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Daggers of Westernesse

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The Daggers of [[Westernesse]] were forged by the [[Dúnedain]] of [[Cardolan]] during their war against the [[Witch-King of Angmar]].  They were apparently made for fighting the [[barrow-wights|barrow wights]] sent from [[Angmar]], and they had the special property to harm wraith-like spirits such as the barrow wights and the [[Nazgûl]].  After the fall of Cardolan, at least four of these daggers ended up in the tomb of the last prince of that realm.
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{{objects
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| image=
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| name=Daggers of Westernesse
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| othernames=
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| derivation=
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| location=Found in the [[Barrow-downs]]
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| ownedby=[[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]], [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]], [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]], and [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]]
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| maker=[[Númenóreans|Men of Westernesse]]
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| appearance=Long, leaf-shaped, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold
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| references=
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}}
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The '''Daggers of Westernesse''' were weapons that [[Tom Bombadil]] brought out of the mound in which [[Frodo Baggins]] and his friends had been imprisonedEach dagger had a long, leaf-shaped blade, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold.  They had black sheaths of an unknown metal, light and strong, adorned with firey stones. Despite their great age they were sharp and unrusted by time.<ref name="Fog">{{FR|I8}}</ref>
  
In the [[Fellowship of the Ring]], [[Frodo]], [[Sam]], [[Merry]], and [[Pippin]] became lost in the [[Barrow Downs]] and were captured by one of the wights and imprisoned in the tombFrodo was able to call [[Tom Bombadil]] to their aid, and he opened the tomb and drove the wight awayTom advised the [[hobbit]]s each to take something with them from the tomb, and gave each of them a dagger.  These weapons proved useful later in their journey.
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==History==
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The daggers were created by the [[Dúnedain]] of [[Cardolan]] during their war against the [[Witch-king|Witch-king of Angmar]].  They were made for fighting forces sent from [[Angmar]].<ref name="Fog"/> After the fall of Cardolan, at least four of these daggers ended up in the tomb of the last prince of that realm who fell in {{TA|1409}}.<ref>{{App|Eriador}}</ref>
  
One of these daggers played a special role in [[The Return of the King]]. During the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]], [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]] stabbed the Witch King in the back of the knee with his dagger.
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On [[28 September]] {{TA|3018|n}}<ref name="Great">{{App|Great}}</ref> Frodo, [[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]], [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]], and [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] became lost in the [[Barrow-downs]] and were captured by one of the [[Barrow-wights|wights]] and imprisoned in the tomb. Frodo was able to call [[Tom Bombadil]] to their aid, and he opened the tomb and drove the wight away. Tom gave each of them a dagger from the tomb and told them their history.<ref name="Fog"/>
{{quote|But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee.|[[The Return of the King]], [[The Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]}}
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Many fans speculate that the spells on this dagger made the Witch King vulnerable to [[Éowyn|Éowyn's]] more mundane sword, which allowed her to kill him.  Both of the weapons used against the Witch-King were destroyed, as well.
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Merry laid his sword in the lap of King [[Théoden]] on [[6 March]] {{TA|3019|n}}<ref name="Great"/> offering service to him.  The king gladly made Merry an esquire of [[Rohan]] of the household of [[Meduseld]].<ref>{{RK|V2}}</ref>
{{quote|So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse.  But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king.  No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.|[[The Return of the King]]}}
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{{weapons}}
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When Pippin came before [[Denethor]] in [[Minas Tirith]] on [[9 March]]<ref name="Great"/> he offered his sword to the Steward in token of service.  Denethor smiled at first but was impressed by the dagger, recognizing it as coming from his own [[Dúnedain of Arnor|kindred in the North]].<ref>{{RK|V1}}</ref>
  
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On [[15 March]]<ref name="Great"/> during the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]], Merry stabbed the Witch-king in the back of the knee with his dagger, which enabled [[Éowyn]] to thrust her sword into his face.<ref name="Fields">{{RK|V6}}</ref>
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{{quote|But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee.|''[[The Return of the King]]'', "[[The Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]"}}
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The dagger that Merry stabbed into the Witch-king had a power beyond mere metal, for it broke the spell that held the spirit's body together.  However, after Merry's blow the blade of the dagger writhed and withered, vanishing like a dry branch in a fire. Thus while the blade was created centuries before to battle against the forces of Angmar, it contributed to the demise of the Witch-king.<ref name="Fields"/>
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{{quote|So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse.  But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king.  No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.|''The Return of the King'', "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"}}
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{{references}}
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{{weapons}}
 
[[Category:Weapons]]
 
[[Category:Weapons]]

Revision as of 08:17, 15 March 2013

Daggers of Westernesse
LocationFound in the Barrow-downs
Owned byFrodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam
MakerMen of Westernesse
AppearanceLong, leaf-shaped, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold

The Daggers of Westernesse were weapons that Tom Bombadil brought out of the mound in which Frodo Baggins and his friends had been imprisoned. Each dagger had a long, leaf-shaped blade, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold. They had black sheaths of an unknown metal, light and strong, adorned with firey stones. Despite their great age they were sharp and unrusted by time.[1]

History

The daggers were created by the Dúnedain of Cardolan during their war against the Witch-king of Angmar. They were made for fighting forces sent from Angmar.[1] After the fall of Cardolan, at least four of these daggers ended up in the tomb of the last prince of that realm who fell in T.A. 1409.[2]

On 28 September 3018[3] Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin became lost in the Barrow-downs and were captured by one of the wights and imprisoned in the tomb. Frodo was able to call Tom Bombadil to their aid, and he opened the tomb and drove the wight away. Tom gave each of them a dagger from the tomb and told them their history.[1]

Merry laid his sword in the lap of King Théoden on 6 March 3019[3] offering service to him. The king gladly made Merry an esquire of Rohan of the household of Meduseld.[4]

When Pippin came before Denethor in Minas Tirith on 9 March[3] he offered his sword to the Steward in token of service. Denethor smiled at first but was impressed by the dagger, recognizing it as coming from his own kindred in the North.[5]

On 15 March[3] during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Merry stabbed the Witch-king in the back of the knee with his dagger, which enabled Éowyn to thrust her sword into his face.[6]

"But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee."
The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

The dagger that Merry stabbed into the Witch-king had a power beyond mere metal, for it broke the spell that held the spirit's body together. However, after Merry's blow the blade of the dagger writhed and withered, vanishing like a dry branch in a fire. Thus while the blade was created centuries before to battle against the forces of Angmar, it contributed to the demise of the Witch-king.[6]

"So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will."
The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"


Weapons of Middle-earth
Aeglos · Andúril · Anglachel · Anguirel · Angrist · Aranrúth · Belthronding · Black Arrow · Daggers of Westernesse · Dagmor · Dailir · Dramborleg · Durin's Axe · Glamdring · Grond · Gúthwinë · Gurthang · Herugrim · Morgul blades · Narsil · Orcrist · Red Arrow · Ringil · Sting