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A character stabs the ground (or a wall) with a sword (or any other weapon, for that matter) as an attack, to help stand up, as an anchor, or just to look cool.

As an attack, it can be performed as a pointier version of a Ground Pound and/or Shockwave Stomp, depending on whether the user is executing it from above.

In the tiresome world of Real Life, this is ill advised — mistreat a sword this way and you are likely to chip, dull, bend, or even break the blade. In fiction, of course, anything is possible if it looks cool enough. So, go ahead and drive your Absurdly Sharp Blade into six inches of reinforced concrete: it'll be fine. That said, this trope has a little backing in reality: sand or soft soil can be used to clean a blood-covered blade if nothing else is around, preventing rust. In any case, it's better to leave the sheath on when doing this.

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Some spears actually are designed for this, with a butt spike that’s less delicate than the main weapon end; on the Greek hoplite's Dory spear, this spike was called the sauroter or "lizard-killer". The warrior was thus able to stick it in the ground and leave it standing there until they were ready to retrieve it.

Contrast Stab the Sky and Sword Pointing. A plant which happens to be a sword comes under Living Weapon. See also The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In, which is about when swords are thrown or dropped and land point-downward, Stepping-Stone Sword, when a sword thrown or driven into a surface is used to climb or stand on, Weapon Tombstone when a sword is used as a tombstone marker, Ground Punch when a weapon is not used, and Left Stuck After Attack if a weapon is unintentionally made stuck.

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If you're looking for plants that grow swords, see Grows on Trees.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • One of Rukia's shikai attacks involves her stabbing the ground four times.
    • Ichigo tends to stab the ground and lean on his sword when he needs a prop to help him stay standing.
    • Ichigo also does this purposefully during the Bount Filler arc, to release a Getsuga Tenshou in multiple directions. He also plants it in the ground in order to take out several of Soul Society's lieutenants bare-handed.
    • Aizen plants his sword in a piece of fallen building while he removes the power-sealing cuffs put on him by Urahara in the fake Karakura.
  • Saya of Blood+ does this frequently for various reasons.
  • The titular Claymores from Claymore often plant their swords in the ground to have something to lean against when they are sitting or sleeping. Justified in this case, since the swords in question are made from Thunderbolt Iron and so never break or need sharpening, no matter how much abuse they're put through.
  • In Corsair, Canale finishes his battle with Shirokko by stabbing his blade into one of the masts just shy of Shirokko's ear.
  • Pictured above, Saber from Fate/stay night does this in flashbacks. Other swordsmen in later installments follow suit.
  • Major Olivia Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist carries a saber everywhere she goes, and she's usually seen holding it in this position when she's standing and talking to anyone, though in most cases it's still in its sheath.

    Fan Works 
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • While addressing the recruits of his company, Kyril has his hand on the hilt of the Holy Moonlight Sword, which is stabbed into the snow.
    • Chapter 9 of the remastered version has Kyril leaning on the Holy Moonlight Sword stabbed point first into the ground, as Morgan is dragged off by the Rat to have his soul taken.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Braveheart ends with a shot of William Wallace's enormous claymore stuck in the ground.
  • Villard does this in By the Sword after a scene of showing his fencing skills to prove to himself that he's better than Suba.
  • In the Conan the Barbarian (2011) film reboot, young Conan, while training with his father, refuses to admit defeat prompting his father to yell, "Enough" and stab the tip of his sword into the frozen lake they were sparring on. This act shatters the ice in such a way that it leaves Corin standing but dumps young Conan into the drink.
  • Excalibur. Devastated but unwilling to kill his wife and best friend, King Arthur slams Excalibur into the ground between Guinevere and Lancelot so that when they wake up in the morning they both know they've just royally screwed up the kingdom.
    Lancelot: The king without a sword! The land without a king!
  • Shows up in Highlander: Endgame, with Duncan planting it as a memorial on Connor's grave.
    • Connor also did it in the original film after Heather's death, in the scene with the burning croft in the background.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Morpheus stabs his katana into the side of the semi-truck he's riding, in order to give him a platform to snag the Keymaster (who is passing by on a motorcycle).
  • In Pacific Rim, a damaged Gipsy Danger does this during the Final Battle to avoid being knocked over by the shockwave of Striker Eureka's nuke detonating.
  • The Princess Bride: The Dread Pirate Roberts throws his sword into a plant, so he can use both hands to impressively swing down, during his fight with Inigo Montoya.

    Jokes 

    Literature 
  • This is how, in many versions/adaptions of the Arthurian Legend, the Sword in the Stone got into the stone.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, when Jon Snow does this during sword training, Ser Alliser Thorne gets stuck into him for leaning on his sword from exhaustion.
  • In his first appearance in the Corum books, when the protagonists are spying on him encamped with his force, it's noted that Prince Gaynor the Damned stands at a campfire, sword planted in the ground with both hands on its hilt... to subtly empathize that his great sword has no sheath, to go with the helmet and armor he cannot remove, and that he neither carouses nor sits nor sleeps. (The blade is probably of too rare quality to be damaged by the treatment, and he'd probably just find it mildly amusing if one of his deaths actually came from equipment neglect.)
  • Different weapon, same principle: Vimes drives an axe into a table where the Patrician and several other civic dignitaries are sitting near the end of Feet of Clay to, ahem... make a point. (Though technically it's not actually a point per se, but... Oh, never mind.) Lord Vetinari decides to leave it there as a conversation piece. And then, he has it tuned.
    • There is also the Brick Joke which carries over from Guards! Guards! to Men at Arms. In the former, Fred Colon remarks that it's all very well pulling a sword out of a stone to demonstrate one's right to kingship. note . The trick, in Fred's opinion, is to find the man who can put the sword into the stone in the first place. In the latter book, several novels along the timeline, Corporal Carrot, a man with a suspiciously crown-shaped birthmark on one shoulder and an inherited very sharp sword, kills the insane Chief Assassin who wants to make him King. The sword goes straight through the Assassin and right through the granite pillar behind him, standing out on the other side. Carrot then removes the planted sword from the Stone without remarking on it even once.
  • Subverted in the Norwegian novel Kristin Lavransdatter. Simon is sitting on a wooden bench, talking to his fiancé and fiddling with his dagger. He stabs the bench with the dagger and only winds up bending the point so badly it won’t go back in its sheath.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, people are seen doing this with Shardblades on several occasions. Usually at dramatic moments.
  • Rand plants Callandor in the floor of the Stone of Tear in book 4 of The Wheel of Time, and leaves it to remind the Tairen nobles that he will return. Justified in this case, since Callandor is easily sharp and durable enough to cut into the stone floor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode 1.07 of Camelot has a group of female dancers planting swords into a table in front of surprised diners.
  • The second opening to The Colbert Report features Stephen doing this with a flagpole. With as many epic trimmings as you can pack into one intro.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Jaime and Bronn get held at spearpoint by several Dornish riders, who order them to toss their swords in the sand. Bronn does this trope instead, which saves him a precious half-second to rearm himself during the subsequent fight.
    • Ser Jorah Mormont does this through Tyrion Lannister's bonds to hold him in place while he steals a boat. Tyrion tries to cut the ropes on this Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing, but Jorah returns too quickly.
    • Ser Arthur Dayne does this when confronting young Eddard Stark and his men at the Tower of Joy.
    • Lord Eddard Stark stabs Ice into the ground while passing sentence on Will in the first episode. This may be a Stark tradition, as Robb Stark and Jon Snow each strike a similar pose before conducting executions of their own.
    • In "Beyond the Wall", Lord Beric puts out his Flaming Sword by stabbing it into the snow, extinguishing the fire magic.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Blade tends to stick his sword into the ground when he performs his Lightning Blast/Sonic. Sometimes he'll jump off of the sword to get extra height for the kick.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: In one of the 1986 scenes, the Bat Fangire (in human form) flung the Demon Imperial Sword Zanvat Sword, which had been his weapon, into the wall of Castle Doran, where it stayed for 22 years. It wasn't pulled out until 2008, when it reacted to Wataru's power and partially exposed itself, staying in the wall until Wataru finished drawing it out.
    • Kamen Rider Double: During his debut episode (excluding cameos in the previous episode and winter movie), Ryu Terui is shown carrying his very heavy Engine Blade around. Later, he stabs it into the ground so he has both hands free, and then transforms into Kamen Rider Accel for the first time.
  • In The Untamed, Lan Wangji plants his sword on the ground twice.
    • The first time is when he tried to keep himself standing after he was exhausted from fending off anyone who attempted to destroy the Burial Mountains.
    • The second time is when he learned that Wei Wuxian sacrificed his golden core so Jiang Cheng would regain his cultivation. He slammed his (sheathed) sword on the ground to vent his sadness and anger and also as a warning to Jiang Cheng that if they tried to stop him and Wei Wuxian from leaving again, Lan Wanji will run them through.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Ironclaw calendar swords lack pointed tips so that paladins can do this while kneeling before an altar.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: in The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui does this with his sword to cut a part of a cliff to fall on a Skopio.

    Video Games 
  • Duke of Battle Arena Toshinden has his "Helm Crush" attack, where he swings his BFS such that it points straight down (hence the name), planting it deep into the ground (and whoever's unfortunate enough to be between the two).
  • The introductory illustrations of Battle for Wesnoth's Heir to the Throne campaign show Delfador making the point that even a hotshot princely swordsman shouldn't mess around with a staff, as their duel concludes with Delfador leaving said staff behind rammed through the prince's body into the ground.
  • Ra's al Ghul does this, right between the cobblestones in front of the Lazarus Pit, when challenging Batman in Batman: Arkham City.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Jin Kisaragi has a Magic Knight variation as his Astral Heat "Arctic Dungeon": he stabs the ground with his magical ice katana, causing ice crystals to erupt across the ground. If his opponent is touching the ground when this happens, they are frozen and, when the ice shatters, instant-killed. In the third game onward, his Touga Hyoujin and Gekka Hyourou super moves all involve stabbing his katana to the ground to impale the foe with ice spikes.
    • Ragna does this in his win pose, stabbing his BFS to the ground and then resting his foot onto the notch on the blunt side of the blade. Kagura also does this in his win pose—his blade is almost as long as he is tall and he can easily rest his whole body on it as if it's a wall.
    • Litchi has this as a gameplay mechanic similar to Donovan below but done with her staff. After planting it, she can either send it flying towards the opponent and then back to her or jump onto it with a special move; from there she has a few more unique attacks. Her Astral Heat also requires her to plant her staff first.
  • Frog does an especially cool variation of this as part of his and Crono's "Spire" Dual Tech in Chrono Trigger: he jams the sword into an enemy, not the ground, whereupon Crono strikes the weapon with a lighting bolt, electrocuting the impaled opponent.
  • The Shogun Executioner of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has a special ability that slams three Laser Blades into the ground at once, producing a massive shockwave of power that destroys anything around it. Not that the Shogun Executioner has much trouble on that front...
  • In Dark Souls III, the weapon skill of Wolnir's Holy Sword has you stabbing the sword into the ground to cast a shockwave similar to the Wrath of the Gods miracle.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • After Dante pulls the Force Edge that Trish throws at his chest in the prologue, he plants it on the ground point-first.
    • Dante also leaves the Sparda in this manner to honor Trish's apparent death.
  • This trope serves as a central gameplay mechanic for Donovan of the Darkstalkers series. He can plant his sword in the ground, where it will remain until he commands it to attack the opponent, which it does by flying out from its planted position then turning and returning to him like a boomerang. While this grants him good control of the playfield and a tricky way to apply pressure on the opponent, it also acts as a trade-off in that while his sword is planted his normal attacks lose range and strength, and he is unable to perform his other special moves.
  • Both the Fighter and the Amazon of Dragon's Crown does this for their Ground Pound and Power Smash, stabbing the floor as an attack with their sword or Blade on a Stick respectively.
  • Dragon's Lair: a knight in black armor with a BFS stabbed the floor tiles to electrify the alternating squares.
  • Some of the finishing moves in Eternal Darkness involve planting one's sword into a fallen enemy.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Sephiroth uses this attack in very dramatic fashion in Final Fantasy VII. It becomes a usable attack in Dissidia Final Fantasy under the name "Hell's Gate".
    • Final Fantasy X: The final part of Tidus' Blitz Ace has him plant his sword in the ground, use it as a stepping stone to leap high above the battlefield; an ally throws him a blitzball, which he then slams into the enemy.
    • Jecht has this as his Victory Pose in Dissidia, where he manages to imbed his BFS halfway into the ground and use it as a stepping-stone.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Vaan's tosses his sword into the ground in his victory animation. Even if that ground is the solid stone floor of a building.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn uses the Shockwave Stomp variation for the level 50 Paladin ability Circle of Scorn, which damages all enemies in melee range.
    • Series-wide, this is the specialty of the dragoon class, who deliver Death from Above by leaping high into the air for some time, then coming back down on their foes weapon-first. They generally get bonus damage applied if the weapon in question is a spear, but pretty much every dragoon can also equip swords if the player wants to take the trope name literally (or if the sword gives a bonus they can't get from a spear).
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening itself, Chrom also does this after defeating an enemy. Makes a little more sense for Chrom, whose sword, Falchion, is uniquely indestructible, surviving without damage or dulling for thousands of years—it's the same weapon wielded by Marth millennia before Chrom's time, and can be visibly recognized as such by characters old enough to have seen both.
  • Ganbare Goemon has enemy ninja who try to stab downward at you after taking a running jump. When they miss, they get their swords stuck in the floor.
  • Happens a few times in the God of War games, mostly with the Blade of Olympus.
    • In God of War II, Zeus stabs the ground with it and single-handedly ends the war by banishing all of the Titans to the underworld with the ensuing magical attack.
    • God of War III has Kratos stabbing the ground with it for a magic attack in a manner reminiscent of the way Zeus used it.
  • In Guild Wars 2, Mesmers and Guardians can stab the ground with their greatswords, the former to attack the enemy with a ghostly sword blade erupting from the ground, the latter to magically burn a protective symbol into the ground.
  • In Guilty Gear, this is Sol Badguy's iconic win pose.
  • Illusion of Gaia: Will's knightly alter ego Freedan could create paralysis-inducing earthquakes by leaping from high places and stabbing his sword into the ground as he fell.
  • This is one of the most powerful attacks that can be made in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Against enemies who were knocked down, Kyle could leap forward and stab their downed opponent in (and probably through) the chest for an instant kill. Jaden could do the same, or stab them with two lightsabers if Dual Wielding in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
  • Cloud in Kingdom Hearts tends to use this kind of attack as a finisher for his Sonic Blade combo. No matter if he hit anything with the attacks before it or not. In Dissidia, when he uses the Braver attack and the opponent is hit into the ground (which is most of the time), Cloud's sword will end up fully a foot into the ground. Likewise, when he uses MeteoRain, he spins his sword over his head and then stabs it into the ground.
  • The Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II did this when told to surrender her lightsaber.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link marks the debut of Link's sword-planting move. It is called Down Thrust, and is learned in the town of Mido, during the process to find the third dungeon (Island Palace). It allows link to inflict damage to enemies by "bouncing" on them with the sword aimed downward, quasi-Mario-style.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has Link doing this with the Quake Medallion, allowing him to perform a powerful, yet magic-costly earthquake that defeats enemies on the ground. It is obtained in the Lake of Ill Omen in the Dark World, and is needed to gain access to the penultimate dungeon (Turtle Rock).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: This how Link travels back to the past. Originally, as a child, he had pulled the sword out of its pedestal in the Temple of Time, prompting the Time Skip to the future and his growth into an adult. By planting the sword back to its pedestal, Link returns to the past and becomes a child again.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Garo Master's strongest attack consists of teleporting right before reaching Link and then reappearing above him to attempt to land its two swords downward into him. Link has a very small time window to dodge this.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Link perform a down thrust to deliver the final blow to Ganondorf in the final battle.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link briefly puts the Master Sword back to its pedestal in order to gain entrance to the Temple of Time. During battle, enemies who lay knocked down in the floor can be finished instantly this way, by using the Ending Blow skill. This technique is also necessary to kill Ganondorf in the last battle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Link doing this to enter the Silent Realms. The Ending Blow retains the ability of stabbing enemies downward first seen in Twilight Princess, and is also needed to inflict damage to Ghirahim in his final rematch (though he'll still be alive after three sword plants, as he dies in a different way later), as well as Demise at the end of the final battle.
    • Link uses one as a combo-finisher in Hyrule Warriors.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Battle of Aces, Signum's profile art has her striking this pose.
  • Mega Man:
  • Used in Ghetsis' sprite animation in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, to show his anger and slipping sanity.
  • In Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary and Puyo Puyo 7, Schezo's victory pose has him holding his sword to the ground with one hand.
  • One of Rastan's signature attacks in his eponymous Taito game.
  • The Final Boss of Return to Castle Wolfenstein uses this to compensate for his lack of ranged attacks: he jams his sword into the ground, causing the rain of rocks from the construction above and sending Blazkovitz flying towards him, into his reach.
  • Runescape: the Dragon two-handed sword's special attack does this, damaging all surrounding enemies.
    • In the lore, this was done in an epic scale by Guthix, the god of balance, to end the God Wars. Thrusting the tower-sized Sword of Edicts into the middle of the scorched battlefield, he enacted Edicts of Guthix, which cast out all other gods and prevented them from directly interfering in mortal affairs for over 2000 years.
  • Shade: Wrath of Angels have you plunging your sword through portals of light on the floor to recharge your mana.
  • Part of Mitsurugi and Yoshimitsu's kata in the Soul Series.
  • The Thunderstrike ability in The Spirit Engine 2, which creates an earthquake (or something).
  • In Splatoon 3, the default post-match victory animation for a Splatana player has them jam their weapon into the ground to lean on it. However, this is an odder-looking example than most, as it's either a windshield wiper or a roller stamp made into a melee weapon, and thus has no pointed end to drive into the ground.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • One of Ganondorf's victory animations in Melee has him do this with a BFS.
    • Link's down aerial, where he again bounces on his targets from above. Toon Link's down aerial is also this, with different mechanics more likely to result in him actually planting his sword in the ground.
    • Ike's down taunt in Brawl. His "Eruption" special attack in the game also involves stabbing the ground and making fire shoot out. Ike's full-screen applause has his sword, Ragnell, planted next to him. He also plants his sword in one of his victory animations.
    • Roy and his Echo Fighter Chrom both plant their swords in the ground in their stage entrance animation.
    • The Black Knight Assist Trophy plants his sword in the ground before leaving the stage.
    • Lastly is Sephiroth's down aerial, Hell's Gate, which, as mentioned below, Is the exact way he kills Aerith in his home game.
  • Used in numerous artes like Guardian Field and Rending Quake throughout the Tales Series.
  • Duran in Trials of Mana plants his sword whenever he casts a magic spell. Hopefully, Flammie doesn't mind him doing that when the party has to ride on top of her head during one of the boss battles.
  • Warframe: Many warframes are portrayed in official art as striking a badass pose with their sword planted in front of them. Slamming the sword into the ground is also a standard aerial attack.
  • Not an attack precisely, but the opening cinematic to World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King features Arthas stabbing the runeblade Frostmourne into a glacier as part of a spell to reanimate the massive blue dragon Sindragosa, as seen here. He later uses the same method to shatter the ground beneath the Argent Coliseum during the Trial of the Crusader, dropping characters into the Nerubian underworld to face Anub'arak. It's also one of Arthas' idle animations— he stabs Frostmourne into the ground so he can use both hands to adjust his gauntlets. Apparently, they're a little too big for him.

    Web Original 
  • In Chaos Fighters, this is a regular move and activates shockwaves or magical skills when charged with aura.
  • Matt in the Epic Battle Fantasy series uses this for some of his attacks. Anna in 4 and 5 can do this too, but with her bow.

    Western Animation 
  • In Danny Phantom, the Fright Night's sword is buried in the ground to stake a claim on Amity Park in the name of Pariah Dark. Removing it is the sign of surrender.
  • The Dragon Prince has all sorts of characters do this for purposes ranging from dramatic to mundane, regardless of material and apparently without damaging any blades.
    • Rayla can stab her sword blades into solid rock without damaging them, and in the second episode she uses them as climbing picks to scale a sheer cliff into King Harrow's castle. In episode five she sits down on the edge of a rocky outcrop and tries to use one of her blades to cut off the magical cord around her wrist, but it cannot be cut; she sticks her blade into the rock out of frustration and leaves it standing there for a moment. In episode nine, she stabs her blade into the rocky ground to avoid being blown away by the storm that Callum released from his orb.
    • In episode 3, Lord Viren visits King Harrow in his bedroom to try and make him change his mind about refusing to use the soulfang before the Moonshadow elves come to assassinate him. Harrow is preparing for combat, and is clearly still angry at Viren for proposing what he sees as a cowardly use of dark magic; after taking the sword beside his chair and giving it a few passes with a sharpening stone, he stabs it right into the stone floor next to him with a metallic ringing noise and grudgingly tells Viren to start talking. The way he stabs his blade into the floor helps convey the tension and anger in his body, and also shows no concern for ruining his blade or damaging the floor. The camera subsequently confirms that it’s well-embedded and standing on its own.
    • In the fourth episode, General Amaya serves her nephews the princes a loaf of hard old bread. She stabs a large dagger or short sword deep into the wooden tabletop so that it stands up on its own, apparently expecting them to use this to cut the bread. This action demonstrates her great strength while adding to her characterization as both a doting aunt and rough-edged military woman. Little Ezran doesn’t even try to pull the weapon back out, instead holding the loaf at both ends as he tries to saw it against the blade.
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack does this to finish off Aku once and for all.
  • In WordGirl, the villain Nocan the Contrarian does this at times. He's so strong that doing this triggers earthquakes.


Alternative Title(s): Ground Stab Attack

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