Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

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Unfinished Tales
of Númenor and Middle-earth
Part One: The First Age
Part Two: The Second Age
Part Three: The Third Age
Part Four

Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin is a late work by J.R.R. Tolkien found in the Unfinished Tales. It begins as a rewrite of the older work, The Fall of Gondolin, but went unfinished. It tells of how Tuor was raised, came to Vinyamar, found Voronwë, travelled towards Gondolin and passed through the Seven Gates.

The true title of the work was Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, but Christopher Tolkien changed it for Unfinished Tales since it only reached that point. This title was reused for the story's equivalent chapter in The Silmarillion. It was finally published under its original title in the Fall of Gondolin compilation.


"Tuor and Voronwe" by Steamey

Tuor was the son of Rían and Huor, born in the year of the battle Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Upon finding the news of her husband's death, followed closely by her own, Rían left Tuor in the care of the Sindar of Mithrim, specifically Annael who became his foster-father. Led by him, a small group sought refuge from the Easterlings in the caves of Androth, where Tuor grew until he was 16, learning the elven lore and the mastering of weapons. Trying to leave Dor-lómin, the group was attacked by the Easterlings and Tuor taken into slavery for 3 years, until he escaped and ran back to the caves of Androth, where he lived as an outlaw for another four.

Twenty-three years after Nirnaeth Arnoeadiad, in the first day of the new year Tuor began a journey west, towards the Ered Lómin mountains, in order to find the Gate of the Noldor, following a small river which he considered to be a sign. With the help of Gelmir and Arminas he passed through the gate and entered the coast known as Lammoth. Further on, he entered Nevrast and became the first of the race of Men to have seen the Great Sea Belegaer.

Led by swans, Tuor found the city of Vinyamar on the slopes of Mount Taras and from the great halls he took the armour and weapons that Turgon had left, and then climbed down towards the sea once more. There, on the shores of Belegaer, the Vala Ulmo appeared before him and spoke of Gondolin, where Tuor, with the help of the last sailor on the last ship to sail West at the command of Círdan, would need to deliver a message on behalf of the Lord of the Waters.

The guide proved to be Voronwë and together they set towards East, making a stop at the Pools of Ivrin where they caught a glimpse of Túrin, Tuor's cousin, set on a journey of his own. The two companions travelled further, to the tower Minas Tirith built by Finrod Felagund and from there went South, following the road which climbed down in the Valley of the Sirion.

From the Echoriath they crossed the Ford of Brithiach and on the 37th day of their journey they entered the kingdom of Turgon. The first one they encountered was Elemmakil, a Noldorin Elf, captain of those who guarded the outer entranceway to Gondolin. Under close guard they passed through the Seven Gates: Gate of Wood, Gate of Stone, Gate of Bronze, Gate of Writhen Iron, Gate of Silver, Gate of Gold and the Gate of Steel.

At the last one, Ecthelion, lord of the People of the Fountain and keeper of the Great Gate at that time, appeared before their eyes.

Incomplete story

Here, the detailed writing stops. In the published manuscript the tale is continued until Tuor is granted passage by Ecthelion and sets his eyes upon the Hidden City, a passage taken from further incomplete notes of Tolkien, which would also contain a description of Gondolin and Turgon, as well as the first meeting of Tuor and Idril, who became his wife. However, a final version of the tale was never completed.

Tuor and Voronwë's route towards the Hidden City

  1. Nevrast: Vinyamar, Mount Taras
  2. Falas : Woods of Núath, Pools of Ivrin, The 3 springs of Taeglin, Spring of Malduin
  3. Sirion: Minas Tirith
  4. Dimbar: Ford of Brithiach, Echoriath
  5. Gondolin : Seven Gates of Gondolin

The entire journey took 37 days to complete and one more for the crossing of the gates.

See also