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Gondolin

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Gondolin
Background Information
Type Elven City
Location Valley of Tumladen[1]
Realms
Capital
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[2]
Inhabitants Ñoldor (Gondolindrim), Sindar
Spoken Languages Quenya, Sindarin
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.

HistoryEdit

Gondolin

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.[3]

The-Fall-of-Gondolin

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."[4]

SpecificationsEdit

The Hidden Way was protected by seven gates, all constantly guarded; the first of wood, then stone, Bronze, Iron, Silver, Gold, and Steel.[5][6]

EtymologyEdit

It was originally called 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][8]

Houses of GondolinEdit

Twelve Houses of the Gondolindrim
  Leader House Emblem Notes
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-King Turgon House of the King A star, the moon, and the red heart of Finwë Nolemë Comprised of the King's family and bodyguard.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Heavenly-Arch Egalmoth House of the Heavenly Arch Rainbow, Opal, Jewelled Boss A very wealthy house; comprised the other part of Gondolin's archers.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Tree Galdor House of the Tree Tree upon green Wielded clubs and slings.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Golden-Flower Glorfindel House of the Golden Flower Rayed Sun None
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Fountain Ecthelion House of Fountain Silver Fountain and Diamonds 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.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Mole Maeglin House of the Mole Sable attire, mole on a sable field Comprised of miners loyal to Maeglin.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Harp Salgant House of the Harp Silver harp on sable field House of musicians. However, their leader was a coward.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Swallow Duilin House of the Swallow Fan of purple feathers Gondolin's best archers.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Wing Tuor House of the White Wing Swan-wing upon a blue field The bodyguard of Tuor, and the smallest house.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Pillar Penlod House of the Pillar A pillar Not much known about them. Their commander was slain during the Fall of Gondolin; he was a great writer of the Eldar.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Tower-of-Snow Penlod House of the Tower of Snow A tower Not much known about them. Their commander was slain during the Fall of Gondolin; he was a great writer of the Eldar.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Hammer-of-Wrath Rog House of the Hammer of Wrath 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.

People of interestEdit

  • Aredhel - Princess of Gondolin and sister of Turgon
  • Elemmakil - Captain of the Guard of the Outer Gate[6]
  • Enerdhil - A possibly mythical jewel-smith of the city[6]
  • Voronwë - Mariner that accompanied Tuor to the city[6][9]

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.

Other versions of the legendariumEdit

Gondolin was known as the "City of Seven Names". Its Gnomish names were:

"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."
The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  • Gondobar (Stone House)
  • Gondothlimbar (House of the Stone Folk)
  • Gwarestrin (Tower of Guard)
  • Gar Thurion (Secret Place)
  • Loth (Flower)
  • Lothengriol (Plan Flower-Blossom, Lily of the Valley)

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 貢多林
Russian Гондолин

GalleryEdit

BattleforGondolin
Troops of Morgoth on their way to attack Gondolin.
Gondolin by Bmosig
Gondolin, by Bmosig
Tuor-and-Gondolin
Tuor's arrival in Gondolin

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 11: The War of the Jewels, Part Two: The Later Quenta Silmarillion, XII: "Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin"
  3. The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion
  4. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  5. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XV: "Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  8. The Silmarillion, Index of Names
  9. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"

External linkEdit

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