- "...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
The sword was forged during the First Age by the Dwarven smith Telchar, the most renowned weaponsmith of Nogrod. It had considerable magic powers, as it was able to slice the flesh of the Dark Lord Sauron; its powers were enough to tear any kind of armor or flesh. The sword was thus a "cousin" to the knife Angrist, which Beren used to cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. It is possible that Narsil was originally the sword of Maglor, who later passed it on to Elros, who would later become the first king of Numenor.
Narsil's most famous bearer was Elendil. During the final battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor, Narsil was shattered when Elendil and Gil-galad fought Sauron themselves, and although they fought valiantly, they died in the process. Taking up the handle-shard of Narsil after his father's defeat, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand, defeating him.
Isildur took the shards home with him. Shortly before Isildur was killed in the second year of the Third Age in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, the shards were rescued by Ohtar, squire of Isildur. He took them to Imladris, where they passed to the next king, Isildur's son, Valandil.
Before the Fellowship of the Ring departed Rivendell on the Quest of the Ring, the shards of Narsil were reforged by the elves into Andúril, which Aragorn carried throughout the Quest and the War of the Ring.
' He drew out his sword, and they saw that the blade was indeed broken a foot below the hilt... "Not much use is it, Sam?" said Strider... "But the time is near when it shall be forged anew" '. Aragorn speaking to Sam Gamgee and the rest of the Fellowship at The Prancing Pony in The Fellowship of the Ring (novel) '
In the book the sword was broken in two, and still seems to be a serviceable weapon.
In the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, Narsil was not broken in two but into several parts (which were kept at Rivendell), and is not reforged into Andúril until the third film. Aragorn uses an ordinary sword during the first two films. Prior to the third film, his attitude towards the sword is a mix of reverence and reluctance. On the one hand, he carefully replaces the hilt on its pedestal after Boromir carelessly lets it drop to the floor, but he is reluctant to claim possession of it, as it represents the kingship of Gondor. It is not until the third film that Arwen persuades Elrond to have the sword re-forged by the elves, and Elrond in turn persuades Aragorn to accept it, as the symbol of kingship with which he can command obedience from the Army of the Dead.
|Weapons of Middle-earth|
|Aeglos | Andúril | Anglachel | Anguirel | Angrist | Aranrúth | Belthronding | Dagmor | Dailir | Dramborleg | Durin's Axe | Glamdring | Grond | Grond (Warhammer) | Gúthwinë | Gurthang | Herugrim | Morgul-blade | Narsil | Orcrist | Red Arrow | Ringil | Sting|
- The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring: ch. 3 of Book II, "The Ring Goes South", and LOTR: Appendix B: the Third Age