since.
    • Also doubles as Real Life example as well, since there are some of them(the Joseon Dynasty of Korea made lots of Saingeoms for ritualistic reasons) still existing in Korean National Museums and private collections. And in 2010(year of the Tiger in Chinese Zodiac), Korean metalsmiths succeeded in creating some.
  • Thun Thiên, the legendary sword of Vietnamese King, Lê Li, would cause him to grow into a giant and possess the strength of a thousand men.
  • Some more swords from German Saga: Siegfrieds Balmung (or Gram), Dietrich von Berns Eckesachs ("Steel Vengeance"...now that's a cool name), Mimung (forged by Wieland the Smith). The German wiki has a few more.
  • Celtic Mythology has plenty of awesome blades. The first is Claíomh Solais, the "Sword of Light", which is basically Excalibur on crack. There's also Caladbolg or "Hard Lightning", the sword of Fergus mac Róichl, a sword which left a beautiful rainbow trail behind the blade, and it could kill gods - once, the wielder missed an enemy and the swing chopped the tops off some adjacent mountains. Finally but no less awesome is Fragarach, "Answerer", the sword of Manannan mac Lir and Lugh Lamfada, which had a number of awesome properties including the ability to cut through anything, inflict wounds that never heal, control wind, and stop someone from telling lies by holding it against their throat. A worthy mention although it isn't a sword is the Spear of Lugh, a mighty weapon that continually spouts flames and sparks and can pierce just about anything, although it was an Ax-Crazy Empathic Weapon that needed to be stored soaked in a bath of blood or poppy milk (depending on the telling) to keep it under control.

    Pinballs 
  • The player's sword from Black Knight, which lights up as his score advances.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Traveller the Imperial Marines have ceremonial cutlasses. Aslan, interestingly enough never used swords because they thought their claws were satisfactory. They have a great love for finely crafted weapons of all Technology Levels though.
  • Though Warhammer 40,000 has a plethora of exceptionally Cool Swords (many of them detailed below), it should be remembered that the basic chainsword is still, well, a sword and a chainsaw, thus being the exact blend of utterly cool and horrifyingly gory that defines 40k.
  • Exalted lives on cool swords. The most common of the cool swords are made of Jade, and are extremely fast because of it. Orichalcum weapons are weapons of perfection, made out of the same stuff as the Unconquered Sun himself. Moonsilver weapons can change shape and slip past defenses. Starmetal swords are made out of meteorites. Soulsteel weapons are made out of the souls of the dead. All of them are already very strong in stats, the material just adds a bonus.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Any Final Fantasy sword that isn't just bought in a shop (and some that are, depending on the game). Double points if it's named after one of the other swords on the list (Excalibur and Masamune are everpresent).
    • Final Fantasy VI has the Atma (or Ultima, depending on the translation) weapon, which resembles a pink lightsaber and grows longer the more HP the wielder has.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, the Buster Sword is huge, but otherwise not very remarkable: not magic, not super sharp, just a big hunk of metal on a short stick. The real reason it's so important is mostly symbolism: it was made by Angeal's father for when he went off to join SOLDIER. Angeal passed it on to his successor Zack, and he passed it on to Cloud. It's sort of a way of saying "You're the new resident badass, good luck!"
      • Speaking of Cloud's swords, The Fusion Swords from Advent Children are pretty cool. It's six swords that can form one big one!
    • Final Fantasy VIII's gunblades. Their description alone portrays them as special, impossibly cool weapons which can only be mastered by the most dedicated swordsmen. There are several models, almost all of them named, some of them damn big, and the protagonist's first one has a revolver grip. The name notwithstanding, these gunblades don't fire projectiles: they fire blanks which add a kick of vibration to the blade's impact, and mastery of the gunblade means incorporating this recoil into one's fighting style.
    • Garland's sword in Dissidia: Final Fantasy is not only so large that he has to drag it around since he can't hold it high, but it can split into two swords as well as turn into an axe, a lance and a whip.
    • Any Greatsword in Final Fantasy XII; they tend to look like they were forged from one piece of some metal we've never even heard of, and, due to being too big for a sheath, you carry it on your back, and when you put it there, it makes a clanking sound, like it's held there with a magnet.
    • Final Fantasy X has a bunch, ranging from Auron's "katanas", to Tidus' Brotherhood, to Paine's Spiky Sword.
    • The various swords featured in Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning's Gunblades, which transform into a gun, Serah's Bowsword which transform into a bow, Noel' dual swords, which combine into a spear. Caius's greatsword doesn't transform into anything, but it's huge
    • The Level 50 swords in Final Fantasy XIV all tend to look insanely cool, and most have a tendency to glow in some manner.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd gets not one, but TWO of these. One of them was his birth father's sword, which is essentially a flaming butcher knife. The other was his adopted father's sword, which was made of ice and could slice through rock.
  • The Legend of Zelda's Master Sword, which powers vary from game-to-game but these days is usually treated as an all purpose weapon for destroying evil. Most commonly, it has the "Power to Repel Evil," which is how you end up Playing Tennis with the Boss when the boss is the King of Evil. In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past you can actually make it even stronger by tempering it (turning the blade red instead of blue) and some Honest Axe action will get you an all mighty Golden Sword. There is also the Picori Sword from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap which is later reforged as the Four Sword which are essentially the same as the Master Sword and the Phantom Sword from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, which appears to be that worlds version of the Master Sword (down to similar aesthetics).
    • It should be added that the Four Sword can make 4 copies of its wielder, turning you into a small army.
    • Also from the Zelda series is the Biggoron's Sword, which is so big it takes two hands to wield, but out-does the damage of every other weapon in the games it appears in.
    • In many games since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the sword has a dedicated button unlike the other items, and has the widest array of uses out of all of them. Optional upgrades often add even more utility to it, such as shooting energy while Link is at full health or chargeable whirl attacks.
    • On the evil side, there exists a dark version of the Master Sword that was wielded by the Demon King Demise. When he was sealed away, the sword assumed a humanoid form named Ghirahim who plotted to unseal Demise.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Keyblades in general, which are part key, part sword. A mystical superpowered weapon granting superstrength and reflexes on absurd levels as well as being able to open and close routes between parallel universes.
  • The Star Dragon Sword/Zodiac Sword from the Suikoden series is pretty badass, and something of a Deadpan Snarker to boot.
    • In a slightly more comical example, Gon from the first Suikoden can upgrade his regular Sword into a literal Cool Sword and from there into the Very Neat Sword. This, I think we can all agree, makes Gon the best character ever.
  • Cyphers in Strider.
  • Soul Calibur has both the eponymous sword and its Evil Counterpart, the Soul Edge.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, in both of its incarnations.
  • Sinclair from Art of Fighting 3 wields a scimitar.
  • Super Robot Wars: There is nothing that Zankantou/Colossal Blade cannot cut.
  • League of Legends is chock full of them, mostly of a BFS variety. One character uses Mind over Matter to wield her sword, but is not described doing that with other objects, so it is assumedly just with her blade.
  • Just check out any epic weapon in an MMORPG. Rule of Cool seems to be how everyone wants to fight. There are even things like axes with spikes and skulls randomly strewn on it. Or for a sword example, Thunderfury, a sword longer than yourself that has random lightning jolts on it plus some... unique... cutting edges.
  • Warcraft
    • Frostmourne hungers...
    • The Ashbringer...
    • The Great Royal Sword of Stormwind.
    • The twin blades of Azzinoth, the very cool swords wielded by Illidan, or Thunderfury, a sword wielded by Thunderaan, lord of wind elementals, Ashkandi, greatsword of the Brotherhood, Zin'rokh and Jin'rohk... The list goes on.
    • For sheer size, we have armageddon.
    • Basically every single green quality (meaning it gives stats at all) sword in World of Warcraft from The Burning Crusade (first expansion) and up, and quite a few from Classic.
  • City of Heroes offers many options for the broadsword, katana, and dual blades melee powersets.
  • Nobody else thinks the Dragon Sword and the Dark Dragon Blade from Ninja Gaiden are cool?
  • Kamui's Tamayorihime in Arcana Heart, a sword that can cut through ether (Elemental substance) without damaging the physical body.
  • The Sword of Gith, from Neverwinter Nights 2. The average Silver Sword is capable of lopping heads and arms off with ease, shearing right through most materials, in addition to astral projections and is litterally made out of a constantly shifting blade of liquid silver. And that is the average silver sword carried by a Githyanki Knight. The Sword of Gith is the blade of the FOUNDER of the Githyanki, known for being so bloodthirsty that she actually had to be stopped by her most loyal retainer when she started picking fights with everyone. This is also bypassing the fact that it's a shattered weapon, held together by the very power of your character's mind, with a list of beneficial properties that outpreforms everything other individual magic item in the game.
  • Dak'kon's Karach blade from Planescape: Torment: made of pure elemental chaos and shaped by the wielder's will, a character who's studied it claims that, with the right mindset behind it, it could cut holes in reality...or kill an immortal.
  • Baldur's Gate 2 had the memorable Liliacor, an intelligent sword that was Ax-Crazy whose best advice on getting rich is to kill someone rich and loot the body. Repeatedly. It also protected you from confusion spells....
    • Then there's Carsomyr, the paladins-only Holy Avenger sword you recover from the lair of a notorious dragon and which comes with a list of bonuses and anti-magic abilities as long as your arm.
  • In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Soma can obtain the Sword in the Stone... while it's still in the stone!, but there is the Claimh Solais. It's huger, shinier, faster, holier... One of the rare examples where the Infinity+1 Sword sucks compared to some other weapon.
  • In Legaia: Duel Saga, there are some very cool swords. Some are on fire (sorta), none of them are sentient, but at least half of the main character's many blades are just kickass and very original in design. Wish I could find some pics of them online for proof...
  • In the campaign for Hordes of the Underdark, an expansion pack for the original Neverwinter Nights, you might stumble upon a talking longsword named Enseric. Be ready for a fight though if you plan on freeing him...
  • Team Fortress 2 gives the Scottish cyclops Demoman an unlockable sword, the Eyelander. It decapitates foes, and changes your health and speed based on how many people you kill, because it's haunted.
    • Some other swords have since been added to the game, mostly for the demoman, though the Eyelander remains the most iconic.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Umbra blade, which traps souls. Usually an Ebony longsword.
    • The "basic" ebony and daedric swords qualify - in most incarnations, the ebony weapons are often quite simple-but-elegant in design, and black with yellow/gold trim. The daedric weapons are grey-black with red trim and add on a more-than-healthy amount of Spikes of Villainy.
    • Bound blades, glowing ethereal weapons made of pure magic that can be conjured at will and typically have stats comparable to daedric swords.
    • Dawnbreaker, which makes the undead explode. It even has a glowy core bit.
    • A character skilled in smithing and enchanting can easily create their own.
  • From the Dragon Age series we have Starfang, made from starmetal, Vigilance, which is made with the bones of an elder High Dragon and is arguably the most powerful sword in the series, the Celebrant, which is a two-handed sword used as a badge of office for "Toughest Warrior in the Free Marches" and has absorbed the awesomeness of its past wielders... yeah, Dragon Age likes this Trope. A lot.
    • Asala is another great example, being the greatsword belonging to Sten, forged for his hand alone and as a Qunari, is considered to be an extension of his very soul. Finding it for him causes him to actually smile and afterwards earns you his Undying Loyalty.
    • There is also Yusaris, the Dragonslayer, the sword so cool it's on the game's title screen. (The sword in the background of the title screen is the aforementioned Asala.)
  • Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War both have the Dragon's Tooth Sword, a prototype nanite blade.
  • World of Mana: The Sword of Evil's Bane before the Master Sword, Herald, Gigas, Exacalibur, Masamune, and a thousand other names: the Sword of Mana. The latter games desribe it being instrument to slaying primortal evil and choas to create the world. It is wieled by the hero for the world's peril. More often than not the hero ends up with a rusted or broken sword in the final battle instead; it'll do.
  • Ragnell from Fire Emblem 9 and 10. It's one of the few weapons in the games that's indestructible, does insane damage, has a ranged attack, and is huge for the setting. It's only really comparable to it's twin, Alondite. That both swords are wielded by embodiments of awesome doesn't hurt.
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story and it's sequel both contain large swords of power. In the first game, you craft said sword from the other four swords that your father, Shintetsu, actually put his soul into and died making. You can choose to sacrifice your Guardian Beast for a more powerful sword and an easier fight, or let your companion live and have a slightly more difficult time. Either way, your new sword is big, blue, and kicks ass. You don't get to keep it after the end however. Then the second game gives you another, which is activated with your Mono Shift. It can shoot large energy bolts, but it's damaged while doing so. Slightly subverted in the fact that said sword is essentially the weapon you have crafted currently, with the same strengths and weaknesses. It's still badass, and it still can lay down the hurt quickly.
  • Temjin, the titular hero in Virtual-ON series, although his sword also works as a gun.
  • Fable III's main selling point is the fact, as you level up, you can form a basic longsword into one of these, it evolves depending on various factors and decisions you make, such as alignment, how much you use magic, how much gold you make, etc.
  • Golden Sun and its sequel Golden Sun: Dark Dawn have a bunch of these. What makes them really cool is their "Unleash" abilities. The Kikuichimonji summons a demon swordsman that slices your enemies in half. The Masamune summons dragons made out of water to smite your foes. The Verdant Sword turns into a lightsaber. Phaeton's Blade impales the enemy with spears of light. The coolest ones by far are the ones only The Hero (Isaac, Felix, and Matthew) can wield. The Gaia Blade can summon an even bigger cool sword while the Sol Blade can summon a miniature sun.
    • Not to forget the three of them have Psynergy involving summoning giant swords to impale their enemies.
  • RuneScape's got at least two worth mentioning:
    • The Godsword. An Infinity+1 Sword composed of four separate swords.
    • Silverlight, while not particularly useful at first unless you need to get up close and personal with demons, gets upgraded to a very good melee weapon at the end of a quest about... getting up close and personal with a demon.
  • How cool are the Eternity swords in Eien no Aselia? They're outright gods. In fact, the universe was apparently once one huge sword that shattered into them, and they're trying to reform.
  • Touhou: Youmu's Hakurouken and Roukanken. They are katanas (both of them), they can turn into BFS, they were forged by Youkai who are anti-thesis of gods, they can cut anything (explicitly stated to be able to cleave confusion).
  • Z-Saber is what makes Zero so cool - sometimes even surpassing X.
  • God of War: The Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile are a pair of short swords that Kratos can throw and swing using the chains on his wrists. They also light on fire when in use.
    • II brought us the Blade of Olympus, forged by Zeus himself to end the Great War between the Gods and Titans.
  • Almost all of the swords in Otogi: Myth of Demons are special in some way, wether it was used to seal a powerful demon, is a demonic blade that can kill anything it touches, or has a blade made of solid moonlight. All of the swords have some unique story behind them, in fact, the most normal sword in this game is a large katana designed for splitting helmets.
  • In the Kirby series, Meta Knight's blade Galaxia is a very cool sword indeed.
  • The Sword of Light, the Sword of Darkness and the Chaos Breaker from Shining Force. Each was an insanely powerful Laser Blade that could be used for different effects. Although, the Sword of Darkness was cursed and produced a Useless Useful Spell.
  • The Sora Katana in Red Steel 2.
  • The Monado in Xenoblade. To put it simply, it's a cool Laser Bladed BFS of Combat Clairvoyance and Plot Advancement. How in hell do you top THAT?! By having a God in it, that's how!
  • Icewind Dale has Pale Justice, a sword given to the church of Tyr by a devout worshipper. Blessed for 30 years, plain looking but able to cleave others in twain.
  • A lot of swords in the Rune Factory series count as this, specifically the ones with elemental powers. The most specific one is the Sakura.
  • Arx Fatalis has you make one yourself - a longsword (or much less cool saber), cast of mythril in dwarven automated forgery, surface fused with black undestructible meteor powder, and enchanted with a dragon egg for penetrating power. According to the enchanted weapon in-game manual, the thing is the strongest theoretically possible blade.
  • Kleever from Donkey Kong Country 2. It's a Flying Weapon with no one wielding it, absolutely huge, most definitely an Evil Weapon and looks like something made in hell.
  • The whole world/plane of Erathia from Heroes of Might and Magic was destroyed when the Ultimate Fire Sword came into contact with the Ultimate Ice Sword.
  • Sonic's sword Caliburn, Sir Gawain's Dual Wielding Swords, Sir Lancelot's sword, and Sir Percival's sword in Sonic and the Black Knight.
  • Ludger from Tales of Xillia 2 has a modern-looking version of the falcata as his main weapon. And just in case that wasn't cool enough already, he uses two of them in Reverse Grip.
  • Honedge from Pokémon X and Y is a Steel/Ghost sword pokemon with an ancient spirit residing inside. Those who try to wield it get their life force drained, however. When it evolves into Doublade, it becomes... two swords. Doublade then evolves into Aegislash, a BFS which a shield that can change from a Glass Cannon into a Stone Wall and vice- versa.
  • Dracula's Void Sword from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Literally.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Jetstream Sam carries his trusty Murasama, an authentic Muramasa katana augmented with High-Frequency blade technology. It vastly outshines Raiden's own mass-produced HF Blade, and it's the only sword sharp enough to damage Armstrong's nano-armor.
  • beatmania IIDX 21 SPADA's primary theme is swords. It should also be noted that "spada" is Italian for "sword".
  • The Moonlight Greatsword is a recurring item in From Software games. In both Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, the sword's blows deal magical damage instead of physical damage and a strong two-handed attack will launch a Sword Beam of pure moonlight. In the first Dark Souls it can only be obtained by cutting off the tail of Seath the Scaleless, an insane albino dragon who practically invented sorcery. In the second game, the sword is crafted from the Old Paledrake's Soul dropped by the Duke's Dear Freja in New Game+ which is heavily implied to be Seath's soul.
  • Gruntz has them as combat-specific tools. They look like pirate sabers and are the strongest melee weapons in the game, requiring only two hits to kill a grunt.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Belramus from Open Blue's Back Story is a holy sword allegedly forged from a tooth of the Iormunean Imperium's goddes. It can only be used by the Templar High Executor, cuts through anything, is virtually indestructible, and when worst comes to worst, can double as a Wave Motion Sword.
  • Destiny's Wave, the sentient jian wielded by Chou Lee, The Handmaid of the Tao, in the Whateley Universe.
  • While The Impossible Man feature cool swords, the one that stands out is Kaori's wooden sword Seizon, which means Existence in Japanese, where legend has it that it was whittled by Miyamoto Musashi and has the ability to cut existence itself.
  • The Sword of Saledesh in the Tales of Ubernorden story "The Sword of War" possesses unspecified powers that allows the wielder to conquer the world.

    Western Animation 
  • The South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" featured the "Sword of a Thousand Truths"
  • Drew's Fire Sword from The Secret Saturdays.
  • From ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011):
  • A lot of Transformers use swords despite possessing lasers. Those that stand out include Star Saber's Saber Blade from Transformers Victory and the unrelated blade known as the Star Saber (made of three Mini-cons) from Transformers Armada.
    • In Transformers Armada, Starscream's wing becomes a sword, and in Transformers Animated, Megatron's rotors become his swords. (His Transformation Sequence doesn't reveal this, but that's how it works on the toy.)
      • Vector Prime's sword Rhisling, which he posthumously gives to Optimus Prime, who uses it to slay Galvatron, Wing Saber's namesake weapons, formed from his wing flaps, Snarl's sword that doubles as a rifle, Galvatron's conjured sword, Evac's rotor-sword, and Starscream's Cyber Key-activated swords in Transformers Cybertron.
      • Later retconned as Cyber Caliber.
    • In Transformers Prime The Star Saber that Optimus Prime obtains in the episode Legacy, it glows and is really damn sharp.
      • Megatron's Dark Star Saber is basically the same, only it glows purple, has a jagged edge, and shatters the Star Saber.
      • Also from Prime's supplementary fiction is the Chaos Edge, one of a handful of weapons made by Solus Prime and wielded by Nexus Prime (both Cybertronian Precursors). It's abilities are never elaborated on, but hinted to be particularly nasty - Nexus actually only used it as a threat with no real intention of using it though.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Sokka's space sword.
  • Dave the Barbarian has Deadpan Snarker Empathic Weapon Lula.
  • In King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, obviously Arthur had Excalibur, not to be outdone,Lord Viper had an awesome jagged edged sword.
  • The closest Nogbad ever got to ruling the Northlands in The Sagas of Noggin the Nog was when he obtained the Sorcerer's Sword in "Firecake". It was a longsword that gave the wielder control over all living beings in the world, except for the stone giants. It was useless as a melee weapon, as knut was able to shatter it into pieces on a rock like glass, making it more like a magic wand than a sword.
  • In Code Lyoko, XANA-possessed William has a cool Final Fantasy-style Buster Sword.
  • Samurai Jack
    • Jack has a very cool sword. It was forged by the gods into a holy katana that is one of the very few things that can actually harm Aku.
    • The Scotsman has a blade that is just about as cool. His sword of choice is a huge claymore that also has magical properties, like nigh-unbreakability, due to being inscribed with "MAGIC RUNES!"
  • Generator Rex
    • Rex can transform his hand into the BFS (Big Fat Sword) which can turn into a saw!
    • Six's twin fold-up katanas that, when put together, create a powerful magnet.
  • Sliced Ice from Skysurfer Strike Force, whose sword has the power to freeze. It's literally a cool sword.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Shredder give Leonardo an ancient sword forged by a man who folded the metal 1,000 times to take out any impurities. Also the Shredder's magic sword.
  • Lance's Lance chain-sword and the Titan's sword in Sym-Bionic Titan.
  • Ace's Guardian Strike Sword in Loonatics Unleashed.
  • Finn's swords from Adventure Time are often cool. For example there's his golden sword (which surprisingly is a good weapon), his twin golden katanas, and his root sword. More notably, in one episode, his golden sword got upgraded to a fourth dimensional sword. In another episode, it's revealed that Finn and his adoptive brother Jake have a family sword made out of demon's blood.
  • In Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable once wielded the Lotus Blade, a magic sword protected by the Yamanuchi Ninja Academy. Not only an Absurdly Sharp Blade, the Lotus Blade can also be transformed into various other ancient weapons like staffs and shields.
  • The legendary Willblade from Huntik: Secrets & Seekers. It was used by the first Seeker, Lord Casterwill himself, to seal the Spiral Mark that can be used to call the Nullifiers. After it is found, Lok begins using it as his Weapon of Choice in pretty much every episode thereafter. The Betrayer tricks Lok into unsealing the Spiral Mark with it under the pretense of destroying it.
  • Gaff's Dragon Sword in Iron Kid.

    Real Life 
  • Fittingly enough the first-ever Real Life entry for this trope goes to Terry Pratchett, who in commemoration of his own knighting acquired the material to forge his very own sword, and out of genuine Thunderbolt Iron no less.
  • A bunch of real life cool spanish swords.
  • The Urumi whip swords have to classify.
  • The Japanese invented an intensive sword-making process that came about in large part because their iron is of terrible quality and needs a great deal of work to make it useful. Due to the influence of Japanese culture in entertainment, Japanese swords have quite a following.
  • The Germanic and Celtic tribes have, since the Iron Age, had a lengthy and trying process of sword-making that still produces some of the best swords today. It's called pattern-welding, and it involves twisting different kinds of steel together in order to ensure the blade has strength and flexibility. With a little treatment, the flowing patterns of steel would be visible on the blades. Like a human fingerprint, each blade had a different pattern. Prior to standardised systems of measurement, this style of swordsmithing was very unreliable; it has produced some of the best swords known anywhere to history, but it's also produced some of the flimsiest Iron Age swords as well.
  • Kuo Chang-hsi, a Taiwanese swordsmith, uses human bones to forge his swords. (He also forged the Green Destiny sword for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • Blade Batons are pretty cool because they conceal the blades and can act as one weapon or open it up and dual wield a pair of somewhat short swords!
  • While swords made of Damascus steel were objects of almost mythlike proportions, they were just really good swords. The legends of it cutting armor and other swords like butter are just that: legends, and none of these swords existed in europe in the middle ages, which would mean that the european swords could be of equal quality.
  • That Other Wiki has a list of cool swords.
  • These are cool swords.
  • The Sword of Mars. Rumored to be made out of meteorite iron and was a grave marker of the previous owner. While it stood in the ground it was struck by lightning. Attila the Hun discovered this sword and used it in his invasion of the Roman Empire.


Cool ToyThe Utterly and Completely Definitive Guide to CoolCool Guns
Cold IronThis Index Has Magic PropertiesCosmic Keystone
Cool HorseOlder Than FeudalismCould Say It But
Cool ShipRule of CoolCool Train
World of WarcraftImageSource/Video GamesDouble Weapon
Butterfly KnifeSword TropesCutlass Between the Teeth
Cool HorseChivalric RomanceCourtly Love

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
238062
2