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Finrod Felagund
Anna Lee - Finrod.jpg
Biographical Information
Other namesFindaráto/Artafinde (T/Q, fn)
Ingoldo (Q, mn)
Nóm or Nómin
TitlesLord/King of Nargothrond
AffiliationQuest for the Silmaril
LanguageQuenya, Telerin, Sindarin and Taliska
BirthAfter Y.T. 1280
RuleF.A. 52 - 465
DeathF.A. 465
HouseHouse of Finarfin
ParentageFinarfin & Eärwen
SiblingsAngrod, Aegnor and Galadriel
SpouseLover of Amarië
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden
GalleryImages of Finrod Felagund

Finrod was an Elven king of the Noldor, eldest son of Finarfin, brother to Angrod, Aegnor and Galadriel, and ruler of Nargothrond. Finrod was like his father in his fair face and golden hair, and also in noble and generous heart.



The Return of the Noldor

Finrod was among those who opposed Fëanor and the oath. However when the Noldor were set to depart from Aman, he also joined them, for he would not be sundered from his friends and his people who were eager to go. Finrod along with his father led the rear of the host along with many of the noblest and wisest of the Noldor; and often they looked behind them to see their fair city, especially Finrod for he had to leave behind his beloved, Amarië of the Vanyar.

Finrod and his people did not participate in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. While they were travelling up the coast of Araman, the Vala Mandos appeared and pronounced the Doom of the Noldor, and in that hour Finarfin forsook the march and returned to Valinor with many of his people. But Finrod and his siblings went forward still and led their people on the long and perilous march to Middle-earth.

Life in Beleriand

After their victory in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Noldor started building their numerous realms. Finrod established the tower of Minas Tirith on the island of Tol Sirion. Once while journeying southward along the river Sirion, Finrod and his friend Turgon son of Fingolfin encamped upon its banks. And Ulmo coming up the river laid a deep sleep upon them and heavy dreams; and it seemed to each that he was bidden to prepare for a day of evil, and to establish a retreat, lest Morgoth should burst from Angband and overthrow the armies of the North.

Now on a time Finrod and his sister Galadriel were guests of King Elu Thingol their kinsman in Doriath. There Finrod told Thingol of his admiration for the halls of Menegroth; and Thingol spoke to him of the deep gorge of the river Narog. Thingol told him about the caves under the High Faroth in its deep western shore. Thus Finrod came to the Caverns of Narog and established there deep halls and armouries; and that stronghold was called Nargothrond. In this he was aided by the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, and Finrod rewarded them with many jewels from Valinor. And in that time was made for him the Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves. After Nargothrond was made Finrod committed Minas Tirith to the keeping of Orodreth his nephew.

Encounter with Men

When three hundred years and more had passed since the Noldor came to Beleriand, Finrod Felagund lord of Nargothrond journeyed east of Sirion and went hunting with Maglor and Maedhros sons of Feanor. But he wearied of the hunt and passed on alone towards the mountains of Ered Lindon. There in the lands of Thargelion in East Beleriand Finrod was first of the Noldor to come across Men. These were the kindred and followers of Bëor The Old. He went among them while they were sleeping and picking up a harp which Bëor had laid aside played music upon it such as the ears of men had not heard. When the men awoke and listened to his song, each thought that he was in some fair dream. He long stayed with them, learning their language (Taliska) and teaching them Sindarin. He also intervened on behalf of the Laiquendi of Ossiriand, who feared Men would destroy their home, and he got permission of Thingol, who held rule over all Beleriand, to guide the Men to Estolad.

Finrod had a close friendship with Andreth of the House of Bëor, whom he often visited during the Siege of Angband to converse with her on the matters of Elves and Men. One such conversation was written down and later known as Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.

Barahir of the House of Bëor saved Felagund's life at the Dagor Bragollach ("Battle of Sudden Flame"), and Finrod swore an oath of abiding friendship and aid in every need to Barahir and all his kin, he gave him his ring, which became known as the Ring of Barahir.

Quest for the Silmaril

When, years later, Barahir's son Beren came to Nargothrond seeking help, Finrod went with him on the Quest for the Silmaril to repay his debt. Celegorm and Curufin, who were living in Nargothrond at the time, persuaded (using barely veiled threats related to their Oath) most of Nargothrond to stay behind; only ten warriors, headed by one Edrahil, were faithful and came with them. Beneath the Shadowy Mountains they came upon a company of Orcs, and slew them all in their camp. They took their gear and weapons and by the magic of Finrod their own forms and faces were changed to the likeness of Orcs. Thus disguised they came far upon their northward road between Ered Wethrin and the highlands of Taur-nu-Fuin. However the twelve were captured and imprisoned by Sauron on Tol-in-Gaurhoth ("Isle of Werewolves"). Thus befell the contest of Finrod and Sauron. Finrod strove with Sauron in songs of power, and the power of the Elven King was very great but in the end Sauron had the mastery. It is told in the Lay of Leithian:

  He chanted a song of wizardry,
  Of piercing, opening, of treachery,
  Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
  Then sudden Felagund there swaying
  sang in answer a song of staying,
  Resisting, battling against power,
  Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
  And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
  Of changing and of shifting shape,
  Of snares eluded, broken traps,
  The prison opening, the chain that snaps,
    Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
  Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
  The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
  And all the magic and might he brought,
  Of Elvenesse into his words.
  Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
  Singing afar in Nargothond,
  The sighing of the sea beyond,
  Beyond the western world, on sand,
  On sand of pearls in Elvenland.
    Then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
  In Valinor, the red blood flowing
  Beside the sea, where the Noldor slew
  The Foamriders, and stealing drew
  Their white ships with their white sails
  From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
  The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
  The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
  The captives sad in Angband mourn,
  Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
  And Finrod fell before the throne.

Then Sauron stripped from them their disguise, but though their kinds were revealed, he could not discover their names or their purposes. Then Sauron imprisoned them and one by one they killed by werewolves until only Beren and Felagund were left, but none of the companions betrayed them. And when the werewolf came to kill Beren, Felagund put forth all his power and burst his bonds; and he wrestled with the werewolf, and slew it with his hands and teeth. Yet he himself was wounded to the death, and he died in the dark, in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, whose great tower he himself had built. Thus King Finrod Felagund, the fairest and most beloved of the house of Finwë, redeemed his oath.


An Elf loremaster ponders at a mural of Finrod leading his House in battle

Because of Finrod's noble actions in life, and his reluctance to journey to Middle-earth, he was reincarnated after only a short time. He and Glorfindel were the only elves who were known to have been reincarnated before the War of Wrath. It is noted in the Lay of Leithian that Finrod was soon allowed to return to life in Valinor, and "now dwells with Amarië", so they probably were wed later. It is also noted in The Silmarillion that "Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar".


The name Finrod is the Sindarin form of his father-name Findaráto ("[Golden-]Haired Champion"). His mother-name was Ingoldo ("The Noldo", singular for Noldor) or the name can also mean 'one-eminent of the kindred' which is in simpler words 'the wise.' Felagund was an epessë given to him by the Dwarves that expanded the caves of Nargothrond, and meant "Hewer of Caves". It is not Sindarin, but rather Sindarized Khuzdul, from Felakgundu.

Finrod was also called Nóm ("Wisdom") by Bëor and his people. His other titles include "King of Nargothrond", "Lord of Nargothrond", and "Friend-of-Men" which in elvish was Edennil and Atandil, Sindarin and Quenya respectively.


               Finarfin = Eärwen
    |        |                   |            |
    |        |                   |            |
 FINROD   Angrod = Eldalótë    Aegnor     Galadriel
        Gil-galad, last High King of the Noldor

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In earlier versions of the Middle-earth myths (see: The History of Middle-earth), and in the first edition of The Lord of the Rings, the name Finrod was given to the character later known as Finarfin. Finrod Felagund was then named Inglor Felagund. Because of that, some people speculate that Gildor Inglorion was Finrod's son, but there is much evidence to the contrary (see: Gildor Inglorion).

In the published The Silmarillion, Orodreth is Finrod's brother: this was an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien and an admitted mistake. Orodreth was actually the son of Angrod and thus Finrod's nephew.


See Also