The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Thingol awoke or was born by Cuiviénen, and was slain I 502; Gandalf was immortal, but dwelt in Middle-earth c. III 1000 to 29 September III 3021
Gandalf was an Ainu; Thingol was an Elf
Gandalf was a Maia; Thingol belonged to the Sindar
Gandalf belonged to the Order of Wizards
Thingol dwelt in halls of Menegroth in the land of Doriath
Other names
Gandalf was commonly known as the Grey, and also titled Greyhame from the colour of his cloak;1 Thingol was also known as Greycloak (which was indeed the meaning of the name Thingol, from earlier Singollo, Sindacollo)
Title of


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 July 2022
  • This entry is complete


‘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'.

Thingol One of the earliest Elves was Elwë Singollo, known for his grey cloak, 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'.
Gandalf Long after Thingol's time, 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 the 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.



Gandalf had various other titles relating to the colour Grey, which seem to derive at least in part from his grey cloak or mantle. His usual Elvish name was Mithrandir, literally 'Grey Wanderer', but also translated 'Grey Pilgrim'. He was also described as the Grey Messenger, and on one occasion (by Steward Denethor in a desperate mood) as the Grey Fool.

See also...

Greyhame, North-spy, Singollo


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 July 2022
  • This entry is complete

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