The  Seven Gates of Gondolin

by Anarion-(TV) 
August 1999

Elves > Places > Gondolin > The  Seven Gates of Gondolin

The gates of Gondolin numbered seven, each one higher than the previous until you came to the great gate itself. For some
the journey from the first gate to the last was long, for others, it seemed short. But after the First Gate had been passed, the
choice was to go on, or die. For Gondolin was a hidden city in the valley of Tumladen, and only the eagles could come and
go without Turgon's leave. Yet it was still defended, for if it was discovered a swift and sudden war would follow. So the
Seven Gates were there.

First Gate:
The first was the Gate of Wood and it was an arch, hewn from the very rock of the mountains. In it
was placed a portcullis of wood. It opened by touch.

Second Gate:
After passing the great ravine one came to the Second Gate, the Gate of Stone. Another great arch was there, set in a long
wall punctuated by fair towers. The arch was blocked. It was if a rock had been set there and the arch was for decoration.
But it was not so. For when touched, like the Gate of Wood, it silently opened. Beyond was a courtyard of guards robed in
grey, silent but wary, the Guards of the Gondolindrim.

Third Gate:
Unlike the long road from the first gate to the second, the distance from the second to the third was very small and before
long you came to the Third Gate, the Gate of Bronze. Similar to the last gate it was, being set in a long wall with towers
guarding it. But these towers were square, roofed and covered in Bronze which reflected the Sun's rays. The gate too, was
covered in bronze, in all types of shapes and forms. Shields and figures and many different types of signs. Once you had
passed through it you came to a larger court than before with an entire company of guards at attention. These were different
from the previous, for they were mail-clad and had axes with blades of red.

Fourth Gate:
Then came the steepest climb, the climb to the Fourth Gate, or the Gate of Writhen Iron as it was known. This was a mighty
gate indeed and it was covered with beautiful traceries of trees and a light shone through it. Around the gate was a wall,
tall and black, and four towers of Iron unlight loomed over it, threatening and inspiring. Over the gate and between the two
towers was a decoration wrought in the likeness of the great Eagle-King Thorondor who had marred Morgoth's face
ever so long ago. This gate, like those before it, opened by touch revealing a great highway beyond guarded by mail-clad
elves with mantles of black and visors like an eagle's beak.

Fifth Gate:
After the steep climb to the Fourth Gate the road ran almost level to the Fifth Gate, The Gate of Silver. The wall on either
side of this gate was marble, low and very broad with great globes set upon it. The gate itself was of silver and pearl and
above it the beauty of Telperion was cast in silver and malachite with flowers of pearl. A green and white marble court
was behind with a hundred archers in silver and white on both sides of the courtyard.

Sixth Gate:
A long white road led from the archers to the next gate being the sixth, the Golden Gate. This was the ancient gate wrought
before the Battle of Unnumbered Tears and it was brilliant to look upon. Identical to the Silver Gate it was, except that the
wall was made of yellow marble and the globes were of gold and on a plinth of a gold pyramid stood an image of Laurelin,
fairest of trees. Garnet, Topaz and Diamond on the solid gold. Brighter than fire.
The guards of the sixth gate were three hundred in number, archers of guilded mail with fire-red shields.

Seventh Gate:
Only a short distance away now did it stand. The Seventh Gate. The Great Gate. The Gate of Steel wrought by Maeglin
after the Dagor Nirneath. Immense it was, the gate that guarded the enrance to the Orfalch Echor and strange indeed. For it
was not an arch set in a wall like the others had been but a massive trellis of steel between two round towers. Seven
pillars of steel stood there, each tapering to a deadly spike.
In the center though, raised above all else was the helm of the king, the Lord Turgon. Yet no gate was visible, an
impenetrable wall it seemed, yet when struck it sounded like a harp and guards would come forth and Ecthelion, Warden of
the Great Gate, Lord of the Fountain, Servant of Turgon, would touch it and it would open.