Mother or Wife?


Active Member
I was confused by the mention of Anairë in the latest episode of "Nature of Middle Earth" since it seemed to suggest that she was Turgon's wife: wasn't she his mother?

Elenwë was Turgon's wife who perished crossing the Helcaraxë, and she was significant because she was the only known Vanya who fell under the Doom of Mandos.

Was JRRT confused or intending to rewrite his histories?

Dave Heinitz

New Member
On p.21 of The Nature of Middle Earth Tolkien states, "...Turgon of Gondolin whose wife Anairë..." However, Carl Hostetter points out on p.25 (note 8) that "In all other published sources...Anairë is the wife of Fingolfin." The published Silmarillion names Fingolfin's wife as Anairë. That sources was allegedly based on Tolkien's 1959 genealogies (per The War of the Jewels), however Hostetter points out on p.18 that The Nature of Middle Earth excerpt is also dated 1959. So either there's a time dating discrepancy between Christopher Tolkien and Carl Hostetter, or Tolkien was playing with names around 1959. Based on Tolkien's fondness for name changes, I would be unsurprised if the latter explanation turned out to be true.

And in the home of Fingolfin
Was wife who’d loved the Sea Maiden
Like sister over many age.
Anairë chose to help assuage
The pain of Eärwen’s crushing loss,
Even if her dear spouse was lost.


Active Member
Thanks, I have actually read the first few chapters in preparation but between multitudes of spreadsheets at work and catching up on Critical Role (currently at 59/115 of the first campaign with a second and an interlude still to go) it had slipped my mind o_O