The Silmarillion Recap: Farewell to Gondolin Part 1

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last time, Tuor and Idril married, had a son named Earandil, and earned a new level of hatred from Maeglin. This week, Maeglin proves himself to have a serious evil streak after all.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 23 part 4

For years, Gondolin has thrived in secrecy. Sure, King Turgon’s sister roamed off, was captured, and had Maeglin with a rather evil Dark Elf… and sure, Hurin and Huor visited there as boys… However, all things considered, it has remained a secret for many years. And this fact has driven Morgoth absolutely crazy. There is nothing he wants more than to find the secret kingdom and bring it to its knees, but there’s nothing he can do.

Until one day.

Shouting erupts outside. This is very unusual, since no one on the outside knows where Gondolin is. That is, besides Hurin, Tuor’s uncle… who is the one outside shouting. After years of torment under Morgoth, he is desperate, and he knows vaguely where Turgon’s secret realm of Gondolin is, but he doesn’t know how to enter it.

As Hurin sulks away, he has no idea that he’s given a clue to Morgoth concerning the location of Gondolin.

Fortunately, though, the Eagles are able to keep Morgoth’s forces at bay, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t figure out exactly where it is.

Until one fateful day.

Maeglin, King Turgon’s basically evil nephew, is outside of Gondolin. Yes, outside, which is absolutely prohibited, however Maeglin does this secretly so that he can visit with his Dark Elf relatives in the mountains and mine there (which is one of the things that Dark Elves enjoy doing).

During one trip out, though, he is caught by Orcs and dragged back to Morgoth. There, he is tortured relentlessly and enough that eventually he breaks. In return for his life, he reveals the location of Gondolin. As a sort of payment, Morgoth promises that Maeglin can have the two things he’s always wanted: to rule Gondolin (once Morgoth has taken it) and the hand of Idril, his cousin who’s married to Tuor. With such a promise ahead, this appeals to Maeglin. After all, it’s a way to get rid of Tuor, whom he hates, and to finally be with the girl who spurned him (and was too closely related to wed him anyways).

To keep anyone in Gondolin from becoming suspicious of the plan, Morgoth sends Maeglin back home to prepare for the hour when Morgoth attacks. And much to Maeglin’s delight, no one suspects a thing.

Next week, Maeglin and Morgoth’s plan goes into action.


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