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  • Updated 30 September 2015
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Sea-Wing

The ship of Tuor and Idril

As Tuor approached the end of his life in Middle-earth, he built a ship for himself. Traditionally said to have been a large vessel with purple sails, Tuor gave it the Elvish name Eärrámë, which translates as 'Sea-Wing'.1 Aboard this vessel he set out with Idril daughter of Turgon to cross the Great Sea, and neither were heard from again in Middle-earth. Legend said that Sea-Wing had reached the shores of Aman and that Tuor had been granted the enduring life of the Elves.2


Notes

1

The 'wing' in the name 'Sea-Wing' originally had a literal meaning, as names for the ship in earlier versions of Tuor's story were 'Swan-wing' and 'Eagle-wing'. In the final form, these references to birds were lost, but the 'wing' element remained as part of the ship's name.

2

Assuming this story to be true, then Tuor and Idril successfully reached Aman more than a decade before their son Eärendil, in the voyage that saw him successfully plead for the aid of the Valar. This raises an obvious question: what prevented Tuor or Idril from achieving the same task? It seems that Eärendil's Half-elven blood was the critical factor, so that only a descendant of both Kindreds could achieve the destiny that had been assigned to him.

See also...

Eärrámë

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About this entry:

  • Updated 30 September 2015
  • Updates planned: 1

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