The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Thingol's realm was hidden by the Girdle of Melian from shortly before the first rising of the Sun to I 502; Turgon dwelt in his Hidden City from I 116 to I 510
Location
Thingol dwelt in Doriath in the central regions of Beleriand; Turgon's city of Gondolin was north and west from Doriath, within the Encircling Mountains
Origins
Doriath's Girdle was created by Thingol's consort Melian; Turgon constructed his own Hidden City
Race
Divisions
Thingol was of the Sindar, Turgon of the Noldor
Cultures
Elves of Doriath and Gondolindrim, respectively
Title of

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  • Updated 29 April 2017
  • This entry is complete

Hidden King

A title of Thingol and of Turgon

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

There were two realms in Beleriand known as the Hidden Kingdom, each ruled by a Hidden King, but each was hidden in its own particular way. Of these, Gondolin was the most truly hidden, constructed in secret by Turgon, and concealed from friend and foe alike until the last century of the First Age. It was known outside Gondolin that Turgon ruled there as a Hidden King (indeed, after the fall of Fingon, Turgon was formally High King of the Noldor for a time) but none knew where his Hidden City was located.

The other Hidden King ruled a realm whose location was well known - it lay within the central forests of Beleriand - but whose boundaries were obscured to outsiders. This was Thingol, the ancient King of Doriath and overlord of the Sindar. Thingol's Queen Melian was a Maia of remarkable power, and she surrounded his forest kingdom with a mesh of enchantment known as the Girdle of Melian. While the Girdle remained, none1 could enter Doriath except at the King's will, and so Thingol's Hidden Kingdom remained protected until his death in I 502.

Elu Thingol Thingol's woodland kingdom was not truly hidden, as it filled the central regions of Beleriand, but after the First Battle of the Wars of Beleriand, the forests of Doriath were fenced by the Girdle of Melian. The power of the Girdle held back those that Thingol or Melian did not wish to enter their realm, and so King Thingol was hidden from his enemies.
Turgon Turgon son of Fingolfin was a Hidden King in the truest sense of the word. Guided by Ulmo, Turgon found the secret valley of Tumladen deep within the Encircling Mountains, and there he built his city of Gondolin. Turgon brought his people from Nevrast to dwell in the Hidden City, and there they remained undiscovered for most of the First Age.

Notes

1

There was a sole exception in Beren, a Man whose fate was so strong that not even Melian's power could prevent him from entering the girdled kingdom of Doriath.

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