:"This article deals with the Half-elven Eärendil. For the Gondorian king, see
Eärendil of Gondor."
In the fiction of
J. R. R. Tolkien, Eärendil the Mariner (pronounced|ɛaˈrɛndil) is one of the most important figures in the mythology, a great seafarer who carried the morning star across the sky. His story is found in " The Silmarillion", and there are several references to him throughout " The Lord of the Rings".
"Eärendil" is a
Quenyaname, meaning 'Lover of the Sea'. However, Tolkien created the name based on Old English literature. Tolkien himself states ("Letters, 297") that the name is derived from Anglo-Saxon "éarendel". He says that he was struck by the "great beauty" of the name as early as 1913, which he perceived as
:"entirely coherent with the normal style of A-S, but euphonic to a peculiar degree in that pleasing but not 'delectable' language."
There is a poem by Tolkien dated to 1914 entitled "The Voyage of Eärendel the Evening Star" (published in "The Book of Lost Tales 2" 267–269). Tolkien was also aware of the name's Germanic cognates (
Old Norse"Aurvandill", Lombardic "Auriwandalo"), and the question why the Anglo-Saxon one rather than the Lombardic or Proto-Germanic form should be taken up in the mythology is alluded to in " The Notion Club Papers". The Old Norse together with the Anglo-Saxon evidence point to an astronomical myth, the name referring to a star, or a group of stars, and the Anglo-Saxon in particular points to the morning star as the herald of the rising Sun (in " Crist" Christianized to refer to John the Baptist).
Tolkien was particularly inspired by the lines in "Crist",:"éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended":"Hail Earendel, brightest of angels, sent over Middle-earth to men."which can be taken as the inspiration not only for the role of Eärendil in Tolkien's work, but also for the term
Middle-earth(translating "Middangeard") for the inhabitable lands (c.f. Midgard).
The first line is paralleled by Frodo's exclamation in
Cirith Ungol, "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!" which is Quenya, and translates to "Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!" Frodo's exclamation was in reference to the 'Star-glass' he carried, which contained the light of Eärendil's star, the Silmaril.
Tolkien's legend of Eärendil has elements resembling the medieval Celtic
Immramlegends or the Christian legend of St. Brendan the Navigator.
The son of
Tuorand Idrildaughter of Turgon, Eärendil was raised as a child in Gondolin. When Eärendil was seven years old, he escaped the sacking of Gondolin with his parents, living afterwards in Arvernienby the mouth of Sirion. Eärendil later became the leader of the people who lived there, and married Elwing, daughter of Dior the son of Berenand Lúthien. They had two sons, Elrondand Elros.
With the aid of
Círdanthe Shipwright, Eärendil built a ship, " Vingilótë" (or "Vingilot"), which is Quenyafor "foam-flower". He sailed this often around the seas west of Middle-earth, leaving his wife behind in Arvernien. At this time Elwing had in her possession the Silmarilthat Beren had wrested from Morgoth. News of this came to the sons of Fëanorthat were still living, and they attacked the people living in Arvernien, and slew most of them. But Elwing, rather than be captured, threw herself with the Silmaril into the sea. The Silmaril was not lost, however. According to "The Silmarillion":
Ulmobore up Elwing out of the waves, and he gave her the likeness of a great white bird, and upon her breast there shone as a star the Silmaril, as she flew over the water to seek Eärendil her beloved. On a time of night Eärendil at the helm of his ship saw her come towards him, as a white cloud exceeding swift beneath the moon, as a star over the sea moving in strange courses, a pale flame on wings of storm. And it is sung that she fell from the air upon the timbers of Vingilot, in a swoon, nigh unto death for the urgency of her speed, and Eärendil took her to his bosom; but in the morning with marvelling eyes he beheld his wife in her own form beside him with her hair upon his face, and she slept.
Hearing of the tragedy that had befallen in Arvernien, Eärendil then sought after
Valinor, and he and Elwing found their way there at last. Eärendil thus became the first of all mortals to set foot in Valinor. Eärendil then went before the Valar, and asked them for aid for Men and Elves in Middle-earth, to fight against Morgoth; and the Valar accepted his plea.
Because Eärendil had undertaken this errand on behalf of Men and Elves, and not for his own sake,
Manwëforbore to deal out the punishment of death that was due; and because both Eärendil and Elwing were descended from a union of Elves and Men, Manwë granted to them and their sons the gift to choose to which race they would be joined (a gift that was further passed to the children of Elrond, who became known as the Half-elven). Elwing chose to be one of the Elves. Eärendil would have rather been one of the Men; however, for the sake of his wife, he chose to be one of the Elves."The Silmarillion" says this:
Now when first Vingilot was set to sail in the seas of heaven, it rose unlooked for, glittering and bright; and the people of Middle-earth beheld it from afar and wondered, and they took it for a sign, and called it Gil-Estel, the Star of High Hope.
The Valar, having listened to Eärendil's plea, went with a mighty host to Middle-earth, and overthrew Morgoth, and bound him. Eärendil took part in the battle, riding on "Vingilot" beside
Thorondorand the Eagles. It was his blow that slew the great dragon Ancalagonand cast it down onto Thangorodrim, the event which, along with the sheer devastation caused by the War of Wrath, led to the Ruin of Beleriand.
Eärendil sails the heavens, guarding the Door of Night through which Morgoth had been cast. He wears upon his brow the shining Silmaril, visible from the Earth as a bright star (commonly taken to be
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Eärendil — Pour le roi du Gondor, voir Eärendil (Gondor). Eärendil Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans l œuvre de … Wikipédia en Français
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Eärendil — 1) / Earendil Called Halfelven , the Blessed , the Bright , and the Mariner ; son of Tuor and Idril Turgon s daughter; escaped from the sack of Gondolin and wedded Elwing daughter of Dior at the Mouths of Sirion; sailed with her to Aman and… … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary
Earendil — see Eärendil … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary
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Eärendil of Gondor — In J. R. R. Tolkien s Middle earth legendarium, Eärendil was the fifth King of Gondor and son of Cemendur, he should not be confused with Eärendil, the father of Elrond and Elros Tar Minyatur.He was born in ME date|TA|48, the first King of Gondor … Wikipedia
Star of Eärendil — / Star of Earendil / Stone of Eärendil / Stone of Earendil The silmaril of Lúthien. Called also the Stone of Eärendil … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary
The Mariner — Eärendil the Blessed. Title given to Eärendil, greatest of voyagers on the sea, in honour of his feat of reaching the Undying Lands and summoning the aid of the Valar at the end of the First Age … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary