The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Presumed lost with the Fall of Fingolfin in I 456
ring means 'cold, icy'1


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  • Updated 10 June 2011
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The glittering sword of Fingolfin

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The sword of Fingolfin, said to have glittered like blue ice. With it he wounded Morgoth in single combat after the Dagor Bragollach. The name comes from ring, meaning 'cold', and refers to the sword's cold and icy blade. Ringil was also an old name for the northern of the two Lamps of the Valar (more usually called Illuin), so named because it stood on a vast pillar of ice, and it may be that Fingolfin chose this name for his sword in memory of the fallen Lamp.



While the meaning of the ring- element is well established, the final -il is less certain. Possibly the sword's name came from a compound of ring gil 'star of ice' (and it's notable that Fingolfin was said to have gleamed like a star with his sword drawn). Alternatively the name may come from an earlier Ringil, the northern Lamp of the Valar more usually called Illuin.

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