|This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.|
The whetting spell was a magic song that was sung by Beleg according to the early version of the legendarium in The Lay of the Children of Húrin. The spell mentions several and mysterious concepts that would never appear in any other works by J.R.R. Tolkien; the spell itself will not appear in later versions of the story.
History[edit | edit source]
After Túrin had been captured by Orcs, his friend Beleg and the Gnome Flinding rescued him from the enemy's camp while he was still chained and unconscious. Once they took him nearby, Beleg sought his sword to cut Túrin's chains, and whispered a magic song to sharpen it:
There wondrous wove he words of sharpness,
and the names of knives and Gnomish blades
he uttered o'er it: even Ogbar's spear
and the glaive of Gaurin whose gleaming stroke
did rive the rocks of Rodrim's hall;
the sword of Saithnar, and the silver blades
of the enchanted children of chains forged
in their deep dungeon; the dirk of Nargil,
the knife of the North in Nogrod smithied;
the sweeping sickle of the slashing tempest,
the lambent lightning's leaping falchion
even Celeg Aithorn that shall cleave the world.
Then whistling whirled he the whetted sword-blade
and three times three it threshed the gloom,
till flame was kindled flickering strangely
like licking firelight in the lamp's glimmer
blue and baleful at the blade's edges.
—The Lay of the Children of Húrin, "II. Beleg", p. 45, vv. 1207-1223
List of terms[edit | edit source]
Below is a list of terms that are used within the whetting spell.
- Ogbar, whose gleaming spear tore the rocks of Rodrim's hall.
- Gaurin, whose gleaming glaive tore the rocks of Rodrim's hall.
- Rodrim, whose hall was torn apart by the weapons of Ogbar and Gaurin.
- Saithnar, whose sword was invoked.
- Nargil, whose knife was forged in the north in Nogrod. (In a note, Loruin was written as an alternative name to Nargil).
- Celeg Aithorn, a mythological sword or lightning bolt that will cleave the world.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin: II. Beleg", Commentary on Part II 'Beleg', p. 54
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin: II. Beleg", p. 49