The most famous sword in the world is, of course, King Arthur’s Excalibur. Gifted to him by the Lady in the Lake, it was a symbol of his sovereignty over England. It was so powerful that even its scabbard had magical powers, ensuring that the bearer would never die due to loss of blood from injuries. However, the evil sorceress Morgan le Fay stole the scabbard and threw it away.

Unfortunately, this meant that when he battled his illegitimate nephew, Mordred, he could be wounded. He was fatally injured, and had to go to the Isle of Avalon to heal from his injuries. Excalibur was thrown back into the lake from where it came, where the Lady of the Lake caught it and kept it for safekeeping.

Among the many powers of Excalibur was that it emitted a bright light that blinded its enemies. It was also engraved with “Take me up” one one side and “Cast me away” on the other, signifying that it was meant to be used and returned when the time was appropriate. It was also said that it would break if someone of ill intent picked it up, so we’re lucky Mordred never touched it.

But does that mean King Arthur was invincible while he wielded Excalibur? Here are six other legendary weapons that could rival Excalibur, although defeating King Arthur with Excalibur would still be exceedingly challenging.

1. Caladbolg

Caladbolg replica. Credit: Longship Armoury LLC Facebook Page

Caladbolg replica. Credit: Longship Armoury LLC Facebook Page

Also known as Caledfwich, Caladbolg was a powerful sword from Irish legends that belonged to Irish king Fergus mac Róich. It was said to leave a rainbow arc when it was swung, and it had the power to slice the tops off hills and slaughter an entire army.

If you’re a Final Fantasy X fan, you’ll also recognise Caladbolg as Tidus’ ultimate weapon.

2. Masamune’s swords

Masamune replica from Final Fantasy VII. Credit: Kieran McEwan Facebook Profile

Masamune replica from Final Fantasy VII. Credit: Kieran McEwan Facebook Profile

Masamune was actually the name of the swordsmith who created the swords, rather than the name of the sword itself. His full name was Gorō Nyūdō Masamune (五郎入道正宗), which roughly means “Priest Gorō Masamune”. He actually created a number of swords, such as the Honjo Masamune (used by Edo period shoguns), Fudo Masmune, and Musashi Masamune.

An ancient legend tells of how Masamune was challenged by his swordsmith disciple Muramasa to see who could create the superior sword. They then stuck both their swords into a river to test the sharpness of their swords (remember that it was about who could create the better sword, not who was the better swordsman).

Muramasa’s sword cut everything that it touched – leaves, fish, and other random objects in the river. However, Masamune’s sword only cut the leaves that passed by it, and living creatures like fish would pass by unharmed. Although leaves are technically alive for a one or two days after falling off the tree, we presume that these were dried autumn leaves that Masamune’s sword shredded.

Hence Masamune’s sword was the superior one, for it possessed both sharpness and gentility.

3. Lance of Longinus

Painting of Jesus Christ and the Lance of Longinus. Credit: Freedom School of Higher Education Facebook Page

Painting of Jesus Christ and the Lance of Longinus. Credit: Freedom School of Higher Education Facebook Page

Also known as the Spear of Destiny and the Holy Lance, the Lance of Longinus was said to be the lance that was used to pierce the side of Jesus Christ when he was crucified. In other accounts, it is said to be a spear that is tipped with one of the nails that was used to nail Jesus Christ to the cross when he was crucified.

It was said that whosoever possessed the Lance of Longinus would never lose a war, and rumour has it that this was the reason that Hitler started World War II. He was after the Lance of Longinus, and actually possessed it for a certain time. However, it was later stolen from him, resulting in his defeat.

4. Durandal

Durandal. Credit: Μῦρον ἐκκενωθὲν ὄνομά Σου Facebook Page

Durandal. Credit: Μῦρον ἐκκενωθὲν ὄνομά Σου Facebook Page

Durandal comes from French legends, and it is a sword that the paladin Roland wielded. It’s said that the hilt contains

  • one tooth of Saint Peter
  • blood of Saint Basil the Great
  • hair of saint Denis
  • a piece of one cloth from one of the Virgin Mary’s clothes

With all those holy components, Durandal was said to be the sharpest sword in all existence and indestructible to boot (but most legendary weapons are indestructible anyway). It was so powerful that Roland used to hold off an army that had 100,000 soldiers.

5. Gan Jiang and Mo Ye

Gan Jiang and Mo Ye replica. Credit: GraceChen Jewelry & tianyundesign.com Facebook Page

Gan Jiang and Mo Ye replica. Credit: GraceChen Jewelry & tianyundesign.com Facebook Page

Gan Jiang (干將) and Mo Ye (莫邪) were a swordsmith couple who lived in ancient China. They were ordered by the King of Wu to forge a pair of swords for him within three months. However, their furnace was not hot enough to forge the swords as it did not have enough qi, so Mo Ye sacrificed herself and threw herself into the furnace, giving it enough qi to forge the swords. The swords were then named after the couple. Gan Jiang later presented only the female Mo Ye Sword to the King of Wu, who was so angry that he only got one sword that he killed Gan Jiang.

Gan Jiang’s son, Chi, later found that his father had left behind instructions as to the whereabouts of the Gan Jiang Sword. He sought it out, but the King of Wu ordered an assassin to behead Chi and recover the Gan Jiang Sword.

There was just one hitch – 40 days later, Chi’s head still had not decomposed even though it had been put into a boiling cauldron, and it was staring back at the King of Wu. The remorseful assassin tricked the King of Wu into looking into the cauldron and beheaded him, before severing his own head. All three heads fell into the cauldron and were boiled beyond recognition, so they were all honoured as kings in death.

The swords are often referenced in games, especially those that are related to Chinese legends.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you want to see Excalibur in action, then check out King Arthur: Legend of the Sword! It sees Charlie Hunnam playing the role of King Arthur as he seeks to recover his throne from his evil uncle Vortigern (Jude Law). But when he pulls the sword from the stone, he must acknowledge his true legacy.

Win your very own Excalibur! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Win your very own Excalibur! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Acknowledge your true legacy by winning your very own Excalibur worth $328 at the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Chicken & Beer Night when you buy tickets online! What’s more, you get to be the first to watch the movie one week ahead of everyone else, with a beer in hand and a set of four Asian spiced drumlets to go with.

Other prizes will be available for grabs as well, but we’re keeping our eyes on Excalibur. You can wield it and fulfill your destiny!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

You’ll also look really cool while you’re at it.

 

Credits: Longship Armour LLC Facebook Page, Kieran McEwan Facebook Profile, Freedom School of Higher Education Facebook PageΜῦρον ἐκκενωθὲν ὄνομά Σου Facebook PageGraceChen Jewelry & tianyundesign.com Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas