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Dagor Bragollach

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Dagor Bragollach
John Howe - Fingolfin's Challenge.jpg
Conflict: Wars of Beleriand
Date: F.A. 455[1]:52
Place: The north of Beleriand
Outcome: Decisive victory for Morgoth, breaking of the Siege of Angband, destruction of Dorthonion, loss of key fortresses and passes, burning of Ard-galen, death of Fingolfin

Hosts of Hithlum, Dorthonion, Himring, Himlad, Thargelion, and Nargothrond

Hosts of Angband


Måns Björkman - Fingolfin device.gifFingolfin
Måns Björkman - Fëanor device.gifMaedhros
Måns Björkman - Finrod device.gifFinrod

Måns Björkman - Morgoth design.pngMorgoth


Large force of Balrogs, "multitudes" of Orcs, and Glaurung


Severe for both Elves and Men, including the virtual destruction of the House of Bëor


The Dagor Bragollach (Sindarin for "Battle of Sudden Flame") was the fourth battle of the Wars of Beleriand.


The Battle Opens

It began when Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband, which had held for four hundred years. On a winter's night, Morgoth sent out rivers of flame, consuming Ard-galen, which was renamed Anfauglith. Many elves perished as they fled from the fire and smoke. His armies of Balrogs and Orcs, led by Glaurung, first of the Urulóki, overran the highlands of Dorthonion, and slew Angrod and Aegnor. Maglor's horsemen were burnt alive on the plain of Lothlann, and Maglor's Gap was taken, giving Morgoth an entry into Beleriand itself. Maglor retreated with heavy losses to Himring, where he helped defend the city of Maedhros.[1]:52-53

East Beleriand Overrun

The Pass of Aglon was also breached, and Celegorm and Curufin fled south of Doriath to Nargothrond. Morgoth's Orcs took the mountain forests of Mount Rerir, and defiled Lake Helevorn, ravaging Thargelion and marching far into East Beleriand, filling the lands of the Gelion with fire and terror. Caranthir fled to Amon Ereb, where he and Amrod built defenses, while Maglor and Maedhros held the northern border. The Orcs did not come into Taur-im-Duinath or Ossiriand.

Henning Janssen - Aid on the Fens

Minas Tirith in the Pass of Sirion in the West held under Orodreth, second son of Finarfin (Elven-king of the Noldor in Aman), and Orodreth's eldest brother King Finrod Felagund came north from Nargothrond with a large army. However, they were ambushed by a large army of Morgoth's forces at the Fen of Serech. Gelmir was captured during that battle.[1]:73[2] The Noldor now found themselves trapped, and Finrod would have been killed but for a sortie by Barahir, who descended from Dorthonion and rescued the Elven lord. It was this deed which later earned Barahir the ring of Finrod which would become known as the Ring of Barahir.

Finrod and his folk fled south to Nargothrond, while Barahir continued defending Dorthonion. The mountain forts of the Ered Wethrin around Hithlum also held, although barely.[3]

The Battle Ends: Fingolfin's Duel

Ted Nasmith - Fingolfin's Wrath

Thus the Siege was broken, the Sons of Fëanor scattered, and the forces of Morgoth roamed at will throughout the north.

After a year of fight,[1]:55 when Fingolfin, the High King of the Noldor, learned of the losses of so many Noldor, he rode in anger across the dust of Anfauglith and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel. Fingolfin's sword, Ringil, wounded Morgoth seven times. Yet, he was felled by Morgoth's hammer, Grond, and slain by Morgoth's mighty foot.[3]

The folk of Barahir fought foot by foot for their lands, refusing to retreat from the attacking forces, and Morgoth relentlessly pursued them to the death until very few remained. So great was his wrath against them that Dorthonion was turned into a twisted land of dread and such dark enchantment that even Orcs would not enter it unless need drove them.[4]

Despite Morgoth's crushing victory, his foes soon regrouped, and in several areas formed strongholds and defensive positions against his Orcs. This, along with the theft of a Silmaril from Morgoth by Lúthien, renewed the morale of the folk of the West, leading to the creation of the Union of Maedhros, a final alliance of Men and Elves bent on removing Morgoth from Arda once and for all. Their efforts would not be successful however in this coming fight, the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.


The name means "Battle of the Sudden Flame" in Sindarin.[1]:52

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"

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