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Excalibur: the legendary sword of King Arthur and the go-to name when you need a magic weapon. Anyone, and everyone, will have to find or has found Excalibur at some point in their life (well, that may be exaggeration... slightly). Given its status as a Public Domain Artifact, there are quite a few works and other media references to it, not to mention the mess of actual and popular mythology about the Arthurian legend.
Classically, Excalibur was the sword given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake as proof of his fitness to rule Britain. It may or may not have been originally created by Merlin. It is frequently confused with the Sword in the Stone, called Caliburn, which is a different and slightly contradictory legend, although also called Excalibur in at least one version, and the two are distinct... maybe -- the myths are not entirely clear on this subject. This makes it really easy for authors to get them mixed up.
Oh, and the original spelling might have been Caledfwlch.
To avoid confusion when adding examples, please refer to the following pages:
- Excalibur (film): The Movie.
- Excalibur (Comic Book): The Marvel Comics comic, and its character sheet.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Examples of items like the other sword which can only be used by the Chosen One.
- The Sword in the Stone: The Disney film about the other sword.
- Excalibur in the Stone: The confusion about which sword Excalibur is in media.
Other tropes frequently associated with Excalibur:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade
- Ancient Artifact
- Cool Sword
- Empathic Weapon (occasionally)
- Finders Rulers
- Infinity+1 Sword
- It Was a Gift
- King Arthur
- Lost in Imitation
- MacGuffin (when not actually plot-relevant)
- Named Weapons
- Public Domain Artifact
- Sadly Mythtaken
- Shrouded in Myth
- Stock Weapon Names
- Sword of Plot Advancement
- Excalibur! Excalibur! From United King, I'm looking for him, I'm going to California! Excalibur! Excalibur! EXCALIBUR!
- Though definitely not the actual sword, HolyAngemon and Seraphimon's Laser Blade Below the Shoulder in Digimon Adventure is called Excalibur.
- The name is taken for a Humongous Mecha sword used by the head of the Knights of the Round in Code Geass.
- Featured in the Marvel Universe in a trilogy of Iron Man stories.
- Later shows up in Captain Britain and MI-13.
- Hellboy (comics) as the last living descendent of King Arthur is offered Excalibur so that he can raise an army to fight the Queen of Blood (a.k.a. Nimue).
- The Shining Knight in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers wields the sword Caliburn Ex Calibur.
- In Mage Kevin Matchstick gains the ability to wield the magical baseball bat Excalibur.
- In the strip "The Jocks and the Geordies" from The Dandy, the Geordies once decided to search for Excalibur in hopes that with it, they could rally all the great Geordie hard men and batter the hell out of the Jocks. They failed dismally in this hunt, so instead they faked up an Excalibur from tin foil, which did the job just fine.
- In Camelot 3000, King Arthur must retrieve Excalibur from the lake, which is now the cooling pond for a nuclear power station.
- Monty Python and The Holy Grail, identified properly as the sword bestowed upon Arthur by the Lady in the Lake, but serving no actual plot purpose.
- In Quest for Camelot, Excalibur is lost and becomes the MacGuffin as the heroes quest to find it and save the kingdom. Sir Ruper, the Big Bad, seeks the sword so he can magically bind himself to it and become invincible.
- In King Arthur (film) (2004), Excalibur / Sword in the Stone is retrieved by young Arthur from his father's grave.
- Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur is widely considered the definitive version of the Arthurian legend.
- T.H. White's The Once and Future King.
- In The Dark Tower, Roland, a descendant of King Arthur, wields guns forged from the blade and hilt of Excalibur.
- In The Dresden Files, it's heavily implied - and eventually confirmed in Ghost Story - that Michael Carpenter's sword Amoracchius is Excalibur. He even mentions that, in the past, a wizard (Merlin) held on to it between wielders.
Live Action TV
- Merlin (TV series), of course. It was created in the episode called "Excalibur", has been thrown into the lake by Merlin, was retrieved by his watery girlfriend, and is currently residing in a large stone. Interestingly, three seasons in and it has still not been named or identified as the legendary Excalibur, nor wielded by Arthur himself.
- As of the end of the fourth series, Excalibur has been pulled out of the stone and is in Arthur's possession, but still hasn't been called "Excalibur" yet.
- Appears in the Doctor Who story Battlefield, where it is key to resurrecting a King Arthur from an Alternate Universe. Only, Arthur's really long dead...
Truth In Television
- Truth In Television from which the Excalibur myth was taken: in ancient times, aging celtic heroes threw their inherited, heirloom blades into the swamps to appease the spirits who dwelt there, who presumably kept their weapons safe after they died. They've found tons of swords buried in the former lake around the former isle of Avalon, aka Glastonbury Tor.
- The Final Fantasy series has featured Excalibur or variant spellings as a weapon in nearly every game. If there's a sword wielding character, you can bet they'll end up wielding it.
- Several games in the series feature a shoddy knock-off Excalipur. Sometimes it's pretty good if you throw it. It's usually found in the hands of Gilgamesh, who has once again mistaken it for the real deal.
- Final Fantasy IX has, in addition to the regular old Excalibur an even better Excalibur: Excalibur 2. It's pretty much impossible to get without specifically trying for it.
- Sonic and the Black Knight
- Deconstructed in Tomb Raider: Legend, where the concept of Excalibur as a Public Domain Artifact is explored.
- Backyard Skateboarding has the unlockable Excaliboard (obviously based on Excalibur).
- In Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Dark Dawn, the Excalibur is one one of the strongest swords in both games and obtained by forging an orihalcon with a 5% probability.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow had the Excalibur show up as a sword in the stone...amusingly enough, Soma's not the chosen one who can free it, so instead he swings the massive bolder the sword's attach to as well as the sword itself.
- In the French language translation of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Master Sword is referred to as "Excalibur".
- In the NES game Day Dreamin Davey, one Medieval stage has Davey overcome all obstacles in order to find the sacred sword Excalibur, only that the "sword" that he has imagined is actually a ruler while he's sitting in the corner in class.
- Excalibur appears in Magicka in a similar fasion as it does in Chronicles of Sorrow; Sure, you can't use it as a sword, but it makes a damn good mace in the mean time.
- In Nethack players can recieve Excalibur by dipping a Longsword into a fountain if they are Lawful.
- In the webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space, Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, allows people to believe his sword is the legendary Excalibur as a PR exercise. This is the sword that ends up in the stone, while the real Excalibur is in the care of the Lady of the Lake.
- That is, when it's not a starship, a global corporation, a marshal's badge ... .
- In Homestuck, one of Dave's sidequests in Sburb was to find and retrieve Caledfwlch, aka the Legendary Piece of Shit. It was embedded in a stone, and rather than attempting to pull it, he felt he instead had to break it out. Davesprite had already done the same before travelling back in time, and had already alchemized it into the superior Caledscratch, making the Caledfwlch more or less useless... for a while.
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Excalibur is originally wielded by legendary Silver Age hero Excalibur, who eventually hands it down to his son, the Bronze Age hero Pendragon. Pendragon is currently training his own son to take up the heroic mantle when he comes of age.
- Gargoyles. King Arthur appeared, albeit sans Excalibur. He eventually retrieved it, but not without a clash with Macbeth.
- Thundercats. In the 1980s Thundercats, Mumm-Ra seeks out a weapon powerful enough to defeat the Sword of Omens. The only weapon without question powerful enough to do the job is Excalibur. Through trickery Mumm-Ra obtains it and defeats the Sword of Omens after the swords fight on their own. It looks like evil wins until Merlin shows up, takes back the sword and kicks Mumm-Ra's ass.
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