Weapons are often iconic in literature, creating a bond between the hero and the object in question, crafting a relationship that often feels as real as those between actual people. In the wrong hands, a weapon can be horrifying, a destructive tool that is used for evil. But in the right hands, a sword becomes a tool to defend and inspires hope in its user even in the darkest chapters. Most literary weapons are swords, for good reason but there are also some out there that break the mould. Here are five of the best!
5. The Subtle Knife-His Dark Materials
Image Via His Dark materials wiki
A powerful weapon in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this knife has the power to carve through the fabrics of worlds, creating pathways into different realms. Stolen by the series’ main characters, Lyra and Will in the second book of the trilogy (named after the knife itself), who use it to travel between worlds for a long time before the knife breaks. Luckily, it is later reforged. The knife is extremely cool because it looks so mundane yet is extremely powerful, literally slicing through reality to carve paths across the multiverse. This is one cool little dagger, that’s for sure.
4. Stormbringer- Moorcock’s Multiverse
Image via Moorcock’s Multiverse Wiki
A magic sword featured in numerous fantasy tales by Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer is a demon forged into the form of a sword that corrupts its wielder, drinks souls, and can cut through anything. Wielded by the brooding anti-hero Elric of Melnibone, he loathes Stormbringer but is forced to rely on it, as without its magic he is helpless. However, Stormbringer shares no love for Elric either and constantly tries to corrupt him, hungering for blood and souls. The relationship between man and sword is at the heart of the numerous tales, with Elric constantly battling the demon’s desires while conquering other threats.
3. Sandalwood guns- The Dark Tower
Image via The Dark Tower Wiki
In The Dark Tower, Stephen KIng uses a mishmash of fantasy tropes to bring together a more unique vision and this is reflected in the chosen weapons of protagonist Roland Deschain. He is a gunslinger of the strange world he inhabits and wields a pair of sandalwood six shooters that have been passed down through the generations before he claimed them as a young man. It is revealed later that the guns were forged from the steel of Excalibur, explaining their significance. The guns are Roland’s weapons throughout the series, constantly showcasing his prowess with them as he is an excellent shot, always ready for this lone wanderer to draw at a moment’s notice.
2. Callandor- The Wheel of Time
Image via A Wheel of Time wiki
An artefact so powerful that an entire fortress was constructed to protect it, Callandor is a crystal sword that may look fragile but has immense power behind it. Claimed and wielded by Rand al’Thor, the protagonist of The Wheel of Time. It augments his own Power, allowing him to tap into reserves of strength and force that go beyond mortal men. Too much power can be lethal but Callandor also allows for infinite possibilities, allowing its user to do almost anything he wishes. But the evil force of the Dark One is behind the sword and the more Rand al’Thor taps into it, the more he risks corruption, creating a necessary roadblock to prevent him from abusing Callandor’s power.
1. Anduril- The Lord of the Rings
Image via Lord of the Rings wiki
Formerly Narsil, the sword that stopped Sauron at the end of the Second Age, Anduril was reforged from Narsil’s shards into its current form. Given to Aragorn, the blade is enchanted to never be stained or broken, even in defeat. Aragorn wielded the sword throughout the remainder of the war against the forces of Sauron, using it as proof of his heritage throughout places like Rohan and slaying many Orcs with it. Its name means the Flame of the West and its one badass blade wielded by one badass hero.
Featured Image Via Lord of the Rings Wiki