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Narsil

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Narsil
Narsil
Background Information
Other Names
Manufacturer Telchar[1]
Made
Usage For fighting, later heirloom of the House of Elros[2]
Owners Kings of Númenor, Lords of Andúnië, Elendil; later, Kings of Arnor, Kings of Arthedain, Chieftains of the Dúnedain
Appearances
Books The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
The History of Middle-earth
Films The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
"...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

Narsil was the powerful sword wielded by King Elendil of the Dúnedain, during the war between the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and Sauron of Mordor, at the end of the Second Age.

HistoryEdit

First AgeEdit

The sword was forged during the First Age by the Dwarven smith Telchar,[1] 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 Númenor.

Second AgeEdit

War of the Last AllianceEdit

Elendil and Narsil

Elendil with Narsil during the Second Age War of the Ring.

During the final battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor, Narsil broke into two pieces 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 Arnor, where they passed to the next king, Isildur's son, Valandil.[2]

Third AgeEdit

Anduril

Aragorn holding Andúril, the blade Narsil reforged.

The shards of Narsil were passed down as an heirloom by the heirs to the throne of Arnor among the Dúnedain of the North. The sword's last owner was Aragorn, son of Arathorn.[3]

War of the RingEdit

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.[4]

EtymologyEdit

In Quenya, Narsil means "Red and white flame", from nár ("fire) and thil ("white flame").[5] It symbolizes the Sun and Moon, the "chief heavenly lights, as enemies of darkness".[6]

Other versions of the legendariumEdit

In other writings, Narsil was named Branding, after it was reforged into Andúril.[7]

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the RingsEdit

In the The Lord of the Rings (1978 film) by Ralph Bakshi, Aragorn uses the sword, which still has the longer part of the blade attached to the hilt, as his primary weapon, before it is reforged.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

Sword narsil

The shards of Narsil on display in Rivendell.

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.

Bilbo narsil

Bilbo coming upon the shards while in Rivendell.

In a scene from the extended version (which also appears in the book), Aragorn challenges Sauron by contacting him via the Palantír of Orthanc and showing him "the sword of Elendil" re-forged.

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

Narsil briefly appears in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition.

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Russian Нарсил
Chinese (Hong Kong) 納希爾聖劍


ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter VI: "The King of the Golden Hall"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
  3. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter II: "The Council of Elrond"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter VI: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  5. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  6. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 347 To Richard Jeffery
  7. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 8: The War of the Ring, Part Three: Minas Tirith, IX: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields", Notes

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