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Eärendil the Mariner, also known as Eärendil Half-Elven, was the son of the human hero Tuor and Elf Princess Idril. He is the father of Elros and Elrond by his wife Elwing. Eärendil brought about the eventual defeat of Morgoth. His name is Quenya for Sea-Friend.
Eärendil was born in the city of Gondolin to Tuor, a human hero of the House of Hador, and Idril. Idril's father was Turgon, the King of Gondolin and at that time rightfully High King of the Noldor after the death of his older brother Fingon. When Eärendil was seven, Morgoth, the First Dark Lord of Middle-Earth, launched an attack on Gondolin. Maeglin, Turgon's treacherous sister-son, had assisted Morgoth and attempted to kill Eärendil, however Tuor slew his villainous cousin-in-law. Eärendil, his parents, and some of the people of Gondolin escaped, though many of its population, including Turgon, died. In the mountains a Balrog attacked, but the Elf Glorfindel died slaying it.
Eärendil married Elwing, another Half-Elf and daughter of Dior and Nimloth. She had the Silmaril Dior's parents Beren and Lúthien had taken from Morgoth's crown. Eärendil built the ship Vingilot in which he sailed the sea. While he was away the sons of Fëanor, the crafter of the Silmarils, attacked. Elwing threw herself with the Silmaril into the sea, but the Valar of the Waters Ulmo turned her into a great white bird and with the Jewel she flew to her husband. Together they travelled to Valinor, home of the Valar, which had been closed to the Noldor due to the kinslaying of the Teleri Elves. Eärendil, on behalf of Elves and men, convinced the Valar to go to Middle-Earth and save it from Morgoth. The Valar sent a great host to Middle-Earth and succeeded in defeating Morgoth. Eärendil participated in the battle. In Vingilot and wearing the Silmaril he slew the greatest of the winged dragons Ancalagon the Black. Eärendil sailed the skies in Vingilot with the Silmaril bound to his brow, becoming the Morning Star seen in the West.