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Turgon
06-28-2002, 07:04 PM
Speculations of the lineage of Glorfindel...


from Finarfin's entry in the index of the Silmarillion.
'Alone among the Noldorin princes he and his descendants had golden hair, derived from his mother Indis who was a Vanyarin Elf.'

Gandalf speaking of Glorfindel.
'...you saw him for a moment as he is on the other side: one of the mighty of the Firstborn. He is an Elf-lord of a house of princes.'

from 'Many Meetings'
'Glorfindel was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voive like music; om his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand was strength.'

Putting these three statements together it would seem reasonable to suppose that Glorfindel was a prince of the House of Finarfin, that is to say a decendant of Finarfin himself. Yet there is no direct mention of this in any of Tolkien's work. At least I cannot find anything to support this idea one way or the other.

Is it possible that Glorfindel is indeed a Prince of the House of Finarfin? If so from which line is he he descended? Finrod we are told had no children. There is mention in 'The Grey Annals' in vol. XI of HoME of a certain Haldir son of Orodreth, one possibility. Finduilas we can presume died without issue. Angrod and Aegnor, are also possible fathers of this Golden-haired Noldorin prince.

On the other hand it seems strange to me that Tolkien would make no definite statement upon Glorfindel's lineage, if indeed he did envision him as descendant of Finarfin. Was this an oversight in his part or an issue he never quite got around to addressing?

Any thoughts?

Thorin
06-28-2002, 07:31 PM
I think he may be a relative but not directly descended from Finarfin's line. He was in Turgon's service in Gondolin and it only makes sense that Glorfindel would be of Turgon's folk. So my guess is that Glorfindel is of the house of Fingolfin..

That is speculation of course. I don't have the time or energy to look anything up.

Turgon
06-28-2002, 07:57 PM
But the princes of Fingolfin's house were dark-haired - and the population of Gondolin was not solely made up of Noldor from Fingolfin's house, there was also a significant population of Sindar. It later years when the kindoms of Beleriand began to fall, many Elves sought refuge in the Hidden Kingdom. It's quite possible that Glorfindel was one of these; seeking refuge there after the Dagor Bragollach, when the Northern Kingdoms of the Sons of Finarfin were destroyed.

Again these are just ideas... but it seems to me unlikely that Glorfindel was of the house of Fingolfin.

Cian
06-28-2002, 08:22 PM
In one of the Glorfindel essays Tolkien penned that while Glorfindel left Valinor in the host of Turgon, and so incurred the ban, he did so reluctantly because of "kinship" with Turgon and allegiance to him.

Don't know if that helped though~

Turgon
06-28-2002, 08:41 PM
But Turgon's wife, Elenwe, was of the Vanyar herself (in some versions of the tale) so it's quite possible that Idril had inherited her golden-hair from her mother. Your post suggests to me, Cian, that Glorfindel was related to Turgon through Elenwe...?!? Do you think this a possibility?

Cian
06-28-2002, 08:43 PM
I had edited that out (Idril's hair) before I saw your message because the main thrust was intended to be the "kinship" part in any event :)

Oh, and I added the wording from the essay. Sorry 'bout the confusion but I edited as quick as I might :D

Turgon
06-28-2002, 10:36 PM
With regard to the refugees Smeagol. Many searched for the protection Gondolin had to offer - Arminas and Gelmir spring immediately to mind - and I'm sure many of them found it. Why else would Turgon make a law that any who found the Hidden city would have to remain there?

As for Glorfindel - for me there is no doubt the the two of them are indeed the same person. But that as you say is a subject much debated!!!

But the question has now moved on. How was Glorfindel related to Turgon, if he was a kinsman, then was he somehow related to Elenwe, Turgon's wife?

mr underhill
06-28-2002, 10:39 PM
hey yo im just a nosey n00b but i beg you to stay online as im all on my own.. boo hoo..

mr underhill
06-28-2002, 10:48 PM
maybe there was a secret staircase from rivendell to gondolin!!!

mr underhill
06-28-2002, 11:00 PM
that was a joke......a sort of sarcastic one......

anyway i think the elves knew a lot more than they were letting on...

Turgon
06-28-2002, 11:04 PM
Alas Mr Underhill - Gondolin disappeared beneath the waves many ages ago!

mr underhill
06-28-2002, 11:07 PM
yeah i know.. i sorta skimmed the whole book!!!

mr underhill
06-28-2002, 11:20 PM
i was there last week.... those elves are real party animals...

Sharkey
06-29-2002, 06:15 PM
Perhaps Glorfindel was a kinsman of Turgon's wife(being of the Vanyar and thus having golden hair).I think it's very likely.
Also,I believe the 2 Glorfindels to be the same person.

Melian Le Fay
07-07-2002, 10:46 PM
I don;t really remember that chapter from LOTR when Glorfindel helps Aragorn and Hobbits, and saves them from the Nazgul, but I remember that there was something special about Glorfindel; that the Nazgul could see him, because he sort of existed in both worlds...My guess is that he expirienced death, and was in Mandos...and he's back among the "living" of Middle Earth, so supposedly he exists in both worlds : the world of the living and the world of those whose souls were taken from this life... ( like the Nazgul, they didn't really "exist" among the living of Middle Earth )...hmmm....maybe I didn't expalin it very well, so if any of you should have any problems understanding me, please let me know!!!!!

Melian Le Fay
07-07-2002, 10:50 PM
I was told that not only the Vanyar were fair-haired, but also were Elwe and Cirdan ( they had either "golden or silver hair" )...and some of the silvan Elves, and that Celeborn, Thranduil and Legolas were related to Elwe, so supposedly they had fair hair too....
So much about the theory that only the Vanyar and their offsprings were
blonde!!!!!

¤-Elessar-¤
07-08-2002, 06:22 PM
I believe Millena hit on this fact, but here it goes anyway

The first quote said that one line of the Noldorian princes had golden hair. Was Glorfindel specifically of Noldorian Lineage?

Rúmil
07-08-2002, 07:11 PM
Nobody knows. In the Sil insex he is just "an Elf of Gondolin". There are many long threads about whether he is the same as the one from the Ford in Lotr, but my answer is no.

Turgon
07-08-2002, 07:12 PM
Specifically Noldorin? No. But neither could he be of Sindar or Silvan lineage, coming as he did to Middle Earth from Valinor in Turgon's host. He could possibly be of Teleri descent, but I think that is unlikely. My own revised opinion is this: Glorfindel was of the Vanyar. I've based this on Cian's quote that Glorfindel was a kinsman of Turgon... of Turgon but not of Fingolfin? So a kinsman how? Through Elenwe of the Vanyar, Turgon's wife? It seems the most likely answer.

Tar-Elenion
07-09-2002, 07:02 AM
JRRt specifically says Glorfindel is a Noldo. I have theorized that he might be descended from Fingolfin's sister who accompanied Fingolfin into exile.

Rúmil
07-09-2002, 12:49 PM
I believe that Glorfindel in the Sil was not the same person as Glorifindel in the Lotr: the Sil states plainly:
Many are the songs that have been sung of the duel of Glorfindel with the Balrog upon a pinnacle of rock in that high place; and both fell to ruin in the abyss. I think Glorfindel in the Lotr was of the same house as Glorfindel of the Sil, and possibly named after him for his physical resemblance. At any rate, I agree that Glorfindel was of Vanya descent; not fully Vanya, as none of them ever returned, but maybe a brother-in-law of Turgon's.

Cian
07-09-2002, 04:03 PM
Tolkien penned a couple essays, the Prof. himself apparently concluding therein that the two Glorfindels were indeed the same. Also that he was a Noldo (as Tar-E said) ... in The Book Of Lost Tales mythology Glorfindel was a Gnome (one of the Noldoli).

Rúmil
07-09-2002, 04:06 PM
I never came across that material; it would at any rate mean revising the text of the published Silmarillion. Could you please tell me where that essay could be found? never miss an occasion for reading something by Tolkien ;)

Cian
07-09-2002, 04:14 PM
The essays can be found in the HOME vol. The Peoples Of Middle-Earth

JRRT did add that the duel with the demon may need revision, but the idea regarding Glorfindels "return" has to do with his reincarnation, thus implying that his sacrifice against the Balrog was to 'stay' in any updated revision IMO. Cheers

Rúmil
07-09-2002, 04:18 PM
Ok, thanks Cian; I haven't had a chance to read Home vol XII *looks sidelong at the guy at his local bookshop* though I sould receive it some time in August *cringes with impatience*

Cian
07-09-2002, 04:24 PM
No problem. I guess the above now amounts to a bit of a spoiler ... ah well there's lots more awaiting you in August in any case :)

aragil
07-09-2002, 05:12 PM
I thought some of the essays specifically addressing the name 'Glorfindel' concluded that the name could not be Quenya (or Noldorin, or what have you). Is that so, or did I only dream it? In any case, I agree with the line of logic that no pure Noldo could have blonde hair (kind of like no pure troll being immune to sunlight), so I think that a Vanya influence is probably a good thing to look for.

Rúmil
07-09-2002, 05:15 PM
Quenya is Noldorin. Some time by 1950 Tolkien realized that the native laguage of the Noldor was Quenya. What had been previously called Noldroin (in the Etymologies) was changed to Sindarin and became the language of the Grey-Elves. I think it's a general agreement that Glorfindel had Vanya blood though.

Cian
07-09-2002, 05:37 PM
Tolkien had expressed that the name was difficult to fit into Sindarin, "... and cannot possibly be Quenyarin."

One can have a Sindarin name in Gondolin and still be a Noldo though. The name was Gnomish in origin (the "precursor", in a very general sense, of Noldorin > Sindarin)

Not the Trolls again! ;););)

~~~~~
A possible Quenya (by meaning) form from David Salo goes Laurefindele

Mormegil
07-09-2002, 05:41 PM
I think that you are all missing the obvious answer here. Glorfindel was a black haired Noldo. But sometime early in his youth he invented peroxide and became the first bottle blonde in ME.:) Problem solved.

Rúmil
07-09-2002, 06:26 PM
So maybe his just changed the spelling of his name so it could fit round a Sindarin tongue...

¤-Elessar-¤
07-13-2002, 08:30 PM
I just remembered. I read in a book (like the illistrated encyclopedia of Middle earth, or Tolkien, or something..., anyways, it was written by a tolkien scholar) that the Glorfindel of Rivendale was named after the one of Gondolin, that the one of Gondolin perished in the assault.

Rúmil
07-13-2002, 08:38 PM
I'm afraid that book isn't always accurate... Glorfindel died, and that's a fact. But is Glor from Lotr a descendant of Glor balrog-bane, or randomly named so because he had golden hair, or is it himself back from the dead?

Legolas_lover12
07-17-2002, 03:40 AM
ok, here r some things i found:


during the third age few remained of the mighty noldor who had returned to middle earth in exile durring the elder days. of these, one of the nolblest was glorfindel, of the house of finarphir, an elf-lord of a house of princes, leader of the hosts of rivendell and one of elrond's cheif counsellors.

to me this means that the same glorfindel who came back to ME in exile in the elder days is in ME in the third age. it also says he is noldorion. so i think he is the same one reincarnated. i think tolkien once said (someplace) that when he saw they had the same name he made them the same person. even though it really wasn't his original intent. or something like that it also says he is of the house of finarphir. it says someplace else:


finrod the golden-haired was himself of finarphir's house.

so since finrod is the son of finarfin that would mean he is of the house of finarfin, not fingolfin.

this is what it says about finarphir:


one of the great high-elves of ancient eldamar, the founder of the royal edarian house of the finwe, whose descendants included finrod felagund and his sister galadriel. gildor inglorion and the prince glorfindel were also of his kin.
the house of finarphir was the only house of elves of any sort to produce golden hair in it's children; as a tolken of this; the banner of the house was worked in gold.

so he is realated to turgon because turgon is also of the house of finarphir. turgon being the son of fingolfin who is the sone of finwe who is of the house of finarphir.

i do hope this helps.

Tar-Elenion
07-17-2002, 06:01 AM
Where are you taking these quotes from? There are assumptions and innaccuracies in them.

Legolas_lover12
07-17-2002, 02:14 PM
they are from The Tolkien Companion. the insipensable guide to the wondrous legends, history, languages, and peoples of midlle earth. it is like a dictonairy of everything a bout middle earth. very interesting acctually.



there are assumptions and inaccuracies in them


well, we are all assuming things. so everything is an assumption because we don't really "know". we all have a different opinion. like who we assume (or think) glorfindel is related to. does that mke u happy?? probably not...........................................

Cian
07-17-2002, 02:46 PM
If you want the 'answer' as Tolkien himself apparently decided on paper (at least) then, as said, the two Glorfindels were indeed the same. That general 'conclusion' is clear from these essays published in POME.

Rúmil
07-17-2002, 02:52 PM
Yes, that is the conclusion. But it means he reincarnated very fast.

Legolas_lover12
07-17-2002, 05:37 PM
well, what's wrong with that?? is it written somewhere that elves can't reincarnate fast??? is there a certain time span they have to stay dead?? *sarcastic*

Rúmil
07-17-2002, 07:22 PM
Nothing wrong with it, it's just a little unusual.

aragil
07-17-2002, 07:28 PM
I dunno Rumil-fast is a relative term, and the only other re-incarnation time we are given (that I can think of) is Feanor- who is still waiting. Finrod we know is already wondering around Lorien with his pops, so it's not like all of the Elves wait forever. The amount of time spent in Mandos is related to how you lived your life- Glory of Gondolin gave his life in a very heroic and selfless manner, so it would make sense that he gets re-incarnated quickly.

Also, adding to the evidence that Glory 1 = Glory 2 is a passage in HoME right as Frodo (probably Bingo) is convalescing in Rivendell- JRRT made a note to the effect of 'Glorfindel tells of past in Gondolin'. This would have been written in the late 1930's, long before the Professor's late essays confirming Glory 1 = Glory 2. Are we to believe that there were two Blonde Elves named Glorfindel in Gondolin, both of which escaped the original sack of the city?

Rúmil
07-17-2002, 07:34 PM
Are we to believe that there were two Blonde Elves named Glorfindel in Gondolin, both of which escaped the original sack of the city? Might happen, Glory might be a very common name in Gondolin :D

No, he definitely is the same, that's a fact.

Cian
07-17-2002, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by aragil
Also, adding to the evidence that Glory 1 = Glory 2 is a passage in HoME right as Frodo (probably Bingo) is convalescing in Rivendell- JRRT made a note to the effect of 'Glorfindel tells of past in Gondolin'. This would have been written in the late 1930's, long before the Professor's late essays confirming Glory 1 = Glory 2. Are we to believe that there were two Blonde Elves named Glorfindel in Gondolin, both of which escaped the original sack of the city?

Good point Aragil. And we certainly know what that history generally was, as already written at least, and was thus likely to be inside JRRTs head ~ that Laurefindelë had died while fighting the Demon. I wonder how Tolkien would have treated the tale specifically, and just how much of that past he would have (then) 'revealed'. Cheers

Confusticated
12-07-2002, 01:15 PM
As far as I know (which isn't too far) there is nothing that can rule Angrod out as the father of Glorfindel.
It would explain his Golden hair, and his being a Noldo.
If he was the son of Angrod he might have been with his father up in Dorthonion, being near Gondolin he may have happend upon it.
I don't have reason to think that Tolkien intended this, but there is no proof against this that I know which should keep one from believing this is they so choose.
One thing that makes it unlikely, as I judge it is this:
It would explain kinship with Turgon, but if Tolkien said that Kinship with Turgon were his reason for going into exile, then surely it would have been said instead that it was kinship with his own father had his father been Angrod or any known elf. :confused:
So, if one uses that reason alone as evidence that he is not a son of Angrod, one may as well use it for evidence that he is not a son of any elf that we hear much about.
If that is so, why bother trying to figure the puzzle out anyhow?
So, I say Angrod is as good as any.

Also, I think we can rule Aegnor out based upon what Finrod tells Andreth in Morgoth's Ring.

Sharkey
12-07-2002, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Nóm
As far as I know (which isn't too far) there is nothing that can rule Angrod out as the father of Glorfindel.
It would explain his Golden hair, and his being a Noldo.


If Glorfindel were Angrod's son, does that mean he was born in Valinor or in ME? If the latter, wouldn't it have been strange that he slew the Balrog since his powers weren't "enhanced" by the light of the Blessed Realm? I was under the impression that only the High Elves had the sufficient power to defeat a Balrog.

Link
12-07-2002, 04:21 PM
Okay okay okay.................wait.

Finwe - the leader of the Noldor in Valinor (before he was killed by Melkor in formenos)

Finwe had two wives. Miriel was the first, who was a Noldorin Elf, and she is the one who gave birth to Feanor, who we all know had dark hair. Giving birth to Feanor took so much energy out of Miriel that she went to Lorien (the Lorien in Valinor) and eventually passed away.

Indis was Finwe's second wife. She was a VANYAR elf. She is the one that gave birth to Fingolfin (hence him having blonde hair) and Finarfin (he also had blonde hair)

Now, Legolas_lover said that Glorfindel was of the house of Finarfin. We don't exactly know of what relation, but if it was indeed a blood-relation, Indis's blood would indeed be flowing in Glorfindel as well, giving him his blonde hair.

I got this from the Encyclopedia of Arda. Here's a link to it:

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

Just look up Glorfindel of Gondolin in the G section.

Sharkey
12-07-2002, 04:42 PM
I believe Fingolfin was dark-haired.

I don't think we need to "insert" Glorfindel into one of the royal houses.

Here's a quote from the very first post of this thread:

from Finarfin's entry in the index of the Silmarillion.
'Alone among the Noldorin princes he and his descendants had golden hair, derived from his mother Indis who was a Vanyarin Elf.'


The known princes of the Noldor are Fingon, Turgon, Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod, Aegnor and the 7 sons of Fëanor.

Glorfindel might have simply been the child of a Noldo and a Vanya (hence the golden hair) and a "member" of the people of one of the royal houses (Turgon?).
Or like Tar-E said, he could have been a descendant of Fingolfin's sister.

Link
12-07-2002, 04:49 PM
From Enyclopedia of Arda:

The Problem of the Two Glorfindels

With the possible exception of Tom Bombadil's identity (and - of course - the wingedness or otherwise of Balrogs), there is no more hotly debated topic than the ultimate fate of Glorfindel. Were Glorfindel of Gondolin and Glorfindel of Rivendell the same person?

The only real resource we have to answer this question is in The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth Vol. 12): XIII Last Writings, Glorfindel. Christopher Tolkien dates the notes he gives here at 1972, the year before his father's death.

These notes clear up one question immediately: at the time of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Glorfindel of Rivendell was not conceived as the same character as Glorfindel of Gondolin. Tolkien says, 'Its use [i.e. the name 'Glorfindel'] in The Lord of the Rings is one of the cases of the somewhat random use of the names found in the older legends ... which escaped reconsideration in the final published form...'.

Tolkien was far from happy with this state of affairs, however, and it seems that he intended to reconcile the problem by uniting the two strands of the story. In summary, the notes tell us that Glorfindel's spirit returned to the Halls of Waiting, but was after a time re-embodied by the Valar. He then returned to Middle-earth (either in the mid-Second Age, or as a companion of the Istari in the Third). For the full story of his return, refer to The Peoples of Middle-earth.

The question of Glorfindel's identity, then, brings us to a much wider, and highly relevant, question. Can we accept a writer's personal notes, whether written in preparation for a published work, or simply for personal satisfaction, as part of that writer's 'canon'?

The importance of this question is highlighted by the essay entitled The Problem of Ros in the same volume of The History of Middle-earth. This is an extensive disposition on the origins and meaning of the syllable ros in names such as Elros. The details need not concern us here: what is relevant is the fact that, after its composition, Tolkien noticed a detail in the published Lord of the Rings that essentially negated the discussion. He dismissed the body of The Problem of Ros with four words; 'most of this fails'.

But what if he had not noticed this inconvenient fact (that Cair Andros had already been interpreted, and disagreed with his conclusions)? What if he had noticed, but had failed to record the fact? Would The Problem of Ros now be considered part of the 'Tolkienian' canon in the way that many regard the notes on Glorfindel? Questions like this show that we cannot simply take such notes on immediate face value.

Despite this, the Glorfindel notes lead many to see his re-embodiment and return to Middle-earth as 'fact' (and not a few have e-mailed us to remind us of this!) The purpose of this rather lengthy aside, though, is to show that we cannot view these 'events' in such concrete terms. This is the reason that the 'two Glorfindels' have separate entries on this site. This is not because we do not believe that Tolkien saw them as different embodiments of the same character (as we have seen, there are strong indications that he did), but simply because there is no definitive, published, proof of this.

Notes
1 The Noldor were normally dark-haired, but the golden hair of the Vanyar was introduced through Indis, a Vanyarin Elf-maiden; hence the descendants of her sons Fingolfin and Finarfin sometimes had golden hair, suggesting that Glorfindel may have come from this noble line.

Sharkey
12-07-2002, 05:24 PM
I've read that several times already. You could have just posted a link, Link.:p

Link
12-07-2002, 05:53 PM
well, i did in the one before it, but i didn't know if you had taken the time to read it.

Confusticated
12-07-2002, 10:35 PM
Can we accept a writer's personal notes, whether written in preparation for a published work, or simply for personal satisfaction, as part of that writer's 'canon'?

I do, and did just from what is told in HoMe 6 alone, but looking through Glorfindel threads last night I see that much more was said about him. I do take Tolkien's later thought that Gondolin's Glorfindel came back to Middle-earth as fact.

***********************

Originally posted by ithrynluin
If Glorfindel were Angrod's son, does that mean he was born in Valinor or in ME? If the latter, wouldn't it have been strange that he slew the Balrog since his powers weren't "enhanced" by the light of the Blessed Realm? I was under the impression that only the High Elves had the sufficient power to defeat a Balrog.

If he were the son of Angrod, that in it's self says nothing about when/where he was born. Aside from the idea that it seems less likely that Angrod would have had a child during his time in Middle-earth concidering his situation.

Being an exile does though.

Which is why I pointed out that if Tolkien took the thought that he is kin of Turgon and that this is why he went into exile, surely if he thought he was also the son of Angrod (or any well known elf) he would have said so when he mentions kinship with Turgon.