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Gondolin was a hidden city of the Elves located approximately in the middle of the land of Beleriand in Middle-earth. It was founded by Turgon the Wise, a Ñoldorin king in the early First Age. It endured the longest of all the Ñoldorin kingdoms in exile, lasting nearly four centuries during the Years of the Sun.


The City of Gondolin (by Alan Lee)

As recounted in The Silmarillion, the Vala Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, revealed the location of the Vale of Tumladen to the Noldorin Lord Turgon in a dream around the year FA 50. Under this divine guidance, Turgon travelled from his kingdom in Nevrast and found the vale in FA 53. Within the Encircling Mountains just west of Dorthonion and east of the river Sirion, lay a round level plain with sheer walls on all sides and a ravine and tunnel leading out to the southwest known as the Hidden Way. In the middle of the vale there was a steep hill which was called Amon Gwareth. There Turgon decided to found a great city that would be protected by the mountains and hidden from the Dark Lord Morgoth.

For nearly seventy-five years, Turgon and his people built Gondolin in secret. After it was completed in FA 116, he took with him to dwell in the hidden city his entire people in Nevrast — almost a third of the Ñoldor — as well as nearly three quarters of the northern Sindar. It was forbidden to leave Gondolin, but Turgon sent forth messengers including Voronwë to seek the Valar's aid in the wars against Morgoth, to no avail. Later in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Turgon led his army to the aid of his brother Fingon, and escaped the ensuing defeat with his army thanks to the sacrifice of Húrin and Huor.

Years later, Huor's son Tuor came to Gondolin with a warning from Ulmo: to depart before the city was destroyed. Feeling secure behind his city's strong walls, Turgon ignored the warning. The city stood for nearly 400 years until it was betrayed to Morgoth by Maeglin, Turgon's nephew, and sacked shortly thereafter by the Dark Lord's forces.[3]

The Fall of Gondolin

Gondolin was described as this - "Now the streets of Gondolin were paved with stone and wide, kerbed with marble, and fair houses and courts amid gardens of bright flowers were set about the ways, and many towers of great slenderness and beauty builded of white marble and carved most marvelously rose to the heaven. Squares there were lit with fountains and the home of birds that sang amid the branches of their aged trees, but of all these the greatest was that place where stood the King's palace, and the tower thereof was the loftiest in the city, and the fountains that played before the doors shot twenty fathoms and seven in the air and fell in a singing rain of crystal; therein did the sun glitter splendidly by day, and the moon most magically shimmered by night. The birds that dwelt there were of the whiteness of snow and their voices sweeter than a lullaby of music."[4]


The Hidden Way was protected by seven gates, all constantly guarded; the first of wood, then stone, Bronze, Iron, Silver, Gold, and Steel.[5][6]


It was originally called Ondolindë, which is Quenya for "The Rock of the Music of Water", after the springs of Amon Gwareth. The name was later changed to its Sindarin form which meant Hidden Rock.[7][8]

Houses of Gondolin

Twelve Houses of the Gondolindrim
  Leader House Emblem Notes
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-King.jpg Turgon House of the King A star, the moon, and the red heart of Finwë Nolemë Comprised of the King's family and bodyguard.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Heavenly-Arch.jpg Egalmoth House of the Heavenly Arch Rainbow, Opal, Jewelled Boss A very wealthy house; comprised the other part of Gondolin's archers.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Tree.jpg Galdor House of the Tree Tree upon green Wielded clubs and slings.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Golden-Flower.jpg Glorfindel House of the Golden Flower Rayed Sun Fought in the Great Market during the Fall of Gondolin, then defended the elves retreating to Idril's Secret Way. Their Lord was slain during his fight with a Balrog.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Fountain.jpg Ecthelion House of the Fountain Silver Fountain and Diamonds The guard of the fountains, primarily those of the king. Warriors of this house defended the seventh gate of Gondolin. Loved silver and diamond, and marched into battle to the playing of flutes.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Mole.jpg Maeglin House of the Mole Sable attire, mole on a sable field Comprised of miners loyal to Maeglin.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Harp.jpg Salgant House of the Harp Silver harp on sable field House of musicians. However, their leader was a coward.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Swallow.jpg Duilin House of the Swallow Fan of purple feathers Gondolin's best archers.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Wing.jpg Tuor House of the White Wing Swan-wing upon a blue field The bodyguard of Tuor, and the smallest house.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Pillar.jpg Penlod House of the Pillar A pillar Not much known about them. Their commander was slain during the Fall of Gondolin; he was a great writer of the Eldar.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Tower-of-Snow.jpg Penlod House of the Tower of Snow A tower Not much known about them. Their commander was slain during the Fall of Gondolin; he was a great writer of the Eldar.
Narfil Palùrfalas - House-of-the-Hammer-of-Wrath.jpg Rog House of the Hammer of Wrath Black hammer and anvil on a red field The largest and most valiant house. They were comprised of those blacksmiths that were not under Maeglin, as well as escaped thralls of Morgoth. They perished to the last Elf during the Fall of Gondolin.

People of interest

  • Aredhel - Princess of Gondolin and sister of Turgon
  • Elemmakil - Captain of the Guard of the Outer Gate[6]
  • Enerdhil - A possibly mythical jewel-smith of the city[6]
  • Voronwë - Mariner that accompanied Tuor to the city[6][9]

Other versions of the legendarium

Gondolin was known as the "City of Seven Names". Its Gnomish names were:

"Gondobar am I called and Gondothlimbar, City of Stone and City of the Dwellers in Stone; Gondolin the Stone of Song and Gwarestrin am I named, the Tower of the Guard, Gar Thurion or the Secret Place."
The History of Middle-earth, Vol. II: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, chapter III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  • Gondobar (Stone House)
  • Gondothlimbar (House of the Stone Folk)
  • Gwarestrin (Tower of Guard)
  • Gar Thurion (Secret Place)
  • Loth (Flower)
  • Lothengriol (Plan Flower-Blossom, Lily of the Valley)

See also


Troops of Morgoth on their way to attack Gondolin.
Gondolin by Bmosig.jpg
Gondolin, by Bmosig
Tuor's arrival in Gondolin


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ጎንዶሊኒ
Arabic غوندولين
Armenian Գոնդոլին
Belarusian Cyrillic Гондолін
Bengali গোন্দোলিন
Bulgarian Cyrillic Гондолин
Chinese (Mainland) 刚多林
Chinese (Taiwan) 剛多林
Chinese (Hong Kong) 貢多林
Georgian გონდოლინი
Greek Γκόντολιν
Gujarati ગોંડોલીન
Hebrew גונדולין
Hindi घोन्दोलिन
Japanese ゴンドリン
Kannada ಗೊಂಡೋಲಿನ್
Kazakh Гондолин (Cyrillic) Gondolïn (Latin)
Korean 곤돌린
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Гондолин
Macedonian Cyrillic Гондолин
Marathi घोन्दोलिन
Mongolian Cyrillic Гондолин
Nepalese गोन्डोलिन
Pashto عوندولین ?
Persian گوندولین
Punjabi ਗ਼ਓਨ੍ਦੋਲ੍ਇਨ
Russian Гондолин
Sanskrit ङोन्दोलिन्
Serbian Гондолин (Cyrillic) Gondolin (Latin)
Sinhalese ගොන්ඩොලින්
Tajik Cyrillic Гондолин
Tamil கொண்டோரின்
Telugu గొండోలిన్
Thai กอนโดลิน
Ukrainian Cyrillic Ґондолін
Urdu گونڈولان
Uzbek Гондолин (Cyrillic) Gondolin (Latin)
Yiddish גאָנדאָלין


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, Part Two: The Later Quenta Silmarillion, XII: "Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion
  4. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. II: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  5. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XV: "Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  8. The Silmarillion, Index of Names
  9. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"