Tolkien Gateway

Gildor

This article is about the Noldorin Elf. For the member of Barahir's Outlaw Band, see Gildor (outlaw).
Gildor Inglorion
Noldo
Lori Deitrick - Gildor Inglorion.jpg
"Gildor Inglorion" by Lori Deitrick
Biographical Information
Titles"of the House of Finrod"
LocationRivendell
Family
HouseHouse of Finrod[1]
ParentagePossibly Inglor[2] (see below)
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Gildor Inglorion
"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 in The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"

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

Contents

[edit] History

Gildor was probably the son of some Inglor[3] and one of the Exiles of the House of Finrod. It's possible that he was from around Rivendell.[4]

"Feasting with the Elves" by Alan Lee

Elven Wandering Companies crossed the Shire and Gildor knew well Bilbo and Frodo Baggins when they were out in the woods. Around September T.A. 3001, as Bilbo Baggins was leaving the Shire for Rivendell, Gildor met the hobbit as he waved them farewell in Woody End. The following years he met him once more, perhaps at Rivendell.[1][3]

[edit] Meeting Frodo

"The Elves have their own labours and their own sorrows, and they are little concerned with the ways of hobbits, or of any other creatures upon earth. Our paths cross theirs seldom, by chance or purpose. In this meeting there may be more than chance; but the purpose is not clear to me, and I fear to say too much."
― Gildor Inglorion

In September T.A. 3018, he led a Wandering Company of Elves of Rivendell travelling eastwards from the Emyn Beraid, where they went to see Elbereth in the palantír that was kept there. On the 24th, they were chanting and unknown to him their sounds drove away a Black Rider who was after Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin Took on the road near the Woody End. As they passed by them, Gildor was the hindmost, and seeing Frodo he greeted him, to his surprise. Hearing about the "Black Riders", he invited the hobbits to join them, although not in their custom; he rejoiced after hearing Frodo's Quenya greeting and gave him the title Elf-friend.

At night they camped on a hill above Woodhall; they ate and sang, and Gildor discussed the peril that haunted the three hobbits. He was worried hearing that Gandalf didn't show up as he had promised to Frodo, and after being pressed by Frodo for an advice, he counselled him (although not lightly) to not wait but follow Gandalf's plans, with trusty companions. He also told him that he doesn't know much about the mysterious Black Riders they encountered, except that they are agents of the Enemy.[1]

After separating from the hobbits, he informed other Wandering Companies to be on the watch,[1] and sent word to the house of Tom Bombadil, probably before the 26th.[5] He also spoke with Aragorn[6] and sent a message to Elrond.[7]

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[8] and probably he was among the Elves who sailed to the West.[9][note 1]

[edit] Etymology

The meaning of Gildor is not given, but it can be deduce it is Sindarin "Star Lord", from gil ("star") + -dor ("lord, king").[10]

Same with Inglorion, which means "Son of Inglor", from -ion ("son of"), leading to the genealogical discussion explained below.

[edit] 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.[11] 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,[12] and in Tolkien's notes of that time, "Finrod" still meant the character later known as Finarfin[13] and his son had the older name "Inglor".

However the name Inglor reappeared, in Quenya form, for Finarfin (who in the earlier legendarium, was named Finrod). Finarfin's mother-name was Ingalaurë.[14] 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.

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Gildor in adaptations
Gildor Inglorion in The Lord of the Rings Online  

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

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

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Adapter Brian Sibley wanted to use as much of the original Elvish lines as possible. This meant that the heavily wounded Frodo told the line Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo to Glorfindel instead.

2001-2007: The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game:

Despite not featuring in The Lord of the Rings film series, Decipher produced a card depicting the character.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

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". Besides the epic story line, players can find him in the Elven refuge Lin Giliath near Esteldín in the North Downs.

Notes

  1. The narrative does not specify whether Gildor also boarded the ship to the West or if he was simply present as a companion.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 103
  3. 3.0 3.1 Matt Light, Lowell R. Matthews, "Gildor's Halls" dated 24 October 2000, The Tolkien List (accessed 24 October 2020)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "A Elbereth Gilthoniel"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "In the House of Tom Bombadil"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Strider"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  9. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Gildor Inglorion"
  10. Paul Strack, "S. Gildor m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 15 December 2019)
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257, (dated 16 July 1964)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: II. From Hobbiton to the Woody End" (p. 45)
  13. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Three is Company", pages 103-4
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", note 30