Son of Huor, husband of Idril Cerebrindal, and father of Eärendil.

Perhaps more than any other Man in Middle-earth, Tuor's life was dictated by Fate, or rather, resistance to Fate. This Fate was the Doom of Mandos, which Ulmo, who still cared for the Elves and Men of Middle-earth, was trying to undermine.

The [relatively] Short Version   
The Long Version   

The [relatively] Short Version    

Tuor was a Lord of Men by birth, but after the NirnaethArnoediad where his father and many of his people were killed, and after which his mother died of grief, he was raised an orphan in nearby caves by Grey-elves. When the Elves attempted to escape the land which had been taken by evil men, Tuor was captured and held as a thrall by Lorgan the Easterling. After years of patience, he escaped and, after a brief existence as an outlaw, sought the Gate of the Noldor and Turgon, the Hidden King of Gondolin. Ulmo's power drew him to the Sea to Turgon's former dwellings of Vinyamar. Here Ulmo appeared to him, and asked Tuor to be his messenger to Turgon. Tuor accepted, and was given a cloak by Ulmo which would protect him from hostile eyes on his long journey. The wrath of Ossë sends a storm which drives Tuor to take refuge in the halls of Vinyamar. The next morning, Tuor meets Voronwë, who has been cast ashore by the storm. Voronwë was a messenger from Gondolin, seeking to find Valinor and plead with the Valar to have pity on those in Middle-earth.

Voronwë leads Tuor to Gondolin, where he delivers the message of Ulmo. Turgon is counseled to abandon the city he has built and go down Sirion to the Sea. Turgon does not with the fair city he has made, and rejects the counsel of Ulmo. Despite this, Tuor remains in Gondolin and marries Turgon's daughter Idril. This earns Tuor the hatred of Maeglin, Turgon's sister-son, who despite their close kinship desired to have Idril as his wife. The child of Tuor and Idril is Eärendil. Idril is foresighted and at her urging, Tuor has a secret escape tunnel constructed, leading from their house out of the city under the encircling plain. After the treachery of Maeglin, when Morgoth's armies close in on Gondolin, it is by this way that Tuor, Idril, Eärendil and other refugees of Gondolin escape. Eventually these exiles come to the Mouths of Sirion, where they join those who escaped the ruin of Doriath.

Tuor again feels the sea-longing, and builds a boat on which he sets sail into the West. It is said that he was counted among the Eldar.

The Long Version    

A Lord of Men by birth, Tuor son of Huor and Rían was left an orphan after both his parents were killed by the NirnaethArnoediad, Huor while guarding the retreat of Turgon and Rían by grief.

But the Elves cared for the infant son of Huor, and Tuor grew up among them; and he 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.
Unfinished Tales: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

Easterlings who had been in the service of Morgoth held the former lands of the House of Hador, and after a time Tuor's foster-father Annael and his people tried to escape and seek the Gate of the Noldor. Their flight was waylaid,

But Tuor's heart was kindled with the fire of battle, and he would not flee, but boy as he was he wielded the axe as his father before him, and for long he stood his ground and slew many that assailed him; but at the last he was overwhelmed and taken captive and led before Lorgan the Easterling.
Unfinished Tales: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

He was beaten and ill-treated, but Tuor did not respond to their torments and so eventually was treated better than most thralls. He made friends with the hounds of his master, Lorgan, and this proved well. One day when Tuor had grown to full manhood, he was out cutting wood in the forest. Turning on his guards with his axe, he slew them and escaped. The hounds were sent to search for him, but they would run home at his word when they met him.

He lived as an outlaw in the caves where the Grey-elves had dwelt, but eventually resolved to leave the land of his people and seek out Turgon, whose named stirred his heart by the power of Ulmo, though he knew this not. Following a stream, he came near the Gate of the Noldor, but did not know it. He met two Noldorin Elves, Gelmir and Arminas, who showed him through the gate. Ulmo's power was at work in the waters of the streams and rivers, calling Tuor. After tarrying on the way, he came at last to the Sea.

. . . he [Tuor] came suddenly to the black brink of Middle-earth, and saw the Great Sea, Belegaer the Shoreless. And at that hour the sun went down beyond the rim of the world, as a mighty fire; and Tuor stood alone upon the cliff with outspread arms, and a great yearning filled hi heart. It is said that he was the first of Men to reach the Great Sea, and that none, save the Eldar, have ever felt more deeply the longing that it brings.
Unfinished Tales: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

After counseling Turgon to build Gondolin as a secret threat to Morgoth, Ulmo had told Turgon to leave a shield, sword, and hauberk in his dwelling of Vinyamar at Nevrast, dictating the size to fit his yet-unborn messenger. Coming now to Vinyamar, Tuor found the armor which had been left for him. The shield bore the emblem of a White Swan's wing, which became his emblem in Gondolin.

Thus armed he went forth from Turgon's hall, and stood upon the high terraces of Taras. in the red light of the sun. None were there to see him, as he gazed westward, gleaming in silver and gold, and he knew no that in that hour he appeared as one of the Mighty of the West, and fit to be the father of the kings of the Kings of Men beyond the Sea, as it was indeed his doom to be.
Unfinished Tales: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

Here Ulmo came to Tuor, and told him of the purpose of his journey: to carry the message of Ulmo to the Turgon, the King of Gondolin. After further instructing him and giving him a cloak, Ulmo lifted up a mighty horn, and its note showed to Tuor all of the Great Sea even to the shores of Valinor and Taniquetil. Then Ossë raised up a great storm, forcing Tuor to retreat to the empty halls of Vinyamar. This storm washed Voronwë, an Elf of Gondolin who was the last survivor of a ship seeking for Valinor to plea for pardon of the Noldor, on to the rocks, where he met Tuor.

Learning of the task laid on Tuor by Ulmo, Voronwë agreed to guide him to Gondolin. After a hard journey, they arrived at the DryRiver, which was the HiddenWay? to Gondolin. Although the penalty for bringing a foreigner through the HiddenWay? was death, the guards were convinced by Tuor that he came by the command of Ulmo, and his fate should be decided by the King. Passing through the Seven Gates, Tuor was met by Ecthelion and cast aside his cloak, showing clearly by the livery of Nevrast that he was sent by Ulmo.

Thus it was that the son of Huor rode across Tumladen, and came to the gate of Gondolin; and passing up the wide stairways of the city he was brought at last to the Tower of the King, and looked upon the images of the Trees of Valinor. Then Tuor stood before Turgon son of Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, and upon the King's right hand there stood Maeglin his sister-son, but upon hi left hand sat Idril Celebrindal his daughter; and all that heard the voice of Tuor marveled, doubting that this were in truth a Man of mortal race, for his words were the words of the Lord of Waters that came to him in that hour.
The Silmarillion: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

Turgon rejected the counsel of Ulmo, to depart from Gondolin, but not his messenger. Tuor gained the good favor of the King, and after seven years he married Idril Celebrindal, Turgon's daughter. Idril loved Tuor, but Maeglin had a secret lust for Idril despite their being cousins. This led Maeglin to hate Tuor, and made him more susceptible to becoming a traitor. Had it not been for Idril's foresight, Melkor may well have succeeded, with the help of Maeglin, in completely destroying Gondolin and all its people. Tuor, at Idril's insistence, had a secret tunnel built which would lead under to the plain around Gondolin and to the EncirclingMountains. Idril and Tuor had a son, Eärendil, fulfilling Huor's last words to Turgon during the NirnaethArnoediad, "from you and from me a new star shall arise."

When the plans of Morgoth were complete, and Gondolin was attacked, Tuor played a valiant part in the defense of the city. After seeing that this defense was without hope, he went to Idril to lead as many refugees as he could through the secret tunnel. Maeglin, still desiring Idril, was seeking to take her and her son when Tuor arrived. Filled with wrath, Tuor fought Maeglin and threw him over a cliff.

Ambushed by a Balrog, the company of refugees led by Tuor was saved by Glorfindel, who died slaying the Demon of Fire. Escaping to Sirion and then to the Sea, they joined those fleeing the ruin of Doriath. After a time, Tuor once again felt the Sea-longing, and built a ship, Eärrámë, in which he and Idril sailed into the West.

But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men.
The Silmarillion: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

See also: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

Comments Tuor was granted a vision of Númenor, the Meneltarma, and Eärendil as the MorningStar? during his night at Vinyamar:

His sleep was troubled with many dreams, of which naught remained in waking memory save one: a vision of an isle, and in the midst of it was a steep mountain, and behind it the sun went down, and shadows sprang into the sky; but above it there shown a single dazzling star.
Unfinished Tales: Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

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