Elu Thingol or Elwë Singollo was an elf of the Teleri during the First Age. His brother was Olwë, who became the Lord of Alqualonde, Lord of Tol Eressëa, and High King of the Teleri of Aman, both of whom may have had a second brother called Elmo. He was a good friend of Finwë, the first High King of the Ñoldor during the times before the elves reached Aman. He is credited as the founder and first King of the fair Elven Kingdom of Doriath and respected by all the Sindar of the Beleriand who considered him to be the High King of the Sindar and the Lord of Beleriand.
Elwë was born in Cuiviénen during the Years of the Trees to unnamed parents. He first appears in the history of the Eldar when he travels from Cuiviénen with Oromë as ambassador of the Teleri to see the land of Valinor. Interestingly, since Thingol had previously visited Valinor as an ambassador of the Teleri, he is, uniquely, both of the Sindar and of the Calaquendi. Upon his return, he manages to convince many of his people to follow him back to that country. On the Great Journey to the West, the Teleri lag behind, and do not arrive at the coast until after the departure of the moving island of Tol Eressëa. Thus, they stay in Beleriand for many years until Tol Eressëa is brought again to fetch them. By this time, many of the Teleri have grown to like Beleriand, and decide to stay there. Elwë is among them, having encountered Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth and fallen deeply in love with her. Afterwards, he disappeared for many years causing many of his people to linger in Middle-earth or stay there until he could be found.
Rule of Doriath and Lord of Beleriand
For centuries Elwë remained lost until he reemerged as a respected lord and many of his people joined him in the great forested area of the Beleriand. Now known as Thingol, he and Melian become king and queen of the Teleri who stay in Beleriand, who then become known as the Sindar. He founded a realm in a large forested area in the Beleriand first known as Eglador (Land of the Forsaken). During these early days under the stars, Thingol and Melian have a child, daughter named Lúthien who is said to be the fairest woman to have ever lived.
As Lord of Beleriand, he welcomed his long lost kin now known as the Laiquendi or Green-elves vast lands in Ossiriand which they would name Lindon. He was also the first elf to make contact and alliances with the Dwarves of Belegost who helped delve the caves of the great Fortress/City of Menegroth which became the capital of Thingol's kingdom. When the dwarves first became aware of unknown but savage creatures coming from out of the North, Thingol was the first to know about it and not having any heavy weapons of war he once again asked the dwarves for their aid. They forged for him weapons and armour he needed to fight them.
The War of the Jewels and the Quest for the Silmaril
When Melkor returned to Middle-earth, he sought once again to master Middle-earth and its peoples and declared war on the them. He sent his great hosts of orcs into the Beleriand starting what became known as the First Battle of Beleriand. Thingol led his people to victory against the orcs successfully driving them out of his kingdom and most of the Beleriand. Afterwards, Melian set the Girdle around his kingdom which would be known from then on as Doriath which no one could enter without his permission. When the Ñoldor returned to Middle-earth, he gave them leave to dwell in the north part and dealt only with the House of Finarfin as they were kin through his brother Olwë. When he learned of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, he was outraged and wanted nothing to do with most of the Ñoldor and their war and even outlawed the use of Quenya in his kingdom.
Thingol was drawn into the war with Morgoth and the deadly Oath of Fëanor when after the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame), Lúthien fell in love with a man named Beren. Thingol did not wish for the two to be wedded to each other, as he valued his daughter very highly and disliked the race of Men. As a bride-price he asked for a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, thinking there was no way that Beren could fulfill this demand. Thus, Thingol was drawn into the quarrels over the great jewels and ultimately the doom of Fëanor.
It was, however, this very bride-price that doomed him. Thingol became obsessed with the Silmaril and hired Dwarves from Nogrod to place it in the Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves. The Dwarven craftsmen also became obsessed with the jewel and slew Thingol to possess it for themselves, setting off a chain of events that led to the destruction of Doriath and the scattering of its people.
Thingol's heir was Dior Eluchil, the son of Beren and Lúthien.
Thingol's sword was called Aranrúth (King's Ire) which later became the sword of the Númenórean kings. He also owned Anglachel, the sword forged by Eöl who gave it to him as payment for dwelling in Nan Elmoth alone.
Thingol was the Sindarin form of an epithet of Elu. Elu is from Elwë, Star-man (man in the sense male, not human). Thingol comes from sindacollo, grey cloak. The Quenya form of the same name is Elwë Singollo, Singollo meaning Graycloak.
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