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Created at about the time of the foundation of Gondolin in I 116; presumed destroyed in the fall of that city in I 5101
The courts of King Turgon within Gondolin
Created by Turgon himself as an image of Laurelin, the Golden Tree of Valinor
'Hanging flame'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 January 2016
  • This entry is complete


The mate of Belthil in the courts of Turgon

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A tree wrought of gold by King Turgon himself, in memory of the Golden Tree Laurelin, one of the Two Trees of Valinor. It formed a pair with the silver tree Belthil, with which it stood among the fountains at the base of the Tower of the King in Gondolin. These marvellous trees were made at the time of Gondolin's founding, but we have no record of their fate. In the Fall of Gondolin the Tower of the King was thrown down, and so Glingal and Belthil were almost certainly destroyed in its ruin.

The name Glingal is usually interpreted as 'hanging flame' in reference to the clusters of golden flowers hanging beneath the branches of Laurelin (and therefore also of its image Glingal), but there is also an etymological connection to the Elvish word for 'singing' or 'music'. Glingal in fact seems to have been named directly for the original Golden Tree of Valinor: very early sources cite the slight variant spelling Glingol as a name used among the Noldor for that original Tree of Valinor.



We're not told specifically of Glingal's loss in the Fall of Gondolin, but given the scale of destruction it seems unlikely to have survived. If any part of Glingal did last through that disaster, it would have been absolutely lost in the cataclysm at the end of the First Age, just a few decades later.


'Hanging flame' here refers to the clusters of golden flaming flowers that hung beneath the branches of Laurelin, of which the last was used to make the Sun.

See also...

Belthil, Golden Tree, Gondolin

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