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Ælfheah

From Tolkien Gateway
Ælfheah
Anglo-Saxon
Biographical Information
Other namesthe fatherless[1]
PositionMariner
LocationEngland
AffiliationÆlfwine
LanguageOld English
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Ælfheah

Ælfheah was one of the seven companions of Ælfwine on his voyages, according to the early version of the legendarium in the text called Ælfwine of England from The Book of Lost Tales, and the only one whose name was remembered afterwards.[1]

History

After much voyaging and searching for the Island of the Elves, Ælfheah was the one who advised Ælfwine to put an end to his quest and return to his home; however, soon after they spotted the lights coming from the West in Tol Eressëa - but a strong westerly wind pushed them back eastwards, except Ælfwine who jumped out of the ship and swam toward the isle.[2]

Ælfheah's final fate is uncertain, but he most likely died at sea, since it was said of all the seven companions of Ælfwine that eventually "Ulmo Lord of the Sea afterward took them to himself".[1]

Etymology

The name Ælfheah is in Old English and consists of the elements ælf ("elf") + heah ("high").[3]

Other names

An earlier name for the character was Gelimer, possibly being a latinization of a Vandalic name (exemplified by the King of the Vandals and Alans Gelimer),[4] deriving from the Proto-Germanic gailaz ("merry") + mērijaz ("famous, renowned").[5]

The name Gelimer was itself a change from an earlier form Helgor.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales": "Ælfwine of England", pp. 315-6
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales": "Ælfwine of England", pp. 320-1
  3. "Ælfheah", Behind the Name (accessed 18 July 2024)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales": "Ælfwine of England", note 40, p. 332
  5. "Gelimer", Wiktionary (accessed 18 July 2024)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales": "Ælfwine of England", Changes made to names, and differences in names, in the texts of Ælfwine of England, p. 334