Idril Heraldic Device

 Jesse Brauner
Idril Heraldic Device

Heraldic device of Idril Celebrindal, a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.

Known primarily as the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien also created a number of original illustrations for his works. Among these illustrations were heraldic devices for several of his characters. This device belongs to Idril Celebrindal, an Elf of the Noldor clan who became princess of the hidden city of Gondolin.

One of the most notable elements of Idril’s story was her marriage to Tuor, a mortal man. Their union marked only the second time in history where an Elf maiden wed a human (the first being Beren and Lúthien). When Gondolin fell during the great wars of the First Age of Middle-Earth, Idril and Tuor escaped the city and later sailed to Valinor, land of the angelic beings known as the Valar (making Tuor the first mortal to be allowed to dwell there).

According to the website Tolkien Gateway, these images appeared on calendars and book jackets in the 1970's, shortly after the author's death. Although the full symbolism behind many of them is unknown, Idril’s case is clearer than most: The image on her device represents a cornflower, which the Elves call “menelluin”. The design is said to have come from an inlaid plaque that was saved from the Fall of Gondolin and passed down through Idril’s descendants.