Anglachel, eventually renamed Gurthang, was a sword wrought by Eöl, the Dark Elf.

Description Edit

"There is malice in this sword. The dark heart of the smith still dwells in it. It will not love the hand it serves, neither will it abide with you long."
Melian on Anglachel[1]

It is described as being forged from the "iron that fell from heaven as a flaming star" or a meteorite. According to Melian, Eöl's malice was left in the sword.

Anglachel seems to have held a certain level of sentient awareness, poured into it from Eöl: it was fierce and bloodthirsty, drinking the blood of those it bit. "From no blood wilt thou shrink," said Turin after seeing it unharmed by the scorching blood of Glaurung. Nevertheless, innocent blood left a terrible shroud of grief on the sword, and it remembered: when it spoke to Turin it named two especially whose innocent blood it had drunk: Beleg, slain by mischance, and Brandir slain unjustly. It was noticed by Gwindor to "mourn" for Beleg[2], and was said to "rejoice" when unsheathed in war. Towards the close of the tale of Túrin Turambar, Anglachel even speaks.[3]

History Edit

Anglachel was one of two swords Eöl forged from a meteorite. The other, Anguirel, he kept for himself. Eöl gave this sword to Thingol as payment for staying in his forest, Nan Elmoth, though he did not relish giving it away. Thingol gave the sword in keeping to his subject Beleg Cúthalion, when Beleg left to seek down Turin. Whenever Beleg took the sword out of its sheath, the sword is said to have sung with gladness.

At one time, Beleg was unbinding the unconscious Túrin, who had been held captive. However, whilst undoing his bonds, the sword slipped or fell and cut Túrin in his foot. Túrin then woke, and not knowing who it was, slew Beleg with Anglachel, a mistake Túrin would mourn for a long while.

Túrin was then given the sword by Gwindor, and Túrin travelled to Nargothrond, Gwindor's place of birth, where the sword was reforged and renamed Gurthang, "Iron of Death".[1][4][5]

Etymology Edit

The name Anglachel means "Flaming Iron", from the Sindarin ang (iron") and lhach ("leaping flame").[6]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXI: "Of Túrin Turambar"
  2. The Children of Húrin, Ch. IX: "The Death of Beleg", pg. 157
  3. The Children of Húrin, Ch. XVIII: "The Death of Túrin", pg. 256
  4. Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, II: "Narn i Chîn Húrin" (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)
  5. The Children of Húrin, Narn i Chîn Húrin, The Tale of the Children of Húrin, V: "Túrin in Doriath"
  6. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
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