This weekend, Hall of Fire examines an elf of Middle-earth whose name is quite well-known yet whose history, and mission, remains comparatively opaque by comparison — Cirdan the Shipwright.

“As they came to the gates Círdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said “All is now ready.”

Cirdan the Shipwright

We know Cirdan was a Sindarin elf of great age — and a lord in his own right. A kinsman of Elwe (Thingol) and Olwe, he not only founded the Falas cities on Beleriand’s western shores in the First Age, he also established the elves’ final refuge on the isle of the Balar following the destruction of Doriath and Gondolin.

By the Second Age he had become the oldest known elf remaining in Middle-earth. Yet he makes one solitary appearance in The Lord of the Rings — near the very conclusion of the novel.

He seem a reluctant warrior at best, although he did participate in both the wars of Beleriand, and in the Battle of the Last Alliance. He was a member of the White Council and for many years guardian of Narya, the Ring of Fire, and a foster parent/advisor to Gil-galad, Earendil and perhaps even Elrond.

When all else fails, Cirdan always seems to be there to help pick up the pieces. Is he just lucky? Or is he the smartest elf in Middle-earth? And what’s with that beard?

Join us this Saturday (Sept 12) at 6pm EDT when we’ll discuss Cirdan the Shipwright.

Suggested reading

TORn forum thread: Cirdan and the straight road.
Malickfan’s overview of Cirdan.

Upcoming discussions

Saturday September 12: Cirdan the Mariner
Saturday September 19: The Hobbit Ch 17: The Clouds Burst
Saturday September 26: Why did Frodo accept the Quest?

Departure at the Grey Havens, by Ted NasmithDeparture at the Grey Havens by Ted Nasmith.

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