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Second Kinslaying

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This article is about the assault of the Sons of Feanor against Dior. For the earlier battle between Dwarves and Elves, see Battle of the Thousand Caves.
The name Kinslaying refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Kinslaying (disambiguation).
Second Kinslaying
Jenny Dolfen - The Oath Has Been Awakened....jpg
Conflict: Pre-War of Wrath; result of the Oath of Fëanor
Date: F.A. 506
Place: Menegroth
Outcome: Military only victory for the Sons of Fëanor; Final destruction of the Kingdom of Doriath
  • The People of Doriath

Måns Björkman - Fëanor device.gifMaedhros

  • Unknown
  • Unknown
  • Dior Eluchíl
  • Dior's wife Nimloth and his sons Eluréd and Elurín
  • Unknown number of elves of Doriath; almost all of them

The Second Kinslaying occurred when the Sons of Fëanor attacked Doriath, seeking the Silmaril taken there after the death of Beren and Lúthien. King Dior of Doriath was slain there, as well as Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir. But Dior's daughter Elwing managed to escape down to the Mouths of Sirion along with the survivors of Doriath.


[edit] Background

When news of the attack on Doriath by the Dwarves of Nogrod reached Beren in Tol Galen, he, along with his son, Dior, and the Green-elves of Ossiriand, waylaid the Dwarves near Sarn Athrad. The Dwarves who escaped the first onslaught and fled to the slopes beneath Mount Dolmed were driven "into the shadowy woods of the Trees" by the Shepherds of the Trees and none escaped.[1]

In that battle, Beren himself slew their king and recovered the Nauglamír which they had stolen. However, as he died, the Lord of Nogrod "laid his curse upon all the treasure."[1] Beren was amazed when he saw the necklace for in it was set with the Silmaril which he himself had cut from Morgoth's crown. He washed it clean in the River Ascar, and that same river was renamed Rathlóriel, the Goldenbed, for, after the battle, all the treasures of Doriath had been lost to it. The Nauglamír was taken back to Tol Galen and then worn by Lúthien. And when she wore the Silmaril, "for a little while the Land of the Dead that Live became like a vision of the land of the Valar, and no place has been since so fair, so fruitful, or so filled with light."[1]

When Dior bade farewell to his parents, he journeyed to Menegroth along with his wife Nimloth and his children Eluréd, Elurín and Elwing. The Elves of Doriath received them with joy. Under the rule of Dior, the glory of the realm recovered for a while.

In autumn, an elf came to Menegroth. He was the lord of the Green-elves of Ossiriand. He gave to Dior a coffer, and in it was the Nauglamír wherein was set the Silmaril. Dior, looking upon it, knew it for a sign that Beren and Lúthien had died. Then Dior arose and clasped the Nauglamír about his neck, and "appeared as the fairest of all the children of the world, of threefold race: of the Edain, and of the Eldar, and of the Maiar of the Blessed Realm."[1]

[edit] The awakening of the oath

The rumour travelled among the scattered Elves of Beleriand, and they said: "'a Silmaril of Fëanor burns again in the woods of Doriath.'"[1] When news about these events reached the Sons of Fëanor, their oath was awakened from its slumber, for while Lúthien had worn the Necklace of the Dwarves, no Elf would dare to assail her. But now it seemed to the Sons of Fëanor, as they heard of the renewal of Doriath and of the pride of Dior, that they could recover the Silmaril. The seven sons gathered again from their wandering and sent messages to Dior stating their claim on the Silmaril. But Dior returned no answer, and Celegorm "stirred up his brothers to prepare an assault on Doriath."[1]

[edit] The Battle

"Maedhros searching for the sons of Dior" by Jenny Dolfen

The Sons of Fëanor, along with their followers, assaulted Doriath with a surprise attack, in the middle of winter, and fought with Dior in the Thousand Caves. This was the second slaying of Elf by Elf. In that battle, Dior slew Celegorm. Curufin and Caranthir also fell. Dior was also slain along with his wife Nimloth. Eluréd and Elurín were seized, taken into the forest, and left to starve by the cruel servants of Celegorm.[1] Maedhros repented of this act of vengeance and cruelty against the children, and he long sought for them in the woods, but "his search was unavailing," and the fate of Dior's sons is not known.[1]

Thus Doriath was destroyed and never rose again. But the Sons of Fëanor gained not what they sought; for a remnant of the people fled before them, and with them was Elwing, Dior's daughter, and they escaped, and bearing with them the Silmaril came to the Mouths of the river Sirion by the sea.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"

[edit] Other versions in the legendarium

Tolkien explained in Letter 247 that after Beren's return from the dead, he only showed himself once more among the mortals. And that was to intercept the dwarf-army that had sacked the realm of Doriath and had slain King Thingol, carrying off the treasury, including the Silmaril. On the participation of the Ents, who aided Beren against the Dwarves, he wrote, "Beren, who had no army, received the aid of the Ents - and that would not make for love between Ents and Dwarves."[2]

In an earlier draft, Dior returns to Doriath after its ruin and is welcomed by Melian.[3]:353 In the Tale of Years for F.A. 503, it was written that "the Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod invade Doriath."[3]:350 However, Tolkien noted, if that was the case, Thingol must have been led out of Doriath in order to be slain because "Doriath cannot be entered by a hostile army!"[4] In The Silmarillion, the Dwarves did not invade. They were already in Menegroth doing other work there, and Melian left Middle-earth after Thingol was slain, which left the realm unprotected.[1]

In this older version of the Tale of Years, Melian had taken the Nauglamír to Beren and Lúthien, and Lúthien wore it. This was unknown to others at the time. And it was Curufin and Celegorm, not Beren with the Green-elves and the Ents, who ambushed the Dwarves at the Fords of Ascar. When they attacked the Dwarves, the treasure they had looted from Doriath was cast into the river, which was then named Rathlóriel. And, "great was the anger of the sons of Fëanor to discover that the Silmaril was not with the Dwarves."[3]:351

In F.A. 504, Dior returns to Doriath. He had already been there in F.A. 503, but then he had his daughter Elwing in Ossiriand, not Doriath. With the power of the Silmaril, he restores the realm. In F.A. 505, Fëanor's sons hear of the Silmaril in Doriath and hold council, and "Maidros restrains his brethren, but a message is sent to Dior demanding the Jewel. Dior returns no answer."[3]:351

Instead of a single season, another year passes and in F.A. 506, "Celegorm inflames the brethren, and they prepare an assault on Doriath. They come up at unawares in winter."[3]:351 Finally, in F.A. 506-507:

"At Yule Dior fought the sons of Fëanor on the east marches of Doriath, and was slain. There fell also Celegorn (by Dior's hand) and Curufin and Cranthir. The cruel servants of Celegorm seize Dior's sons (Elrún and Eldún) and leave them to starve in the forest. (Nothing certain is known of their fate, but some say that the birds succoured them, and led them to Ossir.) [ In margin: Maidros repenting seeks unavailingly for the children of Dior.] The Lady Lindis escaped with Elwing, and came hardly to Ossir, with the Necklace and the Jewel. Thence hearing the rumour she fled to the Havens of Sirion."
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: V. The Tale of Years"

Lady Lindis, later replaced by Nimloth, was the wife of Dior. In this version F.A. 497, "Dior Halfelven weds Lindis of Ossiriand," and in F.A. 500, "Elrún and Eldún twin sons of Dior are born."[3]:257


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 247, (dated 20 September 1963)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: V. The Tale of Years"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: V. The Tale of Years", p. 352
The Kinslayings
First Kinslaying (Alqualondë) · Second Kinslaying (Doriath) · Third Kinslaying (Havens of Sirion)