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Twelve Houses of the Gondothlim

The Twelve Gondolin Houses by Shyangell
"This was the fashion and the array of the eleven houses of the Gondothlim with their signs and emblems, and the bodyguard of Tuor, the folk of the Wing, was accounted the twelve..."
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"

The Twelve Houses of the Gondothlim were the kindreds of Gondolin, according to the early version of the Legendarium in The Book of the Lost Tales. Their lords and deeds are described in the "The Fall of Gondolin" in great detail.

[edit] History

When the Gondothlim knew that Melko's armies were approaching Gondolin, all the folks and lords were reunited coming from all parts of the city. Here are named in the order they came when King Turgon called them to council:[1]:172-174

Emblem House Leader Symbols and atributes
Rondador - House of the King.png
House of the King Turgon Moon, Sun, Scarlet Heart
Rondador - House of the Wing.png
House of the Wing Tuor White wing
Rondador - House of the Mole.png
House of the Mole Meglin (No emblem), moleskin
Rondador - House of the Swallow.png
House of the Swallow Duilin Arrowhead, fan of feathers
Rondador - House of the Heavenly Arch.png
House of the Heavenly Arch Egalmoth Rainbow, opal, jewelled boss
Rondador - House of the Pillar.png
House of the Pillar Penlod A pillar
Rondador - House of the Tower of Snow.png
House of the Tower of Snow Penlod A tower
Rondador - House of the Tree.png
House of the Tree Galdor Tree, iron-studded club, slings
House of the Golden Flower.png
House of the Golden Flower Glorfindel Rayed sun, golden flower (celandine)
Rondador - House of the Fountain.png
House of the Fountain Ecthelion Fountain, silver, diamonds, flute
Rondador - House of the Harp.png
House of the Harp Salgant Silver harp, tassels of silver and gold
Rondador - House of the Hammer of Wrath.png
House of the Hammer of Wrath Rog Stricken anvil, red gold and black iron, maces

During the council, all the lords agreed with Tuor to leave the city before the siege began, but Turgon was convinced by Meglin and Salgant to stay and fight in the city that they loved. Thus, all the houses prepared to battle.[1]:175-176

The Fall of Gondolin by Mysilvergreen

When the Fall of Gondolin began, all of them suffered great losses or were completely destroyed, except the house of the King, who remained in the palace to protect the King.[1]:183 First, the folk of the Mole was scattered after they attacked the folk of the Wing and Meglin was killed by Tuor. Later after the northern gate was lost, Duilin was killed and his house of the Swallow kept fighting without lord. Soon the folk of the Hammer and their lord Rog were butchered outside the walls; this caused that Penlod suffered the next attack, so he was killed and both of his houses lost many men.[1]:178-179 Meanwhile, the folk of the Harp abandoned their treacherous lord Salgant and went to save to the folk of the Golden Flower, being mostly destroyed in the Great Market.[1]:182-183

Thereafter the survivors of all kindreds were reunited in the Square of the Palace, save of the Hammer of Wrath alone. In that square, Ecthelion and Gothmog killed each other. There also King Turgon proclaimed the fall of Gondolin and ordered to the survivors to follow Tuor, but his royal folk stayed with him.[1]:183-184 Later he and his house were killed when the Tower of the King falled.[1]:187 After the exiles of Gondolin escaped, Glorfindel died saving them from a Balrog.[1]:194

Thus, apart from Tuor, the only lords who survived the Fall of Gondolin were Egalmoth and Galdor. Egalmoth was later killed in a battle at the Mouths of Sirion, but Galdor could reach Tol Eressëa and even kept followers.[2]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

Tolkien never wrote again about the Houses of Gondolin in later texts, because his writings never include details about the city. The only exception is in the Quenta Noldorinwa, where there is a simple mention of "the chieftains of the noble houses and their warriors"[3] (notice that this is the text used in the twenty-third chapter of the published Silmarillion).

Christopher Tolkien explains that the idea would have re-emerged if his father had finished Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin: in the description of the Seven Gates, there are seven groups of guards, each one with rich 'heraldic' descriptions.[4] But Tolkien didn't finish the tale, so beyond the Lost Tales the only vestiges are the titles Ecthelion 'of the Fountain' and Glorfindel 'chief of the House of the Golden Flower of Gondolin'.[5] They are the only chaptains of Turgon mentioned in the published Silmarillion, but there are also later texts of the Legendarium that include individual mentions to Rog[3] and Egalmoth.[6]

The Gnomish name Gondothlim for the people of Gondolin was later changed by the Sindarin Gondolindrim.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary", Entries in the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin, p. 215
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: §16 in the Q II version", p. 144
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", pp. 46-50
  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
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: III. Maeglin", p. 318