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Orcrist

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Orcrist by Audrey Corman.

Orcrist was the sword of the leader of Durin's folk, Thorin. It had a fancy scabbard and a jeweled hilt. Thorin obtained the weapon when he and his company searched the trolls' cave early in the quest of Erebor.[1]

Goblins called the blade Biter.[2] It had been crafted by the Elves, who not only made it a valuable weapon, but also a feared one, particularly among traditional enemies of the Elves: Orcs and other evil creatures of Middle-earth.[3] Like Glamdring and Sting, the blade could detect the presence of Orcs and warn its bearer by glowing blue.

Thorin was mortally wounded at the Battle of Five Armies. After his death Orcrist was placed upon Thorin's tomb and it "gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached".[4]

Possession

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

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, 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 of the Fountain perished in Gondolin as he slew Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. Egalmoth wielded a curved-blade, most likely a falchion; in any case, Orcist was not curved. Salgant was a lesser lord and was feeble and subservient to Maeglin. The only other possibility is Penlod, who's house (House of the Tower of Snow) was lesser in status than Ecthelion's (House of the Fountain).

Etymology

In Sindarin Orcrist means "Goblin-cleaver" (Orch + rist).

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

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"