Tol-in-Gaurhoth

From Tolkien Gateway
Tol-in-Gaurhoth
Island fortress
"On the bridge of woe, in mantle wrapped at dead of night, she sat and sang" by Alan Lee
General Information
Other namesIsle of Werewolves
Wizard's Isle
Gaurhoth Isle
Sauron's Isle[1]
Formerly known as "Tol Sirion"
LocationUpper Sirion
TypeIsland fortress
People and History
InhabitantsSauron, Draugluin, Werewolves, Thuringwethil
CreatedF.A. 457
DestroyedF.A. 465
GalleryImages of Tol-in-Gaurhoth

Tol-in-Gaurhoth or Isle of Werewolves, also called Wizard's Isle[2] was a fortress held by Sauron in the First Age, once called Tol Sirion.

History

Tol-in-Gaurhoth began as Minas Tirith, constructed by Finrod Felagund, and was held by Orodreth for his uncle to guard the vale of Sirion. However, Orodreth was powerless to stop Sauron from taking the isle, and fled south. Sauron began breeding large wolves in the isle, and, by sending evil spirits into the fell beasts, turned them into werewolves.

Ten years later during the Quest for the Silmaril, Beren Erchamion, seeking the Silmaril, enlisted Finrod's aid, but the two of them and their group were captured while passing the isle. Sauron defeated Finrod in a contest of spells and songs, and their companions were slain one-by-one by werewolves. Finrod saved Beren's life by killing the werewolf that came for him, but in doing so, he died himself.

Lúthien and Huan, Hound of Valinor, came to Beren's rescue, and Huan killed the wolves sent against him. After Draugluin was killed, Sauron went out in wolf-form but was defeated. Lúthien gained control over the isle from Sauron, who fled, and, after releasing those who had been captive there under Sauron, she reduced Minas Tirith to ruins. Finrod was buried there by Beren and Lúthien.[3] The isle remained clean afterwards, but after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad it was retaken by Morgoth and its towers rebuilt.[4]

Etymology

Tol-in-Gaurhoth is Sindarin for "Isle of Werewolves", from tol ("isle") + plural i (definite article) + gaur ("werewolf") + hoth ("host").[5] It is also mentioned simply as "Gaurhoth Isle".[6]

Other versions of the legendarium

According to the early version of the legendarium within The Book of Lost Tales, the predecessor of Tol-in-Gaurhoth was known as the halls of Tevildo, a castle on a hilltop that was not terribly distant from Angamandi. These halls were said to harbour a few mice, fierce and large as rats, that Tevildo had allowed to dwell in dark holes for his own personal amusement.[7]:16 During the Quest for the Silmaril, Beren was captured by Melko and was sent to work as a thrall within Tevildo's kitchens, where he was made a scullion[7]:16-7 under the watch of Miaulë, Tevildo's cook.[7]:28 The castle entrance was guarded by the old Doorcat, Umuiyan, Tevildo's doorkeeper.[7]:23-5 Once Tevildo was defeated by Huan, Tinúviel used his magical collar and spells to shake the castle, liberating the prisoners and turning Tevildo's servants into normal cats.[7]:29

References