Galdor (elf of Gondolin)

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The name Galdor refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Galdor (disambiguation).
"Galdor" by Natalie Chen
Biographical Information
Other namesGaldor of the Tree, Aldaron (Q)
TitlesLord of the house of the Tree
LocationGondolin, Mouth of Sirion, Tol Eressëa
HouseHouse of the Tree
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Galdor

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


He was the lord of the folk of the Tree, and like them he probably carried either a great club or spear, and wore green. He was said to be the bravest of the Gondothlim, save King Turgon himself.[1]:173

When the Fall of Gondolin began, he and his folk were near the northern gate, where Gothmog led the main attack of Melko's armies. When the gates fell, he jumped upon the enemies with his folk and the house of the Hammer of Wrath.[1]:176 But after Rog and those of the Hammer died outside the walls, the folk of the Tree retreated to the Square of the Folkwell. There they fought under the Arch of Inwë until Tuor entered the square carrying Ecthelion and being pursued by Orcs. "There did Galdor become the salvation of Tuor", because "the Orcs had taken them both but for the sudden rush of that champion and the dint of his club."[1]:181-2

Later on, in the Square of the Palace, Turgon proclaimed the fall of Gondolin, throwing his crown at the roots of Glingol, and it was Galdor who picked the crown up, but the king rejected it.[1]:185

He joined the exiles of Gondolin, and after crossing Idril's secret way, he encouraged them to run to the Encircling Mountains before the sunrise.[1]:189 When they reached the Cristhorn, he led a group of men ahead of the survivors. They were the first on crossing the narrow pass and had to fight against an ambush of the Orcs.[1]:191-3

Galdor lived later in the mouth of Sirion and survived the battle that Melko made against the people dwelling there. It is said that he later visited the ruins of Gondolin with Eärendel and now lives in Tol Eressëa, where he still has followers.[2]


The Gnomish name Galdor is never glossed, but in the Noldorin stage of the language, it is related with the roots GALA/GALAD, related with "thrive" and "trees".[3]

The Qenya name of the character was Aldaron,[4] which confirms this relation with the word "tree", as it is also the name of Oromë meaning "(King) of the Forests".[5]

Other versions of the legendarium

In an outline of the last Lost Tale, Tolkien considered that both Galdor and Egalmoth led the Noldoli back to Valinor.[6]

In late writings, Tolkien considered that Galdor of Gondolin and Galdor of the Havens may have been the same, but ultimately rejected the notion. If Galdor had remained behind, he would either have completely rejected the call of the Valar, and thus had fallen, or he would have had to leave and then return like Glorfindel did, which would make him a far more powerful person than his appearance in The Lord of the Rings suggests. For this reason Tolkien speculated that Galdor was simply a common Sindarin name.[7]


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)