13 May 2012

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 317: Turgon

Turgon (S. ‘Commander of Power’; ‘Stone Master’, from Q. Turukáno) was the second son of Fingolfin. During his time in Middle-earth, he was King of Gondolin (104-511) and High King of the Noldor (473-511). Friendly with the sons of Finarfin, he initially rejected Fëanor’s plan to pursue Morgoth following the theft of the Silmarils, but ultimately joined the rest of his kin in becoming one of the Exiles. As Fëanor and his sons had taken the only ships, Turgon led his people across the Helcaraxë; before setting a foot in Middle-earth, his wife Elenwë was lost, but Turgon and their daughter Idril made it to Nevrast, where he built Vinyamar.

Ulmo, who was friendly with Turgon, instructed him to build a secret kingdom, and revealed to him the hidden valley of Tumladen. After labouring in secret for 52 years, Turgon led his people into this new kingdom of Gondolin, where he ruled for over 500 years. With few exceptions, no one was allowed to enter or leave the city.

But Turgon was wise, and believed that the hope of the Noldor lay in the West; and so after the Dagor Bragollach, he sent messengers west in search of Valinor, but only one ever returned.

At this time, Turgon found he could no longer remain aloof from the conflicts taking place across the northlands. With his army, he joined the Union of Maedhros and fought in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad alongside Fingon. He and his host were defeated, but as a result of the valour of the Men of Dor-lómin (led by Húrin), he was able to retreat without the city of Gondolin being discovered.

When Tuor came to Gondolin in 496, he was welcomed by Turgon; but in his pride, the King of Gondolin refused the advice of Ulmo, which would have him flee to the Havens of Sirion. This ultimately led to the fall of Gondolin, as evil had now awoken in the great city, and at this time the full extent of Morgoth’s malice was directed at Turgon. Aided by a despairing Húrin and the treachery of Maeglin, Gondolin was at last discovered, and Turgon slain defending his Tower.

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