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... [ Green Books ]
Tolkien Brain Bender
Do you have a map of Middle-earth tatooed on your brain? Test your skills. The very best answer to each question, one hundred words or less, will be posted here with the author's name. This is your chance to show off your knowledge!
Contest Question

This contest has now concluded. See the answer and winners below. Look for another Brain Bender question soon!
Give the Name and Race of the individual who originally forged Aragorn's legendary sword, Anduril. Further, specify the other famous "implement of war" that he/she is best known for and what special power it provided the bearer. Cite specific references or your answer will not be considered.

The Solution

Greetings–Quickbeam here.

We want to thank all of you who participated in our premiere Brain Bender contest! It seems that my question was worth all the book-pounding and page- flipping it certainly caused... :-)

I have no doubt some of you hardcore fans were saying inwardly: "Oh, chestnuts, chestnuts! That's an easy one!" thinking you knew the solution spot-on. BUT, as we reveal below, it was actually a bit more layered than it first appears. Indeed, I wanted to present a *very* carefully worded question, with a specific answer in mind. This is the answer we were looking for:

Telchar forged the sword Andúril (originally named Narsil). He was a Dwarf from the city of Nogrod. The other "implement of war" he forged was the Helm of Hador, which was described by Professor Tolkien thusly:

"That helm was made of grey steel adorned with gold, and on it were graven runes of victory. A power was in it that guarded any who wore it from harm or death, for the sword that hewed it was broken, and the dart that smote it sprang aside."

So there you have it. The information about Telchar can be found in several places, the main one being The Lord of the Rings, in The Two Towers ("The King of the Golden Hall") where Aragorn mentions the smith's name:

"In this elvish sheath dwells the Blade that was Broken and has been made again. Telchar first wrought it in the deeps of time."

In Unfinished Tales, Part One, Section II, "Narn I Hîn Húrin" the benefit of the Helm is described. There were other references to Telchar in The Silmarillion also sufficient to identify him but the crucial facts about the Helm of Hador are found in Unfinished Tales.

Of course, many people offered "Angrist, the Iron-Cleaver" as part of their answer, but this was not correct. The blade Angrist was certainly well wrought and perhaps magically created to be sharper than any blade before it, but it did not bestow upon the bearer any special ability. Holding the best blade in Middle-earth in your hands does not automatically make you a skilled fighter. The question was specific, and the answer we needed was the Helm of Hador (which provided a tremendous effect for the bearer).

Congratulations to our three winners (based on the timeliness of their submissions):

1. Caroline Lauzon
2. Ron Stewart
3. Philippe Chabot

They will be given the following prizes (gratis Houghton Mifflin Co.):

1st Place: Single-volume paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings
2nd Place: New paperback editions of The Fellowship of the Ring & TheTwo Towers
3rd Place: New paperback edition of The Hobbit

Thanks again to all of you who participated in our Contest! It is due entirely to your enthusiasm that it was a remarkable success!

Much too hasty,


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