Anglachel had originally been forged out of black iron meteorite by the Dark Elf Eöl, who had passed the sword on to Thingol in payment for letting him live in Nan Elmoth; Thingol later gave the sword to Beleg Cúthalion.
When Beleg came to rescue an imprisoned Túrin at Amon Rûdh, he accidentally nicked him in an attempt to cut him free. Túrin, who had been asleep, was startled by this, and believing Beleg to be an Orc come to torture him, seized Anglachel and slew Beleg. After this, he brought the sword to Nargothrond to have it reforged. With this new sword, renamed Gurthang, Iron of Death, he also slew Brandir, after having been informed that his wife, Níniel, was in fact his sister, Nienor. In despair, Túrin fell upon the sword and ended his life.