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John Howe - Narsil.jpg
"Narsil" by John Howe
Other namesSword of Elendil, Sword-that-was-Broken, Shards of Narsil; after its reforging it was named Andúril
LocationNogrod, Númenor, Arnor, Rivendell
OwnerKings of Númenor, Lords of Andúnië, Elendil, Kings of Arnor, Kings of Arthedain, Chieftains of the Dúnedain
Nogrod, First Age
Notable forCutting the One Ring of Sauron's finger
GalleryImages of Narsil

Narsil was the sword of King Elendil of the Dúnedain. It was later known as Andúril.


[edit] History

Donato Giancola - Telchar forging Narsil

The sword was forged during the First Age by the famed Dwarven-smith Telchar of Nogrod.

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 Battle of Dagorlad where it shone with the light of the Sun and Moon, and then in the Siege of Barad-dûr; but Sauron killed him and the sword broke into two pieces under him as he fell, and its light was extinguished. Elendil's son Isildur took up the sword and used its shard to cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron.[1] 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, esquire of Isildur[2]. He took them to Rivendell,[3] where Isildur's youngest son Valandil was fostered, but Elrond foretold that it wouldn't be forged again until the One Ring was found again and Sauron returned.[1]

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".

[edit] Etymology

Narsil is a Quenya name meaning "red and white flame".[4][5] 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".[6]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Narsil was not broken in two but in several parts, and by Sauron stepping on it instead of it breaking as Elendil fell.
Unlike in the book, Aragorn does not bear them with him, but are kept on a display in Rivendell. Boromir drops the hilt on the floor and Aragorn is seen reverently replacing it back into the display. The sword is not reforged into Andúril until the third film.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Arwen persuades her father, Elrond to have Elven smiths reforge it from the shards and bring to Aragorn.

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.[7]

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

In the Extended Edition, Bilbo Baggins approaches and examines the shards in curiosity while in Rivendell, before he notices the mural of Isildur's battle with Sauron (the latter of whom is wearing the One Ring). Although the Shards are not mentioned in the book, it establishes continuity with Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings (film series).


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972), p. 425
  7. Quest Arc: The Blade That Was Broken, Lorebook,

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