- "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
Aragorn 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 or The Sword Reforged. Aragorn uses it as evidence of his heritage when he, Legolas, and Gimli first meet Éomer. He reluctantly sets it aside before meeting Théoden, telling Háma that death will come to any man except himself who draws it from its scabbard. The Elves of Lothlórien made a scabbard specifically for this sword. It was overlaid with a tracery of flowers and leaves and elven runes spelling out the name of the sword and its lineage. There was an enchantment upon the scabbard so that the blade that was drawn from it would not be stained or broken, even in defeat.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy "Behold, Anduril, the Flame of the West. Forged from the Shards of Narsil."
- -Elrond as he presents the sword to Aragorn in the Rohririm encampment shortly before Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead.
The sword's first appearance, as Narsil, is in The Fellowship of the Ring in the possession of Elendil during the Battle of Dagorlad, holding it high to rally his men to him. Sauron emerges and kills both Gil-Galad and Elendil. Isildur rushes to Elendil's aid, but Elendil is already dead. Isildur grabs the sword to fight Sauron himself but Sauron pre-empts Isildur's attacks and stomps on the blade, shattering it into several pieces. Isildur still manages to use the hilt of Narsil to cut the ring from Sauron's hand. It is not seen again until Aragorn and the hobbits arrive at Rivendell under the guard and care of Elrond and his elves. After Aragorn and the hobbits safely arrive in Rivendell, Aragorn takes time to rest and is reading elven literature when he is disturbed by Boromir's intrusion. Boromir, seemingly in awe of the mythical sword grabs the hilt, runs his finger along the blade and cuts himself — surprised that the blade is still sharp after 3,000 years, then accidentally drops the hilt on the ground when he catches Aragorn staring at him. Aragorn, out of respect, picks the hilt up and returns it to its rightful spot.
The sword is not seen again until The Return of the King when Aragorn and the Rohirrim were camped at Dunharrow. Arwen pleaded with her father Elrond to reforge the sword, convinced that the enemy could be defeated. Reluctantly, Elrond agreed and had the shards of Narsil reforged into Andúril by the smithies of Rivendell. The sword was then engraved with runes saying "Anar. Nányë Andúril I né Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvantan i móli Mordórëo. Isil." in Quenya, which translates as "Sun. I am Andúril who was once Narsil, sword of Elendil. The slaves of Mordor shall flee from me. Moon". The sword was presented to Aragorn at Dunharrow by Elrond, who, along with Andúril, brought grave news. Elrond's daughter, Arwen, was dying. His other news was equally grim: a fleet of Corsairs were sailing for Gondor. Elrond had one piece of advice to temper the ill news; If Aragorn took the Paths of the Dead, with the power of Andúril, he would be able to call forth an army greater than any living army, and with that army he would have a chance to stop the Corsairs and save Arwen. It was this sword that manages to have effect on the leader of the residents of the Paths of the Dead, unlike Legolas's arrow or Gimli's axe, as shown in the movie.
A prop is currently owned by Stephen Colbert, and Queen Noor knighted him with that same sword.
The name Narsil is Quenyan for "sun and moon". It may have come from the words "anar", meaning 'sun' and "isil", meaning 'moon', or possibly "nár", meaning 'flame' and "sil", meaning 'to shine'. This name conveys the idea of the sun and moon opposing evil. The word Andúril is Sindarin and means "flame of the west". It came from the word "Andúnë", meaning 'sunset' or 'west'.