I believe the leaf blade was because of a Celtic influence, leaning towards druid Celts in particular.
It is my belief that they were a large part of his inspiration for the elves.
Mystical people of the forest who had gone into hiding and whose numbers were dwindling...sound at all familiar?
As far as the reforging of Narsil into Anduril, it has a very very familiar feel.
In the story of Arthur breaking Clarent (the sword from the stone), while fighting Lancelot. Clarent fails Arthur because he is in the wrong and lets his pride rule him.
He then goes with Merlin and is given Excalibur from the lady of the lake.
Clarent to Excalibur, Narsil to Anduril
You can see this in the story of Anduril breaking in the face of Sauron, the king was already succumbing to the call of the ring.
In Norse mythology where Sigfried is given the broken sword Gram or Nothung depending on where you read.
(a sword that was drawn from a tree, that nobody else could draw it from)(Also after it was reforged it was said to be able to cut an anvil in twain) Excalibur and Clarent much ?
Even the great smith of the Nibelung dwarf cannot reforge it as it has to be reforged by someone without fear.
Sigfried then files the remains of the blade to powder and re smelts the metal to reforge the sword.
Strider also had to have no fear, although his sword was reforged by elves. In order to claim his birthright and the right of the king to the service of the undead army that was awaiting him for their redemption.
My guess is that his vision for the weapons in the books was wide to say the least.
I see Sting as more of a Scottish dirk style, as opposed to a seax or even the gladius type blade that they made it. The weapons that the rest of the hobbits had that were found in the cairn and given to them by Thom Bombadil were the only ones that I recall being described as leaf bladed.
or maybe even
just my thoughts on it, Great thread by the way.
Gram (the earlier name for Sigurd's sword) comes from the Poetic Edda and the Volsung Saga which date to the 13th C.. However, there are picture stones depicting Sigurd's story that date to around the 8th C. so the story itself is much older than its recorded form.
Older still, we have the story of Weland (Volund, etc.), the smith who forges Gram. His story is depicted on the Frank's Casket which dates to 7th C. Northumbria. Weland is mentioned in Beowulf and a bunch of other Germanic sources as well and seems to have been a hugely popular story.
All sources that Prof. Tolkien knew intimately.
I have no idea if the sword in the Welsh material developed independent of influence from the Weland stories or if it was borrowed and I don't know if there is any way to settle it with any certainty from what we have.
I just re-read The Hobbit, where Sting is introduced. Tolkien originally referred to it as a "Knife." Only later did he call it a "Dagger."
I think this answers it. Nobody would call a double-edged weapon a "Knife."
I think this proves that Sting was single-edged. I still think that because of Tolkien's affinity for Saxon lore, Sting would be a Seax.
The Dwarves were armed with Mattocks, digging tools. Today, that would mean an axe mattock, or a pick mattock. Not Technically the axes they have come to represent.
I still always loved the Rankin & Bass representation of Sting.
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...and yet later he called it a "dagger" and said that it was "as good as a short sword for the Hobbit." Things that one would consider unlikely it it were a Seax he were talking about.... if he were one of us. However, as mentioned, Tolkien didn't appear to be particularly interested in edged weapons or equipment or even worrying particularly about anachronisms. (I mean Bilbo had a waistcoat!) Rather he was interested in creating a mythology and the equipment was just part of the scenery. As such I don't think we can take his weapons descriptions (or lack thereof) or even his changing of terms knife to dagger too much to heart. If you want to imagine Sting as a seax that's fantastic, but "proving" it is another thing entirely. I don't think we can do that with the information we currently have.
I think we covered this ground before, I mentioned both the "knife" and "dagger" passages in post #9.
No man is above the law, and no man is beneath it, nor do we ask his permission when we require him to obey it.
Also, based on the books, hobbits have feet and hands disproportionate to their bodies so the handle might not have seemed as off as the rest of the knife. Similar to how many dwarves have the hands of a larger person.
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