House of the Swallow

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Swallow
Noble House
Rondador - House of the Swallow.png
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Swallow
AffiliationHouse of the Heavenly Arch
Physical Description
WeaponryBow and arrows
"And those of the Swallow and the Arch poured arrows like the dark rains of autumn."
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"

The house of the Swallow was one of the twelve houses of the Gondothlim, according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.


Their lord was Duilin. It was a house of archers, who wore a fan of feathers upon their helms, and they were arrayed in white and dark blue and in purple and black. Their emblem, which rested upon their shields, was that of an arrowhead. From this folk came the most numbered and best archers along with the folk of the Heavenly Arch, so they were positioned in the broad places of the walls.[1]:173

During the Fall of Gondolin, Gothmog gathered his armies in the northern gate and knocked it down. The folks of the Arch and the Swallow defended the walls in the northern part, pouring rains of arrows over the hosts of Orcs, helping the houses that fought below. As the enemy's attack grew, Duilin fell from the walls, smitten by a fiery bolt from outside of the city.[1]:176-178

When the gate was lost, many goblins held a great part of the walls, so many elves of both the Arch and the Swallow were thrust to their doom. Then 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 the coming enemies.[1]:179-180 Slowly the battle in that part of the city was lost and they retreated towards the Square of the Folkwell, where the guard of the Arch, the Swallow and others was scattered and gathered together, forming a good battalion. Led by Tuor, they marched to the Square of the King. There they met Egalmoth of the Heavenly Arch, who had been in the south walls with some of his men and of the Swallow, and later they had helped him to rescue captives and wandering men.[1]:182-183

Probably many of them survived as exiles, as while crossing Cristhorn, a man of this folk informed Tuor that Glorfindel was being attacked by a band of Orcs and a Balrog.[1]:193

Other names[edit]

They were known as Nos Duilin in Gnomish, and Nossë Tuilinda in Qenya.[2]

Another Gnomish name was Thlim Duilin, while a simple Qenya name was Tuilindor.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry "Duilin"
  3. 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)