Elu Thingol is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in "The Silmarillion" and "Children of Húrin".

Thingol is introduced as the King of Doriath, King of the Sindar, High-king [J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien editor, "History of Middle-earth", Vol.XI, (1994), p.21, "Fingolfin...acknowledged the high-kingship of Thingol"] and Lord of Beleriand. He is said to be "the tallest of all the Children of Ilúvatar" and one of the mightiest of the Eldar.

In "The Silmarillion"

Thingol, originally known as Elwë, is introduced as 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 Teleri, to follow him back to that country. On the Great Journey to the West the Teleri lag behind, and do not arrive at the coast until after the departure of the moving island of Tol Eressëa. Thus, they stay in Beleriand for many years, until Tol Eressëa is brought again to fetch them. By this time, many of the Teleri had grown to like Beleriand, and decide to stay there. Elwë is among them, after Melian the Maia enchants him in the woods of Nan Elmoth and he falls in love with her. Thingol and Melian become king and queen of the Sindar, the Teleri who stay in Beleriand. Thingol's brother Olwë later becomes the King of Alqualondë and High King of the Teleri who do journey to Aman. Thingol previously visits Valinor as an ambassador and is, uniquely, both of the Sindar and of the Calaquendi. His and Melian's daughter, Lúthien, and said to be the fairest of the Children of Ilúvatar ever to live.

When the War of the Jewels begins Thingol fights the First Battle of Beleriand. After that battle he realises he cannot contest Morgoth in the field and Thingol adopts a defensive strategy for his kingdom by closing the borders with a military March Ward and Melian's magical Girdle, a maze of mists called List Melian. Sensing unspoken, dire causes for the arrival of the Noldor, he denies entry to Doriath without his leave to all but the house of Finarfin, for they were also descended from Olwë. The lords of the Noldor conceal from Thingol the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, where Thingol's Teleri kinsmen are slaughtered and their ships stolen by Fëanor's followers. Even those Noldor who bear no direct responsibility for the crime feel the shame of it, and grow angry at the sons of Fëanor for their pride. Eventually, Círdan the Shipwright hears rumour of the Kinslaying, and sends word to Thingol. Outraged, Thingol confronts Finrod Felagund with this news, and Finrod makes no reply to avoid accusing his kinsmen. But his brother Angrod can not bear the blame any longer. Angrily, he reveals Fëanor and Fëanor's sons' responsibility for the Kinslaying, and for the misery of the long passage of the Helcaraxë which Finarfin's and Fingolfin's kin suffered. Thingol forgives the houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin, but decrees that their language will never again be heard or spoken in Beleriand.

Thingol builds a fabulous capital city and fortress beneath a great hill called Menegroth, the Thousand Caves. He personally commands the army of Doriath in the field during the First Battle of Beleriand. He leads it again against an army of Orcs led by the formidable Boldog, whom Thingol kills in single combat. Thingol destroys the Orc army in East Beleriand, and leads the Hunt of the Wolf, Carcharoth. With the support of numerous allies, Thingol remains undefeated by the evil Vala Morgoth. Thingol's 'Hidden Realm' strategy is taken up by Finrod in Nargothrond and Turgon in Gondolin. In later ages, Thingol's forest realm with a capital fortress cave is adopted by King Thranduil and the Elves of Mirkwood.

Following the breaking of the Siege of Angband, a Man named Beren flees to Doriath and Lúthien falls in love with him. Thingol does not wish for the two to marry, as he views Beren unworthy of Lúthien. As a bride-price he asks for a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown, thinking it is impossible that Beren can fulfil this demand and death to try. Nevertheless Beren achieves the task and weds Lúthien. Thingol becomes possessed by the Silmaril and hires the Dwarves of Nogrod to place it in the Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves. The Dwarven craftsmen also covet the jewel and murder Thingol for possession of it, setting off the chain of events that leads to the destruction of Doriath and the scattering of its people. After Thingol's death Melian, who remains in Middle-earth by binding her spirit to that of her husband, chooses to forsake her body and return to Aman as a Maia.

Thingol's heir is Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien. Other kin of Thingol, stated by Tolkien, for which the family relation is unrecorded or unexplained in the tales are Círdan, Daeron, Celeborn, Celebrimbor, Eöl. He is the ancestor of many prominent characters, Elves and Men, including Elros, Elrond, Aragorn and Arwen.


*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 sindacollo - "grey cloak", possibly derived from his family trait of long silver hair. The Quenya form of the same name is Elwë Singollo, Singollo meaning "Greycloak".

*Aranrúth - "King'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.


The House of Thingol (Greycloak)

External links

* [ The Encyclopedia of Arda — "Thingol"]

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