Egalmoth

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about a lord of Gondolin. For the Ruling Steward of Gondor, see Egalmoth (Steward of Gondor).
Egalmoth
Gnome
"Egalmoth" by NimwenHabareth
Biographical Information
PositionLord of the house of the Heavenly Arch
LocationGondolin
DeathMouths of Sirion
Family
HouseHouse of the Heavenly Arch
Physical Description
GenderMale
ClothingBlue mantle with crystal stars
WeaponryCurved sword, bow
GalleryImages of Egalmoth

Egalmoth was a Gnome-lord of Gondolin according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.

History

He was the leader of the folk of the Heavenly Arch. He wore a blue mantle upon which stars were embroidered in crystal, and his sword was bent (none of the other Noldoli carried curved swords). However, he trusted more to his bow, for he could shoot further than anyone of his folk.[1]:173

When the Fall of Gondolin began, a great part of his folk was in the walls of the northern gate, where the main attack happened.[1]:176 However, he was in the south part of the city, in charge of the engines on the wall. When the enemy entered into the streets, he saw that they could not keep fighting in the battlements. Therefore, Egalmoth gathered some men of his house and of the Swallow and casted away his bow. While marching among the streets, they defeated every band of enemies they encountered, rescuing and leading the captives. Finally they reached the Square of the King, where they met with the survivors of all the other houses. In the Square, Egalmoth helped Tuor with the defence of the barricades, but they were sundered and he could not help Tuor when Gothmog lord of Balrogs came forth.[1]:183

During that sally in the Square, Egalmoth was hurt, but he could survive with the rest of the exiles of Gondolin.[1]:195 He dwelt in the mouth of Sirion, but he later died there in the Third Kinslaying when the sons of Fëanor came for the Silmaril.[2]

Etymology

Egalmoth is Gnomish for "Broadshoulder", and its Qenya form is Aikaldamor.[3]

In the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin, the following definition is provided: "Egalmoth is a great name, yet none know clearly its meaning - some have said its bearer was so named in that he was worth a thousand elves (but Rumil says nay) and others that it signifies the mighty shoulders of that Gnome, and so saith Rumil, but perchance it was woven of a secret tongue of the Gondothlim, yet was he lord of the house of the Heavenly Arch, and got even out of the burning of Gondolin, and dwelt after at the mouth of Sirion, but was slain in a dire battle there when Melko seized Elwing."[4]:23. The "thousand" is from the Gnomish word moth, which had a definition of "moth(in), mothwen 1000. probably = flock. [<< 'moth 1000. mothwen (same.)' Cf. I 270 Uin, II 338 Egalmoth.]"[5]:58

When Tolkien developed Sindarin, Egalmoth became an obsolete name, but he had already used it for a steward of Gondor in a published work and the name sounded good, so he retained it in later versions as an archaic form. The proper Sindarin name would be Ægamloth, which means "Pointed helm-crest", from aeg ("point") + amloth ("uprising flower, implying a crest on a helmet").[6]:318

Other versions of the legendarium

In an outline of the last Lost Tale, Tolkien considered that Egalmoth and Galdor led the Noldoli back to Valinor.[7]

Egalmoth does not appear again in any later texts of the legendarium, except in one concerning Aredhel's escort. While writing the story of Maeglin in 1951, Tolkien named him as one of the escorts King Turgon sent to accompany Aredhel on her way out of the Hidden City to her brother Fingon, along with Glorfindel and Ecthelion.[6]:318 However, he realized that these three lords were too mighty to come back to Gondolin after losing Aredhel, so he decided that they should not be the escort.[6]:328 Therefore, Christopher Tolkien kept this decision for his edition of The Silmarillion.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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", p. 215
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry "Egalmoth"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Sí Qente Feanor and Other Elvish Writings", in Parma Eldalamberon XV (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 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"
  7. 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", pp. 278-9
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)