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One Axe to Rule them All 04-01-2003 04:37 PM

How about them swords?
It seems that everywhere you look in LOTR, there's a sword, I wonder what the background is behind each sword?

To me, the sword is a reflection of self, it reflects the useres intent about the sword, how they fight and think.

It's really cool to find people that like medieval weapons as much as i do, so join on in!

Salocin 04-01-2003 06:43 PM

There weren't just swords. Aeglos was a spear and perhaps beter than all the swords mentioned. Sting was probably a dagger or maybe a dirk.

Just to clarify: Are you asking people to post information on famous swords mentioned in LOTR? Or are you just looking for weapons fanatics?

Gwaihir the Windlord 04-01-2003 06:53 PM

Tch... I find your view a touch romantic. For the most part, swords are just great big knives that you can stab people with. *sniff* Weapons of war. If they'd had guns, they'd have used them instead.

Reflection of self.... bollocks [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img].

One Axe to Rule them All 04-02-2003 09:57 AM

Face it, swordfighting, or any close quarters melee combat was an art form!

i am a weapons fanatic and i'm hopelessly hooked on it!

I think even as today, that swords would still be used in rare occasions, as of the fact that guns reign supreme these days....

oh for the good old days...

One Axe to Rule them All 04-02-2003 09:58 AM

and don't stick your tounge out at me!

Mornie Alantie 04-02-2003 11:02 AM

Aeglos wasn't better than all swords it was just known as mighty. Narsil/Andruil was powerful too, most likely more powerful than Aeglos. Sting was an Elvish dagger made in Gondolin during the first age. But the black sword of Turin was probably the most powerful, and in fact, alive. Glamdring and Orchrist were also made in Gondolin And Glamdring was even made for Turgon.

davem 04-03-2003 07:18 AM

In the ancient world it was considered that to name a weapon was to, in a way, give it a life/personality of its own, so that it became almost an ally in battle. There's an echo of this in Turin's sword.

drigel 04-03-2003 12:32 PM

The swords are one of the main devices I think that JRRT used to convey the idea of the historical themes of his works. For me it's the same with the maps, and a lot of other "relics". The author uses the best literary devices that are part of the environment to best paint the picture he/she wants to convey. I think its an excellent and compelling use of literary devices, bordering on personification in some examples (the Ring having a "mind of it's own").

drigel 04-03-2003 12:34 PM

I always thought Eol's sword was pretty bad too [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

One Axe to Rule them All 04-03-2003 01:55 PM

i've been wondering lately, did boromir's sword have a name? I couldn't find a refrence in my version of the books to any name for boromir's sword, tell me if you found one

Keeper of Dol Guldur 04-03-2003 03:25 PM

Eol's sword, 'Gurthang', wasn't really a reflection on its many owners, it was more of a curse. How about Orcrist? It seems to me that the legendary weapons (not excluding Grond) served their masters and were just what they should have been, culturally defined pieces of engineering for fighting. Swords definitely tend to be important, especially should a character be per chance a swordsman, or a pike-man like Gil-Galad, and so on. Sword fighting is definitely an art, a brutal one, but hey; nobody ever accused Dali of not practicing art and his paintings were pretty brutal. I rather like how the weapons in the movies tied in to the overall themes of particular cultures (except in the case of Glamdring's glow), they did good. And swords are kind of symbolic of the heroic characters, or the fell villains. The Witch-King held a pale sword, that lit ablaze when he was mad. Aragorn's Anduril shone with a cold flame that gleamed in the sun, and was named after that feature. Orcrist, Glamdring and Sting not only told us the three most important members of Thorin's party, but who had more history behind themselves, to take such historical weapons (that would prove invaluable in goblin-slaying). Aeglos was greater than any sword, just as Gil-Galad was greater than any mere swordsman. The Barrow-Wight's sword was long and old and ancient, and those Merry, Pippin and Sam took mirrored it and mirrored how steadfast they would be throughout the story. I think a weapon was definitely a reflection of its user.

lore_master 04-03-2003 03:44 PM

as they say: the sword picks its master(or thats what i say anyway) i love swords, i have a few of my own, emaldark(black blade, with an emarald handal, double bladed)my favorite is tritonion(it has a hilt that is like mini daggars, hence the name)

One Axe to Rule them All 04-03-2003 04:30 PM

FINALLY, somebody who agrees with me!

reading that got me wondering, what about the axes? what's with the axes? i mean, they kinda fell by the wayside as time went on, axes are just as good as swords in my opinion, if you compensate for their shortcomins, just as a swordsman does, but swords aren't as extreme to one point (Damage) and lacking in another (Speed)
but i still prefer axes over swords, but swordsmanship was truly an art form to be admired.

drigel 04-04-2003 10:38 AM

I agree with you Pile. It has been demonstrated many times that there are circumstances where an axe would overcome a sword. I attribute my love for the axe-play to my earlier days reading Conan. That dude could swing and axe!

Gurthangs appeal to me was that it was forged from iron from a meteor, plus the personality and its speech was compelling as it was evil (or cursed), and, although reflected the dark heart of it's maker, it almost demonstrated a truly independant intelligence. It definately had it's own agenda. Or perhaps it was just it's destiny.. ?..?

One Axe to Rule them All 04-04-2003 11:00 AM

Those are always the best, the intelligent weapons capable of seperate action or thought. Yet so many people overlook axes as "Overly Slow" or "Disadvantaged" it's just not true! if you took a guy with a spear and get 2 feet away from him, he's gonna have a hard time not dying.

all weapons have advantage and disadvantages, axes chose power over speed

i think swords to be the balance of it all

Dunadun 04-04-2003 07:26 PM

I believe that all swordplay or the like to be an art. Guns are hard to be considered an art because you aim and shoot with no style what so ever. But with swords you can fight with many different stratigies and different methods.

Salocin 04-04-2003 07:32 PM

How about the art of fixed bayonett fighting? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

[ April 04, 2003: Message edited by: Salocin ]

Burzdol 04-05-2003 01:06 PM

Why, and Where was Narsil really created? Many people have different opinions, and I don't know which one to believe.


Nuranar 04-07-2003 02:01 PM


Guns are hard to be considered an art because you aim and shoot with no style what so ever.
Perhaps not an art. But cultivating accuracy, which is key to using a firearm effectively, requires intense training itself. Not only that, but just as with a sword certain physical characteristics are useful, particularly good eyesight.

Of course, this is primarily for a rifle or other long-range weapon. And the thing is, in combat you may not have time to aim; then training and practice are essential, to instinctively shoot right to hit your target.

And then there's the whole point of the Western gunfighter. Practice, speed, and coordination - to be able to draw and shoot straight "from the hip" without having to take the time to aim. I would not be quick to dismiss gunplay as not an art. And then you have to define art... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


I think even as today, that swords would still be used in rare occasions, as of the fact that guns reign supreme these days....
Oh, it happens...In the book The Killer Angels (and the movie from it, Gettysburg), Colonel Chamberlain is charging down a hill when an enemy officer tries to kill him. His revolver, aimed at point-blank range, refuses to fire. Chamberlain, who had his officer's sword drawn to lead his troops in the charge, held it to the other man's throat and captured him. It's pretty clear what would have happened if the man hadn't surrendered.

As for reflections upon swords, I think Keeper summed it up very well. Furthermore, the swords - and other ancient weapons - don't merely apply to their current owners. They are a tangible link with the past, with the great ones who have wielded them, with (at least for Aragorn) one's forebears. The idea of using a weapon thousands of years old - it is so venerable, so worthy of honor itself. And an old sword is a proven sword.

Then there's the advantage that a bladed weapon has above any firearm: Silence.

FingolfintheBold 04-07-2003 06:49 PM

I agree that the sword in many cases paralleled its user. And mine Are Belegar, Celebelen and Rauntaur.

Voralphion 04-07-2003 07:10 PM


Why, and Where was Narsil really created?
Why? Narsil was created to be used as a weapon for fighting.
Where? I don't think it says exactly where it was created, but it was forged by Telchar in the first age, and Telchar was a dwarf of Nogrod so it was probably made there, another thought is that it could have been made in Doriath as it says that Thingol had many weapons made by the dwarves of Nogrod especially Telchar. It probably came out of the fall of Doriath with Elwing along with Thingol's sword (I can't remember its name) and was passed on to Elros and then made its way to Elendil, Isildur and eventually Aragon.
And about axes, many of the warriors in middle earth had axes, mostly dwarves, but also Hurin when he slew the seventy trolls and Tuor had an axe in Gondolin and used it to kill many in the fall of Gondolin.

Adanadhel 04-07-2003 07:11 PM

Tolkien borrowed the idea of naming swords (and many other ideas) from Beowulf.

The Hobbit is very close in storyline to Beowulf's last battle with the dragon.

There is even a scene in Beowulf where all of the company visiting a foreign king have to annouce their names and leave their swords outside a great wooden hall... sound familiar?

One Axe to Rule them All 04-08-2003 08:29 AM

Beowulf, (dreamily sighs) now that was a great book...

back to the subject of axes vs. swords for a second, another advantage axes have is that they can be thrown! how many times do you see or hear about somebody throwing their sword and actually hitting!

You have a point that swords are quieter than guns, but sadly it's no use if you aren't right up on them! [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

you'd turn into this guy [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] as soon as he pulls a gun on you

swordfighting requires a lot of thought, not spray-and-pray like guns do, don't take me for one who hates guns. i'm crazy about them, I just find swords very interesting.
and i'm also sad that the age of swords are over.... damn nuclear bomb....

Tony Puckett 04-08-2003 09:18 AM

Here's an on-topic question:

I've read both the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and I've done some background research recently on Middle-earth, before starting The Silmarillion(Which I just started yesterday), so I don't know if this is answered in that book. But ANYWAYS, sorry for the tangent, how did Glamdring, Orcrist, and Sting wind up in the troll's dwelling? I know they had to slay someone who was carrying them, but do we know who they are? I've not found it yet, but there's always Silmarillion and the rest of the books.

Also, I totally agree with the Hobbit having major parallels w/ Beowulf. Tolkein had a pretty prominent affection for Anglo-Saxon literature, and that really makes sense.

PS: Nuranar, gotta love the
Killer Angels reference. That has to be one of my favorite non-JRR books. Props for that!

Nuranar 04-08-2003 03:45 PM

Tony, I'm all but dancing around the room! I am so so glad I'm not the only one who loves that book!!!

One Axe: Yes, you can throw your axe...then dear me, you're disarmed. Of course, if you're fortunate, so is your opponent. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

As for proximity being necessary - no one's gainsaying that. For long distance and relative silence, it's the bow.

And in case you've never seen The Magnificent Seven...throwing a knife can be both accurate and deadly.

As for the age of swords being over, perhaps that's so. But despite all the advances in weaponry, you're still going to end up face-to-face with your enemy. The weapons have changed, but the personal conflict still remains.

Now to Tony's Tolkien-related question (thank you! the shadow of the avenging mod hangs over us!):

From what I've read, I don't remember any further information on who was carrying those swords when the trolls sped them from this world of woe. I couldn't help you with Silmarillion references; it's been a long time and I don't own it myself. However, I think any references would be more along the lines of what happened to them in the fall of Gondolin. I don't think the Silmarillion chronicles the escapades of moronic highway-trolls. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

My own guess would be that the swords were in the possession of one or more Elves who were traveling, possibly to the Blue Havens, when they were waylaid. This sounds kind of obvious, but it's as far as I can go. Does anyone else know for sure what is to be known?

One Axe to Rule them All 04-08-2003 04:57 PM

Tony- "i bet you twenty dollars that you can't hit me with that axe!"

Me- *throws the axe, which cleaves Tony's head in half* "Lemme check his wallet for a twenty..."

Just thought i'd say that

by the way, don't must arrows whistle or make some form of noise?

The Saucepan Man 04-08-2003 05:06 PM

Concerning the "art" of sword-fighting:

Of course, there are many different types of swords, and therefore many different types of sword-fighting. Wielding a rapier is a very different matter from weilding a broad sword, a cutlass, or (quite clearly) a two-handed sword.

Concerning Axes:

In the films (and the video-game [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] ), I believe that Gimli carried a battleaxe for hand-to-hand combat and two (smaller) throwing axes for long range damage. Which makes sense, since I doubt that a bloomin' great battleaxe could be thrown very far and, as noted, throwing it would leave one weaponless. Mind you, the book only mentions him carrying one "broad-bladed" axe, and anyway (book) Gimli doesn't appear to have been a great one for long range combat (much better to get stuck in with the ol' axe [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ).

Concerning long-range weapons:

For sheer range and destructiveness, combined with minimum noise, the crossbow would surely be the optimum long-range weapon. I stand to be corrected, but I don't believe that there is any mention of crossbows in JRRT's works. Certainly, bows seem far more "Elvish", but it wouldn't seem amiss for Dwarves to have made use of crossbows.

Concerning Orcrist, Glamdring and Sting:

All I can find is that these three weapons were forged in Gondolin (Glamdring was Turgon's blade), but fell into the hands of Morgoth's forces when they overran the city. Nothing is known of what happened to them between then and their unearthing in the Trolls' hoard. It seems unlikely that they would have been used by Orcs (given their fear of these weapons). It is also doubtful that they ever passed into the hands of Elves, who would have recognised their significance. Most likely they passed from one (non-Orcish and non-Elvish and most probably Mannish) owner to another until they came into the possession of those unlucky enough to be waylaid by Tom, Bert and William Huggins (great names [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] ).

Tony Puckett 04-08-2003 09:07 PM

Glad to hear I've made your day, Nuranar! Same to you, One Axe... in a slightly odd little way...

On the topic of Gimli's axes in the movie, I too saw his small throwing axes(at Amon Hen), but at one point I remember Gimli utilizing a double-bladed battle axe, aside from his standard axe. I could be mistaken, but I'm awfully sure I saw it during one scene in FOTR. However, this isn't the movies forum, and I wouldn't want to upset Estelyn. I was just wondering if anyone else saw this, as that kind of axe was what I always pictured Gimli wielding(even though it seems like everyone has a slightly different take on middle-earth after they read the books, that's what makes it interesting, everyone's unique views).

PS: Nuranar, have you read Gods and Generals or any other of Jeff Shaara's books? They're almost as good as his fathers, I'd say. Very JRRT-Christopher-like.

[ April 08, 2003: Message edited by: Tony Puckett ]

[ April 08, 2003: Message edited by: Tony Puckett ]

One Axe to Rule them All 04-08-2003 09:32 PM

Once i think about it he did have a double-bladed axe....

but when i hear of someone weilding an axe i see a big hefty 2-hander with a huge double bladed head......

I remember his throwing axes from the fight in the mines of moria with the cave troll....

One Axe to Rule them All 04-08-2003 09:35 PM

sorry about that slightly demented reply a few posts back, i thought..... oh forget what i thought! i'm sorry, please don't hold it against me

Tony Puckett 04-09-2003 09:03 AM

It's cool, One Axe, I didn't take it personally. We all need to split a few heads and make some money every now and then.

Tony Puckett 04-09-2003 09:06 AM

WOW, woo-hoo!!! I've been promoted to Pile O'Bones!!!! I'm so happy, I may cry... get ahold of yourself... okay, I think I've got it.

Son of Fire 04-09-2003 10:13 AM

Well, he swords themselves have so much history that they are almost a completely separate entity. The barrow swords were sharp and keen and at least one of them was made for killing the witch king. Glamdring and Orcrist were terrible swords for Orcs, bringing much terror even thousands of years after the fall of Gondolin. Also, the fact that these swrds were made by (arguably) celebrimdor, the maker of the elven rings and the elessar should also bring awe to their bearers. The art of making these swords and the rings of power, however, was lost, i fear, when Feanor died, celebrimdor left, and many others suck as telchar died as well. These blades were also inscribed with runes like the morgul blade, but that's another issue.

One Axe to Rule them All 04-09-2003 10:44 AM

Yep, some swords are made for a specific purpose, such as to kill orcs, or to be more powerful against a specific person, or to warn the owner of danger etc...

Thanks for being so forgiving tony, I was having a rough day....

Still the swords are sometimes made for only one user to ever wield it, such as in Anduril's only being weilded by a descendant of what's-his-name. you know what i'm saying!

Salocin 04-11-2003 05:18 PM


another advantage axes have is that they can be thrown! how many times do you see or hear about somebody throwing their sword and actually hitting!
That is the purpose of the dirk. For some reason dirks are rarely recognized, but I think they are really cool (maybe its just that I am short so I probably would be unable to effectively weild a sword much longer than that effectively [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img])

For those of you who don't know (I don't mean to be insulting the intelegence of the weapons experts in this thread and I certainly don't wan't to be One Axe's next victim) a dirk is between a dagger and a sword. It is pretty effective as a hand weapon (maybe even a little longer than a short sword), though it lacks slightly in range, and is essentially the longest possible blade that can be effectively thrown. I hear with *alot* of practice one can get quite good at it, evan as good as a knife, daggar , or (dare I say it) axe thrower. **ducks as axe goes flying just above head** [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

I don't think there is any explanation of how orcrist, sting, and glamdring got to the troll cave.

How is axe spelled? is it "ax" or "axe"? [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]

One Axe to Rule them All 04-13-2003 12:07 PM

When i said that, I meant a full sized sword, like boromirs sword or the like, it applies to short swords too, their balance isn't distributed properly for throwing.

One Axe to Rule them All 04-13-2003 12:08 PM

I take that back for short swords, if they are specifically made for throwing, then fine, but i mean like a short sword as in sting

One Axe to Rule them All 04-13-2003 12:11 PM

as for Salocin...

Me- "darnit, my thrown axe missed!"

Salocin- "Please don't hurt me!"

Me- "Now let me show you the power of the axe!"
*I run up and cleave Salocin's head into little peices and scratch a second notch on my battleaxe*


nothing personal, but it was soooo tempting [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Salocin 04-13-2003 12:15 PM

I know thats what you meant (you wouldn't have much luck with a katana or cutlass either [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), I was just trying to point out that sword fans also have a good throwing alternative. I doubt most battle Axes are ballanced for throwing either. You need special thowing axes like the Francs had, and they are usually much smaller two.

I need to learn to keep my big mouth shut, especially when in the presence of people who name themselves after weapons instead of visa versa. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Anyways, does any one know the correct spelling? Is it "ax" or "axe"?

[ April 13, 2003: Message edited by: Salocin ]

One Axe to Rule them All 04-14-2003 07:32 PM

thank you for being so humble

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