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Thunderbolt Iron

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"Do you think we can make a sword out of a meteorite?" "We'll make a sword unlike any other in the world."
Swordsmith: The metal is amazing. I have never seen its like before.
Shredder: Nor will you ever again. Let us just say the metal — fell from the heavens.

Meteoric metal carries inherent significance. Anything made out of it will be some combination of magical, good, evil, or just incredibly strong.

Crafting meteoric iron is Older Than Dirt: iron from meteorites has been used to make tools and weapons since the Ice Age, when it was the only iron available. The trope that it is special or magical isn't documented from that long ago, but some scholars believe that the Older Than Feudalism story of the forging of Zeus's thunderbolts refers to meteoric iron. Anyone with academic journal access can read more about this here.

This trope can also be Truth in Television. Real-life meteoric iron is one of the few natural sources of metallic iron (as opposed to iron ore). Because medieval smelting technology was unable to remove many of the impurities found in iron ore, meteoric iron weapons could be made much stronger than the more common ore-based ones. Meteors also happen to be a main source of iridium, an extremely hard and dense metal usually only found as an impurity of platinum. See the Real Life examples below for more.

In the modern day, this trope appears most frequently in literary fantasy. In many works, from The Silmarillion to Avatar: The Last Airbender, meteoric iron is depicted as a black metal (though whether this is the color of the metal or a surface layer is not always specified), causing overlap with Black Swords Are Better.

Subtrope of Fantasy Metals. See also Unobtanium, which it often is, and Magic Meteor. May be interchangeable with Cold Iron or a separate kind of Depleted Phlebotinum Shells. See Hihi'irokane for its Japanese counterpart.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The weapons wielded by the Miroku Clan (The Miroku 7 and the Drei Ritter) in Get Backers are mentioned to have been made from a meteorite that crashed in mount Asuka-Miwa, and all are very heavy.
  • Gundam:
    • Series set in the Universal Century timeline, such as Zeta Gundam and Gundam 0079, have Luna Titanium, which is a more durable alloy to normal titanium that is refined in the space fortress Luna II (hence the name Luna Titanium). The source titanium is mined both on Earth and in asteroids. Later, the asteroid based faction Axis refined a better variant and renamed Lunar Titanium as Gundarium alpha (after the titular mecha it was famously used for) and the improved variants Gundarium beta and gamma, with the latter used in mass quantity.
    • Gundanium from Gundam Wing is Unobtanium that can only be refined in space, but it does have incredible properties (super strong, super light, electrically neutral, radar-proof), so The Federation treats it this way. Appropriately enough, the Gundams were sent to Earth as part of "Operation Meteor", so... There's some actual hard science behind this; very low or zero gravity does cause noticeable differences in the crystalline structure of refined metal. Gundanium at least is plausible, presumably being an alloy of some sort that requires such an environment to harden into something useful.
    • Gundam SEED Astray follows this trope more closely, with a metallic meteor landing in the ocean and being fought over by The Federation and ZAFT. It ends up in the hands of protagonist Lowe Guele, who crafts it into a 150m-long katana because he lives by Rule of Cool.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has most Mobile Suits built out of E-Carbon, an extremely light-weight but durable type of carbon fiber plating. The Gundams' armor is reinforced even further, using GN Particles somehow. Normally, that's just to be expected, since 00 is newer than the previous shows and made after Carbon Fiber technology became sufficiently advanced to make the idea seem realistic. However, when you consider how almost everything Celestial Being uses is made of E-Carbon, from the Gundams to the Assault Containers, GN-Arms, GN Swords and even the Ptolemaios itself, it gets a little absurd. Now add in that one component in the GN Drives, that even Celestial Being doesn't know how to reproduce, is literally stated in the source material to be made of Metallic Hydrogen.
  • The Stand-granting arrows from Jojos Bizarre Adventure are made from a meteorite that landed in Greenland circa 50,000 BC.
  • In the Lupin III, one of several conflicting origins of Ishikawa Goemon XIII's powerful sword is that it was forged from the metal from a meteorite. The manga calls the blade Ryusei or Nagareboshi, which translates as "Shooting Star" or "Falling Star". This gets a callback decades later in the film Lupin III: The First, when the anime version, Zantetsuken, has metoric iron in it as a plot point.
  • In Sakura Wars (2000), when Sakura Shinguji's sword, Arataka, is damaged in her first fight against series Big Bad Aoi Satan, she returns home to Sendai to have it reforged ... and it's mentioned in passing that the sword is made of metal from a meteorite.

    Comic Books 
  • Vibranium, a super metal capable of many feats, fell to Earth as a meteorite the size of a mountain. It's the source of all of Wakanda's technological superiority in Black Panther.
  • Skywise's "magic" lodestone compass in ElfQuest.
  • The Golden Age Green Lantern had an actual lantern, forged originally in ancient China from a glowing meteorite. A piece of the lantern was made into a ring by Alan Scott, who needed to recharge it every 24 hours by touching it to the lantern. This was retconned in later stories as the magical energy of Earth-1 (home of the Silver Age DCU), thrust into Earth-2 (home of the Golden Age DCU) by Guardian fiat.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Black Knight's Ebony Blade is carved from meteoric metal, and is layered with many and potent enchantments by Merlin the magician, including a "blood curse".
    • The Yashida Clan's "honor sword" is also made from meteorite iron, and forged by a demon. Both factors become pivotal when Wolverine is fighting a mystical assassin, the "Iron Monk", who boasts of being impervious to mortal and Earthly weapons. The Iron Monk repeats his boast (which was backed up repeatedly throughout the issue) when Wolverine draws the sword, only to have a brief Oh, Crap! moment when its origins are explained to him. Brief because Wolverine isn't generally known for showing mercy to villains. Especially in his solo adventures.
    • Bloodscream is another notable victim of the blade, although he survived. Bloodscream was turned into a vampire by a voodoo priest. His curse has a condition that only a blade that is not made by a mortal can kill him.
  • A variation of this occurred in a Superman/Batman story that had the two of them hopping around unstable timelines, when they landed in a Wild-West themed one, coming across Jonah Hex and a ton of cowboys shooting at them. When Hex heard Superman was an alien, he figured he should maybe load his gun with bullets made from meteorites. Which, of course, are kryptonite. Bonus for him not even knowing it was Superman's weakness.

    Fan Works 
  • Ageless: As a gift on his fiftieth birthday, Kyoshi gave Ryou a sword made from the broken of piece of the Great Comet (later known as Sozin's Comet). This would later be the inspiration for Sokka's space sword. He eventually leaves it at the shrine on Kyoshi Island as a part of Avatar Kyoshi's armor.
  • Breath of the Wild adapts the namesake game, and some of the content adapted includes the Star Fragments that fall from the sky during the night. Link finds out right outside of his home one night. It ends up being the key for Impa to strengthen and upgrade Sheikah technology, including her anti-aging rune.
  • Starmetal in Fallout: Equestria is essentially this. Originally a meteor that crashed near the Castle of The Royal Sisters, Luna found the meteor and smelted the metallic ore to create the armor used by Nightmare Moon. Zebra superstition said that anything that came from space or related to the Stars was inherently Evil and believed that Luna when she became Nightmare Moon could no longer be trusted so long as she stayed near the throne of Equestria. Luna tried to figure out what exactly caused the Zebras' resentment and fear over the stars and why she was involved but never figured it out even after The Last Day happened...note 
  • It's said in The Heart Trilogy, a series of The Hobbit fics, that the Black Arrows and other black weapons capable of harming dragons — like the black sword Gurthang that was used to slay Glaurung — are forged out of very rare meteoric ore.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has the meteor fragments from Red Gulch, as well as Bassinium/Quadirium.
    • The Jadous Sphere is also this.
  • In Robb Returns, Dawn is this, as per canon, but it turns out it's not the only sky-metal weapon around. A lot of the other houses of the First Men had their own Ancestral Weapons, from the The Fist of Winter of the Starks and Stormbreaker of the Durrandons, to Otherbane of the Gardener Kings and Rocktooth and The Warnings of the Casterlys/Lannisters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • King Arthur (2004): An apparent inversion of the modern tendency for Excalibur/Caliburn/Caledfwlch to be made from a meteorite, as Merlin states that the sword is "made of iron from this earth, forged in the fires of Britain." Seemingly done to emphasize Arthur’s dual heritage (Roman father and Briton mother) and convince him to take up arms for both peoples against the Saxon invaders.
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Triangle of Light, an artifact which allows its possessor to be a Time Master, was forged from metal found in the crater of a meteor that fell during a Planetary Alignment.
  • Outlander: Human-looking alien Kainan lands on Earth during the time of the Vikings. He eventually has swords forged from pieces of his ship's hull. The new swords are harder and sharper than a typical steel blade.
  • Rise of the Sea Dragon: At the end, Detective Dee is presented with the Dragon Taming Mace by the Emperor himself, who states that it is made of meteorite iron.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Adamantium is a rare mineral ore only found in meteorites. Stryker and his team decimated an African village just to obtain more.

  • The Public Domain Artifact Excalibur/Caliburn/Caledfwlch is often portrayed as being made of Thunderbolt Iron, although there isn't any justification for this in older sources. Works where this is the case include:
  • Rom's sword in The Barbarian and the Sorceress is made from "thunderbolt steel". It's an Absurdly Sharp Blade and described as being worth "more than you can imagine". It's even capable of wounding an Eldritch Abomination.
  • In The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings, the main character's BFS is made of meteoric iron. Granted, having the single most powerful magical artifact in all of existence stuck onto its hilt would have made that sword inconceivably dangerous even if it had been made of a wire frame wrapped in aluminum foil, but a sword made of any other material would have shattered when the orb was placed in the pommel. Also, It Was Meant To Be. (The only reason Garion can wield or even lift it is because said artifact is magically removing most of its weight. At one point, when required to remove the Orb from the pommel, the suddenly-returned real weight of the sword strapped across his back almost drives him to his knees before he can unbuckle it, sending it crashing to the floor.)
  • In Fred Saberhagen's Books of Swords series, the Twelve Swords were all forged from meteoric metal by Vulcan.
    • While none of them are inherently evil, all have world-changing powers, and are sought after people who would do evil with them. Even Woundhealer, the sword that heals anything it would normally cut, is used once by a bandit to get away from capture by running it through his own chest and jumping off a cliff.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Devil in Iron", enabling the Slave Revolt:
    Then their priest, a strange, gaunt man of unknown race, plunged into the wilderness, and when he returned he bore a knife that was of no earthly substance. It was forged of a meteor, which flashed through the sky like a flaming arrow and fell in a far valley. The slaves rose. Their saw-edged crescents cut down the men of Dagon like sheep, and against that unearthly knife the magic of Khosatral was impotent.
  • Declare. Attempts are made to kill djinn using iron from meteorites that according to legend have killed djinn in the past, by casting them into bullets or blasting them as shrapnel. It turns out to be almost, but not quite, what is required.
  • Discworld is the Trope Namer. Discworld's Thunderbolt Iron is strongly magnetized, and even more useful than normal iron for keeping away elves; people put chunks of it in circles around places where the Faerie realm gets too close.
    • Also referenced in Wyrd Sisters. "I have a spell for that. You take some Thunderbolt iron... and make a sword out of it."
    • When Tiffany Aching invades Elfland in one of the young Discworld books, one of her companions mentions that such swords are now considered traditional. It turns out a frying pan and a horde of Pictsies (sic) works pretty well, too.
    • The iron used to shoe Death's horse is never named, but is basically the next level of the same thing. Unlike normal iron it can be taken even into the refuge of the King of the Elves, and Nanny uses it to intimidate him.
  • In The God Engines by John Scalzi, weapons tipped with "single-made" iron (meteoroidic iron collected from deep space) are capable of killing the lesser gods used by the humans to power their starships. Second-made iron (single-made iron reforged by a smithy, or meteoric iron found on the ground) wounds them, while third-made iron items (meteoric iron reshaped in a forge) can only restrain them. One of the protagonist's crewmen finds out in a most unpleasant manner that the quartermaster who provided the pikes used to discipline the ship's power source skimped on the second-made. After he is taken away to the healers, the captain brings out a whip studded with single-made ironnote  and proceeds to lay down the law.
  • In the Bronze Age world of Gods and Warriors, iron is rare and found only in meteorites. Instead of using it to craft weapons, it can be used to ward off for a while the Angry Ones, the spirits of vengeance. Though the antagonistic Crows worship the Angry Ones, their High Chieftain, Koronos, wears an iron ring while sacrificing for them and starts wearing it all the time as the Angry Ones grow more powerful in the last book. Telamon also starts wearing an iron ring after he becomes the Angry Ones' target for letting his aunt Alekto to be killed by crocodiles.
  • The panserbjørne (armored bears) from His Dark Materials are a Proud Warrior Race that focus their whole culture around "sky-iron". Specifically, they beat massive suits of plate armor out of the metal without heating. Sky-iron is specifically needed because their claws can tear through normal steel like tissue paper. The armor then becomes a sort of iconic possession/"external soul" similar to the traditions around Samurai' weaponry.
  • In Morgan Llywelyn's Horse Goddess, a Demythification of Celtic gods as actual human beings, the blacksmith Govnu (Irish god Goibniu) becomes famous for discovering and working meteoric iron.
  • The Inheritance Cycle: All Riders' swords are made from an extraterrestrial metal that Rhunön named "Brightsteel", and it has special properties that she would expand and enchant on top of to make the swords unbreakable, sharper than normal, and far thinner than typical swords, which allowed the Riders to perform legendary feats with them.
  • Poked fun at with the ending of Matthew Stover's Jericho Moon, when Barra the Pict claims the stones Yahweh rained down upon Jebusi as payment for her services. The joke is that, while these meteorites originated through the literal Wrath of God Almighty, she only wants them because they're made of perfectly-ordinary iron ... which is the next big thing in technology and will soon be worth a fortune.
  • In Christian Jacq's The Judge of Egypt trilogy, this kind of iron is mentioned as being used in temples for several holy artifacts, as well as regarded as a potential component in magic.
  • In Kane Series story "Undertow" young barbarian Dragar has a Cool Sword that he calls Wizard's Bane. It was forged of "star metal" and can negate magic — it glows blue when it encounters a demonic creature, which flees instead of confronting Dragar. Unfortunately for the owner, anti-magic does not help against a superior swordsman.
  • Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter is the earliest (1924) known use of the phrase "thunderbolt iron". In it, the witch Ziroonderel forges a sword of "thunderbolt iron" for Prince Alveric because, in questing into Elfland, he needed "a sword of no earthly iron to parry unearthly dangers".
  • In Javier Negrete's La Espada de Fuego Derguin's Ancestral Weapon was forged from a meteor.
  • Thorn, one of the three titular swords that serve as MacGuffins in Tad Williams' trilogy Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is made of meteoric iron.
  • The Redwall books have the (reforged) Sword of Martin the Warrior, forged from a meteorite; just for extra kick, its blacksmith spoke the name of every hero he could think of as he beat it into shape, naming Martin himself with the final hammer strike.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The Demon King's sword was made of this. Its name was Thunderclap.
  • The adventure novel Riptide is based around the search for a treasure trove that includes the legendary sword of St. Michael, said to have been forged of meteoric metal and to have killed everyone who possessed it. This turns out to be true — the meteoric metal is heavily irradiated.
  • The Silmarillion has the two black swords Anglachel and Anguirel, which are made of meteoric iron and can cut through any other weapon. Anglachel is especially significant; it ends up belonging to Tragic Hero Túrin Turambar, and gives him his pseudonym (Mormegil, which means "black sword" in Sindarin Elvish).
    • Anglachel also fulfills the 'evil' or at least dark requirement; it is quite happy to take Túrin's life when the hero commits suicide, out of a combination of native darkness and bitterness for Túrin accidentally murdering its previous wielder.
      • It was prophesied in an early version of The Silmarillion that Túrin will use it to kill Morgoth in the final battle for Arda, though.
    • Like many elements of Túrin's story, this comes from the old Finnish myth of Kullervo. Kullervo received a magical broadsword from Ukko, the god of the sky (parallel to Anglachel being forged from meteoric iron.) Kullervo, after defeating his enemies with his magic sword, returns home and finds that all his family has died while he was obsessed with his own quest for vengeance. Finally he kills himself after interrogating and cursing his sword, which, being magical, answers him and tells him gleefully that it partook in all his other villainy and will just as gladly destroy him as well.
    • These swords may be the origin of the trope that meteoric iron should be black, but they both started as ordinary swords and only after Anglachel was reforged into Gurthang was it black with "edges that shone with pale fire". This seems to be a description of black oxide, which was removed from the edges by sharpening.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatsword Dawn is thought to be forged from a fallen star. The blade is handed down to those rare knights of the noble House Dayne deemed worthy of wielding it—with such men always bearing the title "Sword of the Morning". The world of the series also features particularly sharp and strong blades believed to be forged by magic, but Dawn seems to be held in even greater respect. A previous Sword of the Morning once dueled a notorious bandit knight and hacked the bandit's first sword to bits, showing that Dawn is indeed something special.
  • Temple centers around an idol made of thyrium, an exotic element not found on earth, with the idol's metal having come to earth through a meteor. Due to the unusual structure of thyrium, it can be used to make the Supernova, a bomb capable of destroying a significant portion of the earth's mass. The various groups involved all want thyrium for their own Supernovas for different reasons, ranging from holding the planet for ransom to actually firing it.
  • The Terror. Captain Crozier notes with irony that while such metal is valued among the Inuit, it's known by the underwhelming name of star shit.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle has two such materials, Mithrildite (overlapping with Mithril) and Force Core. Mithrildite is an extremely durable metal that can be stored in Hammerspace, while Force Core is a type of stone that can be used as a power source. Both are used to construct Drag-Rides.
  • Non-weapon example: Kerrick, the protagonist of Harry Harrison's West of Eden has an arrowhead of meteoric iron as a talisman of sorts.
  • The Witcher: The steel swords that Witchers carry (in the books and video game of the same name) are crafted of meteorite steel. However, Geralt does quite sarcastically explain in Season of Storms that attributing any magical qualities to meteorite ore is astrology-like pseudo-science and they are not magical in any way. They are simply excellent swords made with advanced smithing methods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In QI Steven recounts a story about an Inuit tribe that believed themselves to be the only humans on the surface of the planet, they were shocked when they were "discovered". Something which puzzled the explorers that found them however is that they had metal utensils; this is despite the lack of metals in the environment and having no way to trade for the metal. They, of course, got the metal from meteorites.
  • Terra Nova: The town of Terra Nova is heavily dependent on meteoric iron, and rebel forces control the quarry. Digging for other deposits would somewhat defeat the purpose of the mission, which is to avoid the industrialization that ruined the future.

  • Bob Johnson and Peter Knight, The King of Elfland's Daughter (Chrysalis, 1977):
    Earth and fire and wind and water,
    Dew of morning, miles of May,
    Scent of thyme and sight of lilac,
    Thunderbolt iron will win the day!
  • In Extremo's song "Sterneneisen" ("Iron from the Stars") is about this.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Islam:
    • The Ka'abah, the holiest site of Muslim pilgrimage, contains what is called Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (lit. "Black Stone"); most experts agree that it is probably a meteorite. Interestingly enough, the Ka'abah and the stone predate the founding of Islam by quite a bit and were both previously revered by Arabic tribal/animistic cultures. In Islam, the stone is said to have fallen to mark the first temple built on Earth for Adam, by God. Said to be lost during the Great Flood of Noah, it was rediscovered by Abraham and put into place there, as Abraham was the one who originally built the Ka'abah (along with Ishmael). The stone has great significance, and one popular narrative tells how, after the rebuilding of the Ka'abah, the Quraish tribes of Mecca disputed about whose tribe was the most suited to carry the Stone. To settle this, they decided that whomever entered the meeting room next should decide it. The person who entered was Muhammad ibn Abdullah, later Prophet of Islam. He decided that all the tribal leaders would hold a cloth so that they could collectively move the Black Stone together to its original place. It worked, and crisis was averted.
    • Even now, the Black Stone is a point of reverence for nearly every pilgrim that comes to the Ka'abah. However, no power nor miracles are ascribed to it by most Muslims. A famous saying by Umar, the Third Caliph, even goes so far as to claim that, were it not for the Prophet's habit of kissing it during pilgrimage or pointing at it, he would not have done so himself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Aptly-named "Star Iron" in the Steampunk fantasy role-playing game Castle Falkenstein is special because it is devoid of magical energy, unlike most iron on Earth, which is saturated with it from all the magical things going on. This means it can break nearly any spell with a touch. It is deadly to Faerie for the same reason.
  • In Changeling: The Lost, the best way to tear large chunks out of the True Fae is to use hand-forged (that is, not machine-processed) "Cold Iron." The "Rites of Spring" splatbook defines cold iron specifically as iron which has never been heated to the point of malleability by any human agency, but has instead been beaten into shape by pure brute force. Overlooking the general improbability of making anything more refined than a club or a rough mace by this method, the book outright states that your best hope of ever obtaining cold iron is to get your hands on meteoric iron, since melting down normal iron ore is pretty much the only way to get iron out of it in the first place.
  • The Dracula Dossier: If the GM is using the alternative Telluric Vampire writeup, weapons made from meteoric iron are one of the things that can kill them ... but only if the Widmanstatten lines are intact, so those weapons have to be made with a minimum of forging and reshaping.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 1st Edition
      • The Dragon magazine article "Gems Galore!" (later re-printed in the 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms Adventures). Star metal is meteoric iron and is worth 10,000 gold pieces per pound. It can be forged (mixed with more common metals) to make weapons of superior durability and strength.
      • The original Dungeon Master's Guide states that +3 magic metallic armor is made from meteoritic iron steel.
    • 3rd Edition
      • Two examples are Adamantine and starmetal. Both have extraordinary hit points and hardness. They also ignore hardness under a certain number so they are good for sundering other objects. In addition, starmetal is a version of adamantine that has the bonus property of causing extra harm to Outsiders (as opposed to the OotS version, which also harms Undead) thanks to its "affinity for the Material Plane". The book that introduces starmetal, Complete Arcane, mainly focuses on a prestige class called the Green Star Adept, where you eat starmetal until you turn into an indestructible person made of starmetal.
      • Kheferu, found in Sandstorm, the truest form of this trope in D&D, is literally made of tempered meteorites. It automatically overcomes the Damage Reduction of all Earth-based creatures, regardless of any other requirements the creature's DR has.
  • Exalted has starmetal, one of the five magical materials. The Sidereal Exalted get the most use out of starmetal, but that's because they serve Heaven; the "star" in question is the star that represents a god's station, which falls from the heavens when they die. Seeing as the metal can only be obtained by killing a god, what little there is is used sparingly. It's rather surprising there is not more evil to it, as there is a tendency towards the gods being executed sometimes unjustly for the purpose of getting the metal. A somewhat rarer variation of Starmetal has also been published. This version (prompted by a fan saying he'd like his Daiklave to be forged from the discarded fate of Creation's next Alexander the Great) is a hero's destiny, removed from the Loom before its passage (thus leaving the hero with either an early death or a mundane life) and crystallized. Falling from the sky is therefore optional, but in a more metaphorical sense it is made of stars and sky.
  • GURPS mentions that this is one of the guesses about what "Cold Iron" was supposed to be and lets you use it if you want... but it defaults to the handling that it's just a descriptive term for regular iron, like one might say "cold steel."
  • Mage: The Awakening: The seven classical alchemical metals can be "perfected" by a magical process that consumes 90% of their mass and leaves them as Fantasy Metals. Meteoric iron has the advantage of already being halfway perfected, reducing the effort needed to complete the process — the effort of obtaining a metallic meteorite notwithstanding.
  • Pathfinder has seven skymetals, most commonly found around the wreckage of a spaceship that crashed on Golarion centuries ago. Adamantine is the most common, but the others all have their uses.
  • In Warhammer:
    • The mutating ore formed from congealed dark magic is called warpstone. Used for a variety of nasty rituals and weapons, it originally fell (and is still falling) from the sky.
    • Gromril is a more traditional version of this, although it only falls from the sky depending on what edition you're on. 8th edition's Gromril is a more mundane style of metal — the Thunderbolt Iron there is Glimril, which is so rare that only one scale of it has been found to date, in the mouth of a Chaos Lord. Grombrindal wears armour made out of the stuff.
    • There's also the Armour of Meteoric Iron, one of the cheaper magic armours. It's basically just really tough, with no real special abilities.
    • A variant in the form of thunderbolt silver exists in Leonardo da Miragliano's Compass of Meteoric Silver, whose arrow is made from silver taken from a meteorite and always points to the highest concentration of magic in a battlefield.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Dark Angels Space Marines forging a trio of Thunderbolt Obsidian swords.

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Mythology, a player who worships Thor has access to the Dwarven Armory, which provides upgrades made of meteoric materials.
  • Two trick weapons in Bloodborne, the Blade of Mercy and the Burial Blade, are splittable weapons forged from siderite. Siderite is a real-life metal found in meteors that becomes magnetized after it's heated, and these blades take advantage of that by using the magnetic field to hold together in their "whole" forms. They also do minor magic damage.
  • Boktai 2 lets Django find a small meteorite which can be forged into a unique Star melee weapon, which gains power as you do and uses solar energy directly from the Solar Station reserves rather than Django's much smaller energy bar.
  • Castle of the Winds features Meteoric gear as its top line before enchantments — better protection and damage, as well as less weight.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy Oengus in Child of Light claims that his people forged swords with metal mined from "the frozen tails of comets".
  • In Chrono Trigger, one of the three Great Sages crafts a weapon out of the "Red Rock" Crono and his friends find 65 million years in the past; the prehistoric people claim that this strange "Dreamstone" has magical properties, and quite a few of the MacGuffins in the game turn out to be made from it. It is also used to repair the Masamune in preparation for fighting Magus.
  • In a likely nod to this, moving a unit into a tile recently struck by a meteor shower in Civilization VI will grant you a free unit of the most powerful heavy cavalry available to you, as two of the most common heavy cavalry require iron to construct.
  • The Meteoric Bullet tool in Cultist Simulator is a musket ball made of "taenite-iron"; its use in monster-hunting makes it reasonably steeped in Edge. In the Exile DLC, you can acquire the Lionhunter's Rifle, an antique rifle inscribed with the sigil of the Strige that comes with three taenite-iron balls; this translates to gameplay as a weapon with a rapid cooldown capable of wounding your Foe, but which can only be used three times.
  • Diablo:
    • Implied in the first Diablo: "meteoric" was a prefix which increased an attack's probability to hit, even more than "mithril".
    • Played with in Diablo 3, where the pieces of archangel Tyreal's broken sword fall to Earth as meteorites after he is cast out of the High Heavens. This makes it technically made from meteoric iron when it is reforged again, although there's no suggestion that this gives it any additional powers.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if you have the Warden's Keep DLC installed, you can stumble upon a meteor (on whose crater a child was previously found by a woman named Martha and her husband) and have Levi Dryden's brother make a sword from it after the events at Soldier's Peak. The appropriately dubbed "Starfang" is one of the strongest swords in the game.
  • Maiden's Kris in Drakengard is a sacrificial dagger made from iron meteorite.
    The Dark Id: Drakengard: Where if you can make it sharp, you might as well kill some people with it.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor: The Embossed Serpentine armor set qualifies, being made of "mysterious star-metal" that fell from the skies one day. Well, parts of it; the rest is apparently just a really good imitation of it. Either way, it's some of the best heavy armor in the game. The game also makes some light fun of the idea, as it takes a special mindset to find the metal of a fallen star and think "those would make some nice pants".
  • Among the many metals added in the popular Dwarf Fortress mod "Dig Deeper" is "star iron", which is both valuable and extremely rare.
  • Earthbound 1994 had the material Zexonyte which was forged from meteoric metal, and is crucial to time travel.
  • In The Elder Scrolls backstory, the Ayleids (Wild Elves) of Cyrodiil were said to consider star light as the most "sublime" form of magic and venerated anything which fell from the heavens, particularly meteorite iron, which they used to craft their Ayleid Wells. Through an unknown means which no extant race has been able to replicate, the Wells channel magicka from the stars and can transmit it to mages.
    • The Game Mod Beyond Skyrim: Cyrodiil also has it so Ayleid weapons are made of meteoric iron, and require meteoric iron to be improved.
  • Meteorite is the strongest metal available for crafting weapons in Evil Islands.
  • Fallout 76: Meteorite iron swords can be acquired as a reward from an event, but aren't really much different than normal swords, being a Chinese Officer's Sword colored black with some useful but fairly minor special effects.
  • In many of the Final Fantasy games where crafting is possible, meteorites are usable as raw material for that crafting.
  • Golden Sun has Star Dust, described as "Rare metal from space", which can be forged into such niceties as the Mercury-aligned Comet Mace or the PP(Mana)-increasing Astral Circlet.
  • Shows up in the Gary Chalk-illustrated Tin Man Games computer novel Gun Dogs. The bit of Thunderbolt Iron is used in an unusual fashion, though. Your titular Gun Dog can find a local blacksmith at a town who offers to upgrade your gun with a chunk of metal from a meteorite he found, and some experimental designs he's been working on. The end result is a much sturdier and faster-acting firing mechanism for your gun, so in game your gun gets a reaction bonus.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, there is Grimacite armor and weapons that are forged from Moon Rocks (one of the game world's two moons is called "Grimace" and had a huge chunk fall to earth after getting smacked off by a giant meteorite). The grimacite itself is under the protection of the Penguin Mafia, and the goodies made from it are 1) fantastically expensive (several hundred million Meat) 2) usually only available from winning the lottery.
  • Pokémon:
    • Registeel is a golem Pokemon that is apparently made out of a metal not found on earth.
    • Jirachi is a Steel/Psychic type that is heavily associated with comets, so it being made out of such a metal is likely.
  • In Realm of the Mad God the lore for the juggernaut helm says that it was forged from metal that fell from the sky.
  • In Skylanders, an optional magic item you can purchase is the Sky-Iron Shield, whose name implies the use of this material in its construction.
  • Meteorites have a small chance to land on your farm at night in Stardew Valley, and can be cracked open to yield iridium, the top-tier metal. You can't forge it into weapons, but you can upgrade your tools with it for incredible results.
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, a lot of the latest mech technology uses a material known as Tronium, which was recovered from a crashed meteor.
  • Tales of the Drunken Paladin: Aside from the Elemental Crafting available in the weapon shops, the best weapons and armor made from meteorite shards can only be made by certain NPCs.
  • Terraria has Meteorite Ore, which can be forged into bars and used in the construction of various high-tier items. Most notably, Phaseblades.
  • In The Witcher, you start with an ordinary though well forged iron sword, but can collect meteors and hire a sufficiently skilled blacksmith to make you one of several varieties of pseudo-magical meteor swords. In the novels the game was based on, every witcher carried a sword made of meteoric iron.

  • Parodied in 8-Bit Theater when Red Mage suggests getting "starmetal" out of a Meteor spell Black Mage dropped on someone. Black Mage points out that the Meteor isn't even metallic, but when he turns away for a second and turns back, RM is holding a piece of metal, completely confounding BM.
    Black Mage: I believe in magic and I still don't know how you did that.
  • Roy Greenhilt of The Order of the Stick has a sword that's made out of an alloy of starmetal. Originally, the blade was just an ordinary family heirloom, but early on in the story it was shattered. Misled into believing his sword was made of starmetal and couldn't be reforged without it, Roy led his party on a quest to obtain some and ended up with only a tiny nugget of the stuff. Later, he discovered the truth about his sword when speaking with a swordsmith in Azure City: Not only is it entirely normal steel, but actual starmetal is incredibly rare and heavy, and a blade entirely made of it would weigh 300 pounds and require all the starmetal that has ever fallen out of the sky. Reforging his blade with even the palm-sized amount that he'd found made his sword incredibly strong — in D&D terms, it became a +5 sword with the ability to severely harm undead by emitting a green glow.
  • The Starham in Triangle and Robert. Meat falls from space all the time in their world; what makes the Starham special is that it's properly cured. It's powerful enough to cause some pretty major havoc. (This is not a joke.)
  • The Orrery from Uncreation is a device designed specifically to summon meteors from space for mining.
  • Parodied in this xkcd strip.
    Shopkeeper: This sword was forged from a fallen star. Antimony impurities make the blade surpassingly brittle and weak.
    Alt Text: This exotic blade was wrought from a different fallen star. The meteorite was a carbonaceous chondrite, so it's basically a lump of gravel glued into the shape of a sword. A SPACE sword!

    Web Videos 
  • Man at Arms:
    • Sokka's Space Sword (described below) was forged. Tony actually bought a number of real nickel-iron meteorites to make it (though it had to be mixed with more terrestrial metals as it proved to be a bit brittle, and he broke three band saw blades while preparing the material).
    • The Reforged series does this with Brisingr from the Inherritance Cycle. However, Ilya once again explains that the phosphorous in the steel makes it quite brittle. He solves this by crumbling the meteorite into pieces, and then folding them in with Japanese tamahagane steel and then laminating it to make it stronger.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the episode Sokka's Master, Sokka makes himself a sword from a meteorite that fell in the beginning of the episode. It can quite easily slice through metal, even when thrown. He affectionately calls it his "space sword."
    • Decades later in The Legend of Korra, Suyin Bei Fong (Toph Bei Fong's daughter) and her society of metalbenders in Zaofu collect various chunks of meteorite. Said chunks of "Space Earth" are incredibly easy to bend (almost as fluidly as water), even for the most novice of metalbenders.
      • Toph herself actually displayed as such in the aforementioned episode of the original series.
  • Conan the Adventurer: The protagonists all wielded weapons made of "star metal", which would reveal the true form of shapeshifted serpent folk when close enough and banish them to the dimension their god was imprisoned in if actually struck. The metal also amplified magic channeled through it, as seen most prominently with Greywolf's staff and the giant ring-gates which would allow Wrath-Amon to bring Set to Earth.
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears): The meteor fragments from Red Gulch empowered robots for a while, but soon left them drained and weak.
  • The Simpsons: A rare non-weapon example is seen in Cue Detective, when Homer purchases a combination grill-and-smoker from a roadside biker. The device is made from a meteorite that hasn’t cooled down since its crash more than a century earlier, and can make any food cooked on it taste amazing.
  • Ultimate Avengers: Captain America's shield and many of Black Widow's weapons include Vibranium, a metal from Skrull origin. In the sequel, we see the Wakandans have a huge Vibranium meteor with which they craft their weapons. (Vibranium is also a huge part of Wakanda's crafting in the original Avengers comics, though it's usually not alien.)
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: A second-season episode reveals that the Black Lion was forged from the materials of a comet that collided with the Galra homeworld. The third season finale revealed that all five lions were constructed from metal extracted from that comet and that Prince Lotor has gotten his hands on a similar one.

    Real Life 
  • There have been many real-life attempts to work backwards from the idea that meteoric iron is awesome to a justification of this idea. Their high nickel content is sometimes credited for making the metal stronger, but it does that mostly by stabilizing a phase of iron called austenite, which is tough but soft (so it won't crack but it won't hold a cutting edge for long, either). People tend to ignore this when imagining swords and similar that are made out of the material.
    • Other people credit iridium, a platinum group element that is found in some impact sites and happens to be rather impressive on its own, but the iridium content of meteors is best measured in parts per billion and you would need to do chemical tests just to know that it's there. It has absolutely no distinct effect on the material's properties.
    • Cobalt is a third element that may be present in meteors. Less often recognized, cobalt mostly has the effect of making the metal harder at higher temperatures — so the metal gets more difficult to forge.
    • It should also be noted that meteoric iron is almost always less pure than human-made steel, and this can make it brittle (see the Man at Arms example above).
  • Terry Pratchett had one forged for himself in order to celebrate having been knighted.
    Pterry: Thunderbolt iron, you see — highly magical, you've got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not.
  • Attila the Hun was believed to have wielded a sword made from meteorite, which the Romans nicknamed the "Sword of Mars".
  • There was an Inuit tribe whose entire culture was based around two large meteorites, the only source of metal in the area. Which didn't stop polar explorer Robert Peary from hauling them off to a museum under the justification that they could now just buy their iron from white traders.
  • James Bowie's iconic knife was supposedly forged from a piece of meteorite iron.
  • Invoked with Stellite, a superalloy produced by Deloro Stellite Company. It's hard and can take a lot of heat without weakening. Some applications include saw teeth, racing engine valves, machine gun barrels, and drill bits for metal cutting machines. The only thing stellar about it is its shine, though.
  • It's been repeatedly suggested that the legend of Excalibur may have been based on a sword forged from a meteorite, and that the "sword in the stone" belief might have originally come from "a sword from a stone", as in a stone that fell from the heavens.
  • Tutankhamun's dagger was long suspected, and recently confirmed, to be made from meteoric iron. Though what makes it so valuable is the fact that it's a rare iron artefact from the Bronze Age. The fact that it's meteoritic is merely what allowed people who hadn't mastered smelting to make an iron dagger.
  • In one of the most ungodly expensive examples of this trope, we have Cabot Guns' Big Bang Pistol Set, a pair of 1911 pistols constructed primarily from meteorite iron. Asking price? $4.5 million

Alternative Title(s): Meteoric Iron