There have been many heroes and legendary names that have been parts of JRR Tolkien’s classic writings. Of course, we know for a fact that Elves such as Elrond have always played huge roles in The Lord of the Rings and the other related works by Tolkien, but there was one person that was more heroic than any other character from the First Age. This was Eärendil, whose story was briefly told by Elrond during the events of episode 4 of The Rings of Power. So, who is Eärendil, and what happened to him?
Eärendil is the father of both Elrond and Elros. He is the first of many of Tolkien’s most important characters because he was the one who went to Valinor during the First Age to ask for the help of the Valar. After that, the Valar gave him the task of ascending to the sky and acting as a beacon of hope for everyone.
While we know that there are a lot of heroic names in the history of Tolkien’s writings, Eärendil happens to be one of the most important ones. That is why he is often mentioned as a legendary figure by the people of Middle-Earth throughout the different stories that Tolkien wrote. Now, with that said, let’s look at what we know about Eärendil, the father of two important figures in Middle-Earth.
Who Is Eärendil?
JRR Tolkien created an incredibly rich and vast history in his writings, and this has led to many incredible stories and characters that have become quite heroic in their own right. Of course, while we do know that certain names like Frodo and Aragorn have stood the test of time and have always been two of the most heroic figures in Tolkien’s writings, there was one name that was arguably the most important when it comes to the early history of Middle-Earth.
It was in episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power that we were able to hear more about Eärendil, who happens to be arguably the most heroic figure in the history of Middle-Earth and is the first of JRR Tolkien’s most important characters. His name came to light during a conversation between Elrond and Celebrimbor. He was also mentioned again during a moment between Elrond and Prince Durin in the same episode. But who exactly is Eärendil?
Eärendil was one of the Half-Elven people that lived during the First Age. He was the son of Tuor and Princess Idril and was raised in Gondolin before he and his family moved to Sirion after the Sack of Gondolin. Eärendil ended up marrying Elwing, the daughter of King Dior, as their union led to the birth of Elrond and Elros, two of the most important figures in the years after the First Age.
The reason why Eärendil was one of the names that were often mentioned in episode 4 of The Rings of Power is the fact that he is Elrond’s father and is also the father of the Man that soon became the first king of the island kingdom of Númenor. Of course, we know that Elrond and Elros became very important figures in the history of Middle-Earth because of their contributions to the development of the storyline and the defeat of Sauron. And Eärendil happens to be just as legendary and even more heroic than his sons.
What Happened To Eärendil?
The reason why Eärendil is one of the most important figures in JRR Tolkien’s writings is related to his deeds during the First Age. We know for a fact that the First Age was one that was full of different battles and encounters between the forces of the Ñoldor Elves and the dark armies of Morgoth, all for the sake of the Silmarils, which were stolen by the dark lord from Fëanor in Valinor before the First Age.
Eärendil happened to belong to a group of Half-Elves that were the result of the union between Elves and Men, and most of them lived in the hidden city of Gondolin before its location was revealed to Morgoth, who was the one responsible for the Sack of Gondolin. While Eärendil and his parents, Tuor and Idril, were able to escape the Sack, he decided to build a ship that allowed him to go on a journey to search for his parents, who had sailed west in the hopes of getting to Valinor.
Elwing, Eärendil’s wife, had in possession a Silmaril that she inherited from her grandfather Beren, who recovered the artifact from Morgoth. Of course, we know that Fëanor’s only reason for chasing Morgoth all the way to Middle-Earth was to recover his Silmarils, and the same goal was inherited by his sons long after his death.
When the Sons of Fëanor learned of the Silmarils that Elwing had in her possession, they attacked her settlement in Sirion to recover the treasure created by their father. This led to the deaths of most of the people living there, but Elwing threw herself into the sea together with the Silmaril to avoid getting captured by the Sons of Fëanor. For her deed, the Valar transformed Elwing into a bird.
Eärendil heard of this tragedy but was able to reunite with the transformed Elwing and the Silmaril that she possessed. As such, he used the Silmaril as a guiding light to find a way to sail west to Valinor together with Elwing. That was when he was finally able to get to the Undying Lands, where he was able to ask the Valar to help the Men and Elves of Middle-Earth in the fight against Morgoth. Eärendil had grown tired of the different wars waged by both sides, and that was the reason why he called for the aid of the Valar.
The Valar had banned the Ñoldor and any of the people in Middle-Earth from returning to Valinor long ago. Normally, the punishment for going to Valinor was death. But the Valar were touched by Eärendil’s own efforts to sail all the way to Valinor not for his own sake but for the sake of the people of Middle-Earth. Because of this unselfish deed, the Valar agreed to help the Men and Elves in their battle against Morgoth, and that was when the War of Wrath began.
Eärendil took part in the War of Wrath and was responsible for delivering the killing blow to Ancalgon, who was the largest and mightiest of all of Morgoth’s winged dragons. As such, he was not only a hero for calling for the aid of the Valar but was also a tested veteran of many battles during the War of Wrath.
After Morgoth was defeated at the end of the First Age, the Valar gave Eärendil the duty to traverse the sky and protect the Sun and Moon using the same Silmaril that he used to light his way to Valinor. As Elrond said in episode 4 of The Rings of Power, Eärendil forever carried the evening star across the sky.
In that regard, Eärendil became the most heroic figure in the history of Tolkien’s writings due to his great deeds during the First Age. And he is still a known figure after the First Age because he is still up in the sky carrying the evening star to act as a beacon of hope to those who need his light the most.
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