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Sting

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Sting by John Howe.

Sting was an Elvish knife made in Gondolin in the First Age. Engraved on the blade and cross-guard are letters in Sindarin that read phonetically, Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im. Translated into English, they read, Maegnas is my name, I am the spider's bane. According to the Appendix of The Silmarillion, the element maeg in Sindarin means 'sharp' or 'piercing'.

Sting was a magical weapon used by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, which he found in a Troll-hoard along with Glamdring and Orcrist. Although it was just a dagger by the standard of Men or Elves, it made an excellent sword for a Hobbit. Bilbo gives Sting to Frodo Baggins, just before the Fellowship of the Ring sets off from Rivendell. After the defeat of Sauron at the end of the Third Age, it passed to Samwise Gamgee.

Its proper name was Maegnas, as fitting in with the heritage of the city of Gondolin where it was forged. It was renamed 'Sting', in the colloquial manner of the hobbits, by Bilbo, and was referred to by that name in The Lord of the Rings.

It has the magic ability to detect any Orc presence near it. When this presence is felt, it glows blue, as it does when the Fellowship encounters Orcs in the mines of Moria.

Gollum, who similarly dislikes anything made by Elves, is afraid of Sting. This fear helped Bilbo when confronting Gollum under the mountain in The Hobbit. It also helps Frodo to tame Gollum (temporarily) in The Lord of the Rings.



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