Prongs of Poseidon
Go ahead, tell him he's holding a fork.

Unless your story is set in Barbados, there are exactly four types of uses for tridents in fiction.

  • The first type is for anyone associated with the sea, particularly if you're a fisherman or a god. This isn't contrived; tridents have their origins as fishing tools, after all, and Poseidon was portrayed with a great big trident.
  • The second type is if you're extremely evil. Tridents don't go to ordinary villains, and certainly not to mooks; if you're wielding one, you're pretty much Satan, or his local counterpart.
  • The third type is if you aren't evil or have anything to do with the sea. Not to be confused with the much more mundane farmer's pitchfork, which unless it's being used to pitch hay is generally wielded in combination with a torch and a mob mentality.
  • The fourth type has tridents being used in warfare as a spear capable of disarming. They were also used in Ancient Rome in the Gladiator Games, in a parody of fishing - a fisherman (Retiarus) went after a fish (Secutor, whose helmet had a fish welded on top). So historical works set in Ancient Rome or Ancient Grome are justified in showing tridents, either in the games or in war.


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    Type 1 

Anime and Manga
  • The shikai form of Shiba Kaien's Nejibana in Bleach, which is a water element zanpaktou.
    • Aaroniero Arruruerie also gets a hold of the exact same zanpaku-to after inheriting Kaien's memories, visage, and more by eating the Hollow that killed him before he became an Arrancar.
  • In Ronin Warriors, the Ronin member whose powers come from the sea, sure enough, wields a trident.
  • Neptune, King of the Mermen, and his eldest son Fukaboshi in One Piece. It also seems to be the Weapon of Choice of Neptune's Army. This include the captain of the New Fishmen Pirates Hody Jones, who is a former member.
  • Julian Solo becomes Poseidon's Soul Jar in Saint Seiya, and his armor has a pretty spiffy trident. Also qualifies as Type 2, since Poseidon is an evil god and Athena's rival, as well as the Big Bad of a rather long story arc (two, if we count the anime).
  • The Gundivers of SD Gundam Force have beam tridents than can function underwater, unlike the traditional beam sabers carried around by everyone else.
  • Zed O'Brien from Blood Blockade Battlefront is a fishman that uses a blood trident.

Card Games
  • Magic: The Gathering: In the Greek mythology-inspired Theros set, Thassa, the God of the sea, wields Dekella, a two-pronged bident with the power to control the sea until the planeswalker Kiora stole it from her.

Comic Books
  • Aquaman is increasingly being portrayed wielding Poseidon's Trident.
    • His wife Mera occasionally is too.
  • Namor, the SubMariner, is often depicted with Neptune's Trident.
  • The Apparently Human Merfolk who attacks Meriem in Cavewoman: Deep Water uses a trident as her primary weapon. The trident motif is also represented in her Stripperific costume.

  • King Triton in The Little Mermaid, unsurprisingly, as he's an obvious Expy of Poseidon. Or perhaps he is related to Poseidon. In the TV series, he once has a flashback involving "Uncle Neptune"...
    • In the Little Mermaid Broadway musical, Triton and Ursula are in fact the children of Poseidon. sort of weird, because it's later said that Triton and Ursula's father died. While Greek gods were killable, this seems like it should be a major plot point.

Film—Live Action
  • As his name suggests, Poseidon Org from The Movie of Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger has one.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the Trident of Poseidon is a magical artifact said to have power over all the curses and enchantments upon the sea. Captain Salazar seeks it to free himself and his crew from the curse of undeath, while Jack Sparrow's crew seeks it to free Will Turner from his bondage to the Flying Dutchman. Both crews get what they want when the Trident is destroyed — and The Stinger implies that it also brought Davy Jones back to life.

  • Drowned Wednesday (and later Arthur) wield the Third Key in Keys to the Kingdom, a trident. This has the double meaning of being the sea weapon and, as Wednesday is inflicted with the sin of gluttony, can also be used as a fork.
  • In Journey to the West, the great sage Erlang's weapon (used to subdued Sun Wukong) is a steel, bladed trident. Later, the hunter lord Boqin who rescues Tripitaka carries a similar trident with him, and uses it to kill a lynx.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus Poseidon sometimes uses a trident as a weapon. Many members of the sea people do that too.

Live-Action TV

  • Poseidon, of course, as well as his Roman counterpart Neptune, is always portrayed with a trident.
    • His brother Hades wielded a bident (a two-pronged spear) though this is much more forgettable, as Hades tended to avoid open combat and wasn't portrayed with it very often so his helm of invisibility is much better-known. On the other side their brother Zeus, being god of the sky, got the much-cooler lightning bolt, which can have as many prongs as he pleases.

Tabletop Games
  • The classic Dungeons & Dragons module White Plume Mountain had the magic trident Wave, which had a variety of water-related magic powers as an Expy of Poseidon's trident.

  • Kiina and Turaga Nokama have these in BIONICLE.

Video Games
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the Trident of Ankhol is the only weapon capable of breaking through Poseidon's shield.
  • Mega Man (Classic):
    • In Mega Man 5, Wave Man's face is adorned in three horns fashioned after the trident.
    • Splash Woman of Mega Man 9 has this as her weapon, a Laser Blade version.
  • The weapon of Kaidou Jin's sea-themed LBX Triton in Danball Senki W is appropriately a trident.
  • In NetHack, a trident is one of the many weapons you can wield. True to this trope, it does extra damage to monsters in water. Additionally, if you transform yourself into a metallivore and eat a trident, you get the message, "That was pure chewing satisfaction!"
  • The trident is a common spear in the Final Fantasy games, and it sometimes deals electric damage/extra damage to aquatic creatures.
  • In League of Legends, it's Fizz the Tidal Trickster's weapon of choice. His trident is somewhat unusual in that the prongs are placed in a triangle shape rather than in a line.
  • The Pokémon Prinplup, who already had two "horns", grows a third horn when it evolves into Empoleon, a reference to the trident, and Poseidon in general.
  • In ADOM, the rune-covered trident, an artifact which conveys the ability to breathe water among other benefits, can be obtained by performing a task for the water dragon Shyssiryxius, who is found in an underwater cavern. (Also, there is the Trident of the Red Rooster, which strangely enough has no particular affiliation with either water or evil.)
  • In Dungeon Crawl, when given a choice of weapons, Merfolk replace the "spear" option with a trident. Also, Gladiators have the same substitution for every race (as the Retiarius above).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Zora characters are occasionally shown wielding an ornate trident called the Lightscale Trident, particularly Princess Mipha.
  • In Bricks Of Atlantis, they appear as an item. When triggered, they zoom across the screen horizontally at high speed, damaging every block in the highest row of the screen.
  • Wave from the Dungeons & Dragons module White Plume Mountain shows up in Baldur's Gate II, though it's changed from a trident to a halberd since the game doesn't feature trident class weapons.

Visual Novels

Web Comics
  • The Troll Feferi Peixes in Homestuck, who lives under the sea, carries one of these; a legendary double-trident called the ΨDON'S ENTENTE.
    • Her ancestor, the Condesce, also uses a trident, as does her pre-scratch counterpart Meenah Peixes.
      • This actually works on multiple layers. The reason it's double-wield is because it is a longer version of the Pisces symbol when viewed horizontally. Neptunus is also the ruling planet of Pisces and a trident is its symbol. The other character known to use a trident is Jane, and they're all Life Heroes (as food is speculated to be a Life symbol, which has some logic). The three are also all associated with the Condesce, who is secretly Betty Crocker.

Western Animation
  • Teen Titans had a villain named Trident (and his many clones), and his weapon of choice was, yep, a trident. Yet for some reason, Beast Boy didn't know what the weapons are called ("Fork Thingie" doesn't have the same ring to it), and had to be correct by Aqualad.
  • AndrAIa in ReBoot used a trident as a weapon after she grew up.
  • Voltron from Voltron Force, when in the Blue Center configuration, gets the Titanic Trident. True to the trope, this configuration is best for underwater, and the Blue Lion's den is underwater.

Real Life
  • In the Roman gladiator games, the Retiarius was a gladiator with a fisherman theme; he wielded a weighted net, a trident, and a holdout dagger.
  • The Trident and Poseidon submarines nuclear missiles.
  • The motto of the United States Naval Academy is Ex scientia tridens. Translated literally, it means, "From knowledge, a trident." This is totally meaningless until you realize they mean "trident" as a metaphor for "seapower."
  • Brittania, the National Personification of Great Britain, wields a trident, representing British sea power (~Rule Brittania, Brittania rules the waves!~)

    Type 2 

Anime and Manga

  • The Salvation War has The Legions of Hell armed with tridents, which they use to channel their natural bioelectricity. Demonic nobles tend to have fancier, more conductive weapons.
  • Again from Journey to the West: Some demons wield tridents, including Yellow Wind and the Scorpion Princess. In the latter's case, said trident was actually composed by her "pincers".
  • In Horns, Ig becomes the Big Red Devil to avenge his girlfriend's murder. He hears a nearby commotion, and grabs the first weapon-like object in the ruined foundry without really seeing what it was. It turns out he grabbed a pitchfork.
  • In the prehistoric world of The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, a three-pronged fork is a healer's tool used in fetching souls of sick people. However, it is also the symbol of the Soul Eaters, a group of corrupted clan mages who were originally known as the Healers. They each have the fork tattooed on their chests, and after they forcefully tattoo it on Torak and this is exposed, he's exiled from the clans. In the last book, Eostra, the most terrifying of the Soul Eaters, wields a three-pronged spear which she uses to capture other creatures' souls.
  • Evil hydrites from the German SF series Maddrax sometimes use a trident as a weapon.

Live-Action TV

  • Satan is often portrayed as carrying a trident, though in modern culture it's often mistaken for a pitchfork. Early Christians tended to demonize the classical gods, included giving Satan attributes of them, such as Poseidon's trident and Pan's cloven hooves and horns.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Animation

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • In Winx Club, Tritnnus, the main villain in season 5, uses a trident to blast his enemies and brainwash people. As a merman, he's also connected to oceans.

    Type 3 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • The DC Comics superhero Blue Devil uses a gadget-filled trident as a weapon, in keeping with his 'devil' theme.

Fan Fiction

  • In one book of the Dragon Lance world, the main characters are stopped by a huge Ogre Knight armed with a large trident.

Video Games
  • Xing Cai in Dynasty Warriors wielded a two-pronged fork (which was an actual weapon in ancient China and doesn't have the devil/sea associations) and a small shield before discarding it for a sword in her net appearances.
    • Jiang Wei also wield a traditional trident in most of appearances.
  • The Javelin is one of the weapons you can get in Secret of Mana, though its number of prongs vary depending on what level you've forged it to with the Ultimate Blacksmith; it's used as a throwing weapon.
  • Toshiie Maeda's weapon of choice in Sengoku Basara is a large trident.
  • One of the possible weapons as a fighter in MapleStory is a trident with a fish stuck on the end...a Pike on a Pike, as it were.
  • You can find and use a trident in ''Drakensang 2.

Web Animation
  • RWBY: Neptune Vasilias wields a guandao (a type of halberd) that can transform into a trident (or a shock gun). While this is obviously a reference to his namesake, the sea god Neptune (aka Poseidon to the Greeks), Neptune otherwise has no connection to the ocean. Indeed, he's actually terrified of water.

Web Comics
  • In Level 7 of Rusty and Co., Dame Madeline Goodlaw receives a +2 Trident Of Warning from Zar the psion just before returning to Reality.
  • Zukahnaut's protagonist is unusually fixated with obtaining a trident from his first appearance. In the course of his attempts he makes several references to the comic book character SubMariner, who is often depicted with a trident in Type 1 fashion, and of whom Zukah is later shown to have a poster displayed in his home.

    Type 4 

Anime and Manga


  • In the second Time Scout book, Wagers of Sin, Skeeter tricked his captors into outfitting him with a trident and lariat, the two weapons he was actually best with, by pretending to be bad with them.
  • In The Hunger Games, Finnick Odair wins his Games fighting as, essentially, a Retiarius, with a trident he received form his sponsors and a net he wove from vines.
    • Also interesting to note is that Finnick is from District 4, which is the fishing district, so he could maybe get an entry in type one, too.

Live-Action Television
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand featured the fighting style known as Retiarius, in which gladiators were armed with a trident, dagger, net, and shoulder pads. The weapons were based on those that a fisherman would have. Other gladiators tend to mock it, as the lack of armor and net called for more evasive tactics than strength.