Twelve houses of the Gondothlim
- "This was the fashion and the array of the eleven houses of the Gondothlim with their signs and emblems, and the bodyguard of Tuor, the folk of the Wing, was accounted the twelve..."
- ― The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"
The twelve houses of the Gondothlim were the kindreds of Gondolin, according to the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales. Their lords and deeds are described in the "The Fall of Gondolin" in great detail.
When the Gondothlim knew that Melko's armies were approaching Gondolin, all the folks and lords were reunited coming from all parts of the city. Here are named in the order they came when King Turgon called them to council::172-4
|Emblem||House||Leader||Symbols and atributes|
|House of the King||Turgon||Moon, Sun, Scarlet Heart|
|House of the Wing||Tuor||White wing|
|House of the Mole||Meglin||(No emblem), moleskin|
|House of the Swallow||Duilin||Arrowhead, fan of feathers|
|House of the Heavenly Arch||Egalmoth||Rainbow, opal, jewelled boss|
|House of the Pillar||Penlod||A pillar|
|House of the Tower of Snow||Penlod||A tower|
|House of the Tree||Galdor||Tree, iron-studded club, slings|
|House of the Golden Flower||Glorfindel||Rayed sun, golden flower (celandine)|
|House of the Fountain||Ecthelion||Fountain, silver, diamonds, flute|
|House of the Harp||Salgant||Silver harp, tassels of silver and gold|
|House of the Hammer of Wrath||Rog||Stricken anvil, red gold and black iron, maces|
During the council, nearly all the lords agreed with Tuor that the Gondothlim should leave the city before the siege began, but Turgon was convinced by Meglin and Salgant to stay and fight in the city that they loved. Thus, all the houses prepared to battle.:175-6
When the Fall of Gondolin began, all of them suffered great losses or were completely destroyed, except the House of the King, who remained in the palace to protect the King.:183 First, the folk of the Mole were scattered after they attacked the folk of the Wing and Meglin was killed by Tuor. Later, after the northern gate was lost, Duilin was killed, but the house of the Swallow kept fighting without their lord. Soon the folk of the Hammer and their lord Rog were butchered outside the walls; Penlod suffered the next attack, so he was killed and both of his houses lost many men.:178-9 Meanwhile, the host of the Harp abandoned their treacherous lord Salgant and went to save the folk of the Golden Flower, being mostly destroyed in the Great Market.:182-3
Thereafter the survivors of all kindreds were reunited in the Square of the Palace, save those of the Hammer of Wrath alone. In that square, Ecthelion and Gothmog slew each other. There also King Turgon proclaimed the fall of Gondolin and ordered the survivors to follow Tuor, but his royal folk stayed with him.:183-4 Later he and his house were killed when the Tower of the King fell.:187 After the exiles of Gondolin escaped, Glorfindel died saving them from a Balrog.:194
Thus, apart from Tuor, the only lords who survived the Fall of Gondolin were Egalmoth and Galdor. Egalmoth was later killed in a battle at the Mouths of Sirion, but Galdor would reach Tol Eressëa and even keep some followers.
Other versions of the legendarium
Tolkien never wrote again about the houses of Gondolin in later texts, because his writings never include details about the city. The only exception is in the Quenta Noldorinwa, where there is a simple mention of "the chieftains of the noble houses and their warriors" (notice that this is the text used in the twenty-third chapter of the published Silmarillion).
Christopher Tolkien explains that the idea would have re-emerged if his father had finished Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin: in the description of the Seven Gates, there are seven groups of guards, each one with rich 'heraldic' descriptions. But Tolkien did not finish the tale, so beyond the Lost Tales the only vestiges are the titles Ecthelion 'of the Fountain' and Glorfindel 'chief of the House of the Golden Flower of Gondolin'. They are the only captains of Turgon mentioned in the published Silmarillion, but there are also later texts of the legendarium that include individual mentions to Rog and Egalmoth.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary", Entries in the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin, p. 215
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: §16 in the Q II version", p. 144
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", pp. 46-50
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary", p. 211
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: III. Maeglin", p. 318
|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)|