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Thingol

"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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Kimberly - Nauglamir Thingol.jpg
Thingol
Sinda
Biographical Information
Other namesElwë (Q), Elu (S);
Singollo (Q),
"King Greymantle";
"The Hidden King"
TitlesKing of Doriath,
"Lord of Beleriand"
LocationDoriath
LanguageDoriathrin (Sindarin dialect)
Birthbetween Y.T. 1050 and 1102
Cuiviénen
RuleY.T. 1152 - F.A. 502 (3,836 years)
DeathF.A. 502[note 1] (aged between 4,813 and 4,315 years)
Menegroth
Family
SiblingsOlwë, possibly Elmo[1]
SpouseMelian
ChildrenLúthien; fostered Túrin
Physical Description
GenderMale
HeightTallest of the Children of Ilúvatar[2]
Hair colorSilver[2]
WeaponryAranrúth
GalleryImages of Thingol

Thingol ([ˈθiŋɡol]), also known as Elu (S, pron. [ˈelu]), was the King of Doriath and a High King of the Sindar. Known as Elwë during the first years of the Eldar, he was the older brother of Olwë and Elmo.[note 2] He was also a good friend of Finwë, King of the Noldor. His hair was silver and he was the tallest of all Elves and Men.[2] As the de facto "Lord of Beleriand", Thingol would become a central figure of the First Age, instigating the Quest for the Silmaril, the greatest victory of the Age, but ultimately the cause of his own doom.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Ambassador of the Valar

Thingol was born at Cuiviénen[note 3] in the days before the Sun and the Moon, when Middle-earth was lit only by starlight.

After the Chaining of Melkor, the Vala Oromë took three Elves, Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë, to Valinor to convince the Elves to join the Valar in the Blessed Realm. Upon their return, the Elven ambassadors convinced many to join them on the Great Journey to the West. During the thousand mile journey, the Elven host separated into three groups, the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri.[3]

The Teleri, led by Elwë and his brother Olwë, were the largest and the slowest group, and were the last to reach the western shores of Middle-earth. The Noldorin Elves had already left for Valinor, and the Teleri were forced to wait for a time in Middle-earth.

Elena Kukanova - Nan Elmoth - Elwe and Melian

During this time Elwë wandered into the Forest of Nan Elmoth, where he met and fell in love with Melian the Maia. Caught in an enchantment of their own making, Elwë and Melian could not be found by the searching Teleri. When the Valar returned to take the remaining Elves to Valinor, only some of them followed Olwë across the Great Sea. The rest had come to love the lands of Beleriand and refused to leave without their missing lord.[4]

[edit] King of Doriath

Thingol's device by Tolkien
Over two hundred years passed before Elwë appeared again with his bride Melian. He gathered his people together and founded the Kingdom of Doriath. His subjects would become the Sindar, or the "Grey Elves", and their language was Sindarin. From then on Elwë was known as King Elu Thingol, and he claimed lordship over all the lands in Beleriand. While Thingol was King of the Grey Elves, who never saw the light of the Two Trees, as an Ambassador of the Valar he was counted as a High Elf, and equal to any lord of the Eldar.[5][2]

On Melian's advice, Thingol became an ally of the Dwarves of Belegost, who carved the caverns of Menegroth for him. In payment he gave them, along with many other things, the great pearl Nimphelos.[5]

A thousand years before the first rising of the Sun and the Moon the Green-elves entered Beleriand under Denethor. Thingol welcomed them and gave them the lands of Ossiriand, which they named Lindon. The Green Elves told of the spread of the Orcs and other foul creatures in the north and east of Middle-earth. The Grey Elves began arming themselves.[5]

Centuries later Melkor returned to Middle-earth. Now named Morgoth, he had destroyed the Two Trees, killed Finwë, the King of the Noldor, and stolen the fabled Silmarils. Seeking to claim dominion quickly, he launched a sudden assault on the lands of the Sindar. The First Battle of Beleriand went well for Thingol, who prevented any Orcs from invading Doriath, but the Green Elves took horrific losses and the Falathrim were besieged.[5]

The Falathrim were finally saved by the unexpected arrival of the Noldor, who launched the Dagor-nuin-Giliath ("Battle Under the Stars") in which Morgoth's forces were all but annihilated.[6]

[edit] Thingol and the Noldor

After the First Battle of Beleriand, Doriath was encircled by the Girdle of Melian, an impenetrable fence of enchantment that guarded the kingdom.[5] While his own kingdom was protected, Thingol was still loath to surrender any other lands in Beleriand to the Noldor as he was suspicious of the aggressive new lords in Middle-earth.[6]

"In Hithlum the Noldor have leave to dwell, and in the highlands of Dorthonion, and in the lands east of Doriath that are empty and wild... for I am the Lord of Beleriand, and all who seek to dwell there shall hear my word."
The Silmarillion, "Of the Return of the Noldor"

King Thingol's relations with the Noldor were strained, and grew worse decades later when he learned the truth of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. Thingol banned the use of Quenya in his lands, which led to Sindarin being the common Elven tongue in Middle-earth. The King of Doriath refused to aid the Noldor in the war against Morgoth, and took little part in the ongoing struggle.[7]

[edit] The Quest for the Silmaril

Felix Sotomayor - Beren at Thingol's Court

Thingol and Melian had one child, a daughter named Lúthien, said to be the fairest woman ever to live. Lúthien fell in love with a Man named Beren. Thingol did not wish for the two to wed, as he valued his daughter very highly and disliked Men. As a bride-price he asked for a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, thinking there was no way that Beren could fulfill this demand.[8]

However, when Beren and Lúthien came back from Angband, and when Beren showed him his missing hand which still held the Silmaril in the belly of Carcharoth, he softened his heart towards him. Soon, though, Carcharoth in his anguish and rage from the Silmaril that burned his insides, broke through the Girdle of Melian and entered Doriath. In that hour, Thingol, along with Beren, Mablung, Beleg and Huan the Hound of Valinor, began the hunt of the Wolf. Carcharoth was finally slain by Huan, but both Huan and Beren died in the process. After that, Lúthien died also, and coming to the Halls of Mandos she begged Mandos that Beren be returned to life. However, it was beyond the power of Mandos to withhold the souls of Men from going beyond the Circles of the World.[8]


Therefore, Ilúvatar, through Manwë, offered her and Beren to live again, but with Lúthien sharing the Gift of Men. She agreed, and they both came back to life, and lived the remainder of their lives at Tol Galen, far from the sight of any other mortals.[8]

[edit] Fostering of Túrin

Thingol adopted as a son a young Man named Túrin, son of Húrin and akin to Beren himself, who was sent to Doriath when he was seven years old.[9] When he grew up, he was permitted to join Beleg Cúthalion on the marches of Doriath, fighting the Orcs of Morgoth.[10][11]

Túrin accidentally caused the death of Saeros, one of Thingol's counselors who had provoked and attacked him. Before he could be either punished or forgiven he fled. Thingol however gave Beleg a leave to seek out his friend, who in the meantime had joined a band of outlaws.[12] Telling to Thingol that Túrin did not wish to return, Thingol allowed Beleg to go and join his friend and gave him the black sword Anglachel that Eöl had forged and given to Thingol[13] in tribute.[10]

[edit] The Nauglamír and Thingol's Doom

Henning Janssen - Nauglamir and the Doom of Thingol

Some time after Túrin's tragic death, Húrin, Túrin's father and now an old man, was allowed to enter Menegroth with a band of outlaws, where in anger he threw the Nauglamír, the treasure of Nargothrond before King Thingol and 'thanked' him for aiding his son. This infuriated the outlaws, who tried to take the gold back but were killed by Thingol's guards.[14] Melian, finally pierced through Húrin's madness and grief; shamed by his actions, he left Menegroth a broken man.[15]

At that time a desire came into Thingol's heart to take the Nauglamír and place the Silmaril in it, thus melding together two of the greatest creations made by the Elves and the Dwarves. He hired some Dwarven craftsmen to do it for him. But by the time the Dwarves were finished they had become obsessed with the Nauglamír and asked for it as a payment for their labor. This infuriated Thingol, who had also grown obsessed with the jewelry and refused to give it as a payment, realizing they were coveting the Silmaril. The Dwarves were angered by his harsh words, and killed him. This led to the sacking of Menegroth and the eventual destruction of Doriath, which scattered its people.[15]

[edit] Etymology

His epessë (honorary name) was Thingol (thind "grey" and coll "mantle") which means "Greycloak".[16]

Quenya tradition names him Elwë and Singollo.

[edit] Genealogy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House of Bëor
 
Melian
 
THINGOL
Y.T. - F.A. 502
 
Olwë
Y.T. -
 
Elmo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beren
F.A. 432 - 503
 
 
 
Lúthien
Y.T. 1200 - F.A. 503
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dior
F.A. 470 - 506
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


[edit] See Also

Notes

  1. His death is placed under the year 502 in The Grey Annals, but according to the story introduced into The Silmarillion by Christopher Tolkien it should have rather occurred immediately after the reforging of Nauglamír, while the Sack of Doriath remained in the following year.
  2. Elmo is a later addition by Tolkien and is not in the published The Silmarillion.
  3. This information is from the Cuivienyarna, part of Quendi and Eldar, a late revision of the legendarium by Tolkien. The Silmarillion does not clarify whether Elu Thingol awoke at Cuiviénen or was born there. See Awakening of the Elves.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Thingol and Melian"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin in Doriath"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin among the Outlaws"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Nauglafring"
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Thingol and Melian"
Thingol
House of Thingol
Died: F.A. 502
None
Position established
1st King of Doriath
Y.T. 1152F.A. 502
Followed by:
Dior