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Things of Middle-earth

Ringil

Type: Weapons

Meaning: cold star

Description:

The sword of Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor:
[Fingolfin] did on his silver arms, and took his white helm, and his sword Ringil, and his blue shield set with a star of crystal, and mounting upon Rochallor his great steed he rode forth alone and none might restrain him.

The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 1, The Grey Annals

[Morgoth] stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable unblazoned, cast a shadow over him like a stormcloud. But Fingolfin gleamed beneath it as a star; for his mail was overlaid with silver, and his blue shield was set with crystals; and he drew his sword Ringil, that glittered like ice....

Many times Morgoth essayed to smite him, and each time Fingolfin leaped away...; and he wounded Morgoth with seven wounds, and seven times Morgoth gave a cry of anguish, whereat the hosts of Angband fell upon their faces in dismay, and the cries echoed in the Northlands....

[He] stumbled and fell backward before the feet of Morgoth; and Morgoth set his left foot upon his neck.... Yet with his last and desperate stroke Fingolfin hewed the foot with Ringil, and the blood gashed forth black and smoking and filled the pits of Grond.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 18, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

Morgoth fought with a great hammer, Grond, that he wielded as a mace, and Fingolfin fought with Ringil. Swift was Fingolfin, and avoiding the strokes of Grond, so that Morgoth smote only the ground (and at each blow a great pit was made), he wounded Morgoth seven times with his sword; and the cries of Morgoth echoed in the northlands. But wearied at last Fingolfin fell, beaten to the earth by the hammer of Angband, and Morgoth set his foot upon his neck and crushed him.

In his last throe Fingolfin pinned the foot of his Enemy to the earth with Ringil, and the black blood gushed forth and filled the pits of Grond. Morgoth went ever halt thereafter.

The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 1, The Grey Annals

Fingolfin like a shooting light
beneath a cloud, a stab of white,
sprang then aside, and Ringil drew
like ice that gleameth cold and blue,
his sword devised of elvish skill
to pierce the flesh with deadly chill.
With seven wounds it rent his foe,
and seven mighty cries of woe
rang in the mountains, and the earth quook,
and Angband's trembling armies shook.

The Lays of Beleriand, HoME Vol 3, Ch 3, The Lay of Leithian, Canto 12, Lines 3574-3583

He fell to wreck
upon the ground, and on his neck
a foot like rooted hills was set,
and he was crushed — not conquered yet;
one last despairing stroke he gave:
the mighty foot pale Ringil clave
about the heel, and black the blood
gushed as from smoking fount in flood.
Halt goes for ever from that stroke
great Morgoth; but the king he broke,
and would have hewn and mangled thrown
to wolves devouring.

The Lays of Beleriand, HoME Vol 3, Ch 3, The Lay of Leithian, Canto 12, Lines 3600-3611


Etymology
ring  'cold, chill' in Ringil, Ringwil, Himring; also in the river Ringló in Gondor, and in Ringarë, Quenya name of the last month of the year (The Lord of the Rings Appendix D).

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

gil  'star' in Dagor-nuin-Giliath, Osgiliath (giliath 'host of stars'); Gil-Estel, Gil-galad.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

Contributors: Dim Genesis, 7Jun03
Lyllyn 30Nov04
Elena Tiriel 6Sep08

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