The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 21 March 2017
  • Updates planned: 1


‘Bearer of the grey cloak’

A title borne by two famous characters in Tolkien's works. The first of these was Elu Thingol, the King of Doriath in the First Age. His Sindarin name Thingol and its older Quenya equivalent, Singollo, both meant 'Greycloak' or 'Greymantle'.

The name reappeared in a quite different form in the Third Age, when it was one of many acquired by the Wizard Gandalf on his journeys. It was said to come from a name given to him in the Westron or Common Tongue. That original name was possibly Incánus, translated into the language of the Rohirrim as Greyhame, and so into modern English as 'Greymantle'.

Gandalf The Wizard Gandalf was commonly known as 'Gandalf the Grey' because of the grey cloak that he habitually wore. Other forms of address for the Wizard described this cloak directly, as in the title 'Greyhame' ('grey cloak') used in Rohan. Another, rare, form is a use of 'Greymantle' as a title, given as a potential translation of Incánus, an old name for Gandalf used in the southern lands of Middle-earth.
Thingol Long before Gandalf came to Middle-earth, one of the earliest Elves was known as 'Greymantle'. This was Elwë Singollo, known for his grey cloak, and whose surname Singollo meant 'Greymantle' in the ancient tongue of the Elves. Elwë would go on to rule the kingdom of Doriath in the heart of Beleriand, and as the Sindarin tongue evolved, his name changed to became Elu Thingol. Thus the great King of Doriath and Lord of Beleriand, Thingol Greycloak, had a name that literally meant 'Greymantle'.

See also...

Greyhame, North-spy, Singollo

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