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Elu Thingol was an Elf of the Teleri during the First Age. His brother was Olwë, who became the Lord of Alqualondë, Lord of Tol Eressëa, and High King of the Teleri of Aman, they may have had a second brother called Elmo. He was a good friend of Finwë, the first High King of the Ñoldor during the times before the Elves reached Aman.

He was the founder and first King of the northern Elven Kingdom of Doriath and was respected by all the Sindar of Beleriand, who considered him as High King of all the Sindar and the Lord of Beleriand.


Sundering of the Elves

Finwë and Elwë in Cuiviénen before the Great Journey to Aman, by Kazuki-Mendou

Elwë was born in Cuiviénen during the Years of the Trees to unnamed parents, and his father was the direct descendant of Enel and Enelyë.[3] He first appears in the history of the Eldar when he travelled from Cuiviénen with Oromë as ambassador of the Teleri to see the land of Valinor. Interestingly, since Thingol had previously visited Valinor as an ambassador of the Teleri, he was debatably both of the Sindar and the Calaquendi. Upon his return, he convinced many of his people to follow him back to that country. On the Great Journey to the West, the Teleri lingered behind, and did not arrive at the coast until after the departure of the moving island of Tol Eressëa. Thus, they stayed in Beleriand for many years until Tol Eressëa was brought back to ferry them. By this time, many of the Teleri had grown to love Beleriand, and decided to stay there. Elwë was among them, having encountered Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth and fallen deeply in love with her. Afterwards, he disappeared for many years causing many of his people to linger in Middle-earth to search for him.[4]

Elwë is enchanted by Melian in the woods of Nan Elmoth, by IreneLangholm

Rule of Doriath

For centuries Elwë remained lost until he re-emerged as a respected lord and many of his people joined him in the forest of Doriath in Beleriand. Now known as Elu Thingol, he and Melian become king and queen of the Teleri who remained in Beleriand, who then became known as the Sindar. He founded a realm in a large forested area in Beleriand first known as Eglador (Land of the Forsaken). During these early days under the stars, Thingol and Melian have a daughter named Lúthien, who is said to be the fairest woman ever to have lived.

As Lord of Beleriand, he welcomed his long lost kin, now known as the Laiquendi or Green-elves, to vast lands in Ossiriand. He was also the first Elf to make contact and alliances with the Dwarves of Belegost, who helped delve the caves of the city of Menegroth, which became the capital of Thingol's kingdom. When the Dwarves first became aware of unfamiliar savage creatures coming out of the North, Thingol was the first to learn, and, possessing no heavy weapons of war, he once again asked the Dwarves for their aid. They forged for him necessary weapons and armour, for what would be the onset of war against Melkor.[5]

The Quest for the Silmaril

When Melkor returned to Middle-earth, he sought once again to master it and its peoples, and declared war on them. He sent great hosts of Orcs into Beleriand, starting what became known as the First Battle of Beleriand. In this battle, Thingol led his people to victory against the Orcs, driving them out of his kingdom and most of Beleriand. Afterwards, Melian set the Girdle around his kingdom, which was thence named Doriath; no one could now enter the realm without Thingol's permission. When the Ñoldor returned to Middle-earth, he gave them leave to dwell in the north part and dealt only with the House of Finarfin as they were kin through his brother Olwë. When he learned of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, he was outraged and wanted nothing to do with most of the Ñoldor and their war and even outlawed the use of Quenya in his kingdom.[6]

Thingol was drawn into the war with Morgoth and the deadly Oath of Fëanor when after the Dagor Bragollach, Lúthien fell in love with a man named Beren. Thingol did not wish for the two to be wedded to each other, as he valued his daughter very highly and disliked the race of Men. As a bride-price he asked for a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, thinking there was no way that Beren could fulfil this demand. Thus, Thingol was drawn into the quarrels over the great jewels and ultimately the doom of Fëanor.[7]


It was, however, this very bride-price that doomed him. After Húrin brought the treasures of Nargothrond to Doriath, Thingol summoned Dwarves of Belegost to Menegroth and invited them to work the treasure into jewelry. The finest of these pieces was the Nauglamír.

The Nauglamír was the second-greatest treasure of Doriath, prized above all but Beren and Lúthien's Silmaril. After the smiths of Belegost finished their work on the Nauglamír, Thingol requested that the Dwarves of Nogrod set the Silmaril in it. The Nauglamír, now bearing the Silmaril was held to be the fairest object in Arda.

Enthralled by and covetous of the Silmaril, the Dwarves demanded the necklace, insisting that as a dwarven work it belonged to them. Thingol was unwilling to surrender the treasure and replied with an impertinent answer. In their anger, the Dwarves attempted to slay him. After a long battle between Dwarves and Elves inside the city, the Dwarves were expelled. Two escaped to Nogrod and there told a false story of the conflict to their people, convincing them to march westward and sack Doriath. Later, with the help of certain treacherous Elves also possessed of the cursed treasure, Dwarves regained entrance past the Girdle. Thingol was lured out on a hunt with a small company of arms; he was ambushed by Dwarves in the woods, and was slain, allowing Menegroth to be taken and plundered. The Dwarves could not seize nor harm Melian, and she departed to seek Beren and Lúthien.[8]

Thingol's heir was Dior Eluchil, the son of Beren and Lúthien.[9]


Elu Thingol derives from the Sindarin Elu Sindacollo, meaning "Elu Greycloak", from thind or sinda ("grey") and collo ("cloak").[10]

The original form of his name was Elwë Singollo from the Quenya el ("star") and ("person").[11]


Thingol's sword was called Aranrúth ("King's Ire") which later became the sword of the Númenórean kings.[12] He also owned Anglachel, the sword forged by Eöl who gave it to him as payment for dwelling in Nan Elmoth.[13]

House of Thingol

The Heraldic Device of the House of Thingol

Eluréd and Elurín

Behind the scenes

Thingol underwent quite a bit of developmental changes. In some of the earlier writings, and in particular the drafts for The Hobbit, Thingol was said to be the leader of the Dark Elves, and was a Dark Elf himself. This note of him being referred to as the Dark Elf as one of his nicknames/titles/insults is still seen in the published Silmarillion: "...this Dark Elf in his caves!"


Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic ثينجول
Armenian Թինգոլ
Belarusian Cyrillic Тінгол
Bengali থিঙ্গল
Bulgarian Cyrillic Тингол (Thingol)

Елу Тингол (Elu Thingol)

Catalan Thíngol
Chinese (Hong Kong) 辛葛 (Thingol)

埃盧·庭葛 (Elu Thingol) 埃爾威 (Elwë)

Georgian თჰინგოლ
Greek Θίνγκολ
Gujarati થિંગોલ
Hebrew תינגול (Thingol)

אלו תינגול (Elu Thingol) אלווה (Elwë)

Japanese シンゴル (Thingol)

エルウェ (Elwë) エル・シンゴル (Elu Thingol)

Kannada ಥಿಂಗಲ್
Kazakh Тһінгол (Cyrillic) Thingol (Latin)
Korean 싱골
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Тhингол
Macedonian Cyrillic Тингол
Marathi थिंगोल
Mongolian Cyrillic Тингол
Persian تینگول (Thingol)

الوه (Elwë)

Russian Тингол (Thingol)

Элу Тингол (Elu Thingol) Эльвэ (Elwë)

Serbian Тингол (Cyrillic) Thingol (Latin)

Елу Тингол (Cyrillic) Elu Thingol (Latin)

Tajik Cyrillic Тҳингол
Tamil திண்கொள்
Telugu తింగోల్
Thai ธิงโกล
Urdu تانگاول
Uzbek Тҳингол (Cyrillic) Thingol (Latin)
Yiddish טהינגאָל
King of Doriath
Preceded by
Thingol Succeeded by
Dior Eluchíl
YT 1152 - FA 502


  1. 1.0 1.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman, third section
  2. 2.0 2.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, The First Phase, "Of the Coming of the Elves"
  3. The Nature of Middle-earth, Part One: Time and Ageing
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter III: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  5. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter V: "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  6. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIII: "Of the Return of the Ñoldor"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
  8. Beren and Lúthien
  9. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  10. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  12. Unfinished Tales, Introduction, Part Two, I: "A Description of the Island of Númenor", Notes
  13. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXI: "Of Túrin Turambar"