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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Question about Glamdring


Jul 18 2013, 12:05pm

Post #1 of 12 (1130 views)
Question about Glamdring Can't Post

Thorin and Gandalf got hold of Orcrist and Glamdring in the troll-hoard, and both swords were crafted by the elves of Gondolin during the first age. But while Orcrist has that curved blade and grip that is typical for elven swords in PJ's M-E universe, Glamdring looks like a standard "human" sword with a straight blade and grip and a long cross-guard. Could it that PJ and the people at WETA weren't aware that the sword had elven origins when they first designed it for LOTR? Any thoughts?

Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Jul 18 2013, 2:23pm

Post #2 of 12 (646 views)
I'm sure that Jackson and the WETA crew were well aware of Glamdring's origins [In reply to] Can't Post

Glamdring is usually illustrated as a straight longsword. I thought it was more interesting that they decided to design Orcrist differently.

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


Jul 18 2013, 2:52pm

Post #3 of 12 (661 views)
Goblin Cleaver [In reply to] Can't Post

Weta designed Orcrist to be a "cleaver" type weapon to go with its name. Pretty clever really. It also looks to have a dragon tooth in the handle (or is that pummel in sward-speak. I don't know.) If you look closely you can see that Orcrist's sheath is open at the side curved side. That seems a little dangerous but it is cool.

Lieutenant of Dol Guldur

Jul 18 2013, 5:24pm

Post #4 of 12 (589 views)
Compare Glamdring to known human blades [In reply to] Can't Post

Well it's not that simple. From all of the three Gondolin swords Glamdring is the one that looks most similar to human swords that's right. But if you look closely they all have similarities. Blades of human swords are far more simple than Glamdring. If you look at Aragorns first sword, the ones of Boromir or Faramir or the ones from Rohan. It's only the hilt that looks different but the blade is straight but Glamdring has curves. The only "human" sword that looks similar is the one of the Witch King of Angmar. And yes, of course the did know that Glamdring has elven origins.

"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Jul 18 2013, 7:36pm)

Superuser / Moderator

Jul 18 2013, 7:37pm

Post #5 of 12 (499 views)
Oversized image removed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Feel free to resize it as per our guidelines and repost it within this thread.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Saurons master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jul 19 2013, 4:37am

Post #6 of 12 (402 views)
Different uses [In reply to] Can't Post

The longsword ie Glamdring was used for thrusting and penetrating armor plate.

The flachion ie Orcrist was a cleaver it has the usabilty of a sword with the power of an axe and was generally used to chop through chain mail.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.


Jul 19 2013, 6:58am

Post #7 of 12 (365 views)
That makes sense. Thanks. // [In reply to] Can't Post


Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Jul 19 2013, 8:07am

Post #8 of 12 (372 views)
Thrusting swords find the gaps in plate, they don't penetrate it [In reply to] Can't Post

and cutting swords do not go through maille (chain) like movies tend to show. The targets on opponents so armoured would be the less well protected areas.

A falcion or in fact any sword has very different dynamics to an axe.

Glamdring has the proportion of a longsword, but is pure fantasy as it is an elongated form of a much earlier leaf blade. Although the point would aid in thrusting the rest of the blade is contrary to what would be required to impart the neccessary rigidity for thrusting against armoured opponents.

It is clear from the runes on it's guard and the variuos literature surrounding the movie sword that they knew it was elven.

(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Jul 19 2013, 8:08am)


Jul 19 2013, 8:18am

Post #9 of 12 (359 views)
i beg to differ [In reply to] Can't Post

The wide cutting blade of the Falchion sword was very effective against mail armor. The sword was primarily inted to be used as a cutting weapon, however the tip is very strong and can penetrate mail with a hard stab or thrust making this a well designed fighting sword. The blade is tempered high carbon steel with steel pommel and guard. The grip is leather covered wood. Leather scabard included.


I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.


Jul 19 2013, 8:42am

Post #10 of 12 (350 views)
more [In reply to] Can't Post


The Falchion
The falchion is a shorter, single-edged weapon which became popular at about the 1100s. It is designed with hacking and slashing in mind, having a weighted blade that is balanced more towards the foible rather than just above the cross-guard. It was typically slightly curved at the end to enhance its slashing capability. This allowed the falchion to be used similarly to an axe, bringing more weight to bear upon the target and providing the power to cut through tough armor. The weapon itself is seen in medieval art across the world suggesting it to be a highly popular blade. However very few specimens of falchion have remained in existence. There is some speculation that this is also due to the popularity of the weapon for use in battle, indicating that most falchions were lost or destroyed in the process of battle.

There were two primary types of falchions that have been identified. They are referred to as Type I and Type II. Type I resembles the scimitars of the Turks, having a false back edge or eclip pointf which enables thrusting as well as the slashing and hacking attacks. Due to the similarity in design to the scimitar, there has been discussion on the likelihood of the falchion being modeled after the popular Turkish blade. The Type II falchion design simply has a straight back, while the blade extends out and then curves in to meet the back.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.


Jul 19 2013, 8:55am

Post #11 of 12 (356 views)
Without Prejudice [In reply to] Can't Post

there is a great deal of misinformation out there about ancient weapons including medieval swords. Some misinformation is present within the industry. I particularly note the comment about the mass distribution. Examples exist of Falchion's with Points of Balance being marginally closer to the guard or very similar to contemporary two edged swords, which is the opposite of the comment you referenced. Swords with Points of Balance further down the blade tended to be cvalry weapons such as The Sword of Saint Maurice of Turin, which had a POB some 9 inches dwon the blade as opposed to the usual 4 or 5 inches.

The Falchion tip is designed for thrusting but a fair amount of combatants in all levels of conflict were poorly armoured. Our modern concepts of how armies were arrayed is probably badly skewed by movies. So a thrust from this would be deadly to an opponent who was unarmoured, or lightly armoured, but due to the rapid widening of the blade getting sufficient force behind a thrust to pop maille links would take an ideal set of circumstances, do not expect to see someone with a Falchion trapesing around a battle field thrusting here and there dispatching foes that are wearing maille. Certainly do not expect to see anyone with a falchion or any other type of sword cutting through any type of reasonably constructed medieval steel armour. For true armour defeating thrusting swords you have to look at Oakeshott Type XVII's, XVIII,s and Estocs, and as per my previous post these defeated armour by penetrating the gaps, sliding in and finding the target underneath. They did not hit their target by piercing the steel.

I can ony suggest further reading due to the compelxity of the subject, myarmoury.com, albion swords who make the most historically accurate swords of any manufacturer (they make a Falchion which on the surface at first glance appears similar to the one you referenced, being based on the very famous Thorpe Falchion, but Albions costs around US$1,200) or anything that Ewart Oakeshott wrote or Peter Johnsson writes on the subject of swords.

(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Jul 19 2013, 9:00am)


Jul 28 2013, 3:07am

Post #12 of 12 (255 views)
Been doing some reading [In reply to] Can't Post

The consensus on Falchions is that there is none.

They really are not sure .... even experts and collectors.

Some say one thing and others say another.

What I did read was that the use of falchions was very wide spread across Europe.

Dated illustrations show knights using them and they were part of the repetoire of knightly weapons, most likely as a sidearm for close quarters combat. They were used prior to the use of the super heavy plate armor ie maxmillian type or similar armors when it was common to have some plate armor pieces, but the majority was chain mail. It was used later in Italy when the common soldiers wore perhaps a breast plate and a helm only with the advent of firearms.

Illustrations show them lopping off heads and arms.

The debate still rages about cutting through mail, but armors like a jack of plate did not cover arms or legs.

One theory is that it is an evolved form of a seax.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

(This post was edited by Yngwulff on Jul 28 2013, 3:08am)


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