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"I will give you a name... and I shall call you Sting."
Bilbo Baggins[1]

Sting was an Elven short-sword made in Gondolin during the First Age. Bilbo Baggins discovered Sting in the year TA 2941 in a Troll-hoard, and used it during the Quest of Erebor. He later passed it to his heir Frodo Baggins.


Though just a dagger by standard of the Elves, Sting made a perfect short-sword for a Hobbit, although it was still rather small. Bilbo initially chose to wear it "inside his breeches"[2] and was still able to travel and even run without any apparent inconvenience.

Sting was like Glamdring and Orcrist 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."[3] But only Sting was definitively described as glowing blue, or glittering with blue flame at its edges.

As fitting of a blade of Gondolin, Sting could easily cut the webs of Ungoliant's offspring such as Shelob and the spiders of Mirkwood.


Sting as depicted in film

An ancient Elvish blade made by weapon-smiths in Gondolin, Sting may have been lost during the Fall of Gondolin, the same battle in which Turgon fell and Glamdring was taken.

By the late Third Age, it came into the possession of three trolls dwelling in eastern Eriador. It was in their cave, in the year TA 2941, that Bilbo and his Dwarven companions found Sting alongside the Elven blades Glamdring and Orcrist. When rescuing Thorin and Company from the giant spiders of Mirkwood, Bilbo was inspired to give the sword its name after cutting himself free from a cocoon and slaying the spider guarding him.[4]

Just before his nephew embarked on his quest to Mordor from Rivendell, Bilbo gave Sting to Frodo. Sam then took the weapon from his (seemingly dead) master and used it to good effect against Shelob on the borders of Mordor.

Gollum, who disliked anything made by the Elves, was afraid of Sting. This fear aided Bilbo when he confronted Gollum in the cave at the base of the Misty Mountains in The Hobbit. This also helped Frodo and Sam subdue Gollum decades later, when they encountered him in the Emyn Muil. Orcs also had an instinctive fear of these weapons and hated any who carried them.

Following Frodo's departure to the Undying Lands it is unknown whether he took Sting with him or left it to Sam, as he did with the Red Book, in which case it would have landed in the possession of the Fairbairns or Gardners.

Portrayal in adaptations

Peter Jackson's films

"The blade glows blue when Orcs are close"

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf uncovers the blade on the floor of the cave as he was about to leave and gives it to Bilbo, who is waiting outside. Sting is depicted as vaguely leaf-shaped, with a spiral design and gently curving edges (much like a Greek xiphos), such as Tolkien described in his book. In The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, engraved on the blade are Sindarin letters that read phonetically, Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im. Translated they read, Sting is my name; I am the spider's bane.[5] According to the appendix of The Silmarillion, the element maeg in Sindarin means 'sharp' or 'piercing', and etymologies in The Lost Road and Other Writings give the meaning of the element nass as 'point', so "Maegnas" is literally translated as "sharp-point".

Bilbo holding Sting for the first time after its discovery

In the books there is no mention that Bilbo had the blade inscribed, and the inscription is not present in The Hobbit films, but after Bilbo named the blade Sting he could have had it inscribed by the elves during the story of The Hobbit or after, or the elves could have inscribed it for him after he returned to live in Rivendell. This seems likely since the engraving is in Sindarin and the elves obviously would have had the best experience in reshaping a blade such as Sting.

Despite both Glamdring and Orcrist being elvish blades of similar make, Sting is the only blade shown to glow blue in the The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films.


Frodo holding Sting
Hobbit the desolation of smaug bilbo-XL-banner1-610x298.jpg
Bilbo and Sting in Mirkwood
Bilbo holding Sting in the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Sting glowing in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
FR Desolation - Bilbo.jpg
Bilbo and Sting in a French The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster
Bilbo BOT5A Poster 2.jpg
Bilbo and Sting in a The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Stank
Albanian Djeg
Amharic ነደፈ
Arabic ستينغ
Armenian մազմզուկ
Azerbaijani Dişlək
Belarusian Cyrillic Джала
Bengali হুল
Bosnian Ubod
Bulgarian Cyrillic Стинг
Cambodian ទ្រនិច
Catalan Picada
Cebuano Mopaak
Chichewa Mbola
Chinese (Hong Kong) 刺針
Chinese (Mandarin) 刺叮
Croatian Žalac
Czech Žihadlo
Danish Stik
Dutch Prik
Esperanto Pikilon
Estonian Nõelamine
Filipino Sigid
Finnish Piikki
French Dard
Frisian Stekke
German Stich
Georgian ნესტარი
Greek Κεντρί (Kentri)
Gujarati સ્ટિંગ
Haitian Creole Pike
Hebrew עוקץ
Hindi डंक
Hmong Plev
Hungarian Fullánk
Icelandic Stunga
Indonesian Menyengat
Italian Pungolo
Japanese つらぬき丸
Kannada ಕುಟುಕು
Kazakh Стинг (Cyrillic) Stïng (Latin)
Korean 스팅
Kurdish Pêvedan (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic чагып алуу
Latin Stimulus
Latvian Dzēlums
Lithuanian Geluonis
Macedonian Cyrillic Стинг
Malaysian Sengat
Malayalam കുത്ത്
Maori Wero
Mongolian Cyrillic хатгах
Nepalese डंक
Norwegian Brodd
Pashto لیشه
Persian نیش
Portuguese Ferroada (Brazil) Ferrão (Portugal)
Polish Żądło
Punjabi ਸਟਿੰਗ
Romanian Țeapa (Înțepătura)
Romansh Piztgar
Russian Жало
Samoan Tui
Sanskrit ष्तिङ्
Serbian убод (Cyrillic) Ubod (Latin)
Sesotho Motsu
Sinhalese විෂ දළය
Shona Ruma
Slovenian Želo
Somalian Micida
Slovak Bodnutie
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Dardo
Sundanese Nyeureud
Swahili Nyuki
Tajik Cyrillic газидан
Tamil ஸ்டிங்
Telugu స్టింగ్
Thai ดาบสติง
Turkish Acı
Ukrainian Cyrillic Стинг
Urdu ڈنک
Uzbek Стинг (Cyrillic) Caqmoq (Latin)
Vietnamese Mũi Đốt
Welsh Golyn
Xhosa Suzela
Yiddish שטעכן
Yoruba Ta


External links