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Glamdring Review

by Randy Higgins, Canada

I first became a fan of Fable Blades over a year and a half ago after seeing some talk about his swords and knives on SBG. I learned more about Brendan and Fable Blades after he had donated a hand-made seax knife as a prize for the UBC 2009 T-shirt sales 'earlybird' draw.
While I was looking through his galleries on the Fable Blades website admiring all the swords I probably will never be able to afford, I spotted Glamdring, the legendary sword of Gandalf the Grey, from J.R.R. Tolkien's writings. I thought it was perhaps the most beautiful sword I'd ever seen. It's a good thing that it has already been sold, I thought, as I would sell a kidney to buy that! It was by far my favorite of all Brendan's creations.
A few weeks ago I was browsing the SBG site and behold, Glamdring was for sale !. Oh man, out of my league for sure, but it's nice to dream.
I kept my eye on it and during the weekend, when there are far less people online and on the forums, I notice the first price drop. It was a saturday morning. Oh man, I thought to myself, this is torture!
By Sunday noon the price had dropped again and I started weighing my options.
I sent the owner a message with an offer and to my surprise, he agreed and we had struck a deal. I couldn't believe it ! I had just purchased my favorite sword in the world!
So this morning, after an anxious two weeks ( including 6 days in Canada Customs!), my Glamdring arrived well-packaged and unharmed.
Brendan's interpretation of Glamdring is absolutely beautiful, as the pictures attest. Handling it is magical. It feels light , even for a mere 3.1 lbs, and it is so well balanced that it feels alive in your hand.
I have never owned anything like this and I have to say that it is truly a work of art. I love this sword.

A little history of Glamdring:
According to Tolkien's The Hobbit, Glamdring was originally borne by Turgon, the King of Gondolin during the First Age. He must have wielded it with strength during the Fall of Gondolin, for the Orcs named it "Beater", and fled before it. Even up until the late Third Age, orcs of the Misty Mountains knew of this legendary sword,so it must have done some damage.
The sword survived roughly 6500 years from the Fall of Gondolin in F.A. 510 to its eventual rediscovery in T.A. 2941. In that period, it traveled from Gondolin to a Troll's cave in the Trollshaws. Much mystery surrounds this feat, but Elrond reasoned that Glamdring (along with Orcrist and Sting) was plunderded from other plunderers, or carried off to the Misty Mountains soon after the Fall of Gondolin.
In May T.A. 2941, Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins and a group of dwarves encountered three trolls in the Trollshaws. The Trolls captured Bilbo and the Dwarves, but Gandalf destroyed them. Glamdring, along with Orcrist and Sting, were found in a cave nearby. Gandalf claimed the weapon as his own, amazed by its appearance and inscription. Gandalf continued to use Glamdring through the events of The Lord of the Rings.
It is mentioned in The Hobbit that Gandalf could not read the runes, but that Elrond could, suggesting they were inscribed not in normal Cirth but in some special mode which Gandalf did not know. The Elvish languages had certainly changed since Turgon's time, so it may be that since Elrond was a survivor from the First Age, he would have been able to read the inscription, whereas Gandalf, who had lived in Aman until the middle Third Age, was not acquainted with it.
In the movies released by New Line Cinema and directed by Peter Jackson, the runes say "Turgon Aran Gondolin, Tortha gar a matha Glamdring, Vegil Glamdring gud daelo. Dam an Glamhoth." which translates to "Turgon, King of Gondolin, wields, has, and holds the sword Glamdring, Foe of Morgoth's realm, Hammer of the Orcs." This inscription, however, was not mentioned in any of J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. All Tolkien says in The Hobbit is that the names of the swords were given in the runes, but nothing else is clearly stated.
The Fable Blades version of this sword is inscribed with the name Glamdring on the crossguard, and Foe Hammer on the blade in runes. In addition a replica of the One Ring adorns the Eucalyptus Burl grip 'to remind the bearer of the Evil he is sworn to fight'. The ring is engraved "One Ring to rule them all", part of the spell Sauron cast on the rings:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf Lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

For more details about the physical properties of this Glamdring sword by Fable Blades, see it's profile on the Fable Blades website.

Now for some bonus pictures of my precious!

Big thanks to Travis for the awesome transaction, and to Brendan Olszowy, who makes dreams come true.


Well, since I was convinced ( or was it 'coerced' ?) by some comments here and because, as pointed out, I AM the president of United Backyard Cutters, I decided to go ahead and hack some bottles up with my beautiful, beloved Glamdring.

( PS, this thing is SO nice to wield , single-handed and two-handed )


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