In Tolkien's works are notorious elvish blades like Sting that glow when there are orcs or goblins nearby. Although Tolkien's work is profoundly original as a whole, the author himself always attempted to integrate ancient elements of European legends and folklore, especially from the northern peoples.

Hobbit film by Peter Jakson.

Can you let me know if in those legends and myths there is some weapon with a sharp edge (a sword, a dagger, an arrow) able to shine for warning its owner of the proximity of enemies? If not in those legends, are there any other legendary weapons in other cultures that can warn to their masters?

  • Is this question about Tolkiens legendarium? beowulf? or norse-gods?
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 11, 2017 at 22:27
  • 1
    I think these tags are more appropriate.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 11, 2017 at 22:28
  • Did a quick search I found nothing
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 11, 2017 at 22:36
  • I think that at least a "Tolkien" tag is not inappropiate. This question is about legendary influences in some parts of Tolkien's legendarium.
    – Ginasius
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:01
  • It's about things Tolkien may have been inspired by, but not about his works, therefore the tag is not appropriate.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 12, 2017 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


In Nigerian mythology, the god of war wields a sword called the Mmaagha Kamalu that glows red when enemies are near. (I can find very little by way of source for this one)

I do not know of any similar weapon in any of the european mythologies, but there is a celtic myth of a sword called Claíomh Solais which apparently shone on a regular basis.

  • Thanks for the answer. I'll wait three days for more information, if there is some, before accepting it.
    – Ginasius
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:02
  • I have found a similar weapon in the Frithof's Saga: Angurvadal.
    – Ginasius
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:24

I've found another glowing weapon whose gleam depended on the military situation: Angurvadal (Stream of Anguish), a magical sword of Frithiof's Saga. This sword was inscribed with Runic letters, which blazed in time of war, but gleamed with a dim light in time of peace.

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