name. Starlight, (lit.) Star of Radiance
Last high-king of the Noldor and leader of the elves in the Last Alliance against Sauron at the end of the Second Age (LotR/52). His name is a compound of S. gil “star” and S. galad “radiance, glittering reflection”, the latter also an element in the name S. Galadriel “Glittering-garland” (RGEO/65, Let/425). In The Lord of the Rings his name was translated “Starlight” (LotR/191) but elsewhere Tolkien translated this name in various ways all roughly with the meaning: “Star of Radiance” (PM/347), which was the translation used by Christopher Tolkien in The Silmarillion index (SI/Gil-galad).
Conceptual Development: This name appeared in the Etymologies from the 1930s as N. Gil-galad “Starlight” (Ety/GIL). At this stage, the final element was probably the lenited form of N. calad “light” (PE17/50), though N. galad also appeared in the Etymologies with the gloss “light” (EtyAC/GAL).
1) gilgalad (i ngilgalad = i ñilgalad, o ngilgalad, pl. gilgelaid (in gilgelaid = i ñgilgelaid) if there is a plural form. 2) gilith (also used = Quenya Ilmen, the region of stars) (i ngilith = i ñilith, o ngilith) These mutations presupposed that the root is Ñ, as in MR:388, rather than as in the Etymologies (LR:358).