The Knife of Aragorn: A Royal Gift
While we usually associate Aragorn with his swords, either the Ranger Sword or Anduril, his kingly sword, Aragorn is often depicted fighting with a knife or a dagger as well. He uses this either along with his sword, or for more close quarters combat when a knife is more appropriate.
The Aragorn Knife is a handy weapon, with a black and gold-coloured scabbard that can be either attached to a belt or to a wooden plaque.
The design of this knife is heavily based on the knife given to Aragorn by Celeborn in the movie, when he and the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring left Lorien and Galadriel. While it isn’t identical to the blade seen in the film, the Aragorn Knife replica is a fine recreation.
This knife works well for cosplayers seeking to look like Aragorn, as it fits in well with the rest of his aesthetic. However, it will also work as part of any other fantasy LARP costume, especially when playing a character with an elven connection. The provided display board also means that the knife works well as a collector’s item.
The knife itself is quite substantial, with a wide scimitar style blade that is primarily sharp along one edge. However, the blade also allows for thrusts and stabs, as it has a wicked point and several inches of a false edge, making it is ideal for quiet assassination.
Despite its violent purpose, the knife of Aragorn is graceful in design. The blade is curved, which follows the depiction of Aragorn’s knife in the Peter Jackson adaptation. The blade is also etched with a pattern and with elven script.
As a knife, there is no guard on the hilt. The handle itself is constructed of grained wood and is topped off with a gold-finished polished steel pommel. As a complete weapon, the Aragorn knife is attractive and deadly, much like the elves themselves.
The Elven Blades and the Men Worthy of Them
The Aragorn knife as we know it doesn’t seem to appear in the books, as he mostly fought with Anduril alone. However, in the Peter Jackson adaptations that many of us are familiar with, Aragorn was shown fighting with a variety of weapons.
As far as we know, the knife of Aragorn wasn’t forged in the First Age. However, there isn’t a sure-fire way of knowing this. This is because, unlike the books, the only ancient elven weapon that glows in the presence of orcs is Sting. In the book, all elven blades that were forged in the First Age have this quality.
Lothlorien and the Fellowship Gifts: The Film and the Book
We first see the Aragorn Knife in Lothlorien. When the Fellowship enters Moria, they encounter the Balrog there. While most of them escape, Gandalf is pulled down into a chasm with the Balrog and presumed lost.
Demoralized, the remaining Fellowship run to the nearby Elven forest of Lothlorien. There, they encounter the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien, Celeborn and Galadriel. After an originally icy reception, they are welcomed to Lothlorien. There, they are allowed to rest, and Galadriel takes a moment to chat with Frodo, terrify him, and further impress upon him the importance of their quest.
When they go to leave Lothlorien, Celeborn and Galadriel see the Fellowship off. They provide boats to travel down the river Anduin and travel food in the form of lembas bread (one small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man, but not a hobbit), and present each of them with gifts.
In the books, Aragorn received a magical scabbard to hold Anduril, which has an enchantment so that any sword drawn from it will neither spoil nor break in battle. He also gained Elessar the Elfstone, which had been left for him by Arwen.
However, this is not true in the films. Aragorn at this point still wielded his Ranger Sword, not receiving Anduril until the third film. Whether that scabbard is ordinary or magical isn’t mentioned. He also had already been given the Elfstone, or the film’s equivalent of it at least.
Rather than leaving poor Aragorn out, the Peter Jackson adaptation instead shows the long knife being gifted to Aragorn by Celeborn. Whether it was of recent construction or originated in the First Age, this was still a fine gift and treated as such by Aragorn.
Merry and Pippin were also given different gifts in the film version, as they both received daggers along with the silver belts that they were given in the books. These belts were later found in the pyre built by the Rohirrim after they’d exterminated the orcs who carried off Merry and Pippin shortly after they left Lothlorien.
Samwise Gamgee in the book was given a Mallorn Seed and Galadriel’s soil in which to plant it. This was fitting for his great love of gardening and he later used them to replant trees after the Scouring of the Shire. In the movie, he instead gets some magical elven rope which is strong and will unravel with a tug. Likely this is because the Shire escapes its Scouring in the films.
Poor Boromir didn’t get a unique gift in the film, although the book kindly gave him a solid golden belt. Peter Jackson probably figured that because Boromir wasn’t long for this world, it was a bit unnecessary.
The rest of the gifts remained the same in the books and the films. These were as follows:
- Frodo Baggins received The Light of Earendill, which was a crystal bottle that contained the light of Earendill’s star in liquid form. This magical light could pierce through darkness and was feared by creatures of the dark, even managing to drive off Shelob.
- Legolas got a brand-new bow and some matching arrows, not that he ever seemed to run out of arrows. This bow was strung with elf-hair in the book, the film doesn’t specify. Although if it did, from what we see of Legolas’s bow, that elf had incredibly thick hair.
- Despite his earlier mistrust of Galadrial, Gimli famously asked for a single strand of Galadriel’s golden hair. She gave him three. Gimli later encased this precious gift in an imperishable crystal.
- The Fellowship as a whole receive elven cloaks. These cloaks were woven by Galadriel and will help them hide from unfriendly eyes. Each of the cloaks were secured with brooches, which were a green leaf veined with silver. Merry and Pippin used these brooches to help Aragorn to track them. Even though Gandalf wasn’t present when these gifts were presented, he later appeared wearing one of these cloaks which suggested that he also visited Lothlorien before revealing himself to the others as Gandalf the White.
How Aragorn Used His Knife
From the time that he received this knife, Aragorn used it to great effect. It first saw use on the banks of the river Anduin, shortly after the fellowship left Lothlorien. They travelled down the river until they reached a waterfall, so had to abandon the boats.
Here, the fellowship was scattered through the nearby woods and attacked by a large force of Uruks. During this battle, Aragorn fought using his Ranger Sword and the Aragorn knife in his off hand. This is despite the Ranger Sword being designed to be a two-handed longsword.
After Boromir was downed trying to defend Merry and Pippin, and the two hobbits were carried off, Aragorn found him. In the Peter Jackson film, he also found Lurtz, the Uruk who had just peppered Boromir with arrows. Aragorn used the knife as a throwing blade to injure Lurtz. Lurtz proceeded to yank it out, give it a good lick, and throw it back, forcing Aragorn to deflect it with his sword. Apparently, Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, managed this trick in the first take.
Aragorn continues to use this knife in his off hand and as its own weapon throughout the film trilogy. He even is seen using it after he receives Anduril, notably when fighting an armored troll at the battle of the Black Gate. In this fight, he used the knife to stab at the troll’s foot in an attempt to save himself from being crushed.
Aragorn, Weapons Master
As a Dunedain Ranger who had been trained with the elves, Aragorn was proficient in many weapons. Primarily, he uses a longsword, whether in the form of his Ranger Sword or of Anduril itself. Unlike most people, he regularly wields his longsword with only one hand, only switching to both hands when he wants to inject more power into his strike.
When wielding his sword with one hand, Aragorn prefers to either keep his off hand free or to wield his knife. When he has his hand free, he uses it to grapple with his opponent. When using his knife with his sword, he uses it to parry and deflect attacks and open his opponent up for an attack with his sword. He also sometimes stabbed and slashed with it when he saw an opportunity.
Aragorn also used a bow in the films, although not as often or as effectively as Legolas did. Aragorn’s bow was seen most clearly in the mines of Moria, when he and Legolas tried to thin the numbers of attacking orcs. While he wasn’t as skilful as Legolas, Aragorn was no slouch with the bow, being able to make some difficult shots through a splintered crack in a door.
We can see that, while Aragorn was a swordsman first and foremost, he wasn’t a one trick pony by any means.
The technical specifications of the Aragorn Knife are as follows:
- Blade Material: Stainless steel
- Scabbard Material: Synthetic leather and metal
- Handle Material: Wood and polished steel with gold finish
- Overall Length: 20 inch or 50.8 cm
- Blade Length: 13.5 inch or 34.3 cm