The sword was forged during the First Age by the famed Dwarven-smith Telchar. The blade presumably was given to one of the Sons of Fëanor, possibly Curufin, who also held Angrist. It eventually came to Maglor, who likely gave it to Elros.
In the Second Age, Narsil was an heirloom of the descendants of Elros, the first King of Númenor. Although nothing is said of Narsil during this period, it eventually came into the hands of Elendil, a distant descendant, towards the close of the Second Age.
Elendil carried Narsil in the Siege of Barad-dûr, but Sauron killed him and the sword broke into two pieces under him as he fell. Elendil's son Isildur took up the sword and used its shard to cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. Isildur took the shards home with him. Shortly before Isildur was killed in the second year of the Third Age in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, the shards were rescued by Ohtar, squire of Isildur's oldest son. He took them to Rivendell, where Isildur's youngest son Valandil was fostered.
The Shards of Narsil were one of the heirlooms of the Kings of Arnor, and after the Northern Kingdom was destroyed they remained an heirloom of the Rangers of the North. It was not reforged until the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age in Rivendell as Andúril, the "Flame of the West", for Aragorn, who was by that time the Chieftain of the Dúnedain and heir of Isildur.
He carried the sword during his journey south as part of the Fellowship of the Ring, and fought with it in many instances. He referred to it as the "Sword That Was Broken" or "The Sword Reforged".
Narsil is a Quenya name meaning "red and white flame". The name is said to consist of the stems NAR ("fire"; cf. nár "fire") + THIL ("white light"). It was a symbolic name, pointing to the Sun and the Moon, the "chief heavenly lights, as enemies of darkness".
Portrayal in AdaptationsThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:
- Narsil was not broken in two but in several parts, which were kept at Rivendell, and by Sauron stepping on it instead of it breaking as Elendil fell. The sword is not reforged into Andúril until the third film, when Arwen persuades Elrond to have Elven smiths reforge it from the shards and bring to Aragorn.
- In the books, he actually wears the broken blade and shows it to the Hobbits when they meet at the Prancing Pony in Bree, and its reforging prior to the departure of the Fellowship is a decisive move toward kingship.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- The reforging of Narsil is experienced by the player in the quest arc called "The Blade that was Broken". The player sets out to find the last of the Silithair, shining adamants crafted by Elves of the house of Fëanor in days of old, in order for the Elf-smiths of Imladris to reforge the sword.
2012-3: The Hobbit films:
- The shards of Narsil appear in Rivendell.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 231
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 29
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972), p. 425
- ↑ Quest Arc: The Blade That Was Broken, Lorebook, lotro.com
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