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Narsil

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"...The blade that cut the Ring from Sauron's hand..."
Boromir
Narsil by John Howe.

Narsil was the sword of King Elendil of the Dúnedain. It was later known as Andúril (see below). The sword was forged during the First Age by the famed Dwarven-smith Telchar, making it a cousin to the knife Angrist, which cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. The blade presumably was given to one of the Sons of Fëanor, possibly Curufin, who also held Angrist. It eventually came to Maglor, who likely gave it to Elros.

In the Second Age, Narsil was an heirloom of the descendants of Elros, the first King of Númenor. Although nothing is said of Narsil during this period, it eventually came into the hands of Elendil, a distant descendant, towards the close of the Second Age.

Elendil used Narsil in the Siege of Barad-dûr, but Sauron killed Elendil and the sword broke into two pieces under him as he fell. Elendil's son Isildur took up the sword and used its shard to cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. 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's oldest son. He took them to Rivendell, where Isildur's youngest son Valandil was fostered.

The Shards of Narsil were one of the heirlooms of the Kings of Arnor, and after the Northern Kingdom was destroyed they remained an heirloom of the Rangers of the North. It was not reforged until the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age.

In Third Age 3019 Narsil was reforged in Rivendell as Andúril, the "Flame of the West", for Aragorn, the heir of Isildur. He carried the sword during his journey south as part of the Fellowship of the Ring, and it featured prominently at several points in the story, where it was sometimes referred to as the "Sword That Was Broken" or "The Sword Reforged".

Etymology

Narsil means "Sun and Moon" in Quenya (from Anar = "sun" and Isil = "moon").

Portrayal in Adaptations

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Narsil was not broken in two but in several parts, which were kept at Rivendell, and by Sauron stepping on it instead of it breaking as Elendil fell. The sword is not reforged into Andúril until the third film, when Arwen persuades Elrond to have Elven smiths reforge it from the shards and bring to Aragorn. In the books, he actually wears the broken blade and shows it to the Hobbits when they meet at the Prancing Pony in Bree, and its reforging prior to the departure of the Fellowship is a decisive move toward kingship.

Aragorn holds a reverence for Andúril that is not shown in the films. In The Two Towers, when asked by Háma to disarm outside Meduseld, he is very reluctant, saying that normally he would give up his weapon, "if I bore now any sword but Andúril." It is an omission from the film on the grace that the sword Aragorn surrenders there was not Andúril, but still rather interesting. However, the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring does include a scene of Aragorn reverently placing the hilt of Narsil back into the display after Boromir dropped the hilt on the floor.

See also


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