House of the Mole

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Mole
Noble House
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Mole
House of the Harp
RivalriesHouse of the Wing
Fall of Gondolin
Physical Description
ClothingRound caps of steel covered by moleskins and polished accoutrements that gleamed with a ruddy glow
WeaponryTwo-headed axes

He found a press of the Mole-folk about his door, and these were the grimmest and least good-hearted of folk that Meglin might get in that city.

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


The house was founded and led by Meglin. They bore polished accoutrements that gleamed with a ruddy glow, yet without any emblem or design. Their round caps of steel were covered with moleskin. Most of its folk were quarrymen and ore delvers. In battle they wielded two-headed axes, like mattocks.[1]:165,172

Their lord Meglin had previously betrayed King Turgon and Gondolin, allying with Melko. He knew of Idril's secret way and thought it led to the Way of Escape, so before the battle he sent in secret some of his house to Melko, with instruction to set a guard about the outer side of that Way.[1]:177

When armies arrived at the northern gate and the Fall of Gondolin began, Meglin led his folk to Tuor's house in the south of the city. There he tried to kill Eärendel, but Tuor soon arrived with his folk of the Wing. However, a press of the Mole-folk was in front of the house, and these were the grimmest Noldoli that Meglin could get, doing nothing to stop their lord's treachery. Then the folk of the Wing attacked and the folk of the Mole were stricken asunder, so Tuor ran upon Meglin and killed him. Loyal to their lord, those from the House of the Mole turned upon his killer, but though they were numerous, they could not stand against the folk of the Wing and Tuor's wrath. The fight ended when all of them were "smitten and driven to fly into what dark holes they might, or flung from the walls".[1]:177-8

Other names

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

Other versions of the legendarium

In the later version of the Quenta Noldorinwa, there are only a few glimpses of Meglin's folk: It is told that he and "his secret following" were not happy with Eärendel's birth, that he was the master of the Gnomes who mined far from Gondolin, and that he went with few of his folk beyond the leaguer of the mountains.[3] Notice that this was the text used by Christopher Tolkien for the twenty-third chapter of his edition of The Silmarillion.


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)