The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
airray'nion gil-ga'lad
('rr' simply emphasises that the 'r' sound should be distinctly pronounced)
'Ereinion' means 'descendant of kings'; 'gil-galad' is 'star of radiance'
This Elf-lord's name is usually given simply as 'Gil-galad'


About this entry:

  • Updated 6 September 1998
  • This entry is complete

Ereinion Gil-galad

The last High King of the Noldor

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
"Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea."
From The Fall of Gil-Galad,
as translated by Bilbo Baggins
in The Fellowship of the Ring I 11 A Knife in the Dark

High Kings of the Noldor

Sixth and last of the High Kings of the Noldor. The only son of High King Fingon, Gil-galad was born in Beleriand late in the First Age, and was still a child at the time of the Dagor Bragollach; his father sent him to Círdan at the Havens for safekeeping when Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband in that battle.

Fingon was lost in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, but the crown passed to Gil-galad's uncle Turgon in Gondolin, rather than Gil-galad himself (presumably because of his youth at that time). When Gondolin was lost, Gil-galad received the Kingship of the Noldor; he dwelt with the Exiles of the city at the Mouths of Sirion during the remainder of the First Age.

After the destruction of Beleriand during the War of Wrath, Gil-galad founded a kingdom in Lindon in the far northwest of Middle-earth, between the Blue Mountains and the Great Sea. There he and his people prospered, until Sauron returned; he came first to Lindon in the form of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, but Gil-galad and Elrond rejected him. Soon after, the One Ring was forged, and there was war in Middle-earth between the Elves and Sauron.

After the Downfall of Númenor, Elendil and his sons came to Middle-earth and formed an alliance with Gil-galad, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. They marched on Mordor and besieged Sauron's Dark Tower. Sauron was defeated, but Gil-galad met his death in that war.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2000. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.