There are many different weapons in today's geek culture, from Thor's hammer Mjolnir to Jayne Cobb's trusty rifle Vera. My personal favorite weapon, and the weapon used very frequently in geek culture is the sword. Now without further ado, here are some of the most well-known swords in geek culture.
Technically speaking, lightsabers are in fact swords. A saber is actually a kind of sword, so lightsaber basically means light-sword. If you need further proof, take what Count Dooku says at the beginning of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith:
"Your swords please. We don't want to make a mess of things in front of the Chancellor."
Now that we have established that a lightsaber is a sword, we can move on. Lightsabers, first introduced in the original Star Wars (1977), are now a common household staple. I myself have three plastic lightsaber toys in my basement from when I was younger. I would commonly go over to my neighbors and clash blades for hours, all the while imagining I was a Jedi Knight (or Sith Lord, because somebody has to be the bad guy).
The lightsaber has carried on through all six Star Wars films and animated television shows. Along the way, it has developed some modifications, such as Darth Maul's double-bladed saber,
or Kylo Ren's new cross-guard saber.
There are plenty of blades to choose from in the Tolkien universe (or Tolkienverse if you prefer), but it's pretty obvious that the most well-known is Bilbo's trusty dagger, Sting.
Sting is first introduced in J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece of a novel The Hobbit. The sword was found by Bilbo Baggins in a troll cave, and it has remained as a staple of the franchise ever since. Sting carried on through The Lord of the Rings book trilogy and the cinematic adaptations of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The sword was forged by elves, and glows blue whenever orcs or goblins are nearby. This has helped both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, as the glowing sword has often alerted them to the presence of danger.
Halo is most known for being a science-fiction first-person shooter, with loads of military and alien guns to choose from. However, the most popular weapon in the game full of tanks, grenades, and machine guns, is in fact a sword.
The sword differs in the game because rather than the long-range rifles that are ever-present in the game, the energy sword needs only a single hit to kill even the toughest of foes.
Many cosplayers have made replicas of the energy sword, and they are currently grossing approximately forty dollars on Ebay.
George R. R. Martin has a habit of naming his weapons in the Game of Thrones world, from Ice to Needle, but the most iconic around nerds would be Jon Snow's trusty sword, Longclaw.
The character Jon Snow acquired the sword when Commander Mormont was attacked by a white walker. Jon and his dire-wolf named Ghost rushed to the rescue, and Mormont thanked Jon by presenting him with Longclaw. Appropriately enough, the hilt is topped with a white-wolf's head, the same color of Jon's wolf.
Longclaw has been referenced in The Big Bang Theory, when Leonard and Sheldon go to the comic-book store to start a sword collection, after they decide not to get Sting, from The Lord of the Rings.
The Master Sword
On of the earliest games I can remember playing is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I remember thinking that the Kokiri blade that you start out with was somewhat weak, and when I finally unsheathed the legendary Master Sword out of its pedestal, I felt complete.
The Master Sword has served as the upgrade weapon in most Zelda games. You usually started out with a weaker blade, but through a series of temples and dungeons, you end up acquiring the Master Sword. Often times, such as in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the sword is mandatory in vanquishing the main villain (usually Ganondorf).
The Master Sword is known to have several unique properties, although the most notable is the ability to shoot out beams of energy. In the first games,you could shoot beams when your health was full, but in the most recent Skyward Sword, you could charge your energy beams by aiming the sword towards the sky.
The Sword of Gryffindor
Harry Potter is rivaled only by Game of Thrones in recent franchise success, and even a series about wizards and Death Eaters has a trademark sword. The sword first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as the weapon that Harry used to slay the monstrous Basilisk.
Although the sword took a break for the majority if the remainder of the franchise, it still played a major role in the finale of the series, both to destroy horcruxes and to kill Voldemort's pet snake Nagini (which technically was a horcrux as well).
The sword was made by goblins, and it has the ability to "take in that which makes it stronger". It basically can absorb substances, like Basilisk venom, to become more powerful.
While it is not the most visually recognizable sword on this list, it is widely the most well-known. If you've ever heard of King Arthur, you have probably heard of the legend where young Arthur is the only man able to pull the legendary sword from the stone.
Excalibur is that sword. Every major story involving special sword in some way has its roots set in the classic sword in the stone story. Just think of the sword of Gryffindor. Harry is only capable of pulling the sword from the hat because he was worthy, just as Arthur was worthy enough to wrench the sword from the stone. Even Link had to pull the Master Sword from the pedestal in The Legend of Zelda.