Andúril – reforged by elvensmiths from the shards of Narsil – is perhaps the most famous swords in the Lord of the Rings. This United Cutlery replica will be released in November 2003.

Andúril - Flame of the West!

Elrond said of the legendary blade: “The man who can wield the power of this sword can summon to him an army more deadly than any that walk this earth.”

The inscription down the length of the blade on both sides is in the Tolkien language of Quenya, written in the runes of Eregion, that say “Nányë Andúril i né Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvanten i máli Mordórëo”. This translates to “I am Andúril who was Narsil, the sword of Elendil. Let the thralls of Mordor flee me.”

The blade inscription features runes framed by stylised symbols of the Sun and the Moon, which represent Anarion and Isildur, the sons of Elendil, and seven symbolic stars that represent Elendil, who died wielding Narsil in battle against Sauron.

Inscribed on the pommel are runes in the Elven language of Sindarin that say Narsil essenya, macil meletya; Telchar carneron Navarotesse. This translates to “Narsil is my name, a mighty sword; Telchar made me in Nogrod.”

NB: Some people have wondered why the blade inscription is in “Dwarven Runes” and not the Tengwar. Both the angular runes (known as the Cirth) and the more cursive Tengwar lettering were initially created by the elves. The Sindar elves of Beleriand invented the Cirth, while the Tengwar originated in Valinor and was “imported” by the Noldorin elves.

The Tengwar became the dominant form of writing for elves – only in Eregion (Hollin) did the Cirth retain its popularity. The elvish smiths of Eregion passed the Cirth on to the Dwarves of Khazad-dum, who adapted it for their own use.

So although runes were primarily used by Dwarves by the Third Age, they were still elvish in origin.

Additionally, Appendix E of LoTR tells that the Cirth was long used only for “inscribing names and brief memorials on wood or stone”. It would have been ideal for a blade inscription.

Finally, when Eregion was overrun by Sauron in the Second Age, Elrond gathered the few survivors of the sack to himself. Afterwards, he retreated with them to Rivendell.

Could it have been that a few Celembrimbor’s famed cadre of smiths survived to enter the service of Elrond and later reforged Narsil? Unfinished Tales does not reveal the fate of the Gwaith-i-Mirdain, although Celembrimbor himself was killed. But it could be that this is part of the logic as well.

It makes a nice unsupported theory anyway.

UPDATE: JO writes, “The simplest explanation for the presence of Dwarvish Cirth on Narsil (and of course Anduril as well) is this: it was made by Telchar, who was a dwarf. No more complex theory is necessary. “