Mighty Long Hair in the Tolkien Legendarium

Mighty Long Hair of Tolkien

In Celebrate by El Rubio19 Comments

The Mighty of the Mighty

Seemingly as long in the making as J.R.R. Tolkien worked on his masterpiece, here we present the mighty long hair of the Tolkien Legendarium.

Most everyone is familiar with The Lord of The Rings, made widely popular by Peter Jackson’s acclaimed film trilogy, but passionate Tolkien fans have gone deeper into this spectacular fictional world in The Silmarillion, the ancient history before the War of the Ring. The most ardent followers have been further enthralled by The Fall Of Gondolin, The Children Of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, and beyond.

Whether you’ve read every word of The Book of Lost Tales, or you’re vaguely familiar with the movies, we can all appreciate some of the mightiest, most glorious and powerful manes in all of Arda.

Long Hair in the Tolkien Legendarium

Before diving into the legendary long hair of Tolkien, it is appropriate to consider its symbolism in the Tolkien Legendarium.

Many dozens of characters’ hair is described throughout the texts. Accounts of hair length, color, curl pattern and the manner in which it’s worn are common—as are other physical features, like height, eye color and skin color—and yet hair seems to hold a particular symbolism all its own.

Beyond merely a physical description, the portrayal of a character’s hair often signals power and might, omnipotent at times, as with Lúthien, but also grace, beauty, glory, vitality and wisdom.

This symbolism surely applies across male and female characters, and while this is a list of male characters, the balance wouldn’t be complete without the mighty locks of Lúthien, Galadriel, Morwen, Éowyn, Arwen, Rosie Cotton and many other female characters.

DISCLAIMER
This presentation is intended as a commentary. The characters, their accounts and descriptions are the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The images presented were created with Midjourney, a large language and diffusion model. It should be assumed that all data used by Midjourney in creating these images is rooted in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.


Direct quotes from The Lord Of The Rings, The Silmarillion, The Fall Of Gondolin, Beren And Lúthien, and The Children Of Húrin are in italics. All rights are reserved by the Tolkien Estate.

Mighty Long Hair of Tolkien

Elwë Singollo

Elu Thingol, High King of the Sindar, Lord of Beleriand who abode in the halls of Menegroth with Melian the Maia his Queen, was mighty among the Eldar. Elwë awoke with the Firstborn beside Cuiviénen, countless ages before the first rising of the Sun, whose daughter was Lúthien Tinúviel, who wed with Beren, becoming the first union of Elves and Men. He was slain in his deep armory by dwarves of Nogrod for possession of the Nauglamír.
Elwe Singollo
[F]air and noble as he had been, now he appeared as it were a lord of the Maiar, his hair as grey silver, tallest of all the Children of Ilúvatar; and a high doom was before him.

Fëanor

The most subtle and skilled in mind and craft, he made the Silmarils, containing the last light of the Trees, for which the Noldor waged war against Morgoth, who stole them. Fëanor was among the mightiest of all the Children of Ilúvatar, urging by the strength of his willpower the Noldor into exile from the Blessed Realm. He was slain by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, in pursuit of the servants of the Dark Lord, and the Silmarils that were stolen.
Fëanor
He was tall, and fair of face, and masterful, his eyes piercingly bright and his hair raven-dark; in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast. Few ever changed his courses by counsel, none by force.

Glorfindel

Among the most beloved characters in the Tolkien Legendarium, Chief of the House of The Golden Flower, Glorfindel means ‘Golden-haired.’ In the escape from the wreckage of Gondolin, he saved the refugees from deadly peril in fierce battle with a Balrog in the passes of Cirith Thoronath, in which both were slain. Sent back to Middle-earth from the Halls of Mandos by Manwë, in large part due to his self-sacrifice, he later escorted Frodo to the Ford of Bruinen where he escaped the Nazgûl.
Glorfindel
Glorfindel was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand was strength.

Tuor

Son of Huor of the House of Hador Golden-haired, guided by Ulmo he discovered the secret paths to the White City of Gondolin, and wedding Idril Celebrindal, they became the second union of Elves and Men. He escaped the destruction of Gondolin with Idril and their young son Eärendil, who would sail to Valinor delivering a plea of mercy to the Valar on behalf of the two kindreds.
Tuor with long golden hair
[H]e was fair of face, and golden-haired after the manner of his father’s kin, and he became strong and tall and valiant, and being fostered by the Elves he had lore and skill no less than the princes of the Edain, ere ruin came upon the North.

Túrin Turambar

The son of Húrin and a great tragic hero in the Legendarium, he was called Gorthol, Agarwaen, Mormegil, the Black Sword of Nargothrond, and many other names. Accursed by Morgoth, he forever sought in vain to escape his fate, and yet achieved many great and heroic deeds, and slew Glaurung, Father of Dragons, before taking his own life at the point of Gurthang.
Turin Turambar
For he was young, and only now reached his full manhood; and he was in truth the son of Morwen Eledhwen to look upon: dark-haired and pale-skinned, with grey eyes, and his face more beautiful than any other among mortal Men, in the Elder Days.

Elrond

Regarded among the Wise from the Elder Days through the end of the Third Age, Elrond Half-Elven, son of Eärendil and Master of Rivendell chose, as was afforded to him, to be accounted among the Firstborn. Aided by the remaining faithful members of the White Council, he appointed the members of The Fellowship Of The Ring, and counseled them in the errand to destroy the One.
Elrond
The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadow of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of stars.

Aragorn

Estel, Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn, Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North, Isildur’s heir, and by right the King of the Númenorians in exile, Aragorn labored in the wild, traveling to far lands doing great deeds over many decades in the fight against the Shadow of Sauron. In the last moments of Doom he led the Captains of The West to the Battle of The Morannon before The Black Gate, and out of utter destruction and despair was delivered as the Ring-bearer achieved The Quest. Soon after he reclaimed the kingship of Gondor, and married Arwen, thus becoming the third and final union of Elves and Men.
Aragorn son of arathorn
Behold! …Here is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur's son, Elendil's son of Númenor.

Gandalf

Perhaps the most underrated hero in the Legendarium, without Mithrandir all would have been lost for the free peoples of Middle-earth. Famous for his heroic stand against the balrog of Moria on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, he fell, and yet slew his foe, and returned to guide the free peoples, inciting great deeds with wise counsel, and thus beyond hope encompassed the downfall of Sauron.
Gandalf - MIGHTY long hair of Tolkien
[H]is long white hair, his sweeping silver beard, and his broad shoulders, made him look like some wise king of ancient legend. In his aged face under great snowy brows his dark eyes were set like coals that could leap suddenly into fire.

Legolas

Son of Thranduil, King of Northern Mirkwood, he was sent by his father to Rivendell with tidings of the escape of Gollum. Appointed as one of The Nine Walkers, he served the Ring-bearer until the breaking of the Fellowship, after which he did great deeds in the dramatic conclusion of The War of the Ring. Never so great a friendship between Elf and Dwarf existed than between Legolas and Gimli. Despite Orlando Bloom’s dreamy depiction, there is no description of Legolas’ hair in the text.
Legolas
Legolas was fair of face beyond the measure of Men, and he sang an elven-song in a clear voice as he walked in the morning;

Meriadoc Brandybuck

Though hobbits are described as commonly having thick, brown, curly hair, Meriadoc the Magnificent, Holdwine of honor in the Mark, Master of Buckland, appears to be the only hobbit whose hair is specifically described in the text—and yet a hobbit must be included. In the service of King Théoden he rode with the Rohirrim, dealt a piercing blow to the King of the Ringwraiths, and later marshaled the hobbits of The Shire in the victorious Battle of Bywater. It’s held that Merry’s hair became thicker, curlier, and longer from the Ent-draughts he drank with Pippin.
Meriadoc Brandybuck
A young man he looked, or like one, though not much more than half a man in height; his head of brown curling hair was uncovered, but he was clad in a travel-stained cloak of the same hue and shape as the companions of Gandalf…

Lest We Forget

We regret dwarves were left out. They possess mighty hair on head and face indeed, and many of the great Naugrim could be named, yet very seldom if ever throughout the text is any Dwarf’s hair described in detail.
Dwarves, stout but might long hair of Tolkien.

With Gratitude

It’s with deep gratitude The Longhairs offers this humble commentary on the Legendarium, not just for the fictional universe with which we are enamored, but for the uncounted hours of deep thought, intense focus, unbound creativity and the labor of a lifetime in its creation.

The work of J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien and their contributors demonstrates the spirit of The Longhairs’ core values, ‘creativity and authenticity,’ and ‘do things right,’ and we’re forever thankful for their example.

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