Tolkien Gateway

The Fall of Gil-galad

The name The Fall refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Fall (disambiguation).
"Gil-galad was an Elven-king. Of him the harpers sadly sing: the last whose realm was fair and free between the Mountains and the Sea."
― The Fall of Gil-galad, spoken by Samwise Gamgee[1]

The Fall of Gil-galad is the lay that tells of the loss of Ereinion Gil-galad, the last Great Elf-king of Middle-earth and the last High King of the Eldar, in the Siege of Barad-dûr at the end of the War of the Last Alliance.

Contents

[edit] Song

Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing;
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen.
His shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven's field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.

[edit] History

According to Aragorn, it was originally written in an ancient tongue. It was Bilbo Baggins who later translated it into the Common Tongue, and taught it to Samwise Gamgee in his youth. It seems to be a long poem, telling the story of the War of the Last Alliance, at least to the point where Gil-galad aided in the overthrow of Sauron, and was himself slain.

Sam narrated the three introductory stanzas while approaching Weathertop. Aragorn and Frodo knew more of the text.[1]

[edit] Portrayal in Adaptations

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Sam sang the song during his trip to Rivendell.

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"