Legendarium’ First Age Part 4: Ruin of Doriath and Fall of Gondolin

Ruin of Doriath

Hurin, before parting from Dorith, presented the Nauglamir he had found to Thingol. The Nauglamír, or the Dwarves’ Necklace, was a magnificent jewel crafted by the dwarves using stones from Valinor. Accepting the gift, Thingol decided to unite his sole Silmaril with the Nauglamir, seeking the expertise of the Nogrod dwarves in this endeavor.

The process of merging the Silmaril and the Nauglamir was fraught with tension. As King Thingol belittled the dwarves during the production, the craftsmen became enchanted by the beauty of the necklace they were creating. Eventually, the resulting piece was so exquisite that the dwarves, driven by greed, desired to keep it for themselves instead of presenting it to Thingol. When Thingol resisted, a conflict erupted, leading to the king’s untimely demise at the hands of the dwarves.


Aware of their actions, the escaping dwarves were apprehended and slain one by one by the Elves on their way. Although the Nauglamir was reclaimed, not all the dwarves could be reached, as some managed to flee. Those who survived returned to Nogrod but distorted the truth, sparking a war between Doriath and the dwarves. Meanwhile, witnessing the loss of her beloved and, more importantly, her life partner, Melian, overwhelmed with grief, departed for Valinor. With her departure, the shield that had protected Doriath from external enemies for centuries was lifted.

With Melian’s protection gone, the dwarves launched a massive assault on Doriath. Both sides suffered significant losses, and among the fallen was Mablung, who fought valiantly to defend the kingdom. After a fierce battle, the dwarves managed to seize Nauglamir and attempted to escape, but they were attacked by Beren and the Green Elves along the way. Beren reclaimed the necklace and presented it to Luthien for her to wear for the rest of her life. Upon Luthien’s passing, she passed the necklace to her son, Dior.

Left leaderless, Doriath fell under the rule of Beren and Luthien’s son, Dior. Though he managed to restore the kingdom, troubles did not end. After the dwarves, Feanor’s sons attacked Doriath to claim the Nauglamir in Dior’s possession. When King Dior refused to part with the Silmaril adorning the necklace, the sons launched a merciless assault on Doriath one winter night. The long-standing kingdom of Doriath was forever destroyed in the wake of this attack, resulting in the loss of many prominent figures. Dior, his wife Nimloth, and their children Elurin and Elured were captured and abandoned in the forest to face their fate. Curufin, Caranthir, and Celegorn, sons of Feanor, also perished in the war.

To make matters worse, they failed in their mission yet again. Dior and Nimloth’s daughter, Elwing, escaped with the Silmaril, fleeing to the Mouths of Sirion. The attack on Doriath by Feanor’s sons became known as the second kin-slaying, following the kin-slaying at Alqualondë.

Ruins of Doriath (Created by Midjourney)

Fall of Gondolin

Following the fall of Doriath, the sole remaining city standing is now Gondolin. However, Morgoth is on the verge of destroying this hidden city as well. All he needs is a victim he can manipulate with their emotions. Though it takes time, he eventually finds such a victim.

Living in Gondolin, Elf Maeglin is in love with King Turgon’s daughter, Idril. However, Idril marries a human named Tuor. One day, while Maeglin wanders in the mountains, he is captured by orcs and brought before Morgoth. Morgoth offers to spare Idril if Maeglin reveals the location of Gondolin. Maeglin divulges all he knows. With this information, Morgoth starts to plan and launches a surprise attack on Gondolin while the entire city is celebrating. The fall of Gondolin becomes a legendary example of epic battles. Although Gondolin falls, Morgoth also suffers significant losses. Ecthelion manages to slay 3 Balrogs in the square and ultimately kills Gothmog, but he falls in battle as well. Amidst the chaos, Tuor kills his blood enemy, Maeglin. Maeglin meets his end as he falls off a cliff, just as his father Eöl had cursed him.

Tuor had actually forewarned Turgon about the fall of Gondolin. Prior to Gondolin’s fate, Tuor lived alone in the untamed forests, wandering aimlessly. Until, that is, Vala Ulmo appeared before him. Ulmo informed him that he must find Gondolin and warn King Turgon. Thus, setting out on his journey, Tuor encountered the elf Voronwë along the way. With Voronwë’s guidance, Tuor successfully reached Gondolin and declared that he had a message for the king.

When Tuor stood before King Turgon, Vala Ulmo spoke through his mouth. Ulmo conveyed the impending danger upon Gondolin, urging them to depart before darkness descended upon them. However, Turgon’s pride got the better, and he refused to heed Vala Ulmo’s warning. He also told Tuor that he could no longer leave now that he had discovered Gondolin.

Idril, seemingly sensing the impending events, expresses her unease to her husband Tuor, stating her desire to have a tunnel built. Despite being told the city is unlikely to be found, Idril insists, and a secret tunnel is dug to a secure area beneath Gondolin. Her intuition proves strong, as her thoughts manifest into reality, guiding all the fleeing Elves towards the tunnel. Meanwhile, King Turgon stands with his soldiers, sacrificing his life to serve as a barricade for the fleeing citizens of Gondolin.

Escaping to the secure zone through the hidden passage, the Elves try to distance themselves from Gondolin but encounter a Balrog blocking their path in the mountains. Nevertheless, Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower bravely steps forward and engages in a deadly fight with the fiery creature, plummeting together off the cliff, bound for the halls of Mandos.

Glorfindel and Balrog

Sources and Further Information

  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Silmarillion,” Houghton Mifflin Company (2004)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & İpek, Çiğdem Erkal “Translator”. “Yüzüklerin Efendisi,” Metis Yayınları (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Children of Húrin,” HarperCollins (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “Beren and Lúthien,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2017)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Fall of Gondolin,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2018)
  • Orta Dünya – Legendarium Türkiye, YouTube
  • Yüzüklerin Efendisi – Orta Dünya, YouTube
  • Nerd of the Rings, YouTube


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