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"Gondolin party" by Mysilvergreen
General Information
Other namesPeople of Gondolin
OriginsThe Noldor and Sindar of Nevrast, led to the Hidden City by Turgon
AffiliationUnion of Maedhros
LanguagesQuenya, Sindarin
MembersTurgon, Idril, Tuor, Maeglin, Ecthelion, Glorfindel
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Gondolindrim

The Gondolindrim were the People of Gondolin, a mixed population of Noldorin and Sindarin Elves under the rule of Turgon.[1][2] While they take their name from the city of Gondolin where they later dwelt, the Gondolindrim were in origin the Elves of Nevrast.[3] Ulmo seemed to take a special interest in the Gondolindrim throughout their history. The Gondolindrim were keen in arts and constructions but also valiant fighters.


The first Elves to dwell in Nevrast were Sindar, who had been drawn in days of old to the coasts near Mount Taras by the comings of Ulmo and Ossë. At the time the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, most of the Grey-elves of Nevrast still dwelt in the coastal region in the southwest. Turgon settled there with his own people, Noldor of the House of Fingolfin, taking up lordship of Nevrast and building Vinyamar. The first mingling of Sindar and Noldor took place in Nevrast, and they became one people.[1]

At Ulmo's urging and with his guidance Turgon, seeking a refuge from Morgoth, found the hidden vale of Tumladen within the Encircling Mountains. After Dagor Aglareb Turgon brought many of the most skilled of the Elves of Nevrast to Tumladen, where they set about building Gondolin in secret. When the city was finished, the people of Nevrast (including one third of the Noldor of Fingolfin, and even more Sindar) abandoned Nevrast and came in secret, in small companies one-by-one, through Ered Wethrin to Gondolin.[3]

Turgon Strengthens the Watch by Alan Lee

Because Gondolin was strictly separated from the rest of Beleriand by Ered Wethrin and it is unlikely that substantial numbers of other kindreds ever came to settle there. Only a few notable outsiders are known to have reached the hidden city: Huor and Húrin Thalion were the first Men to come to Gondolin and dwelt there for a year,[4] Tuor, son of Huor, made the city his home[5][2] and Maeglin, son of Eöl the Dark Elf and Turgon's sister Aredhel, fled there with his mother from Nan Elmoth.[6]

To save the Elves, Turgon began to secretly send his people out westward across Belegaer, to seek Valinor and ask the pardon and aid of the Valar. None of his mariners succeeded, but this was a wise course, as Turgon would learn later.[7]

As the Elves of Beleriand began to prepare for a counterstroke to the Dagor Bragollach, Turgon secretly began his own preparations. In F.A. 472,[8] the Union of Maedhros attacked Angband, and Turgon rode to war for the first time. Unknown and unbidden by his kin, he opened the leaguer of Gondolin and rode to their aid with an army of ten thousand. This was to be the disastrous battle that was to become known as the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The army of the Gondolindrim escaped from the Fifth Battle thanks to the men of the House of Hador.[9]

At the Fall of Gondolin, Tuor and Idril gathered as many of the people as they could find, and escaped down their escape tunnel. In the plain they could run unnoticed because of the steam and smoke. It was a hard road through the mountains, and Glorfindel was killed battling a Balrog that lay in ambush. But at last the Exiles of Gondolin came to Nan-tathren. After resting there for some time they came down to the refuge at the Mouths of Sirion, where they mourned the loss of the White City.[10]


The Gondolindrim were living under the ultimate law of secrecy and no visitor was ever allowed to leave the city.[4]

Gondolin society comprised of houses of nobles with heraldic devices[11] such as the House of the Golden Flower.[12]

The Gondolindrim observed the Gates of Summer as a celebration.[10]


Gondolindrim is a standard formation of Gondolin (S: "The Hidden Rock") and the Sindarin suffix -rim, denoting a people.[13]

Other versions of the legendarium

The Book of Lost Tales

In the earliest version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales, the inhabitants of Gondolin were called Gondothlim in Gnomish[14] or Ondolië in Qenya.[15]

They were those Noldoli who escaped from Melko's power after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears.[16]:157 When Tuor arrived to their city, they are described in great detail:

Indeed the Gondothlim were not bent of back as some of their unhappy kin became, labouring without rest at delving had hammering for Melko, but small were they and slender and lithe. They were swift of foot and surpasing fair; sweet and sad were their mouths, and their eyes had ever a joy within quivering to tears; in in those times the Gnomes were exiles at heart, haunted with a desire for their ancient home that faded not.[16]:159

Despite their melancholic heart, the Gondothlim became proud and confident of their works, so when Melko withdraw his spies, they thought it was because of the strength of their fortress. And when Idril warned some of them in secret, they laughed, saying that "Gondolin would stand as long as Taniquetil or the Mountains of Valinor".[16]:170-1

The Gondothlim are also described as being organised into a number of twelve houses, each one with a leader and different characteristics.[16]:174 During the fall of Gondolin, most of them were butchered, and when the exiles settled down in the mouths of Sirion, they took the name of Lothlim ("People of the Flower"), as the name "Gondothlim" saddened their hearts.[16]:196

Later versions

In the Noldorin phase of the Elvish language, the term was Gondothrim (containing the plural suffix -rim), appearing in Gondothrimbar, another name for Gondolin.[17]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin".
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin".
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §217
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", pp. 46-50
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 16", p. 141
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names".
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry "Gondothlim"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Alphabet of Rúmil & Early Noldorin Fragments", in Parma Eldalamberon XIII (edited by Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, and Bill Welden), p. 102
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "GOND"
Realm of Gondolin
Ondolindë · Hidden City · City of Seven Names
Outside locations Amon Gwared · Anghabar · Echoriad (Crissaegrim · Eithel Nínui · Fingolfin's cairn) · Seven Gates of Gondolin (Gate of Wood · Gate of Stone · Gate of Bronze · Gate of Writhen Iron · Gate of Silver · Gate of Gold · Gate of Steel) · Orfalch Echor · Tumladen
Inside locations Alley of Roses · Arch of Inwë · Caragdûr · Fountains of the South · Gar Ainion · Great Market · Lesser Market · Idril's secret way · Place of the Fountain · Place of the Well · Road of Arches · Road of Pomps · Tower of the King · Way of Running Waters
Objects Anguirel · Axe of Tuor · Crown of the Hidden Kingdom · Elfstone · Glamdring · Glingal and Belthil · Orcrist · Sting
Houses House of the King · House of the Wing · House of the Mole · House of the Swallow · House of the Heavenly Arch · House of the Pillar · House of the Tower of Snow · House of the Tree · House of the Golden Flower · House of the Fountain · House of the Harp · House of the Hammer of Wrath
People Aranwë · Aredhel · Dark Guard · Duilin · Eärendil · Ecthelion · Egalmoth · Elemmakil · Elenwë · Enerdhil · Eöl · Exiles of Gondolin · Galdor · Glorfindel · Huor · Húrin · Hendor · Idril · Legolas · Maeglin · Meleth · Pengolodh · Penlod · Rog · Salgant · Tuor · Turgon · Ulmo · Voronwë · Warden of the Great Gate
Events Fall of Gondolin · Gates of Summer · Nirnaeth Arnoediad · Ulmo's warning · Wanderings of Húrin
Main texts Lost Tale of The Fall of Gondolin (1916-20) · The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin (c. 1920) · Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin (1950) · Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin (1977) · The Fall of Gondolin (2018)
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)