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Encyclopedia > Angrist

This is a list of noted weapons from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium.



Aeglos (or Aiglos) was a spear that belonged to Gil-galad. Its name means "snow-point" or "snow-thorn" (aeg: sharp, pointed; los: snow).

Anglachel and Gurthang

In The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien, Anglachel (meaning Iron of the Flaming Star in Sindarin) is a sword smithed by Eöl the Dark Elf. It was one of two swords Eöl forged out of a black meteorite: the other, Anguirel, he kept for himself. Eöl gave this sword to Thingol as payment for staying in his forest, Nan Elmoth, though he did not relish giving it away. Thingol's wife, Melian, prophesied the following:

"There is malice in this sword. The dark heart of the smith still dwells in it. It will not love the hand it serves, neither will it abide with you long."

Thingol gave the sword in keeping to his subject Beleg. Whenever Beleg took the sword out of its sheath, the sword is said to have sung with gladness.

At one time, Beleg was unbinding the unconscious Túrin, who had been held captive. However, whilst undoing his bonds, the sword slipped or fell and cut Túrin in his foot. Túrin then woke, and not knowing who it was, slew Beleg with Anglachel, a mistake that he mourned for a long time.

Túrin was then given the sword by Gwindor, and Túrin travelled to Nargothrond, Gwindor's place of birth.

Anglachel was then re-forged by the expert smithies at Nargothrond, and was re-named by its new keeper, Túrin, to Gurthang, which means Iron of Death. When Turin discovered that Nienor was his sister and that she had killed herself, in despair he fell upon his sword.

'Hail Gurthang! No lord or loyalty dost thou know, save the hand that wieldeth thee. From no blood wilt thou shrink. Wilt thou therefore take Turin Turambar, wilt thou slay me swiftly?'

And from the blade rang a cold voice in answer: 'Yea, I will drink thy blood gladly, that so I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and the blood of Brandir slain unjustly. I will slay thee swiftly.'


Was one of the two swords forged by Eöl the Dark Elf from an iron meteorite. The other, Anglachel, he gave to Thingol for leave to dwell in Nan Elmoth, but Anguirel he kept for himself.

It was later stolen from Eöl by his son Maeglin, when he and his mother Aredhel fled Nan Elmoth for Gondolin.


Angrist (Sindarin: Iron-cutter) was a knife made by Telchar of Nogrod and borne by Curufin. It was taken from Curufin by Beren, who used it to cut a Silmaril out of Morgoth's Iron Crown.


Aranrúth (King's Ire), was a sword that belonged to Elu Thingol, King of Doriath and High King of the Sindar. It later became the sword of the Kings of Númenor.

Belthronding and Dailir

Belthronding, a strongbow, and Dailir, an arrow, both belonged to Beleg Cúthalion.


Dagmor was a sword that belonged to Beren.


Dramborleg was the great axe used by Tuor.

After he sailed for the West, the axe was kept by his descendants and eventually became a royal heirloom of Númenor. It was lost in the Downfall of Númenor near the end of Second Age.

Durin's Axe

Durin's Axe was a great heirloom of the Dwarves of Durin's folk. It was the axe of Durin I, the father of the Longbeard Dwarves.

It remained in Khazad-dûm after it was deserted in the 1981 year of the Third Age. In 2989 T.A. it was found again by Balin's expedition, and lost again in 2994, when the Dwarf_colony was destroyed.


Glamdring was a sword, forged for the Elf Turgon in the First Age. For several thousand years it went missing, until Gandalf (and company) found it (along with Sting and Orcrist) in the trolls' cave in The Hobbit and claimed it for himself. He continued to use Glamdring through the events of The Lord of the Rings.

Glamdring is translated as Foe-hammer, and the goblins in The Hobbit call it "Beater".

Glamdring, along with Orcrist, its mate, are described in The Hobbit as having "...beautiful scabbards and jeweled hilts", and Glamdring is referred to by Elrond as "Foe-hammer that the king of Gondolin once wore". In Unfinished Tales, one of the footnotes to the story "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" mentions that the sword of Turgon was "...white and gold...in a ruel-bone (ivory) sheath,..." While Glamdring is not mentioned by name, it is reasonable to assume that the same sword is described.

Glamdring was most likely taken to the Undying Lands by Gandalf at the end of the Third Age.

Glamdring is inscribed with runes in the Elven language. In the movies released by New Line Cinema and directed by Peter Jackson, the runes say "Turgon Aran Gondolin, Tortha gar a matha Glamdring, Vegil Glamdring gud daelo. Dam an Glamhoth." which translates to "Turgon, king of Gondolin, wields, has, and holds the sword Glamdring, Foe of Morgoth's realm, Hammer of the Orcs." This inscription, however, was not mentioned in any of J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. All Tolkien says in The Hobbit is that the names of the swords were given in the runes, but nothing else is clearly stated. The invented inscription for the movie sword, however, does sound plausible, since Elrond was able to identify that the sword belonged to Turgon.

One problem, though, is that the inscription is given in Sindarin, but in an essay written late in J. R. R. Tolkien's life, he explicitly states that Turgon had re-established Quenya as the language of his household in Gondolin (see The Peoples of Middle_earth, p. 348). Curiously, it is mentioned in The Hobbit that Gandalf could not read the runes, but that Elrond could, suggesting they were enscribed not in normal Cirth but in some special mode which Gandalf did not know—or, as is more likely, it was at first an inconsistency on Tolkien's part, keeping in mind that The Hobbit had not originally been intended to be so closely woven into the Silmarillion legends. Although the inscription in the film version is Lord of the Rings-era Sindarin and Cirth, the Elvish languages had certainly changed since Turgon's time, so it may be that since Elrond was a survivor from the First Age, he would have been able to read the inscription, whereas Gandalf, who had lived in Aman until the middle Third Age, was unaquainted with it.

Like all High-Elven swords, Glamdring is supposed to glow with a blue or white flame when Orcs (or Balrogs) are near, like Frodo's sword Sting and Thorin Oakenshield's sword Orcrist, which were also made in Gondolin. However this was left out of the Lord of the Rings movies by New Line Cinema because they felt it would be confusing.

In addition to the licensed reproduction sword linked below, Del Tin Antiche of Italy made unlicensed interpretations of both Glamdring and Orcrist, which were sold through Museum Replicas, Ltd. back in the mid to late 1980s. These were very high quality steel, and well constructed (if quite plain).

  • External link: Licensed Glamdring Reproduction (http://www.cbswords.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/30)


Grond (Hammer of the Underworld) In the First Age, Grond (Hammer of the Underworld), was the great hammer of Morgoth, who wielded it as a mace when he fought with Fingolfin. During the War of the Ring, in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, a great battering ram one hundred feet long and shaped like a snarling wolf named after the first Grond was used to break the gate of Minas Tirith. Aided by a spell of the Witch-king of Angmar, and the spells cast upon it during its forging in Mordor, Grond destroyed the gate in four blows.


Gúthwinë (Old English battle-friend) was a sword that belonged to Éomer.


In Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel, Hadhafang is a sword used by Arwen. The sword and its history are not part of the original story, but were invented for the movies. In the books, Arwen is never seen in combat. Since her character was given an action scene in the movie version, it was deemed necessary to give her a weapon and to provide the weapon with a back story like many of the fictional weapons described in the original novel. According to the movie trilogy's official publicity material, Hadhafang (whose name is a newly-coined Sindarin word meaning "throng-cleaver"), once belonged to the Elven Princess Idril, who wed a mortal man (Tuor) and bore Eärendil, the father of Elrond, who in turn was father to Arwen. Before Arwen's birth, Elrond wielded Hadhafang at the end of the second age of Middle-earth, during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men in the great battle against Sauron on the slopes of Mount Doom.

Later his daughter, Arwen, used Hadhafang when she aided Frodo in his escape from the Ringwraiths. Inscribed on the blade are Cirth (runes) in Sindarin that say, "Aen estar Hadhafang i chathol hen, thand arod dan i thang an i arwen." Which transfers 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").

Like all of the props used in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, Hadhafang was manufactured by Weta Workshop.


Herugrim was a sword that belonged to Théoden.

Morgul blade

The Morgul blade, is a magical poisoned dagger.

At Weathertop, during his journey to Rivendell with the One Ring, the Hobbit Frodo Baggins was stabbed by the leader of the Nazgûl. A fragment of the blade remained within the wound, working its way toward his heart and threatening to turn Frodo into a wraith. Elrond was able to remove the shard and heal the wound, but each year on the anniversary of his stabbing Frodo became seriously ill. Only his eventual departure to Eldamar offered a permanent cure.

Athelas (or Kingsfoil) is known to slow the poisonous effect of the morgul-blade. This remedy is also known to heal other Mordor illnesses.

Another victim of a morgul blade was Boromir, the eleventh Steward of Gondor (not the Boromir of the Frodo's company). He eventually died of his wound but did not become a wraith.

Narsil and Andúril

Narsil was the sword of King Elendil of the Dúnedain. It was forged during the First Age by the Dwarf Telchar, making it a cousin to the blade Angrist which cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. The name contains the elements nar "fire" and thil "white light", referring to the Sun and Moon.

Elendil used Narsil in the Siege of Barad-dûr and, being slain in combat with Sauron, fell over it and broke it. His son Isildur took it up and used its shard to cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. Isildur took the shards home with him. After Isildur was killed in 2 TA, the shards were rescued by Estelmo, squire of Isildur's oldest son. He took them to Rivendell, where Isildur's youngest son Valandil was fostered.

The Shards of Narsil were one of the heirlooms of the Kings of Arnor, and after the Northern Kingdom was destroyed they remained an heirloom of the Rangers of the North, although it was not reforged until the War of the Ring.

In 3019 TA Narsil was reforged in Rivendell as the sword Andúril (Sindarin for "Flame of the West") for the heir of Isildur, Aragorn. He carried the sword during his journey south as part of the Fellowship of the Ring and it featured prominently at several points in the story, where it was sometimes referred to as the Sword that was Broken.

Boromir, son of the Steward of Gondor, travelled to Rivendell in time for the Council of Elrond because of the prophetic dream of his brother Faramir, in which he was told to "Seek for the Sword that was broken". Aragorn often uses the sword to help to establish his credentials.

Narsil (broken and reforged) acts as a symbol of the kingship of Arnor and Gondor. As Chieftain of the Rangers of the North, Aragorn carries the fragments of the ancient sword, secret but ever vigilant, and the blade is reforged when he sets out to reclaim his kingdom.

In the movie trilogy by Peter Jackson, Narsil was not broken in two but in several parts (which were kept at Rivendell), and is not reforged until the third movie, when it is brought to Aragorn (who seems to need the encouragement) by Elrond. In the book, Aragorn actually wears the broken blade and shows it to the Hobbits when they meet at Bree, and its reforging prior to the departure of the Fellowship is a decisive move toward kingship.


Orcrist is a noted sword of the Dwarf Lord Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit.

In Sindarin Orcrist means "Goblin Cleaver", ("Orc" being another word for "Goblin"). Many of the famed weapons in Tolkien's stories had names, such as Glamdring, Narsil and Sting (see chart below). It was crafted by the Elves, who not only made it a valuable weapon, also a feared one, particularly among traditional enemies of the Elves: Orcs and other evil creatures of Middle_earth. And like Glamdring and Sting, the blade could detect the presence of Orcs and warn its bearer by glowing blue.

In The Hobbit, Thorin is mortally wounded at the Battle of Five Armies. After his death Orcrist is placed upon Thorin's tomb and that it "gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached" (The Hobbit Chapter 18, "The Return Journey").

The Pale Blade

In the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, the Pale Blade is the sword borne by the Witch_King.

Red Arrow

The Red Arrow, an arrow, was a way Gondor summoned its allies in time of need.

Its flights were black and its barbs were made of steel, and it took its name from a mark of red painted on the arrow's tip, standing for blood to show the situation was serious. The black flights were like the Orc arrows.

First mention of the Red Arrow is when Borondir of Gondor and five other messengers rode north along Anduin to seek out Gondor's old allies, the Éothéod, when Gondor was being overrun by Easterlings, in 2509 T.A.. Borondir was the only survivor, and presented the Red Arrow to the Éothéod King Eorl the Young.

Later it became a summons for the Rohirrim. The Red Arrow was presented to Rohan by Hirgon in the War of the Ring, and Théoden King rode out with the Muster of Rohan to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

It is not certain where the Red Arrow came from: it is possible that the tradition was an old one and that Gondor had always summoned its allies this way, but another possibility is that Borondir actually took an Orc arrow with a bloody tip to present to the Éothéod, to prove that the situation was as bad as his message stated.


Sting was an Elvish knife made in Gondolin in the First Age.

Sting was used as a sword by Bilbo, who found it in a troll-hoard together with Glamdring and Orcrist. Although it was just a dagger by the standard of Men or Elves, it made an excellent sword for a Hobbit. Bilbo gives Sting to Frodo, just before the Fellowship of the Ring sets off from Rivendell.

It has the magic ability to detect any Orc presence near it. When this presence is felt, it glows blue, as it does when the Fellowship encounters Orcs in the mines of Moria.

Gollum, who similarly dislikes anything made by Elves, is afraid of Sting. This fear helped Bilbo when confronting Gollum under the mountain in The Hobbit. It also helps Frodo to tame Gollum (temporarily) in The Lord of the Rings.

  Results from FactBites:
Weapons of Middle-earth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2635 words)
Angrist (Sindarin: Iron-cutter) was a knife made by Telchar of Nogrod and borne by Curufin.
It was taken from Curufin by Beren, who used it to cut a Silmaril out of Morgoth's Iron Crown.
It was forged during the First Age by the Dwarf Telchar, making it a cousin to the blade Angrist which cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth.
Joshua D Angrist at IDEAS (3844 words)
Joshua Angrist & Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val, 2004.
Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 1999.
Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 2002.
  More results at FactBites »



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