Silmarillion Week Day 3: Men of the House of Hador
The House of Hador was founded by Hador Lórindol, a man of the House of Marach, who entered the household of High King Fingolfin and was beloved by him. He was granted lordship of Dor-lómin and given the Dragon Helm by Fingon. Among his descendants were Túrin Turambar and Tuor, father of Eärendil the Blessed.
If you think Maeglin’s life wasn’t depressing enough, look at this:
316FA - Aredhel leaves Gondolin and weds Eöl. 320FA - Maeglin is born 400FA - Aredhel and Maeglin return to Gondolin. Eöl kills Aredhel and is executed 456FA - Death of Fingolfin, his body is taken to Gondolin 472FA - Nirnaeth Arnoediad
502FA - Tuor comes to Gondolin 503FA - Eärendil is born 509FA - Maeglin is captured 510FA - Fall of Gondolin
(source is Tolkiengateway)
… Maeglin didn’t even got 200years old! Given how Noldor are supposed to stop aging around 100 years and become adults around 144years … he only got 20years old, give or take. How fucking depressing is that? Given that Tuor is born in the year of N.A. … he was probably more mature than Maeglin when he came to Gondolin.
And Idril … Maeglin was a teenager for the entire time you knew him! A traumatised, grieving teenager who was born and raised under a different culture. Who probably even looked differently than the rest of the Noldor (Noldor are rumored to have darker skintone than Sindar).
So no, there’s no reason at all to call Maeglin creepy if you look at his background.
Above the noise of the water the sound of his song and the sweet thrilling of the harp were echoed in the stone and multiplied, and went forth and rang in the night-clad hills, until all the empty land was filled with music beneath the stars.
Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin, Unfinished Tales
anyway @alikuu here’s my further thoughts on how the AU where Tuor and Voronwe drag Turin to Gondolin would go, I’m sorry I got overinvested:
- Turgon remembers Hurin, and he feels sorry for Turin. He lets them both stay, but on the same terms as in canon - like Tuor, Turin can enter Gondolin, but he can’t leave. (Gwindor parts ways with them well before they reach Gondolin, he wants to go back to Nargothrond. Turin gives him the rest of his lembas for the road.)
- Turin spends a lot of time exhorting Turgon to bring the war to Morgoth. Tuor supports him in somewhat more tactful terms (this is not hard), or, like, at least tries to suggest they should do something other than dig in and wait. Turgon, being a more forceful character than Orodreth, is sympathetic but unmoved. If he didn’t listen to Tuor and Ulmo he’s not going to listen to Turin either. Turin is loudly angry, unhappy, and critical of Turgon.
- It’s worth remembering at this point that despite everything, Turin and Tuor are both very charismatic people who attract followers easily.
- Idril, Tuor, and Eärendil (and an invasion of swans pfff i drew the random swan being held as joke BUT THEN I ACCIDENTALLY DREW IT ON THE BACKGROUND so i just gave up cause it’s 4 in the morning -cries-)
And as they waited one came through the trees, and they saw that he was a tall Man, armed, clad in black, with a long sword drawn; and they wondered, for the blade of the sword also was black, but the edges shone bright and cold. Woe was graven in his face, and when he beheld the ruin of Ivrin he cried aloud in grief, saying: ‘Ivrin, Faelivrin! Gwindor and Beleg! Here once I was healed. But now never shall I drink the draught of peace again.’
Then he went swiftly away towards the North, as one in pursuit, or on an errand of great haste, and they heard him cry Faelivrin, Finduilas! until his voice died away in the woods. But they knew not that Nargothrond had fallen, and this was Túrin son of Húrin, the Blacksword. Thus only for a moment, and never again, did the paths of those kinsmen, Túrin and Tuor, draw together.
Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin,Unfinished Tales
You know when you’re writing fanfiction and you don’t
necessarily know if a tidbit in your narrative is actually canon or not? You
don’t really care whether it is or isn’t but get ridiculously excited when you
randomly find out that it is? You know what feeling I’m talking
about. Well, I was thinking about the general opinion/perception that
Glorfindel receives from the fanbase whether in fanart or fanfic. You know the
standard portrayal: epic warrior, joyful, merry and the source of much awe and
hero-worship (for one reason or another). But that’s not the portrayal of him I want to address today.
Because there’s an additional fanon out there about Glorfindel that
kind of makes me smile. And that’s the common idea that Glorfindel had this
mass popularity in Gondolin. There’s only a small section of the lore I want to focus on today because, to point back to my opening question, what makes
me smile about Glorfindel (as I have talked with many of them) is that
there really are people out there who gladly embrace this fanon, all the while
having no idea of its actual canon:
“[Glorfindel] led the Golden Flower and was the best beloved
of the Gondothlim, save it be Ecthelion, but who shall choose.”
There you go, for starters. No analysis required for that plain
English (and no one can exclude that Ecthelion was a greatly beloved figure as
well). I will add, though, that ‘beloved’ is a curious word to use since it
goes beyond the definition of popularity. Anyone can be popular and not necessarily
for a good reason, but Tolkien took it a step further in describing Glorfindel’s
eminence in Gondolin and assigned the word ‘beloved’, first here and then again
after Glorfindel’s fall-by-Balrog wherein Tolkien proceeded on with lamentation
over his death:
“Now was this a very grievous thing, for Glorfindel was most dearly beloved”
You can research the word yourself to get a sense of its deeper
meaning, but I put the word ‘beloved’ through five thesauruses and among them
all were the following synonyms, among others: cherished, revered, precious,
dear, loved, venerated, highly regarded, admired. But merely from the text
alone, it’s all so easy to understand! The people loved Glorfindel. They loved
him, really loved him, especially the people of the Golden Flower:
“their hearts are still sore for that fair one of the Noldoli.
Because of their love, despite the haste and their fear of the advent of new
foes, Tuor let raise a great stone-cairn over Glorfindel […] and Thorndor has
let not yet any harm come thereto, but yellow flowers have fared thither and
blow ever now about that mound […]; but the folk of the Golden Flower wept at
its building and might not dry their tears.”
They had to leave. Despite that Glorfindel had just killed the
Balrog and that the rest of the enemies had been eliminated, that small remnant
of Gondolin had to get off that mountain and find safety because of “their fear
of the advent of new foes”. A calm had settled after the skirmish was won, but
Tuor and the others knew it couldn’t last for long and they were desperate to
take advantage of the precious time Glorfindel’s sacrifice afforded them to get
off that mountain before any “new foes” could advance on them, just like they had moments before. They expected
it, probably due to how they had been unerringly trapped this first time (for
which if it hadn’t been for Glorfindel’s intervention, it would’ve been
catastrophic. More than it already turned out to be, that is). The survival of
what was left of their people depended on their “haste”, and no haste is
greater than one driven by fear.
But even then, they postponed departure to be able to honor
Glorfindel “because of their love”. Tolkien specifically mentioned that as the reason. Their love for him was as such that they fought their fear of an impending new outbreak of Orcs (and who knows what
other monstrosities might have followed that Balrog) to give the Elf-lord what
decent burial they could, laying him under stone, and then Thorondor actually
guarded that grave.
That there is remarkable.
It’s one thing to deliver
Glorfindel’s body out of the chasm, but to read that the King of Eagles, of all
beings, went the length to guard his grave from any harm unto the submersion of
Beleriand.…I can’t be the only one moved by that. Unless it was of Thorondor’s
own will, Manwë actually set a sentinel over Glorfindel’s tomb.
As made plain in the text, the people of Glorfindel’s House took
his death hard, weeping as the stones were laid over their lord’s body (which
they probably had a hand in laying). And not only that, but the grief of all
those who now made up the Gondothlim was so deep that at the time this historical
account was written unquestionably by
Pengolodh, “their hearts were still sore for that fair one”. Now, it could be initially suspected
that their love for Glorfindel became magnified at his death simply because he
died. Grief is a powerful sentiment, and more than that, it’s raw. Yet that
possibility’s countered by the knowledge that, nearly a year later, their
hearts were still sore for him. That, and the fact that Tuor, Idril and their
people nearly a year later collectively decided to honor Glorfindel all over
“when spring set celandine in the meads and they had held sad festival in memorial of Glorfindel”
I would challenge anyone to say the people of Gondolin didn’t love Glorfindel after this. It wasn’t quite an anniversary, but come the following spring after their escape from Gondolin, the remnant of the Gondothlim threw a celebration
in Glorfindel’s memory, albeit a sorrowful one. (also called “the feast of
Glorfindel” in The Tale of Eärendel). They actually gathered together to hold a festival in his name. And at this feast “for Glorfindel the well-beloved many and sweet were the
songs they sang”. There’s that term ‘beloved’ again. But yeah, songs were written in his name, “many” and “sweet”.
But I’d like to point out a hidden gem in this verse. It’s
nothing exciting, just precious in my opinion. It pertains to the fact that the
actual timing of this festival wasn’t coincidental. I mean, wouldn’t you expect
this type of commemoration to be on the actual anniversary of one’s death? In
this case, it would have been at the beginning of summer, but no. They held this sad
festival earlier in the year at the start of spring. Why hold the feast at this
specific time of year when they’d only have to wait a few more months to hold
it properly? The answer is in the same sentence:
“when spring set
celandine in the meads and they had held sad festival in memorial of Glorfindel”
‘Celandine’ is the key word. The celandine flower is known for blooming
at the start of spring, before even the trees begin budding. Celandines’ petals open in the morning, close in the evening, and they look like a thick
carpet of gold where they are abundant (just look at some pictures). But more importantly, celandine was a
significant part of Glorfindel’s very insignia:
“There stood the house of the Golden Flower who bare a rayed sun
upon their shield, and their chief Glorfindel bare a mantel so broidered in
threads of gold that it was diapered
with celandine as a field in spring; and his arms were damascened with
The emblem of the House of the Golden Flower itself was a rayed
sun (which a celandine kind of looks like), but the celandine is officially associated with Glorfindel. It was
Glorfindel’s flower, possibly the actual flower that inspired the very name of his House. (And I can’t be the only one enraptured by the visual of how Glorfindel looked bedecked in that so-described mantle.) Celandine,
the golden flower. And so at the annual blooming of celandines when came
spring, the survivors of Gondolin again honored Glorfindel’s memory, something they on record did for no other Elf. Only him.
Seriously, I dare anyone to say that they didn’t love him.
It’s unknown why Glorfindel was so dearly beloved in Gondolin,
what it was about his person that sprouted such mass popularity that he’d be
historically pointed out by name as the best beloved of Gondolin’s citizenry, equaled
only by Ecthelion of the Fountain if this were a competition (as said, who
shall choose?). I have no doubt his talent as a warrior won him renown, as well
as his aptitude as a lord of his people, a chieftain of the kingdom, and whatever standing he held in the
eyes of Turgon. Though as Tolkien laid emphasis on his merriment as well, it’s
conceivable that Glorfindel had quite the charismatic personality, a trait
proven to be endearing to an endless number of people.
So to any out there portraying Glorfindel with such a character
trait all the while secretly hoping it’s alright to believe he claims such love
and adoration from others, don’t. Because it’s hardcore canon that he does. :)
Was Glorfindel a popular figure in Gondolin? Without question.
**text from HoME The Fall
of Gondolin II.218.194-6.174-5; The Quenta IV.174