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Not found in the original text, the lhang is an Elvish sword. It was developed by designers and armourers at Weta Workshop for use in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Seen in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring (film), it is reminiscent of the Japanese nagamaki and Chinese podao. Some viewers have found this Eastern-influenced weapon odd, since J.R.R. Tolkien drew from Western sources for his work.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
Although not in the original text of Tolkien's works, this special sword was effective in close-quarters combat and led to many an Elvish victory. It might have originated in the First Age during the battles of Beleriand, where the Elvish weapon-smiths of Doriath, Gondolin, and Nargothrond constantly searched for something to stem the tide decisively against the overwhelming hordes of Morgoth's Orcs emerging from Angband. A weapon such as this was sorely needed, after the crushing defeats of the Eldar and the Edain in the Dagor Bragollach and the even costlier Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
However, the lhang was to reach its apex and earn its spurs fully in the monolithic battles that characterized much of the Second Age. Its design was to be refined again and again in the forges of Eregion while under the guiding eyes of the watchful and skilled Elvish weaponsmiths.
It proved its worth during Sauron's massive invasion of Eriador shortly afterward and was to be the bane of his armies during the Battle of the Last Alliance, where Noldor swordsmen slaughtered Orcs by the thousands.
During the Third Age, the weapon's development and further evolution seems to have stalled quite a bit, for the Elves found few wars to fight in and were reluctant to do so anyway, being withered during the colossal battles of the First and Second Ages. However, the rangers and soldiers of Lórien still demonstrated their weapon's worth and showed again that it was the Orc's bane during the Battle of Helm's Deep. The Uruk-hai of Saruman, much like their distant ancestors millennia ago, found themselves to be hopelessly outmatched at the hands of the elves.
In addition, these weapons also seem to be kept as heirlooms, handed down from generation to generation, and were often seen displayed alongside the particular Elven family's bow and arrows.