Tolkien Gateway

Salgant

Salgant
Gnome
Natalie Chen - Salgant.jpg
"Salgant" by Natalie Chen
Biographical Information
Other namesSalakanto (Q)
PositionChief of the House of the Harp
LocationGondolin
AffiliationHouse of the Mole
Family
HouseHouse of the Harp
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Salgant

Salgant was a Gnome-lord of Gondolin according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales.

[edit] History

Salgant was the chief of the House of the Harp, who bore the emblem of a golden harp upon a sable field. Unlike his brave folk, he was a craven that "fawned upon Meglin". He was said to be heavy and squat, being the only one of the Gondothlim to ride at battle.[1]:173[note 1] He used to visit many times a day the house of Tuor, loving the good wine and food he received there.[1]:191

When Melko's armies approached the city, he and Meglin alone convinced King Turgon to hold the city and guard the treasures, and though Meglin spoke he backed him up. In the beginning of the Fall of Gondolin, Meglin's plan was to attack Tuor's house, and ordered Salgant to delay Tuor and his folk of the Wing and take them into the deadliest of the battle. However, Salgant became frightened, rode home and "lay... aquake on his bed".[1]:175-177

As the battle went worse, Turgon ordered him to the Great Market to reinforce Glorfindel and the house of the Golden Flower. But in his treachery he concealed this to his folk, saying they had to garrison the Lesser Market, where he lived. There his men fretted, abandoning Salgant, and with their deeds in battle they could redeem the cowardice of their lord.[1]:182

It is suggested that he either perished by fire upon his bed or became a buffoon of Melko, "an ill fate for a noble of the good race of the Gnomes". It is said later that the young Eärendel mourned him, because he had "told him quaint tales or played drolleries with him at time".[1]:190-191

[edit] Etymology

The Gnomish name Salgant is not glossed, but in the later Noldorin it was changed to Talagand ("Harper").[2] The Qenya cognate was Salakanto.[3]

Notes

  1. This early Elven character is quite exceptional, no Elf is described again as heavy and squat.

References

  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 Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "ÑGAL-"
  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)