Originally posted on October 12th, 2012 by Medieval Collectibles
The Lord of the Rings has been enchanting and engrossing readers for decades. The world of Middle Earth and the history of the races of men, dwarfs, hobbits, elves, and more is richly imaginative, and continues to captivate with the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films from Peter Jackson. The cinematic vision of the Lord of the Rings has roused a whole new generation of fans and rekindled the passion of long standing devotees of the literature. A grand part of the legend and lore of the Lord of the Rings are the weapons that are wielded by the heroes and villains of Middle Earth. Renowned sword and knife craftsman, United Cutlery, has painstakingly recreated some of the epic weaponry used in the films. Medieval Collectibles is proud to offer these storied weapons that will engage and delight Lord of the Rings fans for decades to come.
Narsil was forged during the First Age by Telchar, a Dwarven smith. The sword was carried by the king of Numenor and was passed down with each generation. The most famous bearer of Narsil was Elendil. Elendil wielded the mighty blade during the final battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor. In the battle the blade was shattered and Elendil was killed. Isuldur, son of the king, hefted the shattered hilt of the sword and cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron the enemy. The shards of Narsil were then passed as an heirloom by the heirs of the throne of Gondor until it settled into the hands of Aragorn the son of Arathorn.
“…and the sword of Elendil filled Orcs and Men with fear, for it shone with the light of the sun and of the moon, and it was named Narsil.” ~The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Glamdring, translated as Foe-Hammer, was forged for the Elf Turgon, the King of Gondolin during the First Age. The extraordinary blade was wielded only twice in battle before going missing for some 6,000 years. Gandalf the wizard stumbled on to the sword in a troll’s cave during the adventures of Bilbo and the dwarves and claimed it for himself. Gandalf wielded Glamdring (also known as “Beater” by the Goblins) during the Lord of the Rings saga, and it is now kept safe in the treasure vault at Minas Tirith.
On the sword it reads, “Turgon aran Gondolin tortha, Gar a matha I vegil Glamdring Gud Daedheloth, Dam an Glamhoth.” Which means, “Turgon king of Gondolin wields, has and holds the sword Glamdring, Foe of Morgoth’s realm, hammer to the Orcs.” This was a strengthening spell to protect the user’s hand should an actual blow strike it.
Sting was ancient, Elvish long knife crafted during the First Age. It was lost along side Glamdring and Orcrist during the Fall of Gondolin. It resurfaced thousands of years later when it was claimed by Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire, and carried on his adventure with the dwarves to the Lonely Mountain. Though only a knife by elven standards, Sting made a perfect short sword for Bilbo and his diminutive statue. The blade glowed blue when orcs and goblins were close by. Bilbo later entrusted Sting to Frodo Baggins during his task to destroy the One Ring. After the defeat of Sauron, Frodo entrusted Sting to Samwise Gamgee and it became an heirloom of his family.
Legolas was a Sindarin Elf of the Woodland Realm, and one of the Fellowship of the Ring. “He was as tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship.” Along with his trusty bow, Legolas goes close combat with “a long white knife.” In the film adaptation Legolas carries two beautiful, crossed blades intricately detailed with elven patterns.
Gandalf the Grey used his Staff of Power as his primary weapon to channel his Wizard powers. The staff was a long, gnarled brown wood beset with a jewel at the top which would light up at his command. Also a useful walking stick to Gandalf, he wielded and walked with it through his adventures to Erebor with Biblo Baggins in The Hobbit and again into the depths of Khazad-Dum with Frodo Baggins during the Lord of the Rings. There, under the mountain, Gandalf encountered the Balrog of Morgoth and faced off against him with his staff and sword.
Narsil was forged during the First Age by Telchar, a Dwarven smith. The sword was carried by the king of Numenor and was passed down with each generation. After the blade was broken during the final battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor its shards were then passed as an heirloom by the heirs of the throne of Gondor. Aragorn son of Arathorn is the bearer of the blade when he has it forged anew by Elven smiths in Rivendell before setting out on his journey as one of the Fellowship of the Ring. There the sword is renamed Andúril, and is carried throughout the Lord of the Rings.
“The sword of Elendil was forged anew by Elvish smiths, and on its blade was traced a device of seven stars set between the crescent Moon and the rayed Sun, and about them was written many runes; for Aragorn, son of Arathorn was going to war upon the marches of Mordor. Very bright was that sword when it was made whole again; the light of the sun shone redly in it, and the light of the moon shone cold, and its edge was hard and keen. And Aragorn gave it a new name and called it Andúril, Flame of the West.” ~The Fellowship of the Ring, The Ring Goes South
The Witch King of Angmar was, at one time, a man. He was given one of the nine Rings of Power given by the Dark Lord Sauron, and was eventually completely corrupted by it, turning him in to a wraith. The Witch King became the leader of the Nazgûl and Sauron’s second in command. The Witch King wielded a might broad sword, an ancient, dark weapon forged in Mordor. It is possible the blade was possessed of some dark magic, but the sword alone was weapon enough to cut down many in battle.
Hadhafang was inspired by western cavalry sabers and the Assyrian sickle-sword, and does not appear in the books of the Lord of the Rings. The sword and its history were conjured by Peter Jackson for the film versions of the books. In the films the sword is said to have once belonged the Elven princess Idril, the mother of Eärendil, the father of Elrond, who in turn was father to Arwen. Elrond wielded the blade during the battle between the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Years later, Arwen carried the weapon and defended Frodo Baggins with it as they fled from the Ringwraiths.
The blade is inscribed with Cirth runes in Sindarin that say “Aen estar Hadhafang i chathol hen, thand arod dan i thang an i arwen.”, which translates to “this blade is called Hadhafang, a noble defense against the enemy throng for a noble lady.” (In Sindarin “Arwen” actually means “noble (or royal) woman”).
Gimli the son of Gloin and one of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, was one of the Dain dwarves. Dain dwarves were described as wielding “two-handed mattocks” and in the films Gimli uses no less than five axes in varied circumstances. Dwarves used pole weapons to extend their reach and impact, and they were very effective in battle with them. Additionally, these axes could be used as walking sticks or any number of other useful tools.
The elves of Tolkien’s classic tales The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were craftsmen of legendary blades like Glamdring, Sting, and Anglachel. However, it is left to the imagination of the reader and of filmmakers like Peter Jackson to envision what a traditional, widely used elven warrior sword might look like. Taking into consideration the craftsmanship and artistry of the elves, we are given the High Elven Warrior Sword. An elegant but deadly weapon of staggering beauty and effectiveness in war.