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Natalie Chen - Pengolodh in Arvernien.jpg
"Pengolodh in Arvernien" by Natalie Chen
Biographical Information
Other namesQuendingoldo/Quengoldo Q
LocationNevrast; Gondolin; Havens of Sirion; Lindon; Tol Eressëa
LanguageQuenya, Sindarin, Khuzdul?
Birthearly Years of the Sun[note 1]
ParentageNoldorin lord and a Sindarin lady
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Pengolodh

Pengolodh was a Loremaster of the Noldor in Gondolin.

History[edit | edit source]

Pengolodh was an Elf, born in Nevrast to a Sindarin and a Noldorin parent; when Turgon built his Hidden City in Tumladen, he moved with his people there. As a member of the Lambengolmor, he was known as the "Sage of the Noldor", and counted as the greatest Loremaster since Fëanor and Rúmil.[1]

Pengolodh escaped the Fall of Gondolin with Tuor and Idril, and followed them to the Havens of Sirion.[1] The Annals of Beleriand are attributed to him, as well as the edited Annals of Valinor (furthering the work of Rúmil).

It was during his stay at the Mouths of Sirion that Pengolodh did the majority of his work. Basing on information obtained from the refugees of Doriath, he made copies and extracts of documents written in Cirth,[1] possibly preserving them as an active writing system; possibly he must have stayed in Lindon for at least a while after the War of Wrath, so that the Dúnedain could copy his work.

Later, in the Second Age, he dwelt in the Kingdom of Ereinion Gil-galad. Pengolodh was one of the few Elves admitted into Khazad-dûm,[1] where he might have learned Khuzdul.[note 2]

Unlike the early loremasters who did not give much importance to hwermë, it is said that Pengolodh collected much material concerning gesture-systems.[2]

It was during the War of the Elves and Sauron and after the fall of Eregion when Pengolodh left Middle-earth for Tol Eressëa, last of the Loremasters to leave Middle-earth.[1]

Ages later, he accepted Ælfwine the traveler and taught him about the Elves and the Elder Days. Some of their discussions were recorded as Dangweth Pengoloð.

Works[edit | edit source]

There are many Elvish texts of unknown author that could be attributed to Pengolodh, but here are listed only those explicitly written by him. It is also unknown how many of his works were included in the Translations from the Elvish.

First written by Rúmil:

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The Sindarin name Pengolodh is glossed as "'teaching sage', doctor of lore",[3] consisting of the words pen ("somebody") and golodh ("lore-master, sage").[4] The Quenya version of his name was Quendingoldo or Quengoldo.[5][6]

Pengolodh also appears spelled Pengolod, Pengoloð,[3] Pengoloth, and Pengoloþ.

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

Pengolodh does not appear in any of the canon narratives of Middle-earth, but is mentioned in texts published in The History of Middle-earth; he is given as the fictional author of many works, including the Annals of Beleriand, a work which was developed by Tolkien at the same time as The Silmarillion, and from which Christopher Tolkien drew much information to establish the published Silmarillion. Various late essays by Tolkien dealing with linguistics are presented as being the work of Pengolodh, including the remarkable work Quendi and Eldar.

Because of Pengolodh's nature as a literary device, he does not appear actively as a protagonist in any of the stories. All information about his life come from biographical notes written by Tolkien.

Early Tolkien texts stated that, after removing to Tol Eressëa, Pengolodh lived in a village called Tavrobel (or Tathrobel). Centuries later Ælfwine spoke with him there. The figure of Gilfanon, which fulfilled a similar role as a chronicler of the annals of Beleriand in earlier works, probably became this character as well in Tolkien's mind.[7]

Possible erasure from the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In the late 1950s Tolkien apparently decided that the Legendarium is not Elvish, but a Mannish tradition.[8] Dawn M. Walls-Thumma notes that after that point, Pengolodh's name fails to be mentioned by Tolkien in the later works and revisions; for example the Grey Annals are attributed to Sindarin and Noldorin sources but Pengolodh is not mentioned; Pengolodh was mentioned in the first draft of The Annals of Aman, along with Quennar and Rúmil, but in the second draft only Rúmil remains; Pengolodh's name is also removed in a revision of The Tale of Years and while Pengolodh was attributed in the First Phase of The Later Quenta Silmarillion, his name is removed from the Second Phase. Walls-Thumma however notes that the texts are still Elf-focused and they still include elements that wouldn't be known by Rúmil alone.[9]

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. Nevrast was abandoned by the Noldor in F.A. 116, so Pengolodh must have been born between the migration of the Noldor, and that year.
  2. The essay "Quendi and Eldar" never explicitly mentions that Pengolodh was taught Khuzdul, but in a different account of his life it is stated that he learned Khuzdul "in its archaic form as used in the habitations of the Dwarves in Ered Lindon" (J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, p. 6 (Note 3)).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 396-7
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language'", pp. 395, 397
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 139
  4. Paul Strack, "S. Pengolodh n.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 23 December 2019)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, pp. 401, 404-5
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, pp. 5, 14
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Appendix"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", "[Text] I"
  9. Dawn M. Walls-Thumma, "Character Biography: Pengolodh", Silmarillion Writers' Guild (accessed 8 July 2023)