Why don't Orcrist / Goblin-cleaver and Glamdring / Foe-hammer glow like Sting when orcs/goblins are near?

  • They do. All of the blades forged by the ancient Calaquendi elves did that. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


In the book, they did.

Chapter 4, Over Hill and Under Hill, page 64:

Suddenly a sword flashed in its own light.

(Gandalf wielding Glamdring the Foe-Hammer/Biter)

page 65:

He took out his sword again, and again it flashed in the dark by itself. It burned with a rage that made it gleam if goblins were about; now it was bright as blue flame for delight in the killing of the great lord of the cave.

Why they don't in the movie, is never said. I can think of no in-universe answer.

  • I did not realise that. So I guess the reason is most likely because it was quite unimportant in the books, so was not a priority in the movie. And it likely made them look far too much like light sabers. I could have sworn I remembered the book having Gandalf describe Sting as special, even for a Elvish blade, and that was why it glowed and none of the others did.
    – Jonathon
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 4:13

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