Shakespeare once cautioned us that "some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." And throughout history, Destiny has found some pretty ingenious ways to get her various Chosen Ones into power – whether it be through the word of some politically minded deity, an unstoppable army of Twitter bots, or an enchanted sword stuck in a rock by a wizard.
So when an 8-year-old named Saga Vanecek pulled an ancient sword from Sweden's Vidöstern lake this Summer, people knew what Fate was trying to tell us.
"I was outside in the water, throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip, and then I found some kind of stick," the epically named miniature heroine told The Local.
"I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said 'Daddy, I found a sword!' When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it," she explained.
After asking around at work for clues about the find, Saga's father was put in contact with Annie Rosén, an archaeologist at the Jönköpings Läns Museum.
"When I saw the pictures, I got goosebumps," Rosén told local news outlet Värnamo Nyheter. "I had to go straight to the family even though I was on vacation."
The sword is exceptionally well preserved. Measuring 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) in length, the find even included the weapon's scabbard, made from wood and leather. Initially, the experts at the museum estimated it to be 1,000 years old – but they now think it could be even older, possibly from the 5th or 6th century CE. This would mean that the relic predated the Viking age by 300 to 400 years.
The unexpected discovery has prompted teams of archaeologists, including staff from the museum, to search the lake for other ancient finds. But although conservation staff are currently working to reveal the details of the sword, there are other mysteries that have yet to be solved.
"Why [the sword] has come to be there, we don't know," Mikael Nordström from Jönköpings Läns Museum told The Local. "When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword, so that means – we don't know yet – but perhaps it's a place of sacrifice. At first we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don't think that anymore."
Of course, if Twitter is to be believed, the reason for the sword is obvious: Saga, like 7-year-old Matilda before her, may not be the hero we were expecting, but she's definitely the hero we need.
Still, not everybody is convinced. As a wise man once said: "Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."