The One Wiki to Rule Them All

Fall of Gondolin

6,006pages on
this wiki
Boromir2 This article is a stub
Boromir says this article is "So small a thing. Such a little thing!"    Please expand it if you can.

Fall of Gondolin
Conflict: War of the Jewels
Date: FA 510
Place: Gondolin
Outcome: The demise of the great city of Gondolin
Elves of Gondolin Army of Melkor
Turgon †, Tuor, Ecthelion †, Glorfindel †, Duilin †, Rog †, Egalmoth, Penlod †, Galdor, Legolas of Gondolin Morgoth, Gothmog †, Beast of Gondolin †, Maeglin †, Salgant of the Harp
12 Houses of the Gondolindrim Thousands Dragons, Orcs, Balrogs
Heavy Very Heavy

The Fall of Gondolin was the battle between the forces of Turgon and Melkor, after Maeglin betrayed the location of the Hidden Kingdom to the enemy. After the fight, most of the Gondolindrim (including Turgon and his captains) died, while there are survivors, such as Tuor, Idril, and their son Eärendil.


In the year 52 of the First Age of the Sun, the Noldor Elves of Eldamar returned to Middle-Earth and Beleriand, where Prince Turgon discovered a hidden valley. In an attempt to hide and protect his people from the forces of Morgoth, he built a city and stronghold in Tumladen valley, nestled safely within the Encircling Mountains (Echarioth), and on the hill of Amon Gwareth. He named the city "Gondolin", meaning hidden stone. It was modeled after Tirion, the most beautiful city of the Noldor on Middle-Earth. For fifty years they built the city, and for five hundred they prospered, protected by the mountains and the Great Eagles of Beleriand, who drove off any spies or forces of Morgoth's.

One by one, the Noldor cities of Beleriand fell to the wrath of Morgoth, until Gondolin stood alone. Then, in 551 FA, Turgon's nephew, Maeglin, divulged the secrets of Gondolin and it's passes to Morgoth, who promptly sent a huge force of Orcs, Trolls, Dragons, and Balrogs to lay siege to the secret city, which was not so secret anymore.

For many days the elves of Gondolin held their ranks and the city. Bloody and terrible were the battles that raged beneath its walls, and courageous leaders and warriors became legends and later songs and epic poems were written of them. Swords like Orcrist and Glamdring earned their reputations and became feared among orcs.

But Morgoth's army was too numbered, no match even for the skill and bravery of the Noldor Elves, and with it's fighters, Gondolin too eventually fell; its streets overrun with orcs, its people slaughtered, and its treasures looted. Thus ended the reign and the last city of the Noldor Elves in Beleriand, its walls scorched black with fire, and its towers in ruins, and in the air, the most powerful scent of betrayal.

As a chapterEdit

The Fall of Gondolin is a chapter of both The Book of Lost Tales II and the Silmarillion that tells of the founding of the Elven city of Gondolin (built in secret by Turgon and his people), of the arrival Tuor, a prince of the Edain, of the betrayal of the city to Morgoth by Turgon's nephew Maeglin, and of its subsequent destruction by Morgoth's armies.[1][2]

Behind the scenesEdit

J.R.R. Tolkien actually began writing the story that would become "The Fall of Gondolin" in 1917 in an army barracks on the back of a sheet of military marching music. It is more or less the first traceable story he wrote down on paper about the Middle-earth legendarium.

Because Tolkien was constantly revising his First Age stories, the narrative he wrote in 1917 (published posthumously in the Book of Lost Tales) remains the only full account of the fall of the city. The narrative in The Silmarillion was the result of the editing by his son Christopher of various different sources.

A partial new version of "The Fall of Gondolin" was published in the Unfinished Tales under the title "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin". Actually titled "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin", this narrative shows a great expansion of the earlier tale. It can be surmised from this text that Tolkien would have rewritten the entire story, but for reasons that are not known he abandoned the text before Tuor actually arrives in the city. For this reason Christopher Tolkien retitled the story before including it in Unfinished Tales.


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  2. Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"

External linkEdit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki