The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Lived in or before the fifth century of the First Age1
Race
Division
Possibly one of the Firebeards2
Culture
Pronunciation
te'lchar ('ch' as in 'Bach')
Meaning
Uncertain3

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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 August 1998
  • Updates planned: 2

Telchar

The renowned smith of Nogrod

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A Dwarf of Nogrod in the Blue Mountains, and one of the greatest smiths in the history of Middle-earth. Among his works were Angrist (the knife that freed the Silmaril from the Iron Crown), Narsil (the sword of Elendil, later reforged for Aragorn as Andúril) and the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin.


Notes

1

Telchar's own dates are entirely unknown, but our first reference to anything made by him is a mention of the knife Angrist in I 464. We also know that he was a contemporary of Azaghâl of Belegost (for whom the Dragon-helm was originally made), and Azaghâl died in I 472, so we can safely place Telchar as being active in the fifth century of the First Age.

A final clue to Telchar's dates comes from the reforging of the Nauglamír in I 502. This was achieved by craftsmen of Nogrod, and we'd surely expect Telchar to have taken an important role in this if he had still been alive at that date, whereas in fact there is no mention of his involvement at all. While inconclusive, that's a strong indication that he didn't survive past the end of the First Age's fifth century.

2

Rather scanty evidence from volume 12 of the The History of Middle-earth hints that Telchar's home of Nogrod was populated by Dwarves of the Firebeard clan.

3

The origins of Telchar's name are extremely uncertain. It appears to be Elvish in form, and it probably represents his public name among the Elves, rather than his private Dwarvish name.

Its meaning is almost completely obscure. It's tempting to spy a connection to the root telep-, 'silver' (especially as Telchar's master Gamil Zirak had the Dwarvish word for silver as part of his name) but this is speculative at best. There is a Sindarin word telch, but that seems coincidental (its meaning is 'stalk' or 'stem', with no apparent connection to Telchar). The Elvish roots tel- and kar- could - just - be rendered as 'head-cover maker' (as a possible reference to Telchar's Dragon-helm), but this requires a very liberal interpretation.

Ultimately, it has to be said that the meaning of Telchar's name remains almost entirely mysterious.

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