The Elven Swords of Lord of the Rings
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The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) franchise created by J.R.R Tolkien is a landmark piece of fantasy literature that established high elven warrior swords and mystical weapons in modern fantasy. Since the Lord of the Rings movie adaptations, replicas of the franchise’s elven swords have exploded in popularity, coming second only to the katana themed fantasy swords of Eastern-inspired media.
Elven Swords 101: What Makes Elven Blades Special
Longswords are a staple of Lord of the Rings, but even in a world where these weapons are commonplace, elven swords are a lot more special than the average human-wielded blade. This is because elven craftsmanship was considered superior to most, if not all methods used by other races because elves have long lifespans that allow them to refine a skill over the course of centuries.
Additionally, elven swords are built to last as their wielders need to be able to rely on them for ages. A great example of this is Glamdring, a sword that was forged during the First Age for the elven king Turgon who ruled over Gondolin. Though not all elven swords were created to have awesome powers like Glamdring, elven swords were typically reliable, beautifully made, and elegant weapons.
Here are a few types of elven swords named in the Lord of the Rings films.
1. Wood-Elven Saber
The wood-elves used sabers that were designed for thrusting and cutting through enemies from behind a shield. Because of this, there’s an emphasis on their blade length and v-shaped point to allow for reach and thrusting power. In this respect, they feel more similar to Viking swords designed for use in a shield wall than the other swords on this list.
2. Elven Lord Saber
The elven lord’s saber is a more elegant cousin to the wood-elf saber. These swords have long, elegant blades with tapered ends that are reminiscent of the rapier. Some of these swords do not have a handguard and instead favor a seamless silhouette that transitions from blade to hilt to pommel with little distinction in terms of design. Arewn and Elrond both use this type of sword in the films.
3. The Lhang
The Lhang was a sword used by high elves of Valinor and Galadhrim elves of the woods alike. This weapon was known for its short blade and quick-cutting design that was optimized for slashing opponents.
Other types of weapons such as daggers and short swords were also used in the books, though they don’t take a central role in the books or film. However, the films do include the Mirkwood Double-Bladed Polearm, a practical weapon used by Woodland Guards who serve Thranduil.
Lord of the Rings Swords You Can Get in Real Life
Lord of the Rings sword replicas are available online for fans of the franchise who want a display piece or a battle-ready sword they can show off at a Live Action Role Play (LARP) session. There are also unsharpened replica swords on this list for cosplay.
As the legendary Flame of the West, Anduril is a symbol of Aragorn’s destiny to become king and the resurgence of the kingdoms of men. It was created from the broken shards of Narsil, the original sword wielded by King Elendil, a distant ancestor of Aragorn.
This replica may be purely decorative, but its solid build and balanced pommel make you feel like you could take on the forces of Sauron with it. The sword features an elven inscription on the blade and has the clover-like motif of the original film sword on its crossguard and hilt. This replica is an officially licensed copy made by United Cutlery.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Length: 132 cm
The Glamdring sword is a sister sword of Orcrist and, to a lesser extent, the hobbit-sized Sting sword. Forged during the First Age, Glamdring glows when in the presence of evil orcs for whom it was designed to kill. The sword was believed to have been lost for eons until it was found by Gandalf together with Orcrist and Sting.
This replica is made of molded plastic, making it a great prop for cosplay since it is lightweight and affordable. The sword is painted to look silver and has a faux leather wrapped handle.
- Material: Molded ABS plastic
- Length: 66 cm
Arwen’s sword, by its name Hadhafang, it’s the only one on this list that’s battle-ready so you can take it out to fight orcs or giant spiders anytime you like. Wielded by the elven princess Arwen, this slender blade suits her regal appearance and indomitable fighting spirit.
The replica has a sharpened edge that you can choose to leave as is or order with additional custom sharpening. Like Anduril, the sword has an inscription in a style that matches the patterns on its wooden handle.
- Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
- Length: 76.2 cm
The powers of these elven swords may only exist on Middle Earth, but you can still get swords that look like them here in our world. These replica swords are the perfect gift idea for the LOTR fan in your life since they can serve as collector’s pieces, decor, or cosplay props.