HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Fall of Gil-Galad, The

Type: Songs & Stories

Description:

A lay in Quenya about Gil-galad, the High King of the Noldor; translated to Westron by Bilbo Baggins.
'It is told that Elendil stood [on the Tower of Amon Sûl] watching for the coming of Gil-galad out of the West, in the days of the Last Alliance.'

The hobbits gazed at Strider. It seemed that he was learned in old lore, as well as in the ways of the wild. 'Who was Gil-galad?' asked Merry; but Strider did not answer, and seemed to be lost in thought. Suddenly a low voice murmured:
Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven's field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.
The others turned in amazement, for the voice was Sam's.

'Don't stop!' said Merry.

'That's all I know,' stammered Sam, blushing. 'I learned it from Mr. Bilbo when I was a lad. He used to tell me tales like that, knowing how I was always one for hearing about Elves. It was Mr. Bilbo as taught me my letters. He was mighty book-learned was dear old Mr. Bilbo. And he wrote poetry. He wrote what I have just said.'

'He did not make it up,' said Strider. 'It is part of the lay that is called The Fall of Gil-galad, which is in an ancient tongue. Bilbo must have translated it. I never knew that.'

'There was a lot more,' said Sam, 'all about Mordor. I didn't learn that part, it gave me the shivers.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 11, A Knife in the Dark

Contributors: Anglachel - 6Jul03
added links: Elena Tiriel 10Jul06, 17Sep07

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