Laura’s presentation was on The Seven Gates of Gondolin and Tuor and his coming to Gondolin.
THE SEVEN GATES OF GONDOLIN
The Gate of Wood was the first gate of the Seven Gates of Gondolin. It was placed at the end of the secret passage and the beginning of the Orfalch Echor, in an arch bordered by pillars. It was essentially a wooden portcullis that rose upon being touched in a certain place, an attribute which may have been cancellable in the case of siege.
The Gate of Stone was the second of the Seven Gates of Gondolin, standing half a league from the Gate of Wood. It was in form a wall with two stone towers. The gate was, in fact, a large, dark, and polished stone placed upon a pivot, above which was a bright lantern. When pushed upon on one side, the gate would swing until perpendicular to its previous position. This feature could doubtless be disabled in time of siege. The guards of the Gate of Stone were robed in grey.
The Gate of Bronze was the third of the Seven Gates of Gondolin, in shape a wall spanning the Orfalch Echor mounted by three square towers, roofed and “clad” in bright copper. The double-door hung with shields and bronze plates, wrought with many figures and strange signs. There were many red lamps along the wall, which made the copper and bronze shine like fire. The guards of this gate wore red mail, and carried red-bladed axes. These guards were mostly Sindar of Nevrast.
The Gate of Writhen Iron was the fourth of the Seven Gates of Gondolin. It spanned the highest point of the canyon; after this gate, it widened out and became somewhat green and dotted with uilos. The wall and four towers appeared to be wrought of iron, and no lanterns hung from the ramparts. The wall was the thickest of all the Seven Gates. Between the two inner towers was the iron image of Thorondor, King of Eagles. The gate itself was made of three layers, each of iron wrought in the shapes of trees bearing flowers and leaves. Through these could be seen the sky.
The Gate of Silver was the fifth of the Seven Gates of Gondolin, in shape a low and broad wall of white marble spanning the Orfalch Echor. The parapet was a trellis of silver between five great globes of marble. The gate was in shape as three parts of a circle, and wrought of silver and pearl, in the likeness of the Moon. Above the gate upon the midmost globe was an image of the white Tree Telperion, wrought of silver and malachite, with flowers made of great pearls of Balar. The archers who guarded this gate were robed in white. Beyond the gate were stationed 200 archers in silver mail and white-crested helms.
The Gate of Gold was the sixth of the Seven Gates of Gondolin. It was the last of the ancient gates of Turgon that were wrought before the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The gate was similar in appearance to the Gate of Silver, however the wall was made of yellow marble, and the globes and parapet were of red gold. There were six globes, and in the midst upon a golden pyramid was set an image of Laurelin, with flowers wrought of topaz in long clusters upon chains of gold. The gate itself was decorated with many-rayed discs of gold, in likenesses of the sun, set amid devices of garnet and topaz and yellow diamonds. Beyond the gate were arrayed 300 archers with longbows, their mail was gilded and tall golden plumes rose from their helmets; and their great round shields were red as flame.
The Gate of Steel was the last of the Seven Gates of Gondolin, built some centuries after the other six as an ultimate defence after the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The gate was like a great steel fence across the Orfalch Echor. The fence had seven great needle-like pillars of steel and between these pillars there were seven cross-bars of steel and forty-nine vertical rods with heads like broad blades of spears. In the centre, above the midmost pillar, was raised a mighty image if the king-helm of Turgon, the Crown of the Hidden Kingdom, set about with diamonds. The gate opened inward on either side of the pillar of the Crown. Though all but impassable to an enemy, the Gate ultimately failed to prevent the Fall of Gondolin.