8. Vorpal Sword
The Vorpal sword is the only sword in the literature that can go “snicker-snack”. It appears in what is said to be one of the greatest ‘nonsense poems’ in English: “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass. It is the story of a young boy slaying a monster known as ‘Jabberwock’ using the Vorpal sword. Lewis Carroll published Through the Looking-Glass in 1871. Near the beginning, Alice discovers and reads “Jabberwocky”. The word “vorpal” appears twice in the poem, which describes a young boy’s quest to slay a monster. Here is the Poem (Link).
As with much of the rest of the poem’s vocabulary, the reader is left to guess at the meaning of “vorpal” from the context. It is commonly assumed to mean “deadly” or “sharp” words often used to describe swords, but some readers have imagined other properties the word could describe. Alexander L. Taylor points out in his Carroll biography The White Knight that “vorpal” can be formed by taking letters alternately from “verbal” and “gospel”.There are many speculations as to what “Vorpal” means. Lewis Carroll, however, confessed, “I am afraid I can’t explain ‘vorpal blade’ for you – nor yet ‘tulgey wood.” Vorpal sword has recently been featured in several role-playing video-games.
Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar “The emerald-studded sword” is a sword in the Persian legend Amir Arsalan. The witch mother of a hideous horned demon called Fulad-zereh used a charm to make Fulad-zereh’s body invulnerable to all weapons except the blows of a specific sword called Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar.
This blade originally belonged to King Solomon, and was carefully guarded by Fulad-zereh, not only because it was a valuable weapon, and indeed the only weapon that could harm the demon, but also because wearing it was a charm against magic. A wound inflicted by this sword could only be treated by a special potion made from a number of ingredients, including Fulad-zereh’s brains.
A lightsaber a popular weapon, was introduced in sci-fi series Star Wars and the franchise’s Expanded Universe. The lightsaber consists of a polished metal hilt which projects a blade of energy (plasma) about one meter long. The lightsaber is the signature weapon of the Jedi order and their Sith counterparts, both of whom can use them for offence, or to deflect blaster bolts. Its distinct appearance was created using rotoscoping for the original trilogy, and digitally for the prequel trilogy. The lightsaber first appeared in the original Star Wars film (1977) and every Star Wars movie to date features at least one lightsaber duel. In 2008, a survey of approximately two thousand film fans found it to be the most popular film weapon.
The lightsaber’s blade cuts through most substances without resistance. It leaves cauterized wounds in flesh, but can be deflected by another lightsaber’s blade, or an energy shield or wall. Some vibroswords and shields made with cortosis are also able to deflect them as seen first in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and later on in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, and The Force Unleashed. An active lightsaber gives off a distinctive hum, which rises in pitch and volume as the blade is moved rapidly through the air. Bringing the blade into contact with an object or another lightsaber’s blade produces a loud crackle. Here’s how a lightsaber works. (Link).
11. Glory of Ten Powers
The Glory of Ten powers is a legendary Chinese sword, said to be created in Tibet by husband and wife magicians of the ancient Bön tradition. The love of the couple when creating the magical sword caused a great spirit to enter the weapon. The sword gained the power to protect the wearer using its magical powers. The sword is said to have been eventually captured and burned by the family’s enemies and the sword made into a magic talisman. Said in the 1930s work of Tang Hao to be possessed by Hua Tuo, the famous Chinese physician who lived during the Three Kingdoms era. Chinese literature is littered with references to this amulet just as English works often mention Excalibur.
12. Gram Sword
In Norse Mythology , the god Odin plunged a sword into the tree Barnstokkr in the hall of the Völsungs during a wedding and declared that he who could take it out would receive it as a gift. Only Sigmund was able to do so. Later, during a battle, Sigmund fights an old man, who is actually Odin in disguise; Odin shatters the sword and Sigmund is killed by others. As he lies dying, he tells his wife that his son would one day make a great sword from the fragments. The prophecy was fulfilled as his son Sigurd reforged the sword. Handle, guard and pommel were plated in silver and highlighted with 24-karat gold details. The sword’s stainless steel blade was massive and jagged edged and Sigurd killed the dragon Fafnir with it. In the Nibelungenlied, Siegfried’s sword is called Balmung ; in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, it is called Nothung .
13. Sword of Omens
Children growing up in the 90s would be well-familiar with the cry: “Thunder… Thunder… Thunder… Thundercats! HOOOOOOO!” Yes, it’s the shout of Lion-O from the Thundercats cartoon series to summon the Thundercats using his Sword of Omens. The sword contains the mystic Eye of Thundera in its hilt, the source of Thundercats’ power. It is normally in the form of a dagger resting within Lion-O’s claw-shield, but it grows into a full-fledged sword when Lion-O swings it around and utters the Thundercat signal. The sword can also grant Lion-O the second-sight to see where danger awaits him.
Durendal or Durandal is the sword of Charlemagne’s paladin Roland in the literary cycle known as the Matter of France. According to Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso it once belonged to Hector of Troy, and was given to Roland by Malagigi (Maugris). The name probably comes from the French verb “durer”, “to endure”.
In The Song of Roland, the sword is said to contain within its golden hilt one tooth of Saint Peter, blood of Saint Basil, hair of Saint Denis, and a piece of the raiment of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the poem, Count Roland attempts to destroy the sword to prevent it from being captured by the ambushing Saracens and creates La Brèche de Roland in the Pyrenees in the process. But Durendal proves indestructible, so he hides it beneath his body along with the oliphant, the horn used to alert Charlemagne. Local folklore claims Durendal still exists, preserved in Rocamadour, France. An inscription on Ogier the Dane’s sword Curtana read My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durendal.
15. William Wallace’s Sword
Though there are different sides to every story, there is one underlying truth about the tales of the Scottish hero William Wallace. He was a man of big deeds who used a big sword. Our 13th century two handed great sword is likely a sword that the fearsome hero would’ve been eager to use. With its 40-inch blade balanced by a solid steel cross guard and heavy steel pommel, this sword has tremendous potential in the hands of a skilled swordsman. The leather wrapped ricasso allows one to choke up on the blade to offer better balance when fighting in close quarters while both guard and pommel offer them selves as stout striking points in time of need.