Sharp Glance’

by Emanuele "Theoden" Scalzo-(TV)
October 29, 2006

Elves > Maeglin Index > Maeglin > Italian version

    One of the characters that certainly marked the history of Beleriand, especially negatively, is Maeglin, son of Eöl. The father was a Dark Elf, an able blacksmith, that had taken as wife Aredhel, the beautiful sister of King Turgon.
    The name Maeglin, meaning "Sharp Glance", was given to him him when he was twelve by his father, who saw that the eyes of the child were more penetrating than his and realized that he had excellent ability in seeing into the heart of others, perceiving excitements and purposes. In the meantime he received a secret name from Aredhel, to whom he was very affectionate. She called him Lómion, meaning "Son of Twilight", which was quite accurate because Eöl moved himself (and his family) in Nan Elmoth’s darkness. There, Maeglin learned the art of metallurgy that would prove very useful later in Gondolin:

    "Often he went with Eöl to the cities of the Dwarves[…]and there he learned eagerly what they would teach, and above all the craft of finding the ores of metals in the mountains."

    Although taciturn and solitary, Maeglin's words held a power capable of shaking bystanders and of winning against his opponents. This ability matched that of the Noldor, the kinsmen of his mother, of whom she often narrated tales only when the father was far away, because he was openly antagonistic towards the Noldor, believing they were assassins: people that had exterminated his people. Maeglin, being of Noldor stock, showed often his impetus in battle and his princely charisma, talents he would be distinguished for later on.
    After becoming adult, all the desires transmitted to him by his mother detonated, with his memories of her people, and he did not hide his desire to go to Gondolin.
    One time that the father was away, Maeglin took the initiative and spoke to his mother of his intention to abandon the darkness of Nan Elmoth forever, so he said to her:

    "Why shall we not seek for Gondolin? You shall be my guide, and I will be your guard."

    They departed, riding towards the Hidden Rock.
    They were unaware that Eol had suspected for a long time that they might do this, and that he followed them furtively, with even more hatred in his heart for the Noldor. He was bent on bringing home these people that in his own way he loved.
    Eol entered Gondolin and was received in a worthy way by the sovereign, Turgon, but Eol manifested all his anger because he was not allowed to go out from the kingdom; he abandoned life and chose death for him and for Maeglin. This went awry, as Maeglin was saved to the detriment of the mother who died by the hit of Eol's poisoned javelin.
    From this moment Maeglin became darker and said nothing in front of his father, who predicted he would die the same manner of death.  Eol was then launched over the cliffs where the city in the Caragdûr abyss was placed, and bumped three times on the way down.
    Ascended to prestige among the Gondolindrim for his greed of knowledge and his ability, Maeglin did not open his heart to anyone and few people were able to understand his contorted spirit, with the exception of Idril, the daughter of the king. In his heart Maeglin loved her, but understanding that it was an impossible love he bent all his genius towards increasing his personal power, but the malevolence was borne in his soul.
    After having shown great boldness in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and after having assumed the command of one of the most important among the twelve Gondolin Lineages, that of the Mole, he was captured by a battalion of orcs while he was walking defenceless, and was deported to Angband. It was because of his hate towards Tuor that he had distinguished himself in front of the eyes of the king and above all of his daughter Idril, and therefore it came easy to him to betray Gondolin to save his own life, performing one of the most ominous gestures in all the Tolkienian cycle. Then he delivered the city into the hands of the enemy, for he accepted the order to return among the people that trusted him to help from inside the city the army that was coming to exterminate everybody and destroy a powerful kingdom. This deed shows how this great character definitely turned towards wickedness, the same as his dead father.
    During the siege he met Tuor, his rival, who wanted to have his wife Idril and their little son, Eärendil, returned, who Maeglin had with him. The clash was bloody and he saw the deadly Eöl prophecy come true: Maeglin ended falling in the abyss and, as Eol prophesied, his body bumped three times against the walls before the final fall into the underlying flames.
    So a great elf has been lost. He was great both in military and technical art, but he had been upset by the will of Fate, that decides everything.

Reference: Silmarillion