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Biographical Information
LocationNevrast; Gondolin; Havens of Sirion; Lindon; Tol Eressëa
LanguageQuenya, Sindarin, Khuzdul?
Birthearly First Age
ParentageNoldorin lord and a Sindarin lady
Physical Description

Pengolodh was a Loremaster of the Noldor in Gondolin.


[edit] History

Pengolodh was an Elf, born in Nevrast to a Noldorin lord and a Sindarin lady; when Turgon built his Hidden City in Tumladen, he moved with his people there. As a member of the Lambengolmor, he was known as the "Sage of the Noldor", and counted as the greatest Loremaster since Fëanor and Rúmil.[1]

Pengolodh escaped the sack of the city with Tuor and Idril, and followed them to the Havens of Sirion.[1] The Annals of Beleriand are attributed to him, as well as the edited Annals of Aman (furthering the work of Rúmil).

It was during his stay at the Mouths of Sirion that Pengolodh did the majority of his work. Basing on information obtained from the refugees of Doriath, he made copies and extracts of documents written in Cirth,[1] possibly preserving them as an active writing system; possibly he must have stayed in Lindon for at least a while after the War of Wrath, so that the Dúnedain could copy his work.

Later, in the Second Age, he dwelt in the Kingdom of Ereinion Gil-galad. Pengolodh was one of the few Elves admitted into Khazad-dûm,[1] where he might have learned Khuzdul.[note 1] It was during the War of the Elves and Sauron and after the fall of Eregion when Pengolodh left Middle-earth for Tol Eressëa, last of the Loremasters to leave Middle-earth.[1]

Ages later, he accepted Ælfwine the traveler and taught him about the Elves and the Elder Days. Some of their discussions were recorded as Dangweth Pengoloð.

[edit] Etymology

The Sindarin name Pengolodh is glossed as "'teaching sage', doctor of lore".[2] The Quenya version of his name was Quendingoldo or Quengoldo.[3][4]

Pengolodh consists of the words pen and golodh.[source?]

Pengolodh also appears spelled Pengolod, Pengoloð,[2] Pengoloth, and Pengoloþ — the ending in all cases representing the voiced same sound.[source?]

[edit] Other Versions of the Legendarium

Pengolodh does not appear in any of the canon works of Middle-earth, but in The History of Middle-earth he is given as the author of many works, including the Annals of Beleriand, a work which was developed by Tolkien at the same time as The Silmarillion, and from which Christopher Tolkien drew much information to establish the published Silmarillion. Various late essays by Tolkien dealing with linguistics are presented as being the work of Pengolodh, including the remarkable work Quendi and Eldar.

Because of Pengolodh's nature as a literary device, he does not appear actively as a protagonist in any of the stories. All information about his life come from biographical notes written by Tolkien.

Early Tolkien texts stated that, after removing to Tol Eressëa, Pengolodh lived in a village called Tavrobel (or Tathrobel). Centuries later Ælfwine spoke with him there. The figure of Gilfanon, which fulfilled a similar role as a chronicler of the annals of Beleriand in earlier works, probably became this character as well in Tolkien's mind.[5]


  1. The essay "Quendi and Eldar" never explicitly mentions that Pengolodh was taught Khuzdul, but in a different account of his life it is stated that he learned Khuzdul "in its archaic form as used in the habitations of the Dwarves in Ered Lindon" (J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, p. 6 (Note 3)).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 396-7
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 139
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, pp. 401, 404-5
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005, pp. 5, 14
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Appendix"