In the middle of Tumladen was a small hill made of smooth stone, called afterwards the Amon Gwareth. This stone hill was the foundation for the city Gondolin built by Turgon. Tumladen and the city it contained remained secret and safe for 503 years since the Return of the Ñoldor to Middle-earth. It was, however, betrayed by the father of Túrin Turambar, Húrin Thalion, when Húrin shouted at the mountains encircling the city to let Turgon know to open the gates and let him in (this was an ill-fated attempt, for no one heard him, and Húrin despaired). As Húrin was under the spell of Morgoth, the Dark Lord finally learned of Gondolin's location through Húrin. In this way, Húrin doomed the city. Morgoth waited for a couple more years before he finally invaded the city, with the help of the traitor Maeglin, who showed him where the vale could be found exactly and how it could be attacked (since Great Eagles guarded its borders). Through his treachery, Maeglin help to lie waste the fair vale of Tumladen and the city that sat on Amon Gwareth in the center of the vale, Gondolin.
Tumladen was described by J.R.R. Tolkien as a "...green jewel among the encircling hills..." and as a "...green plain among the mountains." He also describes it as being very fair with the black and smooth Amon Gwareth in the center of the vale.
Tumladen was a great lake in the ancient days of Beleriand. It was located east of the upper waters of Sirion, as was found out later by the Elves, in the middle of the Encircling Mountains. Turgon was shown by Ulmo, a Vala, where it was located by means of a dark tunnel that ran deep under the mountains, hollowed out by streams that ran to join the Sirion. In this way, Turgon discovered the vale of Tumladen, and thought it indeed to be a perfect place to construct his city that was supposed to be modeled after the great city of Tirion upon the green hill Tuna, back in Valinor. Indeed, after many years of labor, Gondolin did come to rival Tirion with its beauty and splendor. As mentioned above, Tumladen and the city it held, Gondolin, survived for more than 503 years, the longest lasting of the Ñoldorin kingdoms. The vale was betrayed, as mentioned above, by Maeglin and in so doing, Maeglin finally destroyed the last kingdom of the Ñoldor in Beleriand. It was there that the battle of Ecthelion of the Fountain and Gothmog, the Lord of Balrogs, took place in the very square of the King. There it was also that they slew each other, and in so doing, Ecthelion had felled the mightiest of Balrogs, even though he himself had died also. And so, with the treachery of Maeglin, the fair vale of Tumladen and the city upon Amon Gwareth, Gondolin, the last kingdom of the Ñoldor, were destroyed and ruined.
Tumladen is a name coming from two Sindarin roots. One of the roots is tum (pronounced toom), which means a valley. The other Sindarin root is lad, which means a plain or a valley. Both parts of this name doubly imply and tell that Tumladen is a plain/valley, a very interesting combination of Sindarin roots on the part of Tolkien.
In the Third Age, Tumladen was a valley near the southeastern end of the White Mountains. When Pippin arrived in Minas Tirith, he saw vehicles carrying the old, the children and the women to take refuge in Lebennin through the vales Tumladen, Lossarnach, and the mountain-villages. Tumladen was placed at the source of River Sirith in The Atlas of Middle-earth.
Translations around the world
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||倘拉登谷|
|Kazakh||Тұмладен (Cyrillic) Tumladen (Latin)|
|Serbian||Тумладен (Cyrillic) Tumladen (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Тумладен (Cyrillic) Tumladen (Latin)|