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Fen of Serech

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The '''Fen of Serech''' lay on the upper course of the mighty River [[Sirion]], at the inflowing of its tributary, the [[Rivil]]. Lying as it did at the mouth of one of the few passes in the northern mountains of [[Beleriand]], the Fen played a part in many battles, and had a long and bloody history.
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The '''Fen of Serech''' was a marshland between [[Dorthonion]] and the [[Ered Wethrin]], at the confluence of the [[Sirion]] and its tributary, the [[Rivil]]. It lay at the northeast end of one of the few passes between [[Anfauglith]] and [[Beleriand]]<ref>{{S|Map}}</ref> and thus was the site of many battles.
  
This history started at the very beginning of the [[First Age]], in the [[Dagor-nuin-Giliath]], which saw a great victory for the [[Elves]] over the forces of [[Morgoth]]. As the remnant of the Orc armies fled back from the [[Falas]], [[Celegorm]] rode down from the hills around [[Eithel Sirion]] and drove them into the waters of Serech.
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==History==
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During the [[Dagor-nuin-Giliath]], the returning [[Noldor]] swiftly overcame the [[Orcs]] that had been sent against them and hunted these Orcs over the mountains. In the meantime another Orc army that had beleaguered [[Círdan]] rushed up the [[Vales of Sirion]] to aid the fugitives, but they were attacked by [[Celegorm]] as he led part of the Elven-host down from the hills around [[Eithel Sirion]].  Celegorm drove the Orcs into the Fen of Serech where most of them perished.<ref>{{S|Return}}</ref>
  
In 455 (First Age), at the [[Dagor Bragollach]], [[Finrod Felagund]] found himself cut off in the Fen with a small host. He seemed lost, but was rescued with great loss by [[Barahir]] and escaped back to [[Nargothrond]]. This was the beginning of the great friendship between Finrod and the kin of Barahir, and Finrod gave Barahir his ring in token of this.
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In {{FA|455}} the [[Dagor Bragollach]] began<ref>{{GA|145}}</ref> with rivers of flame from [[Thangorodrim]].  In the onslaught, [[Finrod|Finrod Felagund]] was cut off from all of his forces except for a small company in the Fen. [[Barahir]] saved the king by rushing in and creating a wall of spears about him, which enabled Finrod to escape back to [[Nargothrond]]. Barahir's losses were heavy, but his deed forged a great friendship between Finrod and the kin of BarahirFinrod gave Barahir his ring in token of his vow of friendship.<ref>{{S|Fingolfin}}</ref>
  
The Elves' counter-attack, the battle that became the [[Nirnaeth Arnoediad]], was made sixteen years later. King Fingon drew up his battle-line along the upper course of the Sirion, between the Fen and the fortress of [[Barad Eithel]]. It was here that the heralds of Morgoth tortured [[Gelmir]] before the Elven host, and [[Gwindor]] his brother broke ranks, driving into the Orc host seeking his revenge, and starting the great battle.
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In the fifth battle of Beleriand, the [[Nirnaeth Arnoediad]] (fought in {{FA|472}}<ref>{{GA|217}}</ref>), King Fingon had hidden his forces in the eastern hills of the Ered Wethrin and the fortress of [[Barad Sirion]]. The [[Captain of Morgoth]] marched his battle-line forward until it was between the Fen and the fortress.  Before the outworks of Barad Eithel the heralds of Morgoth placed [[Gelmir (son of Guilin)|Gelmir]] of Nargothrond and cut off his hands and feet and head.  Gelmir's brother [[Gwindor]] pursued the heralds beyond the Fen of Serech and slew them, which caused the entire Elven host to charge in and slaughter Morgoth's western forces.
  
Later, as the battle drew to a close, [[Turgon]] and the host of [[Gondolin]] were forced back across the Fen. [[Húrin]] and [[Huor]], with the men of the [[House of Hador]] made a stand there on the banks of the Rivil, allowing Turgon to escape the ruin of the Elves and reach Gondolin. Huor and his men were slain one by one by the [[Orcs]], but Húrin slayed seventy of the enemy before being captured.
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This seeming victory though led to disaster.  Fingon's host reached the gates of Thangorodrim where Morgoth released his main host.  Fingon retreated and was saved by Turgon and [[Húrin]] when surrounded, but their combined forces still had to withdraw when [[Glaurung]] appeared and fell upon [[Maedhros]]' eastern forces.  [[Turgon]] and the host of [[Gondolin]] were forced back across the Fen by the coming of [[Gothmog]], Lord of the [[Balrogs]]. [[Húrin]] and [[Huor]], with the remaining men of the [[House of Hador]], made a stand upon the banks of the Rivil, which allowed Turgon to escape to Gondolin. Huor and his men were slain one by one by the [[Orcs]], but Húrin slayed seventy of the enemy before being captured.<ref>{{S|Fifth}}</ref>
  
After twenty-eight years of torture, Morgoth released Húrin and set a watch upon him. Húrin's first act was to seek out the hidden city of Gondolin, but Turgon was suspicious and ignored his cries; 'Turgon, Turgon, remember the Fen of Serech'.
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In {{FA|500}}, Morgoth released Húrin and set a watch upon him. After visiting [[Hithlum]] Húrin sought to enter the hidden city of [[Gondolin]].  when [[Thorondor]] the eagle reported Húrin's presence below the [[Echoriath]]  Turgon suspected that Húrin had surrendered to Morgoth and refused to aid him.  Despairing before the silent cliffs, Húrin shouted: "Turgon, Turgon, remember the Fen of Serech!"<ref>{{S|Doriath}}</ref>
  
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{{references}}
 
[[Category:Beleriand]]
 
[[Category:Beleriand]]
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[[Category:Swamps]]
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[[de:Fenn von Serech]]
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[[fi:Serechin Suo]]

Revision as of 09:00, 20 September 2012

The Fen of Serech was a marshland between Dorthonion and the Ered Wethrin, at the confluence of the Sirion and its tributary, the Rivil. It lay at the northeast end of one of the few passes between Anfauglith and Beleriand[1] and thus was the site of many battles.

History

During the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the returning Noldor swiftly overcame the Orcs that had been sent against them and hunted these Orcs over the mountains. In the meantime another Orc army that had beleaguered Círdan rushed up the Vales of Sirion to aid the fugitives, but they were attacked by Celegorm as he led part of the Elven-host down from the hills around Eithel Sirion. Celegorm drove the Orcs into the Fen of Serech where most of them perished.[2]

In F.A. 455 the Dagor Bragollach began[3] with rivers of flame from Thangorodrim. In the onslaught, Finrod Felagund was cut off from all of his forces except for a small company in the Fen. Barahir saved the king by rushing in and creating a wall of spears about him, which enabled Finrod to escape back to Nargothrond. Barahir's losses were heavy, but his deed forged a great friendship between Finrod and the kin of Barahir. Finrod gave Barahir his ring in token of his vow of friendship.[4]

In the fifth battle of Beleriand, the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (fought in F.A. 472[5]), King Fingon had hidden his forces in the eastern hills of the Ered Wethrin and the fortress of Barad Sirion. The Captain of Morgoth marched his battle-line forward until it was between the Fen and the fortress. Before the outworks of Barad Eithel the heralds of Morgoth placed Gelmir of Nargothrond and cut off his hands and feet and head. Gelmir's brother Gwindor pursued the heralds beyond the Fen of Serech and slew them, which caused the entire Elven host to charge in and slaughter Morgoth's western forces.

This seeming victory though led to disaster. Fingon's host reached the gates of Thangorodrim where Morgoth released his main host. Fingon retreated and was saved by Turgon and Húrin when surrounded, but their combined forces still had to withdraw when Glaurung appeared and fell upon Maedhros' eastern forces. Turgon and the host of Gondolin were forced back across the Fen by the coming of Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs. Húrin and Huor, with the remaining men of the House of Hador, made a stand upon the banks of the Rivil, which allowed Turgon to escape to Gondolin. Huor and his men were slain one by one by the Orcs, but Húrin slayed seventy of the enemy before being captured.[6]

In F.A. 500, Morgoth released Húrin and set a watch upon him. After visiting Hithlum Húrin sought to enter the hidden city of Gondolin. when Thorondor the eagle reported Húrin's presence below the Echoriath Turgon suspected that Húrin had surrendered to Morgoth and refused to aid him. Despairing before the silent cliffs, Húrin shouted: "Turgon, Turgon, remember the Fen of Serech!"[7]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §145
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §217
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"