Minstrel of Gondor

From Tolkien Gateway
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Minstrel of Gondor
The Minstrel of Gondor in The Return of the King (1980 film)
Biographical Information
LocationField of Cormallen, North Ithilien
LanguageWestron and one of the elven-tongues
Notable forComposed a lay "of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom"
Physical Description

Praise them with great praise!

The minstrel of Gondor was an unnamed Man of Gondor who sang an epic lay "of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom".[1]


On the Field of Cormallen, after Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee find out that the king is none other than Strider, a minstrel of Gondor keels and begs the king for his permission to sing. Before waiting for Aragorn's leave, the minstrel addressed the fair people of Gondor, the Riders of Rohan, the sons of Elrond, the Dúnedain of the North, the Elf and the Dwarf, the greathearts of the Shire, and the rest of the Free peoples that were present. He then announced that his lay was about the quest "of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom".[1]

To this, Samwise Gamgee stood up, laughed, and said that all his wishes had just come true. He wept immediately after he said this.[1]

As the rest of the listeners either laughed or wept, the minstrel's clear voice was said to rise as compared to silver and gold. At that moment, the minstrel began to sing in one of the elven-tongues, switching between that and Westron, until the hearts of the listeners overflowed with joy at the sweet words and they were weeping again.[1]

The minstrel's lay lasted almost that entire day, and he concluded it just as the evening began. After praising the Hobbits, the minstrel of Gondor sat back down.[1]

Portrayal in adaptations

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

The minstrel of Gondor is here referred to as simply just The Minstrel and he is voiced by Glenn Yarbrough. In the film, the minstrel has a much larger role than he does in the book. He appears as the film's framing device as entertainment at Bilbo Baggins' 129th birthday party in Rivendell, and relates the tale of Frodo's quest to destroy Bilbo's old golden ring, singing various songs in the process.