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Prongs of Poseidon

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/badassposeidon2_8128.jpg
Go ahead, tell him he's holding a fork.
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Tridents are commonly associated with with the sea, particularly for characters who are fishermen, merfolk, or sea gods. This motif is derived from how Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas, was often portrayed with a great big trident. In turn, this association came about because tridents were first developed as a type of fishing spear.

The use that these tridents are put to can vary, besides being directly used as weapons. It's not uncommon for these tridents to grant some form of magical powers to their wielders, usually focusing on controlling water and/or sea life. Other times, they're carried more as ornate symbols, in-universe or out-of-universe, of what the character is. Generally speaking, mortal characters are likeliest to use their tridents in combat while divine ones tend to use theirs as badges of office, but the magical kind of trident turns up fairly often for both sorts.

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A subtrope of Blade on a Stick and Improvised Weapon if the trident being used is just a normal fishing tool. See also Devil's Pitchfork, for when tridents are associated with evil instead of the sea.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • The shikai form of Shiba Kaien's Nejibana , which is a water element zanpakuto, is a trident.
    • Aaroniero Arruruerie also gets a hold of the exact same zanpakuto after inheriting Kaien's memories, visage, and more by eating the Hollow that killed him before he became an Arrancar.
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront: Zed O'Brien is a fishman that uses a blood trident.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Castle of the Undersea Devil: Poseidon's mooks uses tridents as their main weapons. Their prongs can fire energy bolts at intruders.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Elma is a sea serpent with a three-pronged tail. It turns into a trident for her to wield when she transforms into a human or semi-human form.
  • One Piece: Neptune, King of the Mermen, wields this weapon, as does his eldest son Fukaboshi. It also seems to be the Weapon of Choice of Neptune's Army. This include the captain of the New Fishmen Pirates Hody Jones, who is a former member.
  • In Ronin Warriors, the Rōnin member whose powers come from the sea, sure enough, wields a trident.
  • Saint Seiya: Julian Solo becomes Poseidon's Soul Jar, and his armor has a pretty spiffy trident. Also an evil kind, since Poseidon is an evil god and Athena's rival, as well as the Big Bad of a rather long story arc (two, if we count the anime).
  • SD Gundam Force: The Gundivers have beam tridents than can function underwater, unlike the traditional beam sabers carried around by everyone else.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Water Vortex Spear, in spite of the name, is actually a blue Unique-class trident considered a prized weapon of the Jura Forest Lizardmen wielded by their leader that manipulates and unleashes powerful water-based attacks. Gabiru takes the trident from his father by force during his well-intentioned (and unknowingly manipulated) coup to fight the invading orcs, and he is given the weapon as part of his banishment after the fact to drive home how his father still loves him despite it all, and he makes it his personal weapon henceforth. After the war with the Empire he has it strengthened to the level of a Legendary-class weapon, as at this point he was actually being held back by the weapon unable to keep up with his massively-grown power.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: In the Greek mythology-inspired Theros set, Thassa, the God of the sea, wields Dekella, a two-pronged bident with the power to control the sea until the planeswalker Kiora stole it from her.
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    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman: Aquaman is often portrayed wielding Poseidon's Trident, as is his wife Mera.
  • Cavewoman: The Apparently Human Merfolk who attacks Meriem in Deep Water uses a trident as her primary weapon. The trident motif is also represented in her Stripperific costume.
  • Sub-Mariner: Namor, the titular Mariner, is often depicted with Neptune's Trident.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Many of Diana's Atlantean foes like Clea and her army use tridents and bidents.

    Fan Works 
  • In Imaginary Seas, Poseidon's Authority over earth and sea is embodied in his Noble Phantasm: Trident Ocean Ray — Sea God's Trident. Due to being favored by Poseidon, both Percy and Caenis have it even though Poseidon still exists in the Lostbelt.
  • In Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls, Adagio Dazzle upon reaching Vasto Lorde form gains a trident, and it becomes her zanpakuto upon becoming an Arrancar, with her Resurreccion getting an even bigger and fancier version to denote her absolute control over water.
  • Most depictions of Ulmo from J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium, despite him never actually being described in the text with one. Of course, this is totally justified since he literally is Poseidon...sorta. Supposedly, half-remembered and badly misunderstood stories about the Valar, eventually became Classical Mythology (particularly of the Greco-Roman and Norse varieties). Or at least that was Tolkien's cheeky private game which a lot of fans like to play along with. So Ulmo gets a huge beard and a trident in virtually every picture or story. But this is merely a fan convention, and not actually "canon". Though there are plenty of things about this series people tend to think of as canon, which aren't: like elves having pointy ears or indeed looking European.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Little Mermaid: King Triton wields a large trident — unsurprisingly, as he's an obvious Expy of Poseidon, and in the TV series he has a flashback involving "Grandpa Neptune".

    Film — Live Action 
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Arthur Curry/Aquaman inherited the five-prongs weapon he is first seen using in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League from his mother, Queen Atlanna. Batman joked about it being a "pitchfork" in the latter film's theatrical version. It gets wrecked by Orm during their duel for the throne in Aquaman. Then Arthur becomes the wielder of the legendary trident forged by King Atlan with metal provided by Poseidon himself, which grants tremendous powers over the seas to its wielder — most prominently, he can command the sea life with it. He also defeats Orm by breaking the latter's trident, which was inherited from Orm's father King Orvax.
    • Tridents are a traditional weapon of royalty in Atlantis, and they come in various shapes and forms. Any royal worth his salt is expected to master tridents and fight with them. King Ricou of the Fishermen and the King of the Brine also wield tridents, and each reflects its culture — golden and elaborate for the refined Fishermen, crudely made for the crustacean Brine.
    • There's a glimpse of Poseidon in Wonder Woman as Queen Hippolyta tells the story of the War of the Gods to a young Diana, and he has a trident in his hands, of course.
    • In the Bad Future seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League, Aquaman gets killed by Darkseid with his own trident (presumably the one that belonged to Atlan). Mera inherits it and goes on a crusade to avenge him, promising to stab Darkseid in the heart with the trident.
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: In The Movie, Poseidon Org wields a trident.
  • In Killer Party, the killer murders Pam by stabbing her with a trident; the symbol of the disbanded fraternity.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the Trident of Poseidon is a magical artifact said to have power over all the curses and enchantments upon the sea. Captain Salazar seeks it to free himself and his crew from the curse of undeath, while Jack Sparrow's crew seeks it to free Will Turner from his bondage to the Flying Dutchman. Both crews get what they want when the Trident is destroyed — and The Stinger implies that it also brought Davy Jones back to life.
  • Wishmaster: At the Djinn's bidding, a Living Statue of Poseidon attempts to skewer Alex with his trident in Beaumont's house.

    Literature 
  • Keys to the Kingdom: Drowned Wednesday (and later Arthur) wield the Third Key, a trident. This has the double meaning of being the sea weapon and, as Wednesday is inflicted with the sin of gluttony, being usable as a fork.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Poseidon uses a trident as a weapon and as a symbol of state.

    Live-Action TV 

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

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cerulean Seas: Tridents replace swords, which are not very aquadynamic, as the most common melee weapon in the game's underwater setting.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • White Plume Mountain has the magic trident Wave, which has a variety of water-related magic powers as an Expy of Poseidon's trident.
    • Ocean giants, a type of marine giants resembling immense merfolk, usually wield colossal tridents.
    • Tridents of fish command are tridents with heads carved from shellfish and corals, and which allow wielders attuned to them to magically control aquatic creatures.
  • Pathfinder: Sea-based humanoids, such as tritons, sea giants and the fishlike skum, are typically depicted as wielding tridents.
  • Salvage Hidden Treasures : The Trident of Poseidon is amongst the most valuable treasures in the game.
  • Shadowrun: Cyclopes, a Greek variant of trolls with a single eye, are typically neo-pagans who worship Poseidon. Consequently, the trident is a very popular weapon among them.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology (providing the page image) has Poseidon as a major god worshipped by the Greeks. The base game's campaign plot revolves around the Atlantean general who worships Poseidon. Sadly for him and the rest of Atlantis Poseidon turns out to be a villain.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery: The rune-covered trident, an artifact which conveys the ability to breathe water among other benefits, can be obtained by performing a task for the water dragon Shyssiryxius, who is found in an underwater cavern. (Also, there is the Trident of the Red Rooster, which strangely enough has no particular affiliation with either water or evil.)
  • Baldur's Gate II features the magic trident Wave, which can control water, though it's changed from a trident to a halberd since the game doesn't feature trident class weapons.
  • In Bricks Of Atlantis, they appear as an item. When triggered, they zoom across the screen horizontally at high speed, damaging every block in the highest row of the screen.
  • In Dungeon Crawl, when given a choice of weapons, Merfolk replace the "spear" option with a trident. Also, Gladiators have the same substitution for every race (as the Retiarius above).
  • Fate/Grand Order: The Lancer class Servant Caenis trades out her spear for a golden trident in her Third Ascension. This is meant to symbolize her connection to Poseidon, both in how he granted her his divine Authority, her Nigh-Invulnerable body, and how in myth he changed her into a man per her request. In fact, by her own words this is his actual trident.
  • Final Fantasy: The trident is a common spear in the games, and typically deals electric or water damage or extra damage to aquatic creatures.
  • A good third of Golden Sun: The Lost Age is spent finding the pieces of the Trident of Ankohl so that it can be used against Poseidon, as it the only weapon capable of breaking his shield. He still carries his own trident, too.
  • In Hades, Poseidon carries a trident in his character art and it's the symbol of his boons. The game also points out he used to have a sword back in the era of the Titan War (your sword in fact), but wasn't very good with it, enjoying his trident a lot more. You also get a bident among your weapons, as does Hades himself when he confronts you right outside Styx.
  • LBX: Little Battlers eXperience: The weapon of Kaidou Jin's sea-themed LBX Triton in Danball Senki W is appropriately a trident.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Princess Mipha of the Zora wielded the Lightscale Trident when she was alive.
  • In League of Legends, this is Fizz the Tidal Trickster's weapon of choice. His trident is somewhat unusual in that the prongs are placed in a triangle shape rather than in a line.
  • Mega Man (Classic):
    • In Mega Man 5, Wave Man's face is adorned in three horns fashioned after the trident.
    • Mega Man 9: Splash Woman has this as her weapon, a Laser Blade version.
  • Minecraft has tridents as weapons carried by Drowned, the Aquatic Mook version of zombies. If they spawn with one, they can throw them as a very painful ranged attack with infinite ammo. The player can also obtain them as a Rare Random Drop from Drowned and also use the same throwing attack, but will need to retrieve the trident manually unless it has the Loyalty enchantment. Several of the enchantments for tridents are also related to water and storms, such as Impaling note , Riptidenote  and Channelingnote .
  • In NetHack, a trident is one of the many weapons you can wield. True to this trope, it does extra damage to monsters in water. Additionally, if you transform yourself into a metallivore and eat a trident, you get the message, "That was pure chewing satisfaction!"
  • In No Straight Roads, after Sayu's first transformation, she begins wielding the Pyun Pyun Trident, a trident resembling the symbol of a USB port, further emphasizing her virtual idol theme.
  • Pokémon: Prinplup, who already had two "horns", grows a third horn when it evolves into Empoleon, a reference to the trident and Poseidon in general.
  • Skylanders: The Supercharged variant of Gill Grunt, Deep Dive Gill Grunt, switches his harpoon gun/water cannon for a trident capable of firing electric bolts. Given that Poseidon is also associated with storms, and Gill Grunt is a Skylander of the Water element, it still fits the sea motif.
  • In Wynncraft, Water-based weapons for Warriors appear as tridents instead of spears.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck: Feferi Peixes, who lives under the sea, carries a legendary double-trident called the ΨDON'S ENTENTE. Her ancestor, the Condesce, also uses a double trident, as does her pre-scratch counterpart Meenah Peixes. The reason it's double-wield is because it's a longer version of the Pisces symbol when viewed horizontally. Neptune is also the ruling planet of Pisces and a trident is its symbol. The other character known to use a trident is Jane, who is also associated with the Condesce.
  • Phantomarine: Shoshana's personal symbol and primary weapon was a trident.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Flight to Cloud Castle", one of the castle's defenders is a merman who wields a trident that he uses to shoot jets of water.
  • ReBoot: AndrAIa was originally from an ocean-themed video game and still retains the aesthetic. She eventually picks up a collapsible trident during the Time Skip in season three. Interestingly, in the same game AndrAIa came from, Dot also gained a trident when she rebooted into a shark-like mermaid.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Mermista is the princess of the aquatic kingdom of Salineas and is seen holding a trident in addition to her water powers.
  • Teen Titans had a villain named Trident (and his many clones), and his weapon of choice was, yep, a trident. Yet for some reason, Beast Boy didn't know what the weapons are called ("Fork Thing" doesn't have the same ring to it), and had to be corrected by Aqualad.
  • Voltron Force: Voltron, when in the Blue Center configuration, gets the Titanic Trident. True to the trope, this configuration is best for underwater, and the Blue Lion's den is underwater.

    Real Life 

 
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Everyone Has a Trident

Beef reveals he keeps an antique trident on his boat in the event he has to deal with a predatory bird, which Dan takes and uses it to hold everyone on the boat hostage. When the smugglers board the boat, they're both carrying tridents, which Jerry lampshades.

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Main / ProngsOfPoseidon

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