Círdan was the lord of the Falas and then of the Balar during much of the First Age, one of the wisest and eldest of the Moriquendi, and the only Elf in Third-Age Middle-earth known to have been alive during the Great Journey. He was also the bearer of the Great Ring Narya, which he later gave to Gandalf.
First Age Edit
After the Teleri come to Aman Edit
Círdan was born (or possibly awakened) in Middle-earth during the Years of the Trees, and was among the Teleri who arrived at the coast of Beleriand too late to join the journey to Aman. He is first mentioned as the lord of the Falathrim, the Teleri convinced by the Maia Ossë to permanently settle on the shores of Falas. Under Círdan, the Falathrim established havens at Eglarest and Brithombar, and became renowned shipbuilders and mariners. He ruled independently for a time after the departure of Olwë for Aman, but acknowledged Thingol's overlordship when the High King awoke from his trance. Later, he became an advisor and friend of Finrod Felagund, Lord of Nargothrond.
Wars of Beleriand Edit
Círdan was early on warned by Ulmo not to attempt a crossing to Valinor, and his mariners restricted their work to the coasts of Middle-earth. However, at the request of King Turgon of Gondolin, he later built several messenger ships to sail to Valinor to request help from the Valar against Morgoth. All these missions failed, and only one survivor ever returned. After the havens of the Falas were destroyed by FA 474, Círdan was instrumental in setting up the refuges at the Mouths of Sirion and the Isle of Balar, to which he retired for the remainder of the age. It was on this isle that he built the great ship Vingilot for Eärendil.
Second Age Edit
In the Second Age, Círdan stayed behind when the Elves were summoned to Valinor, and set up the havens of Forlond, Harlond and Mithlond in the destroyed land of Lindon (anciently Ossiriand). Círdan's exact status during that time is unknown, but it seems certain he served as lieutenant of Gil-galad, the last High King of the Ñoldor of Middle-earth. Círdan is mentioned as receiving the ships of the Númenóreans as they returned to the north of Middle-earth, and also as being one of the only two elves (along with Elrond) who stood beside Gil-galad during his last battle with Sauron.
Third Age Edit
From the Third Age onwards, after the fall of Gil-galad and the beginning of the Age of Men, Círdan remained at the Grey Havens of Mithlond where he was lord, and built ships which ferried the departing Elves to Valinor. Círdan had possession of the one of the Three Elven Rings, Narya, but when the Wizards or Istari arrived in the early Third Age he recognised Olórin's wisdom, and gave him his ring.
Círdan remained active behind the scenes, sending counsellors to the White Council at Rivendell, but following the War of the Ring he was seen to have prepared the ship that ferried across the other Ring-bearers: Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Bilbo, and Frodo in the last year of the Third Age. It is uncertain whether he left Middle-earth himself on the same ship: he is not mentioned as boarding, and later letters by Tolkien imply he remained behind. There are contradictory references to the Fate of the Elves of Middle-earth scattered throughout Tolkien's works, and it may be that Círdan's role as a facilitator for elves returning to the Blessed Realm continued for some time. There is one line that says that Círdan would remain until the last ship set sail for the west.
Círdan had a beard, which was rare for Elves, and silver hair like Thingol his overlord and kinsman. He was of great age at the time of the War of the Ring: perhaps the oldest of the Telerin Elves or even of all the elves remaining in Middle-earth. He may have been one of the elves who awoke near Cuiviénen and therefore without a mother or father.
Círdan was a Sindarin word that meant 'Ship-maker', and the Quenya form was said to be Ciryatan. His original name was probably Nowë, which may be related to the term nowo meaning "think, form idea, imagine."
Portrayal in adaptions Edit
Lord of the Rings film trilogy Edit
In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, Círdan briefly appears in the first and third movies, played by Michael Elsworth. His role as lieutenant of Gil-galad is given to Elrond instead (Elrond was Gil-galad's herald in the books) in the first movie. He does, however, appear very briefly during Galadriel's Monologue at the start of the first movie, in a brief shot of the three Elven ring-bearers - and at the end of the third movie when Frodo, Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf and Bilbo board the ship at the Grey Havens, Círdan is seen standing in the background.
Translations around the world Edit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||瑟丹|
|Kazakh||Кирдан (Cyrillic) Kïrdan (Latin)|
|Serbian||Цирдан (Cyrillic) Cirdan (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Чирдан (Cyrillic) Cirdan (Latin)|