|Other names||Írissë, Ar-Feiniel, "White Lady of the Noldor"|
|Language||Quenya and Sindarin|
|Birth||Y.T. 1362 |
|Death||F.A. 400 (aged 1,738 years[note 1])|
|House||House of Fingolfin|
|Parentage||Fingolfin and Anairë|
|Siblings||Fingon, Turgon and Argon|
|Clothing||Silver and white|
|Gallery||Images of Aredhel|
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.
After arriving in Middle-earth, she dwelt in Nevrast with Turgon, and went with him to Gondolin. But after two hundred years the longing for the forests and wide lands overcame her, and she asked leave to depart. Turgon was unwilling, fearing the exposure of the Hidden Kingdom, but eventually relented.
Riding with companions, they were denied entrance to Doriath, it being closed to the Ñoldor, and so they went around to the north, where she was separated in the dangerous region of Nan Dungortheb and reported lost. She reached Himlad safely, however, and waited there to meet Celegorm who was abroad, but eventually she wandered out of boredom, and became lost in the forest of Nan Elmoth.
Eöl the Dark Elf ruled those woods; he saw her in the dark woods and was enamoured of her. He put an enchanment on her which caused her to wander ever more deeply into the woods and not find her way out. Eventually they met, and he led her to his home, where she stayed for many years, and they were married. They had a son named Maeglin, and in telling him of her former life and home, Aredhel desired to see her kin again. Ëol, however, forbade them from having any contact with the Noldor, or even mentioning the sons of Fëanor. She left Nan Elmoth with Maeglin while Eöl was away. They reached Gondolin (not realizing that Eöl was following them all the while), and were received with rejoicing. Eöl was also discovered and brought before Turgon, but rather than accept Turgon's judgment, he attempted to kill his son. Aredhel stepped in front of the stab, but because it was a poisoned dart, she died that night from the wound.
Eöl was cast down from the city walls and died, while Maeglin became mighty in Gondolin and later betrayed it to Morgoth.
Note on pronunciation: Aredhel should be pronounced ar-eth-el (hard "th"), not ar-ed-hel.
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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman", p. 102, notes 8 and 9
- ↑ 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"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", p. 345
- ↑ 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