Glamdring: whats in a name?

Discussion in 'J.R.R. Tolkien / Lord of the Rings' started by kartaron, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    When I read the hobbit, one thing that stuck with me was the name Glamdring and its nickname "Foe Hammer". Im not sure if that nickname is an accurate translation of glamdring or not. In my imagination I thought that since the names of the Foe Hammer and the Goblin Cleaver were very descriptive names (and the goblin names Biter and Beater parallel those) that Glamdring would be a more blunt edged weapon intended for bruising and battery rather than piercing attacks. I dont mean a mace or hammer but a heavy blunt edged sword.. maybe a flamberge.

    Does anyone with more experience with the HoME or BoLT have any more detail on this?
     
  2. Aragorn Elessar

    Aragorn Elessar Envinyatar

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    I believe I've read somewhere (perhaps in one of these threads) that Foe Hammer is not a direct translation of Glamdring... need to dig up more info about that to say more...
     
  3. KingUnderTheMountain

    KingUnderTheMountain New Member

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    A great nickname though none the less. This one name.."Foe Hammer" is stuck out more than anything else the first time i read the Hobbit back when i was 8.
     
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    In the Unfinshed Tales, it sais that "Glam" is also found in "Glamhoth", which is translated to "din-horde","host of tumult". And with hoth translating to horde, Glam shood mean tumult. Now, I am not sure about "dring", but "ring" translates to "cold". Correct me if I'm wrong, but that could mean Glamdring means something as "Chiller of tumult".

    The other sword's name is Orcrist, by the way, which indeed would translate to Orc cleaver, since "Angrist", the dagger of Telchar and Beren translates to Iron-cleaver, with "ang" as being Iron.
     
  5. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    from encyclopedia of Arda

    1 Actually, the literal translation of glam is 'noise', not 'foe'. 'Foe-hammer' comes from glamhoth dring, 'noise-host hammer' - glamhoth is an Elvish term for Orcs.

    glamhoth is a mocking name that the elves have for orcs meaning roughly 'The noisy enemy' (funny given how the elves mock Gimly similarly... are they insinuating that the dwarf has orc in him? Oh the irony)

    So this is the hammer that kills the noisy enemy

    despite that, the nickname given is Foe Hammer
    my point is that I would have liked to have seen a weapon that more resembled the name. In fact the nickname seems slightly odd especially since Orcrist has a nickname that makes it clear how sharp it is.
     
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I think hammer is more figurative, as in beating down an uprising. I think the idea is that Glamdring is a weapon capable of handling a troop of foes at a time, as if they were trapped between hammer and anvil, with chanceless odds for the foes. And it appears to do just that, especially in the Goblin cave in the Hobbit, if I remember correctly.

    But indeed, Foe-Hammer would suggest a blunt object similar to a mace or warhammer. But it also sais that it is a sword, and a sharp one at that, being forged by Elven of Old.
     
  7. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Thats a good answer. Better than I had thought of.