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Catherine Chmiel - Maitimo.jpg
"Maitimo" by Catherine Chmiel
Biographical Information
Other namesNelyafinwë (Q, fn)
Maitimo (Q, mn)
Russandol (Q, epessë)
Maedros the Tall
March of Maedros (Himring)
Amon Ereb
Isle of Balar
AffiliationOath of Fëanor
Union of Maedros
Birthafter Y.T. 1190
DeathF.A. 587
HouseHouse of Fëanor
ParentageFëanor (father)
Nerdanel (mother)
SiblingsMaglor (brother)
Celegorm (brother)
Curufin (brother)
Caranthir (brother)
Amros (brother)
Amarthan (brother)
Physical Description
Hair colorDark red
GalleryImages of Maedros
"There Maedros in time was healed; for the fire of life was hot within him, and his strength was of the ancient world, such as those possessed who were nurtured in Valinor. His body recovered from his torment and became hale, but the shadow of his pain was in his heart; and he lived to wield his sword with left hand more deadly than his right had been."
The Silmarillion, Of the Return of the Noldor

Maedros (S, pron. [ˈmaɛdros]), was one of the princes of the Noldor, the eldest of the seven sons of Fëanor and head of the House of Fëanor following the death of his father in Middle-earth.



Life in Valinor

Jenny Dolfen - The Oath of Fëanor

Maedros was born during the Time of the Two Trees in Valinor. Little is mentioned about Maedros' youth. Born to Fëanor and Nerdanel during the Years of the Trees in Aman, he was the eldest of their seven sons. With their father, they often traveled far and wide in Valinor. During this time Maedros befriended Fingon, son of Fingolfin, for whom Fëanor had no love.

After the banishment of Fëanor from Tirion in Valinor he went with his father to Formenos in exile.[1] When Morgoth killed Finwë and stole Fëanor's beloved Silmarils, Maedros was the first son to take the terrible Oath of Fëanor to recover the jewels.[2]

Maedros went with his father to Alqualondë, where the First Kinslaying broke out, in which he took part. When Fëanor sailed off without the host of Fingolfin, Maedros thought that he was planning to return and carry across the others. He expected that the first ship would carry Fingon, his best friend. When he learned that in fact, Fëanor planned to abandon them, he was angry and, alone of his brothers, refused to help burn the ships, to prevent Fingolfin from following.[2]

Maedros' Imprisonment and Rescue

Jenny Dolfen - Speed now this feathered shaft

When Fëanor was killed in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, Maedros became the King of the Noldor. However, this position was held briefly, as Morgoth sent an embassy, feigning the surrender of a Silmaril.

The Oath driving him, Maedros 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 400 years.[3]

Years later, in a daring rescue, his cousin Fingon, helped by Thorondor the King of Eagles, saved him from torment, but he had to cut off Maedros' hand to release him from the shackle. In gratitude for this, and in atonement for Fëanor's desertion of the rest of the Noldor, Maedros relinquished all claim as the heir of Finwë and made his uncle Fingolfin, Fingon's father, High King of the Noldor, something his brothers did not like.[3]

Seeing that his brothers were likely to cause feuds with their kinsmen, Maedros moved them out of Hithlum, and later ruled the lands around the Hill of Himring, which became known as the March of Maedros. Allied with Fingolfin, he won the battle of Dagor Aglareb, and, thanks to his daring deeds during the Dagor Bragollach, Himring stood while many other elven realms fell.

Union of Maedros

Friendship of Maedros and Azaghâl

During the Siege of Angband, Azaghâl, the Lord of Belegost, was surrounded by the Orcs while travelling - but Maedros came to his rescue, and in token of his help Azaghâl gave to him the Dragon-helm, made by Telchar of Nogrod. And this friendship between Maedros and Azaghâl would prove of great importance in the light of the events that followed.[4]

Coming of the Easterlings

In the year F.A. 463, various tribes of Men, known in general as the "Easterlings", came over the Blue Mountains into Beleriand. The greatest of their leaders were Bór and Ulfang. Bór swore an allegiance to Maedros and was given leave to dwell in his land.[5]

Nirnaeth Arnoediad

Under the Union of Maedros all the Elves of Beleriand, as well as the Edain, Dwarves, and the newly arrived Easterlings were invited to combine in arms and fight Morgoth. The Union first cleared Beleriand and Dorthonion of Orcs, and then gathered to assault Thangorodrim.[6]

The plan was for Maedros' host in the east to assault and draw out the army of Angband, after which Fingon's host would attack from the Ered Wethrin, taking the offensive in the west, crushing Morgoth's forces between them.[6]

Under Maedros in the east were gathered the remainder of the sons of Fëanor, the Elves and Men of Himring under Maedros and Bór, and the men of Amon Ereb under Caranthir and Ulfang.[6]

Under Fingon in the west were gathered the Elves and Men of Hithlum, the Elves of the Falas, the Halethrim of Brethil and the companies sent from Nargothrond and the two elves of Doriath, Beleg and Mablung.[6]

Because of the evil deeds of Celegorm and Curufin, two of Maedros' brothers, Nargothrond would send only a small company of Elves under Gwindor. From Doriath, where Thingol had sworn never to fight beside any son of Fëanor, came only Mablung and Beleg, who did not wish to remain behind. However, Turgon unexpectedly came forth with over ten thousand Elves from Gondolin, doubling the force of the west.[6]

Alan Lee - The Battle of Unnumbered Tears

But Morgoth through his spies had learned of the battle plan, and his spy Ulfang, who betrayed the Noldor, delayed Maedros' attack. A small host of Orcs sallied forth from Angband to provoke the Western host to attack. Within sight of the Ered Wethrin, Gwindor's brother Gelmir, captured during the Dagor Bragollach, was brought forth, and brutally slain. Enraged, Gwindor broke ranks, and with him most of Fingon's troops. The Orcs were swiftly defeated, and the sudden charge of Fingon's army nearly foiled Morgoth's plans; the forces of Gwindor and Fingon pushed forth, reaching Angband itself.[6]

It is said that Morgoth trembled on his throne as Gwindor's company pounded at his gates. They burst through, and slew the guards on the steps of Angband. They were then ambushed with hidden forces set about Angband; all of Gwindor's company was slain and Gwindor himself was captured. From clandestine gates around Angband thousands of Orcs erupted suddenly, repulsing the host of Fingon from the walls. The Elven army was driven back in great slaughter, and many of the Halethrim fell fighting in the rearguard. Turgon, who had withheld his host from the reckless charge, now came upon the Orc host. The phalanx of Turgon broke through the Angband lines, and met with the guard of Fingon.[6]

Finally Maedros arrived, but before he could make junction with Fingon and Turgon, Glaurung the dragon and Gothmog lord of Balrogs intercepted him. Union forces could yet have prevailed, but Uldor, son of Ulfang and a traitor, turned ranks and attacked Maedros in the rear, while more of his kin came down from the mountains and attacked from the east. Maglor slew Uldor in single combat, but could not turn the tide of the battle; and Bór and his sons slew the remaining sons of Ulfang the Black, but were themselves slain in turn - thus they won renown, and remained faithful to Maedros. Under assault from three sides, the eastern host was scattered, and only the valour of the Dwarves of Belegost helped them escape, as their lord Azaghâl and his forces held off Glaurung, allowing the sons of Fëanor to escape into Ossiriand.[6]

Joona Kujanen - The Fall of Azaghâl
Joona Kujanen - Men of Dor-lómin, to the death

Azaghâl and his army fought with fierce iron masks on, and they were able to resist the fire far better than any Elf or Man. Then Glaurung trampled Azaghâl beneath his feet, but Azaghâl ran a dagger through Glaurung's stomach, and the dragon fled in pain. Many of Morgoth's forces retreated with him. In a solemn ceremony the Dwarves picked up their fallen leader, abandoning the battle, and marched him home in a great procession. Their wrath was so great that none troubled them.[6]

All this had not helped the western host, who were attacked by many Orcs under Gothmog. Gothmog cut a path to Fingon and fought him in single combat. Fingon fell under his might, and Húrin begged Turgon to retreat back to Gondolin. Huor and Húrin and the remaining Men of Dor-lómin formed a living wall across the Fen of Serech, buying time for Turgon to escape with most of the surviving Elves of the north. Acting as a rearguard, these Men were almost all slain – Huor fell when his eye was pierced by a poisoned arrow. His brother Húrin fought ferociously to buy his allies time to escape, fighting until his axe withered away. Morgoth had ordered him to be taken alive, however; he killed no fewer than seventy Orcs and Trolls before he became pinned under their corpses, and was later taken prisoner by Gothmog.[6]


Jenny Dolfen - Ossiriand
"Yet fate saved the sons of Fëanor, and though all were wounded none were slain, for they drew together, and gathering a remnant of the Noldor and the Naugrim about them they hewed a way out of the battle and escaped far away towards Mount Dolmed in the east."
The Silmarillion, Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad

After the disastrous battle, Maedros and his brethren were scattered and sought refuge in the East Beleriand, at Amon Ereb. There they would dwell for a time until their oath started to stir them to the evil deeds that followed after.[6]

The Second Kinslaying

Jenny Dolfen - The Oath Has Been Awakened...

Maedros learned that Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien, had inherited the Silmaril that they had recovered from Morgoth. Still driven by the Oath, he allowed his brother Celegorm to convince him to attack Doriath. But first he sent Curufin to bear a message to Dior bidding him to surrender the Silmaril. But Dior made no clear answer and sent Curufin away.[7]

The sons of Fëanor along with their followers came at unawares in the middle of winter and fought with the Iathrim in the northern marches of Doriath. There Curufin and Caranthir fell, pierced by many arrows.[7] And so occurred the second slaying of Elf by Elf. There also fell Celegorm by Dior's hand in Menegroth itself. But Dior was also slain. And the cruel servants of Celegorm seized his young sons Eluréd and Elurín and left them to starve in the forest. Of this Maedros repented, and sought for them long in the forest, but his search was unavailing, and the fate of Dior's sons is not known.[8]

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 Sirion by the sea.[8]

The Third Kinslaying

Catherine Chmiel - And Maglor took pity upon them

After learning that Elwing, Dior's daughter, had survived, and dwells at the Havens of Sirion with a Silmaril, Maedros, regretting his past deeds, did not immediately act. But after a while, he sent messengers to the Havens, wishing Elwing and her people well, but still demanding sternly the return of the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor.[9]

However, they refused to surrender the Silmaril, and Maedros finally, in F.A. 538, with Maglor and Amros his remaining brothers, descended upon the Havens of Sirion with his army. Many of the people at the Havens joined Maedros in the slaughter, and many of Maedros' own men repented and were in turn slain trying to protect the people of the Havens.[9]

But the Silmaril was lost again, since Elwing cast herself and the Silmaril into the sea. Amros, Maedros' younger brother died there[9], as well as Egalmoth of Gondolin[10] and Dírhaval the poet who wrote the Narn i Chîn Húrin.[11]

Of all the slayings of Elf by Elf this was deemed the cruelest, but the sons of Eärendil and Elwing - Elros and Elrond - were spared, and Maglor took care of them and fostered them, and great love grew between them.[9]

The Last End of the Oath of Fëanor

Catherine Chmiel - Maedros and Maglor prepared to defend themselves and die
Jenny Dolfen - It ends in flame

After a while, Maedros and Maglor removed themselves to the Isle of Balar, and in F.A. 545 the Host of Valinor reached Beleriand under the command of Eönwë and thus began the War of Wrath.[9]

Finally, the army of Valinor was victorious and in F.A. 587 Morgoth was finally overthrown and the two remaining Silmarils taken from his crown, and they were given to the keeping of Eönwë.[9]

But Maedros and Maglor were yet again tormented by their oath. And they debated long if they should relinquish their claim and break their oath, and Maglor was indeed willing to submit to the summons of Eönwë to come back to Valinor and hear the judgement of the Valar. But Maedros convinced him otherwise, saying that they swore their oath by invoking Ilúvatar Himself as a witness, and that the everlasting darkness will take them if they break it.[9]

Finally, at night, Maedros and Maglor stole into the camp of Eönwë and slew the guards, and took the two Silmarils. But they were discovered, and they prepared to die there, but Eönwë forbid the slaying of the two brothers and let them go with the remaining Silmarils. But they soon found out that the Silmarils burned their hands and tormented their minds, due to their evil deeds. Maglor cast his Silmaril into the Great Sea, but Maedros, unable to endure the torment of the touch of the Holy Jewel, cast himself into the fiery chasm and thus he ended his life.[9]


Maedros' father-name was Nelyafinwë, meaning "Finwë the Third", shorter form Nelyo, as his grandfather and father both shared the name Finwë. Nelya is a Quenya adjective that means "third". His mother-name was Maitimo, "Well-shaped One", for he was noted for his comeliness. His epessë was Russandol, "Copper-top", referring to the dark red hair he inherited from his grandfather Sarmo. It is derived from russa, a Quenya adjective meaning "red-haired".

In The Shibboleth of Fëanor, note# 65, it is said that the names Maitimo and Russandol are the base for the Sindarized name Maedros (derived from a contraction of Mait- + Rus-).

In the earlier work The Etymologies, the name Maedhros is original Noldorin, and is said to mean "Pale-glitter". It is formed by the adding up maidh ("pale", "fallow" or "fawn") and "archaic" rhoss ("flash", "glitter of metal").


b. Y.T.
d. Y.T. 1170
d. Y.T. 1495
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T. 1230
d. F.A. 587
b. Y.T.
d. F.A. 507
d. F.A. 507
d. F.A. 507
d. F.A. 538
d. Y.T. 1497
d. S.A. 1697


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Nauglafring"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary"
  11. 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: II. Ælfwine and Dírhaval"