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Orcrist Sword also known as the “Goblin Cleaver” is perhaps the most popular weapon in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”. Orcrist is a Sindarin word for “Goblin-cleaver”. This term could have been related to the Quenyan rista which means to (“to cut”). The Orcs called it “Biter”. The Elves of Gondolin named it the “Orcrist” for hundred of Orcs had been killed by the weapon. The weapon itself was created by Elves of Gondolin, which not only added value to it but also made it one of the most feared and dangerous weapon in the universe. The arch enemies of the elves, the Orcs , who lived in the middle earth like other evil creatures, particularly feared it. The weapon was also widely known as the sword of Thorin, when claimed by the latter.
Orcrist Sword was also a combat weapon borne by the highest of highest ranking, possibly a Lord in entourage of King. It was referred as the ” blade that sliced a thousand necks” by the Great Goblins because of its wrath some history. Ecthelion too was one of the yielders of this Thorin sword. Known as the “Lord of Fountains court”, he killed many orcs in the Fall of Gondolin.
Both the Orcrist and Glamdrig were lost and exiled from Beleriand 43 years after the fall of Gondolin and before the first age ended. This explains how Orcs know and feared Biter and Beater( apparent during capture of Thorin and company). The sword ultimately fell onto hands of trolls; Tom, Bert and William in the Ettenmoors by the period of events of the The Hobbit.
History of Sword of Thorin :
During the times of The Hobbit, Thorin and his friends found this weapon in cave of trolls and he claimed it as his primary weapon.. During most of the Quest of Erebor, Thorin bore the Goblin Cleaver, thus the nickname “Thorin Oakenshield sword”. The Orcrist and Glamdring were also used to fight against the Goblins of Misty Mountians, when the group was captured. This renewed orcs’s hatred of the weapons developed by elves. The weapon was confiscated from Thorin when he was captivated by Thranduil the Elvenking in the woodland realm. Thorin was returned the weapon, only after his death at the Battle of five armies. In “The Hobbit”, Thranduil placed this blade on Thori’s tomb to protect his soul. This however may not be true, because in the Lord of Rings, according to Tolkein, the fellowship brought the one ring from Rivendell to south and buried the Thorin Oakenshield sword along with him and the sword laid in his grave. However, the sword could also be on on his sarcophagus.
Portrayal in adaptations:
In the film “The Hobbit “An Unexpected Journey (2012) “, directed by Peter Jackson, the Orcist makes an appearance similar to that of the sting. It looks like a single bladed weapon with a curved pommel of some sort. Also resembles Hadfhang, the weapon borne by Arwen and Elrond in the LOTR trilogy. Although the Hadfhang had a curved blade whereas the Orcrist was a bit straighter. The weapon is alos shown to be very powerful and is wholly able to knock back a vicious blow from the Goblin king himself with ease.
The main difference is that Hadhafang has a curved blade, whereas the Goblin Cleaver sword is straighter. It is also shown to be very powerful as it is able to knock back a vicious swing from the Goblin King with ease.
In the film adaption The Hobbit :The Desolation of Smaug, Legolas takes over Orcrist , when he and his group of evil elves capture Thorin and company. The blade is shown yielded by Legolas in his fight with Bolg and Orcs, defending Lake town. However Thorin somehow retrieves his word during the events taking place during The Hobbit: There and Back Again. as it is buried with him. Although the Orcrist is an elvish sword, it never shines in blue or glows when in presence of Thorin
The Orcrist Sword has a grip of a large tooth which is capped in metal pommel. Ecthelion’s heraldry symbol is also displayed by the pommel which gives of speculations that this sword was his weapon. The runes which run down the blades have been translated to “Tooth of snake/dragon”. However In the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/ The Desolation of Smaug, the weapon was designed with a single-edged blade partly because of its title of “Goblin Cleaver”. The Orcrist replica is very versatile and well suited for combat for dwarves. The weapon is well designed with a suitable fulcrum which amplies the forces exerted by the beholder. This thorin oakenshield sword is one of the most powerful combat weapons to be designed.
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