Ch:Of the Return of the Noldor
|Of the Return of the Noldor|
|Maedhros hangs from Thangorodrim as Fingon flies to his aid.|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter tells of how the Noldor came into Beleriand, fought the armies of Morgoth, and established new kingdoms, alongside the Sindar.
 Plot Summary
The host of Fëanor was the first of the exiled Noldor to arrive in Lammoth, at the Firth of Drengist. The sounds of the burning ships were carried by the winds and all in Beleriand heard them and wondered what they were. However, Elves and Dwarves were not the only audience. Orcs and watchers of Morgoth saw the flames in the distance. The Dark Lord did not yet know that the Noldor bore arms, and he made plans to strike against them. Fëanor led his loyal up the Firth of Drengist, which cut through Ered Lómin, and into the land of Hithlum, and they stopped by the lake of Mithrim, at its northern shores. The Orcs that had noticed the light of the burning ships and the clatter in Lammoth made their way through the pass of Ered Wethrin and lay siege to the encampment of the Noldor, who were not prepared, yet the light of Aman was still in their eyes, and though they were outnumbered, they brought forth a speedy victory, and this was the Second Battle in the Wars of Beleriand, Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Battle under the Stars. The Orcs fled and were slain as they did. They were driven out of the land of Mithrim and chased over Ered Wethrin into Ard-galen, the Green Region, the vast plains north of Dorthonion. The Orcs that had attacked Círdan in the Southeast advanced to the North to aid their kindred, but Celegorm, son of Fëanor received word of their advance and led part of the host to counterattack those Orcs, and they were driven into the Fen of Serech. To Morgoth's great embarrassment, his forces that were sent to dominate the whole of Beleriand were decimated in ten days.
 The End of Fëanor
Although the Noldor were safe, Fëanor foolishly pressed on with too few numbers toward Angband, hungry for revenge and arrogant in his ability. He and his small company were ambushed by Balrogs, and although Fëanor was wounded many times, he fought long and hard, and at last he was brought down by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. Before the finishing blow was struck, Fëanor's sons came and rescued him from the demons, who returned to Angband. They tried to carry him to Eithel Sirion, but Fëanor commanded them to halt, as he knew his end was nigh. On the slopes of Ered Wethrin, Fëanor beheld the far-off summits of Thangorodrim, and he knew the Noldor would never breach them and their defenses. He cursed the name of Morgoth three times and reminded his sons of their oath and bade them to avenge his death. Then he died, and his spirit was so fiery in its nature that his body fell to ash and was born away like smoke. So passed the mightiest of the Noldor, who brought great achievement and immense downfall to his kind.
 The Capture of Maedhros
In Mithrim there dwelt some of the Sindar, who met their long-lost Noldorin brothers happily. However, the many ages that they had spent apart had altered their speech, and they could not easily exchange as they had once done before. Yet the Noldor did learn of Thingol and Melian, and her sacred girdle that protected their realm, and news of the successes against Morgoth were reported to Doriath as well, yet not all the evil was over. Negotiators of Morgoth came forth to the Noldorin warriors and asked to treat with them, admitting defeat, and even suggested relinquishing a Silmaril. None of Fëanor's sons believed this, save Maedhros. When they met to discuss terms in the agreed-upon area, they both brought more forces than they had promised, yet Morgoth had sent more and Balrogs, and they slaughtered all of the Elves who had come, taking only Maedhros as prisoner, and the Dark Lord had him hung by a chain on the cliffside of Thangorodrim, his right hand cuffed to the chain in steel.
 The Return of Fingolfin
As Fingolfin and his host entered Beleriand from the icy north, the Sun rose for the first time in the west, and Fingolfin's trumpets roared, and the new light that filled the earth with the thunder of Elven might frightened all enemies in their path who fled into the deeps of Angband. There, Fingolfin challenged its defenses but soon realized that they had no power to overwhelm it and retreated into Mithrim, to find the hosts of Fëanor. Fingolfin's people still had much resent for the actions of Fëanor's host, and in shame, the sons of Fëanor and their followers moved to camp on the southern shores of Lake Mithrim, surrendering the north to Fingolfin.
 The Feat of Fingon
Morgoth was gleeful of the divided Noldor and knew this would still play to his advantage, but since the Orcs feared and hated the new light of the sun, he summoned smoke and soot to rise from the peaks of Thangorodrim, creating a canopy of darkness that was carried by the eastern wind over Mithrim, darkening the land. Fingon, son of Fingolfin, suspected that the fractured family of the Eldar would not survive like this against the dark forces, and so he set out to make amends, to find his old friend Maedhros. Using the cover of darkness that his enemies had created, by stole into the heights of Thangorodrim and found Maedhros, where he cut off his hand above the wrist, and by prayer to Manwë, Throrondor, King of the Eagles, escorted them back to Mithrim, where Maedhros was healed and where the wound of enmity among the Noldor was now healed as well.
 The Word of Thingol
Reunited, the Noldor sent messengers across Beleriand to learn of who they might count among their allies and friends. King Thingol was reticent to allow the Noldor into his kingdom, but he did permit Angrod, son of Finarfin, for they shared lineage. To Angrod, Thingol gave a message to all the Noldor, that they could reside in Hithlum, Dorthonion, and the empty lands east of Doriath, and nowhere else, for he would not permit his people who inhabited the other regions to lose their liberties and homes, and asserted that he is and always has been the true Lord of Beleriand; and that none may enter Doriath, unless granted as special guests of Thingol himself. The Noldor felt these words were fairly callous, and many of them angered by them, and Angrod was criticized in part for it. However, the princes of the Noldor ventured and founded the realms that Thingol had left to them, and they did happen to meet the Dwarves near the Blue Mountains.
 Mereth Aderthad, Nargothrond, and Gondolin
Twenty years after the Sun first rose, Fingolfin, as high-king of the Noldor held a great feast, and all the leaders and chieftains of the Elven people in Beleriand met there, and it was a pleasant time of rejoice, and many made pacts of friendship. The hidden threat of Morgoth behind the gates of Angband still troubled them, however. After another thirty years Turgon and Finrod journeyed through the lands, and Ulmo laid a dream on both of them as they were sailing the river Sirion, and this dream laid the perils of Morgoth evermore one their minds, so Finrod sought advice from Thingol, who told him of caves by the river Narog, and the Dwarves in the Blue Mountains helped Finrod construct a city in the caverns at the river, and it was called Nargothrond. The Dwarves were rewarded with Nauglimír, the Necklace of the Dwarves. Galadriel did not join her brother in Nargothrond, for she had fallen in love with Celeborn of Thingol's kin in Doriath, and she remained there to be with him and learned much about the world from Melian. Turgon was guided further by Ulmo, who met him at the shores of Nevrast, to a vale in the Encircling Mountains. Turgon began secret and hidden efforts to construct a city there, like Tirion upon Túna in Eldamar.
 Dagor Aglareb
Morgoth took his moment, almost fifty years since Dagor-nuin-Giliath, and sent out a new force of Orcs. They invaded the land of Maglor and into the realm of Maedhros, but the Noldor were ready, and Fingolfin and Maedhros led their forces and hit both sides of the main host of the Orcs while they were attacking Dorthonion, and they were driven back across Ard-galen and utterly vanquished. Thus, the third great battle in the Wars of Beleriand was called Dagor Aglared, the Glorious Battle.
The Noldor were than more vigilant and watchful of Angband and strengthened their allegiances in defense and intended still to attack the iron fortress and reclaim the Silmarils, but that was beyond their power. The Iron Mountains Thangordrim protected Angband on both sides, and the waste of the North offered no danger to Morgoth, so spies and servants of his ventured out and then entered Beleriand by unknown paths, and some of the Elves were captured and brought to Angband, and Morgorth learned of them the many events that had occurred among the Noldor since Fëanor's mistakes in Aman.
Almost a hundred years after Dagor Aglareb, Morgoth sent another force of Orcs. This one left from the north and traveled west, before coming southward into the western reaches of Beleriand at Drengist. However, Fingon spied the sneak invasion into Hithlum and repelled the forces and drove them into the sea, but this clash is not counted among the great battles.
After another hundred years, Glaurung, the first of the Urulóki, the fire-drakes, emerged from Angband. Though he was still a child among dragons, many Elves fled from Ard-galen, and he polluted the fields. Yet again, Fingon led an assault and fought off the dragon, who was still not yet grown enough to defend himself, and he fled back into Angband.
 The Long Peace
Over the next two hundred years, no more threats came upon the Elves in Beleriand, except for small bands of Orcs that could do little harm. The Noldor, in this time, built great cities and structures in their lands and wrote books of history and lore. The Noldor and the Sindar seemed as though one people, and they spoke a common language. Still yet, the Noldor were mightier physically and mentally. They were better in craft and loved sloping hills and plains. The Sindar had greater musical skills and more enchanting voices. They loved more the rivers and the trees.
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