|"Aredhel" by Darcival|
|Other names||Írissë (Q), Ar-Feiniel, "White Lady of the Noldor"|
|Language||Quenya and Sindarin|
|Birth||Y.T. 1362 |
|Death||F.A. 400 (aged 1,722 years[note 1])|
|House||House of Fingolfin|
|Parentage||Fingolfin and Anairë|
|Siblings||Fingon, Turgon and Argon|
|Clothing||Silver and white|
|Gallery||Images of Aredhel|
Aredhel, also called Ar-Feiniel, the White Lady of the Noldor, was the third child and only daughter of High King Fingolfin and Anairë, and the sister of her elder brothers Fingon and Turgon, and the youngest brother Argon. Much later in Beleriand, she became the mother of Maeglin whose father was known as Eöl the Dark Elf.
Aredhel 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 for a time in Nevrast with her brother Turgon. When he built the hidden city of Gondolin she went with him. After two hundred years, the longing for the forests and wide lands overcame her and she asked her brother for permission to leave. Turgon was unwilling, because he feared for her safety and for the secrecy of his kingdom. He eventually relented, giving her a small escort of lords for protection. Aredhel ignored his plea that she would only go to see Fingon, desiring instead to meet the Sons of Fëanor again. They sought passage through Doriath, but were denied because they were of the Noldor. They were forced to go northward to Nan Dungortheb, where they were separated. Aredhel continued onward to Himlad where Celegorm and Curufin lived, only to find him away. She got tired of waiting, and began taking trips on her own to pass the time. It was on one such trip that she wandered into the forest of Nan Elmoth.
Eöl the Dark Elf lived there, and upon seeing Aredhel's beauty, wove a spell which caused her to become hopelessly lost and wander ever closer to his home. Eöl revealed himself when she arrived, and welcomed her to his house. They married and had a son named Maeglin. During this time, Aredhel was free to go where she pleased, with the sole restriction that she couldn't visit any of her kin. Her homesickness led her to tell Maeglin many stories about Gondolin and the Noldor, which only increased her longing for home. Thus, when Maeglin proposed that they abandon Nan Elmoth and return to Gondolin, she responded with pride and joy.
Waiting until Eöl was away, the two fled from Nan Elmoth for Gondolin, but were unknowingly tracked by Eöl, who had discovered their disappearance earlier than expected. Aredhel and Maeglin were received with joy in Gondolin, but the guards quickly caught Eöl and brought him to the King on Aredhel's bidding. Turgon was initially willing to spare Eöl and accept him as a kinsman if he remained in Gondolin, but Eöl would not accept this judgement and chose death for himself and Maeglin. He threw a javelin at his son, but Aredhel shielded Maeglin and was wounded. While she lay resting, she spoke to her niece Idril and begged her to ensure Turgon showed mercy to Eöl. This was not to be, as the weapon Eöl used had been poisoned. Aredhel died shortly after making this final plea, leaving the city and its King bereaved once more.
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 = 1,722.
- ↑ 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