Literature and Mythology

The Reforged Flame of the West – Aragorn’s Anduril Sword

R. R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, book art cover

What is Anduril?

In the Lord of the Rings series, Anduril(also ‘the Sword That Was Broken’ or ‘the Sword Reforged.’)is the sword of Aragorn, a ranger of the North. It was a sword that was reforged from the shards of another sword called Narsil, the longsword wielded by the former King Elendil of Gondor.

In the Elven language, Quenya, Anduril means ‘Flame of the West.’ It is a sword with a straight, double-edged blade, with an inscription that reads, “I am Anduril, who was Narsil, Elendil’s sword. Let the thralls of Mordor flee me.” This sword is one of the most famous swords in the world of Lord of the Rings, given the sword’s origin.

What does Anduril Look Like?

There are some discussions about what sort of sword which Anduril falls in to. Anduril easily could be described as a longsword in the movies. However, there were no precise measurements for the sword Anduril to describe it as a definite longsword.A longsword should have a straight, double-edged blade about 33 to 43 inches in length. There must also be a cruciform hilt that is ideal for a two-handed grip measuring between 6 to 11 cm.

This is where it becomes a bit confusing. Aragorn uses Anduril with only one hand and a shield with another, which seems to be a style used for an arming sword. Nevertheless, the Anduril could still be regarded as a long weapon, but it would be much harder to carry it one-handed. Despite that, it may have been used to demonstrate Aragorn’s strength.

Since Anduril is a sword with a long blade, it somewhat resembles a longsword or a great sword. Also, the hilt of the Anduril is long enough for a two-handed grip, with its upper half having a black color.

How Aragorn possessed the Anduril?

Long ago, the sword was a symbol of the kingship in Gondor, the South Kingdom, and the Arnor, the North Kingdom. However, when the sword was broken in the second age, its fragments remained as the heirloom for the Kings of Arnor and to the Chieftains of Dunedain, the rulers of the Rangers of the North.

After three thousand years, Aragorn set out for the War of the Ring. It was then when the Narsil was reforged by the Elven smiths of Rivendell, and Aragorn renamed the sword, ‘Anduril.’During his journey to the South as a part of the  Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn had carried the Anduril as his weapon and fought with it. The Anduril’s sheath was specially made and was the first of the Gifts of Galadriel. Upon entering the Meduseld, the Great Golden Hall, Aragorn initially declined to give it to Doorward Hama and began a long conflict with him, before Gandalf had persuaded him.Aragorn, ever since then, use Anduril as his primary weapon until the end of his life.

The Abilities of Anduril

Anduril is actually quite similar to the Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur, and is described to exude light. In fact, with every mention of Anduril in the books, its light is always be described after that.

The same description was also given to the Excalibur in some versions of its story. But again, it is unknown if the light Anduril is a symbol of power. In addition, both swords are also the property of kings. While Anduril has initially been the sword Narsil and was rebuilt from its broken pieces, the Excalibur sword was also a new sword given to King Arthur by the Ladyof the Lake after he broke his original one. Besides, both the Anduril and Excalibur have a sheath that protects as well.

It is not known whether Anduril has any power. However, Aragorn mentioned that any man other than himself who draws the sword from his sheath would face death. With Anduril, Aragorn can ally himself with a very large army of powerful allies, bound by the sword. Finally, the sword struck terror into the hearts of the enemy, for it had slain Sauron by the hand of Elendil. This was just because of Anduril ‘s reputation.

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