Arms for a hero forge; arms that requireThe hero needs a weapon. Maybe his ancestral sword was broken by the villain and needs to be repaired. Or maybe the weapon he has just isn't good enough. At any rate, he needs not just any sword, but the right sword. And the right sword must be custom forged. Thus, we get a Forging Scene. A skilled blacksmith, perhaps a magical smith or even the hero himself will take molten iron (Thunderbolt or otherwise) and hammer it into a war-worthy weapon with his own two hands, making sure you see how much effort is going into making it and how beautiful the end product is. All sorts of Artistic License is taken when depicting the process in visual media, usually by conflating steps that are actually supposed to be done in a very specific order. For example, you will often see a smith at his anvil hammering on a sword or piece of armor that is practically finished already—perhaps already fitted with a hilt if it's a sword—when in reality this kind of rough shaping is done before you grind or polish the piece and would ruin your work if you tried it afterwards. This liberty is probably taken to make sure that the viewer recognizes it as a weapon, rather than a scale-covered piece of iron. A more egregious example of such license is that sometimes a steel sword is shown being cast by pouring molten metal into a mold, when this technique was only used for making bronze swords. In general, as long as the process gives the artist an opportunity to depict flickering firelight and shadows and splashes of brilliant color—which is a major reason for having one of these scenes—the creators and audience will not over-think these details. The heat of the forge is also conducive to Fanservice. Though female smiths are not unknown, the vast majority of these sequences will be conducted by some brawny male figure, largely due to the popularity of Hot Men At Work — and despite the obvious danger from spurting flames and shooting sparks, such a scene will often (as in the page picture) be conducted as a Shirtless Scene, as well. Can occasionally appear in a Hard Work Montage because what can be more manly than burly men hitting hot metal? See also Creation Sequence, the Super Trope.
Your force, your speed, and all your forming fire.
Your force, your speed, and all your forming fire.
— Vulcan, The Aeneidnote
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Anime & Manga
- In Berserk, Guts has maintenance done on his Dragonslayer via this.
- Queen's Blade: the female Fanservicey version done by Cattleya, less so by Ymir.
- In Sakura Wars TV, after Sakura breaks her sword, it had to be reforged back. No shirtless men, since they are mostly elderly.
- City Hunter has a variant: Ryo carefully melting a gold coin to make a special tip for a .500 Nitro Express round, as he needed a weaker bullet than the standard elephant killer for what he had in mind.
- Bleach has when Nimaiya Ouetsu reforges Ichigo's sword.
- Usagi Yojimbo: The comic has a segue about a Japanese swordsmith making a katana, beginning with a forging scene with a team of strikers that is as much religious ritual as it is craftsmanship.
- Planet Hulk ends with Hulk and Hiroim forging the sword Hulk would go on to use in World War Hulk. This is done with the Bookends narration "This is the story of the Hulk... and how he finally came home." over a shot of the Hulk pointing his still cooling sword at an image of Earth on the screen.
- Throughout the early issues of Walter Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor, we get the occasional one-page shot of a mysterious being forging a sword... with the sound effect DOOM! every time the hammer comes down. It's Surtur preparing for Ragnarok.
- Steel usually does this every time he makes a new suit of armor. Especially in Grant Morrison's JLA, since Morrison saw him as the Hephasteus of the League's pantheon, and therefore would rather show him sweating over a forge than adjusting servomotors with a screwdriver.
- Though it doesn't quite meet the fanservice aspect of this trope, the Guardian Ganthet is shown forging his own ring in this fashion when he decides to become a Green Lantern in Blackest Night.
- In Ashbringer, there is a scene where King Magni Bronzebeard forges the legendary weapon from the purified crystal shard of evil.
- Weirdly enough, Judge Dredd found room for one of these during the Judge Cal saga. Justice Department may have super-advanced handguns, infallible lie detectors and interplanetary spacecraft, but they also keep a blacksmith on the payroll for making badges.
Films — Animation
- Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus has one such scene, where Aidan forges the Wand of Light for Annika.
- How to Train Your Dragon, as Hiccup forges not a weapon, but an artificial wing to harness Toothless' flying ability.
- In the "Pastoral Symphony" sequence of Disney's Fantasia, Vulcan forges thunderbolts for Jupiter to hurl at Bacchus.
Films — Live-Action
- Conan the Barbarian (1982) starts with the forging of the Father's Sword. It dramatically but anachronistically depicts a steel sword being made by pouring liquid metal into a mold before hammering it on an anvil.
- Evil Dead:
- Iron Man
- In the first film, there is the scene of Robert Downey, Jr., hammering away on a metal sheet, sweating in the forge-light... which makes the women (and some of the men) in the audience go weak at the knees.
- The second movie has Ivan Vanko making his own arc reactor and suit, and later Tony creating a new element to power his arc reactor in his lab.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- The forging of the One Ring by Sauron
- And the reforging of Narsil into Andúril.
- Also the orcs making the weapons and armor for the Uruk-hai.
- The female blacksmith of A Knight's Tale notices that the main character wears armor that wasn't made for him. She volunteers to make him some that's so light-weight he wouldn't know he was wearing it. After she is finished the knight is presented with a suite of shiny new armour.
- Siegfried forges a sword (starting at 2:20) in the first part of Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (1924).
- Highlander III: The Sorcerer film has Connor's sword shattering, so he goes home to Scotland to reforge it and rebuild his strength.
- Will gets a forging scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, which would later go on to provide the beat for the Stupid Statement Dance Mix.
- Dragonslayer. The title weapon was forged before the events of the film by the village blacksmith, but hidden because the kingdom decided to appease the dragon instead. But, while it is a nasty spear, the main character is pretty sure it's not good enough, so he uses his magic to heat the blade to a temperature greater than a forge can reach. The original smith starts hammering the heated blade again, and in the next scene it's an Infinity Plus One Spear.
- The Man with the Iron Fists has several such scenes, as the main character is a blacksmith.
- The movie version of Sharpe's Sword has a brilliant three-way cut-scene between Harper reforging a sword with appropriate hammering, grinding, and sparks flying, 'Lass' displaying hitherto unsuspected Combat Medic skills in doctoring a dying man, complete with mournful flute music - and the bad guy stitching up his own wound.
- In The Wolfman (2010), when the village brings their silver to be forged into bullets for protection.
- Steel has a scene with the forging of the hero's armor, despite the fact that it takes place in modern day.
- Naked Lunch: Played with, as it's done with a typewriter instead of a sword. Lee's writing machine is taken back a gunpoint by the guy he borrowed it from and his old one gets smashed to pieces. Kiki then takes him to a blacksmith who uses the old pieces to forge a new one.
- Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time:
- The Dragon Reborn: Perrin assists a blacksmith for a while, who lets him keep the hammer, which he wears alongside his axe and represents his desire to stop being a warrior and be a man of peace who creates.
- Perrin gets another Forging Scene in Towers of Midnight, when he and the Asha'man Neald forge Mah'alleinir, Perrin's new Shadowspawn-smiting warhammer and the first Power-wrought weapon in three thousand years.
- Older Than Feudalism: An entire chapter of The Iliad is devoted to the creation of Achilles' new armor by Hephaestus. For some reason most of the text is about ornamental designs engraved on the shield while the rest of the armor gets made in a couple paragraphs. Shamelessly ripped off by some upstart in The Aeneid.
- Happens in the Finnish epic The Kalevala quite a lot. Rune IX is noteworthy because it is the origin of iron.
- Oddly averted in The Lord of the Rings, in which the re-forging of Andúril is mentioned, but not emphasized and not given its own separate scene.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms has the forging of the three brothers signature weapons: Zhang Fei's long spear, Guan Yu's hefty pole arm, and Liu Bei's double swords.
- There's one in The Amber Spyglass, when the gang reforges the Subtle Knife. In an interesting variation, the blacksmith is a bear.
- Even more interesting is the smith's using the hero's body to forge the eponymous sword in Brisingr.
- Emperor: The Field of Swords has a scene in which Cavallo, a Spanish blacksmith, shows the Roman smiths how to use charcoal to make a gladius of steel rather than iron. Renius watches, since he has become curious about how the swords he uses every day are actually made.
- Frequently done when badgers are involved in Redwall.
- The forging of Gram, sword of the hero Sigurd, by the smith Regin, in the Völsunga saga and the Poetic Edda — fairly short but effective.
- In Phoenix Rising: When the Spiritsmith sets out to create armour and a sword for Kyri, though a lot of it is delivered as an explanation for why he intends to accomplish, why he does things, and why she has to help.
- The illustration of the forge god rebuilding the Kite in The Last Hero.
- How It's Made, which is basically a half-hour of these. Similar titles include Factory Made, How Do They Do It?, and inversion, Deconstructed.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys often featured these.
- In Sharpe's Sword, after the title character's sword is broken and he is grievously wounded, Harper convinces a priest (who was quite a swordsman, in his day) to give him one of the priest's collection of old swords, so he can fix it up into a proper replacement.
- Villain example in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: Bandora's goons and a kidnapped child named Shigeru forge Durandal for Dora Knight. The sword will not harm its maker, making the Zyurangers have to bring Shigeru aboard Daizyujin in order to win the battle.
- The fourth season of Game of Thrones opens with Lord Tywin Lannister watching (with just a touch of villainous smugness) as Ice, the Ancestral Weapon of House Stark, is melted down into two smaller swords for the use of his own family. At this stage in the war, House Lannister has apparently triumphed over all their enemies. Just to emphasize this point, Tywin throws the wolfskin scabbard (the wolf being the sigil of House Stark) into the fire.
- In the 90's, the UK satellite channel UK Gold, which focused on older BBC and ITV programs (now known as GOLD and dedicated to comedy, had an entire ident set based around this, from 1994 to 1997. It concerned the UK Gold logo forged on a gold brick, as a man labored to do it.
- The Grave Digger song "Sword", from the Rheingold album, depicts such a scene.
Steel by steel
The hammer falls
Shaping me — a deadly sword
With fire and power — I do well
I curse it with a magic spell!
- Dio has a new sword forged for him in the Holy Diver video.
- In the middle of the epic half-hour Manowar song, Achilles, Agony and Ecstacy in Eight Parts, there's a five-minute-long drum solo called "Armor of the Gods," which represents Hephaestus forging Achilles' armor. It's awesome.
Myths & Religion
- The Prose Edda has one for the forging of three magical items by the dwarf Sindri, culminating in the creation of Thor's hammer Mjolnir. Loki tries to interfere with each of them, but at his best managed a partial success with the third.
- There is an entire chapter of The Iliad devoted to the forging of Achilles' armor. Most of it is Description Porn about the engravings on the shield.
- In Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung opera tetralogy:
- As the gods descend into the realm of the nibelung dwarves in the first opera, we hear a percussion extravaganza of eighteen anvils, beating in rhythm with the music.
- Siegfried's EPIC forging of Nothung in Siegfried. "NOTHUNG, NOTHUNG! Neidliches Schwert!!"
- In Der Freischütz, seven magic bullets are forged one-at-a-time, each more terrifying than the last.
- The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games featured the transformation of green fields into smoking industry and the founding of the olympic rings in (simulated) molten steel.
- The Legend of Zelda
- In A Link to the Past, the dwarven smiths can be asked to improve your sword, which leads to a Forging Scene.
- Ocarina of Time features the infamous forging-subquest for the Awesome, but Impractical two-handed Biggoron-Sword.
- In Phantom Hourglass you need to forge the Phantom Sword.
- Parodied in Oracle of Ages: In order to reforge the broken sword, you have to win a minigame which has very much nothing to do with the forging itself but amusement for the smith. It doesn't help that said smith usually refers to this minigame as an important ritual which must be completed.
- Skyward Sword as a whole is in many ways an extended forging scene. Though there's no forging in the traditional sense, at several points Link bathes his sword in divine fire to make it stronger.
- Neverwinter Nights:
- The cinematic when you start up the game also shows shots of a man forging a sword, interspersed with shots of the man fighting a minotaur. This is apparently meant to be Nasher Alagondar before he became Lord of Neverwinter.
- In the Hordes of the Underdark expansion, there is a blacksmith who can enchant your sword. The first time he does it, it plays an animation accompanied with Crowning Music of Awesome.
- The player character invokes a forging scene every single time he has to create or temper a sword in Legend of Mana. This gets very, very tedious fast.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Jedi Knight's tutorial quest ends with the construction of their lightsaber.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, whichever Paragon you side with at the end of the Orzammar quest chain will forge a crown for whoever you choose to be the new king of Orzammar. It's kind of
weirdawesome seeing a huge steel golem do this if you choose Caridin.
- Summon Night Swordcraft Story, both 1 and 2, have brief forging scenes whenever you create a new weapon.
- The opening cinematic of Vagrant Story has one of these, in between shots of dragons and a dancing girl with a sword balanced on her head.
- A critical sequence in Chrono Trigger has the Masamune being reforged; Lucca can even pitch in and help out.
- Whenever you forge a new weapon in Overlord, you are treated to a short smelting animation. Preceded by possibly hundreds of your minions happily jumping into the smelter.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade has the same one each time you commission a new sword from Muramasa. Since there 108 swords in the game, you'll see this cutscene a lot. Fortunately it's skippable.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, any time the player goes to work at a smithing station, an animation will play of the character doing various smithing tasks in the background while you're putting together or upgrading the armor, weapon, or jewelry in question. There are different animations for different stations, be they a forge, a grindstone, smelting in a furnace, making leather on a tanning rack, or hammering plates of armor on a workbench.
- The opening cinematic of Infinity Blade III is interspersed with scenes of the Worker of Secrets forging the eponymous blade as he muses on the events that have led up to the present.
- The opening cutscene of Dwarf Fortress has a forging scene, rendered in glorious ASCII Art.
- The opening of Drakensang has the narrator (a cyclops) start to make a weapon for the hero prophesized to defeat the ancient evil. You get to pick up the finished product near the end of the game.
- Dr. Horrible gets one in the third act of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, when he converts his freeze ray into a Death Ray.
- One of the promotional shorts made for Halo 3, Arms Race, is pretty much entirely a Forging Scene, showing them building weapons, vehicles, even giving soldiers buzz cuts and outfitting them with equipment. The video implies that every time a fleet needs to be resupplied, the required weapons and equipment are mass-produced on the spot.
- Man at Arms is an entire series based on this trope, forging real-life replicas of fictitious weapons ranging from Oddjob's hat to BFS swords like Zangetsu and the Buster Sword (the latter requiring two people to wield it) to a legit Thunderbolt Iron replica of Sokka's sword.
- Sokka's "Space Sword" forging in season 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- The second intro to the Iron Man animated series features one of these, courtesy of Tony Stark himself. Most other versions have a slightly different kind of montage, but that one has the scene complete with hammering.
- In Justice League, Superman, finding himself thousands of years in the future against giant mutant animals and without his powers, forges a blade using road flares, a sledge hammer, and a metal rod. It is pretty epic.
- The Simpsons:
- Parodied when a big burly blacksmith is shown hauling molten metal and clanging away with large tools, in order to build... a tiny key that unlocks Bart's chains.
- The commercial for the Krustyburger Ribwich.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
- An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features Leonardo recovering his confidence after a brutal battle by forging new swords for himself.
- The Samurai Jack episode "Seasons of Death", the winter vignette is a forging sequence by a tribe of mountain giants using all the resources of their civilization, including dragon fire, lightning, and eldritch magic, to create the ultimate Blade of Doom, which Jack destroys without trouble.
- On the other side of spectrum is the scene where some immense monk-like beings forge Jack's own sword (for his father initially), using the man's Spark as the workpiece, and gods heating it with their divine power.