House of the Fountain

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Fountain
Noble House
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Fountain
People of the Fountain of the South
Fall of Gondolin
Physical Description
WeaponryBright and pale longswords

Now marched these folk to a great playing of their flutes, and the crystal and silver of their array was most lovely to see amid the red light of the fires and the blackness of the ruins.

The house of the Fountain was one of the twelve houses of the Gondothlim, the kindreds of the elven city of Gondolin. Their story is recounted in the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.


Their lord was Ecthelion of the Fountain, and they lived in the southern part of the city, near the Fountains of the South.[1]:181 They were said to find delight in silver and diamonds, and their swords were long, bright, and pale. They went into battle accompanied by the sweet music of their flutes.[1]:173

During the Fall of Gondolin, they were held in reserve by King Turgon, who watched the battle from his tower. After the Balrogs made a breach in the wall and other houses had been defeated near the northern gate, the enemy sent messengers to its troops, informing them to hold what they had won. Then a sweet music sounded amid the host of the Gondothlim, as the people of the Fountain came to battle playing their flutes, led by their lord. The music ceased suddenly and the army attacked at the shout of Ecthelion.[1]:180

'Tis said that Ecthelion's folk there slew more of the goblins than fell ever in all the battles of the Eldalië with that race, and that his name is a terror among them to this latest day, and a warcry to the Eldar.

Tuor and the house of the Wing joined the fight alongside them, and they harried the attacking Orcs until they almost reached the gate. However, some dragons opened a path from Amon Gwareth and knocked down walls and ward-towers, opening a gap in the walls of that part of the city. Tuor gathered bands of other houses to fight against the oncoming enemies, while on his right Ecthelion rallied his people. Tuor and Ecthelion killed many Balrogs and Orc captains, but the enemy outnumbered them; Ecthelion was injured and they had to retreat.[1]:180-1

Tuor carried Ecthelion to the Square of the Folkwell, where the guard of the Fountain and other houses were scattered, forming a good battalion. They were led by Tuor to the Square of the King, and there they resisted with the remnants of all the other kindreds (except of the Hammer of Wrath, who had been cut down in a charge outside the city).[1]:182 After Ecthelion died defeating the balrog Gothmog at the Fountain of the King, there is no mention of what happened to his house, who either were dispersed or joined the exiles.

Other names

Their Gnomish name was Thlim Ecthel, while in Qenya they were simply known as Kapalindar.[2]


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)