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|"Nauglamir Thingol" by Kimberly|
|Pronunciation||S, [ˈelu] [ˈθiŋɡol]|
|Other names||Elu (S)|
The Hidden King
King of Doriath
Lord of Beleriand
|Language||Doriathrin (Sindarin dialect)|
|Birth||Between Y.T. 1050 and 1102 |
|Rule||Y.T. 1152 - F.A. 502|
|Death||F.A. 502[note 1] (aged Between 4,813 and 4,315 years)|
|Parentage||Unknown (descendant of Enel & Enelyë)|
|Height||Tallest of the Children of Ilúvatar|
|Gallery||Images of Thingol|
- "In Beleriand King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar, whose power is at rest, whose joy is as an air that they breathe in all their days, whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps."
- ― Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Sindar"
Thingol, also known as Elu, was one of the two kings of the Teleri, the other being his younger brother Olwë. He was also the King of Doriath and the greatest lord of the Sindar. Known as Elwë during the first years of the Eldar, he was the older brother of Olwë and Elmo. He was also a good friend of Finwë, King of the Noldor. His hair was silver and he was the tallest of all Elves and Men. As the de facto "Lord of Beleriand," Thingol would become a central figure of the First Age, instigating the Quest for the Silmaril, the greatest victory of the Age, but ultimately the cause of his own doom.
Ambassador of the Valar
After the Chaining of Melkor, the Vala Oromë took three Elves, Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë, to Valinor to convince the Elves to join the Valar in the Blessed Realm. Upon their return, the Elven ambassadors convinced many to join them on the Great Journey to the West. During the thousand mile journey, the Elven host separated into three groups, the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri.
The Teleri were the largest folk and they were divided in two hosts, led by Elwë and his brother Olwë. Elwë was more eager than his brother to see again Valinor, and wished to catch up with the Noldor because of his friendship with Finwe; but the Teleri were also the slowest and were the last to reach the western shores of Middle-earth.
After many years the Teleri crossed the Blue Mountains and stayed for some time in East Beleriand. During this time Elwë returned from a meeting with his friend Finwë, and wandered into the Forest of Nan Elmoth, where he met and fell in love with Melian the Maia. Caught in an enchantment of their own making, Elwë and Melian could not be found by the searching Teleri. When the Valar returned to take the remaining Elves to Valinor, only some of them followed Olwë across the Great Sea. The rest had come to love the lands of Beleriand and refused to leave without their missing lord.
King of Doriath
Over two hundred years passed before Elwë appeared again with his bride Melian, much changed since when last they saw him. While he had been fair and noble before, he now stood like a Maia above them as the tallest of the Children of Ilúvatar. He gathered his people together and founded the Kingdom of Doriath. His subjects would become the Sindar, or the "Grey Elves", and their language was Sindarin. From then on Elwë was known as King Elu Thingol, and he claimed lordship over all the lands in Beleriand. While Thingol was king of the Grey Elves, he saw the light of the Two Trees as an ambassador of the Valar and thus he was counted as a High Elf, and equal to any lord of the Eldar. He was even acknowledged as high-king of all the Teleri in Beleriand, even after Doriath became hidden.
On Melian's advice, Thingol became an ally of the Dwarves of Belegost, who carved the caverns of Menegroth for him. In payment he gave them, along with many other things, the great pearl Nimphelos.
A thousand years before the first rising of the Sun and the Moon the Green-elves entered Beleriand under Denethor. Thingol welcomed them and gave them the lands of Ossiriand, which they named Lindon. The Green Elves told of the spread of the Orcs and other foul creatures in the north and east of Middle-earth. The Grey Elves began arming themselves.
Centuries later Melkor returned to Middle-earth. Now named Morgoth, he had destroyed the Two Trees, killed Finwë, the King of the Noldor, and stolen the fabled Silmarils. Seeking to claim dominion quickly, he launched a sudden assault on the lands of the Sindar. The First Battle of Beleriand went well for Thingol, who prevented any Orcs from invading Doriath, but the Green Elves took horrific losses and the Falathrim were besieged.
Thingol and the Noldor
After the First Battle of Beleriand, Doriath was encircled by the Girdle of Melian, an impenetrable fence of enchantment that guarded the kingdom. While his own kingdom was protected, Thingol was still loath to surrender any other lands in Beleriand to the Noldor as he was suspicious of the aggressive new lords in Middle-earth.
In Hithlum the Noldor have leave to dwell, and in the highlands of Dorthonion, and in the lands east of Doriath that are empty and wild... for I am the Lord of Beleriand, and all who seek to dwell there shall hear my word.
—Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Return of the Noldor"
King Thingol's relations with the Noldor were strained, and grew worse decades later when he learned the truth of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. Thingol banned the use of Quenya in his lands, which led to Sindarin being the common Elven tongue in Middle-earth. The King of Doriath refused to aid the Noldor in the war against Morgoth, and took little part in the ongoing struggle.
Quest for the Silmaril
Thingol and Melian had one child, a daughter named Lúthien, said to be the fairest woman ever to live. Lúthien fell in love with a Man named Beren. Thingol did not wish for the two to wed, as he valued his daughter very highly and disliked Men. As a bride-price he asked for a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, thinking there was no way that Beren could fulfill this demand.
However, when Beren and Lúthien came back from Angband, and when Beren showed him his missing hand which still held the Silmaril in the belly of Carcharoth, he softened his heart towards him. Soon, though, Carcharoth in his anguish and rage from the Silmaril that burned his insides, broke through the Girdle of Melian and entered Doriath. In that hour, Thingol, along with Beren, Mablung, Beleg and Huan the Hound of Valinor, began the Hunting of the Wolf. Carcharoth was finally slain by Huan, but both Huan and Beren died in the process. After that, Lúthien died also, and coming to the Halls of Mandos she begged Mandos that Beren be returned to life. However, it was beyond the power of Mandos to withhold the souls of Men from going beyond the Circles of the World.
Therefore, Ilúvatar, through Manwë, offered Lúthien and Beren the opportunity to live again, but with Lúthien sharing the Gift of Men. She agreed, and they both came back to life and lived out the remainder of their second lives at Tol Galen, far from the sight of any other mortals.
Fostering of Túrin
Thingol adopted as a son a young Man named Túrin, son of Húrin and akin to Beren himself, who was sent to Doriath when he was seven years old. When he grew up, he was permitted to join Beleg Cúthalion on the marches of Doriath, fighting the Orcs of Morgoth.
Túrin accidentally caused the death of Saeros, one of Thingol's counselors who had provoked and attacked him. Before he could be either punished or forgiven he fled. Thingol however gave Beleg a leave to seek out his friend, who in the meantime had joined a band of outlaws. Telling to Thingol that Túrin did not wish to return, Thingol allowed Beleg to go and join his friend and gave him the black sword Anglachel that Eöl had forged and given to Thingol in tribute.
Nauglamír and death
Some time after Túrin's tragic death, Húrin, now an old man released from Morgoth's captivity, was allowed to enter Menegroth. In anger he threw the Nauglamír, the treasure of Nargothrond, before King Thingol, bitterly "thanking" him for aiding his son. Melian pierced through Húrin's madness and grief; shamed by his actions, he offered the Nauglamír to Thingol sincerely and left Menegroth a broken man.
At that time a desire came into Thingol's heart to take the Nauglamír and place the Silmaril in it, thus melding together two of the greatest creations made by the Elves and the Dwarves. He hired some Dwarven craftsmen to do it for him. But by the time the Dwarves were finished they had become obsessed with the Nauglamír and asked for it as a payment for their labor. This infuriated Thingol, who had also grown obsessed with the jewelry and refused to give it as a payment, realizing they were coveting the Silmaril. The Dwarves were angered by his harsh words, and killed him. This led to the sacking of Menegroth and the eventual destruction of Doriath, which scattered its people.
Other versions of the legendarium
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In The Book of Lost Tales Part One his Qenya name is Linwë Tinto or Tinwë Linto and his Gnomish name is Tinwelint. He was led away from Solosimpi, his people, by the beautiful music of Wendelin, and never returned to them. Ellu took his place as their leader. In a crossed out note, only Tinwelint's children, Timpinen and Tinúviel, returned later to the Eldar.
In The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, Tinwelint found Gwendeling by following the song of her nightingales. He stopped to listen for what he thought was a moment, although in reality it lasted many years. He came upon her in the forest, where she lay listening also to the nightingales. Thinking her very beautiful, he began to approach her, but she rose and ran away laughing. He then fell into a deep sleep while she remained, and kept watch over him a long time. His people, who had long ago departed to Valinor, were forgotten by Tinwelint when he at last awoke and found her still nearby. Eventually the two were wed.
Tinwë Linto/Tinwelint reigned with Wendelin/Gwendeling (Vëannë and Ausir, children talking to Eriol, argued about their names) over the Lost Elves of Artanor. Tolkien considered also the name Ellu for him. His children were Tinúviel and Dairon.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part One. Time and Ageing: XVII. Generational Schemes", p. 127
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XIII. Last Writings", "Círdan", p. 385
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Thingol and Melian"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin in Doriath"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin among the Outlaws"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Thingol and Melian"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, entry "Tinwë Linto, Tinwelint"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "V. The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "IV. The Chaining of Melko": "Notes and Commentary", note 1
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "I. The Tale of Tinúviel"
Enel, as Chieftain of the Nelyar
|1st King of the Teleri|
Y.T. 1105 - 1132
|1st King of Doriath|
Y.T. 1152 – F.A. 502