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Turgon_of_Gondolin 12-31-2001 02:46 PM

In Lotr it talks about a Glorfindel of Imladris. In the Silmarilion It talks about a Glorfindel who Fought a balrog and died. Is the Glorfindel of Imladris a reincarnation
or do they just happen to have the same name? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Eldar14 12-31-2001 03:57 PM

I don't know, but I would assume that they are the same person. Have no evidence though.

Elendil 12-31-2001 04:21 PM

According to red they are the same....

Ulmo 12-31-2001 04:23 PM

The Encyclopedia of Arda has this to say about Glorfindel:

The Problem of the Two Glorfindels

With the possible exception of Tom Bombadil's identity (and - of course - the wingedness or otherwise of Balrogs), there is no more hotly debated topic than the ultimate fate of Glorfindel. Were Glorfindel of Gondolin and Glorfindel of Rivendell the same person?

The only real resource we have to answer this question is in The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth Vol. 12): XIII Last Writings, Glorfindel. Christopher Tolkien dates the notes he gives here at 1972, the year before his father's death.

These notes clear up one question immediately: at the time of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Glorfindel of Rivendell was not conceived as the same character as Glorfindel of Gondolin. Tolkien says, 'Its use [i.e. the name 'Glorfindel'] in The Lord of the Rings is one of the cases of the somewhat random use of the names found in the older legends ... which escaped reconsideration in the final published form...'.

Tolkien was far from happy with this state of affairs, however, and it seems that he intended to reconcile the problem by uniting the two strands of the story. In summary, the notes tell us that Glorfindel's spirit returned to the Halls of Waiting, but was after a time re-embodied by the Valar. He then returned to Middle-earth (either in the mid-Second Age, or as a companion of the Istari in the Third). For the full story of his return, refer to The Peoples of Middle-earth.

The question of Glorfindel's identity, then, brings us to a much wider, and highly relevant, question. Can we accept a writer's personal notes, whether written in preparation for a published work, or simply for personal satisfaction, as part of that writer's 'canon'?

The importance of this question is highlighted by the essay entitled The Problem of Ros in the same volume of The History of Middle-earth. This is an extensive disposition on the origins and meaning of the syllable ros in names such as Elros. The details need not concern us here: what is relevant is the fact that, after its composition, Tolkien noticed a detail in the published Lord of the Rings that essentially negated the discussion. He dismissed the body of The Problem of Ros with four words; 'most of this fails'.

But what if he had not noticed this inconvenient fact (that Cair Andros had already been interpreted, and disagreed with his conclusions)? What if he had noticed, but had failed to record the fact? Would The Problem of Ros now be considered part of the 'Tolkienian' canon in the way that many regard the notes on Glorfindel? Questions like this show that we cannot simply take such notes on immediate face value.

Despite this, the Glorfindel notes lead many to see his re-embodiment and return to Middle-earth as 'fact' (and not a few have e-mailed us to remind us of this!) The purpose of this rather lengthy aside, though, is to show that we cannot view these 'events' in such concrete terms. This is the reason that the 'two Glorfindels' have separate entries on this site. This is not because we do not believe that Tolkien saw them as different embodiments of the same character (as we have seen, there are strong indications that he did), but simply because there is no definitive, published, proof of this.

1 The Noldor were normally dark-haired, but the golden hair of the Vanyar was introduced through Indis, a Vanyarin Elf-maiden; hence the descendants of her sons Fingolfin and Finarfin sometimes had golden hair, suggesting that Glorfindel may have come from this noble line.

Very interesting, very interesting indeed.

Turgon_of_Gondolin 12-31-2001 04:38 PM

Thanx alot that was very interesting.

Elrian 12-31-2001 09:18 PM

It was the same Glorfindel according to Christopher Tolkien in the HoME, The Shadow of the Past.

[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: Elrian ]

obloquy 12-31-2001 10:19 PM

To sum up an essay regarding Glorfindel in HoMe XII - The Peoples of Middle-earth, Last Writings: after Glorfindel was killed defending those who would escape Gondolin's fall, his spirit returned to Mandos but was released quickly because of his sacrifice; he then spent time in Valinor (during this stay he was enhanced and became a follower and friend to Olorin), and returned to Middle-earth, probably in the Second Age. These are Tolkien's latest ideas regarding Glorfindel's reappearance.

Elrian 12-31-2001 10:58 PM

I haven't read that one yet. Thanks Obloquy [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

obloquy 01-01-2002 12:05 PM

You're welcome. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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