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The Fall of Gil-galad

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The Fall of Gil-galad is the lay that tells of the loss of Ereinion Gil-galad in the Siege of Barad-dûr at the end of the War of the Last Alliance.

History

Little is known of the lay itself. According to Aragorn, it was originally written in an ancient tongue (presumably Quenya), but Bilbo Baggins later translated it into the Common Tongue, and taught it to Samwise Gamgee in his younger days. It seems to have told the story of the War of the Last Alliance, at least to the point where Gil-galad aided in the overthrow of Sauron, and was himself slain. Its contents, though, are largely unknown to us: Sam confirms that it was a long poem, but apart from three introductory stanzas, the text of the lay is lost. Aragorn does say that he knows more of the text, as does Frodo, but he refuses to share it at the time he discusses it with the hobbits.

Portrayal in Adaptations

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Sam sang the song during his trip to Rivendell.

References