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Of the Coming of Men into the West

The Silmarillion chapters
  1. Ainulindalë
  2. Valaquenta
  3. Quenta Silmarillion
    1. Of the Beginning of Days
    2. Of Aulë and Yavanna
    3. Of the Coming of the Elves
    4. Of Thingol and Melian
    5. Of Eldamar
    6. Of Fëanor
    7. Of the Silmarils
    8. Of the Darkening of Valinor
    9. Of the Flight of the Noldor
    10. Of the Sindar
    11. Of the Sun and Moon
    12. Of Men
    13. Of the Return of the Noldor
    14. Of Beleriand and its Realms
    15. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
    16. Of Maeglin
    17. Of the Coming of Men
    18. Of the Ruin of Beleriand
    19. Of Beren and Lúthien
    20. Of the Fifth Battle
    21. Of Túrin Turambar
    22. Of the Ruin of Doriath
    23. Of the Fall of Gondolin
    24. Of the Voyage of Eärendil
  4. Akallabêth
  5. Of the Rings of Power

Of the Coming of Men into the West is the seventeenth chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion section within The Silmarillion.

[edit] Synopsis

Felagund among Bëor's men by Ted Nasmith

After three hundred years had passed since the arrival of the Noldor, Finrod went hunting with Maedhros and Maglor. Yet he would soon grew tired of hunting, and he continued eastward to Ossiriand, where he spotted a strange light and heard unfamiliar songs.

Finrod hid himself, for he feared that Orcs had come from Angband. Yet the strange beings were not Orcs, or Dwarves, or even other Elves. They were Men come out of the east from Hildorien and following a light to the west.

Waiting until they had fallen asleep, Finrod went among them, took up a harp, and began to sing. The newcomers awoke, but they did not speak, opting to listen to Finrod's songs of Aman and the Valar instead.

Finrod would remain with the Men and taught them much of what the Noldor knew. Finrod could understand their tongue, for it was descended from the same language that all Elves had once known. Men had learned it from the Avari who remained east and did not go to Valinor, as they had also learned basic crafting skills and tools.

Finrod befriended Bëor, but when he asked of the origins of Men, Bëor would only say that they came west fleeing a darkness and following the light.

The Eldar afterwards would say that Morgoth himself went eastwards to corrupt Men and turn them against the Eldar. They perceived a darkness in Men similar to their own. Yet Morgoth's plan was not fully successful, both due to the low numbers of Men and the threat of the Elves on Morgoth's border.

Bëor told Finrod that other groups of men would follow: Men who were called the Haladin as well as those who followed a chief named Marach. These Men spoke a different language than that of Bëor.

When the Green-elves learned of Men, they asked Finrod to tell them to either move westward or return east. This compelled Finrod to have Bëor move his people west to Estolad, an encampment on the borders of Doriath. When at last Finrod left to return to his own realm, Bëor followed him as a vassal.

The groups that Bëor spoke of would soon enter into Beleriand: the Haladin who would be known as the House of Haleth, and the house of Marach that would be later known as the House of Hador. These two houses, as well as the House of Bëor, would form the basis of the Edain.

Many Elves such as Fingolfin gladly recieved Men, taking them into their lands as allies. Thus Men continued to spread across Beleriand. They would enter in via Estolad, but spread out across the realms of the Eldar.

Thingol, however, was displeased with Men, and forbade them from entering Doriath, for he feared their coming. Yet many men would remain still in Estolad even as other spread out across Beleriand. Unfortunately, it was at this time that the first division in the houses of Men began to appear, for while Morgoth was besieged, he was not idle.

Whispers would enter into the councils of Men, and in one meeting in particular, Bereg of the House of Bëor rose up and spoke against the Elves, saying that Men could go elsewhere and leave Beleriand. One who appeared to be Amlach stood up as well, saying that the light in the West was merely an Elvish story. He even suggested that the Valar did not exist except for Morgoth. Yet Amlach himself entered into the tent and denied ever being present at the meeting. This created enough of a disturbance that the followers of Bereg followed him back east, while Amlach changed his mind and went to fight against Morgoth under Maedhros.

His subtle designs failing, Morgoth assailed Men with force. His orcs attacked the Haladin in the lands of Caranthir. The leader of these men was Halad, and with his two children, Haleth and Haldar, he defended his people. Halad and Haldar both perished, but Haleth was strong and braced her people within their fortress. At last, seven days after the death of Halad, Caranthir came forth and destroyed the Orcs. He was moved by the valour of Men and offered Haleth an alliance. She rejected him, however, and compelled her people to move westward to Estolad. She would remain chieftain of her people, and soon they would even be known to others as the People of Haleth. Eventually, she compelled many of her people to move westward again, settling in the forest of Brethil, where they eked out a hard living. Thingol grudgingly permitted this as long as they would defend the Crossings of Teiglin.

Thus it was that Men would live in Beleriand beside the Elves. Men would learn much from the Elves, and many would even learn Sindarin. In their turn, many Men would also become servants in the household of elven kings, such as Hador, who served Fingolfin and was given the lordship of Dor-lómin. Many great heroes would come from the Elf-friends, such as Beren and Túrin.

Yet even Men were not safe from the Doom of Mandos, though they would be remembered even to this day by their Elvish allies. The Three houses would quickly grow in number. The men of Hador were the greatest. They were yellow haired and blue eyed. The House of Bëor had dark hair and grey eyes, and were very similar to the Noldor. The Men of Haleth loved to wander and would reside in teh woods.

Yet, in the end, Elves were immortal, and Men were not. Though Beleriand seemed to lengthen their lives, the first generation of Men would pass away. Bëor the Old died at ninety three years of age. This was a grievous blow to the Eldar, who did not understand the Gift of Men, or their final destination after death.

Regardless, the Edain learned much from the Elves and gained wisdom such that they surpassed all other Men who had not come east and seen the faces that once knew the Light of Valinor.

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