Also called Ardamire ('Jewel of the World' in Quenya).

Eärendil was the half-elven son of Tuor and Idril. He was born in Gondolin in 504 of the First Age, and grew up in the lands of Arvernien after escaping the Fall of Gondolin at a young age. There he met Elwing, they married and had two sons - Elrond and Elros.

On his ship Vingilot, built by Círdan and himself, he tried to find the way to Valinor.

When the sons of Fëanor attacked the Isle of Balar, Elwing escaped with a Silmaril and the power of Ulmo let her fly up to his ship.

Then, with the power of the Silmaril he found his way to Valinor to ask the Valar's help.The Valar and Maiar came and they fought in the War of Wrath, in which Eärendil himself fought also. In this war, he slew Ancalagon the Black, the most terrible dragon Arda had ever known.

With the Silmaril on his brow, he was then set in the heavens by the Valar to sail across the sky in his ship Vingilot untill the End of Time. He was seen by the Children of Ilúvatar as a star shining in the morning and evening (which corresponded to the star we call Venus).
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Thorongil