Fantasy stories often have elements in common. One of these is the magic sword which can be found in myths, legends and stories everywhere.

No fantasy story is complete without its magic weapon and there are many variations in legends, myths and modern stories. For example, the Lightsaber is a futuristic Star Wars weapon used by the Jedi, while Poseidon’s trident and Zeus’ thunderbolt are mythological Greek versions.

Probably the most famous magic sword in British myth is King Arthur’s Excalibur. The Arthurian legends are full of magic swords but it is Excalibur that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Given to King Arthur by the mysterious Lady of the Lake, it has magical origins and the power to protect its owner in battle.

Like most important swords, Excalibur had a name. (Have you heard of Hrunting, Beowulf’s sword in the Anglo Saxon epic; Sting, the sword used by the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings; or the Sword of Gryffindor from the Harry Potter stories?) Another typical characteristic of magical weapons is that they can only be used by their true owner and their powers will only work if he or she is using them. Most of these swords have ancient origins and were created magically many years before they appear in a story. Nobody really knows where they came from or who made them.

In the world of the fantasy story, magic swords are used to defeat wizards, dragons and gods. They create heroes and save civilisations. Everything about them is… well, magic!



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