Ch:Of the Flight of the Noldor

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Of the Flight of the Noldor
Across the Helcaraxë.png
Fingolfin leads the Noldor across the Helcaraxë
ArtistTed Nasmith
BookQuenta Silmarillion
AuthorJ. R. R. Tolkien

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This chapter tells of how Melkor became known as Morgoth and returned to his dark kingdom at the throne of Angband and how Fëanor in rage led the Noldor out of Tirion and eventually out of Aman, back to Middle-earth and the lands of Beleriand.


[edit] Plot Summary

[edit] Greatest Deeds Only Once

Valinor was now set in night, and all was dark, save for the stars of Varda that shone in the sky above. Yavanna felt the trees she had created, and saw that they were dead and proclaimed that their light was also dead. She praised Fëanor for the Silmarils, which were the last remnant of the light of the Two Trees and confessed that even among the Valar, some works may only be done once, and the Two Trees may not be recreated. Yavanna asked Fëanor to unleash the light of the Silmarils to restore light in Valinor. Tulkas urged him, but Aulë showed begged for patience from the Valar, realizing that the Silmarils were Fëanor's greatest treasure. Indeed, Fëanor also confessed that his work, like the trees, may never be repeated, and if they are broken, so shall his heart be, and he shall be the first slain in Aman. However, Mandos replied, "Not the first."

Nienna purified the remains of the Two Trees, and then word came from Formenos that Melkor and Ungoliant had come in a shroud of darkness and slew Finwë at his doors, and then they stole all the jewels and the Silmarials. Fëanor cursed Melkor, Morgoth, Black Foe of the World, and cursed the Valar for summoning him there, thinking he could have saved his father and then ran from the Ring of Doom in grief.

[edit] The Flight of Morgoth and Ungoliant

Morgoth and Ungoliant went north in Araman and then came to Helcaraxë, and the they began to cross the ice back to Middle-earth. Morgoth had hoped to gain much ground and elude her on his return to Angband, but Ungoliant saw this and stopped him, demanding he fulfill his bargain. So Morogth gave her all of the jewels of Formemos, and she devoured them and grew greater and more terrible. She was not satisfied, and she demanded he surrender what he held in his right hand, the Silmarils, but he refused. So she sent forth her webs of darkness and attempted to strangle him, and he was defenseless, as she had grown, and he had lost much of his power. In terror, he let out a cry so loud that it echoed through mountains and could still be heard years later, so the land was called Lammoth. It shook mountains and penetrated into the deep caverns of the Earth.

The Balrogs yet remained in the caverns of Angband, waiting for their lord to return, and they heard his cry and emerged immediately and smote the webs of Ungoliant with their whips of fire. Ungoliant fled in fear and and traveled in her vale of darkness and black vapors into Ered Gorgoroth, where she remained. She found other spider-like creatures there and mated with them and bred many foul beings that lurked there long after she departed to the south of the world to her unknown end.

Morgoth returned to Angband and set the Silmarils in a crown of iron and prepared to reestablish his dominion of Middle-earth.

[edit] Fëanor's Rebellion

Fëanor called the Noldor to high court and spoke both vigorously and elegantly about returning to Middle-earth, blaming the Valar for not protecting them and bringing them to a small and now darkened land. He urged the Noldor to follow him to pursue Morgoth and reclaim the stolen Silamrils and the most precious Light of Arda for the Noldor. Then he and his seven sons all swore an oath to oppose all would would keep a Silmaril from the Noldor and to continue pursuing anyone who would keep them wrongfully. Fingolfin spoke in great protest against Fëanor, and Finarfin tried to calm the situation and encourage forethought. Fingolfin's sons Fingon and Turgon were moved by Fëanor's words, as were Galadriel, Aegnor and Angrod, the children of Finarfin. They all indeed desired to have their own realms in the East, but they did not speak against their fathers.

Most of the Noldor sided with Fëanor, though few wanted to take him as king. They trusted Fingolfin more in that respect. Fingolfin decided to follow Fëanor, because his son Fingon urged him, and he did not want the Noldor to be split apart, with the other part to be led to failure by Fëanor. Finarfin also went for similar reasons, but both of them were hesitant in following Fëanor. Fëanor led the smaller part of the host, which was at the front, and as they set out, a messenger from the Valar came. He carried a message from Manwë warning Fëanor of the dangers he would face, exiling himself from Aman and that the Valar would not aid them in their quest. Fëanor boasted back and said that he would assault Morgoth with such ferocity that even the Valar would be amazed. He seemed so mighty, that even the messenger bowed to Fëanor before returning to the Valar.

Ted Nasmith's rendition of the Kinslaying

[edit] Kinslaying

Fëanor's group came to Alqualondë, far ahead of the others. He went to ask Olwë for their white ships, so they could ferry themselves back to Middle-earth. However, the white ships in the haven were the greatest treasures of the Teleri, just as the Silmarils were to Fëanor, and they too may never be recreated. Fëanor called Olwë a traitor, after the Noldor had helped to build the city of Alqualondë, Olwë maintained that the ships were the work of the Teleri alone, and the Noldor had no right to them. So Fëanor left Olwë's mansion and decided that he and the Noldor would take them by force. They stormed the haven, but met resistence by the Teleri. They began pushing the Noldor into the sea and slaying them. They were outnumbered, and it looked grim, but the host of Fingolfin and Finarfin soon arrived, seeing their kin in peril, so they came to the aid of Fëanor and then overwhelmed the Teleri. The spilling of blood in Aman here was known as the Kinslaying.

[edit] The Sundering of the Noldor

Fingolfin and Finarfin were dismayed to learn that Fëanor had been the aggressor in the Kinslaying, and as the Noldor traveled north into Araman, Finarfin decided to turn back and return to Valinor, and to gain forgiveness for their deeds, which the Valar gave them. However, Finarfin's sons Aegnor and Angrod, and his daughter Galadriel, remained with Fingolfin, because they desired to go to Middle-earth. Fingolfin and Fëanor and all of
A piece by Ted Nasmith that depicts the burning of the Teleri's ships
their followers were banished from Aman for their deeds, which hardly mattered to Fëanor. As they went north, they came near the Helcaraxë, where Belegaer was its narrowest, and then Fëanor's host first used the white ships of the Teleri to cross the Great Sea, and they landed at the Firth of Drengist. When Fëanor's son Maethros asked about sending the ships back so FIngolfin and his people could cross, Fëanor replied defiantly, "None and none! What I have left behind I count now no loss; needless baggage on the road it has proved. Let those that cursed my name, curse me still, and whine their way back to the cages of the Valar. Let the ships burn!" Maethros was shocked to hear this from his father, but those Noldor obeyed, and they burned the most beautiful ships that ever were and ever would be on the coasts of Beleriand, and Fingolfin could see the red flames on the horizon, and he knew that he was betrayed and forsaken. Not wanting to return to Valinor in shame, Fingolfin led his people across the icy straight, the Helcaraxë. Many of them died on the way, and Fingolfin's Noldor had little love for the House of Fëanor thereafter.
Last edited by on 17 May 2012 at 09:42
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