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So you defy me to the last, ill-begotten son? Here yet you may die the same death as I!
~ Eol to Maeglin before his death

Maeglin was an Elf in the First Age of the Sun in Middle-Earth and was one of the antagonists of The Silmarillion. He was the son of Eol who predicted an evil end for him.



Maeglin lived in the city of Gondolin, one of the last surviving Elvish cities of Middle-earth, in the country of Beleriand to the North, yet Maeglin was a traveller, he and his mother had fled to Gondolin to escape Eol, his abusive father. When Eol entered the city and demanded his son back, his wife sought aid in Gondolin and they protected her but Eol killed his wife. So the Elves of Gondolin executed Eol by dashing him off a precipice. Maeglin saw this but Eol cursed his son before he died and said on that rock he would die like he did. Being King Turgon's nephew, Maeglin became one of their main counsellors. However he secretly desired Turgon's daughter Idril, the first Elf to desire a first cousin despite it being forbidden. Idril feared him for this.

Orchestrating the Downfall of Gondolin

Later the human hero Tuor came to Gondolin and married Idril. They had a son Earendil.

Maeglin was in the mountains against his uncle's orders when he was captured by Orcs and taken to Morgoth. Morgoth saw him personally and demanded to know of Gondolin's location and how to attack. Maeglin defied him but his resolve weakened ("he was no weakling nor craven")  but then Maeglin finally decided to betray Gondolin, especially when Morgoth promised Maeglin riches and the crown of Gondolin and the hand of Idril. However, Maeglin let in Morgoth's army in Midsummer, which consisted of Orcs, Balrogs, dragons and other monsters, and was led by Gothmog, lord of Balrogs. In the battle Gondolin was destroyed. Maeglin sought to kidnap Idril and tried to murder her seven-year old son Earendil, but Tuor duelled him on the rock where Eol died and threw him from the wall. Maeglin struck the slope thrice before falling into the fire and dying on the slopes.

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