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 and seminal character of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology; his name and purpose (as a character) were inspired by an excerpt Tolkien read out of 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.


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. When he was seven years old, he and his parents escaped the sacking 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 had departed earlier over the Sea. With the aid of Círdan the Shipwright, Eärendil built a ship, Vingilótë.[6]

Eärendil searches Tirion, by Ted Nasmith

At this time, Elwing had in her possession the Silmaril that Beren had wrested from Morgoth. News of this came to the sons of Fëanor that were still living, and they attacked the people living in Arvernien, and slew most of them. Círdan and Gil-Galad sent ships to help them but were too late. But Elwing, rather than be captured, threw herself with the Silmaril into the sea, leaving her young sons behind.[6]

Hearing of the tragedy that had befallen 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]


Earendil In Bronze, by TurnerMohan

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

The Adûnaic translation of Eärendil is Azrubêl.[10]

The first rendering of his name, before the making of his final tale in The Silmarillion, was Eärendel.


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

Name history

Tolkien created the name based on Old English literature. Tolkien's himself states (Letters, 297) that the name is derived from Anglo-Saxon éarendel. He says that he was struck by the "great beauty" of the name as early as 1913, which he perceived as

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

There is a poem by Tolkien dated to 1914 entitled The Voyage of Eärendel the Evening Star (published in HoME 2 267 - 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 (in Crist Christianized to refer to John the Baptist).

Tolkien was particularly inspired by the lines:

Crist, éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended
"Hail Earendel, brightest of angels, sent over Middle-earth to men."

This was the inspiration not only for the role of Eärendil in Tolkien's work, but also for the term "Middle-earth" (translating Middangeard) for the inhabitable lands (c.f. Midgard).

The first line is paralleled by Frodo's exclamation in Cirith Ungol, Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! which is Quenya, and translates to "Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars." Frodo's exclamation was in reference to the 'Star-glass' he carried, which contained the light of Eärendil's star, the Silmaril. It also echoes Eönwë's exclamation who at the end of the First Age greeted Eärendil and his quest in Aman.


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"

Concept and creation

Eärendil the Blessed

In 1914, Tolkien wrote a poem "The Voyage of Eärendil the Evening Star" which was inspired by the "Crist" poem of Cynewulf. While studying at Oxford, Tolkien developed a constructed language that later became known as Quenya. Already around 1915 he had the idea that this language needed an internal history and was spoken by Elves whom his invented character Eärendil meets during his journeys. The next step in the creation of the underlying mythology was the Lay of Eärendil, a work composed of several poems that describes 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.[11]

Line of the Half-elven

Eluréd and Elurín
Kings of Númenor
Lords of Andunie
Kings of Arnor
Kings of Gondor
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain

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


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


  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. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War, Part One, ch. 2: "A young man with too much imagination"
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