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"Perceval, take the sword. Find a pool of calm water....cast the sword into it. Do as I command. One day, a new King will come, and the Sword will rise again."
King Arthur, John Boorman's Excalibur
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Excalibur: the legendary sword of King Arthur and the go-to name when you need a Cool Sword. Given its status as a Public Domain Artifact, there are quite a few references to it in various media, not to mention the actual Arthurian literature.

The name Excalibur is derived from from the original Welsh Caledfwlch or Caledvwlch,note  cognate with the Caladbolg of Irish myth. This was rendered as Caliburnus in Latin. Over the centuries the spelling further developed into Escalibor and other variations, finally ending up as Excalibur. Some versions say that Arthur pulled Excalibur from a stone (and anvil on top of the stone) to prove his right to be king. Other versions say that the sword from the stone was not Excalibur, but a different sword, and Arthur instead was given Excalibur by The Lady of the Lake.

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Modern authors have to usually pick one of these old versions and stick with it. (Although Excalibur found a way to combine the stories). Sometimes modern authors try to distinguish the swords by giving each one a different version of the name "Excalibur", like calling one of them "Caliburn" or "Collbrande" instead.

There are also a few obscure medieval stories where Arthur in fact has another named sword, or a couple of other named swords, besides Excalibur and so perhaps gives away or lends Excalibur to one of his knights, such as Gawain or Lancelot. Sometimes modern authors use one of these other named swords to distinguish the sword-in-the-stone from the sword-given-by-the-Lady-of-the-Lake.

To avoid confusion when adding examples, please refer to the following pages:


Other tropes frequently associated with Excalibur:


Examples of the sword itself in media:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • "Excalibolg" from Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan needlessly combines this with Bland-Name Product. The second half of the name likely comes fro Gae Bolg from Celtic myth, which is a SPEAR, not a sword. Even more inexplicably, Excalibolg is a spiky club, not a sword.
  • The name is taken for a Humongous Mecha sword used by the head of the Knights of the Round in Code Geass.
  • Though definitely not the actual sword, HolyAngemon and Seraphimon's Laser Blade Below the Shoulder in Digimon Adventure is called Excalibur.
  • Shows up in Fate/Stay Night and it's prequel (Zero) and sequel (ataraxia), wielded by Saber. It's even got its own leitmotif when it's used, "Sword of Promised Victory".
  • Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere features the Excalibur, but is represented as two swords: one called the "Excalibur Caliburn" and the other the "Excalibur Collbrande" ("Collbrande" being a variant on the spelling of the mythological Caliburn).
  • Used for a Humongous Mecha twin beam sword used by the initial main hero of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • Saint Seiya:
    • The Gold Saints Capricorn Shura has Excalibur in his arms... and legs!!!. In the anime, it was said that in mythical times, Athena granted the legendary sword Excalibur only to a Saint who proved his undying loyalty towards the goddess. This technique is a very sharp blast, composed of extreme cosmo concentration released by his arms and legs movements. Since it is quickly released, it can be used multiple times.
    • Shura pass his power to Shiryu's arm before dying. However, in order to use it, the Bronze Saint would have to burn his cosmos to a Gold Saint's level and raise it to the limit.
  • Soul Eater: Excalibur! Excalibur! From United King, I'm looking for him, I'm going to California! Excalibur! Excalibur! EXCALIBUR! On top of this, he is also a Great Old One, specifically that associated with the Madness of Rage, and might even be said to be the reason behind everything in the plot - his very existence inspired Arachne to try and create her own kind of Living Weapon. He's also highly annoying. Or so he wants you to think, at least...

    Comic Books 
  • Featured in the Marvel Universe in a trilogy of Iron Man stories.
  • Later shows up in Captain Britain and MI13.
  • Hellboy as the last living descendent of King Arthur is offered Excalibur so that he can raise an army to fight the Queen of Blood (a.k.a. Nimue).
  • The Shining Knight in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers wields the sword Caliburn Ex Calibur.
  • In Mage: The Hero Discovered, Kevin Matchstick gains the ability to wield the magical baseball bat Excalibur.
  • In the strip "The Jocks and the Geordies" from The Dandy, the Geordies once decided to search for Excalibur in hopes that with it, they could rally all the great Geordie hard men and batter the hell out of the Jocks. They failed dismally in this hunt, so instead they faked up an Excalibur from tin foil, which did the job just fine.
  • In Camelot 3000, King Arthur must retrieve Excalibur from the lake, which is now the cooling pond for a nuclear power station.
  • In Witch Doctor, Vincent Morrow wields this weapon, and is absolutely certain that pulling it out of the stone makes him The Chosen One.
    Vincent Morrow: (gesturing towards sword) This means I'm more important than you. The universe says so.

    Fanfiction 
  • In Jericho, although it is never once actually described, the sword that Jericho carries is suggested to be this. When Snechta, the High Priestess of the Cult of Chêngrêla, sees the sword, she goes wide-eyed and asks the sword is Caledfwlch, the blade of this world's King Arthur, Aloysius der Lichtbringer. Jericho shrugs and says that, in the Reich whence he comes, they called the sword Kaledfulch, but suggests that the two swords are "likely the same thing". Although, the story of how he came by it is... odd:
    I stole it from a museum, but it’s just a superb weapon that laughs at light armor and scoffs at cover. Plus, that museum dressed like a slut and totally had it coming.
    • It should also be noted that Jericho carries a pair of ammo-less revolvers, which, he notes, were given to him by a lady in a lake. The particular story almost exactly resembles the Lady in the Lake who gave King Arthur Excalibur.
  • Nav's Infinity +1 Sword in Diaries of a Madman turns out to be Excalibur.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Quest for Camelot, Excalibur is lost and becomes the MacGuffin as the heroes quest to find it and save the kingdom. Sir Ruper, the Big Bad, seeks the sword so he can magically bind himself to it and become invincible.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail, identified properly as the sword bestowed upon Arthur by the Lady in the Lake, but serving no actual plot purpose.
  • In King Arthur (2004), Excalibur / Sword in the Stone is retrieved by young Arthur from his father's grave.
  • The Last Legion presents Excalibur as a sword first wielded by Julius Caesar which is taken from Rome to Britain by its last emperor, Romulus Augustus. At the end of the film, Romulus (strongly implied to be Uther Pendragon) drives the sword into a stone. The last shot of the film shows the sword in the Present Day, still in the stone and with the original Latin inscription on it covered by moss, save for the letters which spell out 'Excalibur'.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword combines the two well known stories about how Arthur got the weapon, in addition to making it a sword with tremendous powers such as causing shockwaves. Arthur does retrieve it from a rock, proving he is the legitimate heir to the throne, then throws it into a lake later on out of fear of not controlling its powers. Then Arthur stumbles into a mud pool, the Lady of the Lake drags him into an abyss, [[gives it back to him, and he has a vision of a Bad Future dominated by Vortigern, which restores his confidence and allows him to finally harness the sword's powers.
  • In Hellboy (2019), Excalibur is the only weapon capable of actually harming Nimue, the Blood Queen.

    Literature 
  • Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur is widely considered the definitive version of the Arthurian legend.
  • T.H. White's The Once and Future King.
  • In The Dark Tower, Roland, a descendant of King Arthur, wields guns forged from the blade and hilt of Excalibur.
  • In The Dresden Files, it's heavily implied - and eventually confirmed in Ghost Story - that Michael Carpenter's sword Amoracchius, which translates to the "Sword of Love" and contains one of the Nails of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in its hilt, is Excalibur. It is one of the strongest weapons mortals have against evil Supernatural forces. Michael Carpenter even mentions that, in the past, the original Merlin was one of its custodians looking for the next proper wielder of it. Harry Dresden is chosen as its custodian after Michael retires. The first temporary wielder of the blade is a monster mother seeking to save her child from even worst creatures. Because she is acting out of love and swears to hurt no innocent people, she is able to not only touch Excalibur but she uses it to cut off the arm of an elder monster.
  • In High School D×D, there were two holy swords originally wielded by King Arthur:
    • The seven Excaliburs are fragments of the original Excalibur, each reforged into a new blade that possesses one of the Combo Platter Powers of the original: Excalibur Blessing, Excalibur Destruction, Excalibur Mimic, Excalibur Nightmare, Excalibur Rapidly, Excalibur Ruler and Excalibur Transparency. After the fall of Camelot, the strongest fragment (Ruler) remained with Arthur's descendants while the rest were eventually distributed between the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches. Some of these were used by an unethical archbishop as part of the "Holy Sword Project", an attempt to create Child Soldiers capable of wielding them and similar weapons. The fragments are gradually recombined over the course of the series, with their incomplete form being used at one point as a Power Limiter for the Durandal.
    • Caliburn/Collbrande, identified as the Sword in the Stone and "the ultimate Holy Sword", remains with Arthur's descendants. In addition to its immense holy aura, it is a Dimensional Cutter which can strike from impossible directions and serves as its wielder's main means of transportation.
  • In The Lost Years of Merlin, the title character finds a magic sword and is told that he'll one day help a great king pull it from a stone. Oddly, "Excalibur" is never stated because Merlin doesn't want people to know its true name.
  • In The Skystone, the first book in Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, ironsmith Publius Varrus at one point smelts some ore from a meteor that landed in a lake near his home, and forges it into a statue of a woman which he calls "The Lady of the Lake". He later melts down the statue and reforges the metal into the sword Excalibur.
  • Sword Art Online: Excalibur is the most powerful weapon in the otherwise Norse-themed VRMMORPG Alfheim Online, the setting of the second Story Arc.
    • During the Fairy Dance arc itself, Kirito catches a glimpse of the weapon's hidden resting place (an icicle castle frozen into the roof of the game's underworld), but is unable to reach it.
    • At the climax of the arc, Sugou/Oberon attempts to spawn in a copy of Excalibur to fight Kirito. Kirito stops him... then spawns in Excalibur himself and hands it to his opponent, knowing that Sugou is a thief with no clue how "his" game even works, and that he has no chance of defeating an experienced player even with an overpowered weapon.
    • The book 8 sidestory Caliber features the introduction of a new quest chain said to have Excalibur as a reward, which spurs Kirito to gather his friends and try to claim the weapon while he still has a chance. Within the game's lore, the "icicle castle" turns out to be a frozen lake created when the frost giants plunged Excalibur into the roots of the World Tree as part of their plans to invade the surface. Eventually the group succeed in destroying the castle by pulling Excalibur from its resting place... only to find that its actual name is "Holy Sword Excaliber" [sic]. Kirito surmises that the unusual spelling was a Pun on how the item is a Bragging Rights Reward which proves its wielder's caliber (at least, after all he went through to get it, he likes that explanation better than "one of the devs made a typo").
    • A Nerfed form of the weapon, "Fake Sword Caliburn", is also mentioned as the reward for the "normal" version of the quest chain, granted to parties who choose to side with the frost giants.
  • Nightside: Excalibur is delivered to the protagonist for safekeeping, to his great discomfort, since he knows he's not worthy of it. It's eventually revealed to be a fragment of Light (as in, "Let There Be Light"), and a tool of Gaia herself.
    Oracle: I told you, it's so potent I can't even get a good look at it. You could cut the world in half with a weapon like that... It's much more than a sword. More than a weapon. It's the lever you turn to move the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Merlin (2008), of course. It was created in the episode called "Excalibur", has been thrown into the lake by Merlin, was retrieved by his watery girlfriend, and is currently residing in a large stone. Interestingly, three seasons in and it has still not been named or identified as the legendary Excalibur, nor wielded by Arthur himself.
    • As of the end of the fourth series, Excalibur has been pulled out of the stone and is in Arthur's possession, but still hasn't been called "Excalibur" yet.
  • Appears in the Doctor Who story Battlefield, where it is key to resurrecting a King Arthur from an Alternate Universe. Only, Arthur's really long dead...
  • In the miniseries Merlin (1998), the titular character is given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake. Merlin gives the sword to Uther Pendragon, but then takes it back when Uther proves not to be worthy of wielding it. He then places it into the care of the Rock of Ages, asking him to only relinquish it to a man with a good heart. A teenaged Arthur later shows up and successfully shifts it from the stone after the Rock witnesses his goodness. After Arthur's death, Merlin returns the sword to the Lady of the Lake.
  • Excalibur's name sometimes comes up in, of all places, the Japanese toku genre; Kamen Rider OOO wields the Medajalibur, Kamen Rider Wizard has the Axcalibur in his Super Mode, while the first five of the Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger each carry an identical Gabricalibur.
  • In Charmed, the Lady of the Lake is killed by a demon, and the Charmed Ones come into possession of Excalibur, once more in the stone. Piper manages to pull it out, but it begins to corrupt her, as apparently anyone not "chosen" to wield it will eventually go mad with power. It turns out that Excalibur is actually destined for Wyatt, and Piper managed to pull it out because, as his mother, she's now the new Lady of the Lake.
  • Burnistoun parodies this: A series of sketches has an ordinary bloke find a legendary sword (depicted as a large sword with glowing runes on it), wedged in a crack in the ground rather than in the traditional stone. He pulls it out easily, and a man who resembles King Arthur appears, telling him that he is The Chosen One and needed to fight evil. Unfortunately, as Arthur Puts it, the chosen one is a fanny and prefers pubbing to fighting evil. Eventually he sells the sword to a kebab restaurant, who uses it to cut off gyro meat.

    Pinball 
  • Crystal Caliburn is named after the sword ("Caliburn"), and it is one of the knightly weapons to be retrieved.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons supplement Deities & Demigods / Legends & Lore, King Arthur and Excalibur are both statted and Excalibur lives up to it's Absurdly Sharp Blade status being described as a "+5 Sword of Sharpness" - this would under 1st edition rules sever a limb or the head of a normal opponent on approximately 35% of successful hits.
  • Shadows over Camelot: Excalibur can be won from the Lady of the Lake in a Sidequest, which advances the game towards victory (or towards defeat if the quest is failed). The sword itself gives the bearer an incremental bonus to combat checks, and can be sacrificed to negate one negative event as it occurs.

    Truth in Television 
  • Truth In Television from which the Excalibur myth was taken: in ancient times, aging celtic heroes threw their inherited, heirloom blades into the swamps to appease the spirits who dwelt there, who presumably kept their weapons safe after they died. They've found tons of swords buried in the former lake around the former isle of Avalon, aka Glastonbury Tor.

    Video Games 
  • The Final Fantasy series has featured Excalibur or variant spellings as a weapon in nearly every game. If there's a sword wielding character, you can bet they'll end up wielding it.
    • Several games in the series feature a shoddy knock-off Excalipur. Sometimes it's pretty good if you throw it. It's usually found in the hands of Gilgamesh, who has once again mistaken it for the real deal.
    • Final Fantasy IX has, in addition to the regular old Excalibur an even better Excalibur: Excalibur 2. It's pretty much impossible to get without specifically trying for it, since you need to reach almost the end of the game within 12 hours.
    • Final Fantasy XIV takes both Excalibur and its original spelling and turns them into two different powerful swords. Excalibur is a special weapon that can be obtained by Paladins after obtaining the sword Curtana and converting it. The other weapon, Caladbolg, is a weapon for Dark Knights who complete their entire questline.
  • Guenevere has King Arthur, wielding Excalibur as usual, as a major character.
  • Sonic and the Black Knight combines the sword backstories in a somewhat interesting way. At the very start of the game, Sonic draws a sword named Caliburn from a stone. Near the end, however, Sonic's Once an Episode Super Mode actually changes Caliburn INTO Excalibur, essentially making the sword in the stone and Excalibur into the same blade. And the Lady of the Lake DOES sort of give Excalibur to Sonic in this way; it's at her instruction that the method of activating this game's Super Mode occurs.
  • Deconstructed in Tomb Raider: Legend, where the concept of Excalibur as a Public Domain Artifact is explored.
  • Backyard Skateboarding has the unlockable Excaliboard (obviously based on Excalibur).
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Dark Dawn, the Excalibur is one one of the strongest swords in both games and obtained by forging an orihalcon with a 5% probability.
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow had the Excalibur show up as a sword in the stone...amusingly enough, Soma's not the chosen one who can free it, so instead he swings the massive bolder the sword's attach to as well as the sword itself.
  • In the French language translations of The Legend of Zelda, the Master Sword is referred to as "Excalibur", except in Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword, where is it called "L'Épée de Légende" ("the Sword of Legend").
  • In the NES game Day Dreamin' Davey, one Medieval stage has Davey overcome all obstacles in order to find the sacred sword Excalibur, only that the "sword" that he has imagined is actually a ruler while he's sitting in the corner in class.
  • Excalibur appears in Magicka in a similar fashion as it does in Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow; Sure, you can't use it as a sword, but it makes a damn good mace in the mean time.
  • In NetHack players can receive Excalibur by dipping a Longsword into a fountain if they are Lawful.
  • RuneScape has Excalibur as well, at first taking the form of low leveled sword, used to complete the Merlin's Crystal quest. However, by completing the Seer's Village Hard Tasks, the player can have it upgraded to a significantly stronger off-handed version.
  • Excalibur is available not as a sword, but as a starter Warframe themed around being a Master Swordsman.
  • In the Second Super Robot Wars Z: Saisei-hen, the Humongous Mecha belonging to Prince Uther Insaraum wields the Collbrande. However, the sword was sheathed for more than 2000 years, until Uther awakened it.
  • Excalibur is one of the best swords (possibly the best) that main character Soki can obtain in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams. In order to get it you need to battle through 50 levels of the Dark Realm, with the implication that the demons have hidden it away. The sword both does extra damage to and grants protection from darkness based enemies/magic, respectively.
  • Soul Sacrifice, being based on the Arthurian mythos, features Excalibur. However, it is considered a Black Rite. Why? It's a sword made out of your heart.
  • The Secret World, being set in a world where All Myths Are True, quite naturally features Excalibur. It's actually the MacGuffin of the first major story arc. Having been stolen from its Arthurian resting place by Vikings, it was then taken to New England in order to help the Wabanaki tribe fight off an invasion by Mayans hell-bent on unleashing the entity slumbering under Solomon Island. Unfortunately, the sword was lost on the return journey and remained so until the 21st century, when it was accidentally discovered by a fishing vessel and brought back to Solomon Island; unfortunately, it brought the zombified Vikings with it - which is where the player gets involved. Eventually, Freddy Beaumont acquires the sword and tries to seize the Island's power with it before getting his ass handed to him by the player; unfortunately, Beaumont's Dark Mistress makes off with Excalibur immediately afterward and hasn't been seen since.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night. Saber uses it. It´s a Wave Motion Sword powerful enough to destroy skyscrapers on the lower settings, and could wipe out a good portion of a city at maximum power. Its considered an Anti-fortress-class weapon and is the only one of its class.
    • In the Fate route, as Shirou fights Berserker, he projects his definition of the strongest sword, which turns out to be Caliburn. On his own he can't use it's full strength, but with Saber's assistance, even just the projected form of it was powerful enough to kill Berseker seven times over.
    • Expanded materials further explain Excalibur's origins, including having been forged from the core of a star. In the prequel Fate/Zero, Excalibur disintegrates a Cthulhu knockoff. And in Fate/Extella it's revealed Excalibur was once used to destroy an alien superweapon that was powerful enough to fight and kill gods. That is the kind of power Excalibur possesses.

    Webcomics 
  • In the webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space, Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, allows people to believe his sword is the legendary Excalibur as a PR exercise. This is the sword that ends up in the stone, while the real Excalibur is in the care of the Lady of the Lake.
    • That is, when it's not a starship, a global corporation, a marshal's badge ... .
  • In Homestuck, one of Dave's sidequests in Sburb was to find and retrieve Caledfwlch, aka the Legendary Piece of Shit. It was embedded in a stone, and rather than attempting to pull it, he felt he instead had to break it out. Davesprite had already done the same before travelling back in time, and had already alchemized it into the superior Caledscratch, making the Caledfwlch more or less useless...for a while.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles. King Arthur appeared, initially sans Excalibur. He eventually retrieved it, but not without a clash with Macbeth, who argued that, as an immortal and former monarch himself, the prophecy of "a timeless king" could also apply to him.
  • In the 1980s Thundercats, Mumm-Ra seeks out a weapon powerful enough to defeat the Sword of Omens. The only weapon without question powerful enough to do the job is Excalibur. Through trickery Mumm-Ra obtains it and defeats the Sword of Omens after the swords fight on their own. It looks like evil wins until Merlin shows up, takes back the sword and kicks Mumm-Ra's ass.
  • Wakfu has Rubilax.
  • In one G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode, Cobra swordsman Storm Shadow gets his hands on Excalibur, which among other things can cut through a stone pillar in a single swipe.


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