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Square of the Palace

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Map of Gondolin showing the Square at the center

The Square of the Palace was the center place of Gondolin, according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales. It is alternately called the Square of the King, King's Square and Place of the King, and attached to it was the great court of King Turgon.[1]

[edit] History

The Square was the greatest of all the city, and there rose the tower of the palace being the tallest in the city, and the palace thereof was white and beautiful. There were fountains before the doors, and two trees, Glingol and Bansil, of gold and silver. The fountains shot twenty-seven fathoms into the air, and white birds dwelt in the trees, singing beautiful songs.[2]:160 In the northwest part was the Road of Arches, which led to the Place of the Well nearby, while in the north was the beautiful Alley of Roses.[2]:182-183 In the south, the Road of Pomps went down to Gar Ainion and the Way of Running Waters.[2]:186

During the Fall of Gondolin, the twelve houses of the Gondothlim suffered great losses, so at some point the surviving warriors gathered in the Square of the Palace. Then, first Tuor and Glorfindel cleansed the square, withdraw their men from the entrances and barricated them. After Egalmoth came, the enemy's attack increased, with Orcs and Balrogs upon dragons trying to enter from every side. Egalmoth and Tuor went place to place to help in the defence, "and that stand was the most stubborn-valiant that is remembered in all the songs or in any tale." A fire-drake got in from the north, but both lords confronted it, pushing it to the center of the square. Gothmog lord of Balrogs went ahead and beat down Egalmoth, but Ecthelion, just recovered from his fainting, came between them. Stiking his helm into the Balrog's breast and twining his legs with the enemy's, both fell into the fountain of the king and perished. Seeing the enemy's hesitation, the Gondothlim attacked, and King Turgon and his royal house helped to cleanse the square of enemies. However, a fire-drake was pushed to the fountain and its vapors covered all the square, while some warriors were killed by the heat.[2]:182-184

Thus was destroyed the fountain, and then there was a rally beneath the two trees. There the King proclaimed the fall of Gondolin and asked the survivors to leave the city. Leading them, later Tuor and Idril gazed the Square of the King being overran by Orcs that killed the remaining citizens and by dragons that beset the tower and burned the trees.[2]:184-186

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Index", entry "Square of the Palace"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"