Tolkien Gateway

Elwing's tower

Elwing's tower was the white tower that was built for Elwing "upon the borders of the outer world, in the northern regions of the Sundering Seas".[1] She dwelt in the tower where all the sea-birds came to rest, and devised white and silver-grey wings for herself so that she could fly to meet Eärendil who returned from his journeys from "beyond the confines of the world".[2]

The "white tower" is not otherwise named in the Quenta Silmarillion, only in the Index of The Lost Road and Other Writings it is called "Elwing's tower".[3]

In the previous versions of the story Eärendel built the tower for himself, in the Sketch of the Mythology on an isle in the northern seas,[4] and in the first version of the chapter 17 of The Quenta in the Northern Seas,[5]. In both of these versions Eärendel is alone and builds the tower when trying to find Elwing who is lost in the seas.

But in the second version of The Quenta chapter 17 the wording is already quite similar to the Quenta Silmarillion: Eärendel builds the tower "upon the confines of the outer world in the Northern regions of the Sundering Seas",[6] and for the first time Elwing is with him and aids him in his journeys.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath" from J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion" (§12, p. 327).
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath" from J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion" (§11, p. 327).
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Index" (p. 426 s.v. Elwing).
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "II. The Earliest 'Silmarillion' (The 'Sketch of the Mythology')" (§17, p. 38 cf. p. 70). – There is even a short mention of "the northern tower on the Isle of Seabirds" in a note for The Tale of Eärendel from The Book of Lost Tales period (J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Tale of Eärendel", xvii, p. 264).
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 17", p. 150
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: §17 in the Q II version", p. 154