Your Guide to the Narsil Sword and Its Replicas
The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) franchise, a fantasy book series written by J.R.R. Tolkien introduced audiences to some of the most lasting tropes in fantasy media, including a slew of swords that were used by elven kings and divine beings to vanquish the forces of evil. That said, there are so many swords in the series that it’s hard to keep track of them, let alone the minutiae about their lore.
The Narsil sword is among the most important swords featured in the franchise. The sword has legendary origins stretching back to the First Age of Middle-Earth and later comes into the hands of Aragorn, a protagonist of The Fellowship of the Ring.
5 Facts About the Narsil Sword
Heirloom swords are a common trope in fantasy media. Narsil takes this a step further by becoming not only an heirloom sword in the literal sense, but also in the thematic sense as the sword becomes a stand-in for characters and leitmotifs in the series. With such a long history, it’s no surprise that even the most dedicated LOTR fans may have missed key facts about Narsil’s lore.
1. Narsil Was Made by a Legendary Dwarf Smith
Though Narsil is later known for being the sword of King Elendil, a human king who allied himself with the elves, it was created by a dwarf known as Telchar.
Telchar’s distant position in the lore of Middle-Earth left him excluded from Peter Jackson’s adaptations, for practical reasons. That said, he’s an important figure from the First Age who created legendary weapons such as Azaghal’s dragon helm and Angrist, a knife that was later used to cut a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth.
This is an interesting tidbit since another powerful knife, Sting, resurfaces during the main story line together with Glamdring and the Orcrist. Narsil also makes a reappearance in its new form, signaling the thematic return of an age of heroes.
2. King Elendil Used It to Fight Sauron
After the sword was forged during the First Age by Telchar, it practically disappears from history until it later reemerges in the hands of King Elendil, an ancestor of Aragorn. Elendil established several human settlements and cities in Arnor, ruling as High King of the human realms. As king, he and his people worshiped Eru Iluvatar and the Valar. This naturally put him at odds with Sauron.
When Sauron returned in a new form at Mordor which was next to Gondor, he attacked Minas Ithil. This caused Elendil to ride into battle against him in the name of his people and Eru Iluvatar. Though he was slain by Sauron, his son Isildur takes his sword and uses it to cut the One Ring off of Sauron’s hand.
3. The Shards of Narsil Later Became Anduril
Elendil’s battle with Sauron resulted not only in his death but in the sword’s destruction. The longsword snapped in two during the fight, creating the so-called Shards of Narsil. Hence, it was actually the part of the blade length still attached to the hilt that Isildur used against Sauron in their fight.
The shards continued to be passed down to descendants of Elendil, even as they lost their kingdoms and became the Rangers of the North. These shards were later given to Aragorn who had it reforged during the Third Age as Anduril whose name meant Flame of the West, a nod to the location of the old kingdoms it originated from.
4. Narsil’s Name Means Light
Like Anduril, Narsil’s name comes loaded with light symbolism. Its name translates to “red and white flame”, a poetic way of describing the sun and moon. This name was chosen to declare Narsil as an enemy of darkness, a common metaphor for evil, and as the light for its people.
5. Narsil’s Reforging Into Anduril Is A Central Theme of Aragorn’s Story
The Return of the King isn’t just about the return of the Witch-king of Angmar. In a way, it can be taken to mean the return of the kings of Gondor and Arnor, the line from which Aragorn descends.
The reintroduction of the sword in the form of Anduril is symbolic of the re-triumph of good against evil, the return of Aragorn’s line, and the re-establishment of the said kingdoms. This point is further driven home when Aragorn proclaims the lands of Gondor and Arnor for men in the same way Elendil did ages ago.
How to Pick Out Your Lord of the Rings Sword Replica
Whether it’s an elven dagger being used as a knife by Frodo or a proper sword like Narsil and Anduril, picking out a LOTR sword replica requires careful deliberation of factors that affect the sword’s quality, suitability to different purposes, and collection value. Aside from considering the price and material of your Narsil sword replica, here are a few other things to keep in mind when buying a Narsil sword.
- Battle-ready vs. Display replica
Most sword replicas made of metal feature a stainless steel blade. Here’s the kicker, though: They aren’t all made for fighting. Most of these swords are not only unsharpened, they are also not made to withstand parrying and dealing blows. That’s why if you’re looking to use your replica sword in a real sparring match, you can’t substitute a battle-ready sword with a metal replica that was sharpened to have an edge.
Your intended purpose for a replica sword is worth taking into account when choosing a specific sword. After narrowing down your choice between a display replica and a battle-ready replica, you’ll have to decide whether a wood, steel, foam, or plastic one is best for you. The latter two are typically more cost effective, but the best looking swords are typically either wood or stainless steel.
- Certificate of Authenticity
While it isn’t difficult to find a good replica, we do not recommend overpaying for one that does not come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Unfortunately, there are vendors online who will try to pitch you swords that they claim are officially licensed replicas of Narsil or some other Lord of the Rings sword even if they aren’t.
If you’re purchasing a replica sword with the intent of building a high value collection, we recommend reaching out to the vendor to ask if they ship their swords with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Our Pick for the Best Narsil Replica Swords
Choosing a Narsil sword replica on your own can take hours of research, especially if you’re new to collecting replica swords. That’s why we’ve dug up our pick for the most trustworthy Narsil replica sword on the market that gives you the best value for your money and still looks fantastic on a wall or with a cosplay.
United Cutlery Narsil Sword Replica
United Cutlery’s Narsil Sword Replica is made of solid 420 stainless steel polished to a fine shine. The blade features a dull edge that looks convincingly sharp nonetheless. At the end of the blade is a silver plated cross guard and hilt with 24k gold fittings, resulting in an overall regal look that’s perfect for the heir of two kingdoms of Men.
The sword’s handle is wrapped with leather, making it easy to wield and closer to the real thing than other replicas on the market. But that’s mostly because this Narsil replica is an officially licensed reproduction that comes with a certificate of authenticity. It also comes with a wood display plaque so you can hang it in your home with ease.
- Material: Stainless steel
- Length: 132 cm
The Lord of the Rings is a beloved series for its timeless tale of friendship and the classic good triumphs over evil, but neither of these would be possible without the powerful swords in the series like Narsil. This legendary sword is a symbol of the kingdoms of Men and Aragorn himself, making it a potent visual theme for the film. You can get your very own Narsil to pass down to your descendants with our pick of the best Narsil replica sword.