Middle-earth weapons and armour
Tolkien modelled his fictional warfare on the Ancient and Early Medieval periods of history. His depiction of weapons and armour particularly reflect the Northern European culture of Beowulf, the Norse sagas and similar works. Tolkien established this relationship in The Fall of Gondolin, the first story in his legendarium to be written. In this story, the Elves of Gondolin use the mail armour, swords, shields, spears, axes and bows of Northern European warfare. In Tolkien's writings, these kinds of weapons and armour are used by his fictional races, including Elves, Dwarves, Men, Hobbits, and Orcs.
- Sword: Noldorin Sindarin: magl, magol,[T 1] North Sindarin magor,[T 2] Quenya: makil, macil,[T 1] Noldorin Sindarin: crist.[T 3]
- Dagger, knife: Noldorin Sindarin: sigil, Quenya: cirma, sicil[T 4]
- Axe: North Sindarin: hathol,[T 2] Quenya: pelekko (Hooker notes the similarity of the Greek πέλεκυς pélekys: double-headed axe), Khuzdul: bark, pl. baruk
- Spear: Quenya: hatal also nehte[T 5]
- Bow: Noldorin Sindarin: peng also poetically cû ("arch"), Quenya: quinga.[T 6]
- Arrow: Quenya: pilin, pl. pilindi[T 7] (Hooker notes the similarity of the Latin pīlum [javelin, throwing spear], with cognates in the Old High German [pfīl], Modern German [Pfeil], Old English [pīl], late Old Norse [píla], and the Dutch [pijl].
Tolkien also devised terms for specific makes of weapons, like lango (broad sword), eket, ecet (short sword), and lhang (cutlass, sword).[T 8] Lhang was used for a large two-handed, curved-bladed sword with a long handle used by Elves in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Swords symbolized physical prowess in battle for Tolkien, following Northern European culture. Tolkien writes that Elves and Dwarves produced the best swords (and other war gear) and that Elvish swords glowed blue in the presence of Orcs. Elves generally used straight swords while Orcs generally used curved swords. Both races have exceptions: Egalmoth of Gondolin used a curved sword and the Uruk-hai of Isengard used short, broad blades. Tolkien often mentions the use of shields together with (one-handed) swords.
In The Lord of the Rings film trilogy most Elvish swords are curved but some named swords are interpreted as two-handed longswords. The films also embellished upon Tolkien's descriptions of swords (and other weapons) by making up inscriptions for these items.
Knives are mentioned in Tolkien's works, sometimes as backup weapons—such as the unnamed long knife of Legolas the archer. However, some individual knives are given more significance through naming (e.g. Sting, see below). Weapons that were only knives or short swords for adult Men or Elves could function as formidable swords in the hands of Hobbits, a diminutive people.
In "The Scouring of the Shire", Saruman attempts to stab Frodo with a knife, but is foiled by the mithril shirt worn under his jacket. Shortly afterwards Saruman's throat was fatally cut with a knife borne by Wormtongue.
For The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Aragorn was gifted with an Elven hunting knife which he held onto at least till the Battle of the Black Gate. Boromir's costume design included throwing knives, and Legolas possessed twin fighting knives carried in sheaths near his quiver.
Special unnamed knives
There are some knives in Tolkien's fiction which do not have proper formal names, but nevertheless play important roles in the plot.
The Witch-king of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl, used a magical dagger called a "Morgul-blade" to wound Frodo Baggins at Weathertop. The dark magic of the knife gravely affects Frodo's well-being, threatening to turn him into a wraith, especially because its detachable point migrated in Frodo's body for more than two weeks before it could be extracted, thus causing great damage. Recurring ill effects from the wound contribute to Frodo's eventual departure to Valinor.[T 9] According to the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, the weapon may owe something to the tradition of the "elf-shot" found in Old English medical texts and charms, where it denotes illnesses of presumed supernatural origin.
Four magical daggers, which had been forged by the Men of Westernesse to fight the powers of Mordor, are recovered from a tomb in the Barrow-downs by Tom Bombadil. He gives them to Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit companions, for whom the daggers are effectively swords. One of these "Barrow-blades" – that given to Merry Brandybuck – proves instrumental in bringing about the death of the Witch-king.[T 10]
The daggers had varying fates in The Lord of the Rings. When the Nazgûl attacked Aragorn and the hobbits on Weathertop, Frodo slashed at one of them with his dagger but only damaged its cloak. He broke the blade when he fell from a horse, and left it behind in Rivendell, taking Bilbo's sword Sting instead. Sam Gamgee left his beside Frodo in Cirith Ungol and later had it returned to him by Gandalf. Pippin Took made use of his dagger in the Battle of the Black Gate to slay a Troll-chief. Merry's blade is destroyed during his attack on the Witch-king.
Battle axes are especially favoured by Dwarves in Tolkien's writings; they famously used the battle cry: Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you! (Khuzdul: Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!).[T 11] For The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Gimli the Dwarf was assigned various axes of different makes during the course of the films.
The use of battle axes in other races tended to be more exceptional. The Sindarin Elves of Doriath favoured axes as weapons during the First Age. Other notable axe-bearers were Tuor (the wielder of Dramborleg), the Men of the White Mountains who marched to the defence of Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings, and a contingent of Easterlings among the besiegers of Minas Tirith.
Bows and arrows
Bows of different sizes and construction are featured in Tolkien's works. Elves of Lothlórien, Men, and Uruk-hai used longbows, while Elves of Mirkwood and Orcs of Mordor used smaller ones. These bows are said to be made of wood, horn and even steel.
The most famous bowman in Tolkien's stories of the First Age of Middle-earth is the Elf Beleg; his bow was named Belthronding, and his arrow Dailir. Infamously Curufin, a lord of the Noldor, attempts to shoot the Elf-princess Lúthien with the bow of his brother Celegorm. His first arrow is intercepted by Huan; Beren attempts to intercept the second shot, and is wounded.[T 12]
In The Lord of the Rings, set in the late Third Age, a bow is the main weapon of Legolas, the Elf-member of the Fellowship of the Ring. When the Fellowship meet Galadriel, she gives Legolas a new bow. He later uses it to shoot all the way across the great river Anduin and bring down an airborne Nazgûl.
The films of The Lord of the Rings assign a bow to Aragorn and crossbows to the Uruk-hai. However, in Tolkien's writings Aragorn is armed only with the sword Andúril (below), and crossbows are nowhere mentioned.
Sometimes individual arrows are given special mention in Tolkien's works. In The Hobbit, the Black Arrow was a royal heirloom used by Bard the Bowman to kill the dragon Smaug.[T 13] In The Lord of the Rings, the Red Arrow was a token used by Gondor to summon its allies in time of need.[T 14] In the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Red Arrow is omitted and its role is conflated with the Beacons of Gondor.
Body armour in Tolkien's fiction is mainly in the form of mail or scale shirts, in keeping with Ancient and Early Middle periods of history. In contrast, the Lord of the Rings film trilogy features plate armour suits in the style of the High and Late Middle periods. These kinds of plate armour are not found in Tolkien's writings, but plate does appear in the form of individual pieces such as vambraces (forearm guards) or greaves (leg and shin guards). As with other items of war, Elves and Dwarves produced the best armour. The mail shirt forged by Dwarves from the fictional metal mithril appears in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, worn in turn by the protagonists Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.[T 17]
Battle helmets are commonly used by virtually all races in Tolkien's writings. The Rohirrim were partly modeled on the Anglo-Saxons, who wore elaborate helmets; Éomer's helmet had a long white horse-tail. The Crown of Gondor was a jewelled battle-helmet; Aragorn received it at his coronation. Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee use Orc-helmets as part of their disguise in Mordor.
The Second Age was dominated by Númenor. The Númenórean helmet, the karma, reached particularly elaborate forms. Those of the Uinendili, a guild of mariners, were "made of overlapping plates of metal, the 'fish-crest' of leather embossed and coloured".[T 18] Tolkien's coloured drawing of the karma of a Uinendili captain features on the cover of Unfinished Tales.
Tolkien emulated his Northern European mythological and literary sources in creating weapons and armour with names (real examples of named weapons include Hrunting and Nægling in Beowulf, Tyrfing in the Elder Edda and Gram in the Völsunga saga). The items illustrate the passage of time and the transfer of power or fate to their future bearers.
Named swords and knives
Anglachel (Sindarin: Iron of the Flaming Star) was a sword forged of meteoritic iron by Eöl the Dark Elf, given to Thingol King of Doriath as a fee for leave to dwell in Nan Elmoth. It could cleave all earth-delved iron. Later wielded by Beleg Strongbow and ultimately Túrin;[T 19][T 20][T 21] Anglachel was reforged and renamed Gurthang (Sindarin: Iron of Death[T 22]). Túrin used Gurthang to kill Glaurung, the Father of Dragons, and later used the sword to take his own life in recompense for the accidental slaying of Beleg and the unjust slaying of Brandir. The stories endow the sword with a personality; Melian the Maia perceived malice in it as it was given to Beleg Cúthalion, and the elf Gwindor observed that Anglachel (so named then) seemed to mourn the death of Beleg at the hand of his friend Túrin by Anglachel itself. Túrin asked the sword whether it would slay him swiftly if he cast himself on its point, and it responded at length (the only instance of Gurthang speaking with voice). The depiction of the sword was influenced by that of the sword of the Finnish character Kullervo in the Kalevala.
Angrist (Sindarin: Iron-cleaver[T 23]) was a knife made by the great weaponsmith Telchar of Nogrod, and borne by Curufin. Beren, who had taken it from Curufin, used it to cut a magical Silmaril jewel out of Morgoth's Iron Crown; as Beren attempted to remove another, the knife snapped.[T 24] In the earliest version of Beren's story in The Book of Lost Tales, he uses an ordinary household knife; the element of Curufin's involvement in Beren's affairs came later.[T 25]
Anguirel (Sindarin: Iron of Eternity) is the sword forged by Eöl the Dark Elf, similar to Anglachel which was given to Thingol of Doriath in The Silmarillion. It was the mate of Anglachel, was made of the same meteoritic iron, and had the same physical properties and capabilities as Anglachel, but there is no evidence of sentience in Anguirel. Anguirel was kept by Eöl until it was stolen by his son, Maeglin.[T 26]
Glamdring (Sindarin: Foe-hammer[T 29]) is a sword in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales[T 30] forged in the First Age by the High Elves of the hidden city of Gondolin. It belonged first to Turgon, the King of Gondolin. Thousands of years later, in T.A. 2941, Gandalf appropriated it after it was discovered among the hoard of the three trolls in The Hobbit, and he carried it throughout his journeys with Bilbo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring. It was the mate of Orcrist, and like Orcrist would glow blue whenever orcs were nearby. Glamdring was nicknamed "Beater" by the goblins of the Misty Mountains.
Gúthwinë (Old English: gúð-wine Battle Friend) is the sword wielded by Éomer, third marshal of the Riddermark in The Lord of the Rings.[T 31] The name is found in Beowulf, where the hero uses the word as an epithet for the sword Hrunting, lent to him by Hrothgar's thane Unferth for the fight with Grendel's mother. The diaeresis (two dots) over the final “e” does not occur in Old English. Tolkien presumably added it – as he frequently did in Quenya words such as Eressëa – to indicate that the letter is pronounced as a separate syllable: “gooth-wee-neh.”
Hadhafang is the sword invented for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, where it was wielded by Arwen, although she is never actually seen using it in combat, as the blade's design was for main use on horseback, and footage of Arwen at Helms Deep was ultimately cut. The name is derived from Tolkien's etymological word list written in the 1930s; here Tolkien provides the word hadhathang (dissimilated: havathang, hadhafang), which he translates as "throng-cleaver". The author never actually used this name in any of his writings.[T 32] Hadhafang is also wielded by Arwen's father Elrond in The Hobbit film trilogy.
Narsil / Andúril
The sword was forged during the First Age by the Dwarf Telchar of Nogrod, a famous weaponsmith and artificer who also made the knife Angrist (which cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth) and the Helm of Hador (later used by Túrin Turambar). By the end of the Second Age Narsil was borne by Elendil; it was broken in the struggle of Elendil and Gil-galad against Sauron. Isildur used the hilt-shard to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand. The shards, acquiring the additional name the Sword that was Broken, remained an heirloom of Isildur's heirs throughout the Third Age, and were thus inherited by Aragorn. The sword was reforged as Andúril (Quenya: Flame of the West).[T 37]
In The Fellowship of the Ring[T 39] Andúril is described as a long sword, and Boromir's sword is like Andúril but of less lineage. And in the Return of the King Andúril is described as a great sword (a longsword) when seen on Aragorn's lap by Frodo at the Field of Cormallen,[T 40] The idea that technology in Middle-earth is the same as Medieval Europe is often misinterpreted from an incomplete understanding of letter 211 in which Tolkien compared the clothing of the Rohirrim and only the Rohirrim to the Bayeux Tapestry, but he viewed the knights and general technology of his story to be Arthurian (e.g. long swords, chain mail, great shields, spears, longbows, vambraces, greaves).[T 38]
The filmmakers opted not to make Andúril glow, keeping that property only for Sting. (Gandalf's sword Glamdring also did not glow in the presence of orcs. Peter Jackson notes, in his DVD commentary on The Fellowship of the Ring, that this was an oversight, not a deliberate change from the books.) The filmmakers had Anduril made with runes engraved on the blade of the sword that read as "Anar Nányë Andúril i né Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvanten i móli Mordórëo. Isil" (Quenya. 'Sun. I am Andúril who once was Narsil, sword of Elendil. The slaves of Mordor shall flee from me. Moon.'), and another inscription on the hilt Narsil essenya, macil meletya; Telchar carnéron Návarotesse (Quenya. Narsil is my name, a mighty sword; Telchar made me in Nogrod).
Christopher Tolkien suggested that Narsil was introduced during the writing of The Lord of the Rings rather spontaneously: "It is possible that the Sword that was Broken actually emerged from the verse 'All that is gold does not glitter': on this view, in the earliest form of the verse ... the words a king may yet be without crown, A blade that was broken be brandished were no more than a further exemplification of the general moral [that not everything is what it appears to be]."[T 41] Following this, references to the sword were introduced during major recastings of "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony" and "The Council of Elrond" chapters.[T 42] Originally the sword was only called "the Sword of Elendil" or "the Broken Sword"; later the name Branding (from Old English brand, "sword") was devised for the Sword Reforged.[T 43]
Orcrist (Sindarin: Goblin-cleaver[T 29]), a sword in The Hobbit.[T 44] was originally forged in Gondolin and was nicknamed "Biter" by the goblins of the Misty Mountains. After finding it in a troll-hoard, Thorin Oakenshield carried the sword through the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood before being taken prisoner by the Elves, and it was laid on his tomb after he died in the Battle of Five Armies. It is the mate of Glamdring.
In Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, the sword is found and wielded by Thorin Oakenshield but ends up in the possession of Legolas, who uses it in battle with the Orc Bolg but later returns it to Thorin so that the Dwarf may wield it against Azog the Defiler. Like Andúril and Glamdring in the Lord of the Rings films, it was not shown to glow in the presence of orcs due to the film-makers fearing that doing that made it resemble a lightsaber. Although described as the mate of Glamdring in the books, Orcrist in the films takes on a significantly different appearance akin to that of a kriegsmesser, being a two-handed, single-edged sword, with a deep, heavy belly and pronounced curve.
Ringil (Sindarin: Cold-Star / Cold-Spark) is a sword wielded by Fingolfin in The Silmarillion and The Lays of Beleriand. It bit with chilling cold, and glittered like ice with a pale light. This was the sword with which Fingolfin wounded Morgoth seven times, causing the first dark lord to limp forever afterward.[T 45][T 46]
Sting is a large Elvish dagger in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It functioned well as a sword for the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.[T 48] Bilbo named the weapon after using it to fend off the giant spiders in Mirkwood forest, then later passed it on to Frodo to use in his quest to destroy the One Ring.
In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film adaptations, Sting is depicted as leaf-shaped, with gentle curving edges. Engraved on the blade and cross-guard are letters in Sindarin that read phonetically, Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im. Translated into English, they read, "Maegnas is my name, I am the spider's bane." According to the Appendix of The Silmarillion, the element maeg in Sindarin means "sharp" or "piercing". The film version of Sting is 23 inches (580 mm) long (24 while in scabbard) and 3 inches (76 mm) wide at the hilt. Its scabbard is made of brown leather and reinforced with metal. In Tolkien's The Hobbit, Sting does not bear an inscription.
Named bows and arrows
The Black Arrow was used by Bard the Bowman,[T 51] mentioned by him as having been used many times, always successfully, and always having been recovered. An heirloom from many generations of Bard's family and believed by him to have been made in the forges of the King under the Mountain; Bard recites its history before urging it to "go now and speed well" and successfully shooting Smaug. The arrow was lost with the Dragon's corpse in the Long Lake.
In Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, the Black Arrow's significance was elaborated on. Instead of being a regular-sized arrow, the Black Arrow was the size of a short spear, and was used as ammunition for a windlance (a ballista-type weapon) in Dale. All but one were used to defend the city from Smaug during his invasion, but it only broke one of his scales, and Dale was subsequently destroyed. The final Black Arrow was kept by Bard's family as an heirloom. When Smaug attacks Lake Town, Bard attempts to shoot Smaug with a normal longbow, but his arrows inflict no harm to Smaug. After receiving the Black Arrow from his son Bain, Bard constructs an improvised ballista and fires the Black Arrow at Smaug's weak spot, which successfully hits its mark and kills Smaug.
The Red Arrow is a black-feathered arrow barbed with steel; its tip was painted red.[T 53] It was a token used by Gondor to summon Rohan in time of dire need, and may have been associated with the Oath of Eorl.[T 54] In The Return of the King, the Red Arrow was presented to Théoden by Hirgon with the message: "...the Lord Denethor asks for all your strength and all your speed, lest Gondor should fall at last."[T 53] Théoden pledged his assistance, but Hirgon was killed during the ride back to Minas Tirith, leading Denethor to believe that no help was forthcoming from Rohan. The Red Arrow has a historical antecedent in the Old English poem Elene in which Constantine the Great summoned an army of mounted Visigoths to his aid against the Huns by sending an arrow as a "token of war".
Other named weapons and armour
Aeglos (Sindarin: Snow Point, i.e. icicle;[T 55] also spelled Aiglos) is the spear wielded by Gil-galad;[T 56] Aiglos is also the name of a type of plant in Middle-earth which most notably grew on Amon Rûdh. Aeglos is also the name of a Tolkienist semiannual almanac published by the Polish Silesian Science-Fiction Club, parent organisation of the Polish Tolkien Society.[T 57]
Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin
The Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin is the fabulous helmet owned and used by lords of the House of Hador (such as Húrin and Túrin). Also known as the Helm of Hador. The helm was made of heavy steel, decorated with gold and runes, and a gold likeness of Glaurung the Dragon was set upon its crest. It had originally been made for a Dwarf-king by Telchar, the great Dwarf-craftsman of Nogrod.[T 58] The Dwarf-king was Azaghâl, of the neighbouring city of Belegost; he gave it to Maedhros, who gave it to Fingon. Fingon gave it to Hador himself, along with the lordship of Dor-lómin.[T 59]
Durin's Axe was part of the regalia and weaponry of the Dwarf-kings of Khazad-dûm. Some years before the War of the Ring, Balin attempted to recolonize Khazad-dûm (by then called Moria), and the early records of the colony mention Durin's Axe, indicating it was sought for or even found.[T 61]
Grond (Sindarin: Club) is the mace of Morgoth used against Fingolfin in The Silmarillion;[T 62] also a battering ram in The Lord of the Rings,[T 63] used to assault the Great Gate of Minas Tirith. Grond the battering ram was in-universe named after Morgoth's mace: "Grond they named it, in memory of the Hammer of the Underworld of old."[T 64] In the Rankin-Bass adaptation of The Return of the King, the ram Grond is called "the arm of the devil" also named "the hammer of the underworld".
- This list identifies each item's location in Tolkien's writings.
- The Lost Road, p. 371.
- The War of the Jewels, p. 234.
- The Lost Road, p. 365.
- The Lost Road, p. 385.
- The Lost Road, p. 355.
- The Lost Road, p. 366.
- The Etymologies under the root PÍLIM-.
- The Lost Road, p. 367.
- The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 208, 210; The Return of the King, p. 333
- The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields", p. 117: "No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will."
- The Two Towers, "The Battle of Helm's Deep"
- The Silmarillion ch. 19 "Of Beren and Luthien" p.177; ISBN 0 04 823139 8
- The Hobbit
- The Return of the King, p. 72; Unfinished Tales, p. 364, 411
- The Fellowship of the Ring, Prologue §1
- The Return of the King, appendix A part I(iii)
- Drout, Michael, ed. (2006). "Mithril". J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0.
- Unfinished Tales, inside rear dust-jacket
- The Silmarillion, p. 201-202, 206-210, 316; Unfinished Tales, p. 148, 419
- The Silmarillion, p. 226
- The Silmarillion, p. 225.
- Unfinished Tales. p. 443
- The Silmarillion, p. 316
- The Silmarillion, pp. 177, 181
- The Book of Lost Tales 2, "The Tale of Tinúviel
- The Silmarillion, p. 202
- The Silmarillion. p. 317
- The Silmarillion, p. 201, 279; Unfinished Tales, p. 171
- The Hobbit. "A Short Rest", p. 62
- The Hobbit, p. 53; The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 293, 324; The Two Towers, p. 115; The Return of the King, p. 272; Unfinished Tales, p. 54
- The Two Towers, p. 139
- The Lost Road
- The Two Towers, p. 123
- The Return of the King. p. 438; Further information in The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Silmarillion, p. 294-295, 343; Unfinished Tales, p. 272, 275; The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 256-257; The Return of the King, p. 123
- The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 290, 338-339, 391; The Two Towers, p. 36, 104, 115, 139; The Return of the King, p. 123, 158, 245
- The Return of the King, p. 437
- Letters, #211 "The Rohirrim were not 'mediaeval', in our sense. The styles of the Bayeux Tapestry (made in England) fit them well enough, if one remembers that the kind of tennis-nets [the] soldiers seem to have on are only a clumsy conventional sign for chainmail of small rings"
- The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 3, "The Ring Goes South"
- The Return of the King, Book 6, ch. 4, "The Field of Cormallen"
- The Treason of Isengard, p. 137
- The Treason of Isengard, pp. 77-80, 120.
- The Treason of Isengard, p. 290
- The Hobbit, p. 53, 303
- The Silmarillion, pp. 153–154, 347
- The Lays of Beleriand, "The Lay of Leithian", Canto XII}}
- The Book of Lost Tales (Part I) pp. 69–70
- The Hobbit, p. 53, 83, 167, etc.;The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 23, 290; The Two Towers, p. 221, The Return of the King, p. 173, 204
- The Lost Road. p. 388
- The Silmarillion, p. 208, 320; The Lays of Beleriand, p. 26, 117, 127
- The Hobbit. "Fire and Water", p. 236
- The Lays of Beleriand
- The Return of the King, book 5, ch. 3 "The Muster of Rohan"
- Foster, Robert (1971), The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, New York: Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-32436-6
- The Silmarillion, p. 313
- The Fellowship of the Ring (Book II, Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"), The Silmarillion, p. 294; Unfinished Tales, p. 148, 417
- Morawski, Marcin (2006). "Poland: Reception of Tolkien". In Drout, Michael (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0.
- The Lays of Beleriand, part 1 "The Lay of the Children of Húrin", second version ch. 2, p. 115, line 678
- Unfinished Tales, part 1 ch. II p. 75
- Unfinished Tales. p. 172; The Book of Lost Tales (vol. 2), "The Fall of Gondolin"
- The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2 ch. 5 "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum"
- The Silmarillion, p. 154, 333
- The Return of the King, p. 112
- The Return of the King, book 5, ch. 4 "The Siege of Gondor".
- Burdge, Anthony; Burke, Jessica (2013) . "Weapons, Named". In Drout, Michael (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. pp. 703–705. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
- Piela, Joseph (2013) . "Arms and Armour". In Drout, Michael (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
- Hooker, Mark T. (2014). The Tolkienaeum. Llyfrawr. p. 235. ISBN 978-1499759105.
- Parma Eldalamberon 17, p. 85.
- Vinyar Tengwar 49, p. 14.
- Hooker, Mark T. (2014). The Tolkienaeum. Llyfrawr. p. 180. ISBN 978-1499759105.
- Smith, Chris (2003). The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-39100-2.
- Donovan, Leslie A. (2013) . Drout, Michael (ed.). Elf-shot. J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 148–149. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
- Timmons, Dan (2006). "Jackson, Peter". In Drout, Michael (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0.
- Petty, Anne C. (2006). "Finland: Literary Sources". In Drout, Michael (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0.
- Tolkien Dictionary
- Beowulf, line 1810
- Finn, Richard J. (2005). "Arthur and Aragorn - Arthurian Influence in The Lord Of The Rings". Mallorn (Tolkien Society): 23–26.
- J. E. A. Tyler (1980), "Narsil", The new Tolkien companion, Avon Books, p. 417, ISBN 9780380469048
- Smith, Chris (2003). The Lord of the Rings Weapons and Warfare. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-717201-X.
- Gee, Henry (2004). The Science of Middle-earth. Cold Spring Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-1-59360-023-5.
- Rateliff, John (2010). "The Hobbitonian Anthology of Articles on JRR Tolkien and His Legendarium". Tolkien Studies. 7: 330–335. doi:10.1353/tks.0.0066. ISSN 1547-3163.
I would suggest that it's far more likely Bilbo gains Sting because Tolkien became aware of the 'bilbow blade = sword' entry in the OED than that the character was given the name with the idea of his becoming a sword-wielder already in mind. However, as there was a Count Frodo and a Bishop Bilbo in the Frankish Kingdom of the middle ages as well as another noble named Fredegar it is more likely that these Hobbit names were mined from Frankish history.
- The Silmarillion, Appendix "Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", maeg
- Scott Howard (21 March 2008), Recreating Beowulf's 'Pregnant Moment of Poise': Pagan Doom and Christian Eucatastrophe Made Incarnate in the Dark Age Setting of The Lord of the Rings, University of Montana
- Significantly, "Eigil" is a Norwegian proper name meaning "sword point" or "spearhead".