Other Names: Earlier names were Thorndor, also Sorontor. A very early name was Ramandor
Location(s): Valinor, Beleriand
Race/Species: Beasts & Monsters
Title(s): King of Eagles, Lord of the Thornhoth
Dates: Time of the Trees through I, possibly much later.
There are many comments throughout HoMe associating the Eagles with Manwë. Christopher Tolkien mentions his father's notation "Manwe however sent Maia spirits in Eagle form to dwell near Thangorodrim and keep watch on all that Melkor did and assist the Noldor in extreme cases."
Morgoth's Ring, HoMe X, The Annals of Aman 'Notes'
From Book of Lost Tales 1, "First upon Taniquetil was a great abode raised up for Manwe and a watchtower set. Thence did he speed his darting hawks and receive them on his return, and thither fared often in later days Sorontur King of Eagles whom Manwe gave much might and wisdom."
BoLT 1, III, The Coming Of The Valar And The Building Of Valinor
Physically they are far larger than our current day eagle, and Thorondor is the most imposing:
"King of Eagles, mightiest of all birds that have ever been, whose outstretched wings spanned thirty fathoms..."
The Silmarillion, Ch 13, Of the Return of the Noldor
"The rushing of the wings of Thorondor was like the noise of the winds of Manwë..."
Ch 15, Of the Noldor in Beleriand
The eagles in LotR all sprang from Thorondor:
"There came Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, greatest of all the Eagles of the North, mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor"
RotK, Book VI, Ch 4, The Field of Cormallen
During his time in Beleriand in the First Age, his eyrie was "among the peaks of the Crissaegrim".
The specific events that Thorondor is known to have participated in:
Rescued Maedhros from Thangorodrim.
Took Fingolfin's body from Morgoth, marring Morgoth's face in the process. He bore the Elf-king's body to a mountain top, where Turgon built a cairn to honor his father.
Saw Húrin and Huor wandering as young men in the hills and commanded his eagles to bear them to Gondolin.
Rescued Beren and Lúthien from the Valley of the Gate of Angband
Saw Húrin's return to the hills around Gondolin and told Turgon of his approach. Turgon disbelieved him at first, eventually relenting and asking the eagles to seek Húrin and bring him to Gondolin, although it was too late.
Bought tidings to Turgon of the fall of Nargothrond.
Defended the fleeing refugees of Gondolin from the orcs in the pass of Cirith Thoronath, and retrieved Glorfindel's body from the abyss after the Elf's duel with the Balrog.
Captained the 'great birds of heaven' that fought alongside Eärendil during the War of Wrath.