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From the ashes a fire shall be woken,The crownless again shall be king.
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
As it sounds. A blade, once broken, reforged! It's probably the Sword of Plot Advancement or Infinity+1 Sword, but it could also just be the hero's signature weapon, if it got broken somehow. In reality, going through something like this would weaken the integrity of a blade, if it is possible at all (realistically "reforging" a blade would be melting down and recycling the metal as well as adding some new metal if you want a same sized blade, effectively making it a new sword, which might be handy for Unobtainium). In fiction, they might actually come out of the reforging STRONGER than they went in.
If the sword was broken "in ages past", you may have to hunt down each individual fragment separately in order to put it back together, which makes them Plot Coupons if it's for the Sword of Plot Advancement. You may also need to track down some "legendary smith" to do the actual forging.
Anime & Manga
- Pretty early in Rave Master the Ten Commandments broke. They brought it to the smith who forged it originally, "Musica," the old one. The sword is stronger thanks to advances in technology.
- Reforged again by "Musica", the young one, toward the end of the series.
- Inuyasha has the Tessaiga break; when repaired it's harder to use at first. This actually follows a somewhat more Applied Phlebotinum version of realistically needing to add more material, as while the first sword was made from Inuyasha's father's fang only, The Blacksmith needed Inuyasha's own fang to reforge the sword. Because of this, Inuyasha had to rely on his own power to wield the sword, while beforehand he was relying on his father's power, effectively riding daddy's
coattailstail. Since Inuyasha's power was inferior to his father's, this initially rendered the sword so heavy it was difficult to wield.
- Samurai Troopers (aka Ronin Warriors) has a truly bizarre reforging scene. In it, Ryo climbs inside Mount Fuji and throws the broken blades of his Rekka-ken into the magma. The volcano erupts, and Ryo catches some of the magma on the broken hilts, which forms itself into new blades.
- This is the special power of Kubikiri Boucho ("Decapitating Carving Knife") in Naruto. Even if it's broken, it will always be remade... because it actually absorbs the iron from the blood of its victims to repair any damage it suffers.
- In Gundam SEED Astray, Lowe Guele's Gerbera Straight is broken by Rondo Ghina Sahaku, so he returns to the Hermit Guru who crafted it in the first place. Instead of reforging it himself, the old man teaches Lowe how to do it because he knows he's going to die soon and wants his craft to live on in a worthy successor. In a subversion, the repaired Gerbera is just that -- repaired -- and not made anything really amazing. On the other hand, Lowe uses his knowledge along with a giant hunk of Thunderbolt Iron to forge a 150-meter-long Gerbera Straight which can only be wielded by his Gundam's Meta Mecha.
- In The Lord of the Rings, there was Narsil, sword of Elendil, which was shattered in the Siege of Barad-dûr -- but the hilt-shard cut the One Ring from the finger of Sauron, thus winning the war. Much later, they were reforged for Aragorn's use and renamed Anduril. He never really DOES much with the sword, but since it serves as a symbol of his status as the Returned King, and since the reforging was part of a series of prophesied events leading up to the final fall of Sauron, it qualifies as a Sword of Plot Advancement.
- Note that in the movies, it's reforged much later than in the novels.
- In The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, the eponymous sword is a major plot point: it's a doomed sword of evil doom. Skafloc (the protagonist) travels to the edge of the earth to get it re-forged by epic giants. It's a weapon that makes its wielder almost invincible in battle, but once it's been drawn, it has to taste blood. Ultimately his own.
- In Mossflower of the Redwall series, the book starts with Martin getting his Ancestral Weapon wrecked by Tsarmina, and wears the broken hilt around his neck for much of the story, until it gets reforged (with metal "from a fallen star", no less), and becomes the legendary blade that shows up in the rest of the series.
- At one point in the His Dark Materials trilogy of books, Iorek has to reforge the Subtle Knife when Will breaks it, although Will is warned that it won't be quite as strong again.
- Lightning, Alanna's Sword, in the Song of the Lioness quartet. It was shattered by an Artifact of Doom sword, and no blacksmith could reforge the magical blade. Alanna later came up with a solution and, with a combination of magic and help from a goddess, combined the wrecked blade with that of the sword that destroyed it, reforging it as a new weapon.
- A recycling variant appears in A Song of Ice and Fire, where the longsword 'Oathkeeper' that was given to Brienne of Tarth is one of two swords forged from the Valyrian Steel left by melting down Eddard Stark's greatsword Ice.
- In Jennifer Roberson's Tiger and Del series, Tiger's original sword is shattered, but reappears down the road. Tiger's leery about using it because he feels that reforging a broken blade makes a sword more likely to break in the future, and thus, untrustworthy when fighting for your life.
- In Saga of the Volsungs, the smith Regin, with the help of the hero Sigurd, reforges the pieces of Sigurd's father Sigmund's sword into the sword Gram, with which Sigurd will later kill the dragon Fafnir. This is very likely the Trope Maker (note that other versions of the Sigurd legend such as the Eddas or the German Nibelungenlied don't have this trope). Richard Wagner repeated this version in his Ring of the Nibelung cycle of operas, and it was also quite unambiguously the inspiration for JRR Tolkien's use of the trope.
Live Action TV
- Xena's chakaram had been broken into two pieces and they had been magically reforged into a new weapon that can transform into two blades.
- In Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, episode III (Day II), Siegfried reforges Nothung by grinding the original sword into metal filings, melting it down, and casting it anew. This is, of course, based on the Sigurd legend as told in Volsunga Saga.
- Note that he did all this without the slightest idea of what he was doing. The sword was originally broken by Wotan (Odin) in part I, and in the end Siegfried uses the reforged sword to defeat him. The point is that human instinct (particularly for love) is more powerful than the wisdom of the gods.
- In Vandal Hearts, one of your main purposes during your quest is to obtain the legendary sword Vandal Heart. However, if you take on a number of subquests along the way - collecting all the Spheres, passing all the Trials, obtaining all the Keys -- then towards the end, you can upgrade the main hero, Ash, into the 'Vandalier' class, which makes him virtually invincible and turns the rest of the game into a cakewalk. As part of this transformation, the Vandal Heart is turned into the even-stronger Vandal Heart Reforged.
- Exile has a very old-school example in the Demonslayer -- a very good (but not Infinity Plus One) sword that is, however, extremely good against Demons -- which is important, since one of your main quests is to slay the Demon Prince. In order to reforge it, one must first collect all the scattered pieces and then have it reforged by a famed master smith.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 has the Silver Sword of Gith, which is reforged near the endgame. Notably, in the original campaign there's still pieces missing (one of which is embedded in your chest). It's not until the expansion that the sword is completed.
- Chrono Trigger has the Masamune (Grandleon in the Japanese version), which was broken in half and has to be restored to advance in the game, since it's the only weapon capable of harming Magus.
- In Ultima Underworld, the Sword of Justice needs to be reforged by the dwarven smith, Shak. You must find both pieces of the sword first.
- In the fourth and fifth Fire Emblem games, you can repair fully broken weapons, and they'll be good as new.
- The Picori Blade from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, which is broken, fixed, and eventually upgraded to become the Four Sword.
- Likewise, the sword upgrade in Oracle of Ages involves reforging a broken blade. Whether it's the Noble Sword or the Master Sword you're reforging depends on if you've played Oracle of Seasons first.
- The Master Sword isn't exactly broken in Wind Waker, but it's lost its magical power to repel evil, which must be restored by having sages pray musically in the hearts of dangerous monster-infested ancient temples.
- Fall From Heaven: Age of Ice does this with the Godslayer; indeed, the main point of the 'Age of Ice' scenario is to seek out the scattered fragments of the Godslayer, since only that weapon can bring down Mulcarn, the God of Winter. The actual reforging is passed over lightly, and was apparently performed by Kylorin the Archwizard himself -- so presumably, it was magical in nature, rather than involving hammers and anvils. Of course, considering the intense magic held in those shards, it may have just spontaneously reassembled itself when all the pieces were gathered in one place.
- The first Broken Sword game has the antagonists trying to reforge the eponymous weapon in the belief it will restore their order to glory. The heroes stop them.
- In Atelier Iris 2 The Azoth of Destiny After beating Chaos at the Guardo Drive, Felt tries to land a final blow. Only to be turned to stone by Chaos's ultimate attack. Just before Felt fully transforms, his magic talking sword uses up all of its power to attack Chaos which causes the magic crystal powering it to break. After Felt is restored his sword loses all of its magic. You spend the next chunk of the game hunting down rare alchemic ingredients to create a new crystal to repower it. However before fixing it Felt can still use his magic sword skills, which is probably a form of Gameplay and Story Segregation
- In Baldur's Gate 2 this is done with several artifact weapons, like The Equalizer and The Wave.
- A similar example from Knights of the Old Republic is the Wookiee ceremonial weapon Bacca's Blade. The hilt is with Chuundar, who may be in charge, but is anything but honorable. The blade was broken off in a sacred hunt, and (if the player chooses), can be recovered and given to Chuundar's (and Zaalbar's) exiled father. If you choose this route, the blade will be re-forged, and is one of the better non-lightsaber blade weapons.
- In League of Legends, Riven the Shattered Exile had a pretty cool sword, but broke it in rage when he found out about Noxus' corrupt government. Her ultimate has her reform it, giving her a large power boost and a shockwave attack.
- In The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, Mehrunes' Razor was stolen in the backstory and lay disused in the thief's tomb long enough for it to rust. Mehrunes Dagon reforges it for you.
- Trueflame was originally used by Nerevar in ancient times, then reforged in Tribunal so the Nerevarine could use it (or not) to fight Sotha Sil, but Almalexia framed, then killed him and tried to kill the Nerevarine.
- Skyrim has Wuuthrad, a giant two-headed axe and chosen weapon of the ancient hero Ysgramor, must be reforged in order to complete the Companions questline. The scattered pieces serve as sort-of Plot Coupons.
- Mehrunes' Razor is also a Reforged Blade. Again.
- The Greatsword of the Wolf Knight Artorias from Dark Souls was lost when he made a pact with the Abyss and was slain by his former comrades. The true divine Greatsword of Artorias can be reforged using a broken sword and the soul of Artorias' most loyal companion the Great Grey Wolf Sif. Alternatively, Sif's soul can "corrupt" a normal sword to reforge the cursed Greatsword of Artorias (the original sword was cursed when Artorias made his pact).
- The legendary Northern Regalia from Demons Souls was split into two swords, Soulbrandt (which becomes stronger if its wielder follows the path of Demons) and Demonbrandt (which becomes stronger if its wielder follows the path of Humanity). The original sword can be reforged using the two swords and the False King's Demon Soul.
- The hereditary Greenhilt Sword from Order of the Stick, which got broken by Xykon during Roy's first confrontation with him. Reforged with Starmetal, it's now a Plus Five Sword, with extra bonuses and neat glowy effects against Undead.
- In a recent development (published July 2010) in Looking for Group, Pella reforged the Sword of Truth into two new swords for Cale: Evil and Good
- In Thundercats, the Sword of Omens is broken and reforged twice over the course of the series.
- In Bionicle, there is a subversion, in that the Spear of Fusion used by Vezon was broken in half by Reidak. Vezon managed to fix it using the Spear's own powers. Unfortunately, Jaller used his powers to burn it to a crisp when Vezon encounters the Toa Inika again.
- Played straight, subverted or averted entirely in real life. You could theoretically repair a broken sword (played straight), but it's difficult and usually requires complete reforging of the weapon, meaning that for historic practical use, it may just be easier to get a new one (averted).
- Averted in the case of one particular weapon in an Oslo museum, which had the tip re-sharpened after the end broke off, as if the owner saw the bill for a sword repair and thought "screw it".