• The Noldor and the Doom of Mandos Part 1

    The Noldor and the Doom of Mandos

    As a preface, I would like to mention that this essay was not as easy to put together as the last few. There are a number of stories from the Silmarilion, The lost Tales I & II and the Lays of Beleriand that I used for references as well as Wikipedia and lotro-wiki.com. I have tried to lay things out according to a timeline of events happening and only going backwards when I thought it most fitting and where it would distract from the narrative the least. This essay also does not tell the full of many tales I plan to go into deeper in later essays, but I thought it was important to know some of the background in those stories for this larger picture as to better understand those stories later. So for those of you who know the stories of Beren and Luthien and Tuor and Idril and the Fall of Gondolin, I didn't forget anything, I purposly left it out to try and not make this one drag out as much as I could have.


    When the Valar Orome found the elves who had awoken during the Year of the Trees (Y.T. 1085) in the land of Cuivienen, he loved them and urged them to follow him to Valinor. The three clans of elves, the Minyar (Vanyar), the Tatyar (Noldor) and the Nelyar (Teleri) were afraid and chose ambassadors from each kindred to represent them in Valar and return (Y.T. 1102). The embassadors were Ingwe of the Vanyar, Finwe of the Noldor and Elwe of the Teleri. When they returned they were able to convince most of the elves to strike out of the Great Journey into the West to Valinor (Y.T. 1105).

    Finwe was made leader of the Noldor and upon reaching Valinor, proclaimed High King of the Noldor. Finwe married Miriel Serinde the Broidress. Miriel gave birth to Feanor, though after he was delivered she wished to live no more and wished to die, which had, at that point been unheard and impossible. Laying down in the gardens of Lorien, her fea departed her body peacefully and she entered the Halls of Mandos (Y.T. 1169).

    Finwe later remarried, taking the Vanyar Indis as bride. Indis begat Fingolfin (Y.T. 1190), Finarfin, Findis and Irime, and together with Feanor, were known as the Sons of Finwe. Feanor lived apart from his brothers and never truly recognized them as true brothers. Feanor married Nerdanel, daughter of Mahtan and bore him seven sons, Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras.

    Feanor was a student of Mahtan who himself was a student of Aule, and became a fine craftsman and gem-smith, the inventor of the Tengwar script, creator of the palantin, the great seeing stones, and the three Silmarils. The Silmarils, Feanors's greatest acheivement were mad by capturing the light of the Two Trees and fashoning them into jewels, alive, inperishable and sacred. It was at this time that melkor was released from his prison and allowed to roam freely in Valinor (Y.T. 1450).

    Feanor grew deeply suspicious that the Valar and Eldar covoted the Silmarils, which was untrue. Melkor began his corruption of the Noldor by focussing his malice upon Feanor. Melkor wanted the Silmarils for his own and his hatred for Feanor and the elves grew. Melkor convinced Feanor that his half-brother Fingofin was planning to unsurp his place as heir to Finwe, causing Feanor to threated the life of his brother and in doing so, creating the first weapon (Y.T. 1490). For this act, Feanor was banished from Valinor to Formenos. Feanor left with the Silmarils. Finwe, in support of his eldest son, left Valinor was well.

    The Valar, learning of Melkor's role in the incident, sent Tulkas to capture and imprison the fallen Valar, but he was already gone from Valinor. Melkor, making his way to Formenos to convinve what he said was true, since Fingofin had been named igh King of the Noldor in Finwe's absence. Realizing Melkor's true goal was to posses the Silmarils, he shut his door in Melkor's face, causing Melkor to leave in rage. Going South, Melkor sought out and found the Maiar Ungoliant and enlisted her help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor to Melkor
    "Get thee gone from my gate, thou jail-crow of Mandos!"


    The Valar, seeking to mend the rift between Feanor, Finwe and the Noldor and themselves, invited them to reutrn to Valinor. Fingofin offered his hand to his brother, recognizing Feanor's place as eldest (Y.T. 1495). During the reconciliation celebration, Melkor along with Ungoliant destroyed the Two Trees then Melkor went to Formenos, killing Finwe and stealing the Silmarils. Finwe was the first elf to be slain in Valinor.

    The Valar, knowing the only remaining light of the Two Trees remained inside th Silmarils, asked them of Feanor, who refused them, saying they would be no better than Melkor for the asking and that he would never give them over of his own free will. Only then did news of their theft and Finwe's death reach Feanor.

    Upon hearing this Feanor named Melkor Morgoth or Black Foe of the World, for which he was ever-after known. Now, High King of the Noldor, Feanor gave an impassioned speach, filled with the taint of Morgoth's corruption on him. He rallied the elves against Morgoth and blamed the Valar for Morgoth's deeds. He then swore he would regain the Silmarils even if he had to fight the Valar to get them. This was forever known as the Oath of Feanor, which all seven of his sons also took below the tower of Mindon Eldalieva in the Great Square of Tirion who invoked Iluvatar as a witness. This oath was the cause for great tragedy for Feanor's family.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Oath of Feanor from The Lays of Beleriand
    “Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean,
    Brood of Morgoth or bright Vala,
    Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
    Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
    Neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
    Dread nor danger, not Doom itself
    Shall defend him from Fëanáro, and Fëanáro’s kin,
    Whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
    Finding keepeth or afar casteth
    A Silmaril. This swear we all…
    Death we will deal him ere Day’s ending,
    Woe unto world’s end! Our word hear thou,
    Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
    Darkness doom us if our deed faileth…
    On the holy mountain hear in witness
    and our vow remember,
    Manwë and Varda!"

    Feanor and many of the Noldor departed Valinor for the shores of Aman. Galadriel, daughter of Finarfin was among the Noldor that openly rebelled against the Valar and left Valinor for Middle Earth, though she parted company before reaching Aman and thus never participated in the Kinslayings. They demanded the Teleri grant them use of their ships to cross back into Middle Earth, but the Teleri refused. Feanor threatened to attack the unarmed Teleri and destroy their settlements and ships, but again the Teleri refused. The Noldor, save Finarfin, attacked the Teleri and slew them. Finarfin, refusing to participate in murder, returned with his people to Valinor and were accepted back into Valinor, where Finarfin ruled as High King of the Noldor.
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