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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Aragorn's Sword

Phantom
The Shire


Nov 3 2013, 11:07pm

Post #1 of 17 (496 views)
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Aragorn's Sword Can't Post

I can't recall for the life of me at the moment...was anything ever written about Aragorn's other sword, before he was given Anduril?

Did it have a name? What happened to it after he took posession of Anduril?

And what do trees have to talk about? Hmm...except the consistency of squirrel droppings?


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Nov 4 2013, 1:41am

Post #2 of 17 (323 views)
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His other sword [In reply to] Can't Post

was an invention of Peter Jackson, who felt that it didn't make much sense for a ranger to go ranging about armed only with a broken sword. So JRRT never wrote anything about it, but someone involved with the movies may have.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Psalm 27:2


sador
Half-elven


Nov 4 2013, 7:43am

Post #3 of 17 (294 views)
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No. [In reply to] Can't Post

As Meneldor pointed out, according to the book he was completedly unarmed all the way to Rivendell. Quite silly, of course - but no more than Thorin and Co. (and Gandalf!) going to take on Smaug completley unarmed.
This is in keeping with the Arthurian legends, according to which the knight-errant must find, earn or be granted his weapons on the way - but makes absolutely no sense in any near-realistic expedition. Jackson et. al. decided to "remedy" both Thorin and Aragorn from being ineffective clowns; but much of the poetic power of the original was lost.
And as far as Thorin is concerned, isn't the remedy worse than the disease? Why would a dwarf, armed to the teeth by the choicest weapons his folk can forge, prefer using an oversized elvish sword, which was likely made with view to the agility he does not possess, rather than the strength he does?

And welcome (back) to TORn!


elaen32
Gondor


Nov 4 2013, 9:04am

Post #4 of 17 (275 views)
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Yes, one does wonder... [In reply to] Can't Post

just how much use Aragorn would have been to Thengel or Ecthelion in battle, armed only with a broken sword. Perhaps he borrowed one?Crazy


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 4 2013, 10:40am

Post #5 of 17 (259 views)
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The pen is mightier than the sword ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps he just carried around a biro instead. Wink



malickfan
Gondor


Nov 4 2013, 10:53am

Post #6 of 17 (279 views)
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Just because another weapon wasn't mentioned it dosen't mean Aragorn wasn't armed [In reply to] Can't Post

There is nothing in the text either way to say if he was carrying a knife or axe etc.

In The Hobbit book, as well you could argue no weapons are mentioned becuase it would be common knowledge they would be required on the quest (granted Tolkien does mention apparently dissapearing musial instruments) it later mentions when the Dwaves are attacked by the spiders they fight back with Knives, but I can't recall where they were given them by Beorn or not.

In anycase in stories featuring Talking Purses, resurrected Angel Spirits and magical seeing stones I don't necessarily look for logic.

I don't have much to say.



Phantom
The Shire


Nov 4 2013, 3:21pm

Post #7 of 17 (233 views)
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He HAD to have been armed [In reply to] Can't Post

Though not mentioned specifically, there's no way the Captain of the Dunedain was unarmed...unless he was just sitting somewhere giving orders to his Rangers and not actually doing any patrolling/fighting himself (which we know wasn't the case.)

I'd always assumed he had an elvish blade given to him by Elrond, that would make the most sense anyway. Or maybe he had Arathorn's sword passed down to him? For film purposes you couldn't have him walking around unarmed. For the book, maybe he was considered "unarmed" if he carried a weapon that simply wasn't worth mentioning.

And what do trees have to talk about? Hmm...except the consistency of squirrel droppings?


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Nov 4 2013, 3:36pm

Post #8 of 17 (259 views)
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The "Ranger's Sword" from the films [In reply to] Can't Post

The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare by Chris Smith has some notes about Aragorn's other sword:

Quote

Although a Ranger, Aragorn carried a warrior's sword: nearly five feet long, its narrow fullered blade was four feet from steel cross-guard to sharply tapered tip. This gave the blade a powerful combination of strength, reach and speed. The shape of the blade suited Aragorn's style of fighting, whih had been strongly influenced by his Elven upbringing. More than other Men, he used his acute sense of balance and exceptional hand-eye coordination to outmaneuver his opponents, using the strength of their blow against them by taking the blow high up in their swing and redirecting it, using the length of his blade. Once off-balance, his foes were vulnerable to his lightning-fast counterattack, which normally would have been two-handed. The sword also gave him superior reach to thrust past an enemy's defense using a one-handed strike. Because of its length, the sword had a long handgrip bisected by a steel ring, so that it could be gripped with either one or two hands depending on the method of attack, and the blade was counter-balanced by a large scent-bottle-shaped pommel. The scabbard was plain but had wrapped to it under the leather covering a small second scabbard that contained a utility knife, which would have been used for day-to-day tasks such as skinning animals, cutting wood for kindling, cutting twine and rawhide for repairs and other sundry chores.



The blade probably represented the highest standard of the sword-maker's art at the end of the Third Age--at least among Men. In size, it was about the same length as Narsil/Anduril. Tolkien would have probably referred to it as a greatsword or a longsword, although it is longer than the blades most modern fantasy gamers would think of by those names. He likely would have called a long, straight one-handed sword either a broadsword or just a sword.

The Elven hunting knife given to Aragorn by Celeborn in Lothlorien is huge, probably larger than a bowie knife. As a gamer, I would almost give it the stats of a short sword or a machete.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 4 2013, 3:39pm)


elaen32
Gondor


Nov 4 2013, 3:37pm

Post #9 of 17 (213 views)
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Was it named Inkling??// [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Perhaps he just carried around a biro instead. Wink



Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 4 2013, 7:03pm

Post #10 of 17 (202 views)
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Or he carried around a ream of paper [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you ever had a nasty paper cut? They can hurt and bleed! And it's a weapon no one expects you to use, so you have the element of surprise. I'm sure he brandished his sharp-edged paper on Weathertop, and set it afire to boot, and that double threat was what panicked the Nazgul, as it would anyone with a sense of self-preservation.


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Nov 4 2013, 10:05pm

Post #11 of 17 (187 views)
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Ha! Mods up!! (meaning Wonderful! You get the win! :) )// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 5 2013, 6:03pm

Post #12 of 17 (202 views)
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"Not much use is it, Sam?" [In reply to] Can't Post

Before their last parting, Aragorn said to his mother Gilraen: "yet there may be a light beyond the darkness; and if so, I would have you see it an be glad."

Aragorn said to Frodo that after his last meeting with Gandalf "I went away on a journey of my own." Perhaps Aragorn now aware of the finding of the Ring brough Narsil from Rivendell and went for a last blessing at Gilraen's tomb.

In the poem about Aragorn, the line "a light from the shadows shall spring;" comes right before "renewed shall be blade that was broken." (There is a clear timeline there ending with "the crownless again shall be king.")

And Strider says to Sam about his sword "but the time is near when when it shall be forged anew." In my view this reinforces the idea that Aragorn felt the time was ripe (the Ring was found) and he was fully prepared to become the gift of Hope given by Gilraen, hence the blessing.

The unintended consequence, or fate, of bringing Narsil for a last ritual before it was reforged and renamed (just like Aragorn would receive the Elessar jewel and be renamed after it) was that Aragorn met the ageless and wondrous Ring in proper regalia of destituteness as described in the poem, broken blade and all. So in this second meeting between Narsil and the Ring upon the road, Narsil, like Aragorn is a thing unworthy of trust. Strider and his Shard are equals in misery in everyone's eyes, including ours, just when both are about to start their Quest to be remade.

"Not much use is it, Sam?" said Aragorn taunting an unaware Sam with the very hilt of Elendil's sword, used by Isildur to cut the Ring from Sauron's hand. And so we agree with him in this thread that it is indeed of not much use, not much use!

But a light had sprung from the shadows, just in time for Frodo to follow it.

This is my interpretation of the presence of Narsil in Bree, based in a, perhaps, erroneous idea about Aragorn's journey of his own.


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Nov 5 2013, 6:17pm

Post #13 of 17 (179 views)
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Awesome interpretation, Plurmo! [In reply to] Can't Post

As one of those people who have never been able to understand why Aragorn is carrying a broken sword across Middle-earth, I can only bow to your poetic interpretation. This is probably the best thing I have read on it.

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 5 2013, 7:35pm

Post #14 of 17 (167 views)
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Nice!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps the advent of the Ring was the sign he was waiting for. In the books, Aragorn was not the reluctant king that Viggo was. No disrespect, but there is a clear difference.

Book-Aragorn had been preparing to retake the kingship from a young age. Elrond had aided and trained him for this task, but I don't think that he or Aragorn saw a clear way to reclaiming his crown. With the advent of the Ring, and the possibility of destroying it, they had the 'light from the shadows' that gave a small hope. In my interpretation of the prophecy's consecutive lines, by following the light, and reforging the sword, he would reclaim his crown. Thus it was for him to help Frodo, and reforge Narsil. Thus he would reclaim his kingship.

The sword was not yet remade because the hope, the 'light, was not yet manifested in Rivendell. I think he carried it in expectation of finding the hope, and he would not reforge it until he had found it.

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


sador
Half-elven


Nov 6 2013, 7:41am

Post #15 of 17 (171 views)
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Neat indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, it strtengthens the point even more: it shows how beautiful the concept is from a poetic point of view, and how impractical; after all, Aragorn knew that the Nine were about.
(Just a different thought - could it be that knowing ordinary swords were to no avail against them, he prefered this hallowed talisman? But still, there are the likes of Bill Ferny about, to say nothing of your stray troll)



In Reply To

In my view this reinforces the idea that Aragorn felt the time was ripe (the Ring was found) and he was fully prepared to become the gift of Hope given by Gilraen, hence the blessing.




This is correct for sure; after all, Aragorn tells Boromir in the Council of Elrond that the shards of Narsil were kept because of an old prophecy that the sword would be re-forged once Isildur's Bane will awaken (this prophecy is, without doubt, the source of Bilbo's poem).

This topic was discussed extensively soon after I joined TORn (I still had the stupid custom of marking my posts with a cup of coffee Blush), and several fascinating insights were brought. In case anyone is interested, you can read it here.


Asger
Bree


Nov 10 2013, 9:46pm

Post #16 of 17 (89 views)
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'Branding' [In reply to] Can't Post

...was the name of Aragorns first sword as was told in HoME 7. Well, actually it just was Tolkiens first name for Aragorns sword, but then...

"Don't take life seriously, it ain't nohow permanent!" Pogo
www.willy-centret.dk


Elskidor
Rohan

Nov 14 2013, 7:00pm

Post #17 of 17 (79 views)
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Hmm [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
was an invention of Peter Jackson, who felt that it didn't make much sense for a ranger to go ranging about armed only with a broken sword. So JRRT never wrote anything about it, but someone involved with the movies may have.



I always pictured him carrying a gun.

 
 

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