House of the Tree

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Tree
Noble House
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Tree
LeaderGaldor of the Tree
Physical Description
WeaponryClubs and slings

There were those of the Tree, and they were a great house, and their raiment was green.

The house of the Tree was one of the twelve houses of the Gondothlim, the kindreds of the Elven city of Gondolin. Their story is recounted in an early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.


This folk was under the leadership of Galdor of the Tree. Their garments were green, and they carried iron-studded clubs and slings.[1]:173

The Fall of Gondolin began with the balrog Gothmog leading his armies to the city's northern gate, where the folks of the Tree and of the Hammer of Wrath were positioned with their lords. When the Iron Dragons knocked down the gate, Rog, the leader of the Hammer, shouted his war-cry and both houses leapt at the foe, and "there the blows of their great hammers and the dint of their clubs rang to the Encircling Mountains and Orcs fell like leaves". From the walls, the House of the Swallow and the House of the Heavenly Arch rained arrows down on the invaders, but there was still great confusion.[1]:176

After the folk of the Hammer were completely destroyed outside the walls, the folk of the Tree retreated to the Square of the Folkwell, and guarded its western entrance by the Arch of Inwë against a horde of goblins. Tuor and his soldiers entered the Square from the north, Tuor carrying a wounded Ecthelion. Here Galdor was his salvation, as he rushed to kill the pursuers with his club. The guard of the Tree and many other houses were able to form a good battalion, which was led to the Square of the Palace.[1]:181-2

After the death of King Turgon, Galdor and many others escaped, following Tuor through Idril's secret way. A member of this house, Legolas, led the Exiles of Gondolin through the plain of Tumladin, as he knew it very well and was night-sighted.[1]:189 When the survivors reached Cristhorn, Galdor, Legolas and other men went ahead of the women and children,[1]:191 and they fought against an ambush of Orcs with the help of the Eagles.[1]:193 Later they dwelt at the mouth of Sirion, and when their lord went to Tol Eressëa, still some of them named themselves as the People of Galdor.[2]

Other names

Their Gnomish names were Nos Galdon[2] and Thlim Galdon,[3] while in Qenya they were simply known as Aldar.[3]

Nos Galdon was later ammended to Nos nan Alwen.[2]


Twelve houses of the Gondothlim
King (leader: Turgon) · Wing (Tuor) · Mole (Meglin) · Swallow (Duilin) · Heavenly Arch (Egalmoth) · Pillar (Penlod) · Tower of Snow (Penlod) · Tree (Galdor) · Golden Flower (Glorfindel) · Fountain (Ecthelion) · Harp (Salgant) · Hammer of Wrath (Rog)