Anglachel

From Tolkien Gateway
Anglachel
Weapon
"Eöl's Swords" by María Lombide Ezpeleta
LocationNan Elmoth, Menegroth
OwnerThingol, Beleg, Túrin
AppearanceA glowing black blade that could slice through iron; forged from a meteorite
CreatorEöl
Nan Elmoth, First Age
DestroyedReforged as Gurthang
Notable forkilling of Beleg by Túrin
GalleryImages of Anglachel

[Anglachel] was a sword of great worth, and it was so named because it was made of iron that fell from heaven as a blazing star; it would cleave all earth-delved iron.

Anglachel was one of two swords forged by Eöl the Dark Elf (its mate was Anguirel). Forged from a meteorite, the blade was black but also glowed with a 'pale fire', and was so hard that it could easily slice through iron. It was said that the sword was imbued with Eöl's malice and was apparently sentient.

History

Eöl gave Anglachel to his overlord, King Thingol of Doriath, as payment for letting him dwell in the Forest of Nan Elmoth. Thingol would not wield the sword, as his wife Melian warned him that there was malice in the blade, so it stayed in the armoury of Menegroth.

In F.A. 487, Thingol allowed Beleg Strongbow to take any weapon he desired in his search of his friend Túrin, and Beleg took Anglachel. However, he would not return to Doriath after finding Túrin, and would fight by his side in the following years.

Once their emplacement was destroyed by Morgoth's armies, Beleg tracked down the Orcs taking Túrin captive to Angband. In the dead of night, he sought to free Túrin in secret, but when he used Anglachel to cut Túrin's bonds, the spite of the blade's forger made it slip and pricked the unconscious body of Túrin. Awakening from his stupor, Túrin thought the Orcs had returned to torture him, and during the struggle he slew Beleg with the blade. After the fight, Anglachel's edges became dull and turned a dead black, ceasing to glow. This was attributed to its apparent sentience, as Anglachel was in a state of mourning over the slaying of Beleg.

Túrin later reforged the sword with the help of the smiths of Nargothrond. The blade remained black, however, and Túrin renamed it Gurthang, meaning 'Iron of Death', and it would become his reknowned sword thereafter.[1]

Etymology

Christopher Tolkien notes that Anglachel contains the Sindarin elements ang ("iron") and lhach ("leaping flame").[2] Given that the last element is clearly êl ("star"), Paul Strack glosses the name as "Iron of the flaming star".[3]

See also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries ang, lhach
  3. Paul Strack, "S. Anglachel pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 6 December 2022)
Weapons in Tolkien's legendarium
 Arrows:  Black Arrow · Dailir · Red Arrow
Axes:  Dramborleg · Durin's Axe
Bows:  Belthronding · Bow of Bregor · Bow of the Galadhrim
Knives:  Angrist · Barrow-blades · Morgul-knife · Sting
Maces:  Grond
Spears:  Aeglos
Swords:  Anglachel/Gurthang · Anguirel · Aranrúth · Dagmor · Glamdring · Glend · Gúthwinë · Herugrim · Narsil/Andúril ·  Orcrist · Ringil · Sword of Manwë