The Narsil sword that Isildur used to free Sauron’s fingers and steal the One Ring from him is the name that most fans are familiar with. But now that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is centred on those occasions and faithfully portrays them, many Tolkienists are eagerly anticipating seeing Narsil in the possession of Elendil, who would later become the first king of Gondor and Arnor.
After all, Elendil (Lloyd Owen) and his son Isildur (Maxim Baldry) have already been introduced on the programme, so it should only be a matter of time before the former ends up inheriting the fabled Narsil, which in Quenya means “red and white flame.” Funny enough, we may have seen a glimpse of the sword in the fourth and most recent episode when Miriel led Galadriel into a room filled with Nmenórean artefacts. The daughter of Finarfin takes a minute to consider a blade before nonchalantly leaning against the wall as if it were nothing unusual for Nmenoreans. But that hilt and crossguard would be instantly recognisable to anyone who has seen Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
You might now be asking how and from where the island monarchy acquired the weapon in the first place. After all, as the Second Age comes to a close, this is Sauron’s greatest curse, and when Aragorn takes it up again during the War of the Ring, he still fears its very presence. Despite its mythical fame, Narsil had modest beginnings—at least in comparison to its future significance. Tolkien never explicitly said when the sword was created, although Telchar, one of the greatest Dwarven blacksmiths in Middle-earth history, is known to have given it its original name. There isn’t much information about what happened to Narsil after it was crafted, other than the fact that it eventually made its way to the House of Elros during the Second Age and was handed down through generations of Nmenoreans.
Elendil acquired the sword and used it at the Battle of Dagorlad and the Siege of Barad-dûr, Sauron’s stronghold in Mordor, in unspecified ways that are nearly likely detailed in The Rings of Power. Elendil was killed and the sword was shattered under his foot when the Dark Lord himself entered the conflict. The Dark Lord’s physical body was destroyed and the One Ring, which served as his source of power, was taken away by Isildur, Elendil’s son when he collected the shard and cut off the Dark Lord’s fingers. When Aragorn reached adulthood in the year 2951 TA, Elrond sent him the blade from the sword that had been kept safe as an heirloom by the line of kings. The Elven smiths of Imladris later reforged the sword and gave it the new name Andril, which means “flame of the west,” before setting out on the life-changing adventure as a member of the Fellowship. For his part, Aragorn used the sword to battle the troops of the Shadow all the way to the Black Gates of Mordor.