House of the Harp

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Harp
Noble House
General Information
Other namesHost of the Harp
AffiliationHouse of the Mole
Fall of Gondolin
Physical Description
ClothingSilver and gold tassels

On these men of the Harp unbidden fell with great eagerness and utterly redeemed the cravenhood of their lord.

The house of the Harp 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.


The house was led by Salgant, and its people were brave warriors. Their garments were adorned with tassels of silver and gold, and a harp of silver shone in their blazonry upon a field of black, though Salgant himself bore one of gold.[1]:173

Salgant was allied with Meglin, leader of the house of the Mole, who had betrayed Gondolin to Melko. When the fall of the city began, Meglin gave Salgant the task of delaying Tuor and the house of the Wing, while he assaulted Tuor's home. However, a terrified Salgant rode from battle, and his folk did not help the house of the Mole as planned.[1]:177

Later in the battle, there was a terrible fight in the Great Market in the eastern part of the city; Orcs, under the leadership of Balrogs, fought against the house of the Golden Flower, led by Glorfindel. Knowing this by messengers, King Turgon sent the house of the Harp to their aid, but Salgant concealed this information from his house and sent them to the Lesser Market in the southern part of the city, where he lived. They fretted about, and broke from their lord to come before the king's hall, right in the moment that Glorfindel and his folk were chased by a press of foemen. There they redeemed the treason of their lord, as with their wrath they drove the enemy back into the market. But they were leaderless, and many of them were trapped, burned to death or poisoned by the breath of a dragon.[1]:182-3

Other names

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

In a later prose fragment, the Noldorin name Tumglin is given to a "folk of the Harp", but this is a Mannish house unrelated with Gondolin.[3]


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)