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Ancestral Weapon

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"That's the Howe crest, burned into the wood right there! my grandfather's bow. Or rather, my grandfather was the last to use it. It was originally made for an ancestor during the Exalted Marches."

The hero receives a weapon that once was carried by his father or a more distant ancestor. Nine times out of ten this is either a sword or a gun, depending on the setting.

If the person who has it has a choice about who to give to, or even whether, may also fall under It Was a Gift.

If people want the hero to not Turn Out Like His Father, they will try to keep the weapon from him. Whether they surrender, or he gets it behind their back, he will metaphorically as well as literally take up the ancestral weapon.

If Magic, may flat out not work for someone not of the Heroic Lineage.

May overlap with Older Is Better when the weapon is older and more powerful than modern weapons, as well as with Legendary Weapon. When the weapon is passed on by the death of its previous owner (who need not be a blood relative), see Take Up My Sword.

Do not confuse with the gaming weapon class of the same name, which is more about how powerful or magical the weapon is and less about where it came from.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, Nanao's zanpakuto is revealed to be a ceremonial sword passed down through her family, as opposed to her having one of her own. Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World expands upon this concept a little, explaining that most noble families have ancestral weapons that anyone of their bloodline can use in addition to their own personal zanpakuto, such as Muramasa for the Kuchiki family and Enrakyoten for the Tsunayashiro family.
  • In Bubuki Buranki, the quasi-sentient Bubuki are normally passed down from parent to child. (Can be subverted, in that a Bubuki can also be taken by defeating its current wielder.)
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Senshi's pot used to be an heirloom shield, but since he doesn't need the shield he repurposed it into a pot. Oh, and it's made of adamant capable of withstanding an undine's water jet (easily capable of cracking stone and punching through flesh like a knife) - not to mention that it's an unbelievably excellent metal for cooking with. He also molded the fabled mithril into a cooking knife, which...underutilization would probably get him killed by Namari.
  • in Dragon Ball, Goku's extendable staff was given to him by his adopted grandfather Gohan. In at least one of the movies, Goku's son Gohan is seen carrying it as well.
  • Ga-Rei: Yomi's Shishiou blade, which contains the spirit of Ranguren.
  • Inuyasha:
    • The title character and his brother use swords forged for their father and left to them as heirlooms. Not only are they inherited from their Father...they are MADE from their father. He ripped two of his own fangs out (Inu-No-Taisho is GIGANTIC in his true form) and forged them into the twin swords.
    • Kagome, as the reincarnation of Kikyo, inherits Kikyo's bow. Played with, since it's unlikely that Kagome is a direct descendant of Kikyo or her sister.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Enraiha, a spirit-blessed Flaming Sword passed down to the next head of the Kannagi family.
  • Laughing Under the Clouds:
    • The Kumo family swords have been passed down for generations. They've pretty much rusted to uselessness within their scabbards over time and have become more symbolic than anything else. However, it turns out that they contain the spell needed to defeat the Orochi.
    • The Abe family sword has been passed down through the generations as well. It is currently held by Sosei but used to belong to Hirari generations ago.
  • In the manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, Link uses his grandfather’s sword for most of the first volume, and he later receives another sword from his ancestor Raven.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Quint Nakajima's Revolver Knuckles were split between her daughters Ginga and Subaru after her death, although Subaru does briefly use both of them in the final episode of StrikerS.
    • Lutecia's Asclepius was owned by her mother Megane, though she is merely retired rather than dead (having spent eight years in a coma after the same incident that killed her former partner Quint).
    • In the movie version of A's, Chrono's Durandal was changed to being the personal weapon of his father due to the entire subplot involving its creation being cut.
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji Kabuto counts if you consider his grandpa's giant robot as an ancestral weapon.
  • Naruto:
    • Kakashi Hatake used the tanto of his father in Kakashi Gaiden. The tanto gave off a white streak of chakra when it was swung, which gave the original owner, Sakumo Hatake, the nickname "Konoha's White Fang" Unfortunately, it broke when Kakashi used it to defend himself and Rin from a swarm of Iwa-nin.
    • Asuma's daughter Mirai wields his trench knives as an adult (Shikamaru had originally gained possession of them upon Asuma's death and passed them on to her when she became a chunin).
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Negi Springfield uses his (famous and extremely powerful) father's staff as his primary weapon, at least until he gets a magic ring that allows him to cast spells emptyhanded (several other characters use a similar device), which fits his fighting style much better. He still occasionally uses the staff, though. Notably by turning it into a giant lightning halberd.
    • It was hinted (but not explicitly said) that Yuuna Akashi's magical artifact previously belonged to her deceased mother.
  • Record of Lodoss War does this with Parn's original sword, as well as his armour. When asked to receive the arms and armour of a Holy Knight of Valis from King Fahn, he tells the King that the Sword and Armour of his father. He takes the Shield though, lifting it in an Item Get!. This trope is later subverted when his father's Sword breaks, and Parn takes up the King's Sword of Light.
  • In Romeo X Juliet, Juliet fights with her father's sword.
  • Both Raijin and Fujin Swords in Yaiba, together with many others, are really old weapons from the past.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The titular character inherits the Silver Crystal from the ancestral Moon Kingdom.
    • In the manga and in Crystal, the Cutie Moon Rod was stated to have belonged to Queen Serenity (and implied in the 90's anime). It then becomes Sailor Moon's weapon in the second arc and when she became Neo-Queen Serenity, she continued to wield it until giving it to her daughter so she would be able to help her younger self.
  • In The Severing Crime Edge, the killing goods are weapons passed down by serial killers to their descendants and are supernaturally stronger than normal weapons.
  • Star Wars: Visions: In "Lop and Ochō", the Yasaburo clan owns a lightsaber that a Jedi gave them hundreds of years ago. Before the patriarch of the clan leaves to face his villainous biological daughter, he bestows the lightsaber on his adopted daughter Lop to signify that she's his successor.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings has two of these, both belonging to the same royal family.
    • The Staff of Light is a Magic Staff that's been passed from mother to daughter in the Nokanatika family for generations. Krystal takes up this staff when it becomes clear that she and the other princesses will need to train themselves to fight alongside Satou if they're to have any hope of defeating the Abyss King.
    • The Nokanatika family has an unnamed magic sword that has been passed from king to king for generations. After Krystal's father's death, it came into possession of the Emperor of Gisaras, who gives the sword to Krystal's husband Satou in chapter 50.
  • The Beast Spear from Ushio and Tora has been passed down through the ages to wielders though the ownership is seemingly random, but eventually, one thing binds the wielders: overuse of the Spear turns them into Azafuse, such as Tora, the First wielder.

    Comic Books 
  • In Secret Six, Scandal's "Lamentation Blades" were handed down to her from her maternal ancestors.
  • In Runaways (and later A-Force), Nico wields the Staff of One, a powerful magic staff that's been in her family for centuries.
  • In X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire, the Phoenix Sword is Clan Pyre's heirloom passed from generation to generation, forged by the Pyre's ancestor the Phoenix, meaning only they can access its power. Its initially wielded by Madelyn Pyre after being passed from her mother, and she intends to pass it to her younger sister Jena. At the end, the sword is destroyed after being stolen and corrupted by an enemy, but Jena manages to absorb the sword's power as her own.
  • Raptors: The Molina heirloom sword and dagger used by the twins, which originally belonged to their father. Drago passes the sword to Aznar's mother, who later inherits it himself. He in turn hands over the sword to Vicky.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992), Sahashrala reveals to Link that he is the son of Hyrulian knights. This puts him in the running to wield the Master Sword, like Roam.
  • The Ebony Blade of the Black Knight in Marvel Comics. The current Black Knight, Dane Whitman, was gifted it by the spirit of his ancestor Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight, and subsequent retcons showed it used by previous scions of the family. Shame it's cursed.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Silmarillion fanfic A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, Beren wields his deceased father's sword, "Dagmor".
  • The Bridge: The Hurricane Lance was first used by Commander Hurricane, then it was passed to his daughter Ardent Sentry. It is not strictly an ancestral weapon because it is always passed to the current Captain of the Royal Guard; it's just that most of the time, it is a member of the Sentry Family. Flash Sentry's father Stalwart Sentry passed it to his successor Blueberry Frost since Flash was too young for the position.
  • Child of the Storm has several weapons associated with the Asgardian royal family.
    • Mjolnir, which was previously wielded by Thor's much older illegitimate half-brother, Vidar (who dropped both Mjolnir and his claim to the throne with some relief when an alternative appeared), who was also previously the God of Thunder.
    • Gungnir, which at least dates back to Bor's reign as the royal spear.
    • Ván, the Sword of Frey, the first divine King of Asgard. It's an extremely badass, if non-descript, bastard sword forged of an Uru-Vibranium alloy that was designed to take on Surtur and No-Sell Phoenix Fire - which it did, very effectively. However, it was a last-ditch move (the name literally translates as 'Hope', referred by Doctor Strange as, "their last, and their best"), and no one's actually seen it for over a million years since Frey took it into Muspelheim. Word of God has hinted that it's still around, and there's a hefty amount of Foreshadowing about it.
  • The Dragon and the Bow: Hiccup is given the sword Bemühen by Hilde, who is later revealed to be Hiccup's distant grandmother.
    • Stoick gives Merida his wife's sword "Dragonsbane" as a token of trust.
  • Like in the source material, several houses in Forum of Thrones own these. House Corbray's ancestral sword forged from Valyrian steel is the most prominent example, as it is wielded by the antagonist Rodrik Stone.
  • In the Firefly fanfic Forward, it turns out that Vera, Jayne's rifle, belonged to his uncle. How exactly he got it was one hell of a story.
  • Harry and the Shipgirls:
    • The Potters have picked up a whole armory of weapons, but one blade that is recognized and feared as the Potter Honor Blade is Juuchi Yosamu, due to the Potters being some of the only people who can resist the Hate Plague that said weapons forces on its wielders.
    • The Longbottoms, meanwhile, have a counterpart to Juuchi in the battle-axe Blood Embers, which basically turns its wielders into a controlled version of The Berserker.
  • One of the main characters of In the Service received his Intelligent Device from his grandfather. Being an Empathic Weapon with something of a mind of its own, and coming from more than seventy years ago, Steelheart is very different in behavior from more modern Devices.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand has Dawn's Might, a katana that is a family heirloom from Kairi's birth mother Rimi's side of the family. It is traditionally handed down to the oldest son when he finds the woman he loves or to the man who loves the eldest daughter when he meets the father's approval. In chapter 30, the ghost of Kairi's birth father Kaname gives the blade to Sora.
  • The sword originally wielded by an ancestor of Kyon's (Usui Sadamitsu/Taira no Tadamichi to be precise) in Kyon: Big Damn Hero. While the sword itself isn't usable anymore, he still uses the hilt for his Laserblade.
  • A Man of Iron continues Westeros' use of this trope. In addition to the canonical Ice:
    • As a wedding present for Jon, Tony crafts the Valyrian steel sword Shadowfang, in the hopes that it will become the ancestral sword of the Starks of Iron Pointe.
    • House Bracken has Hate Eternal, so named because of a previous head of the House wielding it while declaring "eternal hate" for House Blackwood.
    • Gerion Lannister, now known as Nikolos Fury, is shown to have successfully retrieved Brightroar and now wields it.
  • The Night Unfurls has the Pantielle family sword. It only has relevance during the Liberation of Ansur Arc, where Kyril is tasked to find Michelle. Disowned by his family, he stole the sword which was supposed to be given to his brother Mikhail. Later on, Kyril retrieves the ancestral sword in the mercenary compound, after Michelle, who was having his way with Maia, tries to take him down with the sword to no avail. When he returns it to Mikhail, Kyril internally notes that the gilded weapon would probably break over his knee in one go.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: For much of the first story, Night Blade wields Determined Point, passed down from parent to child or brother to brother for years. Then it breaks in battle.
  • In Queen of Shadows, Yasashi wields her family's ancestral naginata, Houko.
  • This Bites!:
    • T-Bone's sword, passed down from commander to commander of the 13th Royal Marine Flotilla.
    • The Devil Fruits of the Alabastan Royal Guardians, kept within the kingdom's possession via a secret vault of fruit trees. Comprised of the Jackal, the Falcon, the Rage, the Grace, the Desert and the Storm.
  • Just as his anime counterpart's Z-Ring is an ancestral weapon from his grandfather, the same applies to the Kiawe of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, though the weapon is mentioned to go back much farther than his grandfather and to a legendary king of Alola far in the past.
  • In Robb Returns, it seems that several First Man Houses had such weapons made of Thunderbolt Iron or Valryian Steel.
    • The Daynes had Dawn, as per canon. Alster Dayne passes it to his son Edric before dying.
    • The Starks, in addition to Ice, had The Fist of Winter, which was found in a hidden room in Winterfell. Once Ned finds it, he decides to retake the Fist as the weapon of House Stark's head, and passes Ice to Robb as the weapon of House Stark's heir.
    • The Durrandons had Stormbreaker, once the sword of the Storm Kings, hidden in the Durrandon catacombs. Robert, as a Baratheon descendant of those kings, takes it up when he finds it.
    • The Gardeners had Otherbane, the weapon of the Gardener Kings, taken to Horn Hill in the aftermath of the Field of Fire. The Tarlys find it and give it to Willas, solidifying his hold over the Reach.
    • The Casterlys had both Rocktooth, weapon of the Casterlys and the Westerlands, and the Warnings, twin daggers used by Lann the Clever, all found in the Nightfort. Tyrion, who finds the last user's tomb, lays claim to all three.
      • Brightroar was once wielded by a Lannister lord, and finds a new Lannister wielder in Gerion Lannister.
    • Dark Sister, once the weapon of a Targaryen descendant (Brynden Rivers), is eventually given to Jon Snow/Stark by Maester Aemon.
    • While having the Dragonpit excavated and restored, Jon Arryn uncovers the remains of Ser Willam Royce (a knight who went missing and presumed dead during the Dance of Dragons), which is still in possession of House Royce's Valyrian steel sword Lamentation. Jon quickly determines to have the sword returned to Bronze Yohn Royce.
  • In the Discworld envisioned by A.A. Pessimal, there was a girl in Howondaland called Johanna van der Kaiboutje. She was a Boer farm girl from the Veldt county who carried a standard agricultural tool, the sort of long heavy machete used to hack through stubborn growth or clear a way in the bush. She sometimes had to use it on stubborn people, but, maar, you live on a frontier where you have difficult neighbours. And then there's the odd war, where you have to grab such weapons as are available. Whatever you can pick up. After she married a man called Charles Smith-Rhodes, this weapon, bloodied in a couple of wars and neighbourly misunderstandings, passed to her daughter Johanna. Who had it enamelelled black, so it couldn't show up if used by night. A couple of wars later, it passed to her daughter Johanna. Who in turn passed it to her daughter Johanna. Who only had a niece to pass it to, but this niece also fought in a neighbourly disagreement or two before being exiled to Ankh-Morpork, where she was head-hunted by the Guild of Assassins. At the current point of the storyline, the Black Sword of the Smith-Rhodes family is with the sixth Johanna Smith-Rhodes, somewhere in the Howondalandian Jungles...
  • Wearing Robert's Crown: Viserys notes that his sword belonged to his brother Rhaegar before him. He also dreams of Blackfyre, sword of his ancestor Aegon the Conquerer and later carries Dawn, family weapon of his distant cousins House Dayne. Gerion and Tyrion Lannisters go on an (off-screen) quest to recover their family's ancestral sword. They don't find it.
  • In the Three Houses fanfic You'll Get No Answers from the Blue Sea Star, the Heroes’ Relics are absent, but the Sword of the Creator remains in an altered form. It's no longer simply a sword; instead it's equal parts weapon and tool, one used by Sothis in her creative activities thousands of years ago. Only those linked to her can activate it.
  • My Father's Son has all the usual ones from canon, but the surprising twist in this story is that there's a regular recovery or new establishment of these as well. Dawn and Ice are already in hands without issue. Blackfyre was actually being wielded by Meylse Blackfyre, so Rhaegar actually has it now. Gerion goes on a quest for Brightroar like in the past, and finds it along with several Valerian weapons. Therefore, now there's going to be new ancestral weapons passed down by Jamie, Lyanna, and Dacey. There's also a moment where Rhaegar defeats an Ironborn house member and claims their ancestral sword saying it's wasted being in the Iron Islands.
  • BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant: Jin Kisaragi and Tsubaki Yayoi's main weapons are Yukianesa and the Izayoi respectively. Both are the ancestral weapons of their respective noble houses that have been passed down throughout the generations, though Yukianesa has been inert for a long time until Jin came to wield it. In Tsubaki's case, the Izayoi will only work for a member of the Yayoi bloodline, with her being the most recent member to carry it.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Avatar, the dying Eytukan gives his daughter his bow and charges her with protecting their clan. She kills Quaritch with it.
  • Minstrel Boy was the theme song of The Man Who Would be King.
  • In the movie The Pumaman, Tony receives a very gaudy-looking belt, which once belonged to his father, and gives him the powers of the Pumaman. He never does much with them of any consequence, though.
  • Luke Skywalker's first lightsaber in Star Wars once belonged to his father Anakin, who built it during the Clone War. He later makes one for himself.
    • In the Star Wars Legends, he recovers the one Anakin used, and gives it to Mara Jade. Given some of Zahn's opinions on the matter, it seems this was meant to be sort of like giving her a ring that costs two months' salary. Turns out it was about ten years early. Other parts of the EU make the gift of a lightsaber something that represents a profound bond.
      • Apparently it's a family heirloom now; Ben's holding it on the cover for Backlash, and the Legacy Era Campaign Guide says it was passed down through the line, though where it is by 137 ABY is unknown.
    • In the new film continuity of The Force Awakens, it eventually falls into the hands of Rey, a new potential Jedi with a mysterious past. Time will tell whether she proves to be another generation of Skywalker to inherit the sword, or whether her receiving it rather than Leia's Dark Side son Kylo Ren averts this trope. Kylo himself instantly recognizes the lightsaber and declares that it belongs to him, only for Rey to beat him using it.
    • In The Last Jedi, Kylo and Rey get into a Force-based tug-of-war over the lightsaber. It ends up being split in half and is salvaged by Rey. Luke wields his father's blue saber instead of his green one, which he wielded the night of Ben's fall, in his confrontation with his nephew.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, the Skywalker Saber is repaired and wielded by Rey for the entire film. When Rey confronts her "grandfather", a clone of the late Emperor, she uses The Force to briefly lend the saber to Ben Solo to dispatch the Knights of Ren. After Palpatine regains his power, Rey uses both Anakin and Leia's sabers to shield and deflect the Emperor's force lightning back at him, ending him for good. The film ends with Rey burying both lightsabers at Luke's childhood home on Tatooine. She then ignites her yellow lightsaber, crafted from her quarterstaff, and proclaims herself as "Rey Skywalker".
  • In The Three Musketeers (1993), Musketeer-wannabe D'Artagnan bears a sword carried by his father, a Musketeer killed years earlier by Rochefort. After D'Artagnan is captured, Rochefort takes the sword. D'Artagnan later gets it back and uses it to avenge his father.
  • Subverted in The Three Musketeers (1973), where D'Artagnan bears a sword carried by his grandfather "against the Turks at Lepanto" which is given to him by his still living and retired father, who had carried it himself in his time. But it's broken in his first encounter with Rochefort.
  • True Grit, two westerns, one released in 1969 and the second in 2010. Mattie, a 14-year-old daughter of a killed Rancher seeking revenge, carries her father's revolver (a Colt Dragoon) with her. Her insistence on using it in the latter film actually comes back to bite her in the ass when her first shot misfires on her, leading to her capture by her father's killer.
  • The Hobbit:
    • Glóin wields the axes that his son Gimli will use in The Lord of the Rings. It's later revealed that Glóin's father had these in his possession as well.
    • Bilbo is given the sword Sting, which would later be used by his nephew Frodo.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Elrond gives Aragorn a sword called Anduril, a re-forged blade made from the remains of Narsil, the sword that was carried by Aragorn's ancestor King Elendil and was used by Elendil's son (also Aragorn's ancestor) to cut the Ring from Sauron's hand. (The sword and its origins also appeared in the original book, but Aragorn receives it much earlier than he does in the movie trilogy.)
  • In Skyfall, James Bond uses an old hunting rifle that was once his father's to fight off the Big Bad.
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Cal Lynch wields the Hidden Blades of Aquilar de Nerha, his ancestor. They were given to him by Abstergo to try and help him achieve better synchronization in the Animus. He ultimately uses it to kill the CEO of Abstergo, Alan Rikkin.
  • In Underworld: Blood Wars, Thomas forged a sword that was considered a masterpiece and kept it in storage in the Nordic Coven with instructions that it would eventually be given to his son David. When David learns about this and his true heritage, he is reluctant at first, because he and his father did not see eye to eye, but eventually wields it.
  • The DVD special features for Aliens include a revelation that Cpl. Hicks' preferred backup, a sawed-down Ithaca 37 pump shotgun, was a family heirloom originally used by a fourth-great-grandfather back during The Vietnam War, kept in the Hicks family over generations.
  • In King Arthur (2004), Excalibur was the sword of Arthur's father and used to mark his gravestone, where Arthur later pulls it out as a child.
  • In Ladyhawke we hear this sad speech from Etienne Navar after he catches Phillipe chopping wood:
    • This sword has been in my family for five generations. It has never known defeat. Until now.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Wonder Woman: The God-Killer sword, treated as sacred by the Amazons and powerful enough to kill a god. Zeus forged the sword and gave it to the Amazons in the event that Ares returns. Diana steals it with the intent of killing Ares. However, when Diana confronts the God of War, he vaporizes the blade and reveals that Diana herself is the God-Killer. Zeus conceived her through Hippolyta so that when the time comes, she will confront Ares and slay him once and for all, explaining that only a god can kill another god.
    • Aquaman:
      • David Kane/Black Manta's father Jesse gives him a diving knife that he says his father used in World War II.
      • The weapon Arthur Curry/Aquaman has had since his previous film appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League is established to be his mother Atlanna's quindent. It is eventually destroyed, but Arthur later acquires his distant ancestor Atlan's trident, which grants him control over sea life.
      • Orm wields his father's trident.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: When Kong arrives in a gargantuan cathedral within the Hollow World, he retrieves a giant bone battle-axe constructed by his ancestors untold millennia ago from a Godzilla dorsal plate which he finds embedded in the skull of some giant creature. It proves instrumental in evening the odds in his second battle against Godzilla and against Mechagodzilla.

  • Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings inherits the shards of Narsil, the sword of his ancestor Elendil, which Elendil's son Isildur used to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand 3000 years prior. In the books, the Elves of Rivendell reforge the shards of Narsil into Andúril in Fellowship of the Ring, and Aragorn uses it as his primary weapon for the rest of the saga. In the movie trilogy, however, Narsil isn't reforged into Andúril until Return of the King.
  • The Hobbit:
    • Averted with Glamdring: you'd think Elrond would be slightly interested in his great-grandfather's (Turgon's) sword, but he lets Gandalf have it without even mentioning the connection. Seeing as Galdalf is a Maia he may have given it to him out of respect.
    • Bard's Black Arrow, which he uses to kill Smaug in The Hobbit; "Black Arrow! I have saved you to the last. You've never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father, and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"
  • Roland's six-guns in The Dark Tower are family heirlooms which, according to legend, were forged from the broken scraps of Excalibur itself.
  • The Dragonlance stories have several instances of this:
    • Sturm Brightblade wears his father's armor. He also wields the Brightblade which is described as a "....splendid, if old-fashioned, two-handed sword" and it gets handed down to Sturm's son, Steel Brightblade.
    • Also, Raistlin Majere passed down a powerful magical artifact he was given, the Staff of Magius, to his nephew Palin Majere.
  • Power-forged heron-mark blades in The Wheel of Time all date back more than three thousand years (back to the time when Aes Sedai were still allowed to make weapons), and have been passed from one blademaster to the next the entire time. Protagonist Rand al'Thor receives his from his father.
  • Discworld:
    • A Reconstruction in the book The Fifth Elephant. After saving the dwarven kingdom from a crazy plot, the Low King grants Sam Vimes with a dwarven axe. In keeping with the "tradition versus modern-thinking" spirit of the rest of the book, he goes on to indicate his own axe and explain how, despite having been given new handles to keep with the fashions, and new blades when the old one wore out, and in fact having been remade completely several times as time went by, it was still his ancestral axe in every detail-that there was more to the "ancestral" component than simply "his father handed him a really old axe at some point."note 
    • Carrot's sword. The dwarves that raised him found the sword in the same cart where they found him after a bandit attack killed his family, and it later turns out to be the Sword of the Kings of Ankh. When it first appears, several paragraphs are devoted to describing how plain the sword is and how nothing indicates it's anything special. It's rather well-balanced, though. It's actually so ordinary it's a kind of special. For example, it's so un-enchanted, it has less than the ordinary background level of magic. Carrot's ancestors didn't want a magical perfect sword that could pull all sorts of tricks; they just wanted one that was really good at killing other people. Indeed, its efficiency at killing enemies is supposedly part of why that first ancestor became king.
  • The staff Enoa Cloud inherits from her aunt Sucora, in The Dreamside Road, is one of these. It’s a younger example than most, as Sucora’s staff was the product of the new-age government experiments she worked on.
  • In the Dresden Files, there are 3 ancient swords, each of which has one of the nails from Jesus's crucifix worked into it. When doing God's work, the swords allow their holders to fight basically anyone on even footing regardless of the enemies' power level normally. Plus they get some Divine Intervention to ensure that they're always on time and have appropriate help. However, the Swords themselves cannot be used to harm an innocent and the Knights must be truly noble individuals in more than one sense of the word. Michael Carpenter is the most often seen wielder and is truly a modern-day Paladin who shows the best of human traits. The owners of the swords always seem to descend from ancient Kings, although they don't generally pass from parent to child.
  • In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, Jame carries her father's broken sword, Kinslayer, to return to her brother; it is reforged, but in a subversion, by the enemy. Jame comes across it within the Master's House and retrieves it, and discovers that its legendary ability to cut its way through enemies like butter remains, along with its fearful joy in slaying; the name is hardly auspicious in that regard, either...
  • The Reynard Cycle: Thunderclap, a sword once held by the kings of Aquilia. It was supposedly unbreakable, but is now in thirteen pieces.
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Valyrian steel swords (the knowledge of making it has been lost) are passed down through the lines of noble houses. These heirlooms are so important that even the most impoverished noble houses will not sell them. Tywin Lannister spent years trying to purchase one from another house since the Lannisters' sword Brightroar was lost at sea long ago. Too bad houses would rather sell their daughters than sell their swords. After he gains possession of the Stark's Valyrian greatsword he has it melted down and reforged into two new swords for his son and grandson.
    • The Mormonts have Longclaw, which was first passed down to Jorah Mormont, son of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, but Jeor explains his son had the decency to leave Longclaw behind when Jorah fled the kingdom after being caught slaving. He later passes it down to his protégé Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Ned Stark. However, since men of the Night's Watch aren't supposed to have children, it's not intended to be ancestral in this case. It's unclear whether the other Mormonts now consider it Night's Watch property, or if they expect to get it back at some point.
    • Dawn, the Ancestral Weapon of House Dayne. It stands out from the crowd by being Thunderbolt Iron rather than Valyrian steel. Whoever currently holds the sword is known as 'The Sword of Morning'. Dawn also stands out because the Daynes don't automatically give the sword to the oldest son like the other houses do; instead, the entire house decides who is most worthy of it, and will withhold the blade if they don't think there is a suitable son to wield it yet.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Gods of Mars, a young man John Carter meets recounts setting out with his father's sword.
  • The sword of Grand Master Mandulis in the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights. Unsurprisingly, it's a plot element.
  • Riva Iron-Grip's sword in the Belgariad: forged at the instruction of Riva's father-in-law, with a built-in clamp on the pommel for the Orb of Aldur (which makes the thing light enough to wield — it's portrayed as being roughly the same size as the Dragonslayer), it collects dust for a few centuries until Garion finally shows up to collect it.
  • The Spear of Telesto from the Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novels, wielded by the Space Marine Chapter's primogenitor Sanguinius and said to be forged by the God-Emperor of Mankind himself. It's a definite plot element.
  • In Empire In Black And Gold, Tynisa is given an old Mantis sword by her father, Tisamon; he rarely used it, but it has special significance for the Weaponmasters, making this a combination of Ancestral Weapon and Take Up My Sword.
  • The Sword of Martin the Warrior from Redwall, held in Redwall Abbey and given to its champion.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • The Vorkosigan Seal dagger willed from Count Piotr to Miles. While mostly used for mundane purposes throughout the series, it is used in a rather disconcerting way during the Tau Verde campaign. It also comes in very handy during an academy training exercise. (Both in The Warrior's Apprentice.) It also plays a significant role in Miles' apology letter to Ekatarin in A Civil Campaign. The fact that it is a rare antique and belongs in a museum gets lampshaded:
      When genuine seal daggers from the Time of Isolation appeared on the market, they were bid up in to the ten of thousands of marks. Miles probably used his as a letter opener, or to clean under his fingernails.
    • In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, they find a box containing a complete set of seal daggers from all the counts at the time of the Occupation. Ivan is staggered by it and uses it to show the nature of the hoard to those who found them.
  • The Scourge of Rkard from The Prism Pentad is this for the main character. In a variation, it's later revealed that it was used by the Big Bad when he was still in human form.
  • Shannara:
    • The Sword of Leah in the Shannarra series has been passed down by kings and princes of Leah for generations. Due to the enchantment put on it by Allanon in Wishsong, it avoids the Ship of Theseus question because while the scabbard and hilt occasionally need replacing, the blade itself remains the same (Save for the time it was broken and had to be magically remade).
    • The titular Sword of Shannarra is an aversion, as while it is used by various members of the same bloodline as generations go by, it tends to be left in storage for centuries at a stretch between uses. It can also technically be used by anyone with the right mindset; it's people's belief that makes it a one-bloodline weapon.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Kalak inherits his mother's halbred. Being a Momma's Boy, he treats it like a sacred relic.
  • In Dune, houses have ancestral nuclear weapons.
  • In John C. Wright's The Count to the Eschaton, Menelaus realizes that the Chimarae's Named Weapons spring from their having preserved Empathic Weapons with AIs — and having lost the secret of changing their bloodlocks, had to make them hereditary.
  • Harry Potter:
    • For the first five books in the series, the wand used by Neville Longbottom was originally his father's, a famous Auror who had been tortured into insanity by Death Eaters when Neville was a baby. Subverted, though, in that wands work best when either they choose the wizard who will use them, or the wizard wins their loyalty. Since Neville did neither, the wand doesn't work particularly well for him, and it's broken rather early into the fight in the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. He gets another wand of his own in the next book, and it seems to serve him well for the rest of the series.
    • Similarly, Ron Weasley starts out with a wand that belonged to his older brother Charlie. After it's irreparably damaged in a run-in with a whomping willow, he gets his own wand from Ollivander's.
    • The Marauders' Map may also count, although it's not a weapon. Harry gets it from Fred and George Weasley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and he doesn't learn until later that it was made by his father and his closest friends. Harry uses it often in every following book in the series. Rowling later stated in an interview that Harry's son James got the map (by sneaking it from his father's desk).
    • And then there's his Invisibility Cloak. A literal ancestral item as it dates back to the 13th century to the time of the Peverells and it has been passed from father to son over the generations.
    • The resurrection stone is also one of these from one of the other Peverell brothers. He’s the one that Voldemort was related to. In the flashback, his grandfather says as much but Harry doesn’t understand what it means at that point.
  • Several families have ancestral swords in The Shadowhunter Chronicles:
    • In The Mortal Instruments Clary gets Heosphorus (dawn-bringer), one of two swords her father commissioned that was specifically meant to be an Ancestral weapon for the Morgensern family. Her brother Sebastion/Jonathan has the other one named Phaesphorus (light-bringer). Heosphorus eventually gets destroyed after Clary uses it to kill her brother.
    • In The Dark Artifices: Emma is the current owner of Cortana, the Carstairs family sword, which she inherited after her father's death in City of Heavenly Fire. Cortana is a very special sword since it was made by Wayland the Smith (the first Shadowhunter weapon maker) alongside Durendal and Joyeuse. Cortana is even capable of shattering the Mortal Sword.
  • As noted under film above, Mattie's father's Colt Dragoon revolver in the 1968 novel True Grit on which the two films were based.
  • In Brotherband, Hal receives his father's sword. He considers it superior to the sword he was supposed to receive upon graduation. Unlike most instances of this trope, there's nothing particularly special about it, nor is there any relevance to it being his father's sword after the first book, aside from a passing mention or two. It's just a good sword.
  • The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal: Aettartangi ("family pole"), the sword Ingimund got from the viking Hrafn by a trick, is after Ingimund's death worn by Thorstein at formal occasions, but wielded in combat by Jokul. After Thorstein and Jokul's death, it is carried by Ingolf Thorsteinsson, who wields it in his last fight when he routs a troop of bandits but also receives a deadly wound. Obviously ownership of Aettartangi signifies leadership of the clan.
  • The Duravs in The Kharkanas Trilogy possesses a Hust blade — albeit an old one without the sound features — as a family heirloom. The current holder, Spinnock, is very proud of owning it, often seen polishing and oiling his prized possession even thousands of years later in Toll the Hounds.
  • Stormbringer and its twin Mournblade are these in The Elric Saga. They are only able to be wielded by Melnibonean royalty; in fact, it's believed that not even the gods are able to hold onto them. The two swords are passed down from one royal generation to another until they were lost for centuries, only to be rediscovered by Elric and his evil cousin Yrkoon.
  • Jason Grace of The Heroes of Olympus wields a gladius that previously belonged to Juno, although in this case the "ancestor" in question is actually his stepmother.
  • Magnus Chase was able to claim the Sword of Summer by virtue of being the son of the Norse god Frey, the sword's original master.
  • Rom's thunderbolt steel sword in The Barbarian and the Sorceress.
    Rom: It was my father's blade, and his father's before him. And so on and so forth. It's been in the family a while.
  • The Elder Empire: Common, due to the way magic works. The older a weapon is and the more it is used, the more Intent it accumulates. This Intent will naturally make the weapon better at its job, and a skilled Reader can enhance this effect. Shera uses a pair of bronze shears that have been used as assassination tools for a thousand years and therefore can kill nearly anything in a single blow.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, all sunucles (including weapons) are magically linked to the person whose blood was used to forge them—but there's a small chance that the link can pass to their eldest child when they die. Daylen uses this as an excuse for why he's linked to Imperious. The existence of his bastard children, all of whom are older than he physically appears to be, is one of the clues that tip Ahrek off that Daylen isn't who he appears to be.
  • The Rhindon Sword in Leia, Princess of Alderaan is ceremonial by the time Leia gets her hands on it. Alderaanian princes and princesses take it up on their Day of Demand, when they declare their intention to be invested as heirs, and again in the investment ceremony once they've met their challenges, and when they're married. In the distant past, sometimes these young royals fought using the sword, but by now this is Star Wars after all and an ordinary, if cool-looking, metal sword is a bit obsolete.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Blue Bloods, Police Commissioner Frank Reagan carries a .38 Fitz Special revolver because it's the weapon his father and his grandfather carried.
    • Discussed further with Henry's old "slapper", (a small blackjack). Frank says he never carried one, and as PC reminds everyone that they're not authorized. Danny uses Henry's old one anyway. Jamie wants nothing to do with it.
  • Fat Neil's D&D character in Community, named DuCain, has inherited the Sword of DuCain from his ancestors.
  • Dexter: Oscar Prado owns a combat knife his father used during The Vietnam War. He tries using it on Freebo and later Dexter when he interrupts their fight. Dexter manages to turn the knife on him.
  • D'Argo's Qualta Blade in Farscape.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Valyrian steel weapons are so valuable that they are usually Ancestral Weapons. Examples include Ice of House Stark, which was gifted to the Starks by Aegon the Conqueror after Torrhen, the last Stark King of Winter, bent his knee. Another example is Longclaw of House Mormont, which Lord Commander Jeor Mormont passes to his protégé Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Ned Stark. House Lannister lacks such a sword, so after defeating House Stark, Tywin Lannister has Ice reforged into two Valyrian swords for his House. One goes to Tywin's eldest son Jaime, which Jaime gives to Brienne of Tarth who names it Oathkeeper. The second sword goes to Tywin's eldest grandson Joffrey, who names it Widow's Wail. The Targaryens have two Ancestral Weapons of Valyrian steel — swords Blackfyre and Dark Sister.
    • Averted with House Bolton. Instead of having an inherited sword, they just have flaying knives — a "signature weapon" but one that isn't passed down from one generation to the next.
      Roose Bolton: They passed down not a Valyrian greatsword, but a knife — honed and thin enough to fit between the topmost layer of skin and the tissue below... and peel.
  • The Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek: Enterprise "In a Mirror Darkly" featured Mirror Commander Archer having and treasuring the shotgun used by Mirror Zefram Cochrane to kill the Vulcans who made first contact with them.
  • Duncan used his father's sword twice in Highlander The first time was to defeat the immortal that killed him as a symbolic gesture of avenging his death. The second time was using it as a symbol of his true self when fighting off the Enemy Within created by taking a dark quickening (basically absorbing the essence of another immortal so evil it corrupted him).
  • Babylon 5: In one episode, Garibaldi shows Zack his grandmother's old .38 Police Special (aka a slug thrower). It's an antiquated weapon and probably a really bad idea to use in a space station, but he finds a use for it in that very same episode.
  • Wynonna Earp wields her Famous Ancestor Wyatt's gun, Peacemaker, which has been passed down through the generations.
  • The miniseries Merlin (1998) has Merlin give Excalibur to Uther when he becomes king, but later Merlin tricks Uther into sticking the sword into the stone for a more worthy king in the future - Uther's son Arthur.
  • The Mandalorian:
    • Bo-Katan claims that her armor has been in her family for three generations after Din accuses her of not being a true Mandalorian.
    • Boba Fett confirms that his armor was inherited from his father, though he repainted it. And the chain code in the gauntlet suggests Jango inherited the armor from his own foster father Jaster Mereel.

  • In Doom Breaker, The Blood Tears is a powerful sword that Ned and his family had. It was an heirloom that was passed down after Ned's ancestor got it by defeating demons in the desert. He lost it in the Dungeon Bubble Break to Priest Olin Lasker who passed it on to Ned's Master, who is the Leader of the Tartarus Worshippers.

    Mythology and Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech frequently has ancestral Humongous Mecha; House Kurita is most explicit about this sort of thing, 'Mechs being passed down from one warrior to another much like swords were passed from father to son in a line of samurai, but many 'Mechs have histories that can be traced back decades or even centuries. In one scenario from an early gamebook, a pair of Mackies from the original production run, the first Mechs ever designed and roughly six hundred years old, are powered up to fight the Black Widow Company. Most such mechs usually acquit themselves with great distinction. The passing-down of mechs gradually fades away (but never disappears) as the Inner Sphere rebuilds its factories and infrastructure after the 300 years of total warfare deescalates and Lost Technology from before the wars is discovered.
  • The Kragg Swords in Eon are generally this. The Kragg pass these mighty swords through several generations, and sometimes they might end up in the hands of a PC. Unfortunately, by the time the sword is actually passed on to a PC, the durability of the sword is usually severely diminished, making it break in a matter of fights unless maintained.
  • In Exalted, even a common jade daiklave can be a legendary sword passed down through a Dragon-Blooded family line since the First Age.
  • Legend of the Five Rings is all over this trope. A samurai's sword is traditionally passed on to their grandchild. Virtually all magical weapons are passed down in the same manner, most notably the "Ancestral Swords" of each clan, and the Ancestral Sword of the Hantei (Rokugan's equivalent to Kusanagi).
  • Pathfinder lets a new character take a trait to start with one of these at creation. It's up to the player what form or outward appearance that weapon takes, but it'll always be easier to hit with than any other weapon that character can use.
  • Rifts has the Ascended Glitter Boy character class, which is a Gitter Boy pilot whose power armor suit has been handed down generation after generation since the Time of Man. Given how hard it is to repair Glitter Boy armor even in the main setting, it's a testament to their hardiness that they've survived for roughly 300 years on a Crapsack World like Rifts Earth.
  • Warhammer has plenty of examples. The titular Warhammer — Ghal Maraz, the Hammer of Sigmar, is passed down from one Emperor to the next (although as an elective position the successor is not always a child of the previous incumbent). The Runefangs of the Elector Counts — badges of office as well as deadly runeswords — are also ancestral heirlooms. Almost every Dwarf clan has its ancestral weapons (the Axe of Grimnir passes from High King to High King) and High Elf princes tend to have several also (Prince Tyrion carries the blade Sunfang, which was first wielded by his distant ancestor Aenarion, and also wears Aenarion's ancestral armour). Not all races and peoples tend to go in for this, however — Skaven, Orcs, and Ogres have a remarkably blase attitude to both lineage and holding on to things.
    • Ghal Maraz is an interesting case because Sigmar intentionally left no heirs to his line because he wanted his Empire to belong to all the people who lived in it rather than just his dynasty. In a way, all of the people of the Empire are Sigmar's heirs. Including whoever eventually is elected Emperor and wields Ghal Maraz.
  • A large amount of fabled wargear passed down through the ranks of the Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 is stated as belonging either to a particularly strong commander or, in a lot of cases, to the marines' genetic father himself. Various helms (Alpharius, Lorgar, the Lion), blades (Talon of Horus) or artifacts (Vulkan's Sigil) were created by the Primarchs and handed down to be revered over the millennia.
    • The Adaptus Mechanicus are constantly on the search for technology from the 'Dark Age of Technology' (as if the current age of constant war with several Alien races, Demons, and Traitor humans wasn't a Dark Age).
      • This is actually just using the proper, original meaning of a Dark Age: all the records are gone so they have only a very vague idea of what they could do and what happened.
    • This is the hat of the Vostroyan Firstborns who, instead of having weapons issued to them which are expected to be returned to the Munitorium at the end of service like every other regiment, instead each weapon is property of the family that has it. Where possible, weapons are brought back to the homeworld and returned to the families to which they belong, who then pass the weapon down to the next firstborn. Their weapons are all considered priceless family heirlooms, especially the older ones, and also look the part; Vostroyan laser rifles typically look like flintlocks, use actual wood for stocks, and are usually ornated with gold or copper.
    • Kharn of the World Eaters wields his Primarch Angron's former chainaxe Gorechild. He actually defied his Legion's traditions doing this. Angron came from a world that believed discarded weapons were bad luck and should never be wielded again. After Angron broke Gorechild and Gorefather by digging himself out from tons of rubble, he threw them away never to be wielded again. Kharn, defying tradition and his own battle-brothers' protests, retrieved Gorechild and had it repaired for his own use.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff RPG Rogue Trader, an option to have one of these can be taken at character creation. Your choices include a Lost Technology laser pistol, a chainsword that was used in the Crusade that conquered the region of space where the game is set, a set of body armor that once belonged to one of the honor guard of an Imperial saint, a ceremonial seal, and a relic from an Imperial Saint.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Klaives and Grand Klaives were handed down from generation to generation. They counted as some of the post powerful melee weapons a character could have.
  • Fading Suns allow the players to start the game owning powerful weapons such as the Wireblade. It is described rather clearly that this usually means inheritance, given the price and the nobility's taste for melee weaponry.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons Book of Exalted Deeds the Ancestral Relic feat and Anointed Knight prestige class allow a character with an ancestral weapon to increase its power as they level up.
  • There are cards that bestow this effect upon items in the kung-fu/anime expansion of Grave Robbers from Outer Space.

    Video Games 
  • At the beginning of Final Fantasy X, Auron hands Tidus his father's sword. This is less out of ancestral honor and more pragmatism, since the city's under attack. And you can sell it at the first shop you get to, while the later Brotherhood Tidus gets from Wakka can't be sold.
  • Castlevania:
    • The Vampire Killer whip is the age-old weapon of the Belmont clan (and allies), seen in every Castlevania game where they star. When Simon meets his ancestor Trevor in Judgment, he believes that only by besting him will he feel worthy of the whip.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin explains more about the weapon and its relationship to the Belmonts and Morrises - the Belmonts, after hearing a prophecy that Dracula would be defeated for good in 1999, vowed to not use the whip again until that day, passing it off to the Morris family for safe keeping. Descendants of the Morrises can use the whip, but in their hands, it is just a regular old whip until they undertake a trial to unlock its full potential - but that power comes at the cost of lifespan, as revealed when Eric notes that Jonathan's father, John, took much longer to recover from his wounds at the end of Bloodlines because of the use of the unlocked Vampire Killer.
    • Judgment makes the case that Eric Lecarde's spear was originally bestowed to his family by Alucard and passed down from generation to generation.
  • Sakura Wars:
    • Sakura Shinguji's sword once belonged to her father. She inherited it when he died protecting the capital from demons.
    • The Amamiya Kunisada from Sakura Wars (2019) originally belonged to Hinata Amamiya, before it was passed down to her daughter Sakura after the former’s untimely demise.
  • Dark Chronicle: Monica gets her father's sword, the Holy Daedaelus Blade, after you complete Gundorada Workshop 100%.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light and its sequel Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem:
      • The Fire Emblem shield (also known as the Shield of Seals) was passed down through the royal family of Archanea after it was forged by Naga.
      • Marth's sword Falchion was originally wielded by his ancestor Anri, who was responsible for defeating the dark dragon Medeus. In the intervening two millennia, it's been passed down along the royal family of Ylisse, Marth's descendants. In Fire Emblem: Awakening, it's wielded by the current heir to the Exalted bloodline, Chrom and by his daughter Lucina.
      • The Aura tome was originally wielded by Gotoh's pupil Miloah before he was murdered and his daughter Linde took up the tome. While other female units can wield it in the DS remakes, it is still primarily associated with Linde and is her exclusive weapon in the original NES and SNES releases and spinoff material.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776:
      • The strongest weapons, the Holy Weapons, can't be wielded unless the user is a direct descendant of one of the original twelve heroes that saved the continent of Jugdral from the dark dragon Loptous in the game's Back Story (or a descendant of Loptous himself). It's subverted by the era of Fire Emblem: Awakening, where any character of sufficient skill can wield them; presumably, either the blood-lock faded over time or the Crusaders' bloodlines sufficiently spread to the entire population.
      • This turns into a gameplay mechanic in the second generation, where your children characters will inherit the weapons their parents wielded before them. Some notable examples other than the Holy Weapons are Leif inheriting his mother Ethlyn's Light Brand, Nanna inheriting her mother Lachesis's Earth Sword, and Diarmuid inheriting his father Beowolf's Beo Sword (also wieldable by Fergus, heavily implying the two are paternal half-brothers).
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Eliwood wields the Durandal as his Infinity +1 Sword. While any swordsman of sufficient skill can use it in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, in Fire Emblem Heroes Eliwood's son Roy wields it in his Brave Lion variation.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn:
      • Ike's Infinity +1 Sword, Ragnell, was once wielded by Ike's father Greil, and would later show up in Awakening in the hands of his descendant Priam. Unlike the Falchion, though, this does not seem to be a requirement to wield the weapon (in-universe at least; the Tellius games still have it restricted to Ike in gameplay). Ettard, Ike's starting weapon in Radiant Dawn, may also have been one, it's never specified, but a flashback shows Greil holding a sword that looks strikingly similar.
      • Taken further with Elincia, whose sword Amiti, armor, and pegasus were all used by her great-grandmother. Amiti in particular is locked to the Crimean royal family and can only be used by her and her uncle Renning, although in actual gameplay it is locked to her inventory.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the "Heirs of Fate" DLC has all six of the appropriate second-generation characters take up their fathers' divine weapons (or mother's, in Male Kana's case).
    • In the remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Rudolf is shown wielding the Falchion against Mila in a cutscene. His son Alm later takes up the blade for the climax of the game.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Heroes' Relics are a group of weapons once wielded by the 10 Elites and Four Saints, heroes of Fódlan's distant past, and passed down through their noble bloodlines to their descendants. Each of the main characters gains a Relic during the course of the story, and several supporting characters descended from one of the heroes gain one as well. While anyone can wield a Relic, regardless of blood or possession of a Crest (special powers inherited by a few of the heroes’ descendants), doing so with a unit without the particular Crest inherited from the weapon’s original wielder results in gameplay-crippling stat drops, self-inflicted damage after a round of combat, and in extreme cases, horrific transformation into a grotesque monster.
  • The protagonist of Tsukihime, Tohno Shiki, uses a knife that was the property of his (original) family. Unnamed originally barring writing that he thinks reads "Nanatsu-Yoru" (it actually meant to be read as "Nanaya", as in his actual family), but extremely durable.
  • In Legacy of Kain, the Soul Reaver. It was forged by Vorador (the first human vampire) and is later used by Kain (the last vampire), who passes its spectral form onto his offspring Raziel. It's not only insanely powerful as a regular weapon, having both a physical and a wraith form, it's also the lynchpin of keeping the demonic Hylden locked up in another dimension.
  • The Valstork and Valhawk in Super Robot Wars W have been handed down through the Ardygun family for about two or three generations, which in their world is about as far back as one could have a Spaceship and Transforming Mecha, respectively, without raising too many eyebrows.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest I and Dragon Quest II have Erdrick's Sword, the weapon wielded by the Famous Ancestor of both games' heroes. In Dragon Quest III, you're the one that sword is made for.
    • There's also Mountaincleaver (or Sword of Gaia) in III, which you spend most of the game trying to track down and recover from a man named Simão, who's had it in his family for some time. However, the weapon itself is terrible for when you finally get it, outclassed by other weapons, and really more of a key than a weapon, as you throw it into a volcano to get access to the second last dungeon and sixth orb.
    • Erdrick's sword makes a sneaky appearance in Dragon Quest XI, as well, right before the last boss, as the "Rusty Blade". Fixing it — easily done if you know how (or if you've done the DLC quests that include the recipes) — makes said last boss... still Nintendo Hard.
  • It isn't revealed until the very end of the game, but the Onyx Blade in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is the Ancestral Weapon of the Median bloodline, and has demonic powers. Revya can wield it because his/her soul is that of Median's dead son.
  • Touhou Project:
    • The Hakurei Yin-Yang Orbs are Reimu Hakurei's ancestral weapons. She is currently the only known character capable of using them.
    • One of Youmu Konpaku's two swords, Hakurouken, is apparently the Konpaku family's ancestral sword.
  • In Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, after losing his sword and using a broken one in one part of the game, the hero finds a sword, which, as it is revealed, once belonged to his father as well as the entire ruins he is adventuring in at the time.
  • In Mass Effect, where Wrex's personal sidequest is to find and retrieve a suit of armor worn by his family's ancestors centuries ago. Subverted though in that technological advancements since then have rendered the armor obsolete, and Wrex never actually uses it. Upon recovering it, Wrex's only outward response is to comment that "My ancestors wore this piece of crap? At least it's back in the right hands." After he says this, though, there's a note that mentions Wrex stopping to stare at the armor with a meaningful but unreadable expression. Later in the game, when Wrex confronts Shepard on Virmire, recovering the armor results in Wrex backing down without needing a Charm or Intimidate check, mentioning that Shepard has done more for him than his family ever did.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic:
    • The flavor text mentions that Carth's blaster is an heirloom. In the second game, it's possible to obtain one like it.
    • A tradition mentioned of Sith, starting in this game and continuing in The Old Republic, is that their first lightsaber is recovered from an ancient tomb (the particular tomb in Knights of the Old Republic, that of the ancient Sith overlord Naga Sadow, is terribly popular for this). This is in contrast to Jedi, who build their own. Whether the lightsaber is actually ancient or just one left there by the master for the student to find, symbolically it is supposed to represent the link to the history of the Sith Order.
    • The comic also prominently features the Mask of Mandalore, which similarly to the Darksaber in the current Disney canon works, is the traditional mask worn by the leader of the Mandalorian people. Revan hid it after defeating Mandalore the Ultimate, but between the first game and its sequel Revan begins to remember his past life and helps Canderous Ordo locate and recover the mask, allowing the latter to become the new Mandalore by the time of the sequel. While veterans of the first game can guess who’s behind that mask by his voice and personality, his custom armor cannot be removed and his given name is only mentioned through dialogue.
    • Also features in The Old Republic. The Sith Inquisitor is sent by the spirit of their ancestor, Lord Kallig, to retrieve his lightsaber after the end of Act 1 of the class storyline.
    • Kallig also bequeaths his mask upon his descendant, presumably because it looks epic rather than for any practical purpose.
  • Sly Cooper: The hook cane, which has taken many forms in the hands of his ancestors.
  • Both Dante and Vergil's blades in the Devil May Cry series are keepsakes from their demonic father Sparda. Dante sort of subverts this in the first (chronologically second) game where he uses Force Edge, which belonged to his father but was not intended to be passed down to either of his sons and is given to Trish as a gift at the end of the game; otherwise, it's played straight where he uses his actual keepsake sword Rebellion. Likewise played straight with Vergil, who uses Yamato whenever he appears (either as himself or Nelo Angelo). After Vergil dies, Dante briefly wields Yamato before eventually passing it to Vergil's son Nero. Eventually, Vergil revives and takes Yamato back.
  • The Dragon Sword wielded by Ryu Hayabusa is an ancient sword handed down by generations in the Dragon Lineage and the Hayabusa Clan. It is also mentioned in both the NES and the Xbox series that Ryu got the blade directly from his father.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Jack Marston taking up his father's guns after he's killed by Ross' goons.
    • And before that, in Red Dead Revolver, Red eventually gets back his father's Scorpion Revolver.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: If you finish Arcade Gannon's quest, he'll take out his father's old Enclave Tesla Armor. Depending on what you convince him to do, he'll either pass it on to you or he'll put it on himself for the final battle.
  • In Odin Sphere Cornelius' Psypher sword was originally wielded by his father Edmund. Edmund defeated the Demon Beast Darkova aka his own father King Gallon with it...and then cast it away into the netherworld unable to bear the guilt of patricide, however justified.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, the first weapons Ezio gains are his father's sword and his Hidden Blade. He loses the sword very quickly, but he holds onto the Blade for the rest of his life. When Monteriggioni is taken by the Borgia at the start of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, it's the one item from his old life he manages to hold on to, and it's with him again in Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
    • In a less biological sense, the ultimate armor in the game (unlocked after completing every assassin tomb) is a suit of armor crafted by Altair centuries ago and locked underneath Monteriggioni.
  • In Car Battler Joe, the G-COM that weaponizes Joe's car was a gift from father.
  • The Gran Centurio, which has been passed down the Fantasinian royal line may or may not have started with the sword's creator, Nessiah. Its most famous wielder was Princess Yggdra Yuril Artwaltz, who obtained it after the death of her father King Ordene.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, most of the various Origins have the Warden wielding an ancestral weapon of some kind.
    • "The Hawke's Key" from Dragon Age II, which doubles as an Empathic Weapon that uses the user's own blood to fortify the seals of an ancient Grey Warden fortress, containing one of the first Darkspawn. Since the last person to use it was Malcolm Hawke, the protagonist's deceased father, any member of his bloodline is keyed to use it, but it's Hawke who ends up with it even if their sibling is present.
    • One of the DLC items is "Malcolm's Honour", a deceptively simple magical staff that's adorned with a carving of Andraste. It was created over the course of several years by Malcolm Hawke, as part of an ongoing side-project whilst he was in Lothering and demonstrates the sheer breadth of his magical knowledge.
    • Nathaniel Howe (Awakening) and Sebastian Vael (II) both have ancestral bows you can find and give them. Anders has a Dummied Out line on the similarity.
  • The two swords Lloyd receives near the end of Tales of Symphonia belonged to both of his "fathers." From his biological father, Kratos, he receives the Flamberge, which Kratos had been using for the latter half of the game and apparently for much longer than that off-screen and from his adoptive father Dirk he receives the Vorpal Sword, a blade Dirk forged himself. Together they're called the Material Blade and double as Sword of Plot Advancement.
  • If you do a long sidequest in Tales of the Abyss you can get Guy one. It's the Jewel of Gardios and after the Hod War and death of the rest of his family, Duke Fabre took with him and hung it in the entrance hall of his manor. Getting it back is also a Friendship Moment between Guy and Luke as he immediately swears fealty to him as he once promised. It's quite useful on a second playthrough as it works as an Infinity -1 Sword as equipping it allows access to his second Limit Break.
  • In The Last Story, Yurick finds the Memento Dagger, which belonged to his father.
  • Aerith's White Materia in Final Fantasy VII that was passed down to her from her mother. Aerith claims the materia doesn't do anything and you can't use it directly since it's a key item and not a usable materia. It turns out that the White Materia is extremely important by acting as a way to call out to the Planet to summon Holy, which acts as a counter to Sephiroth's Meteor spell that he summoned from the Black Materia.
  • The Engineer's "Gunslinger" in Team Fortress 2 was first invented by his grandfather, Radigan Conagher. Although the one the Engineer himself wields was handmade, he did use his grandfather's blueprints.
  • While it isn't a weapon, in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Azimuth gives Ratchet his father's old Hoverboots (Ratchet can also purchase the Cryo-Mine, which were invented by his father). This trope is played straighter, and yet still not in the traditional sense, in the comics, where Ratchet uses Azimuth's dual-headed wrench staff in issues 5 and 6 (Azimuth was a close friend of Ratchet's father).
  • In GUN, Colton's father possesses the most powerful rifle in the game. During the intro, Colton gets to use it briefly to save his father from a grizzly bear. His father is subsequently killed in a riverboat hijacking. Near the end of the game, Colton recovers the weapon from his father's killer.
    Many Wounds: It is good that your father's rifle is now in your hands. Today, his spirit soars.
  • Prevalent among Orcs in World of Warcraft.
    • Garrosh Hellscream wields his father Grom's axe Gorehowl. Garrosh abandoning his father's axe in favor of a copy of it made by the Sha of Pride called "Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl" is one of the clearest signs that he's finally gone off the deep end in Mists of Pandaria.
    • The Doomhammer. It has been passed down through Orgrim's line for generations, and its wielder is called "Doomhammer" as a surname. When Orgrim died childless, he gave it to Thrall, his best friend's son.
    • Broxigar the Red's magical Axe of Cenarius went to his niece Thura.
    • The Tauren High Chieftain Cairne Boodhoof's spear has been in his family for generations, until it's shattered by the same blow that fells Cairne, delivered by Garrosh's Gorehowl.
  • In the multi-generational game Massive Chalice fallen heroes have a chance of creating a relic that can be passed on down through their bloodlines; giving stat boosts and other bonuses.
  • Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer Your main weapon is Spirit Dancer's Tomahawk who at is reviled to be Brave's dead father.
  • Neptunia (in the first game/remake) has the Trinity Blade, the Dual Revolvers, the Wisdom Bow, and the Trust Spear (collectively known as the Quartet Arms). Unfortunately, by the time Neptune and the other goddesses got to them, they were already old and decrepit and had to be restored into the Holy Fang Blade, Hero's Sword, Hero's Spear, and Hero's Hammer, respectively. Subverted in a way, however, because while they are pretty decent weapons by that stage of the game, you may already have the bonus weapons from the Coliseum and as a result, act more like Plot Coupons than anything.
  • In Guenevere, Arthur wields Excalibur, his birthright as the Pendragon heir.
  • While the Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda has been used by many different iterations and reincarnations of Link throughout the series' various timelines, the only one who can truly claim it as an ancestral weapon is the Hero of Twilight (who is a confirmed descendant of the Hero of Time).
  • Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines: The game allows players to create and name their own. The weapons, while lacking at first, become more powerful, and gain more traits as the user does. It can only be used by an offspring of its original wielder, who shares the same weapon class, no matter how many generations it has been in disuse. This allows your new characters to wield insanely powerful weapons at early stages.
  • Eternal Darkness: The Roivases have passed down the Tome of Eternal Darkness at least since Maximilian's father Aaron possessed it, always hiding it within a secret alcove within their family mansion.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Several of the rare Blades are passed down through family lines, especially royalty. Of course, since the Blades are people, this means they usually end up acting like just another family member. Brighid and Aegaeon are passed down through the royal line of Mor Ardain, while Pandoria is passed from the kings of Tantal to their sons. Brighid is bonded to Mòrag and Aegaeon to the Emperor, though Mòrag ends up with Aegaeon after the Emperor temporarily dies. Zeke is Pandoria's rightful inheritor, but he stole her when he was running away from home, which complicates matters slightly.
  • This ends up being played straight in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV in a very roundabout way as Valimar, who is Rean's Humongous Mecha is piloted by Dreichels the Lionheart 250 years ago during his Civil War. Now, Dreichels and Rean do not have any connection by blood (and it's made clear that Rean's not even a noble), but it just so happens that Dreichels got reincarnated into the present day as Giliath Osborne, Rean's biological father. Before the final battle, this is even acknowledged by Valimar himself who wonders if he should refer to Osborne as Dreichels or by his present name.
  • In Splatoon 2, the frying pans favored by Salmonid troops are often passed down from generation to generation. They are stated to take great care in keeping these weapons in good shape, despite otherwise being an Always Chaotic Evil species of Fish People.
  • Remnants of Isolation: The Flavor Text of the imprisoned Melchior's starting weapon, the Trusty Axe labels it as one for him:
    A well-kept family heirloom. Looks like it won't be passed down to any future generations now.
  • Ninja Gaiden has the Dragon Sword, a katana passed down from one generation to the next in the Hayabusa Clan. Ninja Gaiden 3 introduces Jinran-Maru, a sword belonging to the Hayabusa Clan's allies, the Mugen Tenshin. Like the Dragon Sword, it is passed from one generation to the next.
  • In Marco and the Galaxy Dragon, Gargouille’s golden sword Coelacanth has been passed down in her family for generations.
  • A central part of your player character's backstory in BattleTech is how you came to own your family's ancestral BattleMech. Sometimes it is all you have left of your family, sometimes you took it and fled, but players always start with the family 'Mech, typically an ancient Blackjack. Bits of lore imply it is one of the very first of the BJ-1 series when it released, and was passed down for generations, due to the player's family being minor nobility and able to afford to keep it in the family.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • The Lancer version of Minamoto no Raikou wields her father Indra's spear Vajra.
    • Minamoto no Raikou owned the sword Usumidori, then it was passed to her descendant Ushiwakamaru.
  • Subverted in The Walking Dead, where Lee finds the cane his father used to fight off shoplifters, but in the end, it's only used to block off a door to keep zombies out.


    Web Original 
  • Belkinus Necrohunt: Absolution, the fancier of Luna's two swords, was previously wielded by her legendary father.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Refan inherited his sword Smaragdos from his father Omaroch who in turn got it from his father Malakhia.
    • Osmond inherited his sword from his father, and it was lightly implied to have come from his own father.
  • In Mortasheen, they directly say in the description for Oodoov that certain examples of this creature are passed down as family heirlooms. Of course, given that the creature's power to absorb pain tends to turn the user into The Berserker, surviving long enough to pass it on is easier said than done.
  • Belramus from Open Blue's Back Story. Not surprising, given it's named after Balmung.
  • RWBY: Most combat students in the series build their own weapons. Jaune is one of the few who hasn't, carrying an old sword and shield used by his great-grandfather in the Great Offscreen War. He's a little disappointed in himself about this, calling the sword a "hand-me-down", but Ruby encourages him to think of it like this trope.

    Western Animation 
  • Iron Kid in Iron Kid has the Iron Fist that will only work for people of his family line — of which he happens to be the last.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Darksaber was originally simply the weapon of the first Mandalorian Jedi, a member of House Vizsla. When he died, the Jedi kept it in their temple as was tradition, but House Vizsla attacked the temple to steal it. Ever since, it has been passed down through House Vizsla, who claim it is a symbol of their strength and authority to lead. In Star Wars Rebels, Sabine wins it, but then gives it to Bo-Katan so that she can unite Mandalore against the Empire. As of The Mandalorian, Moff Gideon has it — until Din Djarin defeats him and takes it.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), Lion-O inherits his father King Claudus's Sword of Omens, which has been passed down from the earliest days of the ThunderCats' empire.
  • On Adventure Time, Marceline's bass guitar is actually her family's axe.
    • In one episode, Finn and Jake's dad, Joshua, challenged them to traverse a dungeon to find their family sword, which is made out of demon blood. Sadly, it was eventually destroyed in a fight by the demon whose blood was in the sword.
  • Ivanhoe: The King's Knight episode "Thor's Axe" features the titular axe as the weapon of the Chief of the Gordale Saxons.
  • In Kulipari: An Army of Frogs, the main character Darel keeps the dagger of his father close to him, unmistakably a weapon of a Kulipari warrior.
  • The magical wand from Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a magical tool that has been handed down from one queen to another, taking on an appearance based on the personality of the person to weld it.
  • Steven Universe inherited his mother Rose Quartz's sword and shield. The shield is a special case since it's actually a summoned weapon created from the Gem his mother passed on to him (said Gem used to be her too). The sword is a more mundane example being a material weapon. However, Steven rarely ever uses the sword himself, having passed it on to his best friend Connie after she took up swordsmanship lessons with Pearl.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Glimmer is eventually given her deceased father's war staff.

    Real Life 
  • Played straight with well-made swords in many cultures, Japan being the most famous for the practice. Except for the Japanese Shin-Gunto type blade, which is a subversion in Japan, being mass-produced, cheaply made blades issued by the military, and double-subverted in the United States, where they were brought back as war trophies and became family heirlooms. Due to them not being considered works of art, Shin-Guntos are not protected by Japanese law and are considered illegal weapons there, meaning if one is brought to Japan, it will be seized and destroyed.
    • Interestingly, on at least one occasion, West Point ruled that Shin-Guntos weren't considered heirloom swords. On at least one occasion, a Japanese-American cadet whose family actually had an ancestral sword was allowed to carry it in place of the normal ceremonial sword, but the Academy refused to allow another cadet whose family had a Shin-Gunto that they took as a war trophy to use it in place of the normal sword.
    • Several other military academies that have ceremonial swords as part of their full dress uniformnote  will also allow officer cadets to use family swords, within reason. Most of these tend to be officer's swords from the 1800s or later, to the point that many of them may have been made as ceremonial swords rather than ones meant for combat.
  • Æthelstan Ætheling owned a 200-year-old sword belonging to his ancestor, King Offa of Mercia. When he died he willed the sword to his brother, Edmund Ironside, thus passing the Ancestral Weapon on down the family line.
  • Coats-of-arms. While not strictly a weapon, it originates itself as the device on a fighting shield. The design of a coat-of-arms, blazon, is hereditary and are generally inherited from parents to children, thus symbolizing a family lineage.note  Each blazon is usually unique to the family within the particular country, with the rights enforceable in the courts (a sort of early form of intellectual property).note  The oldest blazons today in use can be traced to the 12th century.
  • Most tribes in ancient Hispania considered their weapons to be sacred, so revolts often exploded simply because Romans demanded villages hand their weapons over.
  • Firearms also have a high potential for this trope, and while obsolete weapons eventually get relegated to wall hangers a quality gun can stay in use for multiple generations with proper maintenance and storage.
    • AK-47s are becoming these for some families in Africa and Asia.
  • Mosin-Nagant and other milsurp rifles are definitely this if they are kept in the family, having been in service for multiple generations now.
    • Becoming a bit of a problem in the US, where service weapons of WW2 vets are having some legal issues being passed on to the next generation.
  • Shields were often this to Greek Hoplites. While spears were expendable, Greeks thought shields were really cool and would hang them over their fireplace.
  • The British Royal Family has six swords as part of their regalia—five as part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and one as part of the Honours of Scotland. Of these, one (the Scottish one) dates from the 16th century, four are from the 17th century (though three of them use blades forged in the 1580s), and one dates from the early 19th century.
  • Before gunpowder, wargear would most likely be passed down the line since it was quite expensive. However, while armour is quite easy to fix, a broken sword (and steel snaps) is likely to be melted down for scrap, as any Andúril-style reforging will leave the blade incredibly prone to breaking again.
  • Warships. Not only can these sometimes last for decades, even after a given ship is destroyed another ship will often be named after it. The US Navy still had World War II battleships in service two or three generations after their time (the Iowa class, launched late in WWII, remained in service until the early 1990s, mostly because those gigantic guns were such a useful source of More Dakka for shore support). Two of the four-ship class remained in the "mothball fleet" (the reserve of ships kept in case of emergency) for about 20 years after that, but currently all four Iowas are museum ships.
    • As of September 2011, about 13 of the old B-17 Flying Fortress bombers were still airworthy and some are still in use (though not as bombers anymore). And still others are in the process of being restored to flying condition. Boeing stopped producing B-17s in 1945.
    • There are 49 airworthy Spitfires and some 230 airworthy P-51 Mustangs.
    • The B-52 Stratofortress originally entered service with the US Air Force in the 1950s, and around a hundred are still in service in 2014 (the youngest B-52 entered service in 1962). There are currently pilots of this plane who can claim to have grandfathers who flew the same model. Much of this is due to the Boring, but Practical nature of the B-52's design: It is already a jet that can fly all the way around the world to drop upwards of 70,000 pounds of bombs with a high degree of precision. Any would-be replacements (the B-58 Hustler, XB-70 Valkyrie, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, etc.) tend to verge into Awesome, but Impractical for various reasons in comparison. Mainly cost. Other aircraft used around the world find themselves in similar situations, to include the KC-135 Stratotanker and the Russians' Tu-95 Bear.


Video Example(s):


The Yasaburo Clan Lightsaber

With Ocho having sided with the Empire, Yasaburo confides in his adoptive daughter Lop with their clans' greatest treasure and the responsibility that the Yasaburo Clan holds dear.

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Example of:

Main / AncestralWeapon

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