- "Courage is found in unlikely places."
- —Gildor to Frodo
Gildor Inglorion was a Ñoldor Elf met by Frodo Baggins in the Shire. On September 24, 3018, Gildor and a company of Elves were passing through the Shire, singing as they walked, and without realizing it they caused a Nazgûl who was seeking Frodo to flee. Gildor recognized Frodo, though they had never met, for he knew Bilbo. He invited Frodo, along with Sam Gamgee and Pippin Took, to spend the night in the Elves' company.
To the Hobbits, Gildor and the Elves appeared to shimmer as they walked through the night. The starlight glimmered in their hair and eyes. They camped in a clearing in the Woody End near Woodhall and the elves provided the Hobbits with bread and fruit and a fragrant drink.
Frodo stayed up late talking to Gildor. They talked of the many dangers that the Hobbits might soon face. Frodo had greeted Gildor by saying, "Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo" (A star shines upon the hour of our meeting) impressed with his knowledge of the ancient tongue and lore he commended Frodo and named him Elf-friend. Gildor perceived that the Enemy was after Frodo, though he did not know why. He was reluctant to give Frodo any advice in Gandalf's absence.
- Gildor: "That Gandalf should be late, does not bode well. But it is said: "Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." The choice is yours: to go or wait."
Frodo: "And it is also said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.'"
- —The Fellowship of the Ring, " Three is Company"
Gildor then advised Frodo to leave quickly and to take with him friends he could trust and to flee from the Nazgûl. He also promised to send out word to elves and others to be on the lookout for Frodo and help him on his journey. Gildor was true to his word, for both Tom Bombadil and Aragorn heard of Frodo's peril from Gildor. Word also reached Rivendell, and Glorfindel rode out to find Aragorn and the Hobbits as they were pursued by the Nazgûl from Weathertop.
Gildor and the Elves continued on their way. Gildor had told Frodo they were tarrying in Middle-earth before heading to the Grey Havens to pass over the Sea to the Undying Lands. Where they wandered is not known, but on September 22, 3021, Gildor and Frodo met once again in the same spot in the Woody End where they had met three years earlier. Along with Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf, they journeyed to Grey Havens and together they departed over the Sea into the West.
The question has arisen of the identity of this character. Gildor calls himself "Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod." He also says: "We are Exiles, and most of our kindred have long departed and we too are only tarrying here a while, ere we return over the Great Sea." At the time when The Lord of the Rings was written, Finrod still meant the character later known as Finarfin. If we read "House of Finrod" to mean "House of Finarfin," we can place him among the Ñoldor who joined the host of Finarfin during the Exile, and came to Beleriand under Finrod Felagund.
Some argue that the name "Inglorion", which means "Son of Inglor" suggests, that he was in fact the son of Finrod Felagund himself, who was at that time still called Inglor. There is, however, strong evidence against it.
In The Silmarillion, it is stated that Finrod had no wife, since he loved Amarië of the Vanyar, who refused to go with him to the exile. This means that he could only have a son after he died in Middle-earth, and went to the Halls of Mandos. He might have been resurrected by Mandos, and then married Amarië. It is very unlikely (probably impossible), however, that he would be allowed to return to Middle-earth. The only such instance would be Glorfindel, and it is doubtful that if that was the case, there would be no mention of it in Tolkien's writings. Furthermore, Gildor wouldn't describe himself as one of the Exiles.
It should also be noted that Tolkien initially used names from his The Silmarillion writings rather at random in The Hobbit, and the first drafts of the sequel which would become the The Lord of the Rings. Other examples are the mention of Gondolin and the appearance of Elrond in The Hobbit, which were only later brought into alignment with the The Lord of the Rings and the unpublished mythology by a third edition of the book. It is likely that after realizing what the work had become Tolkien would have removed Inglorion as a name of Gildor, just like he intended to rename Glorfindel. In the end, neither of these changes actually were made.
This all suggests that, while Gildor might have been initially intended to be Felagund's son, in the final version he probably became a member of the House of Finrod as one of its servants, not one of its sons perhaps one of the knights of Nargothrond, and a son of Inglor; a character unconnected to Finrod Felagund.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter IX: "The Grey Havens"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter IX: "The Grey Havens"
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XV: "Of the Noldor in Beleriand"