Thorondún, the sword of Glorfindel (also called ‘Soronúmë’ in Quenya, and named after the constellation) means Eagle from the West. Glorfindel was a mighty Elf-Lord of Gondolin, who lived during the Elder Days of the First Age in Arda. He was the Chief of the House of the Golden Flower, and was also one of Turgon’s most trusted captains and the fiercest of warriors. Glorfindel’s power and strength in battle is shrouded in mystery. And even less is known about his mighty sword Thorondún, which he used to slay the Balrog during The Fall of Gondolin, in which he also was slain. Whether the sword was forged in Valinor or in Middle Earth remains a mystery. But what is known is that it was buried with him by the great eagle Thorondor, who lifted him up from the abyss. A fitting honor to him and his blade, since the sword was forged to represent the strength of the great Western Eagles.
On the blade is engraved the name of the sword in Tengwar writing, on the other side is the emblem of the House of the Golden Flower, both amidst engraved swirling ivy patterns.
On the grip and scabbard are carved similar motifs, as well as the phrase “the Awakened One”, which foreshadows Glorfindel’s conquering of death and inevitable return to Middle Earth in order to fight the shadow that rises in the east during the Third Age.
This was an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding sword for myself (David DelaGardelle) to forge to life for my friend and fellow artist; Justin Gerard.
Justin started an incredible series of paintings inspired by the Silmarillion, and his rendition of Glorfindel fighting the Balrog was one of the most striking.
This blade was crafted as a wedding-gift for him, given both by myself and his good friend and and fellow-artist Cory Godbey.
It was an experimental project with the aim of exploring an item that Tolkien never named nor talked about. So the story, look, and name of this sword are our own invention and not directly from Tolkien canon, but are heavily inspired by his world of Arda.
It is the physical representation of years spent being inspired by his art, and the both of us equally drawing inspiration from the sanctified imagination of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings.
To see more of Justin’s and his wife Annie’s incredible work go checkout their website at:
And a pencil study of the character from myself:
The finished sword: