The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin

From Tolkien Gateway

The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin is a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien, partially included in the chapter "Poems Early Abandoned" in The Lays of Beleriand. It was written and left unfinished during his time at the University of Leeds, and Christopher Tolkien suspects that it was the first attempt of versification of the matter from the Lost Tales, before he turned to the alliterative verse, so it was probably started around 1920. The poem does not add anything to the Tale of the Fall of Gondolin, so Christopher only gives a few verses, keeping the whole poem unpublished.[1]:145

Analysis[edit | edit source]

It seems that this poem was not conceived on a large scale, as the enemy appears already within 130 lines.[1]:144-145 Here Tuor's father is called Fengel, while in the Lost Tale was Peleg. Like in other alliterated poems (cf. The Lay of the Children of Húrin), Fingolfin has become the father of Turgon and Isfin (Aredhel), but here Finwë is called Gelmir.[1]:146-147

Comparative example[edit | edit source]

Rejoice that ye have found it, for behold before you the City of Seven Names where all who war with Melko may find hope.' Then said Tuor: 'What be those names?' And the chief of the Guard made answer: 'Tis said and 'tis sung: "Gondobar am I called and Gondothlimbar, City of Stone and City of the Dwellers in Stone (...)
The Book of Lost Tales 2, "The Fall of Gondolin", p. 158

Rejoice that ye have found it and rest from endless war,
For the seven-naméd city 'tis that stands upon the hill,
Where all who strive with Morgoth find hope and valour still.'
'What be those names,' said Tuor, 'for I come from long afar?'
'’Tis said and ’tis sung,' one answered, '"My name is Gondobar
and Gondothlimbar also, the City hewn of Stone,
The fortress of the Gnome-folk who dwell in Halls of Stone (...)

—The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin

See also[edit | edit source]