We all know the legendary story of Gondolin; Turgon, Ecthelion and Glorfindel all died in Gondolin with Tuor and Elwing escaping with a decent amount of people (which I doubt went unnoticed by Morgoth).

It states that the majority of the city was massacred, so could this mean that only Tuor and his followers were the only ones to get out or was it possible that the armies of Morgoth took Elven men, women and children hostage?

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    “We all know the legendary story of Gondolin” [citation needed] – Paul D. Waite Sep 19 '15 at 9:22

Well I wouldn't use the word "prisoners", but it's very probable that Morgoth took some Elves alive as slaves.


The taking of slaves isn't unusual for Morgoth; he does it quite frequently:

The Orcs growing ever bolder wandered at will far and wide, coming down Sirion in the west and Colon in the east, and they encompassed Doriath; and they harried the lands so that beast and bird fled before them, and silence and desolation spread steadily from the North. Many of the Noldor and the Sindar they took captive and led to Angband, and made them thralls, forcing them to use their skill and their knowledge in the service of Morgoth.

The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 18: "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Filgolfin"

And again at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears:

The remnant of the Eldar of Hithlum were taken to the mines of the north and laboured there as thralls, save some that eluded him and escaped into the wilds and the mountains.'

The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 20: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaath Arnoediad"

And at the Sack of Nargothrond:

The Orcs had slain or driven off all that remained in arms, and were even then ransacking the great halls and chambers, plundering and destroying; but those of the women and maidens that were not burned or slain they had herded on the terraces before the doors, as slaves to be taken into Morgoth's thraldom.

The Silmarillion III Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 21: "Of Túrin Turambar"

So although he was very upset with Gondolin for eluding him all these years, it wouldn't be remotely unlikely for him to have taken some slaves there as well.


Unfortunately there's nothing in the published Silmarillion to indicate that Morgoth did take slaves in Gondolin. So we have to go back to the drafts, and we have to go far back.

The main account of the Fall of Gondolin is given in The Book of Lost Tales, and was written in 1917. As such, it has many inconsistencies with the rest of the Legendarium, and whether or not you consider it canon is a personal decision. However, it does contain an indication that slaves were taken by the forces of Morgoth:

Thus it was that Tuor son of Peleg gave before the foe, fighting as he yielded ground, and bore from that battle Ecthelion of the Fountain, but the drakes and the foemen held half the city and all the north of it. Thence marauding bands fared about the streets and did much ransacking, or slew in the dark men and women and children, and many, if occasion let, they bound and led back and flung into the iron chambers amid the dragons of iron, that they might drag them afterward to be thralls of Morgoth.

History of Middle-earth II The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2 Chapter III: "The Fall of Gondolin"

Of course this isn't the end of the battle; we soon learn that Eglamoth has been rescuing some captives:

Even from that region comes now Eglamoth. He had had a charge of the engines on the wall; but long since deeming matters to call rather for handstrokes about the streets than shooting upon the battlements he gathered some of the [House of the] Arch and of the [House of the] Swallow about him, and cast away his bow. Then did he fare about the city dealing good blows whenever they fell in with bands of the enemy. Thereby he rescued many bands of captives and gathered no few wandering driven men, and so got to the King's Square with hard fighting.

History of Middle-earth II The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2 Chapter III: "The Fall of Gondolin"

So it's certainly possible that Morgoth didn't get any captives out of Gondolin, but it seems as though he was at least trying.

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