Sword Names and Types in Fantasy Literature
Swords and blades are one of the common weapons associated with fantasy games, especially in role-playing, medieval, and action-packed themed games. These fantasy games take us back to the era of swords and magic, where players are set to control a character in a quest for glory and to save the world.
But swords are not only a thing for video games. They are also mentioned in abundance in old mythologies, Legends, and fantasy novels. Swords like Excalibur in the Legend of King Arthur, Harpe in the Greek Mythology, and Anduril from The Lord of the Rings are a few famous sword names examples in works of literature today.
We know you share the same interest in the names behind the swords and how sword names are created! In this article, you’ll get to know a brief overview of sword types in fantasy narratives including some famous fantasy sword names in video games associated with these types. Not only that, get to know some of the art in naming a sword, including some sword name ideas that you can use for your next campaign or novel. We’re as excited as you so let’s jump into it!
Izumi no Kami Fujiwara Kanesada
Sword Types in Fantasy Worlds
There are hundreds to probably a thousand types of swords all over the world, with some already forgotten or not written in history. But among the many sword types, you’ll notice that there are a few repeatedly used swords that have entered popularity in media and literature. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the common sword types used in the fantasy worlds both in video games and in literature.
Understanding Sword Types
Sword types are a classification of swords based on their origin and use. In general, swords are just any weaponry that has a sharpened double edge, and this double edge may vary depending on the artisan who made it, and the design intended for the usage of the weapon itself. Just like technologies, swords have evolved and have received improvements together with the advancements of knowledge and skill of the people during ancient times. From simple doubled-edged knives, swords eventually became bigger, stiffer, or broader. Below are the common sword types based on how its feature and function.
Straight Swords, as its name suggests, are swords that are built with straight blades and are commonly double-edged. It is designed and optimized for balance and is usually lighter. Straight swords are common in medieval Europe and some parts of Asia. A few existing straight swords are the Arming Sword (or the Knightly Sword), the Bastard Sword (or the Long Sword), and the Broadsword (such as a Claymore). Straight swords are also very common in some video games such as The Witcher, Mount&Blade, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls.
Popular Straight Swords with Names in Games
- Atma Weapon (Final Fantasy Series) – Also known as Ultima Weapon, a common end-game straight sword in most Final Fantasy after Final Fantasy VI.
- Azurewrath (Diablo III) – Azurewrath is a unique straight sword introduced in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and has made its way into Diablo III. It is a Phase Blade with high attack speed and is an elite version of Crystal Swords.
- The Aerondight (The Witcher III: Wild Hunt) – The Aerondight is one of the obtainable Silver Swords in the series. It is a special blade in-game that deals increased damage for each successive hit.
- Dawnbreaker (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) – The Dawnbreaker is a unique one-handed straight sword given by the Daedric Prince Meridia for completing her quest line. Its sword name is associated with divine light that can be used to purge the undead and vampires.
- Sunlight Straight Sword (Dark Souls 3) – The Sunlight Straight Sword are standard straight sword imbued with lightning elements. They are often issued to Warriors of the Sunlight members.
The Curved Sword, often called Curved Blade, is characterized by their curve blade shape. The curvature of the blade varies dramatically on the curve blade itself, with some being slightly curved, while others being extremely arced. The curve shape of the blade lessens the air drag during slashing, making it an ideal slashing weapon rather than a thrusting weapon. Unlike straight swords, a Curved Sword is single-edged only. The most common Curved Sword known in history are the Scimitar, Cutlass, Sabre, and Falchion. Below are some examples of named curved swords in fantasy video games.
Named Curved Swords in Games
- Scimitar of Atun (World of Warcraft) – The Scimitar of Atun is a one-handed curved sword that can be obtained by killing Squiddic and Murloc Scouts in the game.
- Pontiff Knight Curved Sword (Dark Souls 3) – The Pontiff Knight Curved Sword is a sword often used by the so-called Pontiff Knights, the lingering guardian spirits of the lost Irithyll City.
- Bloodscythe (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) – The Bloodscythe is an obtainable curved sword that is a sister to another unique scimitar, the Soulrender. When wielded together, it absorbs magicka from enemies and has a chance to lower the target’s magical defense.
- Cutlass Bluetane (Fable: The Lost Chapters) – The Cutlass Bluetane is the only legendary curved sword throughout the game. It can be obtained by opening the Greatwood Caves Demon Door by having an active combat multiplier of 14 or above.
- Solus Greatsword (Fable: The Lost Chapters) – Unlike the Cutlass Bluetane, the Solus Greatsword seems like a straight sword but its edges were bent like a wave similar to a Flamberge. It possesses the combined characteristics of a straight sword, for being double-edged, and a curve sword, for its wavy design.
Thrusting swords are designed to penetrate thick armor through piercing strikes instead of the usual slashing motion required for straight swords and curved swords. The most common thrusting sword is the Estoc, also known as a tuck or a panzerstecher (armor piercer). It is the most common sword used by cavalrymen in the late 16th century due to the abundance of infantrymen wearing thick cuirasses which common swords and sabers cannot penetrate. Some other common thrusting swords are the Rapier, the Epee (used for sports fencing), and the Side Sword (Spada da Lato). Below are some examples of thrusting sword names found in fantasy video games.
Thrusting Sword Names in Video Games
- Reiterpallasch (Bloodborne) – The Reiterpallasch is a combined rapier and pistol weapon. It is a trick weapon that can transform between a rapier and a gun. The term Reiterpallasch translates as “rider’s broadsword” in the German language.
- Stinger (Kingdom Come: Deliverance) – The Stinger is a unique short sword in the game but is more effective as a thrusting sword rather than a slashing weapon. It can deal with fatal wounds, especially on thick-armored enemies.
- Geri’s Stiletto (Demon Souls) – The Geri’s Stiletto is a unique thrusting weapon in Demon’s Soul, obtainable by helping Sage Freke the Visionary. It is a fast magic-based weapon that can drain Mana Points for each successive hit.
- Hidden Blade (Assassin’s Creed) – The Hidden Blade is the signature weapon of the members of the Assassin Brotherhood. It is a small stiletto hidden below the forearm and can be retracted from a mechanized gauntlet. It is used to deal fatal stab damage on the neck of a person during assassination attempts.
- Ricard’s Rapier (Dark Souls) – Ricard’s Rapier is one of the fastest dexterity-based weapons in Dark Souls. It can deal with superfast thrusts that are best paired with weapon buffs or imbues—effective against bosses and NPC invaders.
Singled-Edged Straight Sword
Not all curved swords are single-edged. There are also single-edged straight swords that are made to fully utilize the slashing motion on a single side of the sword. A single-edged sword concentrates the weight and sharpness of the sword into a single cutting edge, making it more effective for slashing compared to the much more brittle double-edged sword. A few examples of single-edged straight swords are the Harpe (Greek), the Machete (Central America), Yatagan (Ottoman), and the Straight Saber (European). Some examples of single-edge swords with names can also be found in video games:
Single-Edged Swords with Names
- Sarranid Sword (Mount & Blade: Warband) – The Sarranid Sword is a common one-handed single-edged sword found mostly in the Sarranid Sultanate area. It is a common sword carried by Sarranid Footmen and Sarannid Mameluke.
- Blades Sword (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) – The Blades Sword is a single-edged one-handed weapon wielded by the members of the Blades. Although it resembles a bit of the usual Katana, its curve is unusually not obvious.
- Demon Great Machete (Dark Souls) – The Demon Great Machete is a straight single-edged sword that can be obtained from killing Capra Demon Boss and Minor Capra Demons. It is an ultra-greatsword with a stunning 40 Strength requirement before it can be used.
- Drake Sword (Dark Souls) – The Drake Sword is a one-handed single-edged straight sword that can be obtained by cutting off the tail of a Hellkite Wyvern.
- Iron Gospel (Monster Hunter Rise) – The Iron Gospel is a single-edged long sword weapon that is an enhanced version of an Iron Katana. It is said to deliver the message of the gods with each swing.
Japanese swords are considered a separate category because of the unique sword designs that only originate in Japan—and can never be found in other countries, unlike the aforementioned sword types. A Japanese sword is distinguished for its strong curve design that has an equally sharp edge and pointy tip. They can be used to slash and thrust and are usually forged stronger compared with European straight swords and Middle-Eastern curved swords. Some examples of Japanese swords are the Uchigatana (Katana), the tachi, the odachi, and the wakizashi. Below are some of the popular Japanese sword names in gaming history.
Popular Japanese Sword Names in Gaming History
- Kusabimaru (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) – The Kusabimaru is a katana given by Kuro to Sekiro. It is a heirloom of the Hirata family, to whom Sekiro was entrusted to protect.
- Masamune (Multiple Games) – The Masamune is a legendary name of a real-life Japanese sword. Its sword name is derived from the medieval Japanese blacksmith, Goro Nyudo Masamune, who is considered Japan’s greatest swordsmith. Many games adopted the sword name “Masamune” such as Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Ninja Gaiden, and Samurai Warriors.
- Muramasa (Multiple Games) – Like the Masamune, Muramasa is also adopted by multiple games as a Japanese sword name. Its name is based on another famous swordsmith in Japan, Sengo Muramasa, who founded the Muramasa School. In games, Muramasa is often associated with a Katana that has a high critical hit chance. A few games that used this sword name are Shin Megami Tensei, Fire Emblem, and Dynasty Warriors.
- Iato (Dark Souls) – Iato is a katana weapon in Dark Souls. It is a katana weapon with a Bleeding Effect buff that can rip around 30% of the opponent’s HP.
- Katana Hiryu (Fable: Lost Chapters) – The Katana Hiryu is one of the mid-game story weapons that can be obtained in Mayor Lady Grey’s Bedroom—either by marrying her or by becoming the mayor itself.
Fantasy swords types are swords that are unconventional and do not exist in real life. They are often a product of artistic imagination and can be found in novels or video games. Although we mentioned some fantasy swords above, they still fall into specific categories of sword types. Fantasy swords mentioned here do not fall into any sword types mentioned above. Below are a few examples of Fantasy swords from video games.
Fantasy Swords from Video Games
- Red Iron Twinblades (Dark Souls 2) – The Red Iron Twinblade is a double-sword that has blades on each end. It can be used to slice enemies while wielding the weapon in a spinning, circular motion which requires great strength and dexterity.
- Lightsaber (Starwars) – The Lightsaber is a laser sword, rather than a straight sword. It has no sharp edges and can deal slashing or piercing damage through the melting heat of the plasma blade of the saber. It is powered by a kyber crystal placed on a metal hilt that can be turned on or off at will.
- The Buster Sword (Final Fantasy VII) – The Buster Sword is the iconic weapon of Cloud Strife, the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII. The sword also appeared in various Final Fantasy series. The Buster sword is known for its massive size and can be wielded skillfully by Cloud alone.
- The Keyblade (Kingdom Hearts) – The Keyblade is a unique and mysterious weapon wielded by Sora. It is a sword resembling a key that is used to open worlds connected through different doors.
- Firelink Greatsword (Dark Souls 3) – The Firelink Greatsword is a “coiled” sword resembling a twisting metal that resembles a fire poker used to tend flames in fireplaces, stoves, or outdoor grillers.
The Art of Naming a Sword
We were able to discuss some of the most popular names for swords in the previous section. In this section, we are going to introduce to you some of the things we need to know to create our version of sword names. As a starter, let’s try to understand how swords are named and what is the art behind the names of a sword.
Why and How Swords Are Named
As to the question of why swords were named is directly answered by J.R.R. Tolkien in his legendarium. In Tolkien’s work on the mythology of Middle Earth, weapon naming (including other weapons aside from swords), is a tradition done by both the Eldar (Elves) and the Edain (Men). They give names to their weapons based on the unique feat or accomplishment that the weapon helped to achieve. This includes deeds in battle, characteristics, and purpose of the weapon, popularity of the owner, and the creation of the weapon during unusual circumstances.
This holds for most mythologies, novels, video games, and in real history! Evidence of weapon naming can be found in Old Norse Mythology, and Old English scriptures, which is proof that people during the Iron Age until the Viking Age and Medieval Age will tend to put names on their priced weapons. Swords, in particular, can be named based on their achievement in battle, characteristics, or the wielder or owner. Some of the common historically named swords are the Durendal (The Sword of Roland, Paladin of Charlemagne), Joyeuse (Sword of Charlemagne), and the Curtana (Sword of Mercy, a ceremonial British sword).
Naming a Sword
To summarize, sword names are created based on their accomplishment, characteristics, purpose, and the name of the owner. Taking all of these into consideration, we can create our version of the sword name easily.
The best start to creating sword names is to think of the background of the sword itself. Where the sword came from? What is its backstory? By knowing this, we can easily create words related to its purpose and background and transform it into a nice memorable sword name.
Second, if you haven’t thought of a background, why not think about the purpose of the blade in your story or plot? Will the blade be used to murder people? You can it “The Cleaver”, or “Ripper”. Will the blade be used to fight the forces of darkness? You may call it “Ray of Hope” or “Salvation”. There are a lot of terms and phrases you can use when you know the purpose of the sword.
Lastly, you can create invented words or words coming from mythologies, other languages, or fictional languages. Take a look at Tolkien’s sword names like Glamdring, and Ringil—which both came from an invented Elven language. The Kampilan is a nice sword name that is borrowed from the Filipino language. Gugnir is a mythological sword from Norse mythology. All in all, you can take inspiration from these and create your sword name versions.
More Examples of Names of a Sword and Their Meaning
“Grass-cutting Sword”, one of the three Imperial treasures of Japan.
“To Comply with Heaven”, the said sword of the Vietnamese Emperor Lê Lợi who freed Vietnam from the Ming Dynasty of China.
Sword of Mars
Also known as “Sword of Attila the Hun”. It is the sword wielded by Attila, the ruler of the Huns, and was associated with the Roman god of war, Mars.
Also known as “Gladius Imperatoria” in Latin, or “Imperial Sword” in English. It is one of the important artifacts from the Holy Roman Empire given to the emperor together with the Imperial Crown, Imperial Scepter, and Imperial Orb.
“The Notched Sword”, was used primarily during the coronation of kings of Poland.
“The Sword of Justice of Sigismund”, is the sword used by King Sigismund I the Old of Poland.
“Seven-Branched Sword”, a ceremonial sword believed to be given by the king of Baekje to a Yamato ruler.
“Sword of Osman”, the sword of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
A mysterious Viking sword associated with the word “wolf” (ulf), its origin is unknown but archaeologists believe that this is a trademark name or a famous Nordic smith.
Famous Sword Names
There are only a limited number of sword names in our history due to most of them being forgotten in history or being lost in service in wars and battles. Despite that, we still have not tackled some of the famous Sword Names to exist in literature, series, or movies. In this section, we’ll be giving you a list of some of the most renowned fantasy sword names around. Check them out below.
Orcrist (The Hobbit)
The Orcrist, also called the “Goblin-cleaver”, was introduced in one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, The Hobbit. The sword name “Orcrist” was originally an Elven sword forged in Gondolin, and the partner of Glamdring, another Elven sword. Both swords were lost during the sack of Gondolin and were found by Thorin Oakenshield during the second age.
The sword Hrunting was given to Beowulf by Unferth during his fight against Grendel’s mother. Hrunting is said to possess great powers and has never worn out and failed anyone who wields it in battle, according to the Beowulf Poem.
Stormbringer (Fantasy Novels by Michael Moorcock)
The Stormbringer is a huge magical black sword inscribed with runes. It was created by the forces of Chaos and has its mind and will. The Stormbringer can cut through any material unless protected by strong magical protection. It drinks and feeds on the soul of any living creature it pierces.
Samehada (Naruto & Naruto: Shippuden)
The sword Samehada (translates as Shark Skin), is a sentient sword passed down to members of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist Village. It is considered the most frightening ninja sword for its ability to feed on a shinobi’s chakra—including its owner. Kisame Hoshigaki was the recent owner of the blade until it betrayed him and went to Killer Bee for its much more “delicious” chakra.
Zangetsu (meaning Slaying Moon), is the Zanpakuto (Soul-Cutter Sword) of Ichigo Kurosaki. He is the result of the merging of the Hollow White (inherited by Ichigo from his mother) and Shinigami powers (from Ichigo’s father). Zangetsu allows Ichigo to take the form of a Hollow by lending its inner hollow powers to him.
Master Sword (Legend of Zelda Series)
The Master Sword is the end-game weapon in most of the Legend of Zelda game series. It is said to be crafted by the goddess Hylia as a Goddess Sword and eventually reformed into a Master Sword by the Goddess’s chosen hero. It is used to repel forces of evil and most of the time, the final bosses of the campaign.
Demon-Slayer Sword (Black Clover)
The Demon-Slayer Sword (also known as the Black Divider) is an Anti-Magic weapon that can nullify almost any kind of spell it gets in contact with. Its flat and broad shape can be used to block or deflect offensive magic, while its blade edge can be used to cleave a wider area. It is currently in possession of Asta, a member of the Black Bull Squad of Magic Knights.
Guarthang (The Children of Hurin)
Gurthang, meaning “Iron of Death”, is also known as Gurtholfin or “Wand of Death”. It is a black sword reforged from the shards of Anglachel, one of the swords forged by Eol the Dark Elf. The black color of the blade came from the color of the meteorite from which it was formed. Despite being black, it glows with a pale fire within it. It is the same sword that allowed Turin Turambar to do great, but sometimes senseless acts. It shattered into pieces when he killed himself with the sword.
Andúril (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Anduril, also known as the Flame of the West, is a sword reforged from the broken shard of Narsil, the sword of Elendil that cut the One Ring from the fingers of Sauron. It was given by Elrond of Rivendell to Aragorn II Elessar for him to claim the throne of Gondor as the rightful heir of Isildur.
The Sakabatō (Rurouni Kenshin/ Samurai X)
The Sakabatō (Reverse-Blade Sword) is the renowned sword of Himura Kenshin, forged by master swordsmith Arai Shakku. It is an odd weapon with its sharpened edge found on the opposite side of the blade. It was forged as a holy sword, an offering to honor the peaceful Meiji Era. It also signifies the end of Himura Kenshin’s work as a hitokiri (man-slayer or assassin).
Cool Sword Names
You have witnessed a lot of sword names just by reading through our sword name guide. But have you considered giving your sword name a cool name? A Cool sword name is defined by being intriguing, interesting, memorable, and cool-sounding. While there might be many definitions of cool sword names, the most important aspect is the meaning behind the name or the story behind it. Check out some of the best examples of cool sword names and their meaning.
“fast”, ideal for a lightweight sword
A sword name ideal for a truthful and just swordsman
From the Norse “blar” (black) and “brandr” (blade); a black blade.
“Shortest or Longest Day”, is a perfect sword name representing day and night—a balance between the two.
Describes a sword that can inflict painful or lethal wounds.
“Fire” in Spanish, an ideal name for a fire-red blade, or a flaming sword.
“Destruction” in Filipino. A nice sword name for a very destructive sword.
“God’s Wrath”. An ideal name for a holy blade that can indict judgment to evil.
From the terms “Nova” (explosion) and “skera” (to cut). A magical sword name for an overwhelmingly powerful sword.
“Treeless Plain”, is often associated with mountains or lands with cold climates. This is an ideal sword name for a frost-imbued sword.
The Sword Name Generator
Sometimes it is tedious to think of unique sword names for your story, campaign, or games. To address the need for producing sword names, readily available sword name generators online can be used. A sword name generator is a sword-specific name generator that gives name suggestions for your story. On top of that, these name generators are automated, powerful, and unique. They are very helpful for game designers and creative writers because they speed up name searching and name formulation. Users can use the suggested names of the name generator and modify it as they see fit—or they may use the name as is without violating any copyrights for the name!
There are a lot of name generators online, it would be great if you choose a sword name generator that can give you more cool and realistic names. Some of the few things you should look into when looking for an ideal sword name generator are:
- The uniqueness of the name suggestions
- The assortment of names it gives
- Can suggest many names at a time
Additionally, a good sword name generator should follow the correct naming conventions we use to name swords.
Sword name generators are free to use and can be accessed online via browsers—no need to download! This makes it more versatile and “on the go” when you need it most. Don’t be shy and try a sword name generator now!
Wrapping Things Up
To wrap things up, here are some of the main ideas you discovered while reading our article.
Swords and blades are one of the common weapons associated with fantasy games, especially in role-playing, medieval, and action-packed themed games. They are also a major concept mentioned in old mythologies, Legends, and fantasy novels.
There are 6 main Sword Types according to their distinct features:
- Straight Swords – doubled-edged sword constructed with a straight blade.
- Curved Swords – a single-edged sword with the blade focused on the curved side. Ideal for slashing motion.
- Thrusting Swords – Pointed swords with no sharp edges. Ideal for stabbing and thrusting thick-plated armor.
- Single-Edged Straight Swords – Straight swords that focus on one edge, making it ideal for dealing heavy slashes than a double-edged sword.
- Japanese Swords – Sword designs that are exclusively created in Japan. They are curved swords but exhibit unique designs against common curved swords from Europe and the Middle East.
- Fantasy Swords – Swords that are non-existent and cannot be built in real-life. They only exist in fictional literature or games.
Sword names are created based on their accomplishment, characteristics, purpose, or based on the name of the owner. To make sword name generation easy, one can use a Sword Name Generator.
A sword name generator is a sword-specific name generator that gives name suggestions for swords. These name generators are automated, powerful, and unique—which are very helpful for game designers and creative writers who want to speed up name searching and name formulation. They can use the suggested names for free without violating any copyrights for the name,