From Tolkien Gateway
"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
This article or section needs more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard and to provide proof for claims made.
"Eärendil Searches Tirion" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
Other namesTirion upon Túna, Tirion the Fair
LocationAman; in Calacirya, on the hill of Túna
DescriptionWhite houses and walls
People and History
InhabitantsNoldor, previously also the Vanyar
CreatedFrom Y.T. 1133[1] to Y.T. 1140[2]
GalleryImages of Tirion

Upon the crown of Túna the city of the Elves was built, the white walls and terraces of Tirion.

Tirion was the city of the Eldar in Eldamar. It was here that Ingwë and later Finwë ruled.


The green hill of Túna was located in the steep-walled valley of Calacirya ("The Cleft of Light" in Quenya), the only pass through the mountains of the Pelóri. Upon the crown of the hill the Elves raised their largest settlement west of the sea, Tirion.[3]

The walls and terraces were white, and the sand in the streets was said to be of grains of diamond, and white crystal stairs climbed from the fertile land beneath to the great gates.

The centre of the city was dominated by the High King of all Elves Ingwë's tower Mindon Eldaliéva, whose silver lantern shone far out to sea. Beneath the tower was the house of Finwë, first King of the Noldor. Here also was the Great Square, where the white tree Galathilion flourished, and later the site of Fëanor's infamous Oath.[4]


When the city was built, it was occupied by both the Vanyar and the Noldor, and was ruled by Ingwë. When most of the Vanyar resettled to the base of Mount Taniquetil, the rule of Tirion was given to Finwë. Many years of bliss followed, until Tirion was shaken by the King's eldest son, Fëanor who was banished from Tirion, and was exiled (with many Noldor) to Formenos.[3]

After the murder of his father at the hands of the dark Lord Morgoth and the theft of his most precious gems, the Silmarils, Fëanor assembled the Noldor at the Great Square. There he urged them to go back to Middle-earth to avenge their king and reclaim the Silmarils, and to see that their lives in Tirion were simply a prison brought upon them by the Valar. In the end only a tenth of the population remained in Tirion when Fëanor and his people departed, though some followed their new king only reluctantly, and some would soon abandon Fëanor and follow Finarfin back to Tirion.

Ted Nasmith - Eärendil Searches Tirion

Nearly 600 years later, when all the elven kingdoms in Beleriand were in ruins, the half-elf Eärendil sailed into the West in search of Valinor to ask for the assistance of the Valar in the war against Morgoth. Eärendil arrived in Tirion on a day of festival when the city was all but empty, and only when he had turned his back on the city and began to return was he approached by a herald of the Valar. His coming led to the War of Wrath and the end of the First Age.

More than 3,000 years followed before Tirion was for the first time seen by mortal eyes. Soldiers of the king of Númenor, deceived by Sauron, landed in on the shores of Eldamar and camped around Túna, which the fleeing elves emptied. When the men of Númenor were buried under falling hills, Tirion, along with all the Undying Lands, was taken out of mortal reach forever.


In Quenya, tirion means "watch-tower, tower", deriving from root TIR.[5]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early legendarium of the Book of Lost Tales, the city was called Kortirion.

In other stories

Tirion is referenced in Tolkien's Roverandom. In the story, written down in 1927, the great whale Uin takes the enchanted dog Roverandom (formerly known as Rover) on adventures through the seas: Uin takes Roverandom through the Shadowy Seas to the Bay of Fairyland beyond the Magic Isles where Rover saw the Mountains of Elvenhome and the light of Faery. Roverandom thought he could see the white glint of a city of Elves on a green hill far away in the distance.[6]