"Unearthed near the marshes of Kaladoun, the Bloodthirster is thought to have belonged to a powerful soulstealer named Frax Van Itt. The wielder of this dangerous weapon is forever bound to the blade and its thirst for the blood of others."
What is scarier than a bladed killing tool? Make it evil
. What is creepier than an evil sword? A hungry
evil weapon. A Hungry Weapon hungers or thirsts for victims — or to be more precise, their blood, souls, life force, or what have you. If it wants to kill but is not hungry or thirsty, it's just Ax-Crazy
For some reason, To be hungry, a sword doesn't need to be a Talking Weapon
, but it often does because it's good for a hungry, evil, Empathic Weapon
's image. If the audience only has the wielder's word for the weapon's hunger, it's not this trope. If the hunger or thirst is stated by either the sword, the narrator or other charaters, it's this trope.
In case of narrator-revealed hunger or thirst, it's good to remember that some narrators are unreliable
and some just like to be poetic. Swords in realistic, non-fantasy settings obviously cannot be evil or hungry, no matter what the narrator says.
Subtrope of Evil Weapon
(because for some weird reason, good
swords aren't ever hungry). Compare Weapons That Suck
for a different version of "hungry"
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Anime and Manga
- Episode 04 of the Hentai anime La Blue Girl features a sword whose spirit thrives on blood and sexual stimulation. It drove its wielder to carry out acts of mass slaughter, followed by immediate stimulation. Given this is La Blue Girl, the sexual part should be no surprise.
- Saika of Durarara!! is a demonically-possessed sword that "loves" humanity, and shows its affection by cutting them, and then adding them to its Hive Mind. Its goal is to possess all of humanity, and so seeks out strong individuals that are better suited to helping it possess more people, like Heiwajima Shizuo. In its own words, it craves strength like a human wants a partner with "good genes".
- In Soul Eater all the Demon Weapons (good or evil) get more powerful by eating souls. The eponymous character literally eats them (apparently they have a nice texture). A straighter example would be Tsubaki's brother Masamune, who merges with his wielder, allowing him to eventually eat their soul as well as anyone they killed.
- Naruto: Kisame's sword Samehada can absorb chakra and then give it to Kisame to heal/empower himself.
- Zabuza's sword Kubikiribocho can repair itself using the blood of his enemies.
- In Blue Moon Rising, one of the three Infernal Devices, Flarebright, uses the blood of its victims to fuel its flames.
- The Kalevala: Kullervo speaks to his sword after a murderous revenge spree, contemplating suicide. The sword speaks its mind and replies that it wouldn't mind eating guilty flesh and flawed blood just as fine as innocent flesh and blood.
- The sword in Lloyd Alexander's The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. It literally asks for blood to drink, until at a crucial time it decides it's had enough, and jumps out of the hands of its wielder.
- Pretty much exactly the same scenario as with Kullervo in The Kalevala, a Finnish epic, plays out between Turin Turambar and his sword Gurthang in The Silmarillion. This is not entirely surprising, since The Kalevala was an influence on J.R.R. Tolkien.
- The sentient sword Nightblood in the book Warbreaker is obsessed with killing evil people, though it can't distinguish between an actual 'evil' person, and someone who's merely in the way. Merely touching the sword when you aren't 'pure of heart' will lead you to go on a killing frenzy before eventually killing yourself.
- In an even straighter example of this trope, Nightblood also eats its wielder's souls (people can transfer souls around in this world) to fuel its powers.
- Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone novels. The sword Stormbringer is hungry for souls, often moaning when it wishes to feed. When it hits an opponent, it drains their soul and Life Energy, killing them. It can force Elric to strike at other people by controlling his mind.
- A rare non-evil example is found in The Spiral Labyrinth. The protagonist is thrown forward to a time when The Magic has Come Back, and finds that his AI-controlled energy pistol has become a magical sword that feeds on the life force of those it kills.
- In the Ethshar novel The Misenchanted Sword, the eponymous sword literally could not be resheathed until it had been used to kill somebody.
- Kin-Slayer in Chronicles of the Kencyrath is portrayed as a weapon which doesn't want to be put in the scabbard without having killed someone first.
- In the Terry Pratchett short story "Final Reward", when the fantasy author Dogger wakes up to find the Barbarian Hero he created on his doorstep, Edran's sword Skrung conversationally remarks that it wants to drink Dogger's blood. And the postman's.
- Skurai from the mahnwa Ragnarok very much. He might even say the exact words. Of course his sword is evil and half-possessing/Brainwashing him and literally needs to drink blood (aka butcher people), so...it's almost justified in a way. There is no reason why he has to be such a Big Ham about it, though. That's just tasty, gratuitous villainy.
- Norse Mythology
- King Högni's dwarf-made sword Dáinsleif. It could not be sheathed until it had drawn blood or taken life.
- Tyrfing. Another dwarf-forged sword, it was cursed so that it would kill a man every time it was drawn.
- The Muramasa swords in Japanese legends drive the wielder mad and force him to spill blood, any blood when wielded.
- An awful lot of evil artifact weapons from every incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons exhibit this behavior, as well as many lesser cursed items. Such as a weapon with the vampiric ability or similar will feed on opponents hitpoints and transfer them to the user is alignment free.
- One specific example is a sword from Dungeons & Dragons adventure S2 White Plume Mountain, Blackrazor. It hungers for Life Energy and will try to force its wielder to use it to attack others so it can feed. It's a Shout-Out to Stormbringer, mentioned above.
- In the French RPG Bloodlust, each player character wields such a weapon. And the weapons have character sheets too.
- Various magical weapons, typically Chaos or undead aligned, in Warhammer Fantasy have this nature.
- Team Fortress 2: The Eyelander thirsts for heads, and whispers repeatedly "heaadssss".
- Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 has the Malice Sword, Which consumes the souls of any CPUs slain by it. In a certain bad ending, Nepgear and Neptune finds the sword and the former was forced (or rather, asked) to use it kill her friends (and sister) to gain their power so that she can have enough power to stop Arfoire and avert The End of the World as We Know It. Said sword transforms into an Infinity+1 Sword called the Gehaburn.
- WarCraft: Arthas' sword, Frostmourne, which consumes the souls of those slain upon it. This actually leads to Athas' Catch Phrase, "Frostmourne hungers!"
- The Honedge line of Pokémon X and Y are based on this. The pokedex entry for Honedge itself states that it sucks out the souls of those foolish enough to wield it like an actual sword.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the warrior Umbra holes up in an Ayleid ruin mostly to isolate her sword (also called Umbra) from the souls it lusts for. Of course, you, the bastard that you are, will kill her and take this evil thing for yourself.
- The Ebony Blade in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is your reward for helping the Daedric Lord Mephala, and she urges you to use it on those you love the most so that the sword can absorb their essence and grow stronger.
- You can manipulate the blade by being exceptionally cruel to a single "friend"; if you kill and resurrect the same guy over and over using Dead Thrall (a special resurrection spell that doesn't destroy the body after they're killed again), you can bring the blade to its full potential. You don't even need to murder your friend if he dies of natural causes!
- In a rare good example, the divine sword Lumina from Brave Fencer Musashi will devour the souls of your enemies and let you use their special attacks.
- In Darkstalkers, the phantasmic demon samurai Bishamon wields a blood-thirsty sword known as a Kien. Due to a ritual used to keep the blade eternally sharp while crafting it, Kien hungers for death and destruction (a trait of the sword that was made only worse when it fell under the influence of the cursed armor Hannya). Donning said weapon and gear enslaves the user to the will of the artifacts and sends them on a mindless rampage.
- Soul Edge from the Soul Series has a tendency to eat the souls of both its targets and its wielders.
- Enserric the Longsword from Neverwinter Nights expansion has different one-liners spoken for hitting enemies of different races.
- The cursed swords in Muramasa: The Demon Blade cannot be sheathed until they have tasted blood. It there's no one around to kill, the swords will turn on their wielders.
- In Dark Cloud, one of the swords you could get was called the Lamb Sword. In it's normal state, it was pretty weak, but if you didn't use it for a while, it became hungry and would become much more powerful. After it killed a few victims, it would return to it's natural state.
- In the Gaia Online MMORPG, the Muramasa sword cannot be sheathed until it has drawn blood.
- In Shinobi for PS2, the protagonist Hotsuma wields Akujiki, a sword that feeds on the Yin of its slain enemies. This is actually a key gameplay element, essentially acting as a timer. Killing enemies keeps its steadily decreasing gauge full. Killing enemies in quick succession creates elaborate combos known as "tate," which relinquish the most Yin. Allow it to go hungry and Akujiki begins to slowly devour Hotsuma's life gauge instead. Storyline wise, like many other hungry weapons, the source of its Yin doesn't matter; Akujiki eats the yin of humans and demonic hellspawn alike.
- Torg from Sluggy Freelance has a magic sword ("Chaz") that glows red, speaks, and becomes SUPER EFFECTIVE for a period after it's been bathed in the blood of an innocent.
- In one of the Cardboard Tube Samurai installments of Penny Arcade called The Wandering Age: Last Rites it is at first implied and then confirmed that the hero Tobun was possessed by an evil sword.
- Katana in Beware the Batman was sent by the CIA to go undercover as a member of the League of Assassins and find an Artifact of Doom called the Soultaker Sword. Unlike similar entries on this page, it suck souls by a magic chant rather than straight up killing. Because of that, she decided to hide the sword, knowing that such power is too dangerous to be in any organization's hands. Of course, years later, the League of Assassins find it.