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Lorraine Brevig - Maeglin.jpg
Biographical Information
TitlesLord of the House of the Mole
BirthFirst Age 320, within Nan Elmoth
Death F.A. 510, The Fall of Gondolin (aged 190 years)
ParentageEöl + Aredhel
Physical Description
Hair colorDark.
GalleryImages of Maeglin
"He resembled in face and form rather his kindred of the Noldor, but in mood and mind he was the son of his father. His words were few save in matters that touched him near, and then his voice had a power to move those that heard him and to overthrow those that withstood him."
The Silmarillion, Of Maeglin

Maeglin was an Elf, the son of Eöl the Dark Elf and Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin. He lived in the First Age of Middle-earth and was a lord of Gondolin, chief of the House of the Mole.



Early History

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. The child grew up hearing tales of Gondolin, the Hidden City and his uncle, Turgon, most importantly that he had no heir to the throne, thus the idea of leaving the dark places of Nan Elmoth was born in his mind. Years later Aredhel left Eöl and she took her son (who stole his father's sword, Anguirel) with her, both of them returning to Gondolin. 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, under Maeglin's eyes.

He was now an orphan, but Turgon held him in honor, and Maeglin both learned and taught much. He became an elven lord held in high esteem, even leading his own House of the Mole. He found rich lodes of metals in the Echoriath 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 Nírnaeth Arnoediad, "Battle of Unnumbered Tears", Maeglin refused to remain behind as regent, and went forth to battle with Turgon proving valiant at need, though he was wise in council as well. The seventh and final gate of Gondolin, the Gate of Steel, was Maeglin's creation.

Even though he was one of the mighty of Gondolin, he most desired Turgon's daughter Idril who was his first cousin. But there was no hope for him, as the "Eldar wedded not with kin so near". More over, Idril perceived an evil coming from him and for as long as Gondolin existed, she avoided him. Thus the love inside Maeglin's heart turned to darkness and though he had neither her nor the kingship of Gondolin, he endured it in silence, waiting for an opportunity to seize them both.

The Fall of Gondolin

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. He gave him a token that would allegedly keep him safe from the sack.

Maeglin returned to Gondolin saying nothing about his encounter, but many people noticed a change. Most thought it was for the better, though Idril suspected something and began work on Idril's Secret Way. He managed to turn some of the weaker lords, such as Salgant and the roguish to his side. When the hosts of Morgoth surrounded the city, Maeglin counseled Turgon against flight, and because of his place in the King's heart he swayed him to his advantage. As the battle over Gondolin took place, Maeglin tried to kill Eärendil and take Idril for himself. But Tuor caught up with him and they fought upon the walls of the city. Maeglin lost and he was thrown down to his death.


Maeglin means "sharp glance" in Sindarin, a name which he received from his father when he was twelve. It is formed by the union of maeg, which translates as "sharp" or "piercing", "penetrating" and glîn, meaning "gleam", "glint" (of eyes). At birth, Aredhel gave Maeglin the mother-name of Lómion, meaning "Child of Twilight" in Quenya. It comes from lómë, a noun that translates as "dusk", "twilight" and also "night".




See Also