The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Probably 'fire'1


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  • Updated 2 April 2000
  • Updates planned: 40

Gimli Elf-friend

Descendant of the Kings of Durin's Folk

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The Company of the Ring

Son of Glóin, he travelled from Rivendell with the Company of the Ring. After the breaking of the Fellowship at Parth Galen, he hunted Orcs across Rohan with Aragorn and Legolas. He fought at the Battle of the Hornburg, and at the Pelennor Fields. He is famed for his fast friendship with Legolas the Elf; some stories say that they sailed into the West together - if this is true, then Gimli was the first and only of dwarven-kind to come to the Undying Lands.



In common with nearly all Tolkien's dwarf-names, Gimli comes from a Mannish tongue, based on Old Norse. Unusually, Tolkien himself seems uncertain on the original meaning of Gimli. In his Letters, he writes 'its meaning seems to have been "fire"' (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, No 297, dated 1967).

In Norse mythology, Gimli was not the name of a person, but of a place: a great golden-roofed hall in Asgard where the righteous were taken after death. A golden-roofed hall appears in Tolkien's work, too, of course - the Golden Hall of Meduseld at Edoras - though it is unclear whether there is a connection.

In Adûnaic, gimli means 'stars' (gimil, 'star', appears in names such as Gimilkhâd) but this is probably no more than a coincidence.

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