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Dagor-nuin-Giliath

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Dagor-nuin-Giliath
Jenny Dolfen - The Coming of Fingolfin.jpg
Conflict: War of the Jewels
Date: Ten days in Y.T. 1497[1]
Place: Mithrim and the lands east across Ered Wethrin
Outcome: Victory for the Noldor, death of Fëanor, protection of the newly established realm of Mithrim
Combatants

Followers of Fëanor

Hosts of Angband

Commanders

Måns Björkman - Fëanor device.gifFëanor
Måns Björkman - Fëanor device.gifMaedhros

Måns Björkman - Morgoth design.pngMorgoth

Strength

Large host of Noldor

Casualties

Light

"no more than a handful of leaves" survived[1]

The Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars) was the second battle of the Wars of Beleriand, but the first fought by the Noldor.

Contents

Prelude

After their return in Y.T. 1497,[2] Fëanor had led his people up the Firth of Drengist, and passed through the Gate of the Noldor into Hithlum.[1] They encamped on the northern shore of Lake Mithrim.[1]

Battle Ensues

"Fëanor's Last Stand" by Jenny Dolfen

Morgoth hoped to destroy the Noldor before they could establish themselves, and sent his forces through the passes of the Ered Wethrin. Although the Orcs of Morgoth far outnumbered them, the Noldor were still empowered with the Light of Valinor, and quickly defeated them.[1] The Orcs retreated north through Ard-galen, with the Noldor in hot pursuit. The forces of Morgoth that had been besieging the Havens of the Falas since the First Battle of Beleriand marched north to attack the Noldor in the rear, but a force led by Celegorm ambushed them at Eithel Sirion.[1] Trapped between the two Noldorin forces, the Orcs fought for ten days, encircled at the Fen of Serech.[1] All but a few Orcs perished, and Fëanor in his wrath pursued even this small group. The tables turned at the edge of Dor Daedeloth, as Balrogs poured forth from Thangorodrim.[1] Fëanor fought mightily, hewing his foe even after receiving several wounds from Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, until he was finally fatally wounded.[1] Then the armies of his sons reached him, and the Orcs and Balrogs retreated.[1]

Aftermath

Fëanor was brought to the slopes of the Ered Wethrin from where he saw from afar the peaks of Thangorodrim.[1] He cursed Angband thrice, but with the eyes of death, he knew that his elves, unaided, would never throw down the dark towers.[1] At the moment of his death the passing of his fiery spirit reduced his body to ashes. He was the only person to die this way, for no death like his was ever seen or heard.[1] It was thus a bittersweet victory for the Noldor, as they had destroyed most of Morgoth's forces in one strike, at the cost of Fëanor, who being the second King of the Noldor, died without establishing a realm; so, Maedhros, his eldest son, became his heir.[1]

After the battle, Morgoth sent an embassy, feigning the surrender of a Silmaril. With the Oath driving him, Maedhros also feigned to treat with Morgoth, but instead he was captured by Morgoth's embassy and hung by the wrist of his right hand upon the face of a precipice of Thangorodrim, for about thirty years.[1] It was only in F.A. 5, that Fingon, son of Fingolfin, rescued Maedhros. Maedhros subsequently apologised for the burning of the ships and ceded his claim to the kingship, and that of the entire House of Fëanor, to Fingolfin.[1]

Other versions of the Legendarium

Battle of the Lammoth

In The Peoples of Middle-earth, the Battle-under-Stars takes place ten days before the rising of the Moon in F.A. 1, and with the first rising of the Moon, Fingolfin and the second, greater host of the Noldor marched southward into the Lammoth. There they were attacked by Orcs which had been sent there by Morgoth to attack Fëanor in the rear, and they fought their first battle, the Battle of the Lammoth. The Noldor were caught off-guard, and during the conflict Argon, Fingolfin's youngest child, fell.[3] The Orcs made a surprise attack upon the Elves, who began to give way when Argon dashed forward and cut a path to the Orc-captain, whom he slew. The Orcs surrounded and killed Argon, but his brave deed turned the fortunes of the battle.[4] Fingolfin and his host pursued the Orcs until they were completely destroyed, and then passed into Mithrim as the Sun first rose.

The Battle of the Lammoth and Argon do not appear in the published Silmarillion at all, because they only came to light in very late writings by Tolkien. In the published Silmarillion, Fingolfin's host only arrives after the battle is long over.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "The Annals of Aman": §157-163
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of Finwë's descendants", p. 345
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", p. 362, note 38


Wars of Beleriand
First Battle · Dagor-nuin-Giliath · Dagor Aglareb · Dagor Bragollach · Nirnaeth Arnoediad · War of Wrath