House of the Heavenly Arch
|House of the Heavenly Arch|
|Other names||Folk of the Arch, of the Rainbow|
|Affiliation||House of the Swallow|
|Clothing||Many bright colors|
|Weaponry||Sword, bow and arrows|
The house of the Heavenly Arch 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.
History[edit | edit source]
Their leader was Egalmoth, and they were a folk of "unaccounted wealth"; they arrayed themselves in many bright colours, for the "heavenly arch" referred to a rainbow, and their weapons were set with jewels that flamed in the light over the sky. Their shields were the blue of the heavens, and the boss of each one contained an arrangement of seven individual gems: rubies, amethysts, sapphires, emeralds, chrysoprases, topazes, and amber. An opal of great size was set in each of their helms. They were skilled swordsmen, but they also had the best archers of the twelve houses, along with the folk of the Swallow, so they were positioned in the broad places along the walls of the city.:173
During the Fall of Gondolin, the balrog Gothmog gathered his armies at the northern gate and knocked it down. The folks of the Arch and the Swallow defended the northern walls, pouring rains of arrows over the hosts of Orcs, helping the houses that fought below.:176-7 When the northern gate was lost, goblins held a great part of the walls, so many elves of both folks were thrust to their doom. The House of the Fountain arrived to help, but a great gap was opened in the western wall, and bands of the Arch and the Swallow battled amid the wreck against oncoming enemies.:179-80 Slowly the battle in that part of the city was lost and the elves retreated towards the Square of the Folkwell, where the guard of the Arch, the Swallow and others gathered together, forming a good battalion. Led by Tuor, they marched to the Square of the King, where they met their lord Egalmoth. He had been in charge of the engines of the wall in the south part of the city, and when he saw they had to fight in the streets, he had taken some men of the Arch and of the Swallow and marched to the Square, rescuing captives and wandering troops on the way.:182-3
Other names[edit | edit source]
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary", p. 215
- 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. 104
|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)|