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Hungry Weapon

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"Unearthed near the marshes of Kaladoun, the Bloodthirster is thought to have belonged to a powerful soulstealer named Frax Van Itt. The wielder of this dangerous weapon is forever bound to the blade and its thirst for the blood of others."
Flavor Text of the Bloodthirster, League of Legends

What is scarier than a bladed killing tool? Make it evil. What is creepier than an evil sword? A hungry evil weapon. A Hungry Weapon hungers or thirsts for victims — or to be more precise, their blood, souls, life force, or what have you. If it wants to kill but is not hungry or thirsty, it's just Ax-Crazy. Yeah...

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To be hungry, a sword doesn't need to be a Talking Weapon, but it often is because it's good for a hungry, evil, Empathic Weapon's image. If the audience only has the wielder's word for the weapon's hunger, it's not this trope. If the hunger or thirst is stated by either the sword, the narrator or other characters, it's this trope.

In case of narrator-revealed hunger or thirst, it's good to remember that some narrators are unreliable and some just like to be poetic. Swords in realistic, non-fantasy settings obviously cannot be evil or hungry, no matter what the narrator says. See also Draw Sword, Draw Blood when the sword's supposed need to "taste blood" is metaphorical, ceremonial and/or a superstition.

Subtrope of Evil Weapon (because for some weird reason, good swords aren't ever hungry). Compare Weapons That Suck for a different version of "hungry".

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Episode 04 of the Hentai anime La Blue Girl features a sword whose spirit thrives on blood and sexual stimulation. It drove its wielder to carry out acts of mass slaughter, followed by immediate stimulation. Given this is La Blue Girl, the sexual part should be no surprise.
  • Saika of Durarara!! is a demonically-possessed sword that "loves" humanity, and shows its affection by cutting them, and then adding them to its Hive Mind. Its goal is to possess all of humanity, and so seeks out strong individuals that are better suited to helping it possess more people, like Heiwajima Shizuo. In its own words, it craves strength like a human wants a partner with "good genes".
  • In Soul Eater all the Demon Weapons (good or evil) get more powerful by eating souls. The eponymous character literally eats them (apparently they have a nice texture). A straighter example would be Tsubaki's brother Masamune, who merges with his wielder, allowing him to eventually eat their soul as well as anyone they killed.
  • Naruto:
    • Kisame's sword Samehada can absorb chakra and then give it to Kisame to heal/empower himself.
    • Zabuza's sword Kubikiribocho can repair itself using the blood of his enemies.
  • The Law of Ueki has the Mash, a Sacred Weapon in a form of a giant block with eyes and a mouth, which chomps the user's opponent into unconsciousness.

    Comic Books 
  • Contest of Champions: Guillotine's sword seeks blood. It's unsatisfied with the small, paltry amounts Guillotine's vigilante exploits grant it (since Guillotine tries to use the sword as non-lethally as she can). And it has to be the right kind of blood too. If it's an alien, the sword will refuse to let itself touch them.
  • All-Black the Necrosword, the weapon wielded by The Mighty Thor villain Gorr the God-butcher, is a powerful sword of darkness that fuels its powers with the blood of gods.

    Literature 
  • In Blue Moon Rising, one of the three Infernal Devices, Flarebright, uses the blood of its victims to fuel its flames.
  • The Kalevala: Kullervo speaks to his sword after a murderous revenge spree, contemplating suicide. The sword speaks its mind and replies that it wouldn't mind eating guilty flesh and flawed blood just as fine as innocent flesh and blood.
  • The sword in Lloyd Alexander's The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. It literally asks for blood to drink, until at a crucial time it decides it's had enough, and jumps out of the hands of its wielder.
  • Kullervo's role in The Kalevala, a Finnish epic, plays out between Turin Turambar and his sword Gurthang in The Silmarillion. This is not entirely surprising, since The Kalevala was an influence on J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • The sentient sword Nightblood in the book Warbreaker is obsessed with killing evil people, though it can't distinguish between an actual 'evil' person, and someone who's merely in the way. Merely touching the sword when you aren't 'pure of heart' will lead you to go on a killing frenzy before eventually killing yourself.
    • In an even straighter example of this trope, Nightblood also eats its wielder's souls (people can transfer souls around in this world) to fuel its powers.
  • Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone novels. The sword Stormbringer is hungry for souls, often moaning when it wishes to feed. When it hits an opponent, it drains their soul and Life Energy, killing them. It can force Elric to strike at other people by controlling his mind.
  • A rare non-evil example is found in The Spiral Labyrinth. The protagonist is thrown forward to a time when The Magic has Come Back, and finds that his AI-controlled energy pistol has become a magical sword that feeds on the life force of those it kills.
  • In the Terry Pratchett short story "Final Reward", when the fantasy author Dogger wakes up to find the Barbarian Hero he created on his doorstep, Edran's sword Skrung conversationally remarks that it wants to drink Dogger's blood. And the postman's.
  • The aptly named "BloodDrinker" from Journey to Chaos is a sword that literally drinks blood. Basilard can stab someone with it and turn them into a withered and dry husk. Its favorite meals are elves and members of the Bladi clan.
  • "Okuyyuki" has Audrey, a fairly rare heroic example. She is a regular Blood Knight, in addition to this, but otherwise rather nice and even caring.
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    Manhwa 
  • Skurai from Ragnarok might even say the exact words. Of course his sword is evil and half-possessing/Brainwashing him and literally needs to drink blood (aka butcher people), so...it's almost justified in a way. There is no reason why he has to be such a Large Ham about it, though. That's just tasty, gratuitous villainy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An awful lot of evil artifact weapons from every incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons exhibit this behavior, as well as many lesser cursed items. Such a weapon with the 'vampiric' ability or similar will feed on opponents hitpoints and transfer them to the user.
    • One specific example is a sword from Dungeons & Dragons adventure S2 White Plume Mountain, Blackrazor. It hungers for Life Energy and will try to force its wielder to use it to attack others so it can feed. It's a Shout-Out to Stormbringer, mentioned above.
  • In the French RPG Bloodlust, each player character wields such a weapon. And the weapons have character sheets too.
  • Games Workshop games:
  • The OGL supplement 1001 Science Fiction Weapons has a straight example of this in a section relating to major artefacts, in the form of an energy weapon which drains hit points from the user with each shot, and fits over the arm, digging in with its teeth and proving difficult to remove; and more literal examples in the section on living weapons, where some weapons aren't meant to last more than a few months in storage, let alone active, and therefore have all the food content they'll ever need stored in their bodies, some weapons do live a lot longer, like pets, and will need to be fed.

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2: The Eyelander thirsts for heads, and whispers repeatedly "heaadssss".
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 has the Malice Sword, which consumes the souls of any CPUs slain by it. In a certain bad ending, Nepgear and Neptune find the sword and the former was forced (or rather, asked) to use it kill her friends (and sister) to gain their power so that she can have enough power to stop Arfoire and avert The End of the World as We Know It. Said sword transforms into an Infinity +1 Sword called the Gehaburn.
  • WarCraft: Arthas' sword, Frostmourne, which consumes the souls of those slain upon it. This leads to Athas' Catch-Phrase, "Frostmourne hungers!"
  • The Honedge line of Pokémon X and Y are based on this. The Pokedex entry for Honedge itself states that it sucks out the souls of those foolish enough to wield it like an actual sword.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind and Oblivion have Umbra, a powerful soul-stealing sword created by a witch for the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile. Crossing over with Evil Weapon and Empathic Weapon, it tends to take over the mind of its wielder, turning them into insane Blood Knights. In Oblivion, Barbas (Vile's external conscience and Morality Chain) begs you not to deliver the sword to Clavicus Vile, since he believes even a Daedric Prince won't be able to control the blade's evil power. He's right.
    • Skyrim has Mephala's Ebony Blade, which becomes stronger every time its wielder kills a friend or loved one with it. You need to kill ten trusted companions to fully empower the Ebony Blade. You can manipulate the blade by being exceptionally cruel to a single "friend"; if you kill and resurrect the same guy over and over using Dead Thrall (a special resurrection spell that doesn't destroy the body after they're killed again), you can bring the blade to its full potential. You don't even need to murder your friend if he dies of natural causes!
  • In a rare good example, the divine sword Lumina from Brave Fencer Musashi will devour the souls of enemies and let its wielder use their special attacks.
  • In Darkstalkers, the phantasmic demon samurai Bishamon wields a blood-thirsty sword known as a Kien. Due to a ritual used to keep the blade eternally sharp while crafting it, Kien hungers for death and destruction (a trait of the sword that was made only worse when it fell under the influence of the cursed armor Hannya). Donning said weapon and gear enslaves the user to the will of the artifacts and sends them on a mindless rampage.
  • Soul Edge from the Soul Series has a tendency to eat the souls of both its targets and its wielders.
  • Enserric the Longsword from Neverwinter Nights expansion has different one-liners spoken for hitting enemies of different races.
  • In Dark Cloud, one of the swords you could get was called the Lamb Sword. In it's normal state, it was pretty weak, but if you didn't use it for a while, it became hungry and would become much more powerful. After it killed a few victims, it would return to it's natural state.
  • In Shinobi for PS2, the protagonist Hotsuma wields Akujiki, a sword that feeds on the Yin of its slain enemies. This is a key gameplay element, essentially acting as a timer. Killing enemies keeps its steadily decreasing gauge full. Killing enemies in quick succession creates elaborate combos known as "tate," which relinquish the most Yin. Allow it to go hungry and Akujiki begins to slowly devour Hotsuma's life gauge instead. Storyline wise, like many other hungry weapons, the source of its Yin doesn't matter; Akujiki eats the yin of humans and demonic hellspawn alike.
  • The Soul Reaver from Legacy of Kain consumes the slain enemies' souls or blood, depending on which form you refer to. The actual hunger aspect, however, is only encountered as a game mechanic in Soul Reaver 2, where the spectral Reaver awakens when brought close to its physical form, and starts to leech Raziel's own soul when left unchecked.
  • Every Infinity +1 Sword in Nocturne (RPG Maker) will drain the wielder's HP. And a late game boss reveals that one can form a contract with these weapons to get even more power at the cost of greater lifespan drain.
  • Yoshimitsu's katana (named..."Yoshimitsu") in Tekken must feast on the blood of evildoers lest its wielder be consumed by the sword themselves. The reason for this is it's a Soul Jar, the weapon dating back to Soulcalibur's own Yoshimitsu, who was slain by the sword as part of the ascension of the next leader of the Manji. As every leader is subject to this when they step down, the increasing number of souls being contained in the sword drives its power.

    Webcomics 
  • Torg from Sluggy Freelance has a magic sword ("Chaz") that glows red, speaks, and becomes SUPER EFFECTIVE for a period after it's been bathed in the blood of an innocent.
  • In one of the Cardboard Tube Samurai installments of Penny Arcade called The Wandering Age: Last Rites it is at first implied and then confirmed that the hero Tobun was possessed by an evil sword.

     Western Animation 
  • Katana in Beware the Batman was sent by the CIA to go undercover as a member of the League of Assassins and find an Artifact of Doom called the Soultaker Sword. Unlike similar entries on this page, it suck souls by a magic chant rather than straight up killing. Because of that, she decided to hide the sword, knowing that such power is too dangerous to be in any organization's hands. Of course, years later, the League of Assassins find it.

     Web Video 
  • Critical Role: Craven Edge, Sylas Briarwood's sentient greatsword, perpetually hungers for the blood of it's victims.

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