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Orcrist

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[[Image:Audrey Corman - Orcrist.jpg|thumb|''Orcrist'' by [[Audrey Corman]].]]
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{{disambig-two|Thorin's sword|journal|[[Orcrist (journal)]]}}
'''Orcrist''' was the weapon of the king of [[Durin's folk]] [[Thorin Oakenshield]] from [[Tolkien]]'s novel, ''[[The Hobbit]]''.  The only description of it is in the above mentioned book, that it had a fancy scabbard and a jeweled hilt.
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{{objects
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| image=[[File:Audrey Corman - Orcrist.jpg|250px]]
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| name=Orcrist
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| othernames=Biter
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| derivation=
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| location=[[Gondolin]], [[Erebor]]
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| ownedby=[[Thorin]]
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| maker=Unknown
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| appearance=
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| references=
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|}}
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'''Orcrist''' was an Elven sword, the mate of [[Glamdring]]. It had a fancy scabbard and a jeweled hilt. Like [[Glamdring]] and [[Sting]], the blade could detect the presence of Orcs and warn its bearer by glowing blue.
  
In [[Sindarin]] Orcrist is said to mean "Goblin Cleaver", ([[Goblins|Goblin]] being a synonym for [[Orcs|Orc]] used mainly in The Hobbit). Goblins called the blade '''Biter'''. Many of the famed weapons in Tolkien's stories had names, such as [[Glamdring]], [[Narsil]] and [[Sting]] (see chart below). It was crafted by the [[Elves]], who not only made it a valuable weapon, also a feared one, particularly among traditional enemies of the Elves: Orcs and other evil creatures of Middle-earth. Like Glamdring and Sting, the blade could detect the presence of Orcs and warn its bearer by glowing blue.
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Goblins called the blade '''Biter'''.<ref name=hill>{{H|Hill}}</ref> It had been crafted by the [[Elves]], who not only made it a valuable weapon, but also a feared one to their enemies, particularly among [[Orcs]] and other evil creatures.<ref name=rest>{{H|Rest}}</ref>
  
As the "mate" to King [[Turgon]]'s sword [[Glamdring]], Orcrist was likely borne by a high ranking lord in the King's entourage.  Ten possibilities present themselves: [[Maeglin]], [[Tuor]], [[Ecthelion of the Fountain]], [[Penlod]], [[Egalmoth of the Heavenly Arch|Egalmoth]], [[Salgant]], [[Duilin of Gondolin|Duilin]], [[Galdor of the Tree|Galdor]], [[Rog]], and [[Glorfindel of Gondolin|Glorfindel]]. Since Maeglin presumably still had his father's sword, Anguirel, it was not his. Duilin bore a bow, while Galdor carried a club and Rog a mace.  Tuor seems to have come to [[Gondolin]] after [[Glamdring]] had been forged (see Unfinished Tales), and if this was the mate it should have been forged before his arrival as well. In any case, Tuor bore an axe, not a sword.  Glorfindel died outside of the city; Ecthelion perished in Gondolin as he slew [[Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs]]. Because he is the only one of the four lords mentioned in the Silmarillion that seem possible, the most accepted assumption is that Orcrist belonged to Ecthelion, but this is never stated explicitly in any of Tolkien's writingsThe other remaining ones, Penlod, Eglamoth, and Salgant, are also possible, though none are mentioned in the Silmarillion and are only found in the [[Fall of Gondolin]].
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==History==
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As the "mate" to King [[Turgon]]'s sword Glamdring, Orcrist was likely borne by him, or a high ranking lord of the [[Gondolindrim]] in the King's entourage.   
  
In ''The Hobbit'', Thorin is mortally wounded at the [[Battle of Five Armies]]. After his death Orcrist is placed upon Thorin's tomb and that it "gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached" (''The Hobbit'' Chapter 18, "The Return Journey").
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Orcrist "had killed hundreds of goblins in its time, when the fair elves of Gondolin hunted them in the hills or did battle before their walls".<ref name=hill/> During the [[Fall of Gondolin]], [[Rog]], [[Duilin of Gondolin|Duilin]], [[Egalmoth]], [[Tuor]] and [[Ecthelion]]'s houses defended at the gates before the walls. [[Ecthelion]] led a charge that resulted in the deaths of thousands of [[orcs]], which made his name a terror to their race, before fighting [[Gothmog (balrog)|Gothmog]].
  
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By the [[Third Age]] Orcrist and its mate were found and kept in a [[Troll's Cave|trolls' cave]] in [[Eriador]]. [[Thorin and Company]], found and searched the cave early in the [[Quest of Erebor]], and [[Thorin]] [[Oakenshield]] obtained the weapon.<ref>{{H|Mutton}}</ref> [[Elrond]] identified the sword and Thorin promised to honor the sword and hoped to cleave Goblins once again<ref name=rest/> which he did when captured in [[Goblin-town]].<ref name=hill/>
  
{{weapons}}
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Thorin was disarmed when captured by the [[Elves of Mirkwood]] and Orcrist was kept there.<ref>{{H|8}}</ref> However after his death, [[Thranduil]] returned Orcrist and placed it upon Thorin's tomb under [[Erebor]], and it "gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached".<ref>{{H|Return}}</ref>
  
[[Category:Weapons]]
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==Etymology==
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''Orcrist'' is [[Sindarin]] for "goblin-cleaver".<ref>{{HM|RC}}, p. 265</ref>
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[[File:The Hobbit (film series) - Thorin and Orcrist.jpg|thumb|right|Orcrist in [[The Hobbit (film series)|''The Hobbit'' (film series)]]]]
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In the ''[[The Etymologies|Etymologies]]'', the name ''Orchrist'' is said to be a "sword-name", related to [[Noldorin]] ''risto'' ("rend, rip"), derived from the [[Sundocarme|root]] RIS ("slash, rip").<ref>{{LR|Etymologies}}, p. 384</ref>
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
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'''2012-14: [[The Hobbit (film series)|''The Hobbit'' (film series)]]:'''
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:As in the book, the sword is found in the trolls' cave and is identified as Orcrist by [[Elrond]] in [[Rivendell]]. The hilt of the sword is a dragon's tooth and the sword contains the [[Sindarin]] inscription "NAGOL E-LYG" meaning "Tooth of-Snake [or dragon]".<ref>[[Jude Fisher]], ''[[The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Visual Companion]]'', p. 13</ref>
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:When it is discovered by the Goblins, the [[Great Goblin]] recognizes the sword, and claimed that it sliced a thousand necks. Later, when Thorin and Company are captured by the Wood-elves, [[Legolas]] personally confiscates the sword, believing that Thorin Oakenshield had stolen it from his kinfolk. He then takes up the legendary weapon as his own, using it when [[Bolg]] and his stealth-Orcs raid Lake-town in search of the Dwarves, and during the Battle of the Five Armies, where he returns Orcrist to Thorin just in time for his final showdown with [[Azog| Azog the Defiler]].
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{{Weapons}}
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{{references}}
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[[Category:Sindarin names]]
 
[[Category:Swords]]
 
[[Category:Swords]]
[[Category:Gondolin and Turgon]]
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[[de:Orcrist]]
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[[fi:Orkrist]]
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[[fr:encyclo/artefacts/armes/orcrist]]

Latest revision as of 23:22, 23 July 2016

This article is about Thorin's sword. For the journal, see Orcrist (journal).
Audrey Corman - Orcrist.jpg
Orcrist
Other namesBiter
LocationGondolin, Erebor
Owned byThorin
MakerUnknown

Orcrist was an Elven sword, the mate of Glamdring. It had a fancy scabbard and a jeweled hilt. Like Glamdring and Sting, the blade could detect the presence of Orcs and warn its bearer by glowing blue.

Goblins called the blade Biter.[1] It had been crafted by the Elves, who not only made it a valuable weapon, but also a feared one to their enemies, particularly among Orcs and other evil creatures.[2]

Contents

[edit] History

As the "mate" to King Turgon's sword Glamdring, Orcrist was likely borne by him, or a high ranking lord of the Gondolindrim in the King's entourage.

Orcrist "had killed hundreds of goblins in its time, when the fair elves of Gondolin hunted them in the hills or did battle before their walls".[1] During the Fall of Gondolin, Rog, Duilin, Egalmoth, Tuor and Ecthelion's houses defended at the gates before the walls. Ecthelion led a charge that resulted in the deaths of thousands of orcs, which made his name a terror to their race, before fighting Gothmog.

By the Third Age Orcrist and its mate were found and kept in a trolls' cave in Eriador. Thorin and Company, found and searched the cave early in the Quest of Erebor, and Thorin Oakenshield obtained the weapon.[3] Elrond identified the sword and Thorin promised to honor the sword and hoped to cleave Goblins once again[2] which he did when captured in Goblin-town.[1]

Thorin was disarmed when captured by the Elves of Mirkwood and Orcrist was kept there.[4] However after his death, Thranduil returned Orcrist and placed it upon Thorin's tomb under Erebor, and it "gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached".[5]

[edit] Etymology

Orcrist is Sindarin for "goblin-cleaver".[6]

In the Etymologies, the name Orchrist is said to be a "sword-name", related to Noldorin risto ("rend, rip"), derived from the root RIS ("slash, rip").[7]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):

As in the book, the sword is found in the trolls' cave and is identified as Orcrist by Elrond in Rivendell. The hilt of the sword is a dragon's tooth and the sword contains the Sindarin inscription "NAGOL E-LYG" meaning "Tooth of-Snake [or dragon]".[8]
When it is discovered by the Goblins, the Great Goblin recognizes the sword, and claimed that it sliced a thousand necks. Later, when Thorin and Company are captured by the Wood-elves, Legolas personally confiscates the sword, believing that Thorin Oakenshield had stolen it from his kinfolk. He then takes up the legendary weapon as his own, using it when Bolg and his stealth-Orcs raid Lake-town in search of the Dwarves, and during the Battle of the Five Armies, where he returns Orcrist to Thorin just in time for his final showdown with Azog the Defiler.


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

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
  6. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 265
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 384
  8. Jude Fisher, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Visual Companion, p. 13