The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Reforged from Anglachel c. I 490 or shortly thereafter
Origins
Reforged by the smiths of Nargothrond from a sword originally made by Eöl the Dark Elf
Pronunciation
Brethil is pronounced 'bre'thil'
Meaning
Brethil refers to either the beeches or birches of the Forest of that name
Other names
Gurthang the Iron of Death; originally known as Anglachel

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  • Updated 20 February 2021
  • This entry is complete

Black Thorn of Brethil

Túrin‘s black sword Gurthang

"But here is a thorn sharper and longer than the knife of Azaghâl."
Words of Túrin Turambar
from the Narn i Chîn Húrin
in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth

As the Dragon Glaurung approached the Forest of Brethil, Túrin sought to calm the fears of the people who lived there by relating the story of Azaghâl at the Nirnaeth. Azaghâl was a Dwarf-lord of Belegost who had succeeded in wounding Glaurung and causing him to flee the field, showing that the Dragon was not invulnerable. (In fact Azagâl also died in this encounter, a fact that Túrin chose to omit from his account.)

After relating this story, Túrin drew his famous black sword Gurthang and held it aloft, announcing that he would use it to deliver a blow of his own to the approaching Dragon. The people around him were inspired, calling the sword the Black Thorn of Brethil, though few indeed rallied to his aid. Nonetheless, after great hardship the Black Thorn found its mark, giving Glaurung the mortal wound that Túrin had promised.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 20 February 2021
  • This entry is complete

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