The Lord of the Rings: 20 Most Powerful Weapons (Ranked)
There is an array of interesting weapons The Lord of the Rings characters carry and use in their everyday lives, the most common, but also the most dangerous situations. Bows, daggers, knives, and all sorts of various weapons have been introduced in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and later transferred to the big screen by Peter Jackson. This is the list of the 20 most powerful weapons in The Lord of the Rings.
The first entry on our list of most powerful weapons from Lord of the Rings is Hadhafang. Even though Hadhafang wasn’t a part of Tolkien’s books, but was merely added by Jackson in the movies, it is still worth mentioning as a pretty powerful weapon. It was an Elven sword, originally belonging to the Elven princess Idril who was married to a mortal with whom she had a son Earendil (Elrond’s father).
In the movies, we see it wielded by Elrond during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and afterward in Arwen’s hands. It is inscribed with Tengwar runes in Sindarin.
19. Thranduil’s sword
This unnamed sword is similar to Hadhafang and also a non-canon, added in Jackson’s movie adaptations. It shares the same design as Hadhafang and it was said that it could be wielded with one hand. It was important for Thranduil, who showed great ability in using this sword.
Herugrim was an ancient sword belonging to the royalty of Rohan. Passed to everyone who is crowned King of Rohan. It couldn’t be missed in The Two Towers, where Theoden wielded it. But Herugrim is much older than Theoden, and it was probably around five hundred years old when Theoden used it.
Besides being an important heirloom, it also played a great role in healing Theoden after Grima Wormtongue poisoned him. It helped Gandalf heal Theoden, who, with its help, remembered his strength better after being freed from Grima and Saruman.
17. Balrog Whip
One of the most terrifying and dangerous monsters lurking in Middle-earth was Balrog. One single Balrog was enough to force the Dwarves to leave Khazad – dum and slay their ruler Durin. Even one of the most powerful wizards of all time, Gandalf the Grey, is afraid of them. In the movies, the Balrogs are shown as huge winged creatures which can manipulate fire and shadow.
This fascinating ability enables them to create weapons out of these elements, with the most powerful being whips of fire. A Balrog can manipulate these whips to interact with solid objects, which enables them to destroy solid structures. Balrog Whip deserves its spot on this list of most powerful Lord of the Rings weapons.
16. Bow of Galadhrim
This bow was a gift Galadriel gave to Legolas, one of the greatest bowmen in Tolkien’s universe when the fellowship visited Lothlorien. It was longer than the bows of Mirkwood, strung with a string of elf hair. Legolas used it to kill many enemies, and even though it wasn’t proven that it contained any magical powers, its elven background and elf hair in it might suggest that there has indeed been some magic in it.
15. Morgul – Blade
Morgul-blade or Morgul-knife was used by the Witch-king by the late Third Age. Nazgul used it as poison for the enemies. Its purpose was to leave a shard in the victim’s body after breaking off in the wound. Frodo Baggins got stabbed with it at the ancient watchtower of Weathertop.
It has a terrifying power that lingers with the victim even after being cured of its poison. If not cured by the elven magic, one’s individual will be transformed into a wraith. Elrond managed to heal Frodo, but as already mentioned, due to its great power, he wasn’t able to perform it completely, which left Frodo with serious problems.
14. The Black Arrow
Next up on our list of most powerful Lord of the Rings weapons is the Black Arrow. The Black Arrow was an heirloom of the house of Girion and Bard the Bowman’s last arrow when Smaug attacked Lake-town. He used it to slay Smaug at the end of The Hobbit. Thror forged it and it was unknown whether it contained any magical powers. Bard once confessed that he always successfully retrieved it after using it.
A skilled archer needed to use it to gain its complete power and although it was the only projectile-based weapon that could pierce through a dragon’s hide, the Black Arrow managed to kill him with this one shot. A lot for an arrow which might have been described as a common one, don’t you think?
Narsil was a longsword forged by the dwarves during the First Age. It was used by King Elendil and his son Isildur when he cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand in the War of the Last Alliance. Since it got shattered by that process, it was later known as the Sword that was Broken.
Not only did it manage to sever Sauron’s fingers while broken, but it also didn’t rust or whither like all other shattered swords. It lasted for over 3000 years and eventually, Aragorn, Elendil’s descendant, inherited the shards. He later gave it to the Elves of Rivendell, who used it somewhat differently.
Also called the Goblin – cleaver, Orcrist was an Elven sword from Gondolin. Goblins feared it extensively, and Thorin used it in The Hobbit. It was made by the Elven smiths, with a beautiful scabbard and a jeweled hilt. The runes on it bore its name. It glowed when the Orcs were near, just like Glamdring and Sting.
Known among them as Biter, it killed many Goblins, but it was confiscated by the Mirkwood Elves and returned to Thorin after his death. It was placed on his grave where it gleams if enemies approach. A powerful weapon that mere mention brought unease and fear among Goblins and many others who decided to harm Thorin or his friends.
Sting, a short sword made by Elves and seen by them as a normal dagger was a perfect sword for a Hobbit. Small even for them, which can be proved by watching Bilbo travel and even run and having it inside his breeches. Since the Elven smiths made it in the Elder Days, it shone with a cold light if any Orcs were near, just like Glamdring and Orcrist. But it seemed that sting glowed brighter than others, maybe due to its size.
Indeed, Bilbo’s weapon he always carried around, even when he disappeared on his 111th birthday. But he gave it to Frodo when he arrived at Riverdell and agreed to take One Ring to Mordor. It helped both Frodo and Sam in many endeavors, and Frodo eventually passed it to Sam, which made it a sort of a family heirloom. It’s a small weapon but powerful enough to get its place on this list of most powerful Lord of the Rings weapons.
10. Gandalf’s Staff
A wizard’s staff, their primary tool, was very often used as a weapon and symbolized their power. A wizard must use it, but it’s not required to be used for magic. It is a great tool that helps them perform large-scale spells. Gandalf the Grey used it very often to help his companions.
When he returned as Gandalf the White, after losing his staff when he fell into the abyss under the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, his new staff was made of ash wood, white and even stronger than his previous one.
Created by the dark elf Eol as Anglachel and reforged from it, Gurthang was Turin Turambar’s sword. One of its greatest achievements was helping Turin. It could speak, and it spoke to him when it heard Turin’s last wish. It agreed to his request, and after that, Gurthang shattered into countless pieces, which showed that it actually allowed itself to be destroyed.
Glamdring also called the Foe – hammer and the Beater, was a hand – and – a half sword forged for Turgon and later owned by Gandalf. He found it with his fellow dwarves in The Hobbit in a troll’s den along with Sting and Orcrist. Glamdring is immune to the decay of time, being in Middle-earth for over 6500 years.
Glamdring is a very powerful weapon, responsible for slaying some of the most dangerous and terrifying creatures, such as the Balrog known as Durin’s Bane. In the books, Glamdring glows when Orcs and Goblins are in its vicinity.
7. Gothmog’s Axe
As already stated here, Balrog was extremely dangerous and hideous creatures, but even among them there was a hierarchy, where the most powerful was Gothmog, whose powers could only be compared to ones by Sauron and Morgoth, and his Gothmog’s Axe makes him even more of a threat in a battle or a fight.
Gothmog’s Axe is one of the most powerful and terrifying weapons ever in Middle-earth, responsible for slaying two of Noldor’s High Kings. It is one of few weapons which Elves fear.
Dramborleg is a great axe used by Tuor during the First Age and is one of the most powerful weapons in Tolkien’s universe, responsible for slaying the infamous Balrog. Its background remains unknown, together with the information about its forgers, but it performed such unforgettable feats so this isn’t even important.
Tuor didn’t slay one, but numerous Balrogs with Dramborleg and even though it got lost somewhere in the Second Age after it was kept by Elrod and his descendants, it still remains one of the greatest weapons used in this magical universe.
5. Nenya – Ring of Water
Also known as the White Ring, Ring of Adamant, and Ring of Water, Nenya was one of the three Elven Rings of Power. It was given to the Elves in the Second Age. It was made of mithril and it was not normally visible. Nenya was Galadriel’s ring, seen only by Frodo, being a ring bearer, as well. It had great power of preservation and concealment from the evil which enabled Galadriel to create Lothlorien.
Although not perceived as a weapon, Nenya is a great source of combat against Sauron’s evil will. It enabled its bearer to protect not only herself but also an entire domain, which helped Galadriel to defend Lothlorien from both Sauron and his army.
Nenya also has the power of preserving the natural state of its wielder and his or her domain, which perfectly explains why Lothlorien remains so prosperous. Unfortunately, it lost its powers after the destruction of One Ring, which eventually led to Lothlorien’s ruin.
Ringil is a weapon that wasn’t featured in any of the movie adaptations of Tolkien’s books but still needs to be mentioned, being possibly one of the most powerful Elven blades ever made. It also played a big role in the decisive battle with Morgoth. It was the sword of Fingolfin, the High King of the Noldor.
It had a blade that glittered under the light of the stars. Its fate after the great battle remains unfortunately unknown.
Anduril, Aragorn’s sword, was reforged from the shards of Narsil in Riverdell, which is why it’s often called the Sword that was Broken, along with the name Flame of the West, too. It is way more powerful than Narsil. It didn’t only protect Aragorn, it also gave him the power to command the Oathbreakers.
Even though Aragorn had many swords, Anduril was the most special sword in the Lord of the Rings, thanks to the reforgement which allowed its creators to make it resistant and immune to stains and breaking. No wonder it made it to the top 3 of our list of the most powerful Lord of the Rings weapons.
2. Grond (Warhammer)
Grond was the great warhammer and the weapon of choice of Morgoth, the first Dark Lord and one of the most powerful creatures in Middle-earth. It was extremely powerful and according to Tolkien’s words in Silmarillion, Grond’s single strike had the equivalent force of a thunderbolt strike. It took three strikes from Morgoth to kill Fingolfin after he fell into one of the craters which were created after the ground’s strike.
1. The One Ring
And the number one on our list of most powerful weapons in The Lord of the Rings is the One Ring. One of the most powerful artifacts created in Middle-earth, also known under the names the Ruling Ring, the Master Ring, the Ring of Power, and Isildur’s Bane. It was undoubtedly the most dangerous weapon of all, forged by Sauron in the fire of Orodruin (Mount Doom) in the Second Age.
Sauron wanted to enhance his power and gain control over other Rings of Power which would make him able to defeat Elves and all other peoples of Middle-earth. Its power consists of seducing and controlling everyone who is in its vicinity, unable to resist its power, especially if expressing a slight sign of weakness. Even Gandalf and Galadriel had to be constantly alert to its presence.
Due to its corruptive influence and potential danger of massive proportions, the One Ring is the most dangerous weapon in Tolkien’s universe.