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Topic: Trolls and Swords

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Posts: 217
Date: Jul 13, 2009
Trolls and Swords

Hi all

Is their any clue as to how the trolls, that Bilbo met, came about such powerful items as Sting and Orcrist ?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jul 13, 2009
Not in the texts to my knwoledge. All it says in The Hobbit is that the swords may have come from plunderers and then from other plunderers etc.

However there is a valid theory. With the Sack of Gondolin the Orcs would have laid claim to these swords. If the owners of these swords were not slain in the War of Wrath and headed eastwards after the battle before the lands fell beneath the waves then they could well have ended up in the possession of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, prized possessions. When they were eventually stolen or taken by a group of Orcs out of the Mountains perhaps those three trolls got hold of them and then they eventually were found by Bilbo and co. Thus when they wielded them in the tunnels of the Mountains they were instantly recognized as the lethal 'Goblin-banes'.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jul 13, 2009
Filli,
Pretty simple actually. Here is the text and the reference.
After Gandalf had tricked the Trolls into being caught out in the sun, he chided the dwarves about finding the Trolls' treasure. After looking they found the Trolls' cave with a door of stone that was locked. The key had been found by Bilbo and everybody was excited as they unlocked the door and pushed their way in.

"...Then the stone door swung back with one big push, and they went inside. There were bones on the floor and a nasty smell was in the air; but there was a good deal of food jumbled carelessly on shelves and on the ground, among an untidy litter of plunder, of all sorts from brass buttons to pots full of gold coins standing in a corner. There were lots of clothes, too, hanging on the walls - too small for trolls, I am afraid they belonged to victims - and among them were several swords of various makes, shapes, and sizes. Two caught their eyes particularly, because of their beautiful scabbards and jeweled hilts.
Gandalf and Thorin each took one of these; and Bilbo took a knife in a leather sheath. It would have made only a tiny pocket-knife for a troll, but it was as good as a short sword for the hobbit.
'These look like good blades,' said the wizard, half drawing them and looking at them curiously. 'They were not made by any troll, nor by any smith among men in these parts and days; but when we can read the runes on them, we shall know more about them'."
(The Hobbit, Chapter II - "Roast Mutton", pgs 40 - 41)

So Gandalf, Bilbo, and the Dwarves continue their journey and arrive in Rivendell and into the court of Elrond. Here they were given food and rest and healing for themselves and their ponies. They were re-provisioned as well as re-equipped And they were counseled by Elrond, master of the house, who was "...noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer..." (The Hobbit, Chapter III - "A Short Rest", pg 48)
So they asked Elrond about the swords from the troll's plunder.
"Elrond knew all about runes of every kind. That day he looked at the swords they brought from the trolls' lair, and he said: 'These are not troll-make. They are old swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin. They were made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. They must have come from a dragon's hoard or goblin plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city many ages ago. This, Thorin, the runes name Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver in the ancient tongue of Gondolin; it was a famous blade. This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foehammer that the king of Gondolin once wore. Keep them well!'
'Whence did the trolls get them, I wonder?' said Thorin looking at his sword with new interest.
'I could not say,' said Elrond, 'but one may quess that your trolls had plundered other plunderers, or come on the remnants of old robberiea in some hold in the mountains. I have heard that there are still forgotten treasures of old to be found in deserted caverns of the mines of Moria, since the dwarf and goblin war'. "
(The Hobbit, Chapter III - "A Short Rest", pg 49)

There you go!



-- Edited by Bear on Monday 13th of July 2009 10:57:36 PM

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 28, 2009
Bear

A stroke of luck , as some might say.

To find such potent weapons in a silly trolls cave.

Almost as if they were ment to find them.

Nearly as lucky as coming into possesion of blades of the westernese in the barrows.

Hobbits sure are lucky or are they ?

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Jul 28, 2009
Well the blades of Westernesse are likely to be found in the tombs of their makers and wielders.

But yes, those swords being found in a troll-cave is lucky. But The Hobbit, remember, is not written as seriously as the other works. Finding the sword of King Turgon, and another sword of the mighty Gondolin, in a troll-cave six thousand years later is pretty unlikely, but not impossible.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 26, 2009
These swords of the Goblin wars found in the cave. But the shirt of mithril that Bilbo was given from Smaug's hord and wore then handed down to Frodo which he wore on the Quest was discussed in one forum I used to frequent. It was wondered if this wasn't the shirt the child Earendil was wearing at the Fall of Gondolin in the Goblin wars as well?

-- Edited by Anorlas on Wednesday 26th of August 2009 01:46:05 AM

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Aug 26, 2009
Apart from coming from the hoard of Erebor, what do we know of Bilbo's Mithril shirt? I can't recall any other texts regarding it.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 27, 2009
It is mentioned in one of Tolkien's versions of the Fall of Gondolin but I can't remember which one. I have unearthed more of my volumns of HoME and am looking for it now.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Aug 27, 2009
The coat Idril put on young Earendil (The Fall of Gondolin, The Book Of Lost Tales) was one that she had 'let fashion in secret'

(external details: Tolkien had not yet invented or 'discovered' mithril when he wrote this, and much later in the early 1950s, he abandoned the revised Fall of Gondolin before reaching this section of the narrative)

In any case, Bilbo's coat, although said to be wrought for some young Elf-prince long ago, was also said to be made of mithril, and made by Dwarves.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 27, 2009
Ahhh..there you are. Thanks for the information Galin

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Aug 29, 2009
Galin wrote:
The coat Idril put on young Earendil (The Fall of Gondolin, The Book Of Lost Tales) was one that she had 'let fashion in secret'

(external details: Tolkien had not yet invented or 'discovered' mithril when he wrote this, and much later in the early 1950s, he abandoned the revised Fall of Gondolin before reaching this section of the narrative)

In any case, Bilbo's coat, although said to be wrought for some young Elf-prince long ago, was also said to be made of mithril, and made by Dwarves.

So it was made for an Elf-prince by Dwarves? Would that be by the Nogrod or Belegost Dwarves in the First Age, making it for some price of the Elves in Beleriand (presumably having the Mithril transported from Khazad-dum)? Or is it more likely a Second Age relic, made by the Dwarves for some prince of Lindon or Eregion or something?

 



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