First seen
Last seen
Seen in
Mentioned in
Created by
Destroyed by
Possessed by
Captain Hook (formerly)
Emma Swan (formerly)
King Arthur (formerly)
Rumplestiltskin (formerly)
Used for
Sword fighting
Snuffing out either light or dark magic
Controlling person bound to the sword
S1 - S2 - S3 - OW - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7

Excalibur, previously known as the Holy Grail, is the mightiest sword in all the realms, powerful enough to vanquish any enemy. It was forged by the great sorcerer Merlin when he wanted something powerful enough to cut away both his magic and his immortality, but unfortunately it was snatched away by the equally powerful first Dark One, who broke it against the Flame of Prometheus in which it was forged, making it into two separate weapons. Merlin and his Apprentice hid the sword in a stone to keep it safe, where it was prophesied to be drawn by King Arthur. Excalibur is meant to have the power to either snuff out all light magic or all dark magic, hence it is so heavily sought after by both those of the good and evil persuasion.


Before the Curse

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Excalibur is forged from the Holy Grail by Merlin. ("Nimue")

A man named Merlin finds the Holy Grail and drinks from it, and it gives him magical powers and turns him immortal. Centuries later, he falls in love with Nimue, a mortal. Wanting to grow old with her, he decides to cut himself from his magic so he can be mortal again. He uses the Flame of Prometheus to reforge the Holy Grail into the sword Excalibur. However, Nimue previously became immortal after drinking from the Grail and later becomes dark after killing Vortigan. Fearing Merlin will take her powers, she smashes Excalibur, severing the tip from the blade. ("Nimue") To keep Nimue's darkness from destroying the realms, Merlin turns the tip of the sword into a dagger and binds her to it so she can be controlled. He places the other part of the blade in a stone, which can only be pulled by the kingdom's true ruler. ("Lost Girl"/Nimue")

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Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone. ("The Dark Swan")

Centuries later, a young boy by the name of Arthur begins getting dreams, prophesying him to become the king of Camelot after pulling a sword from a stone. ("The Broken Kingdom") When Arthur grows up, he and his fellow knights manage to track down Excalibur. After witnessing it disintegrate Sir Kay, Arthur steps forward and successfully pulls it from the stone...only to discover it is missing its tip. He and his knights decide to lie and the quest to find the missing piece begins. ("The Dark Swan") Arthur returns to his village to show them Excalibur, but he hides the broken tip. Arthur's quest to complete Excalibur spirals him into madness, leading his wife Guinevere to retrieve the missing half. Instead, she returns with magical sands that make anything appear fixed. An angry Arthur ends up using the sands on his wife and kingdom. ("The Broken Kingdom") When Prince Charming feels like Snow White has lost herself, he uses a fake Excalibur to convince Snow into believing she is the true ruler of her kingdom so she'll stand up to the Evil Queen. ("Lost Girl")

After the Second Curse

Season 5

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King Arthur welcomes the residents of Storybrooke. ("The Dark Swan")

As the residents of Storybrooke stand beside Granny's Diner in the woods, which they used to travel to the Enchanted Forest, King Arthur, who is carrying Excalibur, and his knights, including Percival, arrive on their horses. Protecting her friends from potential danger, Emma asks who they are, so Arthur introduces himself and explains that they've come to find them. A confused Hook asks what he means, so Percival tells Arthur they think their arrival a surprise. Snow asks if he was expecting them, so Arthur explains that Merlin their arrival a long time ago. Emma questions where the wizard is for she was told that he's missing and Arthur confirms that he has been for years, but not for much longer, because according to the prophecy, they're destined to reunite them with Merlin. The king then escorts the group back to Camelot, taking them all inside the castle where they're welcomed by trumpets. ("The Dark Swan")

Before the Third Curse

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Arthur and Guinevere discuss making Excalibur whole. ("The Price")

After entering the castle, Arthur introduces his guests to Guinevere and then shows them the tree Merlin is trapped in. After a ball is held in their honor and Percival ends up dead, Arthur and Guinevere discuss reuniting Excalibur. ("The Price") Arthur carries Excalibur with him when the group discuss ways to free Merlin, but leaves it behind when he goes on a quest to find the Crimson Crown. Upon returning, Arthur knights David with Excalibur. ("Siege Perilous") Arthur reveals to David that Excalibur is broken and asks his help to unite it with the dagger. However, he and Snow trick Arthur into revealing his dark intentions. They detain him and take Excalibur, but Guinevere shows up to rescue the king and take the sword back. ("The Broken Kingdom") After Merlin is rescued, he calls Arthur a disappointment. The king draws Excalibur in a rage, but Merlin comments that they both know it cannot hurt him since it is broken. ("Dreamcatcher")

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Emma tethers Hook to Excalibur ("Birth")

Arthur teams up with Zelena and she manages to tether Merlin to Excalibur, meaning Arthur can use it to control the sorcerer. ("Nimue") Arthur takes Emma's friends and family hostage and uses Merlin into threatening her to give the dagger and Flame of Prometheus. A fight ensues and Arthur ends up losing Excalibur...although he manages to cut Hook's neck with it. Emma attempts to reunite the sword and dagger, but Hook's neck wound reopens and he starts dying. Emma tethers him to Excalibur, taking Merlin's powers in the process. He then becomes a second Dark One. ("Birth") Emma goes to find Hook, and when she does, lies about having Excalibur. He leaves, upset by her lack of faith, but she later summons him and gives the sword. However, Hook reveals he embraced the darkness and wants revenge on Rumple. He enacts a Dark Curse, and to prevent anyone stopping him, he sends Excalibur back to its stone. When the sword appears in the stone, Arthur becomes confused. ("Broken Heart")

After the Third Curse

Season 5

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Excalibur is reforged. ("Nimue")

When Arthur and Guinevere reunite in Storybrooke, the latter points out Excalibur is missing. That's because the sword is in Emma's basement in its stone. She attempts to pull it out, only to be rejected by it. ("The Price") Emma steals one of the dwarf's pickaxes and attempts to use it to cut Excalibur from the stone, but she fails. After Rumple wakes from his coma, she brings him to her basement. ("Siege Perilous") Emma tells Rumple that he's the only one who can pull Excalibur from the stone, but she must make him brave first. ("The Broken Kingdom") After Emma sends Rumple away to train with Merida to make him brave, Hook, Regina, Belle and Robin break into the house and find Excalibur. ("Dreamcatcher") After training with Merida, Rumple successfully manages to pull Excalibur from the stone for Emma. ("The Bear and the Bow") Now holding both Excalibur and the dagger, Emma uses the Flame of Prometheus to reunite them, forging Excalibur into its whole self. ("Nimue")

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Excalibur is destroyed after Hook's sacrifice. ("Swan Song")

After Emma saves Hook from Arthur, she reveals to the king that Excalibur is whole. She later reveals her plan to transfer the darkness into Zelena and kill her to destroy it. Her family arrive to stop her, but she freezes them, only to be frozen by Hook. Zelena returns Hook's memories of becoming a Dark One, so he takes Emma's memories and the sword. ("Birth") Hook uses Excalibur in a sword fight against Rumple, but ends up losing Excalibur to him. ("Broken Heart") Rumple hands Excalibur over to Emma so she can destroy the darkness, but she ends up losing it to Hook. When he's just about to send everyone to the Underworld, Emma manages to get through to him and he has a change of heart. He absorbs the darkness from all Dark Ones into Excalibur and gives it to Emma so she can stab him. She reluctantly does, seemingly destroying Excalibur and the darkness. However, Rumple reveals to her that he used a spell to transfer the darkness back into him, making him a Dark One once again, and he comes back into possession of the dagger. ("Swan Song")