Back in the first season of Game of Thrones some characters were discussing famous dragons of the past, and they mentioned one name that pricked the ears of all the real fantasy nerds in the audience - Vermithrax, the dragon from Dragonslayer! Tonight the show got nerdy yet again, and they dropped the name of one of fantasy's most famous blades, but you really had to be listening to pick it up.
When Joffrey receives his wedding gift from his father, a sword forged from the Valyrian steel that was in Ned Stark's Ice, he begins swinging it about and calls for ideas for names. There are a couple of shouts from off-camera, but one suggestion really caught my attention:
That's the name of the sword wielded by Elric, the albino emperor and sorceror created by Michael Moorcock. In the novels - specifically Stealer of Souls, Stormbringer and a few others - the sword is a real pain in the ass, being a demon in the form of a sword. It was created by the forces of Chaos, and it is able to cut through just about anything that isn't magically protected. The demon inside the sword - Shaitan - drinks the souls of those it kills, and sometimes places a bloodlust upon Elric's mind to force him to kill.
Stormbringer is one of the most famous swords in fantasy fiction (and the Elric stories among the genre's greatest - we've been waiting a long time to see this stuff brought to screen), but it wasn't the only fantasy sword mentioned tonight. Another suggestion was Terminus, which is the name of the sword in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series... which I must confess I haven't read. It's one of the gaping holes in my genre knowledge, even though its blend of science fiction and high fantasy has always intrigued me. Maybe this episode has given me the kick in the butt to pick it up.