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This article is about the father of Elrond and Elros. For the king of Gondor, see Eärendil of Gondor.

Eärendil (Quenya; IPA: [e.aˈrendil]) was a great Half-elven mariner who voyaged to Valinor, entreated before the Valar on behalf of the Children of Iluvatar, and carried a star across the sky at the end of the First Age. His acts had been prophesied of among the Elves centuries beforehand.[4]

He was the father of Elros, the first King of Númenor, and of Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell and an important figure in the Second and Third age.

Eärendil was the first, seminal character of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology; his name and purpose as a character were inspired by an excerpt of Cynewulf that Tolkien found in the poem Crist. Eärendil's story is found in The Silmarillion, but he is invoked and referred to by many characters throughout The Lord of the Rings.

History

Eärendil was the Half-elven son of Tuor and Princess Idril, daughter of Turgon. He was born in FA 503 and was raised in Gondolin. At the age of seven, he and his parents escaped the sack of Gondolin, living afterwards in Arvernien by the mouth of Sirion.[3][5] The survivors of Gondolin and Doriath mingled at the Havens of Sirion. In FA 530,[2] Eärendil wedded Elwing, daughter of King Dior Eluchil. Two years later, Elros and Elrond were born to them, and Eärendil began his voyage in search for Tuor and Idril, who earlier had departed over the Sea. With the aid of Círdan the Shipwright, Eärendil built a ship for this purpose, Vingilótë.[6]

Eärendil searches Tirion, by Ted Nasmith

At this time, Elwing had in her possession the Silmaril that Beren had once wrested from Morgoth. News of this came to the sons of Fëanor that still lived, and they attacked the people living in Arvernien, slaying most of them. Círdan and Gil-galad sent ships to their aid, but were too late. But Elwing, to avoid capture, threw herself with the Silmaril into the Sea, leaving her young sons behind.[6]

Hearing of the tragedy of Arvernien, Eärendil then sought after Valinor, and he and Elwing found their way there at last. Eärendil thus became the first of all mortals to set foot in Valinor. Eärendil then went before the Valar, and asked them for aid for Men and Elves in Middle-earth, to fight against Morgoth; and the Valar accepted his plea.[6]

Eärendil slays Ancalagon, by Ted Nasmith

Because Eärendil had undertaken this errand on behalf of Men and Elves, and not for his own sake, Manwë forbore to deal out the punishment of death that was due; and because both Eärendil and Elwing were descended from a union of Elves and Men, Manwë granted to them and their sons the gift to choose to which race they would be joined (a gift that was further passed to the children of Elrond, who became known as the Half-elven). Elwing chose to be one of the Elves. Eärendil would have rather been one of the Men; however, for the sake of his wife, he chose to be one of the Elves.[6]

The Valar, having listened to Eärendil's plea, went with a mighty host to Middle-earth, and overthrew Morgoth, and bound him. Eärendil took part in the battle, riding on Vingilot beside Thorondor and the Eagles. It was his blow that slew the great dragon Ancalagon and cast it down onto Thangorodrim, the event which, along with the sheer devastation caused by the War of Wrath, led to the Ruin of Beleriand.[6] Eärendil's fate was to eternally traverse the Great Ocean with the Silmaril that Beren and Luthien had wrested from Morgoth and guard the Sun and Moon.

In the Second Prophecy of Mandos, it is told that Eärendil will return from the sky for the love of the Sun and Moon that Melkor would blot out, and fight in the Dagor Dagorath.

Later mentions

The Hobbit of the Shire, Bilbo Baggins, wrote a "Song of Eärendil" which was sung in Rivendell, the house of Eärendil's son, Elrond.[7]

Character

Eärendil was once described as the following:

"Now this babe was of greatest beauty; his skin of a shining white and his eyes of a green surpassing that of the meadows in the southern lands -- greener than the emeralds of the raiment of Manwe;~ and the envy of Meglin was deep at his birth, but the joy of Turgon and all the people very great indeed"
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"

Etymology

Earendil In Bronze, by TurnerMohan

His father-name Eärendil is Quenya for "Lover of the Sea", from ("sea") and the suffix -ndil ("devoted to, friend, lover").[8][9] The Adûnaic translation of Eärendil is Azrubêl.[10] His mother-name was Ardamírë, "Arda-jewel", from the Quenya term mírë ("jewel").[10]

The first rendition of his name, before the final stages of the legendarium, was Eärendel.

Epithets

Eärendil was given many epithets: Eärendil Halfelven, Eärendil the Mariner, Eärendil the Blessed, and Bright Eärendil.

Name history

Tolkien created the name based on a poem by Cynewulf, found in the book Crist, out of Old English literature. It mentions the Anglo-Saxon name éarendel, which Tolkien stated struck him by its "great beauty" as early as 1913. He perceived the name as

entirely coherent with the normal style of A-S, but euphonic to a peculiar degree in that pleasing but not 'delectable' language.[11]

There is a poem by Tolkien dated to 1914 entitled The Voyage of Eärendel the Evening Star (published in The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, pages 267 - 269). Tolkien was also aware of the name's Germanic cognates (Old Norse Aurvandill, Lombardic Auriwandalo), and the question why the Anglo-Saxon one rather than the Lombardic or Proto-Germanic form should be taken up in the mythology is alluded to in the Notion Club papers. The Old Norse together with the Anglo-Saxon evidence point to an astronomical myth, the name referring to a star, or a group of stars, and the Anglo-Saxon in particular points to the Morning Star as the herald of the rising Sun, alluded to by Cynewulf in Crist.

Development

Eärendil the Blessed

While studying at Oxford, after discovering Éarendel in the lines from Crist, Tolkien developed a constructed language that later became Quenya. As of around 1915, he believed that this language needed an internal history, and was spoken by Elves whom his invented character Eärendil meets in his journeys. The next step in his creation of the underlying mythology was the Lay of Eärendil, a work composed of several poems describing the mariner Eärendil and his voyages, and how his ship is turned into a star. The mysterious land of Valinor and its Two Trees of gold and silver were first described in this cycle.

Tolkien's legend of Eärendil has elements resembling the medieval Celtic Immram legends, and also the Christian legend of St. Brendan the Navigator.

Humphrey Carpenter in his biography of Tolkien remarked that Eärendil "was in fact the beginning of Tolkien's own mythology". In Tolkien and the Great War, John Garth gives an extensive interpretation of Tolkien's 1914 poem, inferring many parallels in Eärendil and his flight.[12]

Line of the Half-elven

Finwë
   
   
Indis
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Fingolfin
   
   
Anairë
   
   
Galdor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Thingol
   
   
Melian
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Elenwë
   
   
Turgon
   
   
   
   
Huor
   
   
Rían
   
   
Beren
   
   
Lúthien
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Idril
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Tuor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Dior
   
   
Nimloth
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Eärendil
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Elwing
   
   
Eluréd and Elurín
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Elros
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Elrond
   
   
Celebrían
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Kings of Númenor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Lords of Andunie
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Elendil
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Isildur
   
   
   
   
   
   
Anarion
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Kings of Arnor
   
   
   
   
   
   
Kings of Gondor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Aragorn
   
   
   
   
Arwen
   
   
Elladan
   
   
Elrohir
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Eldarion
   
   
   
   
   
   
Daughters

The marriages between Elves and Men are in bold.
The half-elven or the Peredhil are in italic.


Translations

Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዐኣረንዲል
Arabic إيرنديل
Armenian Էարենդիլ
Belarusian Cyrillic Эаренділ
Bengali এঅরেন্দিল
Bulgarian Cyrillic Еарендил
Catalan Eàrendil
Chinese (Hong Kong) 埃蘭迪爾
Georgian ეარენდილი
Greek Εαρέντιλ
Gujarati ઍઅરેન્દિલ
Hebrew אארנדיל
Hindi एअरेन्दिल
Japanese エアレンディル
Kannada ಇರೆಂಡಿಲ್
Kazakh Еәренділ (Cyrillic) Eärendil (Latin)
Korean 에아렌딜
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Эарэндил
Macedonian Cyrillic Еарендил
Marathi एअरेन्दिल
Mongolian Cyrillic Эареэндил
Nepalese एअरेन्दिल
Pashto ېارېندیل
Persian ائارندیل
Punjabi ਏਅਰੇਨ੍ਦਿਲ
Russian Эарендиль
Sanskrit एअरेन्दिल्
Serbian Еарендил (Cyrillic) Eärendil (Latin)
Sinhalese ඒඅරෙඳිල්
Tajik Cyrillic Еарендил
Tamil ஏஅரெந்தில்
Telugu ఏఅరెన్దిల
Thai เออาเรนดิล
Ukrainian Cyrillic Еаренділ
Urdu ےارےندیل ?
Uzbek Еарендил (Cyrillic) Earendil (Latin)
Yiddish ײאַרענדיל


References

  1. Beren and Lúthien
  2. 2.0 2.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, chapter V: "The Tale of Years"
  3. 3.0 3.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. II: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, chapter III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  4. The Children of Húrin, Ch. X: "Túrin in Nargothrond", pg. 162, quote by Gwindor: "It is a prophecy among us that one day a messenger from Middle-earth will come through the shadows to Valinor, and Manwë will hear, and Mandos relent."
  5. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV: "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  7. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter I: "Many Meetings"
  8. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
  9. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  10. 10.0 10.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, chapter XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  11. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, pg. 385
  12. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War, Part One, ch. 2: "A young man with too much imagination"