Shards of Narsil

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Ancalagon
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Shards of Narsil

Post#1 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:26 pm

I have read LOTR several times and I'm always confused during the Fellowship when the hobbits encounter Aragorn at Bree and he pulls out the hilt shard of Narsil. I know that he used Anduril as a form of credentials after it was reforged for the War of the Ring, but why is he carry the broken shards? Clearly he doesn't fight with it, but to my knowledge there is no mention of him carrying a functional sword. Anybody know more?

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Eldorion
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Shards of Narsil

Post#2 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:50 pm

I don't recall any mention of it either. I'm sure he used a different sword when, say, fighting in Gondor as Thorongil, but I don't know when and why he switched to Narsil. Do you have the Letters? Recent editions have a comprehensive index that may be useful to you. If you don't have a copy I will try to remember to check my copy when I can (though that might be a while: its not one of the books I brought to my dorm).

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pettytyrant101
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Shards of Narsil

Post#3 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:03 pm

Had a look in Letters for you- surprisingly narsil/anduril only turns up on 3 pages in the whole thing and not much to shed light on the point raised.
In letter 210 where Tollkien is grumbling about how his work is being treated in adaptation, the quote is in relation to the Weathertop scene and he says "Strider does not 'whip out a sword' in the book. Naturally not; his sword was broken."
From this it is to be implied that Aragorn did not in fact use a sword whilst wandering the wilds. Although I have often wondered why he would carry a broken sword about with him instead of leaving it with the other heirlooms in Rivendell- only thing I can think of is that he went and got it especially as a token of who he was in order to convince Frodo.

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Gandalfs Beard
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Shards of Narsil

Post#4 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:52 pm

That's a reasonable assertion Petty.

GB

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Eldorion
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Shards of Narsil

Post#5 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:18 pm

That's a very good point, petty. However, I'm not sure that it fits with Strider's statement in the chapter named for him that "For all I knew I had to persuade you to trust me without proofs, if I was to help you." I'm unsure because it's possible Strider considered Narsil to be inconclusive, and thus not proof. I need to think on this more.

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pettytyrant101
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Shards of Narsil

Post#6 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:45 pm

I had forgotten that line Eldo- good catch! That does go against my theory- which leaves us back at Aragorn wandering the wilds with a stub of a knackered sword! Mmmmmmm. Mabe he just didn't need a sword in general- I do a lt of hiking and camping and I've never needed one. Im guessing wolves, even trolls (and even Nazgul) can be fended off with a good bit of fire- or simply avoided. And I don't think theres much in the Wilds between Rivendell and Hobbiton to trouble a ranger- even unarmed.

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Gandalfs Beard
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Shards of Narsil

Post#7 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:54 pm

That may be the case, but it doesn't make much sense. If he comes across a renegade pack of Orcs or Bandits or whatever, how is Aragorn going to fight someone who has a sword (or is he Jet Li now :lol: ). Seriously though, how do Rangers combat danger if they don't have the necessary equipment? And why would he wonder around with the hilt while the rest of the shards lay in Rivendell? This does seem a conundrum :? .

GB

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pettytyrant101
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Shards of Narsil

Post#8 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:05 pm

It is indeed a bit of a conundrum GB. I agree there seems little sense in him wandering about with a useless sword, if all he wanted was to have an heirloom close to him there are smaller, easier ones he could be carrying. And it also seems a bit of a risk given Aragorn knows if the sh*t hits the fan then Narsil will be reforged as prophezised, you'd think he would leave it safe and sound in Rivendell for that day.
Hard as I find it to say this, but PJ putting the sword in Rivendell is one of the changes (possibly the only one) I agree whole-heartedly with. It just makes more sense.

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Gandalfs Beard
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Shards of Narsil

Post#9 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:17 pm

Sssh! Don't let Odo hear you! ;)

GB

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Odo Banks
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Shards of Narsil

Post#10 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:23 pm

I think PJ handled it well.. but I'm not bothered by Aragorn carrying it around as a Ranger in the book. The psychological attachment would be strong, especially now that he knows his time is coming. And when sneaking aound in the Wild, the knife, or bow would probably be more useful. Remember, Aragorn uses fire not swordplay (even in the film, I think) to fight off the Nazgul. A heavy sword would be a hindrance more than a help in the Wild, and was it not just the hilt and a small part of blade Aragorn carried? An emblem and reminder of who he really was? Narsil is reforged in the book, but were 'shards' as such mentioned? Don't blades get made from molten metal? Do 'shards' get melded together? If so, they might have been left in Rivendell (to save them rattling in his bag in the bushes in the Wild).

In the book, Aragorn's sword was reforged before he left Rivendell, wasn't it? His time of slinking in the shadows was drawing to an end. He was going on one last 'sneak' to Gondor, but then War would be upon him!


(NB GB, it's not very nice to whisper behind people's backs! :x )

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