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He and Maeglin alone convinced Turgon to hold the city and guard the treasures, and though Maeglin spoke he backed him up. But later when Maeglin revealed his plots to Salgant, Salgant became frightened, and "lay... aquake on his bed". During the fall Turgon ordered him to the Great Market to reinforce Glorfindel and the House of the Golden Flower. But in his treachery he ordered them to the Lesser Market, though his men rebelled.
It is suggested that he either perished in the Fall or became a buffoon of Morgoth, "an ill fate for a noble of the good race of the Gnomes". It is said later that a young Eärendil mourned him, because he had "told him quaint tales or played drolleries with him at time".
The early character of Salgant appears quite unlike how Tolkien envisioned Elves in his later works. No Elf is described again as heavy and squat. However, as Tolkien did not revise The Fall of Gondolin, it can't be known if Salgant would remain.