Give Me a Sword

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A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
Richard III Act V, scene iv

An unarmed character faces a fight. Another character must give him a sword or other weapon, or something such as a horse needed to enable him to fight.

Wrecked Weapon may lead to this, or having a sword jam in the wound so the character can't pull it free.

It's often a tribute to the fighting skill of the unarmed man or Fire Forged Friendship of the one who gives it—especially if he does not use the Stock Phrase but the other characters do so anyway, or someone else says "Give him your sword." Location may also be significant—throwing a sword to a man who is toe-to-toe with the monster is only prudent (and avoids Throwing Your Sword Always Works). Of course, failure to do that get the inverse effect, which may shade into The Dog Bites Back, if a Mook refuses to give the Big Bad something without which he is powerless and helpless.

Unlike It Was a Gift, this is temporary, especially for the Cool Sword and other weapons not easily replaced. Expect the character to return the weapon after the fight, with thanks. If he is then told to keep the weapon, it transformed into It Was a Gift as well; it is a particularly strong tribute, particularly with the Cool Sword or other unusual weapons.

Will certainly occur if needed for Combat by Champion. May occur for Duel to the Death, though other character may defuse that one.

Examples of Give Me a Sword include:

Anime and Manga

  • Mazinger Z: In Mazinger-Z vs Great General of Darkness -the movie retold the last chapter of Mazinger Z in a severely improved way, closing off the original series and kicking off the sequel, Great Mazinger-, Kouji has been defeated by the Mykene War Beasts, his Humongous Mecha is utterly trashed, it barely functions, and its weapons are useless. Then Tetsuya shows up piloting Great Mazinger, and as he begins to deliver a sound beating, he throws one of his swords at Mazinger-Z saying "You can use this" (and conveniently and intentionally impaling a Warbeast). Kouji catches the sword, and even though his Humongous Mecha is barely capable to move, he still manage to destroy one of the Mykene War Beasts, and he impales the Mykene commander was leading the squad. The swrod was returned to Great Mazinger afterwards, along a heartfelt "Thank you".
  • In The Familiar of Zero, Saito's first combat experience is a duel with a student mage (and noble) who forges him a sword on the spot. After beating Saito to a pulp.
  • In the One Piece Arlong park arc, Zoro is two swords short of his usual three, and therefore unable to fight effectively. The gaping hole in his chest doesn't help either, but the POINT is, that when faced with Hachi's six sword style, he says screw it, and asks for his old friends Johnny and Yosaku's swords. They throw them without hesitation, then freak out when Zoro doesn't seem to be looking at the SPINNING SWORDS OF DOOM heading toward him. But that's only cause he's being extra badass, and catches the sword without looking, and swings immediately into an attack that dodges all six swords and slashes the octo-man's chest.
  • In Berserk, Guts's sword is broken while fighting General Vascogne. Zodd appears and throws his own giant sword into the middle of the duel, which Guts them picks up and uses to win the fight.
  • Inverted in Corsair, when Shirokko challenges Canale to a duel, something which Canale has refused many times before. This time his lover Ayace throws his own sword at him and tells him he has to fight.


  • In Gladiator, Maximus disarms Commodus in the arena, and Commodus immediately starts demanding one of the surrounding Praetorian Guard to give him a sword. If he hadn't recently and publicly dishonored his own royal guards, they might have given him one. In contrast, Juba had previously thrown Maximus a sword when he didn't ask for one.
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Occurs twice at the beginning of the fight with the statue of the Hindu goddess Kali. First Sinbad throws Prince Koura a sword so Sinbad can duel him, then Koura throws the sword to Kali. After Kali snatches it out of the air she "grows" another sword in each of her other five hands.
  • In Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, a Setting Update that uses the original dialogue, Capulet's "Fetch me my longsword!" moment involves a Longsword-brand shotgun. Opinions differ on how effective this is.
  • The Four Musketeers, during the duel in the flaming side-building of the convent from which the heroes are attempting to rescue Constance. Porthos just yells "Sword! Sword!", but Aramis does comply.
  • During the arena scene in Attack of the Clones, two other Jedi give Anakin and Obi-Wan lightsabers.
  • In Ace Ventura : When Nature Calls Ace gets a spear thrown into his leg while fighting a tribal native. He shouts for his sidekick to throw him a spear, which he does... stabbing him in the other leg.
  • Mister Arrow (Sam the Eagle) rushes to provide Captain Smollett (Kermit the Frog) with a sword in Muppet Treasure Island.
  • Done with shields in the duel scene in The 13th Warrior. Each combatant is given three shields to use. When a shield is broken, fighting stops so that the combatant can retrieve his next one. It's a foregone conclusion that once you're out of shields, you're doomed, but it turns out that the older, smaller Viking didn't even need a shield to win at any time.
  • In The Vikings, Ernest Borgnine is thrown into a pit of wolves. If he doesn't die with a sword in his hand, he won't go to Valhalla. Tony Curtis defies the villain by throwing him one, and has his hand cut off as punishment.
  • Happens repeatedly in one battle in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Elizabeth, Pintel, and Regetti have, between them, two swords and the eponymous chest and they're being chased by Davy Jones's men. In the running melee, they keep tossing each other the swords and taking turns running with the chest.
  • In Lethal Weapon, during Riggs' fight with Mr. Joshua, Mr. Joshua grabs a metal pole and begins swinging at Riggs. Murtaugh then tosses Riggs a nightstick so that he has a fighting chance again.
  • Subverted in Wyatt Earp. A prisoner, faced with a lynch mob, screams at his jailer to give him a gun so he could defend himself. The jailer, Wyatt Earp, tells him that if he doesn't shut up he will give him over. Then he walks out and talks the mob down.
  • In the original Clash of the Titans, one of Perseus' friends tosses him his sword so he can fight off a giant scorpion.
  • In Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian, Octavius throws Jedediah his sword, with the traditional (though more literal than usual) "You have my sword". Then calls out "Sword!" and is tossed one of his underlings' swords.
  • In The Thief of Bagdad, Ahmad says "Give me a sword!" in Basra so that he can fight Grand Vizier Jaffar who has usurped him, but not only does nobody give him a sword, he's blinded by a magic spell and his friend Abu the Thief is turned into a dog.
  • Two examples from John Wayne films:
    • In Rio Bravo, there is an exciting moment when the bad guys have John T. Chance (Wayne) where they want him in front of a saloon, but then suddenly Feathers (Angie Dickinson) throws a plant pot through the window and simultaneously Colorado (Ricky Nelson) throws a rifle to him.
    • In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Tom Doniphon (Wayne) silently signals to Pompey (Woody Strode) to throw him the rifle as they watch the showdown between Liberty Valance and Ransom Stoddard.
  • In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Luke, Han, and Chewbacca are sentenced to a long and painful death by being forced to jump into a Sarlacc's pit. Luke signals to R2, who is on a gliding barge several hundred yards away, to get his lightsaber ready. Luke then steps off the plank, grabs it, uses it to launch himself in the air while R2 shoots his lightsaber to to him, catches the lightsaber, does a front flip, and begins to kick ass.
  • In In Bruges, Ken, in a tower, arms his friend Ray, at street level, with a pistol by throwing himself out the window. Of course, after impact the pistol is a pile of rubbish. Ken's near-last words: "Okay I think you're gonna die now."
  • In Three Amigos, Ned Nederlander (played by Martin Short) is forced to demonstrate his movie-star gunfighting for real by dueling a German pilot. One of the banditos gives him a (very heavy) gun to do it with - and despite the added weight, Ned wins.
  • In The Quick and the Dead, Cort has to call desperately for a bullet after his first shot fails to kill Spotted Horse. (He was only allowed one bullet per duel so he wouldn't be tempted to try to shoot his way out.)


  • In The King Must Die, when Theseus is fighting a duel, his spear breaks, and his men throw their spears about him so he can pick one from the ground. His foe did not get such treatment when his weapon broke.
  • In Piers Anthony's Centaur Aisle, the king demands a sword to fight his Evil Uncle; this is shot down because on one hand, the sword is magical giving him an unfair advantage, and on the other hand, if the magic is not used, the king is wounded and so his uncle has an unfair advantage.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novel Deus Sanguinius, when Mephiston let Rafen act as the Blood Angels' champion, he ordered a sergeant to give Rafen his sword. Later, he orders that Rafen be given a jump pack so he can pursue his foe.
    • In Red Fury, when Rafen has his back to the Tomb of Sanguinius, and has pierced one heart of the Blood Fiend trying to desecrate it, Mephiston throws him his Cool Sword so that Rafen can get its other heart.
  • Happens with Cohen the Barbarian and Twoflower the tourist at the end of Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times. Twoflower has no chance to win against the Big Bad of the story either way of course, but Cohen gives him a sword anyway as a sign that he takes his wish to fight him seriously.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novel Blood Pact, Wes Maggs asks this, repeatedly. Unfortunately, while delirious he had attacked the prisoner they were protecting and Gaunt's not sure he can trust him. He ends up taking a gun from a downed foe, and Gaunt does not object.
  • In Dune, when Paul challenges Feyd Harkonnen, the emperor offers his own sword to the latter, who readily accepts.
  • In Andre Norton's The Prince Commands, Michael loses his horse in battle and asks for another; an officer immediately orders for a horse for His Highness.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora: After Locke convinces the Spider to let him go so he can fight the Grey King, the Spider's lieutenant hands him a sword and says, "Get it wet. With my compliments."
  • An interesting variant occurs in the Nibelungenlied. Hagen von Tronje, a heroic/villainous knight trapped in a building with his fellow nobles and warriors, faces the hero Rüdiger von Bechlarn, whom he has previously sworn friendship to (they are forced to fight by a code of honor and oaths). Hagen requests a shield, as his is broken, and Rüdiger offers his.
    • This enables Rüdiger to fulfil his duties as Etzel's vassal (his liege has ordered him to attack Hagen and co.) without completely breaking his oath of friendship to the Nibelungs—he is giving one of them material aid. And so it is significant that Hagen asks Rüdiger for a shield rather than just picking up one of the dozens lying on the ground.
  • Eragon. After losing his somewhat evil sword, he has to create his own sword. As an added bonus, it's essentially indestructible and has a tendency to ignite itself with minimal provocation.
    • Not really fitting, as he spends quite a long time making do with falchions, staves and magic before finally discovering how to forge his new blade.
  • The Nutcracker
  • In Mort, Death's servant Albert goes back to the Unseen Univerity, and starts acting like a Bad Boss. When Death comes to take him back he hisses to the cowardly Rincewind for his staff, but Rincewind doesn't give it. The other wizards praise him afterwards, until Rincewind admits he couldn't find the staff. The Librarian makes it clear he took it, with an 'ook'.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Jaime recalls how Ser Arthur Dayne hacked the Smiling Knight's sword to pieces with his own Thunderbolt Iron blade. Ever chivalrous, Dayne paused and allowed the bandit to retrieve another sword, then killed him.
  • In Night Club from Jiří Kulhánek, one of characters kick sword in midle of fight towards unarmed companion. His comment goes along the line of "Its a wonder I dont have it sticked in belly"
  • Near the end of Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief, when Gen parts ways with the magus' party, pursued on its way back to Sounis by Attolian soldiers, and the magus is hurt by his distrust and shouts at him, Gen (the only one not armed, who hid from the last fight up a tree) sighs and tells him, "Leave me a sword, and I'll do my best to slow them down." He regrets it right away, and the magus doesn't take him seriously, since everyone knows he's a Street Urchin. Sophos leaves him his, though, since it's not use to him really. Gen lies in wait on top of a large rock and comes very close to wrecking a whole cavalry unit on his own and getting away with it. We learn later that Gen takes the sword by the blunt part the top of the blade because he swore an oath never to hold a sword by the hilt again unless his life was in danger.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Shadow Giants. At the climax of the novel, Achilles orders Suriyawong to shoot Bean, but Suriyawong merely slides his knife over to Achilles, echoing an earlier scene in the novel when they first met.

Live-Action TV

  • In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds accidentally challenges a nobleman to a duel and has to be provided with a sword... and a crash course in using it.

Use of a sw- what?

  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger lend each other weapons all the time, but episode 4 takes this up to a whole other level. When Ahim finally comes to understand Joe's desire to take out the Monster of the Week by himself, she shows it by lending him her cutlass so he can use the two sword style he's been practicing. When this turns out to be insufficient, the other three rangers throw him their swords as well.
  • Highlander the Series: In "The Messenger" Richie has been listening to an immortal impersonating Methos, who's telling other immortals to live in peace and put their swords down. He's left his sword behind, and gone to talk to the guy, only to find he's been killed already by the bad guy of the week, Culbraith. Duncan ends up throwing Richie his sword so he can fight Culbraith.
  • Nikita throws a gun to Owen in Dark Matter, when he runs out of bullets.

Oral Tradition, Myths and Legends


Capulet: What noise is this? Fetch me my long sword, ho!

Video Games

Master Chief: I need a weapon.

  • Happens whenever a character with no weapons is recruited mid-chapter in Fire Emblem. It's normally stated to be "spare weaponry"; examples include the generic soldiers giving Lucius a tome of magic/vulenary, and in the fan-made hack Tactics Universe, in Chapter 7; Siegfried gives out weapons/vulenaries to the prisoners he rescues... even if your weapons are likely to be breaking. with no "spare weapons" being given out. Um.
  • Played Straight in the Kirby series when you fight Meta Knight, he will throw you a sword and will not attack until you draw it from the ground. Subverted in Revenge of Meta Knight though as he will attack after a set period of time.
    • He waits a decent amount of time, considering that the battle takes place on a falling airship. If he waited forever, it'd be suicide.
    • Also happens in Kirby and The Amazing Mirror: after killing the dark mirror version on Meta Knight, a portal appears and sucks in all four Kirbys. The moment this happens, Meta Knight chucks his sword into the portal, giving you a rather potent weapon to use against the final boss.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganon knocks the Master Sword out of Link's hand and Zelda uses magic to hold Ganon back so that Link can retrieve the Master Sword.
    • Can be a potential subversion if you did the traders miniquest and obtained the biggeron sword. As Ganon knocks the MASTER sword out of links hand, but theres nothing stopping him from whipping that out right after.
      • You can also use the Megaton Hammer during this part. However, while the Hammer/Biggoron's Sword will do damage to the boss, only the Master Sword can kill him, leading to a great many to whack on Ganon for a ridiculously long time with the Biggoron's sword, wondering why the hell he wouldn't die, only to fall over dead directly after looking at the Master Sword.
  • Happens in Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire for Fighter class heroes. Though the Hero can destroy the Earth Elemental via other means (if you can use magic or buy flaming powder), if he aims for Paladin, he can ask Rakeesh for his flaming Cool Sword for the fight (since he can't fight it himself, being injured ; and since a mundane sword won't hurt the thing), and then have A Taste of Power of what it is to wield a Paladin sword. Rendered even more awesome in the game ending, if the Hero actually accumulates enough honorable deeds for Rakeesh to stand witness for the Hero, and bestow him the title of Paladin along with the Cool Sword, combining it with It Was a Gift.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features this trope in the last mission. As your entire team lay dying on a wrecked bridge, Big Bad is executing team members as he walks among them, Capt. Price slides his pistol over to you, enabling you to exact vengeance upon your hapless opponent.

Capt. MacTavish: This belongs to you, sir.

Web Comics

  • In this page of Girl Genius, the Jägers are having their regularly scheduled evening bar fight, with no weapons allowed.

Zeetha: Well then! Give me a chair!

Western Animation

  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Quack of Ages" Darkwing has gone back in time and appears as a knight. In the midst of combat he calls out, "A sword, men!"—and is promptly buried under a mound of blades, from under which comes a feeble, "A tourniquet, men".
  • In ReBoot AndrAIa throws her trident to Matrix when Megabyte doesn't fight fair.
  • In Justice League Unlimited Batman subverts this trope with Lex Luthor of all people.

(Batman winds up back to back with Luthor while they are fighting Darkseid's Para-Demons)
Luthor: Problem?
Batman: I'm out.
Luthor: Here, take my extra. (Hands gun over shoulder)
Batman: Not my style.