This article refers to the unpublished poem. For other namesakes, see Fall of Gondolin (disambiguation).

The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin is an unpublished poem about the Fall of Gondolin. It consists of an abandoned beginning of the poem, numbering only 130 lines. Christopher Tolkien only discusses the poem briefly in The Lays of Beleriand but did not publish all of it, and additionally was excluded from The Fall of Gondolin (2018).

Background Edit

Christopher Tolkien chose to leave it unpublished, since he believed it didn't add anything new to the Tale (The Fall of Gondolin as given in The Book of Lost Tales Part Two), possibly because his father J.R.R. Tolkien found its metrical form unsuitable to the purpose.

He did include a few short passages:

(Lay) Rejoice that ye have found it and rest from endless war,
For the seven-named city 'tis that stands upon the hill,
Where all who strive with Morgoth find hope and valour still.'
'What be those names,' said Tuor, 'for I come from long afar?'
"Tis said and 'tis sung,' one answered, '"My name is Gondobar
And Gondothlimbar also, the City hewn of Stone,
The fortress of the Gnome-folk who dwell in Halls of Stone, &c.
Thither Tuor son of Fengel came out of the dim land
that the Gnomes have called Dor-Lomin, with Bronweg at his hand,
who fled from the Iron Mountains and had broken Melko's chain
and cast his yoke of evil, of torment and bitter pain;
who alone most faithful-hearted led Tuor by long ways
through empty hills and valleys by dark nights and perilous days,
till his blue lamp magic-kindled, where flow the shadowy rills
beneath enchanted alders, found that Gate beneath the hills,
the door in dark Dungorthin that only-the Gnome-folk knew.
how the Gods in council gathered on the outmost rocky bars
of the Lonely Island westward, and devised a land of ease
beyond the great sea-shadows and the shadowy seas;
how they made the deep gulf of Faerie with long and lonely shore . . .

Aside from the published sections, and a few other short verses from the text, Christopher Tolkien only discusses a few name changes between the text and comparisons to other poems his father had worked on, such as a scrap that appeared in the Seven Names of Gondolin:

"But whereas in the Lay of the Fall of Gondolin Fingolfin has emerged and stepped into Finwe's place as the father of Turgon and Isfin, he is not here the sone of Finwe but one of Gelmir."
Christopher Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium

Works published during his lifetime
The Hobbit | The Lord of the Rings | The Adventures of Tom Bombadil | The Road Goes Ever On

Posthumous publications
The Silmarillion | Unfinished Tales | The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes) | Bilbo's Last Song | The Children of Húrin | Beren and Lúthien | The Fall of Gondolin

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