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Discussing: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

We've all considered the perennial question "Why was Aragorn wandering through the wilderness with no weapon besides a broken sword?" This is a fair question, but it's not the only interesting problem for those who write Aragorn. What if he wasn't just carrying around the piece of blade attached to the hilt, but instead was carrying around *all* the shards of Narsil? Running with this idea, what would happen if he lost one of the Shards (or even had part of it stolen)? Maybe the whole sheath is stolen out of some inn. Or he has to cross a river where the water's, say, waist deep and the sheath gets turned upside down. For all of you junkies who have been thinking about Aragorn in Moria, maybe he gets out of Moria again and discovers some shard or other is missing - does he have to go *back*? There are all kinds of problems with Aragorn carrying around all those shards of the mythic sword. How far would he go to retrieve a lost piece? It could be a very interesting story. Marta

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

'He [Aragorn] cast his sword upon the table that stood before Elrond, and the blade was in two pieces.' The Council of Elrond, FotR In the films Narsil is cloven in about half a dozen pieces, but they were actually only two in the books(you never know with dwarven steel) I do not think he walked about Eriador with Narsil all the time, which would be really ridiculous. You cannot defend yourself and I do not think a ranger would carry such a useless thing as a broken sword because it would only hinder him. In 'Strider' Aragorn states that he had been away on an errand of his own. At time he was away he already knew that the Hobbits would come out of the Shire and awaited them anxiously when they finally came. From the time he was told by Gandalf of their coming to the end of september he would have had enough of time to fetch it Narsil. This anxiuosity might be a sign that he was told by Gandalf to "watch out for Frodo" ('You may meet a friend of mine on the Road... by some called Strider' - Gandalf's Letter in 'Strider') I think Aragorn deemed the sword to be some kind of proof he could give the hobbtis. Apart from this, was it stated anywhere that Aragorn possessed no other weapon? He just did not need to use any! There were no common foes on the road and Nazgûl could not be fought with sword or bow. Greetings, Vil

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

Apart from this, was it stated anywhere that Aragorn possessed no other weapon? He just did not need to use any! There were no common foes on the road and Nazgûl could not be fought with sword or bow. That can't be right, can it? No foes, or need to hunt at all? Or are you just saying, that we never SEE him use any other weapon? Surely it was not ONLY Nazgul that Aragorn was on guard for. Wolves, trolls, outlaws, spies, orcs... ? We know all those were around. Beside the need for food, which a bow would have been good for.. do you think he really used Narsil as a glorified belt knife? Pulls it out and whacks off a piece of cheese at the Forsaken Inn? Skins and guts rabbits with it? It just seems that it would be really awkward to use it that way, with a sword's hilt on it and probably not a decent point, even if the edge is still sharp. I can see him carrying it as an auxiliary short sword or something, but he MUST have carried other weapons routinely. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

I think I've always just assumed that Aragorn didn't, in fact, carry Narsil with him wherever he went - that seems really impractical, not only because he's a fighting man who NEEDS a good sword, but also because he spends so much time in disguise...not to mention the fact that the Enemy is not supposed to know that the Heir of Isildur is alive and kicking at all. Perhaps, instead, it was kept safe in Rivendell, or maybe in...whichever settlement was considered the official headquarters of the Northern Dunedain (I can't remember the name of the place, if I ever knew it....shameful for a so-called fan of the Dunedain, I know!). I imagine the shards of Narsil only being brought out at ceremonial occasions where a reminder of the Chieftain's lineage would be appropriate. So in my mind, he went and retrieved Narsil (or someone brought it to him) from wherever it was hiding especially for the Council of Elrond, since he could reasonaby expect to be questioned on his identity and "qualifications" (for lack of a better word!) there.

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

I also go with the Theory that Aragorn had Narsil stored somewhere safe and only carried its shards when he met the Hobbits because he had just retrieved them from a safer hiding place. Apart from this, was it stated anywhere that Aragorn possessed no other weapon? He just did not need to use any! There were no common foes on the road and Nazgûl could not be fought with sword or bow. In addition to what has already been mentioned by others, I'd like to add that Aragorn is described as a really skilled swordsman in LotR. So he not only must have learned wielding a sword at some time during his life but must have had regular practice. I have no experience in sword-fighting whatsoever, but I'd imagine that though you probably wouldn't forget the basics, you would quickly lose the practice and the strength needed to successfully fight with such a weapon. My .02 cents fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

I kicked these ideas around when I was writing Boundaries of Time (I STILL need to edit that thing) and decided it was dumb to be wandering around the wilderness with broken sword. Why would you do that? Especially if your broken sword is Narsil and it would be fairly bad if a piece was to get lost, stolen, or broken. However, I recall the books mentioning that the shards of Narsil were one of the things Elrond kept safe in Rivendell, leaving open the question of why would you go to Rivendell, collect the sword so you could lug it around in the wilderness for a while, and then take it back to Rivendell. I could be recalling things inaccurately, so maybe Elrond didn't have the sword. Maybe Aragorn had to go somewhere else to get it. But if the former is the case, I thik it is just one of those little details that Tolkien didn't think all the way through. Not when it was more important for the development of the plot and the manner in which Aragorn introduces himself to the hobbits for him to have the sword.

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

However, I recall the books mentioning that the shards of Narsil were one of the things Elrond kept safe in Rivendell, leaving open the question of why would you go to Rivendell, collect the sword so you could lug it around in the wilderness for a while, and then take it back to Rivendell. I could be recalling things inaccurately, so maybe Elrond didn't have the sword. Maybe Aragorn had to go somewhere else to get it No, Elrond gave the shards of Narsil to Aragorn when he was 20 and learned about his hertiage. "That day therefore Elrond called him by his true name, and told him who he was and whose son; and he delivered to him the heirlooms of his house. ' "Here is the ring of Barahir," he said, "the token of our kinship from afar; and here also are the shards of Narsil. With these you may yet do great deeds; for I foretell that the span of your life shall be greater than the measure of Men, unless evil befalls you or you fail at the test. But the test will be hard and long. The Sceptre of Annúminas I withhold, for you have yet to earn it." " Apparently ELROND expected him to use broken Narsil for 'great deeds' or was that "these" in reference to the ring and the sword? Presumably, Aragorn could have kept Narsil anywhere, but as both 'capitals' of Arnor, Annuminas and Fornost were in ruins, I doubt if he kept them there. And there is no named canon place that I know of where the Rangers hung out after the kingdom was dissolved. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

Hmm, but what did he do with Narsil while he was messing about being Thorongil? Since he clearly wasn't going to turn up in Minas Tirith waving it about. And even taking it with him and keeping it hidden surely carries the risk of discovery? Any theories? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

Hmm, but what did he do with Narsil while he was messing about being Thorongil? I'd assume he leaves it with Elrond again in Rivendell. Probably still the safest place for it. And do you think he WEARS the ring of Barahir when he's being Thorongil? Or hides it? And where? He does have it with him to give to Arwen in Lorien, right... scurries to appendices... Tale of Years "2980 Aragorn enters Lórien and there meets again Arwen Undómiel. Aragorn gives her the ring of Barahir and they plight their troth upon the hill of Cerin Amroth. or do you think he doesn't give her the Ring until they get back to Rivendell? It would presumably be the same year, but from the order in the listing it surely seems like he has the Ring of Barahir with him. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

I agree that it sounds as if he had the Ring of Barahir with him in Lórien; I find that much less implausible than lugging about the shards of Narsil, actually. If he was worried that someone might recognize that ring (unlikely but perhaps possible) he could always wear it on a thong around his neck, or something of the sort, to keep it hidden. Cel

 

 

Re: Narsil in the Wild - a new problem?

"Presumably, Aragorn could have kept Narsil anywhere, but as both 'capitals' of Arnor, Annuminas and Fornost were in ruins, I doubt if he kept them there. And there is no named canon place that I know of where the Rangers hung out after the kingdom was dissolved." No named place. But in the first draft of 'The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen' Dirhael and Ivorwen are said to live in a 'hidden fastness' somewhere in Eriador. Strongly implying that Rangers do have homes. Presumably Arathorn and Gilraen lived *somewhere* before his death - possibly this same place became Aragorn's home - when he was in the North - and the place he kept the shards of Narsil. I like the suggestion somebody made a little while back - on this list or elsewhere - that Aragorn had Narsil with him because he had sensed the time for its reforging was at hand and was taking it from the hidden Ranger fastness where he'd been keeping to the smiths at Rivendell. This being the errand that kept him out of the way when Gandalf vanished.

 

 

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