The Family of Gil-Galad

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Ange1e4e5, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Well-Known Member

    So which part of the House of Finwe should Gil-Galad go? In some places, he's the son of Fingon (i.e. the published Silmarillion) and in others he's the son of Orodreth (and brother of Finduilas). This might play a factor in his appearance.
  2. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    i'd like to go for the later version snd make him orodreths the pj movies hes dark haired though..
  3. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    The parentage of Gil-galad is definitely one of the questions Tolkien left up in the air. So we have a few options, and I'm not sure which we will go with. It is likely that the decision will be made based on where/when/how we want him to debut in the TV show.

    As a son of Fingon, Gil-galad would be born in Hithlum, and would likely be a child after the Battle of Sudden Flame (ie in Season 5). Fingon would then send him to live with Cirdan on the coast and keep him out of the war (ie, off screen). While this is the version that made it into the published Silmarillion, it is not the case that Tolkien's writings support this as any kind of definitive choice. This was Christopher Tolkien grasping at straws and trying to make the story work out neatly, which he acknowledges in HoME. Still, we could make the same choice for the same reason.

    As a son of Orodreth, Gil-galad would be fully grown by the time we have significant stories happening in Nargothrond - Beren and Luthien, Turin, and the fall of Nargothrond. So, he would likely play a role in these stories, and somehow escape the destruction that kills the rest of his family. We would need to invent a storyline for him, and it likely wouldn't be overly flattering (ie, he'd fail to save anyone or prevent any disasters). And there is no way Orodreth could send him away for safety reasons while not also sending off Finduilas, unless there's a huge age gap or something, and Finduilas is a fullgrown elf, but Gil-galad is just a baby when Turin shows up. I...don't like that solution. It *is* possible that Gil-galad could respond to the warnings of Ulmo's messengers, and speak against Turin at the council. Tolkien writes Gwindor as Turin's opponent in that scene, but we could have room for two dissenting voices - Finduilas' former love and her brother. That would give Gil-galad a reason to go to Cirdan in response to Cirdan's messengers, getting his story back on track, and he could just happen to be away from home when the dragon attacks. Still..that could be very problematic.

    Keep in mind that the name Ereinion = Scion of Kings. Thus, whatever heritage we give him has to live up to that name and reflect how he could have ended up inheriting the title of High King of the Noldor when he did. Also, we have to keep in mind the Doom of Mandos and keep him out of the Fëanorean branch of the family, as they have to stay the Dispossessed and can never get the High Kingship back (and yes, in the earliest version, Tolkien did have him as a Fëanorean, but Celebrimbor ended up with that role). Oh, and Celebrimbor is in Nargothrond, by the by.

    Making Gil-galad son of Fingon, son of Fingolfin, son of Finwë certainly makes the inheritance clear and you can see why someone would call him scion of kings - his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all High Kings of the Noldor. Obviously, Turgon takes the title of High King at the death of Fingon, so we would have to come up with an explanation of that (Do younger brothers inherit before sons? Or is Gil-galad still a minor at the time and therefore Turgon's High Kingship is more of a regency thing? If Turgon holds the crown in his own right, how does it get back to Gil-galad instead of going to Earendil?)

    This is where it becomes painfully clear that we don't know the elven laws of inheritance. Sure, we could *assume* that it's male primogeniture. But that wasn't the rule in Numenor (where we are told it was oldest child, son or daughter). So, what if the immortal(-ish) elves have different rules? After all...there is no reason to think your son will outlive your younger brother in this culture, so a brother is a perfectly valid/safe heir.

    Fëanor claims to be Finwë's heir, and no one really bothers correcting or challenging him. But *technically* at the time of Finwë's death, Fëanor was still banished from Tirion. He and his brother had reconciled, but the years of his term of banishment weren't up; Fingolfin was still ruling as king in Tirion. Fëanor is thus never really called High King of the Noldor. He never had a coronation ceremony, so it's all rather unofficial when he stirs everyone up into an impromptu rebellion to return to Middle Earth.

    After his death, there is therefore a question - are the Noldor in need of identifying Finwë's heir, or Fëanor's heir? Because with the death of Fëanor and the absence of Finarfin, Fingolfin is quite clearly Finwë's heir and thus the rightful High King. But....obviously not all of the Noldor held that opinion. So is Fëanor's heir his younger half-brother Fingolfin or his eldest son Maedhros? Maedhros resolves all of these questions with the following pronouncement: he identifies Fingolfin as High King by virtue of his being "the eldest here of the House of Finwë, and not the least wise." It doesn't matter if others (ie, his younger brothers) disagree with him, because he is the only one who could have challenged Fingolfin for the leadership; his concession makes the Fëanoreans Dispossessed forever.

    I bring this up, because good luck justifying Gil-galad son of Orodreth son of Angrod son of Finarfin son of Finwë as High King of the Noldor while *ANY* other princes of the Noldor survive. Especially since there is no indication that women are ineligible to inherit and thus Galadriel's existence throws a spanner in those works (as she clearly would acknowledge Gil-galad as High King personally). Likewise, Elrond son of Earendil son of Idril daughter of Turgon is still around and swearing allegiance to Gil-galad...who is inheriting the High Kingship from Turgon (somehow).

    Just some food for thought. We will need to resolve the questions surrounding inheritance in Season 3, as we will likely get to that scene of Maedhros renouncing his own claim and recognizing Fingolfin in the Season finale. If not, that's the opening of Season 4. Gil-galad's parentage can likely be put off for a bit longer, as he isn't born yet. The most we have to do is make sure his father (whether Fingon or Orodreth or someone else) is married by the Feast of Reuniting early in Season 4, so it doesn't impinge on the Andreth storyline.
  4. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Great layout of the important factors! For now, I lean towards making Gil-galad son of Fingon, and too young to rule when Turgon becomes high king, but I'll have to give it some more thought. Gil-galad son of Fingon is way much cooler than Gil-galad son of Orodreth (sorry Orodrethians!). We can have Turgon state that Fingon's heirs have greater right to the high kingship than his do, perhaps.

    Gil-galad in Eglarest does not necessarily mean keeping him totally off screen. Things will happen there. We can invent some events.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  5. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    So what if the rules are more loose and based on feelings rather than strict lineage and genealogy? Something like "the person in the family that we all know is most suited to the job" or "the oldest among those who are willing" or something similar.

    No reason to insert human hangups that are ultimately grounded in a fear of mortality.
    MithLuin likes this.
  6. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    (I get that there's probably something outlined in a later HoME book about this sort of thing, but I'm sad to say that I've only previously read as far as the Lays of Beleriand on my own, and am now reading along with the Professor as we go.)
  7. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    The abandoned Genealogies make it even worse, there Orodreths sons are Haldir and Orodlin , and the elder brother, Haldir, is hung to a tree by the orcs...
    a third child of Orodreths also gives new opportunities for Gildor's lineage.
  8. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    I think it will be a fun challenge to "pull a Tolkien" and make Gildor's lineage work as-written in the published text. House of Finarfin and all that. He would have found a way to make it true and interesting.
  9. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    Well Christopher Tolkien considered the published Version a mistake...
  10. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    We are talking about two different elves now.

    Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod appears in the published Lord of the Rings, and so Tolkien would hold himself to that. Making Gildor be the son of someone named Inglor is no big deal; it's the 'House of Finrod' when Finrod was unmarried and had no children that becomes a bit of an issue. Still not an insurmountable one, but that issue for a later date.

    Christopher Tolkien does acknowledge that he forced the issue by making Gil-galad Fingon's son in both the published Silmarillion and UT, even though it was no more than an ephemeral marginal note that backed up that lineage. But, you know, it works, so...can't really blame him.

    As for inheritance among the Noldor...Tolkien did not lay out those rules at any point, so we do have the opportunity to come up with a unique system, so long as it fits the data. It's all rather straightforward right up until Turgon inherits from Fingon and then Gil-galad somehow inherits from Turgon. Maedhros does call Fingolfin 'eldest,' so seniority matters, but we don't know if younger brothers inherit from older brothers before sons or not, or if distaff lines are eligible.

    He did give us the rule for Numenor as well as Gondor, but those are of course mortal Men, so...different rules.
    Nicholas Palazzo likes this.
  11. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    In the first case (Turgon becoming king), the rule seems to be that the next brother inherits. This isn't strange except that we have Maedhros giving away his kingship to Fingolfin before, which muddles the issue - but maybe he's just sticking to an old rule. While Fëanor was in exile (and Finwë joined him in exile), Fingolfin acted as king, which implies that the rule is to hand over the kingship to the oldest closest relative. Maybe it's not 'the oldest of the House of Finwë' that's the rule, but 'the oldest closest relative to the last king'. That would mean that Maedhros isn't making that much of a sacrifice, but on the other hand, it would mean that any of the Fëanoreans who think that Maedhros should have taken the crown is thinking more about themselves and what's good for them than about sticking to the inheritance rules.
    In the second case (Gil-galad after Turgon), we could have had Idril. Why don't we get a queen? Maybe it's a paternal system (and there's only talk of kings among the Noldor, so that could be the case) - or Idril is excluded because she marries Tuor. Perhaps it's a situation similar to Edward VIII marrying Mrs Simpson - I mean, the Noldor might think that giving a man some sort of kingly status is out of the question.

    This is all based on the assumption that Gil-g is the son of Fingon of course.

    What happens with that rule if Gil-galad is the son of Orodreth? it might still work, if we add the rule that inheritance does not go back. I mean once Fëanor's sons have been passed and the crown is given to Fingolfin, the Fëanoreans have no claim to the crown anymore. This would mean that when Fingolfin has no children left alive, the crown goes to Finarfin's house. After the fall of Gondolin, a lot of people were dead. Finrod was dead. Angrod was dead. Orodreth was dead but his son was alive. Aegnor was dead. Galadriel was alive. Why didn't we get Galadriel as queen? It seems the evidence that the inheritance rules are paternal are getting clearer. That is if we choose to make Gil-g the son of Orodreth.

    (I'm not surprised if I've overlooked some important factor or made a mess of some timeline issues)
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  12. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    Well Elves are technically immortal... Finwe is the first King and the first one to die so there is no tradition. They are still yet in the process of making the rules during the times in Beleriand when more kings die...

    should give us the opportunity for some political Issues among the Noldor.
    Haakon likes this.
  13. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I agree. When Finwë dies, somebody should take his place, and pretty soon Fingolfin says he'll follow Fëanor and so Fëanor becomes king, even if that's not clearly stated. Fingolfin had acted as king while Finwë joined Fëanor in exile, but I guess everyone expected Finwë to come back after the twelve years. It is interesting how unclear it is regarding the kingship after Finwë's death. As you say, nobody expected him to die, so they didn't have a plan for what to do in case of his death. Also, the title King could perhaps be seen as belonging to Finwë, and after he is killed, it takes a while until the Noldor decide that perhaps someone else can be king instead of him. Perhaps Fëanor is not called king because he doesn't want to, because he thinks Finwë was the only king or that he, Fëanor, has to kill Morgoth before he can call himself king - or maybe that should have been included in the Oath in that case. But it isn't until after Fëanor is dead that the issue of deciding who shall be king really is a clear issue, right? It has probably something to do with the fact that after Fëanor's death, the leader of the rebellious exile is gone and they need someone to take charge more than ever before. They've got the Oath so there's some foundation for a plan, but not much more. So they could say, 'we used to have a king, that was good, we should have one again'.
  14. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    I like that Haakon has come up with Gil-galad's gangsta name...
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  15. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Well-Known Member

    I guess what I'm trying to clarify is "what part of Tolkien's writings will we be using for Gil-galad?"
  16. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    ...and the current answer is "undecided."

    The only time this came up at all in the Sessions was when we briefly went over the younger generations being present in Valinor (or not).

    Edit: For any who are curious when this came up...
    Listen here: 1:16-1:23 in the podcast for session 2.16 for the discussion of 4th generation Noldor in Valinor.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  17. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    And we still have time to make a final decision. don't be hasty
  18. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I've moved from 'definitely son of Fingon' to 'either one could be the father'. Things move. But I agree, hooom, let's not be hasty.

    EDIT: Make that from 'definitely son of Fingon' to 'most probably son of Orodreth'. Not only was that Tolkien's final word on the matter, but it makes an interesting story. I like the ideas you have MithLuin about Gil-g failing to save people in Nargothrond. That's a good experience to have as a leader... The only downside I can see is that it makes it so clear that the Noldor don't have ruling queens. At least not during the First Age.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  19. Ruth Furukawa

    Ruth Furukawa New Member

    I would like the convoluted Orodreth lineage except for the problem of Galadriel. Queenship obviously exists at least as a concept because Galadriel presumably saw her establishing a dominion of her own as a viable and even obvious option. Would it be too much of a stretch for Galadriel to have a similar problem to Idril in her marrying Celeborn?
  20. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Galadriel is Lady of Lorien, not Queen. (And of course Celeborn is Lord, not King.) I am trying to think of queens of elven realms, but the reality is that very few of the kings have surviving named wives. There's Melian, Queen of Doriath, but beyond her....

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