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Sindar (through his father) and Noldor (though his mother)
Settled among the Gondolindrim
Descended from the House of Fingolfin through his mother Aredhel
Born in the house of Eöl in Nan Elmoth; dwelt in Gondolin in later life
Named for the shadowy forest of Nan Elmoth where he was born1
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 September 2023
  • This entry is complete

Child of the Twilight

Lómion, born beneath the gloom of Nan Elmoth

Child of the Twilight

Aredhel the sister of Turgon felt constrained within her brother's Hidden City, and set out into the world beyond. In the perilous northern reaches of Beleriand, she lost her companions and found herself wandering alone in the deep darkness of the wood of Nan Elmoth. There she encountered Eöl the Dark Elf, who dwelt alone within the wood. The two wed, and Aredhel gave birth to a son. That son was born into the tree-shadowed world of Nan Elmoth, and so Aredhel named him Lómion, the Child of the Twilight.2

It was not until the Child of the Twilight was twelve years old that he received a name from his father (an unusual practice for the Elves, because the father usually named a child at birth). Lómion then received the name Maeglin, meaning 'Sharp Glance', and it is by this name that he became known in the histories of the First Age.

At times Maeglin's father would take him to visit the Dwarf-cities in the Blue Mountains, but as he grew to manhood, the Child of the Twilight became eager to see the fabled city where his mother Aredhel had once dwelt. Waiting until a time when Eöl was away from his home, Aredhel and her son set out from the twilit woods of Nan Elmoth and made their way westward to Gondolin. Eöl realised this, and followed them on their secret way, and so all three eventually reached the Dark Gate that led through the Encircling Mountains to Gondolin.

Having entered the Hidden City, Eöl was barred from departing again. Rebelling against the King's command, Eöl sought to take his son's life with a poisoned dart, but Aredhel was slain in his stead, and Turgon ordered Eöl cast from the city's walls. Maeglin, however, survived these events and indeed eventually became a trusted councillor of the King, though his heart still held some of the secret darkness of his father.

Years later, after Tuor had come to Gondolin and his son Eärendil had been born there, Maeglin fell into the hands of Morgoth's hunters. Searching for ore for his smithing arts, he had wandered beyond the northern hills, and been captured by Orcs. Under threat of torture, he gave up the place where Gondolin could be found, and in return Morgoth promised that Maeglin would rule the city once it was under the Dark Lord's power. This was not to be. During Morgoth's invasion, Tuor fought with the treacherous Maeglin and cast him from the walls and into the fires below. So the Child of the Twilight ended as the Sun rose over the devastation of Gondolin that his treachery had brought about.



Though the 'twilight' of the name is explained in reference to the shadows beneath the trees of Nan Elmoth, it also carries a deeper significance. Aredhel was known as Ar-Feiniel the White Lady of the Noldor, whereas Eöl was the Dark Elf. Their child, then, was born of the light and the darkness, and thus was well named 'Child of the Twilight'.


The Silmarillon says (in chapter 16, Of Maeglin) that ' her heart [Aredhel] gave him a name in the forbidden tongue of the Noldor, Lómion, that signifies Child of the Twilight...' The meaning of the words 'in her heart' are unclear, but it may be that Aredhel never spoke the name aloud (especially since it would have been recognised as deriving from the Quenya tongue). It follows that the Child of the Twilight might possibly have grown up without ever hearing his mother's name for him.

See also...

Lómion, Sharp Glance


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 September 2023
  • This entry is complete

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