HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Glamdring

Type: Weapons

Meaning: Foe-hammer

Other Names: Beater

Description:Gandalf acquired Glamdring in III 2941:

Then the stone door swung back with one big push, and they all went inside. There were bones on the floor and a nasty smell was in the air; but there was a good deal of food jumbled carelessly on shelves and on the ground, among an untidy litter of plunder, of all sorts from brass buttons to pots full of gold coins standing in a corner. There were lots of clothes, too, hanging on the walls -- too small for trolls, I am afraid they belonged to victims -- and among them were several swords of various makes, shapes, and sizes. Two caught their eyes particularly, because of their beautiful scabbards and jewelled hilts. Gandalf and Thorin each took one of these; and Bilbo took a knife in a leather sheath. It would have made only a tiny pocket-knife for a troll, but it was as good as a short sword for the hobbit.

'These look like good blades,' said the wizard, half drawing them and looking at them curiously. 'They were not made by any troll, nor by any smith among men in these parts and days; but when we can read the runes on them, we shall know more about them.'

The Hobbit, Ch 2, Roast Mutton


Glamdring was originally Turgon's sword, as related by Elrond:

"They are old swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin. They were made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. They must have come from a dragon's hoard or goblin plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city many ages ago. ... This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foe-hammer that the king of Gondolin once wore. Keep them well!"

The Hobbit, Chapter 3, A Short Rest


Then Gandalf lit up his wand. Of course it was Gandalf; but just then they were too busy to ask how he got there. He took out his sword again, and again it flashed in the dark by itself. It burned with a rage that made it gleam if goblins were about; now it was bright as blue flame for delight in the killing of the great lord of the cave. It made no trouble whatever of cutting through the goblin-chains and setting all the prisoners free as quickly as possible. This sword's name was Glamdring the Foe-hammer, if you remember. The goblins just called it Beater, and hated it worse than Biter if possible. Orcrist, too, had been saved; for Gandalf had brought it along as well, snatching it from one of the terrified guards. Gandalf thought of most things; and though he could not do everything, he could do a great deal for friends in a tight corner.

The Hobbit, Ch 4, Over Hill and Under Hill


Gandalf walked in front as before. In his left hand he held up his glimmering staff, the light of which just showed the ground before his feet; in his right he held his sword Glamdring. Behind him came Gimli, his eyes glinting in the dim light as he turned his head from side to side. Behind the dwarf walked Frodo, and he had drawn the short sword, Sting. No gleam came from the blades of Sting or of Glamdring; and that was some comfort, for being the work of Elvish smiths in the Elder Days these swords shone with a cold light, if any Orcs were near at hand.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 4, A Journey in the Dark

Contributors: Lyllyn 9.9.03; added Beater: Elena Tiriel 7.31.04

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