House of the Wing

From Tolkien Gateway
House of the Wing
Noble House
General Information
Other namesFolk of the Wing
Bodyguard of Tuor
RivalriesHouse of the Mole
MembersVoronwë, Hendor

Like a crush of tempest the guard of the Wing were amid the men of the Mole, and these were stricken asunder.

The house of the Wing 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 from The Book of Lost Tales.


When Tuor came to Gondolin, he introduced himself as a member of the house of the Swan (referring to a group of the Men of the North).[1]:160 He was accepted and loved by the Gondothlim, and lived there for many years. When his wife Idril, daughter of King Turgon, felt that the city's ruin was near, she asked him to gather the most trustful among the Gondothlim and tell them about the secret way she had constructed. She would also ask her father to allow Tuor to have his own folk and become a proper lord.[1]:171

Idril's request was granted, "and the folk of the Wing was accounted the twelfth", in addition to the eleven extant houses of the Gondothlim.[1]:174 They wore wings of swans or gulls upon their helms, and Tuor's emblem of the White Wing was upon their shields. Its people were the stoutest folk of Gondolin,[1]:172 and apparently was one of the smaller houses, for those from the house of the Mole outnumbered them when they came to arms during the Fall of Gondolin.[1]:178

When the siege of the city began, the first attack of the enemy was against the northern gate, so the treacherous Meglin led his folk of the Mole to Tuor's house in the southern part. Tuor and his soldiers reached the house, where Meglin was trying to kill Eärendel, but both folks crashed together. Meglin was killed by Tuor, and the folk of the Wing rallied behind their lord against the folk of the Mole, scattering them despite being less in number. Then Tuor left Voronwë and some of his troops with Idril and took the rest to the battle in the north Gate.[1]:177-8

They joined the fight shortly after Ecthelion and his folk of the Fountain did, battling by their side. Their charge made the Orcs retreat almost back to the fallen gate, but suddenly the walls of that part of the city were cast down by dragons from outside. Iron Dragons came in, and a creature of fire with Balrogs upon it. Tuor stood against the beast, gathering his guard, and all of the Arch and the Swallow he could find. He and Ecthelion killed many Balrogs and Orc captains, but Ecthelion was wounded, so Tuor retreated, carrying him to the Square of the Folkwell. In that Square the guard of the Wing and other houses where scattered and regrouped to form a good battalion. Led by Tuor, all of them marched to the Square of the King to join the remnants of other houses.[1]:180-2

After the king ordered the Gondothlim to leave the city, Tuor and all who followed him went to his house to join the exiles and escape through Idril's secret way. There Tuor found Voronwë and knew that Idril had sent Eärendel ahead with most of her guard.[1]:187 Crossing the secret tunnel and most of Tumladin, Tuor finally saw the rest of his men, including Hendor, who carried his son Eärendel in his back. But these men around Eärendel were being chased and slain by Orcs, so Tuor shouted to them to stand, and ran to save them.[1]:190 Nothing more is told of the folk of the Wing, whose survivors had the same destiny as the other exiles of Gondolin.


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)