Thingol

Elu Thingol is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand and Children of Húrin and in numerous stories in The History of Middle-earth. He is a major character in the First Age of Middle-earth[1] and an essential part of the ancestral backgrounding of the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings.

Thingol
Tolkien character
THINGOL FIGHTS BOLDOG.jpg
The Fight between Thingol and Boldog
illustration by Tom Loback
In-universe information
AliasesElwë Singollo,
Elu Thingol,
King of Doriath,
King of the Sindar,
King of the Teleri,
High-king and Lord of Beleriand,
RaceElves
GenderMale
Book(s)The Silmarillion,
The Children of Húrin,
The Lays of Beleriand,
Beren & Lúthien

Thingol is introduced as the King of Doriath, King of the Sindar, High-king[2] and Lord of Beleriand. He is said to be "the tallest of all the Children of Ilúvatar" and the "mightiest of the Eldar save Fëanor only".[3]

Fictional roleEdit

In The Silmarillion he is one of the three chieftains of the Elves who depart from Cuiviénen with Oromë as ambassadors of Valinor and later become Kings. Upon his return, he persuades many of his kindred, the Nelyar, to follow him back to Valinor. This host becomes known as the Teleri. He later encounters Melian the Maia and fell in love with her. He had a daughter, Luthien, who married Beren. He fought numerous wars with Morgoth and Feanor, before being killed in a war with the Dwarves. Thingol was the one who set numerous quests deemed impossible for Beren in order to prevent him from marrying Luthien.

EtymologyEdit

  • Thingol is, in Tolkien's fictional language of Sindarin, a form of an epithet of Elu. Elu is from Elwë, Star-man (man in the sense male, not human). Thingol comes from sindacollogrey cloak, possibly derived from his family trait of long silver hair. The Quenya form of the same name is Elwë Singollo, Singollo meaning Greycloak.
  • AranrúthKing's Ire, Thingol's sword. In History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII, p. 376 a stem, RUTH, is given with the sense "scar, score, furrow" It is worth noting that this was also the sword of the Kings of Númenor and very likely Ar-Pharazôn had it with him when he assaulted Valinor, where it was presumably buried with him.
  • List Melian – Doriathrin Sindarin for Girdle of Melian.

ReceptionEdit

Verlyn Flieger writes that Thingol's actions may seem unjustified thematically, but in terms of plot they make sense in terms of his politics and dynastic needs. With the return of the Noldorin Elves to Middle-earth, his mood darkens with the threat that the immigrants pose to his kingdom. He takes successively darker actions, moving in Flieger's terms further and further from the light, so that even when he gets a Silmaril, he knows neither how to appreciate it nor to use it. She contrasts him with Beren, who though a Man is constantly drawn towards the light.[4]

Tom Shippey writes that Thingol is part of the tightly-woven trap of The Silmarillion. There are three Hidden Elvish Kingdoms including Doriath; these were founded by three relatives, including Thingol; and they are each betrayed and destroyed; they are each penetrated by a mortal Man, again all relatives, in Doriath's case Beren; and the sense of Doom, which Shippey glosses as "future disaster", hangs heavy over all of them in the tale.[5]

The medievalist Marjorie Burns states that Thingol gained "great power" through his marriage to the Maia Melian, noting that she resembles Rider Haggard's infinitely desirable Arthurian muse, Ayesha of his novel She: A History of Adventure. Unlike Galadriel, Melian is overtly sexual, with her clothes "'filmy' and 'most lovely', and her singing and dancing is like 'strong wine'" to Thingol, who is bewitched by her. When she becomes his Queen, she protects Doriath with her "girdle of enchantment", weaving "much magic and mystery" around Thingol's halls; she is opposed by Ungoliant the monstrous spider of darkness, just as Galadriel was opposed by Shelob.[6]

The House of Thingol, Elmo, and OlwëEdit

MelianTHINGOL
d. First Age 502
Elmo
unknown
Olwë
b. YT
Círdan
b. YT
Eöl
d. FA 400
Aredhel
d. FA 400
unknown
mother
Aranwë
unknown
GaladhonEärwenFinarfinMaeglinVoronwë
Lúthien
YT 1200FA 503
GalathilCelebornGaladriel
b. YT 1362
Angrod
d. FA 455
EldalótëFinrod
YT 1300FA 465
Aegnor
d. FA 455
Dior
d. FA 506
Nimloth
d. FA 506
Orodreth
d. FA 495
Eluréd
FA 500FA 506
Elurín
FA 500FA 506
Elwing
b. FA 503
Gil-galad
d. SA 3441
Finduilas
d. FA 495
Elros
FA 532SA 442
Elrond
b. FA 532
Celebrían
Tar-Elendil
SA 350SA 751
Silmariën
b. SA 521
Tar-Meneldur
SA 543SA 942
Elendil
SA 3119SA 3441
Ar-Pharazôn
SA 3118SA 3319
Isildur
SA 3209TA 2
Anárion
SA 3219SA 3440
Arvedui
TA 1864TA 1975
Fíriel
b. TA 1896
Aranarth
TA 1941TA 2106
Aragorn
TA 2931FA 120
Arwen
TA 241FA 121
Elladan
b. TA 130
Elrohir
b. TA 130
Eldarion

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bulles, Marcel E. (2013) [2006]. "Thingol". In Michael D.C. Drout (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 646. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
  2. ^ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien editor, History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI, (1994), p. 21, "Fingolfin...acknowledged the high-kingship of Thingol"; p.380, Thingol is also acknowledged high-king by Círdan and his following: p.410, the Grey-elves of Mithrim acknowledged Thingol as high-king.
  3. ^ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien editor, History of Middle-earth, Vol.XI, (1994), p.21, p.25.
  4. ^ Flieger, Verlyn (1983). Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 120–130. ISBN 978-0-8028-1955-0.
  5. ^ Shippey, Tom (2005) [1982]. The Road to Middle-Earth (Third ed.). HarperCollins. pp. 287–296. ISBN 978-0261102750.
  6. ^ Burns, Marjorie (2005). Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth. University of Toronto Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8020-3806-7.

External linksEdit