“This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foe Hammer that the king of Gondolin once wore.”

Glamdring, sword of Turgon and later Gandalf, was one of the oldest pieces of armor in Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring.

Glamdring was forged in Gondolin sometime in the first age between 100 and 500, making it over 6,000 years old at the time of the War of the Ring. Glamdring was used by Turgon at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and the Fall of Gondolin.

Glamdring was then lost; it was most likely taken as a spoil of war to the east. The sword was forgotten for almost 6,000 years. Nothing else is known of the history of Glamdring during the Third Age until it somehow ended up with a band of trolls. It was found in 2941 TA by Gandalf the Grey while on the Quest for Erebor along with Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and his company of dwarves. When the company reached Rivendell Gandalf showed it to Elrond Half-elven and identified it as Glamdring, sword of the King of Gondolin. When Gandalf encountered the Great Goblin during the Quest for Erebor it was recognized as ‘Beater’ and was widely feared.

Years later, Gandalf used it while battling the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. It fell with him into the abyss; and he used it at the Battle of the Peak where Gandalf finally defeated the Balrog. It is unclear what happened during Gandalf’s re-embodiment, as he clearly says ”naked I was sent back.” The most likely theory is that the sword was collected by Gwaihir and later returned to Gandalf. Glamdring is not recorded to have been used at any other time during the War of the Ring.

The appearance of Glamdring is somewhat vague. It is often described as having a shining white blade. It shone blue after Gandalf used it to kill the Great Goblin.

“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 is likely that Glamdring was taken by Gandalf to Valinor, thus ending the 6,000-year history of Glamdring in Middle-Earth.


The Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit
The Silmarillion

Researched by tsproffitt

Print Friendly, PDF & Email