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Glamdring (also called the Foe-hammer) was a hand-and-a-half sword, forged for Turgon, the Elven King of Gondolin during the First Age, and much later owned by the wizard Gandalf.

History Edit

In the First Age, Turgon probably wielded it in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad and in the Fall of Gondolin. For over 6,000 years Glamdring went missing, being salvaged and surviving the War of Wrath, until Gandalf found it in a Troll's cave in Eriador in TA 2941 (alongside Orcrist and what was later called 'Sting') and claimed it for himself.[3] With Glamdring Gandalf slew the Great Goblin shortly thereafter in Goblin-town, before he and Thorin Oakenshield routed his underlings. Gandalf continued to use Glamdring through the events of The Lord of the Rings.

It was called "Beater" by the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. They called Thorin Oakenshield's sword, Orcrist, "Biter".

Appearance Edit

Glamdringrunes

The Rune inscription on Glamdring in the films

Glamdring, along with Orcrist its mate, are described in The Hobbit as having "...beautiful scabbards and jeweled hilts", and Glamdring was referred to by Elrond as "Foe-hammer that the King of Gondolin once wore". In Unfinished Tales, one of the footnotes to the story "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" mentions that the sword of Turgon was "...white and gold...in a ruel-bone (ivory) sheath,..." While Glamdring is not mentioned by name, it is reasonable to assume that the same sword is described.

Like all High-elven swords, Glamdring was like Orcrist and Sting in that "being the work of Elvish smiths in the Elder Days these swords shone with a cold light, if any Orcs were near at hand,"[4] and so it warned its bearers of nearby evil. Glamdring was "bright as blue flame for delight in the killing of the" Great Goblin,[5] but that could have referred to its brightness in that situation; everywhere else in Tolkien's writings, Glamdring's color when glowing is always described as white. 

Etymology Edit

The name Glamdring is the Quenya for "Foe-hammer", from the Ñoldorin word dring ("beat, strike").[6]

Portrayal in adaptations Edit

Peter Jackson's film trilogies Edit

Gandalf Glamdring

Gandalf the White with Glamdring during the Battle at the Black Gate.

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series, Glamdring is one of Gandalf's primary weapons, the other being his staff. As mentioned above, it has runes engraved in the Cirth script. Weta Workshop designer Richard Taylor stated that this was done with the intention that Elves put magic inscriptions on the blade to strengthen it. This idea is repeated with various other weapons, such as Andúril. In the Hobbit trilogy, Gandalf is able to recognise it as a sword of Gondolin, but Elrond identifies it by name. The design of the blade is also different to the Elvish curved swords regularly seen, likely because the blade was made in the First Age, where sword design was different.

While it does not glow in the films it is still powerful, especially in Gandalf's fight with the Balrog. It is strong enough to pierce the Balrog's flesh without damage, and is used by Gandalf to direct attacks of lightning, which enable him to vanquish the Balrog eventually.

Glamdring is inscribed with runes in the Elven language. In the movies, the runes say "Turgon Aran Gondolin, Tortha gar a matha Glamdring, Vegil Glamdring gud daelo. Dam an Glamhoth." which translates to "Turgon, King of Gondolin, wields, has, and holds the sword Glamdring, Foe of Morgoth's realm, Hammer of the Orcs."[7] This inscription, however, is not from J.R.R. Tolkien's writings. Tolkien only says in The Hobbit that the names of the swords were given in the runes. (A problem with this inscription is that it is in Sindarin, while Tolkien stated late in his life that Turgon had re-established Quenya as the language of his household in Gondolin (see The Peoples of Middle-earth, pg. 348).)

Reproductions Edit

In addition to the licensed reproduction sword linked below, Del Tin Antiche of Italy made unlicensed interpretations of both Glamdring and Orcrist, which were sold through Museum Replicas, Ltd. back in the mid to late 1980's. These were very high quality steel and well-constructed (if quite plain).

United Cutlery currently manufactures an officially licensed replica of the movie prop. (UC2942)

Translations around the world Edit

Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic غلامدرينغ
Armenian Գլամդրինգ
Belarusian Cyrillic Гламдрынг
Bengali গ্লম্দ্রিন্গ
Bulgarian Cyrillic Гламдринг
Czech Vrahomlat
Chinese (Hong Kong) 敵擊劍
Finnish Vainovasara
Georgian გლამდრინგი
Greek Γκλάμντρινγκ
Gujarati ગ઼લમ્દ્રિન્ગ
Hebrew גלאמדרינג
Hindi ङ्लम्द्रिङ
Japanese グラムドリング
Kannada ಘ್ಲಮ್ದ್ರಿಂಗ್
Kazakh Гламдрінг (Cyrillic) Glamdring (Latin)
Korean 글람드링
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Гламдринг
Lithuanian Glamdringas
Macedonian Cyrillic Гламдринг
Marathi घ्लम्द्रिङ्ग
Mongolian Cyrillic Гламдринг
Nepalese ग्लैमरडिंग
Pashto علامدرینګ ?
Persian علامدرینگ
Punjabi ਗ਼ਲਮ੍ਦ੍ਰਿਨ੍ਗ
Sanskrit ङ्लम्द्रिङ्
Serbian Гламдринг (Cyrillic) Glamdring (Latin)
Slovenian Glamdring - Klina
Russian Гламдринг
Tajik Cyrillic Гламдринг
Telugu గ్లాండ్రింగ్ ?
Thai แกลมดริง
Ukrainian Cyrillic Ґламдрінґ
Urdu گلامڈرانگ
Uzbek Гламдринг (Cyrillic) Glamdring (Latin)
Vietnamese Đập tan Kẻ Thù
Yiddish גלאַמדרינג


References Edit

  1. The Hobbit, Chapter III: "A Short Rest"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter IV: "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  3. The Hobbit, Chapter III: "A Short Rest"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV: "A Journey in the Dark"
  5. The Hobbit, Chapter IV: "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  6. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  7. The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare

External link Edit

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