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Gondolin by chvacher
Background information
Type Elven City/Realm
Location Valley of Tumladen[1]
Founded/Built FA 116
Ruler King of Gondolin
Other Information
Summary Known for being hidden from the eyes of Morgoth
Other names Gondothlimbar, Gar Thurion, Gwarestrin, Gondobar, Ondolindë[Source?]
Inhabitants Ñoldor/Sindar
Spoken languages Quenya
Lifespan FA 116 - FA 510

Gondolin was a hidden city of the Elves located in about the middle of the land of Beleriand in Middle-earth. It was founded by Turgon the Wise, a Ñoldorin lord in the early First Age. It endured the longest of all the Ñoldorin kingdoms in exile, lasting nearly four-hundred years of the Sun.



The City of Gondolin.

As recounted in The Silmarillion, the Vala Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, revealed the location of the Vale of Tumladen to the Noldorin Lord Turgon in a dream around the year FA 50. Under this divine guidance, Turgon travelled from his kingdom in Nevrast and found the vale in FA 53. Within the Encircling Mountains just west of Dorthonion and east of the river Sirion, lay a round level plain with sheer walls on all sides and a ravine and tunnel leading out to the southwest known as the Hidden Way. In the middle of the vale there was a steep hill which was called Amon Gwareth. There Turgon decided to found a great city that would be protected by the mountains and hidden from the Dark Lord Morgoth.

For nearly seventy-five years, Turgon and his people built Gondolin in secret. After it was completed in FA 116, he took with him to dwell in the hidden city his entire people in Nevrast — almost a third of the Ñoldor — as well as nearly three quarters of the northern Sindar. The city stood for nearly 400 years until it was betrayed to Morgoth by Maeglin, Turgon's nephew, and sacked by the army of Morgoth the Dark Lord.[2]


The Fall of Gondolin

Gondolin was described as this - "Now the streets of Gondolin were paved with stone and wide, kerbed with marble, and fair houses and courts amid gardens of bright flowers were set about the ways, and many towers of great slenderness and beauty builded of white marble and carved most marvelously rose to the heaven. Squares there were lit with fountains and the home of birds that sang amid the branches of their aged trees, but of all these the greatest was that place where stood the King's palace, and the tower thereof was the loftiest in the city, and the fountains that played before the doors shot twenty fathoms and seven in the air and fell in a singing rain of crystal; therein did the sun glitter splendidly by day, and the moon most magically shimmered by night. The birds that dwelt there were of the whiteness of snow and their voices sweeter than a lullaby of music."[3]


The Hidden Way was protected by seven gates, all constantly guarded; the first of wood, then stone, Bronze, Iron, Silver, Gold, and Steel.[4][5]

Houses of GondolinEdit

Gondolin was divided into twelve Houses, all of which had their own leaders. At the time of the Fall of Gondolin, these were:

House Leader Emblems Notes
White Wing Tuor Swan-wing upon a blue field The bodyguard of Tuor, and the smallest house.
Mole Maeglin Sable attire, mole on a sable field Comprised of miners loyal to Maeglin.
Swallow Duilin Fan of purple feathers Gondolin's best archers.
Heavenly Arch Egalmoth A very wealthy house; comprised the other part of Gondolin's archers.
Pillar and the Tower of Snow Penlod Not much known about them. Their commander was slain during the Fall of Gondolin; he was a great writer of the Eldar.
Tree Galdor Tree upon green Wielded clubs and slings.
Golden Flower Glorfindel Golden flower upon green field
Fountain Ecthelion The guard of the fountains, primarily those of the king. Warriors of this house defended the seventh gate of Gondolin. Loved silver and diamond, and marched into battle to the playing of flutes.
Harp Salgant Silver harp on sable field House of musicians. However, their leader was a coward.
Hammer of Wrath Rog Black hammer and anvil on a red field The largest and most valiant house. They were comprised of those blacksmiths that were not under Maeglin, as well as escaped thralls of Morgoth. They perished to the last Elf during the Fall of Gondolin.
House of the King King Turgon A star, the moon, and the red heart of Finwë Nolemë Comprised of the King's family and bodyguard.

Other people of interest from the cityEdit

  • Aredhel - Princess of Gondolin and sister of Turgon
  • Elemmakil - Captain of the Guard of the Outer Gate[5]
  • Enerdhil - A possibly mythical jewel-smith of the city[5]
  • Voronwë - Mariner that accompanied Tuor to the city[6][5]


He originally named the city Ondolindë, which is Quenya for "The Rock of the Music of Water" after the springs of Amon Gwareth. The name was later changed to its Sindarin form which meant Hidden Rock.[7]

Other NamesEdit

The seven names of Gondolin are told to Tuor: "Gondobar am I called and Gondothlimbar, City of Stone and City of the Dwellers in Stone; Gondolin the Stone of Song and Gwarestrin am I named, the Tower of the Guard, Gar Thurion or the Secret Place."[Source?]

See alsoEdit


Behind the ScenesEdit

As well as Orcs, Balrogs, and Dragons, that army included iron machines powered by "internal fires" used as personnel carriers and to surmount difficult geography and fortifications and to break down fortifications: that is one of various suspicions that Morgoth knew modern technology and industrialized. That army attacked Gondolin over the northern mountains and not through the Hidden Way.

Elven Realms of Middle-earth throughout the Ages
Years of the Trees Cuiviénen | Eglador | Havens of the Falas
First Age Doriath | Dorthonion | Gondolin | Havens of Sirion | Havens of the Falas | Himlad & Pass of Aglon | Hithlum | Maglor's Gap | March of Maedhros | Nargothrond | Nevrast | Ossiriand | Pass of Sirion | Thargelion
Second Age Eregion | Greenwood the Great | Lindon | Rivendell
Third Age Lindon | Lothlórien | Northern Mirkwood | Rivendell
Fourth Age Lindon | Lothlórien & East Lórien | Rivendell | Wood of Greenleaves


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  2. The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion
  3. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  4. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  6. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  7. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth

External linkEdit

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