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The hero needs a weapon. Maybe his Ancestral Weapon sword was broken by the villain and needs to be repaired. Or maybe the weapon he has just isn't good enough. At any rate, he needs, not just any sword, but the right sword.
And the right sword must be custom forged.
Thus, we get a Forging Scene. A skilled blacksmith, perhaps even a magical smith or the hero himself will take molten iron (Thunderbolt or otherwise) and hammer it into a war-worthy weapon with his own two hands, making sure you see how much effort is going into making it and how beautiful the end product is.
When done in a graphic medium, this will give the artist an opportunity to depict flickering firelight and shadows and splashes of brilliant color — which is a major reason for having one of these scenes.
The heat of the forge is also conducive to Fan Service. Though female smiths are not unknown, the vast majority of these sequences will be conducted by some brawny male figure, largely due to the popularity of Hot Men At Work — and despite the obvious danger from spurting flames and shooting sparks, such a scene will often (as in the page picture) be conducted as a Shirtless Scene, as well.
Anime and Manga
- In Berserk, Guts has maintenance done on his Dragonslayer via this.
- In the anime version of Sakura Taisen, after Sakura breaks her sword, it had to be reforged back. No shirtless men, since they are mostly elderly.
- Queen's Blade: the female Fanservicey version done by Cattleya, less so by Ymir.
- Usagi Yojimbo: The comic has a segue about a Japanese swordsmith making a Katanas Are Better, beginning with a forging scene with a team of strikers that is as much religious ritual as it is craftsmanship.
- Planet Hulk ends with Hulk and Hiroim forging the sword Hulk would go on to use in World War Hulk. This is done with the Book Ends narration "This is the story of the Hulk....and how he finally came home." over a shot of the Hulk pointing his still cooling sword at an image of Earth on the screen.
- Throughout the early issues of Walt Simonson's run on Thor, we get the occasional one-page shot of a mysterious being forging a sword... with the sound effect DOOM! every time the hammer comes down. It's Surtur preparing for Ragnarok.
- Steel usually does this every time he makes a new suit of armor.
- Though it doesn't quite meet the fanservice aspect of this trope, the Guardian Ganthet is shown forging his own ring in this fashion when he decides to become a Green Lantern.
- Conan the Barbarian starts with the forging of the Father's Sword.
- Ash's chainsaw hand in Evil Dead 2. Ash's gauntlet and later the deathcoaster in the Army of Darkness.
- In the Iron Man film, there is the scene of Robert Downey, Jr., hammering away on a metal sheet, sweating in the forge-light...which makes the women (and some of the men) in the audience go weak at the knees.
- The second movie has Ivan Vanko making his own arc reactor and suit, and later Tony creating a new element to power his arc reactor in his lab.
- The Lord of the Rings movies have one each for the Ring and for the reforging of Anduril.
- The female blacksmith of A Knight's Tale notices that the main character wears armor that wasn't made for him. She volunteers to make him some that's so light-weight he wouldn't know he was wearing it. After she is finished the knight is presented with a suite of shiny new armour.
- Siegfried forges a sword (starting at 2:20) in the first part of Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (1924).
- Highlander III the Sorcerer film has Connor's sword shattering, meaning he goes home to Scotland to reforge his Katana.
- Fridge Brilliance: The forging of a katana is as much a spiritual act as a physical one, so it only makes sense that he'd return to the place where not only did he first realize his immortality, but where he spent the happiest part of his life in his marriage to Heather.
- Rambo III had a scene where the eponymous hero forged his new battleknife, but it was cut from the final version. ** The fourth movie has a such scene.
- Will gets a forging scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, which would later go on to provide the beat for the Stupid Statement Dance Mix.
- Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus has one such scene, where Aidan forges the Wand of Light for Annika.
- How to Train Your Dragon, as Hiccup forges not a weapon, but an artificial wing to harness Toothless' flying ability.
- Interesting example in Dragonslayer. The titular weapon was forged before the events of the film by the village blacksmith, but hidden because the kingdom decided to appease the dragon instead. But, while it is a nasty spear, the main character is pretty sure it's not good enough, so he uses his magic to heat the blade to a temperature greater than a forge can reach. The original smith starts hammering the heated blade again, and in the next scene it's pretty much a medieval lightsaber.
- Robert Jordan's The Dragon Reborn: Perrin assists a blacksmith for a while, who lets him keep the hammer, which represents his desire to stop being a warrior and become a leader.
- Perrin gets another Forging Scene in Towers of Midnight, when he and the Asha'man Neald forge Mah'alleinir, Perrin's new Shadowspawn-smiting warhammer and the first Power-wrought weapon in three thousand years.
- Older Than Feudalism: The forging of the Shield of Achilles in The Iliad. Shamelessly ripped off by some upstart in The Aeneid.
- Happens in the Finnish epic The Kalevala quite a lot.
- Oddly averted in The Lord of the Rings, in which the re-forging of Anduril is mentioned, but not emphasized and not given its own separate scene.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms has the forging of the three brothers signature weapons: Zhang Fei's long spear, Guan Yu's hefty pole arm, and Liu Bei's double swords.
- There's one in The Amber Spyglass, when the gang reforges the Subtle Knife. In an interesting variation, the blacksmith is a bear.
- Even more interesting is the smith's using the hero's body to forge the eponymous sword in Brisingr.
- Emperor: The Field of Swords has a scene in which Cavallo, a Spanish blacksmith, shows the Roman smiths how to use charcoal to make a gladius of steel rather than iron. Renius watches, since he has become curious about how the swords he uses every day are actually made.
- Frequently done when badgers are involved in Redwall.
- The forging of Gram, sword of the hero Sigurd, by the smith Regin, in the Volsunga Saga and the Poetic Edda — fairly short but effective.
Live Action TV
- How It's Made, which is basically a half hour of these. Similar titles include Factory Made, How Do They Do It?, and subversion, Deconstructed.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys often featured these.
- In Sharpe's Sword, after the titular character's sword is broken and he is grievously wounded, Harper convinces a priest (who was quite a swordsman, in his day) to give him one of the priest's collection of old swords, so he can fix it up into a proper replacement.
- Villain example in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: Bandora's goons and a kidnapped child named Shigeru forge Durandal for Dora Knight. The sword will not harm its maker, making the Zyurangers have to bring Shigeru aboard Daizyujin in order to win the battle.
- Neal of White Collar' does this gratuitously and often. He's usually forging a painting, but the season two episode "When in Burma" has him forging a ruby in a nice wifebeater.
- The Grave Digger song "Sword", from the Rheingold album, depicts such a scene.
Steel by steel
- Dio has a new sword forged for him in the Holy Diver video.
- In the middle of the epic half-hour Manowar song, Achilles, Agony and Ecstacy in Eight Parts, there's a five-minute-long drum solo called Armor of the Gods, which represents Hephaestus forging Achilles' armor. It's awesome.
- The Prose Edda has one for the forging of three magical items by the dwarf Sindri, culminating in the creation of Thor's hammer Mjolnir. Loki tries to interfere with each of them, but at his best managed a partial success with the third.
- Siegfried's forging of Nothung in Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried of the Ring of the Nibelung tetralogy.
- The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past the dwarven smiths can be asked to improve your sword, which leads to a Forging Scene.
- In The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass you need to forge the Phantom-Sword.
- Parodied in Oracle of Ages: In order to reforge the broken sword, you have to win a minigame which has very much nothing to do with the forging itself but amusement for the smith.
- It doesn't help that said smith usually refers to this minigame as
a trapan important ritual which must be completed.
- It doesn't help that said smith usually refers to this minigame as
- The infamous forging-subquest for the Awesome but Impractical two-handed Biggoron-Sword.
- In the Hordes of the Underdark expansion of Neverwinter Nights, there is a blacksmith who can enchant your sword. The first time he does it, it plays an animation accompanied with Crowning Music of Awesome.
- The cinematic when you start up the game also shows shots of a man forging a sword, interspersed with shots of the man fighting a minotaur.
- The player character invokes a forging scene every single time he has to create or temper a sword in Legend of Mana. This gets very, very tedious fast.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Jedi Knight's tutorial quest ends with the construction of their lightsaber.
- In Dragon Age Origins, whichever Paragon you side with at the end of the Orzammar quest chain will forge a crown for whoever you choose to be the new king of Orzammar. It's kind of
weirdawesome seeing a huge steel golem do this if you choose Caridin.
- Summon Night Swordcraft Story, both 1 and 2, have brief forging scenes whenever you create a new weapon.
- The opening cinematic of Vagrant Story has one of these, in between shots of dragons and a dancing girl with a sword balanced on her head.
- A critical sequence in Chrono Trigger has the Masamune being reforged; Lucca can even pitch in and help out.
- Whenever you forge a new weapon in Overlord, you are treated to a short smelting animation. Preceded by possibly hundreds of your minions happily jumping into the smelter.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade has the same one each time you commission a new sword from Muramasa. Since there 108 swords in the game, you'll see this cutscene a lot. Fortunately it's skippable.
- In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, anytime the player goes to work at a smithing station, an animation will play of the character doing various smithing tasks in the background while you're putting together or upgrading the armor, weapon, or jewelry in question. There are different animations for different stations, be they a forge, a grindstone, smelting in a furnace, making leather on a tanning rack, or hammering plates of armor on a workbench.
- Appears, of course, in Order of the Stick, with the reforging of Roy's greatsword intercut with shots of other characters preparing for the upcoming story arc.
- One of the promotional shorts made for Halo 3, Arms Race, is pretty much entirely a Forging Scene, showing them building weapons, vehicles, even giving soldiers buzz cuts and outfitting them with equipment.
- Dr. Horrible gets one in the third act of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, when he converts his stun ray into a death ray.
- Sokka's "space sword" in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- In the "Pastoral Symphony" sequence of Disney's Fantasia, Vulcan forges thunderbolts for Jupiter to hurl at Bacchus.
- The second intro to the Iron Man animated series features one of these, courtesy of Tony Stark himself. Most other versions have a slightly different kind of montage, but that one has the scene complete with hammering.
- In Justice League, Superman, finding himself thousands of years in the future against giant mutant animals and without his powers, forges a blade using road flares, a sledge hammer, and a metal rod. It was pretty epic.
- Parodied on The Simpsons, when a big burly blacksmith is shown hauling molten metal and clanging away with large tools, in order to build... a tiny key that unlocks Bart's chains.
- In season 1 finale of Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man has a forging scene making new armor for himself. Also works as a shout-out to live-action movie.
- An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 features Leonardo recovering his confidence after a brutal battle by forging new swords for himself.
- As translated by John Dryden