Tuor

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Tuor
Tolkien's legendarium character
Tuor slays Othrod.jpg
Tuor Slays Othrod
Aliases Eladar,
Ulmondil,
'The Blessed'
Race Men (later Elves, see history)
Book(s) The Silmarillion
Unfinished Tales
The Book of Lost Tales II

Tuor is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is the grandfather of Elrond Half-elven and one of the most renowned ancestors of the Men of Númenor and of the King of the Reunited Kingdom Aragorn Elessar. Along with Beren Erchamion and Aragorn, Tuor was one of only three Men ever to marry one of the Eldarin Elves.

Tuor's story is one of many told briefly in the 23rd chapter of The Silmarillion.[1] A very early version, written circa 1916–17, is found in The Book of Lost Tales II,[2] part of The History of Middle-earth. Unfinished Tales contains the start of a more mature and complete narrative, which Tolkien began after finishing The Lord of the Rings in the 1950s. However, it gets no further than Tuor's first sight of Gondolin.[3]

Literature[edit]

Tuor was a great hero of the Third House of Men in the First Age, the only son of Huor and Rían and the cousin of Túrin Turambar. Huor was slain covering the retreat of Turgon, King of Gondolin, in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad in Y.S. 472. Rían, having received no tidings of her husband, became distraught and wandered into the wild. She was taken care of by the local Grey-elves, and before the end of the year she bore a son and called him Tuor. But she delivered him to the care of the Elves and departed, dying upon the Haudh-en-Ndengin.

Tuor was fostered by the Elves in the caves of Androth in the Mountains of Mithrim, living a hard and wary life. When Tuor was sixteen their leader Annael resolved to forsake the land, but during the march his people were scattered and Tuor was captured by the Easterlings, who had been sent there by Morgoth and who cruelly oppressed the remnant of the House of Hador. After three years of thraldom under Lorgan the Easterling, Tuor escaped and returned to the caves.

For four years he lived as an outlaw, but never saw a way of escape from Dor-lómin; he slew many of the Easterlings that he came upon during his journeys, and Tuor's name was feared. Meanwhile Ulmo, Vala of Waters, heard of his plight and chose Tuor to bear a message to Turgon, Lord of the Hidden City of Gondolin, and give a hope for the Elves and Men. By Ulmo's power a spring near Tuor's cave overflowed, and following the stream Tuor passed through Dor-lómin to Ered Lómin. Under the guidance of two Elves sent there by Ulmo, Gelmir and Arminas, he passed through the ancient Gate of the Noldor (Sindarin Annon-in-Gelydh) into Nevrast, where Tuor is said to have been the first Man to come to the shore of the Great Sea, Belegaer the shoreless. Thence he was led by seven swans, and came at last to the old dwellings of Turgon at Vinyamar.

Tuor found arms and armour in the ruins of Vinyamar left there centuries ago by Turgon at the command of Ulmo, and then met Ulmo himself at the coast of Belegaer. He appointed Tuor to be his messenger and told him to seek King Turgon in Gondolin, and sent him an Elf Voronwë, saved by Ulmo from a shipwreck, to guide him. Voronwë led Tuor along the southern slopes of Ered Wethrin, and they caught a brief glimpse of Tuor's cousin Túrin near the Pools of Ivrin, the only time the paths of the two ever crossed. Journeying through the fell winter, they eventually reached Gondolin in Y.S. 495. They were admitted, but Turgon did not hearken to the counsel of Ulmo and would not forsake the Hidden City.

The Wedding of Tuor and Idril

Tuor remained in Gondolin, and wed Turgon's daughter, Idril Celebrindal. This was the second union between the Eldar and the Edain, after Beren and Lúthien. Their only child was Eärendil the Mariner. Tuor was the leader of the House of the Swan Wing, one of the twelve houses of Gondolin, and won the hearts of the Gondolindrim. During the sack of the city Tuor defended his wife and son from Orcs and Maeglin, whom he slew. With the remnant of the people of Gondolin he escaped the sacking of the city by a secret way contrived by Idril, encountering a Balrog in the mountain heights; saved but by the valour of Glorfindel, chief of the House of the Golden Flower.

At last they reached Nan-tathren and the Mouths of Sirion. Tuor eventually felt a longing for the Sea, and built the ship Eärramë (Sea-wing). The Mouths of Sirion were now held by Eärendil and Elwing, but Tuor sailed to the West with Idril, and it was a tradition under the Eldar and Edain that they arrived in Valinor, bypassing the Ban of the Valar, and that Tuor alone of Men was counted as Elven kindred, still living there now. In a letter Tolkien indicated that Tuor's "conversion" was allowed by Eru Ilúvatar as a unique exception, just like Lúthien's assumption of a mortal fate.[4]

Names and titles[edit]

For the question of etymology of Tuor's name see House of Hador. In later histories he was often titled Eladar "Starfather", as the father of Eärendil, and Ulmondil "Friend of Ulmo".[5]

Concept and creation[edit]

In the original Fall of Gondolin Tuor is said to have carried an axe, called Dramborleg "Thudder-Sharp", that "smote both a heavy dint as of a club and cleft as a sword". The Axe of Tuor is referred to in later writings as preserved in Númenor as an heirloom of the Kings, though the name must have been rejected as unfitting later language conceptions.[6]

In early versions of the story Tuor was supposed to have travelled all the way from Dor-lómin along the shores of the Sea to the Mouths of Sirion. There he met Voronwë (or "Bronweg"), and in Nan-tathren Ulmo appeared to them. The journey to Gondolin was thus up the River Sirion.

In some texts Tolkien spells his name Tûr, but finally decided on Tuor.

Descent of Tuor Eladar[edit]

 
 
Bëor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baran
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boron
 
 
 
Haldad
 
Malach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boromir
 
 
 
Haldar
 
Magor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bregor
 
 
 
Haldan
 
Hathol
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bregolas
 
 
 
Halmir
 
Hador
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belegund
 
Baragund
 
Hareth
 
Galdor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rían
 
Morwen
 
Húrin
 
Huor
 
Rían
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Túrin
Turambar
Urwen
Lalaith
Niënor
Níniel
 
 
Tuor
Eladar
 
Idril
Celebrindal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elwing
 
Eärendil
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elros
 
Elrond


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finwë
of the Noldor
 
Indis
of the Vanyar
 
Olwë
of the Teleri
 
House of Hador
 
House of Haleth
 
House of Bëor
 
Thingol
of the Teleri
 
Melian
the Maia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fingolfin
 
Finarfin
 
Eärwen
 
Galdor
 
Hareth
 
Barahir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Turgon
 
Elenwë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Huor
 
 
 
Beren
 
 
 
Lúthien
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Idril
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuor
 
 
Nimloth
 
Dior
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eärendil
 
 
 
 
 
Elwing
 
Eluréd
 
Elurín
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Galadriel
 
Celeborn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elros
 
 
 
Elrond
 
Celebrían
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Númenor
Lords of Andúnië
High Kings of Arnor
Kings of Arthedain
Chieftains of the Dúnedain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aragorn
 
Arwen
 
Elladan
 
Elrohir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eldarion
 
A number of
unnamed daughters

Colour key:
     Elves
     Men
     Maiar
     Half-elven
     Half-elven who chose the fate of elves
     Half-elven who chose the fate of mortal men

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. 23, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin", ISBN 0-395-25730-1 
  2. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Book of Lost Tales 2, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "The Fall of Gondolin", ISBN 0-395-36614-3 
  3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", ISBN 0-395-29917-9 
  4. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, #153, ISBN 0-395-31555-7 
  5. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1994), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The War of the Jewels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "The new genealogies of the Edain", ISBN 0-395-71041-3 
  6. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "A Description of Númenor", note 2, ISBN 0-395-29917-9 

External links[edit]