Nuada Airgetlám of the Silver Hand (Also spelled Nuadu, Nuadha, Airgeadlámh) was the God-King of the Tuatha Dé Danann before they came to Ireland and for some time after.
J.R.R Tolkein suggested that the name Nuada derived from the Celtic stem ”noudent” which is related to a Germanic root meaning “to acquire” or “to have use of”. Julius Pokorny suggest that the word originated with a Proto-Indo-European root ”neu-d” meaning “to utilize” “to acquire” or “to go fishing”.
Nuada Airgetlám (Nuada of the Silver Hand/Arm), also known as Nuadu or Nuadha was the first king of the Tuatha de Dannan. He lost his arm in the First Battle at Mag Tuirad in combat against the Fir Bolg champion Sreng rendering him ineligible for the throne as he was no longer physically perfect. He was replaced by Bres. Later, his arm was replaced by a silver one by the physician Dian Cecht and the wright Creidne and later he received a real arm from Dian Cecht’s son Miach and his sister. After Bres had ruled for seven years, Nuada was restored as King.
Bres attempted to retake the throne by force, rallying the Fomorians against the Tuatha de Dannan and Nuada stepped down in favor of Lugh who he felt was far more skilled and able to handle the threat. Nuada was killed and beheaded in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired by the Fomorian champion Balor. Lugh, in turn, killed Balor and led the Tuatha de Dannan to victory.
Nuada’s sword was one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha de Dannan.
The present-day town of Maynooth is named for him. (Maigh Nuada, or the Throne of Nuada).
Nuada is associated with the Gaulish and British God Nodens and the Welsh God Nud or Lludd Llaw Eraint.
He rules over healing, the Sun, childbirth, youth, beauty, ocean, dogs, poetry, writing, sorcery, magic, weapons, and warfare.