J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings(LOTR) franchise introduced audiences to the world of Middle-Earth where elven and hobbit heroes go on adventures to save the world from the forces of evil. That said, none of it would be possible without the help of elvish swords from the First Age whose powers allow their users to vanquish evil. One of the most popular swords is the Sting sword, a weapon used by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
4 Important Facts About the Sting Sword
While the sword of Gandalf and other movie swords from LOTR are known for their power and beauty, the shorter Sting sword remains a popular collector’s item because of its significance in The Hobbit. These important facts about the Sting sword are part of what makes it such an alluring blade.
1. The Sting Sword Isn’t A Real Sword
Though Sting is often called a sword, the truth is that it’s an Elvish dagger that was made by sword makers in Gondolin. It was originally designed as a backup sidearm for an Elvish fighter, a last resort should they lose their sword or bow. However, its small size made it the perfect blade for a hobbit.
After Bilbo Baggins found Sting among the objects hoarded by a troll, he and Samwise Gamgee learned to use it as a short sword. We see Sam use it to kill Shelob and its fellow spiders in the Mirkwood by stabbing and cutting with it as if it were a spatha.
2. Sting Sword Was Made With Sister Swords
Sting may be a legendary weapon in its own right, but it wasn’t made alone. In fact, it was found together with the Glamdring sword and Orcrist, its sister swords that were made by the Gondolin elves.
Because of their mystical origins, all three of the swords have a strange glow to them that other swords don’t, regardless of whether they’re made by elves or dwarves.
Orcrist later went to Thorin Oakenshield while Glamdring became Gandalf’s sword, leaving Sting to become Bilbo’s. Of the three, however, only Sting had a glittering blue glow at its edges. The book makes a point of Sting being an important sword as not even Aragorn’s Narsil is able to glow this way.
3. Sting Has An Inscription Written In Sindarin
One thing fans may have noticed about the Sting sword is that the blade has an inscription along its length. The sentence is shaped along a curling vine and is written in Sindarin, one of the ancient languages of the elves.
The phrase translates to “Sting is my name, I am the spider’s bane” which is why some fans may stylistically refer to the sword as “Spider’s Bane”, referencing the sword’s battle against Shelob. The sword may also be referred to as “Maegnas” in some fan work because of the word’s appearance on the sentence inscribed into the sword. Maegnas means “sharp-point”, an apt name for a sword.
4. Sting Symbolizes Bilbo’s Heroism
Though Sting later becomes known as the sword of Frodo Baggins, it’s actually a symbol for Bilbo’s heroism. The sword is introduced to the story as “Sting” only after Bilbo takes initiative to defend himself against Shelob. This turning point for him was a sign that he was accepting the responsibilities of being a hero despite his humble origins, making the undersized blade an apt weapon for the valiant hobbit.
A Guide to Buying Replica Sting Swords
Buying a copy of the Sting sword of Frodo can be confusing if you’re new to buying replica swords and more so if you don’t know that Bilbo’s Sting and Frodo’s Sting are one and the same as Bilbo passes Sting to Frodo. However, there are only a handful of key points to keep in mind as you shop for your next collector’s item.
Replica swords are made from different materials such as stainless steel, wood, plastic, and foam. Stainless steel is the strongest of the four because of the metal’s hardness and resistance to weather conditions. Wood is a close second because its flexibility and strength allow sword replica makers to bend it into complicated designs.
Next, we have plastic and foam. Both are commonly used in making toy swords but cosplayers will typically go for plastic swords as they are cheap but can still be used for posing and play fights with other cosplayers. Meanwhile, foam swords are chosen by toy manufacturers that cater to young children.
Replica swords are made for collectors, cosplayers, martial artists, and Live Action Roleplay (LARP) enthusiasts alike. While regular display replicas will do for the first two groups, LARPers and martial artists will need a battle ready sword that can withstand the exchange of blows with an enemy fighter.
Your budget will determine how good your replica is going to look. While all replicas are designed to look like the sword they’re trying to imitate, more expensive replicas will have a more realistic look. For example, while you can get a cheap stainless steel blade and an even cheaper plastic replica, a sword made of high carbon steel by a custom sword replica maker will have better detailed work.
Our Pick for the Best Sting Sword Replica
Our top pick for the best sting sword replica is a licensed reproduction of the prop from the film. This replica was made by United Cutlery to accurately mimic the carved hilt, beveled pommel, and engraved blade of the Sting sword seen in The Hobbit.
The sword features a leaf-shaped blade with a curved crossguard. Its handle is decorated with a twisting vine covered in leaves, harkening back to both the sword’s elven origins and referencing the rural life of its hobbit owners.
Material: Stainless steel
Length: 55.88 cm
The Sting sword may be the smallest of the three swords from Gondolin, but its impactful story easily makes up for the sword’s smaller stature. This Elvish dagger and Hobbit sword can be added to your collection with our top pick for the best Sting sword replica you can find online.
20-something freelance writer who likes games and history maybe a little too much. When I'm not writing for the web, I write notes for a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Hyperfixations include Genshin Impact, color eyeliner, true crime, and Star Wars.
Juliana has been writing for nearly thirty years and concentrates on Tudor and Medieval history. She has written for Tudor Dynasty, Tudor Writing Circle, Historian Matt Lewis, and others. Juliana currently writes for Pen and Sword Publishers and is the author of several books, including Medicine in the Middle Ages and A History of Insanity and the Asylum.