Stuff We Love: The sword Sting from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

Contributed by
Jan 25, 2018

The worlds of fantasy and sci-fi are filled with incredible weaponry, but I’ve always been most intrigued by the swords. From lightsabers to Excalibur, I’m fond of many of these incredible blades from my favorite series, but one I love the most is Sting from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Sting is probably one of the most recognizable swords in fantasy. Appearing in Tolkien’s books as well as other media inspired by them, like the live-action films, Sting first showed up in Chapter 2, “Roast Mutton,” of The Hobbit. There, in a troll cave, Bilbo Baggins takes “a knife in a leather sheath” which is described as something that “would have made only a tiny pocket-knife for a troll, but it was as good as a short sword for the hobbit.” The blade, which was made by elves, comes in handy during Bilbo’s journey, and in the eighth chapter, after killing a spider, Bilbo names it Sting.


After Bilbo’s adventures in The Hobbit, the sword continues being useful to the Baggins family when Bilbo passes it on to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo and Sam both use the sword during their journey to Mordor throughout the trilogy, as they encounter everything from Gollum to Shelob in their path.The trusty sword is key to helping the hobbits ultimately triumph.

Not only is the sword a perfect fit for the hobbits, but it has an extra layer of helpfulness in how it glows blue when orcs or goblins are nearby, and that added element makes Sting all the more special. Foes fear it for its elven make, as well as its sharp sting while wielded by the hobbits. All of that combined makes it one of the best weapons in all of fantasy!