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Gildor

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This article is about the Noldorin Elf. For the member of Barahir's Outlaw Band, see Gildor of Dorthonion.
Alan Lee - Frodo meets Gildor.jpg
Gildor Inglorion
Noldo
Biographical Information
TitlesOf the House of Finrod
BirthFirst Age
Physical Description
GenderMale
"Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill."
― Gildor Inglorion[1]

Gildor Inglorion was a Noldorin Elf of the House of Finrod, who in the Third Age lived in Rivendell.

Contents

History

Gildor was one of the Exiles of the House of Finrod. He could have been born on Valinor and then followed Fëanor under Finrod, or simply born later on Beleriand during the First Age. During the Second or Third Age, he followed Elrond and lived in Rivendell.[source?]

In September T.A. 3018, he traveled with a company to Rivendell. They returned from the Emyn Beraid, where they went to see Elbereth in the palantír that was kept there. On the 24th, they met Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin Took on the road near the Woody End. They ate and sang, and Gildor discussed the peril that haunted the three hobbits. This peril, a Black Rider, was near, but fled as he heard the Elves chant of Elbereth.

After separating from the hobbits, he went to the house of Tom Bombadil, probably before the 26th. He also sent a message to Elrond.[1]

Nothing else is known to have befallen him, and two years later, on September 22, T.A. 3021, he met the Hobbits once again. He accompanied a riding of great Lords and Ladies, that planned to sail West on board the White Ship. Whether Gildor joined them is uncertain.[2]

Ancestry

Gildor is one of the less prominently featured Elves, yet he seems important enough to raise questions concerning his lineage, or the identity of this character. Gildor calls himself "Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod". He also says: "We are Exiles, and most of our kindred have long departed and we too are only tarrying here a while, ere we return over the Great Sea."[1]

It should be noted that Tolkien initially used names from his (unpublished) The Silmarillion writings rather at random in The Hobbit and the first drafts of the sequel which would become The Lord of the Rings: other examples are the mention of Gondolin and the appearance of Elrond in The Hobbit, which were only later brought into alignment with The Lord of the Rings and the unpublished mythology by a third edition of the book.[3] This therefore is the case of the reference to the name "Finrod".

The name "Gildor" first appeared in the outlines of The Lord of the Rings in February 1938,[4] and in Tolkien's notes of that time, "Finrod" still meant the character later known as Finarfin[5] and his son had the older name "Inglor".

Son of Finrod?

It could be argued that the name "Inglorion", which means "son of Inglor", suggests that he was in fact the son of Finrod Felagund himself, who at the time of writing still had the name Inglor. There are, however, strong arguments against it:

  • There were only two children — Idril and Orodreth — of "the third generation from Finwë to go with the exiles".[source?]. While on Middle-earth]], Finrod Felagund had no wife since he loved Amarië of the Vanyar, who refused to go with him to the exile,[6] and did not meet her again until after his reincarnation on Valinor.
  • If Gildor were Finrod's son, he would have right to claim High Kingship of the Noldor instead of Gil-galad after Turgon's death.
  • Since Gildor mentions he is of the Exiles[1] (meaning those who originally followed Fëanor), it is very unlikely that he was reincarnated Finrod's son born in Valinor and allowed to visit Middle-earth in a later time. Only one "return" to Middle-earth is explicitly mentioned - that of Glorfindel.[7]

Connection to Finarfin

However the name Inglor reappeared, in Quenya form, for Finarfin (who in the earlier legendarium, was named Finrod). Finarfin's mother-name was Ingalaurë.[8] If Ingalaurë is to be translated in Sindarin according to the sound-changing rules, this would become Inglor. Thus, the connection of Gildor to the house of Finrod/Finarfin still remains in the updated legendarium.

This all suggests that, while Gildor might have been initially intended to be Felagund's son, in the final version he probably became a member of the House of Finrod as one of its servants, not one of its sons — perhaps one of the knights of Nargothrond.

It is also possible that he was a son of a supposed "Inglor" — a character unconnected to Finrod Felagund.

Portrayal in Adaptations

Gildor is generally left out of adaptations. This may cause some problems when two characters the hobbits meet later - Bombadil and Glorfindel (or his replacement) - are introduced.

1978: Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings:

Legolas, here an Elf of Rivendell, tells Strider that Elrond had received news of the burden, but it is left unexplained how.

1981: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Rings:

Adapter Brian Sibley wanted to use as much of the original Elvish lines as possible. This ment that the heavily wounded Frodo told the line Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo to Glorfindel instead.
The band of Elves in Peter Jackson's movie

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

A scene that was shot on the third day of principal photography, "The Passing of the Elves", is a reference to this passage in the book. It was eventually cut from the theatrical release to postpone the introduction of Elves to Rivendell.[9] In the scene, Frodo and Sam have a meal when Frodo notices Elves in the distance. No interaction is made, and the Elves travel to the Grey Havens, not from the Emyn Beraid to Rivendell.[10] They overhear the Elves singing a sad song, which is in fact a translation into Sindarin of Tolkien's Elven Hymn to Elbereth.[11] Jackson meant for this scene to invoke the sadness of the Elves leaving Middle-earth.[9]

2002: Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring:

This video game features both Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel. Tom apparently knows nothing of Frodo carrying the Ring, yet Glorfindel does - he is sent out by Elrond. Elrond had received a message, but from whom this message came is left untold.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Gildor makes a brief appearance in the Hobbit introduction to the Shadows of Angmar driving out a Black Rider in the Shire.
He is also the representative for the elves for the Council of the North in the third book to the Shadows of Angmar: The Council of the North and appears in Chapter five, "Tending the Glade".
Besides the epic story line, players can find him in Esteldín in the North Downs.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "'Three is Company"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "'The Grey Havens"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257 (dated July 16, 1964)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "From Hobbiton to the Woody End", page 45
  5. Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Three is Company", pages 103-4
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, The Silmarillion, "Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", note 30
  9. 9.0 9.1 Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens (adaptors), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Special Extended DVD Edition, "The Passing of the Elves", Directors' Commentary
  10. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens (adaptors), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Special Extended DVD Edition, "The Passing of the Elves"
  11. Ryszard Derdzinski (ed.), "The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack Analysis", Gwaith i-Phethdain