Ch:Of the Coming of Men into the West
|Of the Coming of Men into the West|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter tells of how Men came into Beleriand and met the Eldar and established their own realms in these lands.
 Plot Summary
 Finrod's Discovery
Three hundred years since the Noldor had come into Beleriand had now passed. The land was still well within the Long Peace, and Finrod had departed from Nargothrond to hunt with his brothers Maglor and Maedhros in East Beleriand. He ended up wandering into northern Ossiriand. During an evening there, he spotted a distant firelight and distant song and was intrigued, knowing that the Green-elves of the region were never so conspicuous. At first, he feared it was a host of Orcs, but as he investigated further, he knew the tongue in which they sang was like that of none of the other races before. As he looked into the campsite, he saw a strange people, Men.
They were the party of Bëor the Old, their chieftain. They were glad, for Bëor had led them far from the more wild and savage eastern Middle Earth, to a land where they might now find peace. When they all fell asleep, Finrod walked among them and picked up a simple harp that Bëor had set down and played a beautiful music, better yet than any Men had heard, for their had not developed nor refined arts, nor did they learn any, except from the few Avari that remained east. The music was so beautiful and it brought true vision to their imaginations, so the Men named him Nóm, which in their language means Wisdom, and they later called his kind the Nómin, or the Wise People. The initially believed him to be among the Valar, as they had heard rumors that these beings lived in the West, which is why they might have journeyed so far. Finrod statyed with them and taught them many things, and they took him as their lord and stayed loyal to the house of Finarfin.
Communication between them was not difficult, as Finrod found that he could easily perceive their thoughts, and their speech soon became clearer, for their language had been influenced by the Avari in the east, the common roots of Elven tongue were not difficultly deciphered. When Finrod asked why they journeyed so far, Bëor would only say that a dark past was behind them and they had abandoned it. Many of the Elves came to believe that Morgoth worked more of his mischief in the eastern reaches of Middle-earth, just as he had while in Aman, for the Dark Lord did desire to turn Men against the Elves and claim victory in Beleriand, but Men were few in number, whereas the Eldar grew in might, and so the corruption of Men soon became a lost cause.
 The Laiquendi Fret
The Green-elves of Ossiriand were unhappy with the arrival of Men, for they chopped down trees and hunted animals, whereas the Laiquendi loved the nature, and Bëor spoke of other groups of Men that were still coming or had arrived. So at the urgent request to the Green-elves, Finrod gave sanctuary to the Men in the lands occupied by Amrod and Amras, by the the river Celon, south of Nan Elmoth. Then Bëor followed his friend Finrod back to Nargothrond and remained there for the rest of his life. The Haladin soon came from the east as well and were turned away by the Laiquendi and came to Caranthir's realm and stayed peacefully for a while. Within a year, the people under Marach, who were tall and warlike, came into Beleriand, and the Laiquendi did not make a point to let them pass, and they eventually settled a bit farther south of where Bëor's people did.
 The Settlement of Men
Many of the Eldar went to go visit the Men, known as the Atani in Valinor but as the Edain in Sindarin speech. Many young and eager Men accompanied Fingolfin, when he visited, back to Hithlum, including Malach, son of Marach, and he stayed there fourteen years and was named Aradan. The Noldor had high hope for Men, so they gave them welcome to reside in their realms and the Men did so gradually but with steady acceleration, and thousands eventually had answered the call of the Noldor after almost fifty years. Bëor's followers who swore loyalty to Finarfin's line went to Dorthonin where his sons ruled. Most of those who followed Marach went on westward and some went into Hithlum like Malach Aradan, and others settled by the slopes of Ered Wethrin, past Sirion.
King Thingol was displeased and disturbed by the coming of Men, and the Noldor had done little to discuss the matter with him, so he forbade any of them from coming into his realm. However, Melian said to Galadriel that one such person would enter, "and the Girdle of Melian shall not restrain him, for doom greater than my power shall send him; and the songs that shall spring from that coming shall endure when all Middle-earth is changed."
 Questioning the Eldar
It came that the Men who remained in Estolad were uncertain of the Eldar and began to fear them. A meeting was called, and Bereg from Bëor's line and Amlach, a grandson of Marach, both spoke of their plight, that the Light in the West was beyond the Sea, and the Dark Lord in the North made travel there undesirable. Some posited that perhaps their purpose for coming West was to aid the Eldar in their plight, but Bereg dismissed that, reminding them of mankind's mortality, saying that the Eldar are better off fighting. Then one who appeared to be Amlach revealed his reservations and declared the Eldar told lies, for never had they seen the Light in the West, nor Morgoth in the North, and that the Eldar used their rumors to manipulate Men and harvest the fruits of the world for themselves. After the meeting Amlach met those who trusted the Elves, bewildered by those words, and said he had not been present at that debate nor spoken against the Eldar. The Elf-friends believed still that Morgoth feared the potential of Men and sought to split the mapart, but others felt that provoking the Dark Lord with allegiances to the Eldar was not going to ease their troubles and that leaving Beleriand would be best. So the Dark Lord succeeded, and the followers of Bereg followed him to the South, out of Beleriand.
 Morgoth Stikes the Second-born
Having failed to alienate Elves and Men from each other, Morgoth sent an Orc host that went further east and circumvented the defenses of the Noldor, striking the Haladin head-on. These people were not united under one lord and were slow to band together, but one man, Haldad, rallied them as best he could and retreated to an angle of land where the Ascar and Gelion flowed into each other, and they walled off the land from shore to shore as best they could in defense. Haldad was slain in the attacks, and his son Haldar fell as well as he rushed to his his father's dead body. Haleth, the twin sister of Haldar, kept the people together long enough before the Orcs could penetrate their defenses, and the forces of Caranthir came and fought off the Orc host and annihilated them. Admiring their strength and valor, Caranthir offered Haleth to lead her people into his realm, where they would have protection and friendship and their own free lands. However, Haleth had pride in herself and her people and denied, claiming that she would better move to the west, where other races of Men had gone, so she gathered the survivors and those that had run off in fear and returned to Estolad with them.
 The Haladin Migrate
Haleth later carried them through the path between the northern edge of Doriath and Ered Gorgoroth, and it was a hard and painful pilgrimage for them, but her resolve carried them to Talath Dirnen, where they settled as best the could, and some went on to Nargothrond. Haleth ultimately stopped in the Forest of Brethil, and many of the Haladin loved her still and wanted her as their ruler, so they followed her there and finally stayed.
Brethil was within Thingol's kingdom, however, and he was upset that they had settled in his land, but Finrod knew of their sufferings and spoke them to Thingol. The Sindarin king decided that they could stay there, only as long as they would help to defend against Orcs from the north. Haleth was surprised at this as a demand, acknowledging that the Orcs had slain her family and people, and she would have no alliances with them ever.
 Kingdoms of Men
Just as the Haladin had established themselves in Talath Dirnen, the Eldar found it necessary for Men to have their own governments in the realms they shared. The descendants of Marach Aradan became the lords of Dor-lómin. Bëor's ruled Ladros in Dorthonion. The Men in Beleriand knew greater fruition and achievement than those in the wilderness of the east. Their lifetimes grew, and the day had come when Bëor the Old passed away at the age of ninety-three, peacefully, yet this was the first death that the Eldar had ever known to happen without wound or sickness, and they lamented the loss of the friends they made among Men and puzzled over their fate beyond this world, for none but Ilúvatar know.
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