II: The Book of Lost Tales part 2, III: THE FALL OF GONDOLIN (1/2)

This twosplit post concerns the chapter about Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, one of the great stories of the first age and the biggest battles fought in the history of Middle-Earth. One difference from some later versions is that here we follow what happen to Tuor up until after the Fall of Gondolin. My comments will be featured in the second post. 

After Eltas finishes his tale on Turambar, he tells that the story of Nauglafring, or the Necklace of the Dwarves, which is a continuation on what happens after will have to wait. It is better to know of Beren and Tuor and the coming of Eärendel first. Ilfinol (who we know as Littleheart, the gongwarden)  son of Bronweg is bid to tell about Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin since he has most knowledge of these events. He tells this tale four days later of the Turuhalmë when Meril have joined.

Tuor was a man of great stature living solitary in Dor Lómin by the lake Mithrin. Once in a while he had contact with wandering Noldori who taught him of their speech and knowledge. One day he was led along a hidden river which flowed from Mithrim. He traveled this river for many days and suddenly heard the sound of gulls, which was new to him. He was near the confines of the Great Sea. Some say that Tuor was the first of men to reach the sea. He dwelt in a cove by the sea for some time and marvelled of the site and its features. Most of all he loved the swans and he took them for his emblem.

Later he experiences loneliness and decided to follow some swans. He wandered south along the coast until reaching a river mouth. From there he followed some Noldoli to Arlisgon further inland and then to The Land of the Willows, still close to the river Sirion. Ulmo, who had plans for Tuor went from the Outer Sea to the river and played music which reached Tuor. Then he spoke with Tuor and told him to go to Gondolin. There he would speak on Ulmo’s behalf. Tuor went a long way with a group of Noldoli, but out of fear for Melko all but Voronwë (Bronweg) left. The two searched for long for the hidden city Gondolin. Voronwë at last found the gate and after entering they were met by the guard of Gondolin, the city of seven names. Tuor and Voronwë passed on by themselves to get to the city itself and when they reached the walls of stone they were let in by a gate and they presented and name and purpose of being there. Tuor told that he was there by the will of Ulmo, so he was led before the king of Gondolin.

At the king’s palace, with its high tower, two trees was standing outside. They were shoots from the trees of Valinor, and they were named Glingol and Bansil. King Turgon welcomed them and Tuor, using the words of Ulmo told Turgon to assemble and army and rid the Great Lands of Melko and his orcs now, or else they will trouble elves and men forever. Turgon refuse to do this, but he does not think badly of Tuour so he welcomes hilm to live in Gondolin. Here Tuor learnt much from Voronwë who he became steady friends with. While in Gondolin he also learnt masonry, building with stones, crafts, language and about the Ainur. Tuor came to be a comfort to Turgon, like a son. Tuor recived his own house, fine armor featuring his swam emblem and a battle-axe, Dramborleg.

Tuor marries Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and this is the first marriage between man and eldar. Meglin, a kin of Turgon, is jealous of this since he had often asked to marry Idril. Together Idril and Tuor get a son, Eärendel. At this point Tuor has lived in Gondolin for many years. One year after the birth of their son, spies of Melko encompass the vale of Tumladin so the defence of Gondolin is strengthened. Idril dreamt of the deceit of Meglin.

Meglin meanwhile is away to collect ore but get captured by orcs and is brought to Melko. He tells about Gondolin and is put under the spell of bottomless dread. Meglin is however allowed to return to Gondolin, appearing joyful, as to not awake suspicion. Some calmer years come after this, but Melko labours and prepares for a sack of Gondolin. The Gondothlim (folk living in Gondolin) grow less uneasy during these years, unknowing of the threat of Melko. Seven years later Melko completely withdraws his spies. However, Idril is uneasy. She forebodes evil things happening.

To continue in the next post.

Characters to note

  • Ilfinol – Also called Littleheart or Ilverin. A slender and small elf with a weather worn face and merry blue eyes (who looks to be 50 or 10 000 years of age). He is the gong-warden at The Cottage of Lost Play.
  • Tuor – A Man of great stature. First of men to reach the Great Sea.Son of Peleg, son of Indor. Has the swan for his emblem. Married to Idril. Father of Eärendel.
  • Turgon – Noldoli King of Gondlin. Father of Idril.
  • Voronwë – Also called Bronweg. Noldoli and friend of Tuor. Father of Ilfinol “Littleheart”.
  • Idril – Noldoli. Daugther of Turgon. Married with Tuor. Mother of Eärendel.
  • Eärendel – Son of Tuor and Idril. Half-elf.
  • Meglin – Nodoli. Chief of House of the Mole in Gondolin. Cousin of Idril. Causes the fall of Gondolin by informing Melko about the city.

Places to note

  • Mithrim – The lake in Dor Lómin where Tuor dwelt.
  • Dor Lómin – Also Land of Shadows. A region in Hithlum/Hisilómë where men dwell.
  • Gondolin – The hidden city of the Noldoli. Turgon is King. Also called Gondobar, Gondothlimbar, City of Stone, City of the Dwellers in Stone, Gondolin the Stone of Song, Gwarestrin, the Tower of Guard, Gar Thurion or the Secret Place, Loth or Lothengriol.
  • Tumladin – The plain around Amon Gwareth.
  • Amon Gwareth – The hill on which Gondolin was built.
  • Encircling Hills – The Mountain Range which encloses the plain Tumladin which is the location of Gondolin.
  • Sirion – The principal river.
  • Arlisgion – “Place of Reeds”. South of Dór Lomin and the Iron Mountains.
  • Land of the Willows – A beautiful area close to the mouth of Sirion.

Features to note

  • The Eleven Houses – see list in next post.
  • Dramborleg – The Axe owned by Tuor.
  • The Two Trees – A silvery and golden tree which are shoots from the trees of Valinor.

Comments and the rest of the plot will be featured in the next post.

Have you read this chapter or do you want to know more? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part or if you have something to ask! 

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