He armoured him


New Member
Hi everybody. I'm new here. I'm catching up with the old episodes. It takes some time, but it's totally worth it. This project is fascinating.
Anyway, I have a question about Bilbo's poem on Eärendil. I've some difficulties in understanding the sentence "he armoured him" in these verses:
In panoply of ancient kings,
in chainéd rings he armoured him;
Does that just mean "he armoured himself"? Or something else? Professor Olsen didn't talk about it during classes, and I'm not a native speaker; so it's totally possible that it's a dumb question. But I cannot answer it by myself.


New Member
I'm not a poetry person, but I would agree with your assessment. Bilbo is saying that Eärendil arrayed himself in chain mail, or at least that was the type of armor he was known for wearing. It's just phrased oddly to match the meter and rhyme scheme.

The only character that we have in the poem thus far is Eärendil, so no one else could have given or dressed him in that armor. Unless somehow it's the "ancient kings" giving Eärendil the armor; as in it's passed down through generations or the style itself is a tradition handed down, if not that piece of armor specifically. I would say "him" is definitely referring to Eärendil.

Anyone else have more informed thoughts on the matter?

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
I would translate this into prose that reads 'Earendil wore chainmail that was reminiscent of the splendid armour worn by the ancient Kings'

Probably the Noldor specifically as we know from the Silmarillion that they had the most beautiful and effective arms and armour, and there is a family connection to the Noldor too.

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
It makes an interesting contrast with later times when others array him for his journeys - Elwing binding the silmaril on his brow, and the Valar getting him ready for his final journey.