the doom of the noldor

You know how the dwarves have curses like ‘Ish Kakhfê ai’d dur rugnu’? (which most likely translates to 'fuck you and your eyebrows’) Well, since the elves are far more 'wise’ (everyone who has read the Silm knows that is a lie ) the elves would probably curse Fëanor’s name.

Like, got surrounded by orcs? Blame it on Fëanor, he made the Noldor leave Valinor. Got rejected by your crush? Blame it on Fëanor, he was estranged from his wife because she wouldn’t go with him. Got family problems? Blame it on Fëanor, his family drama literally shattered a continent. Got too much homework? Blame it on Fëanor, he created the Tengwar script. Got dumped? Blame it on Fëanor, he literally dumped his brother and nephews in a frozen hell. Sauron’s got his eye on you? Blame it on Fëanor, he made the palantiri. Giant spiders? Sick forests? Fëanor wouldn’t give up the silmarils even when he didn’t have them, blame it on him.

This list could keep on and on, because let’s face it: no matter how much we love him we have to admit that he is a little shit. He is the cause of the doom of the Noldor and its woes. The elves would probably curse something like, 'Fie upon thee, Fëanáro, for thy deeds have damned us all!“ or "Thrice I curseth thy name, Fëanor, for this woe is the work of thee!” or just a good old 'GET THEE GONE FËANOR!“

I think even his sons eventually cursed his name as well, so then this gets passed down to Elrond. So when something bad happens to him (which happens often) he is like "curse thee, great, great granduncle!”

I think Galadriel was the one that started the tradition, along with Fingolfin and basically everyone that crossed the Helcaraxe. I think that the last words Fingolfin uttered while Morgoth stepped on his throat were 'FUCK THEE, CURUFINWË FËANÁRO!“

On the other side, Fëanaro always called the Nolofinwëans the 'nolofuckers’ so I guess that is their way of expressing brotherly love.

Ring of Doom: The Silmarils

Manwë: So. We’re here. Let’s talk business Fëanor.
Yavanna: Alright soooo the light of my trees has died and the Silmarils are the only thing that can make them better soooo …
Fëanor: ok and.
Manwë: Well, are you going to help out or not.
Fëanor: Let me think - no.
Manwë: Dude wtf. The silmarils happened because of her.
Aulë: Alright Manwë, don’t exaggerate. Let the man think.
Fëanor: Look, I’ve locked them up. And I’m not making any more. So, if you want, kill me. Y’know. First of the Eldar and all that.
Mandos: You’re not the first. js.
Fëanor: Wow Melkor was right, you’re all dicks.
Mandos: Welp, he’s spoken. Douche.
Nienna: … *cries on the trees*
Fëanor: And you’re all just gonna … let her do that.
Noldor Messengers: URGENT NEWS.
Manwë: Oh boy.
Noldor Messengers: Fëanor, your dad is dead.
Fëanor: Fingolfin that asshole –
Noldor Messengers: Nah, Melkor.
Fëanor:………………………………………………………
Noldor Messengers: Oh yeah. And he took your Silmarils, too.
Aulë: Ouch.
Manwë: Ok Fëanor, let’s take this slow -
Fëanor: *seethes* MORGOTH.

An average day for a Noldo


>Wake up to a beautiful morning.
>Roll over to greet your beautiful wife
>She died in her sleep
>tisthedoomofmandos.ithildin
>Take your kids to Eldar School
>Go to pick them up later
>Find out your son initiated a 4th kinslaying when a Nandor kid said he looked edgy
>During the kinslaying a Sindarin child’s sword was thrown through the window and inexplicably embedded itself in your daughter’s cranium
>Your son was bow’d down by the local Nandor-Silvan law enforcement
>muhsuperiornoldogenes.tengwar
>Decide to go complain about it to your brother at his forge
>Come to find out a rogue ember had found it’s way to the oil repository, vaporizing the whole building
>Go to console his wife.
>Find out she had been killed during a freak sculpting accident
>Some genius Noldor sculptors were making a masterpiece statue of Feanor.
>One of the sculptor’s struck an area too hard, causing Feanor’s codpiece to suddenly fly off and impale her to a wall.
>Mandos is working overtime today.
>On your ride back home, an errant splinter from a nearby human logging camp stabs into your horse’s anus, causing him to buck you off, next to a cliff.
>Luckily your superior Noldo strength and agility let you land perfectly unharmed.
>Make your way home.
>It’s been raided by orcs
>Again
>Rebuild your house for the 6,000th time
>As you fall asleep, a shoddy nail inexplicably shoots out with the force of Gil-Galad’s thrust game.
>Fucking Doom of Mandos.

anonymous asked:

au where thingol puts aside his grievances for the greater good and treats with fingolfin and the sindar and the noldor are allies against morgoth what becomes of it

In canon, despite the treachery, our boys almost won the day at the Nirnaeth and with an army from Doriath (and possibly a larger force from Nargothrond as well - Orodreth took much advice from Thingol and if he’d pressed for it might well have sent more men), they could have carried it. 

But the thing is, the Silmarillion isn’t a story about alliances and logistics, political maneuvering and military strategy. It’s a story about Doom. 

Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever. Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death’s shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken.

You can’t really politic your way out of that one.

If Thingol relaxes his policy of extreme isolationism, Morgoth’s spies are able to infiltrate Menegroth and foment paranoia. Even AU this Thingol must be a little paranoid and they feed it. We’ve seen how he ‘protects’ those he loves, and now he affords that same care to his niece and nephews. Nargothrond is never built and Dorthonion is not held and Beleriand falls. 

Perhaps that doesn’t happen, but maybe the need for more open borders means the magic of the Girdle is weaker and Doriath takes the brunt of the assault during the Dagor Bragollach, and falls.

Or maybe they fight the Nirnaeth and win but at great cost; Thingol dies and Melian leaves and Doriath is undefended when the Noldor realise that imprisoning a god is easier said than done. 

How about they fight and win again and seal Morgoth away in his own dungeons? Then all that’s left is to divide the spoils of war. For the part they played, the Doriathrim deserve some kind of reward and by what right do the Feanorians claim all three Silmarils when their allies bore just as much of the risk? The Second Kinslaying happens a little earlier this time around. 

Am I being unfair with these hypotheticals? Of course, but that’s the point. It’s all rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic; the Noldor are Doomed and Beleriand will sink beneath the weight of their crimes, no matter what they do. 

Of all the stories in the Silmarillion, the entire story of Gondolin and its fall has to be my favorite.

Let’s start with the fact that the city was literally ordained by Ulmo himself because Turgon was homesick. Like there was no kidding when it was said that Ulmo did not forsake the children of Illúvatar. Then Gondolin literally became a white shining city on a hill. Other Elven kingdoms? Fuck off. Doriath may be cool, but it’s ruled by this fucker. Was it Doriath that went to war alongside the elves at Nirnaeth Arnoediad? And was it Doriath that was so noble a kingdom that an entire race of men sacrificed themselves to keep its secrecy? Hithlum? Maybe. The kingdoms of the sons of Fëanor? The Havens? I don’t think so. 

But his dumbass doomed his kingdom because he refused to listen to his wife about avoiding the Silmaril and the doom of the Noldor. It can be said that Turgon’s pride ended Gondolin, but I believe that Tuor could have swayed him if not for Maeglin’s poisonous ear. And you can’t fault Turgon for trusting him, Maeglin was his fucking nephew. Nargothrond is the closest to Gondolin until Túrin’s dumb ass convinced Orodreth to reveal his secret location. Don’t even get me started on the centuries of utter peace. Like, Turgon forbade people to leave, but they were so happy they decided to stay anyway! Imagine the perfect paradise being built! And he was right wasn’t he? Both times Elves left, Aredhel and Maeglin, they both brought back shit that would lead to the ruin of the city. That’s not even counting the scores of Gondolindhrim slaughtered at Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

And the sheer heroism of the fall gets me every time. Maeglin gets his ass beat and thrown off the same wall as Eöl, the epitome of poetic justice. Turgon throws off his crown and sacrifices himself for his city. In my headcanon he recants after the Maeglin’s betrayal and believes he doesn’t deserve to escape his before his people. Ecthelion fucking headbutts a Balrog into a fountain. Not just any Balrog, but Gothmog, the fucker who surrounded and slew Fëanor himself. Glorfindel is so badass and noble that he gets reborn and saves Frodo thousands of years later from the Nazgûl. And Idril saves many with her secret tunnel. The heroism and tragedy, along with the fact that Turgon declares victory as his people escape, the fact that Gondolin was the last Elven bastion, and the fact that Glamdring was refound and Glorfindel was reborn as an Elf and sent to Middle-Earth. The tragedy of Gondolin is massively amplified, and forever holds a place in my heart. These are my favorite fanarts of Gondolin courtesy of my favorite Tolkein artist, Ted Nasmith.

A Conversation in Mandos

“Grandfather, I have failed you. I crafted mighty Rings of Power that would bring great gifts to Elves and Dwarves and Men… but I was deceived. It was a Maia of Aule, or so he said, who taught us this craft… but it was the Enemy in disguise, and those same rings of my own hand have brought darkness upon Middle-earth. Eregion lies in ruin, I suffered a terrible death, I have brought doom upon the last of the Noldor in Middle-earth…”

“Oh, child, do not say such things. Such a ring is a great feat, notwithstanding the pain they caused, no matter if you were deceived by the Enemy, I always knew you’d make me pro-” 

“But, Grandfather… it was Sauron in disguise!”

A long silence.

“What did you say?”

“I was deceived by Sauron Gorthaur, right hand of our Enemy, I was a fool, please forgive me…”

“I can’t believe a grandson of mine would be so disloyal! You dishonor your father and all of your line!”

“I swear, Grandfather, I didn’t kno-”

“By whom?”

*miserably*

“By Sa-

oh, Grandfather, for fuck’þ þake!”

simaethae  replied to your post: if you’re still doing the au things and if we are…:

 i kind of feel like the Valar would probably do something *eventually*? Ulmo would be v upset at his faves getting killed and he still talks to Cirdan… but, without Elwing to persuade them the Teleri refuse to provide transport, and without Earendil who kills Ancalagon? conclusion: the Valar win but without ground troops they have to go in harder and more directly. Shame about Middle-earth and the entirety of the human race, but you can’t have everything ^_^

Right, they would have to do something but it would be so much uglier than canon. If not your idea (which is v. plausible), maybe Ulmo makes another Tol Eressëa to get Cirdan and what other survivors there are to safety? (though it might have to wait till after all the Noldor are dead to negate the Doom)

curufinsdaddyissues replied to your post: if you’re still doing the au things and if we are…

1) this was me, thankyou and also sorry 2) imagining Maglor vs C+C - and Maglor /winning/ - is incredible and terrifying. I often seem to forget that Maglor can be just as vicious and deadly as the rest of his brothers, given incentive (and how nice it is to be reminded)… just going to spend the rest of my night imagining these boys trying to kill each other now, thanks so much ❤

I hope you had pleasant dreams, buddy!

REACTION OF MIDDLE EARTH TO A GIANT METEORITE ABOUT TO STRIKE ARDA

Melkor: “Fuck yeah!”
The Valar: “MELKOR, NO!”
The Noldor: “This is part of our doom too?”
The Sindar: “This is fault of the Noldor!”
The Laiquendi: “Are you sure we are in Arda? Arda was not behind the mountain range?”


The Teleri: *plays flute*
The Avari: “Lies and bullshit”
The Men: Well, we were going to die anyway… *massive suicide*
Easterlings: *bellydances*
Feanor: “SHINY!!”
Ungoliant: “Yum!!!”
Dwarves: “We have been prepared for this forever! Everybody underground!”
Orcs: Does this mean we have won?
Another orc: We will die too stupid!
The first orc: Shut up, pig scum! *starts tribal orc war*
Trolls: “Needs more squirrel poo”
Boromir: “Nobody simply escapes to the meteorite.”
Aragorn: “Gondor calls for aid!!”
Theoden: “Where was Gondor when the meteorite struck?!”
Maglor: *sings*
Ents: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….oh!…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… look!

Cirdan: “I cannot die virgin!”
Gollum: What is meteteteorites, precious?
Earendil: “Look at all the fucks I give…”
Gandalf: “What part of ‘this is not one of my fireworks’ you don’t understand?!”
Hobbits: “……….. I have to stop smoking this shit.”
Peter Jackson: “Legolas will go riding a flying ship to the sky and throw laser beams to the meteorite and save the world! Later he will get in love with a she-dwarf and everybody will be happy forever.


Originally posted by plumkat

The Adventures of Turgon

Ulmo: *helps Turgon*
Turgon: *Discovers Tumladen* wow. This place would be perfect to build a memorial to Tirion.
Turgon: hmm …….
Turgon: *goes back to Nevrast* I’ll think of something later.
*Dagor Aglareb happens*
Ulmo: ……………
Ulmo: *sends some people to build the city up; SIGH*
Turgon: oh! I came up with a name - Gondolin. Cool, right?
Ulmo: bropls
Turgon: Hey! What’s up Ulmo, did you hear? I came up with a name for my secret city and it only took me 250 years!
Ulmo: Just go to Gondolin already.
Turgon: Yeah? But who will protect the entirety of Nevrast.
Ulmo: Me. Now go to Gondolin.
Turgon: Phew. Okay.
Ulmo: Go. Now. But remember, the Doom of Mandos is still hanging over your head, buddy.
Turgon: Got it!
Ulmo: OMG leave.

The Prophecy of Mandos

Summary:  A short essay on the Doom as prophecy, and the Valar’s role in fulfilling it.

—– 

‘On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also.’ (The Silmarillion, 'Of the Flight of the Noldor’ p 79)

With the exception of Fingon’s people, Fingolfin and Finarfin’s hosts had no part in Alqualondë.  So why do they fall under the same Doom?

Imagine that you and your friend need to get to East Podunk, but you haven’t got a car.  Your friend stops a car and asks to borrow it.  The driver refuses and your friend kills the driver and steals the car.  He drives it to the end of the block, you jump in, and you drive off to East Podunk.  Legally and morally, you are as guilty as your friend.  You didn’t pull the trigger, but you benefit from his crime.

In this case, your friend never stops at the end of the block, and you have to walk to East Podunk.  You’re furious with your friend, not because he killed the driver and stole the car, but because he left you behind.  Legally, you might be offered a plea bargain, but morally, you’re still accountable.

Keep reading

The Courage to Turn Back

Finarfin? A coward? Absolutely not! I agree with you that returning to Valinor took a great deal of courage on Finarfin’s part. I mean, anyone who’s ever turned themselves in for something (even something as simple as, say, stealing the last cookie, or breaking that vase), knows that what Finarfin did was very brave.

And keep in mind that Finarfin’s wife was of the Teleri, and that he’d lived in Alqualonde for years, raised his children there (who, by the way, did not turn back - and the decision to return home while your children leave without, perhaps never to return, could not be made lightly.) After the First Kinslaying, and hearing the Doom of Mandos, I think it was more a complete loss of motivation that made Finarfin turn back, more than any sort of fear. And this is definitely how Tolkien describes the event:

But in that hour Finarfin forsook the march, and turned back, being filled with grief, and with bitterness against the House of Feanor, because of his kinship with Olwe of Alqualonde; and many of his people went with him, retracing their steps in sorrow, until they beheld once more the far beam of the Mindon upon Tuna still shining in the night, and so came at last to Valinor… But his sons were not with him, for they would not forsake the sons of Fingolfin; and all Fingolfin’s folk went forward still, feeling the constraint of their kinship and the will of Feanor, and fearing to face the doom of the Valar, since not all of them had been guiltless of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde. 

The language Tolkien uses here is telling - Finarfin and his people feel grief, bitterness, and sorrow, while Fingolfin and his people feel constrained and afraid. If I were to label either of these groups as cowards (which I wouldn’t do anyway), it would have to be Fingolfin’s people.

Finarfin is so important, and so interesting in so many ways (he’s definitely on my ever-growing list of characters I wish Tolkien had written way more about.) But, basically, Tolkien’s stories are filled with characters who agreed to quests that they didn’t really understand (Frodo going to Mount Doom, Bilbo to Erebor, the Noldor to Angband, etc.), and yet kept going even when it was clear they were in for way more than they’d signed up for. Finarfin is one of the very few characters (perhaps the only character?) who ever started a quest, learned more about it, and decided to return home. Call him a coward if you want (I strongly disagree with you, but whatever), but you have to admit he’s probably one of Tolkien’s smarter characters.

SOURCES: The Silmarillion

so we're Doomed
  • Lion: The flight of the Noldor as Brexit, Feanor is Nigel Farage
  • Emily: Too Real. who is boris Johnson.
  • ...is fingolfin boris Johnson. the charismatic semi-serious face of this completely mad idea.
  • Lion: Hahaha yessss
  • Would Finarfin be...Davie then?
  • Emily: finarfin cameron campaigned for remain!
  • Lion: This is too real
  • Is Manwe Angela Merkel?
  • Who is jeremy corbyn
  • Emily: Maedhros, half heartedly refusing to burn the boats, is corbyn
  • Lion: oh nooooo
  • I don't know why I'm laughing so hard at this but oh god
  • Oh shit oh shit bob geldof is Olwe
an anon asked what I think about maeglin

I think a LOT OF THINGS about Maeglin, anon.

I think he worries constantly that he should have stayed in Nan Elmoth, and that he blames himself for the death of both his parents and also (long before he betrays Gondolin) for ruining it somehow, for bringing his darkness and wrongness and failures and self-loathing to a place that would otherwise be pretty and pure and perfect. I think he idealizes Gondolin even once he’s living in it and I think he thinks of himself as too fundamentally impure and broken to really be part of it.

It makes me really sad when people mention the fact he’s expressionless, still, or doesn’t say things at various high-intensity moments as proof that he’s a monster or doesn’t care about his parents or is selfish. Freezing up/nonexpressiveness/not feeling the appropriate emotions are all really common reactions to trauma and don’t say anything about whether you care about people.

Moving to Gondolin must have been one of the most painful social and cultural transitions imaginable. Because there’s the differences in sensory and social and language and expectations and basically it’s a completely different thing on every conceivable level. Even without his father murdering his mother and being executed on his first day, it would have been a really scary and hard thing. Also if I’m not mistaken, he’d pretty much never seen the Sun. I think that, certainly at first, Maeglin was incapable of functioning in Gondolin.

But it’s even worse than that. Because I don’t actually imagine Gondolin as an egalitarian paradise, even though it’s the only kingdom with named Sindarin Elves in leadership roles and which gives a lordship to a mortal. From the reaction to Eöl and from various undertones in Pengolodh’s texts I sort of feel  there still were peoples considered uncivilized and inferior, and that Eöl (whether you read him as estranged Sindar or Avarin or what) was one of them, which means Maeglin would be the target of racial as well as national prejudice. Being Turgon’s nephew helps, a lot, but types of social power don’t just erase other types of social othering, and I think what we see with Maeglin is someone who’s both very powerful and very othered.

Also related to that there’s an ugly real world history of the threat of the predatory (racialized) man lusting after our pure (wealthy, white, golden-haired, pedestalized) woman and I want to find a way of talking about Maeglin’s unrequited thing for Idril that doesn’t play into that history or use that language. And ‘how did social power function in Gondolin’ is a really weird vast complicated question that could encompass its own really long post.

Daeron is way creepier and should be our go-to for thwarted romantic who tries to bring coercive sexist institutional power to bear against the girl he supposedly loves, is what I’m saying.

It makes me so happy that Maeglin refused to remain in Gondolin for the Nirnaeth because he wanted to fight. The relentless courageousness of Tolkien’s morally ambiguous characters generally really moves me. Fëanor has that line in response to the Doom of the Noldor and I forget the wording but the meaning that stuck with me is something like “so they’ll call us monsters, but never cowards. all right.” and this is a sentiment I thoroughly enjoy.

I think Morgoth tortured him.

I am tormented by the fact no one seems to have noticed Morgoth tortured him.

Hierarchy of Elves in the Second Age

If interested, see these related posts: Hierarchy Among the Elves, and Hierarchy of Elves in the First Age. I’m following the same format for this post.

Celebrimbor

  • Ancestors: Celebrimbor is the last of Feanor’s descendants. As such, his notable ancestors include Finwe, Miriel, Feanor himself, Nerdanel, Mahtan (Nerdanel’s father and a very skilled craftsman in Valinor) as Celebrimbor’s father, Curufin.
  • Friends: Celebrimbor was leader of a powerful craftsman’s guild in Eregion, and also had a good relationship with Galadriel. 
  • Age/Experiences: His age is unknown, but when he died (in the year 1697SA, he was at least 2,000 years old. During that time he managed to survive the First Age (an impressive feat, believe me), and helped establish the realm of Eregion. Not to mention creating the three most important rings of power (after the One Ring, that is.) 
  • Title: Celebrimbor was considered the Lord of Eregion, especially after Galadriel left.
  • Wisdom/Power: On the one hand, Celebrimbor was wise enough to know to hide the three elvish rings of power. On the other hand, he wasn’t wise enough to trust everyone’s advice in keeping Annatar (Sauron disguised) out of Eregion. So… As far as power goes, he was powerful enough to create the rings of power!
  • Narrative Bias: Celebrimbor’s story basically revolves around the creation of the rings of power and the destruction of Eregion, and these stories require Celebrimbor to make several mistakes. It’s also worth noting that many readers consider Celebrimbor’s fate to be partly caused by the Doom of the Noldor, still active in the Second Age.

Galadriel

  • Ancestors: Galadriel is the daughter of Finarfin and granddaughter of Finwe. Her brothers, Finrod, was one of the greatest lords of the First Age. Her cousins (both the children of Feanor and Fingolfin) were the movers and shakers of Beleriand. 
  • Friends: Galadriel spent centuries learning from Melian, the Maia Queen of Doriath. She married Celeborn, a lord of Doriath. She also had a good relationship with Celebrimbor.
  • Age/Experiences: During the Second Age she is somewhere between 1,800 and 5,200 years old, and one of the relatively few elves left in Middle Earth who saw the light of the Two Trees. She also carried one of the elvish rings of power.
  • Title: She didn’t hold an official title during the Second Age, though she was “Lady” of a few places during her time.
  • Wisdom/Power: Tolkien often refers to Galadriel as the “greatest of elven women” ((EDIT: and in the LotR appendices she’s referred to as one of the three most powerful elves in Middle Earth during the Second Age (alongside Gil-galad and Cirdan.)) She is incredibly wise, even without the use of her “powers”, of which she has many. 
  • Narrative Bias: Tolkien loved Galadriel. Loved her. She’s already important and powerful, but Tolkien makes sure to emphasize this whenever possible. And in later revisions, Tolkien actually went back and kept making Galadriel more important and powerful. She’s definitely the favorite child.

Gil-galad

  • Ancestors: Gil-galad’s father is a subject of some debate. But no matter what, he was a descendant of Fingolfin, who was himself the son of Finwe and Indis, meaning that Gil-galad is related to both the royal families of the Noldor and Vanyar.
  • Friends: Most importantly, Cirdan and Elrond, who helped him rule Lindon. He was also on good terms with Galadriel, as well as the Numenoreans (well, depending on when in the Second Age, as the Numenoreans went through a few anti-elf phases.) Towards the end of the age, he was good friends with Elendil.
  • Age/Experiences: Gil-galad was quite young when the Second Age started, probably even less than 100 years. So by the time he dies (in the year 3434SA), he’s only about 3,500-3,600 years old. Within that time, though, he becomes the last High King of the Noldor in Middle Earth, leads the refugees out of Beleriand, establishes the kingdom of Lindon, leads the elves in the War Between the Elves and Sauron, then also organizes the Last Alliance that defeated Sauron at the end of the Second Age. He also carried one (sometimes two) of the elvish rings of power.
  • Title: High King of the Noldor and King of Lindon 
  • Wisdom/Power: By all accounts, Gil-galad was quite wise (though, while wise in his own right, this probably also has something to do with good advice from Cirdan and/or Elrond.) He knew better than to trust Annatar/Sauron, and made sure to work towards good relations with the Numenoreans. There isn’t much written about him having any “magical” power, but I’m sure the rings of power gave him something in that area. Also, though he died in the attempt, he (along with Elendil) brought Sauron down in battle, so that’s pretty impressive. ((EDIT: And in the LotR appendices he’s referred to as one of the three most powerful elves in Middle Earth during the Second Age (alongside Galadriel and Cirdan))
  • Narrative Bias: Gil-galad is introduced to the readers in Lord of the Rings as a tragically fallen elvish king. So he’s generally always written in a positive, romantic light.

Oropher

  • Ancestors: We don’t know anything about Oropher’s ancestors. But, since he was part of Thingol’s court in the First Age, it’s likely that his parents were important, or perhaps even distantly related to Thingol somehow. It’s even a possibility that Oropher doesn’t have parents, and was one of the first elves to awake in Cuivienen (though there’s no evidence to back that up.)
  • Friends: Other Sindarin survivors from Doriath? Definitely not Galadriel, or the Noldor in general, or dwarves for that matter… But he was on good terms with Amdir, the king of Lorien during the Second Age.
  • Age/Experiences: Oropher’s age is unknown, but he would probably have been at least 100 at the beginning of the Second Age (though he was likely older), making him at least 3,600 at the end of the Second Age, when he died. During this time he survived the First Age (again, pretty impressive), and then led an expedition of Sindarin elves east to Greenwood/Mirkwood, where he established a Sindarin dynasty among the Silvan elves already living in the forest. He then led the Silvan elves for the remained of the Second Age (about 2,000 years), before leading them in the War of the Last Alliance.)
  • Title: King of the Silvan Elves/King of the Woodland Realm
  • Wisdom/Power: There’s no record of Oropher exhibiting any sort of “magical” powers. And, unlike the other three elves on this list, he had nothing to do with the rings of power. But, he did manage to convince a realm of peaceful, happy Silvan elves to accept him as their king, and by all accounts kept everyone peaceful and happy. Unfortunately he wasn’t capable of letting go of the grudges he held on to from the First Age, ultimately leading to his death in the Battle of Dagorlad.
  • Narrative Bias: Oropher isn’t mentioned in any of the major books at all, and is in fact only talked about in The Unfinished Tales (as part of an appendix to a larger essay about Galadriel.) Even then, his story focuses a great deal on his grudges, so he sin’t really painted in the most positive light.

Elves that could have made the list, but didn’t, include Celeborn, Cirdan, and Elrond. All were powerful elves during this time period, but couldn’t really compete with the others on the list. But if you want their information, they’re included in the two other Hierarchy posts I linked above.

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, LOTR Appendices, The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”)

30 day Tolkien Elves challenge - Day 24: Who is your favourite elf of all times?

There are many elves in my top ten favourite elves list. But while the order of the list changes regularly, the number one spot is fixed. And it belongs to Maedhros.

Let me talk to you about Maedhros and you’ll understand why I like him so much.

Maedhros, to me, is impossibly strong. He survived his time at Thangorodrim and came back fiercer than before. The orcs fled before his eyes! Lose one hand? Become even deadlier with the other one. The fire in him, I believe, burnt as fiercely as it did in Fëanor.

Maedhros couldn’t even be killed. No one could end his life, he did it himself. He went through EVERYTHING and lived. Bound by the oath and the inevitable foul deeds (I know he could have chosen to not do what he did, but I say inevitable because he believed he had no choice). He tried so hard to do the right thing, he tried to keep his family together, to keep his brothers together (and under control), to keep his people together! For he knew and understood the issues among the Noldor and even if his brothers did not agree he tried, again, to do the right thing, and yielded his crown to Fingolfin to see if he could somehow have peace and to unite his people. Maedhros was strong and wise and good at diplomacy. He would have been a great King.

I believe that at times he wanted to die. That he risked his life half expecting to be killed. Because there was so much pain. Pain inside of him, pain all around him. Death and destruction wherever the enemy went and wherever he and his brothers went. Death follows them. There was hate and pride everywhere. He’s not a coward, but he must have felt tired, yet at the same time he wanted to survive, he had to survive! Because he had to be there to protect his brothers. He always put everyone before him. He had to be there to achieve what his father couldn’t and maybe then he could try to make things right again. But he had to succeed first and he would not rest until he did it. But everything was against him. His uncle gone. His brothers making things worse with Doriath. Betrayed by men and the little hope that he had managed to feel taken away from him. The oath kept ruining everything. And suddenly his best friend was also taken from him, the friend that had saved him when he had asked for death.
As if that wasn’t enough he then lost his brothers. Not in battles against the enemy but against other Elves. He must have known how stupid that was, what an utter waste to fight amongst themselves when they had a common enemy. Yet there was no choice for him, he had to do it, he had to reclaim The Silmarils, each and every one of them.

Do you see how strong he was? Physically and mentally. Imagine the amount of pain that he must have felt in the end to finally decide to put and end to it. The Silmaril that burnt his only hand as it had once burnt his enemy. He knew, the Doom of the Noldor had been spoken, the consequences of their actions he had seen them, he had lost his brothers because of it. Eonwe had warned him, it was in vain. But he couldn’t stop not when they had risked everything, lost everything and yet got so far. Imagine how bad it must have been for someone who had already gone through every terrible thing that could have been thought of only to come back stronger and still able to hope. Imagine how bad it must have been for him to finally lose all will to live and to actually leave one of his brothers behind, the brother that had been most with him. If Fëanor’s rage and despair drove him to rebel and kinslay and leave his halfbrother behind, Maedhros’ led him to take his own life, led him to no longer be able to see as clearly as he used to. He who had always been the voice of wisdom and tried for diplomacy and keeping everyone together, he was suddenly lost and even if Maglor was there, everything was lost for him, it was the end. And for the first time in his life he couldn’t take it anymore and he put an end to it.

I think it makes sense that although his body did not burn the way his father’s did, he still was consumed by fire.

Maedhros was tragic and heroic and beautiful. As it happens with every Feanorian I will not justify his deeds but in every evil deed he tried to find a way to do some good and that I admire.

These are the reasons why he is my favourite elf from all the elves that have ever walked on Valinor or Middle earth.

(Now think about Maedhros hanging from his wrist, singing despite all the pain when he hears Fingon’s voice. Yes beautiful. Ugh, I love him.)

back on my perpetual favorite topic: noldor what are you doing

there’s the question of how, exactly, they were planning on destroying Morgoth

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