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What is the most powerful Weapon in Tolkien’s works? – LotR Lore & Tolkien’s Lore


Welcome to episode two of “my answer questions
from the comments” format. I had a lot of fun making the the first episode,
so here’s another one. Today’s question is from Luke Skywalker the
2nd: What is the most powerful Weapon in Tolkien’s
works? Questions about power are always difficult
to answer, esp. in Tolkien’s lore. Power can mean something very different depending
on the situation, concept and interpretation. In single combat other factors make someone
powerful, than for example on a political, military or economic level. However the question asks for a weapon. So what can we count as weapon? E.g. the One Ring can be seen as a weapon,
but also the Phial of Galadriel. The addition of the question goes into the
direction of spears and swords, so I will focus on “classic weapons” only. Now the next question: do we include Valar
weapons or not? Luke suggests Grond (the Hammer of the Underworld),
which is the mace of the first Dark Lord and Sauron’s master Morgoth also known as Melkor. So I’ll take this as a yes. He is right, that Grond is a pretty good contender,
however there are some arguments against it. It seems the Vala Morgoth rarely used it or
at least we don’t know much about it. And the one time, when he actually fought
with it against Fingolfin (High King of the Noldor Elves and Galadriel’s uncle) in single
combat during the First Age, the Vala always missed with his mace, even though it had impact
when he hit the ground: Quote from the Silmarillion: Then Morgoth hurled aloft Grond, the Hammer
of the Underworld, and swung it down like a bolt of thunder. But Fingolfin sprang aside, and Grond rent
a mighty pit in the earth, whence smoke and fire darted. In the end he crushed Fingolfin with his shield
(not his mace) and broke his neck with his foot. It’s not stated that Grond ever actually hit
him. So when it mattered it dealt more damage to
the surroundings than to its actual target. Fingolfin on the other side wounded Morgoth
seven times and stroke him in the foot shortly before his death, so that the Dark Lord would
limp from now on. Even though he killed the High King, it was
a loss for him too. So Grond was very powerful, but had its drawbacks. In this context: if you would ask me, what
weapon was the most powerful weapon excluding Valar weapons: I would say it’s Fingolfin’s
sword Ringil, that he used in this fight. It’s the only known weapon that wounded a
Vala – the most powerful beings besides god. And under the Valar Morgoth was the mightiest. Ringil’s name is sometimes translated with
“cold star”. And I’ll guess it makes sense, however it’s
only certain that its name includes the Quenya word for “cold” and it’s described “that
[it] glittered like ice”. In case you are interested in the circumstances
of the this battle, check my History of the elves video. But what other Valar weapon options do we
have? We have the bow and spear of the Vala Oromë,
the huntsman of the Valar. He hunted down the creatures of Morgoth, who
was called Melkor back in the day, around his first fortress Utumno. You probably have heard it’s other name “Ûdun”,
because Gandalf calls the Balrog in Moria flame of Ûdun and Balrogs were servants of
Morgoth. We can read in the Silmarillion: And Oromë tamer of beasts would ride too
at whiles in the darkness of the unlit forests; as a mighty hunter he came with spear and
bow, pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor, and
his white horse Nahar shone like silver in the shadows. The names of his weapons are not known, but
it can be assumed, that they were very powerful. Another one I find interesting: the Vala Tulkas
(Champion of the Valar) had his bare hands. He wrestled down Morgoth and chained him with
the the chain Angainor, that Aulë (the Valar of smithing) had forged for this purpose at
the end of the War for Sake of the Elves. Being able to wrestle down down Morgoth with
your bare hands at the peak of the evil Vala’s power, is definitely a deed to be remembered. However all the mentioned weapons are hard
to rank, but are without a doubt insanely powerful. I would argue for Oromë, because he hunted
his enemies (probably) alone in the realm of his enemy Morgoth with success. No clue if Tulkas hands would count. It’s said he was so powerful, that he needed
no weapon to fight and fighting was his expertise. If they count I would chose them, because
he chained Morgoth with them. Another, but often forgotten little detail:
the “weapon” of Elrond’s father Eärendil, what ever it was. We can read, that he slew Ancalagon the Black,
the greatest of all dragons. His fire even drove back the Valar and their
host, so what ever Eärendil used to kill the dragon, it must be for sure powerful. Ofc a weapon is not explicitly mentioned and
he had a Silmaril and was on a flying ship, but he still somehow slew this giant dragon. Just think about this sentence for a moment
in the context that Thangorodrim are 3 volcanic mountains and part of Morgoth’s mighty second
fortress Angband, quote from the Silmarillion: Before the rising of the sun Eärendil slew
Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host, and cast him from the sky; and
he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his ruin. Another interesting choice is the black axe
of the Balrog Gothmog. He was Captain of all Balrogs and he did some
work with his axe and whip: he and his Balrogs drove away Ungoliant, Shelob’s mother, who
was an insanely powerful entity, he (you could say) killed Fëanor, the most powerful elf
who has ever lived, he killed Fingolfin’s son Fingon, High King of the Noldor elves
after his father’s death and he killed Ecthelion, probably one of the most powerful elf warriors,
who killed him too in the process. Just looking at those who he had slain and
fought, speaks for his weapon. Because I find the topic interesting, I would
like to mention some other not Valar and Maiar weapons, that I consider very powerful. Besides the mentioned Ringil, Gurthang must
be mentioned too. I explain the story in my dragon’s lore video
in the Glaurung section in more detail. Gurthang was the black sword of Túrin, who
slew Glaurung, the father of Dragons, with it. It means “Iron of Death” and was forged
out of the sword Anglachel. Túrin slew Anglachel’s owner Beleg by accident. What must be understood: a powerful, but terrible
fate or doom lay upon this sword and was inherited, when it was reforged into Gurthang. Both were powerful swords in deed, but also
problematic, because they will tragically doom its bearer at one point. Beleg and Túrin both died in very tragic
ways. Also Eöl the Dark Elf the smith of Anglachel
died tragically too. Another sword I would rank very high is Glamdring,
the sword, that Gandalf finds in the troll hoard. It’s most likely the sword of Turgon, High
King of the Noldor elves (he became king after Fingolfin’s son was slain by Gothmog). Turgon was the founder of Gondolin, which
was sacked by Morgoth, using his powerful Balrogs. So it was most likely fit for the task to
fight those and Gandalf also manages to slay Durin’s Bane. I would say in Middle-earth there is no more
fitting sword for this task in the Third Age. I also want to mention Aeglos, the Spear of
Gil-galad High King of the Noldor. You guessed right, he became King after Turgon’s
death. We can see it in Shadow of War and the prologue
of Peter Jackson’s first LotR movie. In this context the power of Narsil and later
Anduril can’t be overlooked. So much fate is tied to them and they became
to some degree Sauron’s doom. We can read:
for the Spear of Gil-galad and the Sword of Elendil, Aeglos and Narsil, none could withstand. All this is maybe a bit unsatisfying, but
it’s tough to find a definitive answer. For Valar and Maiar weapons I would go with
Tulka’s hands or Oromë’s spear and bow. For other super natural weapons: Eärendil’s weapon, what ever it was For “normal” weapons:
Fingolfin’s sword Ringil it is. I think a powerful weapon must be able to
fight and defeat a powerful foe and strike fear into the hearts of enemies. Ringil definitely succeeded in both, because
Morgoth would remember the pain caused by it. Sadly it’s not known what happened to the
sword after the duel. Maybe the great eagle Thorondor saved it along
with Fingolfin’s corpse from Morgoth, who knows. I hope this answers the question and gives
a good overview, but feel free to disagree. Thank you for watching. I could imagine making another one of these
“answer questions from the comments” videos before I’m done with the next films and books
lore episode. I still want to make another gaming related
video, but no clue when. After that I either continue with the films
and books lore series or make another classic lore video. So many more Tolkien related videos are on
the horizon. As always if you liked this episode, feel
free to press the like button and leave a comment. E.g. with a “Tolkien lore” question for
future episodes. If you want to know more about certain topics,
check my longer in-depth videos on my channel. Also for those who don’t know: if you have
subscribed to my channel and didn’t activate the bell icon, you most likely won’t be notified,
when I upload a new video. One of the most confusing design decisions
on YouTube, esp. for channels, that don’t upload every day like mine. So in case you wonder, why you don’t get notified,
that’s why. Ofc it can still happen, that YouTube does
not notify you, even when the bell is activated. Sometimes YouTube is a strange place and very
counter intuitive. Again thank you for watching and good bye.

39 thoughts on “What is the most powerful Weapon in Tolkien’s works? – LotR Lore & Tolkien’s Lore

  1. I hope you like the 2nd episode. Ofc it's really hard to give an definitive answer to this question, but I think I provided a good overview and some arguments. What would your choce be? Did I forget something? (e.g. the weapons from the barrow downs come to my mind) Also feel free to post new lore questions for future episodes 🙂

  2. In the Song of Earendil there is just mentioned that he uses a sword of steel (probably made by the elves of Gondolin, who were definitly great smiths). Although there is alsy not much said about the weapons that Feanor made for him and his sons, in the Silmarillion, Feanors sword was described as quiet big, and since they were all made by Feanor in Valinor, they were probably also most powerfull then most swords made by elves.
    But still it seems clear, that at least in middle-earth, the greatest swords were Anglachel and Anguirel, as mentioned in the Silmarillion

  3. Can u please talk about the sword sting since I saw the hobbit and Bilbo hold it about to show it show it to elrond I was like yeah at last the story of this sowrd but then disappointment …. I really wanna know the story behind this sword pllzzzzzz

  4. Thanks so much for answering my question, Philosophers (and sorry I didn't reply to your reply on the last video, I was kinda at School when I made it lol)! I definitely quite agree with your ranking of the most powerful weapons from the Valar, Maiar, Elves and even Men. Truly, Tolkien's world is full of such iconic and great weapons that will forever be beloved by Tolkien fans and lovers of Fantasy forever, and it really is quite facanating to me of just how powerful these tools of War can be. But anyway, I can't wait to see more!!! 🙂

  5. I strongly disagree. Strongest weapon is most definitely the Hands of Helm Hammerhand. No debate, no concessions, and no exceptions, but all and all great video. I think I always get so caught up in the characters that I forget about the weapons and tools that they wielded.

  6. Ecthelion of the Fountain killed Gothmog in single combat during the fall of Gondolin. It's widely speculated that Tolkien intended Orchrist to have been his weapon. If we exclude supernatural weapons, Orchrist is surely a contender. If we do include supernatural weapons, the one ring should probably be at, or near, the top of the list, maybe just below Oromë's bow. Although, a secret option would be whatever weapons Eönwë uses as his "might in arms is surpassed by none in Arda", (including among the Valar), according to the Silmarillion.

  7. I say this: Abandon the boring, monolithic LotR lore and come explore the rich, diverse and definitely much more interesting lore of Elder scrolls and tamriel that is not stuck in a trilogy nor obsessed with the same characters with ugly germanic-wannabe names over and over again (Aragorn, Frodo, Gandalf etc)

    Come to explore the struggle of an empire to maintain her power against the elvish supremacism as expressed by the thalmors, the effort of the proud nords to defeat the empire while striving to make their country a nordic-only land, the scary catacombs and dungeons beneath the land of skyrim where the ancient heroic ancestors of the nords, the draugrs, are buried and yet they are somehow alive waiting to tear apart the next unlucky adventurer.

    Come to explore the myths of the dragons who once ruled over men, the ruins of ancient civilizations that are now extinct like the dwemer and their technologically advanced machinery that stil can not be reproduced by men or mer (Elves). Come to discover the terrible and miserable end of the snow elves and how they were reduced to a semi-barbaric, blind species living underground, hidden by the men and mer, now known as "falmers".

    Come to discover the dynamic and ever-changing geopolitics and societal development of Tamriel since the end of the great war and the signing of the white-cold concordat. Come and find out why nords try to elevate a mere man, Talos, to the pantheon of human Gods, the liberation of Hammerfell from imperial and elvish control, the continuation of slavery, kidnapping and other atrocious actions by the dark elves against the argonians, that is, the lizard-people of tamriel, the racism dark elves and argonians face in Skyrim by the supremacist nords, the suppression of necromancy in parts of skyrim and Cyrodill, the societal division of Hammerfell between the elitist, aristocratic and traditional/conservative-minded crowns, and the simple soldier class of "the borebears", and how they migrated from their far-away now semi-destroyed continent to Tamriel, when they came in contact for the first time with cultures of men, mer (elves) and orcs.

    Come explore the adventure of Ysgrammor, the mythical Man who brought humans from the now frozen continent of Atmora and had to pass the mysterious and dangerous sea of ghosts, fighting all the sea monsters that lives down below, and reach the shores of North Tamriel, challenging for the first time, the supreme culture and political dominance of the ancient elvish cultures of Ayleids.

    Elder scrolls is not superficial and detached from reality like LotR. The lore of the Elder scrolls is more concerned with real life issues: Religious controversies, racism and geopolitical interests, imperialism, war and the struggle against the known, and not the mythical, pseudo-intellectual unknown.

    The Elder scrolls have produced 13 videogames, around 7 books (of which 2 are normal books, 4 are books that presents the study of archaeologists and historians that live inside the games, and 1 book is…. a cook book, that presents all the foods/dishes that are exclusive to the elder scrolls lore! Yes, elder scrolls are so developed that they have their own unique food and dishes!

    The advantages of TES (The elder scrolls) over LotR:

    1: It does not rely on one man. See, the problem with book franchises is that those franchise die when their author dies too. This is why after the death of Tolkien and Howard, there isnt much development when it comes to the stories of LotR and Conan. It is mostly trilogies and series retelling, and retelling, and epicly retelling, the stories of the original trilogies and/or movies. I mean, look at Conan! The entire world is based on Conan, and we have yet to see the franchise progressing PAST Conan lifetime. TES is not like that. Because there isnt ONE man behind TES. So you cant say that TES will die when that one precious author lose interest.
    There is an entire multinational corporation behind TES. A corporation, much wealthier and stronger than any individual author, focused on protecting and expanding the TES brand and franchise indefinitely. This also ensures longetivity . Dont you wonder why some books die after 1-2 trilogies or 1-2 movies whereas videogame-based franchises like pac-man, resident evil, super mario, legend of zelda etc continue thriving decade after decade? It is because they are not relied on one, two or three authors.
    Also, in TES you WILL NEVER SEE A RETELLING! Whatever happens, happens. The lore and the world expand over and over again without retellings of past events! TES does not rely on one character like Conan or Gadalf or Harry potter. There is no protagonist in TES. Exceptional kings live and die, good people destroyed and bad men thrive occasionally. No one is perfect.

    2) TES world is much more immersive. Why that? Because they are mostly videogame-based. See, the difference between a movie and a videogame, is that a movie only lasts for 1-2 hours. You get to see some action, some events and some dramatic dialogue – all of them scripted and predefined – and thats it! Then wait 2-5 years for the next movie.
    In a videogame however, you get to directly interact with the world around you. No gameplay is the same. You set the pace, the actions, the consequences, what is canon and what is not (in micro events only, you can not define the canonicity of bigger events) and so on. You get to live and relive the entire world and keep exploring and a game can last for over 5 months, a year, or 5 years worth of lore!

    3) It is relied on the videogaming industry. Which is one of the mosth highly developing thriving industries ever. Nowadays, a franchise that is based on videogames and expand to the theatres and book is safer than a franchise that starts off as a book or a movie.

    So i call all of you, to abandon this silly-looking, naive lotR toy and come explore the real deal: The elder scrolls.

  8. Didnt the knife B&L cut the silmaril out of the crown with snap and s shard scratched Morgoth and thats why he woke up? Pretty strong to do that.

    If we are talking nonconventional wespons Id put forth Morgoths ring, Arda marred.

  9. Dramborleg the axe of Tour was self conscious and could move be itself. And it have one of the most impressing kill streak in all of Tolkiens books because it killd 5 balrog in the fall of Gondloin

  10. This is a bit random, but the dark souls footage made me think of something. Imagine the hands of Tulkas turned into a gauntlet type weapon, like how dragon's tooth and the demon fist are in dark souls. That would be one strong gauntlet!

  11. Never rly thought that weapons themselves had power, but someone who wields them. But then i remembered that i am dumb. So the glowing sword… Morghuls blade… etc

  12. If eols words were true, gurthang would be, without doubt, the most powerful sword.
    Nothing, be it big or small, shall survive a strike of its cursed blade.

  13. Even though mobile aerial warfare on the vast expanse of the sky invokes images of flung or hurled weapons, the phrase indicating Ancalgon was "cast" from the sky more closely intimates a hand to hand or face to face martial contest. I'm inclined to accept another viewers indication that Earendil is known to have carried a sword, also because the skilled and masterful use of a bow would have been previously highlighted in text discussing any earlier deeds and prowess of this Mariner.

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