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Darcival - Aredhel.jpg
Biographical Information
Other namesÍrissë, Ar-Feiniel, "White Lady of the Noldor"
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
BirthY.T. 1362[1]
DeathF.A. 400 (aged 1,738 years[note 1])
HouseHouse of Fingolfin
ParentageFingolfin and Anairë
SiblingsFingon, Turgon and Argon
Physical Description
Hair colorDark[2]
ClothingSilver and white[2]
Aredhel, also called Ar-Feiniel, the White Lady of the Noldor, was the daughter of High King Fingolfin and Anairë, sister of Fingon, Turgon, and Argon, and mother of Maeglin.

She was tall and strong, fond of hunting and riding in the forests. Her skin was pale and her hair dark; she always wore silver and white. She was fond of the sons of Fëanor, especially Celegorm and Curufin.


[edit] History

Aredhel would have been born to Fingolfin and Anarië in Valinor. She would have followed her father and brothers over the Helcaraxe to Middle Earth.

After arriving in Middle-earth, she dwelt for a time in Nevrast with her brother Turgon. When he built the hidden city of Gondolin she went with him. But after two hundred years the longing for the forests and wide lands overcame her, and she asked her brother if she could leave. Turgon was unwilling to let her go because he feared for her safety and her telling someone the location of his kingdom. She eventually left with a small company where they were refused refuge in Doriath because they were Noldor. They instead travelled to find refuge in the North but upon getting lost in the dangerous region of Nan Dungortheb and unable to find her company, she wandered until she reached Himlad where she waited to see her cousin Celegorm but he never turned up because he too was travelling. She eventually got bored and wandered into the forest of Nan Elmoth.

Aredhel meeting Eöl

The ruler of those dark woods was Eöl the Dark Elf who saw her and fell in love with her. He put an enchantment on her which caused her to wander deeper and deeper into the woods until she couldn't find her way out. Eöl soon went to her and took her to the safety of his home where she stayed for many years. They eventually married and had a son named Maeglin. Aredhel would often speak of her old life and home and wished to go back to see her people again but Eöl forbid them from even contacting the Noldor again or even mentioning the sons of Fëanor. She waited until Eöl went out and she fled Nan Elmoth with her son to Gondolin. She was reunited with her brother Turgon and they were welcomed. It wasn't until Eöl was found and brought before the King that they realised he had followed them. Turgon was willing to spare Eöl but Eöl would not accept this judgement and he attempted to kill his son. Aredhel stepped in front of Maeglin and was wounded. While she lay resting, she spoke to her niece Idril and begged her to make sure Turgon shows mercy on Eöl but she died in the night. The wound from the weapon was only small but it was also poisoned. Because of this Turgon no longer cared for Eöl and in his grief, he had him thrown over the city walls to his death.

[edit] Etymology

Aredhel's name in Valinor used to be Írissë. In Sindarin this name was Íreth.[3]

The name Aredhel means "Noble Elf" in Sindarin,[4] and is probably an epessë acquired later.[source?]

Note on pronunciation: Aredhel should be pronounced ar-eth-el (hard "th"), not ar-ed-hel.

[edit] Other Versions of the Legendarium

The names Aredhel and Ar-Feiniel ("noble white lady") were both originally intended to stand alone, and be used as the main name of Irissë. While preparing The Silmarillion for publication Christopher Tolkien could not discover which name was intended to be used as her final name, and he therefore chose to use both names: a decision he later stated in the History of Middle-earth series was possibly mistaken.

[edit] Genealogy


[edit] See Also


  1. Years of the Sun. Each Year of the Tree is equal to 9.582 Years of the Sun, and the Years of the Trees ended in the year 1500. So, 400 + 9.582 x 138 = 1,777.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman", p. 102, notes 8 and 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", p. 345
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 139