Tolkien Gateway

Daggers of Westernesse

Revision as of 21:45, 20 October 2006 by Ted C (Talk | contribs)

The Daggers of Westernesse were forged by the Dúnedain of Cardolan during their war against the Witch-King of Angmar. They were apparently made for fighting the barrow wights sent from Angmar, and they had the special property to harm wraith-like spirits such as the barrow wights and the Nazgûl. After the fall of Cardolan, at least four of these daggers ended up in the tomb of the last prince of that realm.

In the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin became lost in the Barrow Downs and were captured by one of the wights and imprisoned in the tomb. Frodo was able to call Tom Bombadil to their aid, and he opened the tomb and drove the wight away. Tom advised the hobbits each to take something with them from the tomb, and gave each of them a dagger. These weapons proved useful later in their journey.

One of these daggers played a special role in The Return of the King. During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Meriadoc Brandybuck stabbed the Witch King in the back of the knee with his dagger.

"But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee."
The Return of the King, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Many fans speculate that the spells on this dagger made the Witch King vulnerable to Éowyn's more mundane sword, which allowed her to kill him. Both of the weapons used against the Witch-King were destroyed, as well.

"So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will."
The Return of the King


Weapons of Middle-earth
Aeglos · Andúril · Anglachel · Anguirel · Angrist · Aranrúth · Belthronding · Black Arrow · Bow of Bregor · Daggers of Westernesse · Dagmor · Dailir · Dramborleg · Durin's Axe · Glamdring · Grond · Gúthwinë · Gurthang · Herugrim · Morgul blades · Narsil · Orcrist · Red Arrow · Ringil · Sting