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House of the Golden Flower

House of the Golden Flower
Noble House
House of the Golden Flower.png
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Golden Flower
LeaderGlorfindel
LocationsGondolin
"There stood the house of the Golden Flower who bare a rayed sun upon their shield..."
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"

The House of the Golden Flower was one of the Twelve Houses of the Gondothlim, according to the early version of the Legendarium in The Book of the Lost Tales.

[edit] History

Glorfindel was the chief of this house, and their device was that of a rayed sun, that they bare upon their shields. Their vestments and arms are not described, but it is said that their lord wore a mantle with celandines embroidered with golden threads, and his arms were damascened with gold.[1]:173

When the Fall of Gondolin began, Gothmog led Melko's armies to the North Gate, which was soon knocked down.[1]:176 Meanwhile, the strength of the Golden Flower was in the Great Market, on the east part of the city, and at some moment they decided to march to the fight about the gate. They marched there by a circuitous way with the idea of surprising the foe upon his left flank, but instead they were ambushed by a host of Orcs led by Balrogs. For hours they fought, until a fire-drake came and overwhelmed them, and they had cut their way out very hardly, as the dragon began to burn all the market.[1]:182

But Glorfindel had previously sent messengers to King Turgon with urgency, so the House of the Harp was sent to their aid. However, Salgant, the lord of this house, betrayed his men, sending them to the Lesser Market at the south part. The men of the Harp fretted thereat, and brake from their lord to come before the king's hall right in the moment that Glorfindel and his folk were chased by a press of foemen. The men of the Harp saved them, droving the enemy back into the market, but there they were trapped, burned to death or poisoned by the breath of the dragon.[1]:182-183

Thus Glorfindel and the last of his men, along with all the remaining houses, barricaded themselves in the Square of the King. After Turgon proclaimed the fall of the city and ordered the survivors to follow Tuor, Glorfindel held the rear for those who retreated towards Idril's secret way, and many more of the Golden Flower falled there.[1]:186

Further on, while crossing Cristhorn, Glorfindel was with the men behind the Exiles.[1]:192 But the rearguard was attacked by a band of Orcs and a Balrog, and there happened the duel between Glorfindel and the Balrog, in which both falled into the abyss. After recovering the body of Glorfindel, Tuor let rise a chairn for him.[1]:194-195

Yellow flowers have fared thither and blow ever now about that mound in those unkindly places; but the folk of the Golden Flower wept at its building and might not dry their tears.

[edit] Other names

Their Gnomish name was Thlim Losglóriol, while in Qenya they were simply known as Lóter Kuluinai.[2]

Los Glóriol was later emended to Los'lóriol.[3]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

The House of the Golden Flower is the only house of the Gondothlim properly named in the Legendarium following the Lost Tales: in the Quenta Noldorinwa, Glorfindel is mentioned as "chief of the House of the Golden Flower of Gondolin".[4] This text was used by Christopher Tolkien for the twenty-third chapter of the published Silmarillion.[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Alphabet of Rúmil & Early Noldorin Fragments", in Parma Eldalamberon XIII (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), p. 104
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry Los'lóriol
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 16", p. 141
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary", p. 211
Twelve Houses of the Gondolindrim
King · Wing · Mole · Swallow · Heavenly Arch · Pillar · Tower of Snow · Tree · Golden Flower · Fountain · Harp · Hammer of Wrath