A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to weapons & armour


Archipelagan armour of the period of Maharion was of gilt bronze; little is known about later styles. The band of Kargish warriors who attack Ten Alders wear heavy defensive gear including bronze helmets and greaves, breast-plates of heavy leather and shields of wood and bronze. The Godking's soldiers are distinguished by red-plumed helmets. Court dress for Kargish warriors during the time of the High King is silver mesh armour interwoven with feathers, with plumed headdresses

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Selidor, FS; Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW


Also known as: Knife

Daggers and knives are commonly carried as weapons throughout Earthsea. As a boy, Ged has a bronze knife given to him by his father. In Atuan, he carries a steel dagger with a jewelled hilt, sheathed at his hip, which he breaks trying to tunnel to water in the Labyrinth. Lebannen always wears a steel dagger in a sheath. Osskilian freemen wear a long knife at their hip. A pearl-hilted knife is mentioned in the Ninety Isles. Knives are also mentioned as weapons in Ten Alders and Re Albi (Gont), Hort Town (Wathort), Sosara (Lorbanery) and Astowell (made of shell).

One of the One Priestess's traditional accoutrements is a little steel dagger, a miniature of a sacrificial knife with a four-inch blade, worn attached to her ring of keys; it is thrown and caught in one of the dances of the Ceremonies of the darkness. Other uses for knives mentioned include chopping food, carving wood (eg Ogion at Re Albi, Murre on Iffish), pruning vines (Coney on Way) gelding animals (on Gont) and extracting maggots from sheep (Rose of Old Iria)

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Iffish, WoE; The Man Trap, ToA; Voyage, ToA; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; Palaces, OW

Erreth-Akbe, Sword of

See Sword of Erreth-Akbe


See Dagger

Serriadh, Sword of

See Sword of Serriadh

Sword of Erreth-Akbe

Also known as: Erreth-Akbe, Sword of

The oldest sword in the world; set into Tower of the Kings of Havnor City on Havnor, after Maharion retrieved it from Selidor where Erreth-Akbe was slain. Described as a 'slender steel blade'a, it is explicitly said to be older than the Sword of Serriadh, suggesting that it must have had many previous owners before being passed down to Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The Great Treasure, ToA; The Masters of Roke, FS; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Palaces, OW (a)

'"On the highest of all the towers, the Sword of Erreth-Akbe is set, like a pinnacle, skyward. When the sun rises on Havnor it flashes first on that blade and makes it bright, and when it sets the Sword is golden still above the evening, for a while."'

[The Great Treasure, ToA]

Sword of Serriadh

Also known as: Serriadh, Sword of

Second oldest sword in the world (after the Sword of Erreth-Akbe), it belonged to Serriadh, the son of Morred and Elfarran. It is handed down among the Princes of Enlad and is held by Lebannen in The Farthest Shore. The sword is plain, with a cross-hilt of silvered bronze

'This had never been laid away or hoarded up, but worn; yet it was unworn by the centuries, unweakened, because it had been forged with a great power of enchantment. Its history said that it never had been drawn, nor ever could be drawn, except in the service of life. For no purpose of bloodlust or revenge or greed, in no war for gain, would it let itself be wielded.'

[The Masters of Roke, FS]


The king's guards at Havnor City carry swords and bows. The Gontish village of Ten Alders defends itself with hunting bows, bronze knives and makeshift spears. The band of Kargish warriors who attack Ten Alders carry swords and the long Kargish lance. Other weapons mentioned include handaxes on Astowell (made of shell), a bronze-headed throwing spear on Obehol, long whale-ivory harpoons by the Children of the Open Sea and multiple references to bronze or steel daggers or knives (see dagger). No firearms of any description are mentioned

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW

Related entries: War; Soldiers; Armour



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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