5 Vastly underrated Tolkein heroes

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

In this Entry I want to focus my attention on a handful “Unsung heroes” of the Tolkien legendarium, mostly from the first and second age of Arda (some of these were born in the YOTT), and all characters are described in both Silmarillion and the History of Middle-Earth series.

NOTE: These are only elven and human characters. I did not include any of the holy ones or dwarven characters, as the main stories of the old tales revolve around men and elves. I will write separate articles about dwarves and the Ainúr later.


Tuor reaches Gondolin by Ted Nasmith

Born in the winter of the ‘Year of Lamentation’, son of Huor of the Hador house and Rian, Tuor is surely one of the commonly unsung heroes of the first age. His parents both died in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and he was raised by the Elves of Mithrim until he came of age.

He was then summoned by the Vala Ulmo to fullfill a hundred year old propechy where he would bring tidings of dark times to the Noldor high king Turgon in the hidden city of Gondolin. Turgon had left a sword, a shield and armour for him to find by the instruction of the Vala, and when he arrived in Gondolin, Turgon welcomed him as one of his kin. Tuor fell in love with and married Idril, daughter of Turgon, and he lead the survivors of Gondolin to safety when the city fell, after fighting bravely by his wifes side.

Tuor and Idril had one son, Eärendil, who will be mentioned later in this entry. Tuor and Idril built a ship in TA 525 and sailed west to live out their days in the undying lands.

Idril Celebrindal

Idril, Tuor and Eärendil by artist Liga

Idril was daughter of king Turgon of Gondolin and a Noldor princess. A true elvish beauty, as well as a wise and reflected woman, Idril was responsible for the salvation of the Noldor who fled Gondolin after the armies of Morgoth sieged and destroyed the city. She instructed her husband Tuor to build a secret passway from the city which ensured the survival of a large host of the Gondolin population. It is also said that she was skilled with a blade, and she was the first known owner of the famous blade Hadhafang.

Idril shared the same fate as her husband, travelling west in the ship Eärrámë, to spend the rest of the days of Arda among her kin in Valinor.