Galathilion

From Tolkien Gateway
The name White Tree refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see White Tree (disambiguation).
Galathilion
Other names"White Tree"
LocationTirion
Familymany seedlings (including Celeborn)
Appearancemade in the image of Telperion
GalleryImages of Galathilion

Galathilion, the White Tree, was a tree made by Yavanna for the Elves of the city of Tirion. It was made in the image of Telperion, as the Amanyar loved it most of the Two Trees, although Galathilion gave no light.[1]

It grew in the Great Square, a high open courtyard beneath the Mindon Eldaliéva, and had many seedlings in Eldamar. From it came Celeborn, the White Tree of Tol Eressëa;[1] through which it became the ancestor of Nimloth of Númenor and the White Tree of Gondor.[2]

Etymology

Galathilion is Sindarin for "White Tree",[1] from galadh ("tree") + thil ("shine silver)".[3]

The final element could be the patronymic -ion, perhaps indicating the tree descents from Telperion.[4]

Other names

It was also known as the Tree of Tirion[5] or Tree of Túna.[2]

Galathilion was at first a name for Telperion, "but in after days Galathilion the Less was the name of the White Tree of Túna."[6]

Legolas noted that the Doors of Durin displayed the Tree of the High Elves,[7][note 1] which probably represented Galathilion.[8][9]

Genealogy

Telperion
Destroyed by Morgoth and Ungoliant
Galathilion on Túna
Made in the image of Telperion
Celeborn of Tol Eressëa
Nimloth of Númenor
First Tree of Gondor (Minas Ithil)
S.A. 3320 - 3429 (planted by Isildur)
Second Tree of Gondor (Minas Anor)
T.A. 2 - 1636 (planted by Isildur)
Third Tree of Gondor (Minas Tirith)
T.A. 1640 - 2872 (planted by Tarondor)
Fourth Tree of Gondor (Minas Tirith)
Since T.A. 3019 (planted by Elessar)

Other versions of the legendarium

In the poem Imram, Saint Brendan in his deathbed is able to remember a White-tree from his travels that cannot be other than Galathilion:[10]

In that hidden land we saw there stand
under a moonlight dim
a Tree more fair than ever I deemed
in Paradise might grow:
its foot was like a great tower's root,
its height no man could know;
and white as winter to my sight
the leaves of that Tree were;
they grew more close than swan-wing plumes,
long and soft and fair.

Notes

  1. Actually the drawing of the Doors, displays a pair of trees flanking the composition, not a sole tree; unless they are both taken to symbolize the "Tree of the High Elves".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries kal-, sil-
  4. Paul Strack, "S. Galathilion pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 30 June 2020)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 2. Of Valinor and the Two Trees", p. 155
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"
  8. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entries "Emblems — Eldar", "Tree of the High Elves"
  9. Mark Fisher, "Tree of the High Elves" dated 4 July 2008, Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 19 June 2024)
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers Part Two: Note on 'The Death of Saint Brendan' with the text of the published form 'Imram'", pp. 297-8