Maeglin was an elf, the son of Eöl the Dark Elf and Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin. He lived during the First Age of the Sun in Middle-earth, and was a lord of the Hidden Elven Kingdom of Gondolin. He became infamous for being the one who betrayed the location of Gondolin to the Dark Lord Morgoth.
Aredhel had left Gondolin to wander through Beleriand, and in the woods of Nan Elmoth, she met Eöl, and stayed with him, eventually giving birth to Maeglin. Eöl gave his child the name Maeglin when he was twelve. His mother told him about Gondolin and its people throughout his childhood and he desired to see his related kin in the Hidden City. He and his mother soon grew weary and discontented with their life in Nan Elmoth and Eöl's strict shunning of the outside world. When Aredhel finally decided to leave Eöl, she took her son (who stole his father's sword, Anguirel, forged of meteoric iron) with her and returned to Gondolin. However, Eöl had followed her, and in judgment before Turgon, he attempted to kill Maeglin with a poisoned dart, but hit Aredhel instead. She died, and Eöl was cast down to his death from the city walls.
Maeglin was now an orphan, but Turgon held him in honor, and Maeglin both learned and taught much. He became an elven-prince held in high esteem, even leading his own noble House. He found rich lodes of metals in the Echoriath (Encircling Mountains) surrounding the city and forged weapons of steel stronger than had been seen before. His mine in the Echoriath was named Anghabar, Iron-Mine. In the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears), Maeglin refused to remain behind as regent, and went forth to battle with Turgon. The seventh and final gate of Gondolin, the Great Gate of Steel, was Maeglin's creation.
Even though he was one of the mighty of Gondolin, he most desired Turgon's daughter (and Maeglin's first cousin) Idril. But there was no hope for him, for "the Eldar wedded not with kin so near" and, knowing his thought of her, Idril despised Maeglin.
When Tuor came, carrying Ulmo's warning of the danger to Gondolin, Maeglin sat on the right hand of Turgon and argued against Tuor. Tuor's marriage with Idril further incensed Maeglin, who rebelled against Turgon and Tuor. Later, seeking after metals, Maeglin defied Turgon's order to stay within the mountains, and was captured by orcs and brought to Angband. Morgoth promised both Gondolin and Idril in return for the location of the hidden city, thus luring Maeglin into the greatest treachery done in the Elder Days. Maeglin returned to Gondolin saying nothing, when the hosts of Morgoth attacked and overran the city, Maeglin fought with Tuor on the walls, and Tuor threw him to his death.
Maeglin was a relatively young elf, being merely 190 years old at the time of his death.
His name means "sharp glance" in Sindarin with Maeg (in Quenya maika) meaning 'sharp, piercing' and glin meaning 'gleam'. At birth, Aradhel secretly gave Maeglin the name of Lómion, signifying "Child of the Twilight" in the Quenya tongue.
Fingolfin = Anairë |-----------(Unknown Teleri lineage) | | ---------------------------|------- | | | | | Fingon Turgon Aredhel = Eöl Argon | Maeglin
|Elves of Arda|
Aegnor | Amarië | Angrod | Aredhel | Arminas | Beleg Cúthalion | Caranthir | Celeborn | Celebrimbor | Celebrían | Celegorm | Círdan | Curufin | Daeron | Denethor | Eärwen | Ecthelion | Elemmakil | Elemmírë | Elenwë | Elmo | Elwë (Thingol) | Elwing | Enel | Enerdhil | Eöl | Erestor | Fëanor | Finarfin | Findis | Finduilas | Fingolfin | Fingon | Finrod Felagund | Finwë | Galadriel | Galion | Galdor of the Havens | Gelmir | Gildor Inglorion | Gil-galad | Glorfindel | Gwindor | Idril | Imin | Indis | Ingwë | Ingwion | Irimë | Legolas | Lúthien | Mablung | Maedhros | Maeglin | Maglor | Mahtan | Míriel Serindë | Nerdanel | Nimloth | Olwë | Orodreth | Oropher | Rúmil | Tata | Thranduil | Turgon | Voronwë
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion pg. 133
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion pgs. 133 & 361