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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-elf mariner who voyaged to Valinor, entreated before the Valar on behalf of the Children of Ilúvatar, 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 Ages.

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.


Eärendil was the Half-elf 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 525,[2] Eärendil wedded Elwing, daughter of King Dior. Two years later, Elros and Elrond were born to them, and Eärendil began his voyage in search of Tuor and Idril, who had earlier departed over the Sea. With the aid of Círdan the Shipwright, Eärendil built a ship for this purpose, Vingilótë.[6]

Earendil Searches TirionA

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 remaining Sons of Fëanor, 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 that would help the Men and Elves in Middle-earth fight against Morgoth; and the Valar accepted his plea.[6]

Eärendil slays Ancaglon

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-elves). 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 during the War of Wrath, 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 Ancalagon the Black, the greatest of Morgoth's winged dragons; and his dead body fell on 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 Lúthien 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 the "Eärendillinwë" which was sung in Rivendell, the house of Eärendil's son, Elrond.[7]


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"


Earendil in bronze by turnermohan-d6g9urb

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"), and should be pronounced ay-ah-ren-dil.[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.


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.

In other versions[]

In earlier versions of the legendarium, Eärendil first left rather for the reason of finding his father, Tuor, than pleading for the Valar's help during the War of Wrath; and so he set off to even Mandos, where his father's soul might reside. On his first expedition, he reached Taniquetil, and heard the piping of the Solosimpi upon the mountain; but was wrecked, and then rescued by Ulmo, who told him to sail for Kôrtirion. On his second voyage, he sailed far, but was wrecked by Ossë in an act of treachery; and he was rescued by the Oarni, who loved him. On his third voyage, he sailed to Taniquetil, and walked upon its surface, but it was completely deserted; for he arrived during a time of festival, when all were celebrating in another city. He then sailed past there, out onto the Outer Oceans; but upon his arrival, he was chased by the Moon for being too bright, for he was covered in diamond dust from the streets of Taniquetil. He was chased out, and came back to the Falas.[12]



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.[13]

In adaptations[]

Eärendil statue at night - TRoP

Statue of Eärendil in Armenelos

Eärendil is mentioned multiple times in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Celebrimbor remarks to Elrond how similar in appearance he is to his father, and recounts an instance in which Eärendil said that Celebrimbor's fate would eventually lie in Elrond's hands. Celebrimbor later tells Elrond of the night before Eärendil departed into the sky, and how Elwing begged him not to go.

Additionally, he is memorialized as a great statue overlooking the port in Armenelos, Númenor's capital city.

Line of the Half-elves[]

Eluréd and Elurín
Kings of Númenor
Lords of Andúnië
Kings of Arnor
Kings of Gondor
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain
Aragorn II Elessar

The marriages between Elves and Men are in bold.
The Half-elves or the Peredhil are in italic.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዐኣረንዲል
Arabic إيرنديل
Armenian Էարենդիլ
Assamese এৰেণ্ডিল
Belarusian Cyrillic Эаренділ
Bengali এঅরেন্দিল
Bulgarian Cyrillic Еарендил (Eärendil)

Еарендил Мореплавателя (Earendil the Mariner)

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 ایارندل
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. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, pg. 385
  12. The History of Middle-earth, Vol II, The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, Ch. V, The Tale of Eärendel.
  13. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War, Part One, ch. 2: "A young man with too much imagination"