A Detailed Guide To The Orcrist

Key Point: Orcrist is a fictional Elvish sword in J.R.R. Tolkien’s lore, specifically featured in “The Hobbit.” Crafted in Gondolin and known as the Goblin-cleaver, it played a significant role as the weapon wielded by Thorin Oakenshield in his quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain.

History Of Orchist In The Lore

Orcrist, also known as the “Goblin-cleaver,” is a significant weapon in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, prominently featured in “The Hobbit.” Crafted in the Elvish city of Gondolin during the First Age, the Orcrist is an exquisite sword with a blade designed to slay goblins and orcs.

The Orcrist

Originally owned by the Elven King Turgon, Orcrist, along with its counterpart Glamdring and the famed blade Sting, found its way into the hoard of the dragon Smaug in the Lonely Mountain (Erebor). The sword’s fate took a turn when Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves, accompanied by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, embarked on a quest to reclaim Erebor and its treasure.

During the events of “The Hobbit,” Thorin discovers Orcrist in the dragon’s hoard and claims it as his own. The Elven blade serves him well in battles against goblins, particularly during the Battle of the Five Armies. The craftsmanship of Orcrist reflects the high skill of the Elves, and its identification as a goblin-cleaver underscores its effectiveness against the enemies of the Free Peoples.

After Thorin’s death, Orcrist is laid upon his tomb in the Lonely Mountain, symbolizing the end of its role in the tale. The sword remains a fascinating artifact, embodying the rich history and craftsmanship of Tolkien’s fantasy world and playing a notable part in the heroics of Thorin Oakenshield during the quest for Erebor.

Etymology Of Orcrist

The name “Orcrist” is a compound word in Sindarin, one of the Elvish languages in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world.

The word consists of two elements:

The first part of the name is derived from the Elvish word for “goblin” or “orc.” In Sindarin, the language of the Grey Elves, “orch” refers to creatures like goblins and orcs, which are often enemies of the Free Peoples.

The second part of the name, “rist,” is related to the Sindarin word “rista,” meaning “cleaver” or “cutter.” Therefore, “Orcrist” can be translated to mean “Goblin-cleaver” or “Orc-cutter.”

So, in terms of etymology, Orcrist’s name directly reflects its purpose and function as a sword crafted to combat goblins and orcs, showcasing Tolkien’s meticulous attention to linguistic detail in constructing the languages of Middle-earth.

Appearances In The Novels

Orcrist appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit.” The sword is introduced when Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves, accompanied by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, embark on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) and its treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug.

The key appearances of Orcrist in “The Hobbit” include:

Discovery in the Troll Hoard: Bilbo comes across Orcrist, along with Glamdring and Sting, in the hoard of trolls. Thorin claims Orcrist as his own during this encounter.

Use in the Goblin Tunnels: Orcrist is wielded by Thorin during the escape from the goblin tunnels of the Misty Mountains. The sword proves effective against the goblins and showcases its purpose as a weapon designed to slay such creatures.

Ownership in the Lonely Mountain: After reaching the Lonely Mountain and confronting Smaug, Thorin continues to wield Orcrist. The sword is part of the treasure hoard briefly until the events of the Battle of the Five Armies.

Laid Upon Thorin’s Tomb: After Thorin’s death in the Battle of the Five Armies, Orcrist is laid upon his tomb in the Lonely Mountain as a symbol of honor and remembrance.

While “The Hobbit” is the primary source of Orcrist’s appearances, it is worth noting that the sword is also mentioned in other writings and materials related to Tolkien’s legendarium, providing additional context and details about its history and significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Goblin Name For Orcrist

In “The Hobbit,” goblins, refer to Orcrist as “Biter.” This name reflects the goblins’ perspective on the sword as a menacing and dangerous weapon.

Was Thorin Buried With The Orcrist?

Yes, in “The Hobbit,” Thorin Oakenshield is buried with Orcrist. After Thorin’s death in the Battle of the Five Armies, the sword is laid upon his tomb in the Lonely Mountain as a mark of honor and remembrance.

What Happened With The Orcrist?

After being laid upon Thorin’s tomb, the ultimate fate of Orcrist is not explicitly detailed in “The Hobbit.” However, it is presumed to remain within the Lonely Mountain. The novel does not explore the subsequent events involving the Lonely Mountain and its treasures.

In Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you learned a thing or two about the Orcrist. And I hope to see you at the next one. Might I suggest checking this one?

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