|Eöl welcomes Aredhel into his home.|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter tells of how Aredhel met Eöl, how their son Maeglin was born, and how he rose as a high prince among the Noldor.
Aredhel Grows Restless
Aredhel Ar-Feinel, daughter of Fingolfin and sister of Turgon, joined her brother in his settlement of Gondolin and lived there with him for two hundred year, before growing weary of the isolated valley and desired again to see open lands and explore them, as was the nature of her Noldorin heritage. Reluctantly and out of desire to keep his realm secret, Turgon permitted her to leave, although she denied that she needed permission, and told her that she may only seek their brother Fingon. He sent a traveling party as well to give her safe passage. As they reached Sirion, she decided to go her own way and meet instead the sons of Fëanor, her old friends. She tried taking passage through Doriath, but the girdle refused any of the Noldor from entering, unless specially permitted, so the march-wardens at the border told her a route to take through the lands just north of Doriath.
The Dark Road
Aredhel decided to take the path suggested, as it was faster than going around south, but it held greater dangers, as the evils of Ered Gorgoroth, brought by Ungoliant, still lurked. The darkness of the land causes them to be separated by accident, and Ardehel's entourage looked for Aredhel, fearing that the dangers of the land had taken her, and they were soon attacked by the foul creatures of the loathsome spider and barely escaped that horrid realm. They returned to Gondolin to tell their king, Turgon, of the misfortune that had befallen, and he sat, stricken with grief and anger.
Aredhel had carried on alone through the mires of Nan Dungortheb and crossed the River Esgalduin and the Fords of Aros and came at last to the realms Celegorm and Curufin with great welcome by their people, but with her old friend not there, for they had gone abroad at that time. She waited a while but then decided to carry on her own travels and came to a small forest to the South, Nan Elmoth. In the small woods of Nan Elmoth grew the tallest and darkest trees in Beleriand, trees still enchanted by the wanderings of Melian, before the Teleri had come into Beleriand. This forest was the home to Eöl, known as the Dark Elf. He was a relative of Thingol, but he found no home in Doriath and left its boundaries with the girdle was raised for Nan Elmoth. He disliked the Noldor immensely and had a great fondness of the Dwarves, and he told them much of the tidings of the Elves while traveling on the roads or visiting Nogrod or Belegost. He developed a keen ability for craft with them and developed his own material that was as hard as Dwarven steel, yet thinner, lighter, more malleable, and blacker, which he called galvorn, and he wore it whenever he ventured across Beleriand. Being the Dark Elf that he was, he caught sight of Aredhel wandering his woods, and she seemed a fair spectacle of light to him under his gloomy forest canopy. He watched her closely as she drew nearer to his home, and he welcomed her when she had finally reached his doorstep. She stayed with him there and became his wife, and few knew of what fate had befallen her.
Her stay in Nan Elmoth was not entirely unhappy. Although Eöl denied her from visiting the Noldor or beholding the light of the sun, they often sought out places together in the dead of night, or she would go alone. Together they had a son, who Aredhel named in the now-exiled language of her people, Lómion, meaning Child of Twilight, but Eöl had no name for him until he was twelve, and he named him Maeglin, Sharp Glance, for he had piercing eyes that could see thoughts beyond what words give. His body and stature were like those of the Noldor, but he was of mind like his father and went with him often to visit the Dwarves and learned much of their ways. He is said to have had a powerful voice that could rally people to him and diminish those who stood against him. He did love his mother, more than he did his father, and he took great interest in spending time with her and learning the ways of the Noldor. She told him much of the history of her people, and this reincarnated her desire to see her brethren again. However, she would not tell Maeglin the secret to finding Tumladen that her brother had entrusted her to keep. Maeglin did desire to meet his Noldorin kin, but Maeglin, spiteful of them, refused, calling them kinslayers and usurpers. After that, Maeglin would no longer journey with his father, and tension grew between them.
While Eöl had left Nan Elmoth for a time to see the Dwarves, Maeglin took this chance to convince his mother to leave their realm, where they were ensnared and to return to Gondolin together, and Aredhel happily obliged. They traveled back, using the way by which she had come so long before. Two days after they departed, Eöl returned to his home, and he was told by his servants, who were told by Aredhel and Maeglin, that they had traveled to see Celegorm and Curufin. He immediately rode out in pursuit of them, following their lie. He was captured in their land of Himlad by their riders and brought before them. As they did not trust him and sensed odd events were playing out (as their spies had also spotted Aredhel and Maeglin traveling to Gondolin), they inquired why he was there. When Eöl explained he was seeking to accompany his wife and son, they laughed at him, knowing he had been deceived. They permitted him to leave and search, but they had no love for him, as they also called him a thief of Noldorin daughters, and he furthermore warned him that he should simply return to his woods, for he may never return there, after pursuing his wife and son. Eöl rode off quickly and found them at the end of their rode, though far-off from him. Quickly, they passed through the hidden gates into Tumladen and Aredhel was reunited with her brother Turgon. It was a happy time for the kingdom, and Turgon immediately saw the grandeur and potential in Maeglin and gave him high honors. Maeglin accepted him as lord as king and leisured in the glamor of Gondolin, and he admired greatly Idril, Turgon's daughter.
The Ire or Eöl
Eöl had followed the trail of his wife and son and came to the hidden gates by the Dry River. He attempted to sneak into the valley, but he was captured by the guards there, and they sent message to their king about him. Aredhel admitted that she was indeed his wife abd asked that he be brought forth. When he was, Turgon offered him a kindly welcome and home in Gondolin, as one of his kin, as long as he never left to spill the whereabouts of his realm, but Eöl refused, calling the Noldor kinslayers and declaring that all the lands of Beleriand were rightfully those of the Teleri. He conceded that Aredhel was Turgon's sister, but he demanded that he return with his son to Nan Elmoth. Turgon refused, "The choice is given to you: to abide here, or to die here; and so also for your son." Eöl was silent a moment and then pulled out a javelin, shouting, "The second choice I take for my son also! You shall not hold what is mine!" He launched it at Maeglin, but Aredhel intercepted it, before it could hit him, and she was wounded in the shoulder. Eöl was taken into captivity, while they tried to treat her, and they learned too late that the javelin was poisoned, and she died that night. When Eöl faced judgment, he was shown no mercy. Before he was executed, he cursed his son Maeglin to fail and share his fate, and then he was thrown from the sky-scraping heights of Gondolins walls, and he died.
Although Idril did not trust Maeglin for his father, the people of Gondolin loved him dearly, and his skills as a smith and a miner led to the creation of greater arms for the defense of Gondolin, and he was widely respected for the wisdom he had to offer. However, he could never bring Idril to love him, for marrying so close of kin was not accepted by the Noldor, and she like him less for this thoughts of her. To escape the sorrowing defeat with Idril, he took on every task offered him, to raise his skills and establish his power, and this began what would become trouble later on.