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Daniel Govar - Ancalagon the Black.jpg
Biographical Information
TitlesThe Black
Appearedc. F.A. 545
The War of Wrath
Deathc. F.A. 587
Slain byEärendil
Physical Description

Ancalagon the Black (S, pron. [aŋˈkalaɡon]) was the greatest Dragon of Middle-earth.



During the War of Wrath, the Valar waged their final war on Morgoth. Their victory was at hand, with most of the Dark Lord's Balrogs and other troops destroyed. But then, Morgoth unleashed the winged dragons, with Ancalagon at their van. Ancalagon drove back the forces of the Valar, but was stopped by Eärendil. Ancalagon was no match for the mariner, who sailed through the skies in the ship Vingilot, with the Silmaril upon its brow. Ancalagon was cast down and fell atop Thangorodrim, breaking its mighty towers. With him fell most other dragons.[1] Up until the late Third Age, Ancalagon was considered the mightiest of all dragons, though not even he could make the One Ring melt.[2]


Ancalagon is a Sindarin name, from anc[3] and alag[4] plus the name ending -on. Its meaning is "Rushing Jaws" or "Biting-storm".[5][3]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Ancalagon is referred as Anddraca "Enemy-dragon".[6]

In popular culture

Two animals are named after Ancalagon: Ancalagon, a Cambrian priapulid by Simon Conway Morris in 1977, and Ankalagon by Leigh Van Valen in 1980, a Paleocene mesonychid mammal.[7]

See Also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies",Root ÁNAK and NAK
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", Root ALAK
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names"
  7. Chris Isaak, "Names from Fictional Characters", Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature

Named Dragons
Glaurung · Ancalagon · Scatha · Smaug