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Things of Middle-earth


Type: Weapons

Meaning: King's Ire


The sword made by Dwarves for Elu Thingol, King of Doriath; later an heirloom of the Kings of Númenor:
A golden crown [the Dwarf-folk] made for [Thingol 1]..., and a helm too...; and a sword of dwarven steel brought from afar was hilted with bright gold and damascened 2 in gold and silver with strange figurings wherein was pictured clear the wolf-hunt of [Carcharoth 1] Knife-fang, father of wolves. That was a more wonderful sword than any [he] had seen before....

The Book of Lost Tales 2, HoME Vol 2, Ch 4, The Nauglafring

From Thingol, the sword descended to his granddaughter Elwing and then to her son, Elros Tar-Minyatur; it then became the traditional sword of the Kings of Númenor.

The King and most of the great chieftains possessed swords as heirlooms of their fathers....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 1, Description of the Island of Númenor

The King's sword was indeed Aranrúth, the sword of Elu Thingol of Doriath in Beleriand, that had descended to Elros from Elwing his mother.... [Author's note.]

Ibid., Note 2

We know that Aranrúth did not survive past the Downfall of Númenor:

Other heirlooms there were beside [Aranrúth]: the Ring of Barahir; the great Axe of Tuor...; and the Bow of Bregor 3.... Only the Ring of Barahir... survived the Downfall.... [Author's note.]


Although Tolkien does not say, it is quite possible that Aranrúth was carried by Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor, on his ill-fated invasion of Valinor and lost with him:

Then Ar-Pharazôn... did on his panoply and his crown, and let raise his standard, and he gave the signal for the raising of the anchors; and in that hour the trumpets of Númenor outrang the thunder.

The Silmarillion, Akallabêth

ar(a)-  'high, noble, royal' appears in a great many names, as Aradan, Aredhel, Argonath, Arnor, etc.; extended stem arat- appearing in Aratar, and in arato 'champion, eminent man', e.g. Angrod from Angaráto and Finrod from Findaráto; also aran 'king' in Aranrúth. Ereinion 'scion of kings' (name of Gil-galad) has the plural of aran; cf. Fornost Erain 'Norbury of the Kings' in Arnor. The prefix Ar- of the Adûnaic names of the Kings of Númenor was derived from this....

ruth  'anger' in Aranrúth.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

1This text is from one of Tolkien's early drafts. For the sake of clarity, earlier versions of proper names used by Tolkien in this draft have been replaced with the versions in use in the canon sources: Thingol for Tinwelint, and Carcharoth for Karkaras. All substitutions are marked with brackets.
2... 'damascened', ornamentally inlaid with designs in gold and silver.

The Book of Lost Tales 2, HoME Vol 2, Ch 4, The Nauglafring: Notes and Commentary, Note 7

3Bregor Father of Barahir and Bregolas.

Unfinished Tales, Index

Zimraphel 6Jul03
Loquacious 1Nov04
Elena Tiriel 4Feb10

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