Swords are not only weapons of battle and warfare but these are also symbols of status and great power that have been utilized for centuries in ceremonies, as offerings, for coronations and a lot more. Throughout the years, numerous mythical swords have appeared which brought centuries of legends, adventures, as well as incredible tales that have linked these weapons to well-known folk heroes and figures.
Legendary Blades in Pop Culture
When these mythical swords appear, the weapons represent a much deeper story than just interesting tales and adventures; these sum up a whole interesting story about a hero and the development of their kingdom, and similar to numerous fantasy swords in pop culture, mythical swords are considered physical embodiments of a group of individuals’ power along with their teamwork. Also similar to a variety of fantasy swords, these mythical swords also live based on one’s culture and background, plus these are mostly exhibited in highly popular stories, movies, TV shows, comics, and even in video games. These swords have eventually become legendary and in some instances, mythical artifacts of a long-gone era continue to represent some equipment and tools that have become synonymous with honor, strength, pride, and courage.
Popular Mythical Swords
Every legendary warrior has a trusted weapon in hand and these are mythical swords that are imbued with enchanting magic or at times, supernatural powers – these characteristics of legendary blades have always been a part of mythical swords such as the thunderbolts of Zeus to Mjolnir. Remember that almost every civilization in the world has their own example of powerful legendary blades that are claimed to aid heroes and even gods throughout history.
Listed below are some of the highly-popular and most well-known mythical swords in history:
Kusanagi no Tsurugi
The Kusanagi no Tsurugi is known as one of Japan’s most legendary fantasy swords and is just as important to the country’s history just like how important Excalibur is to Britain; it is also among the three Imperial Regalia of Japan which makes the Kusanagi no Tsurugi even more vital to the country’s rich culture and history. Originally, the sword was called the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi which literally translates to the “Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven”; however, its name has been altered to the more popular one that most people know of today which also literally means “Grass Cutting Sword”.
The sword is said to have been discovered from inside the body of an enormous serpent and during the reign of the XII Emperor, the weapon was eventually given to Yamato Takeru who was taken by a certain warlord to a grassland as a trap; the warlord’s plan was to simply ignite the grass, make it flare up and burn the man until he met his death. Due to sheer desperation to escape and live, the man began cutting grass with the use of his own sword and to his amazement, he discovered that he was able to control the wind for some unknown reason. From then, the man began utilizing his own powers and expanded the fire, ensuring that the flames would move towards the direction of his enemies to defeat them. After this incident, Yamato was given the chance to name the sword and he called this the “Grass Cutter Sword”. Later in time, Yamato was eventually killed in battle by a strong monster since he ignored his own wife’s advice to simply take and use the Grass cutter sword with him for the battle.
Zulfiqar is one of the well-known fantasy swords that come from Islamic history; it is owned by Hazrat Ali and numerous stories have claimed that Muḥammad presented the sword to a young Ali during the Battle of Uhud. That time, the young Ali attacked one of their fiercest and most feared enemies, breaking both his shield and helmet. Muhammad then remarked that “There is no other hero but our Ali and no other sword except Zulfiqar”. Based on numerous historical records, Ali also utilized the weapon during the Battle of the Trench to cut one of the fiercest and most violent Meccan opponents, breaking his shield in two halves. The Meccan was Amr ibn Abdawud who had strength that was usually likened to that of a thousand men; no one dared nor had the courage to fight the warrior except for Ali who readily killed him with a single, powerful blow. Though the Meccan did wear strong and protective armor while carrying extremely powerful and efficient weapons, he is said to be no match to Ali and Zulfiqar.
The Tyrfing is a magical Norse weapon that was said to be forged by two dwarves named During and Dvalinn. These dwarves were eventually held captive by Svafrlami, Odin’s grandson after they have left their home to head out into the open. The dwarves needed to return before sunrise since they would turn into stone if they did not; however, the king forced the two to create the weapon, and due to how terribly they were treated, they decided to curse the weapon while making it. Whenever the sword was pulled out from its sheath, it would automatically kill whoever it was faced with. Additionally, the sword would also commit three offensive deeds that would eventually be the cause of Svafrlami’s death. A berserker ended up achieving the last portion of the prophecy by cutting off the hand of Svafrlami and killing him using the Tyrfing.
Excalibur is the well-renowned and legendary sword of King Arthur that is said to be infused with enchanted powers. There are instances when the Excalibur and the Sword in Stone are said to be the same, but numerous versions of the story claim that these are two separate and different swords. Excalibur was associated with the legend of Arthur at a very early period: in Welsh stories, the sword is named the Caledfwlch. In the legend of Arthur, there are two famous swords that have appeared: one is the Sword in Stone which only Arthur could pull and wield thus proving that he was the only rightful person to take the position of The King, while the other sword would be the one given by the Lady of the Lake. There are some versions of the legend stating that the Sword in Stone had broken so the Lady of the Lake eventually gave Excalibur to Arthur.
This legendary sword was revealed in China during the year 1965; it is said to have been buried for over two thousand years but the sword, in appearance, still seems as good as new. On its blade close to the handle, one would see eight seal characters that literally translate to “The Sword belongs to the King of Yue State, Goujian”. This person was a well-known emperor in China who ruled during autumn and spring. Although the state that he led was defeated by Wu, the emperor continued to lead his army until victory was achieved ten years later with the use of this sword.
Stories and myths have continued to captivate everyone’s imagination for centuries, and over the course of time, a variety of stories have revolved around the importance and lives of warriors that have either led them to their victory or demise. A lot of these tales attribute mythological swords to the said heroes, and often, these were given as presents by the Gods and would usually have supernatural powers infused in the weapons.