Singing Sword

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Prince Valiant wields the Singing Sword in Hal Foster's Prince Valiant (June 19, 1938).

The Singing Sword is the primary weapon of the fictional character Prince Valiant, a Knight of the Round Table in the service of King Arthur, in the long running comic strip Prince Valiant, created by Hal Foster in 1937.

The Singing Sword's first appearance in Prince Valiant lore came in the "Ilene Abducted" story, first published in 1938. In this story, the original owner of the sword is Prince Arn of Ord, Valiant's rival for the beautiful maid Ilene. The two men put aside their differences when their beloved is kidnapped by Viking raiders. Arn lends Valiant the charmed sword so he can hold off their pursuers while Arn rides ahead to free Ilene. The pair's efforts prove futile; they discover she was killed in a shipwreck. Arn gives the Singing Sword to Valiant following this adventure, and the two part as friends. Later in the series, the Singing Sword is established as a sister to King Arthur's Excalibur.[1]


On October 20, 1991, the animated television series The Legend of Prince Valiant offered its own telling of the Singing Sword's origins. In an episode entitled "The Singing Sword," Valiant follows his best friends Arn and Rowanne to Bridgeford, where he learns they have been captured by the ruthless Baron Duncan Draconarius. They are sentenced to death as part of the Baron's plot to keep Camelot a secret from his subjects. Rowanne's father Cedric lends Valiant the Singing Sword to aid him in overthrowing the Baron. According to Cedric, the sword was forged from the same metal as Excalibur and will be safeguarded by his family until its true owner appears. The sword "sings" during Valiant's duel with Draconarius, indicating that Valiant is a just, pure-hearted man and the sword's destined owner. It sings a second time when Arn wields it while liberating a monastery. Valiant sees this as a sign that Arn is ready for knighthood and uses the sword to dub his friend Sir Arn of Camelot.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Donoghue, Steve. Open Letters Monthly, "Prince of a Lost Realm".
  2. ^ Moca, Diane Joy. "Medieval Adventure", Chicago Tribune, September 02, 1991.
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