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In J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, Orcrist was the weapon of Thorin Oakenshield. Orcrist was found in the Troll lair along the road to the Lonely Mountain in "The Hobbit". As in Norse culture, the swords of J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-earth often times had proper names. Likewise in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the Grey owned Glamdring and Bilbo Baggins had Sting, which he later bequeathed to his nephew Frodo (The Lord of the Rings). All of these weapons were Elven-made and therefore particularly deadly to the fell beasts of Middle-Earth, due to the Elven magic they held. As the name suggests, Orcrist means "Goblin (Orc) Cleaver"

Exactly what happened to Orcrist at Thorin's funeral isn't completely clear. The Hobbit tells us that the sword was placed by Thranduil 'upon his tomb', and that it 'gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached' (The Hobbit 18, The Return Journey). These quotes seem to suggest that Orcrist wasn't actually buried with Thorin, but instead just laid on his tomb. In The Lord of the Rings, it is stated that Orcrist '...lay now upon the breast of Thorin...' (The Fellowship of the Ring II 3, The Ring Goes South). This may mean that the sword was actually placed within Thorin's tomb, and not just placed on it (in which case its glow would not serve to warn of the coming of enemies), or may refer to an unmentioned effigy atop the tomb.