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The Identity of Sting

Artomun
Registered User

Mar 23 2013, 4:45am


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    Upon purchasing and rewatching Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, I have discovered that from within my mind has arisen an especial interest in the passing on of important and iconic items throughout the ages of Middle-Earth. I am fascinated by the fact that Gandalf's sword Glamdring belonged to Turgon king of Gondolin in the first age, and thus was a participant of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad; that Thorin's sword Orcrist [may have] belonged to Ecthelion in the first age, and thus would have been the very blade that slew Gothmog, captain of the Balrogs; that Aragorn's sword Anduril was a reforging of Narsi­l, the sword of Elendil, and cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand; that Turin's sword Gurthang was once Anglachel, forged of a meteorite by Earl, given to Thingol king of Doriath, then passed on to Beleg, who was slain with Anglachel by the hand of Turin.
In The Hobbit, Thorin and Gandalf discover the ancient blades of Gondolin, Glamdring and Orcrist; the fame these blades bear is clear. However, Bilbo makes another discovery. Bilbo found, among these blades of renown, a small dagger, a knife, really. Nothing is ever said to contend for the blade's import, but that it was made in Gondolin and therefore must have been used by the elves in war with Morgoth. But I feel that such ambiguity is not acceptable or to be believed in the writings of a man who specialized in detail and connections between stories and the effects of certain events on others. Therefore, I propose a [hopefully] logical theory as to the true identity of Sting.
In Narn I Chin Hurin (that's The Tale of the Children of Hurin for you folk who don't speak Sindarin), Hurin dwells for a time with Turgon in Gondolin. He is permitted to leave only because he didn't know whence he came by the hidden city. When he returned home to Dor-lomin, Hurin gave to his son Turin a birthday gift: an elvish knife from Gondolin. Turin in turn passes this knife to Sador "Labadal," who was his father figure in Hurin's absence. Tolkien passed away before he was able to finish his legendarium, if it even was completable. However, the story of Turin Turambar was among his favorites, and I believe that he would have loved to connect that story to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings via Sting.
My theory is that Sting is in fact the knife which was once owned by Turin. At first, I believed I thought in error, for Turin's knife is described as being bound in black leather and rested in a sheath of black leather as well, while Sting is shown to be bound in and sheathed in brown leather in the Peter Jackson movies. Alas, I cracked open my good ol' one volume edition LotR and found that Sting's hilt is never described, and the sheath is of battered black leather, which agrees with the description of Turin's knife. Also, Sting was forged in Gondolin, and that is where Hurin came by the knife to give to his son. Turin says to Sador, as he is giving him the knife, that it will serve his purpose well and will easily cut through any surface; when Bilbo bestows Sting to Frodo, he showcases the knife's sharpness by plunging it deep into a wooden beam with little effort, going along with the description given by Turin himself. The thought of this connection is thrilling in my mind, and I can but hope that it is so. A problem is encountered in contending with this theory, though: we don't know what happens to the knife. When Turin returns to Dor-lomin, he finds Sador and converses with him, but the knife is not mentioned either in the dialogue or the narration. I propose two possibilities (which I deem plausible, though many exist) for this situation. First, perhaps the knife was taken from Sador by the Easterlings and perhaps was borne away from Dor-lomin and even Beleriand, which is how it came to be in a troll's horde. Second, perhaps Turin took the knife with him after Sador died and it was left near the Teiglin River where Turin died, to be found later either by the trolls or one of their victims. However it found its way into the troll horde, it matters not; I have no doubt that this connection between Turin, Bilbo, and Frodo is legitimate.


(This post was edited by Rosie-with-the-ribbons on Mar 23 2013, 11:57am)

Subject User Time
The Identity of Sting Artomun Send a private message to Artomun Mar 23 2013, 4:45am
    Brilliant first post. DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Mar 23 2013, 1:21pm
        Many Thanks Artomun Send a private message to Artomun Mar 23 2013, 9:30pm
            H. "Is the knife Sting?" squire Send a private message to squire Mar 23 2013, 10:29pm
                Wow Artomun Send a private message to Artomun Mar 24 2013, 12:39am
    It is more likely the other way around squire Send a private message to squire Mar 23 2013, 2:19pm
        Touche Artomun Send a private message to Artomun Mar 23 2013, 9:21pm
            The Mind of a Goldfish Artomun Send a private message to Artomun Mar 23 2013, 9:35pm
    Brilliant! CaptainFaramir13 Send a private message to CaptainFaramir13 Mar 23 2013, 7:29pm
    Sting Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval Jun 23 2013, 10:38pm

 
 
 

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