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High King of the Noldor

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The name High King refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see High King (disambiguation).

High King of the Noldor was the title of six Elf-lords of the Noldor. They held titular rulership over all the Noldor of Middle-earth, though in practice circumstances prevented the effective use of this power until the time of the Last Alliance. The Sons of Fëanor, in particular, while they acknowledged the Kingship, paid its bearer little heed; they preferred to follow their own policies under the general leadership of Maedhros.

  1. Finwë (ruled c. 9,000 years before the beginning of the First Age)
    The first lord of the Noldor awoke at Cuiviénen and led his people into the West to dwell in Valinor. He was slain by Morgoth at Formenos, and succeeded by his eldest son.
  2. Fëanor (ruled briefly during First Age 1)
    He led the host of the Noldor back to Middle-earth to avenge his father's death and recover the Silmarils from Morgoth. He was slain in his assault on Angband. After his death, the Kingship by right belonged to his eldest son Maedhros, but he refused it and the succession passed instead to Fëanor's half-brother.
  3. Fingolfin (ruled 454 years to First Age 455)
    He dwelt to the northwest of Beleriand with his sons, and ruled the Noldor during the Siege of Angband. When Morgoth broke the leaguer in the Dagor Bragollach, he rode in anger to the gates of Angband and died in single combat with Morgoth. He was succeeded by his eldest son.
  4. Fingon (ruled 16 years to First Age 471)
    His short reign was one of endless war with the forces of Morgoth. With Maedhros, he prepared a final assault on Morgoth, the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, which ended in disaster for the Noldor and Fingon's own death. He was succeeded by his brother.
  5. Turgon (ruled 39 years to First Age 510)
    Turgon's kingship was titular indeed, for even his own kin did not know the location of his Hidden City of Gondolin. Gondolin's location was discovered by Morgoth through the treachery of Maeglin, and Turgon died in its Fall. After his death, the Kingship passed to the Finarfin line, with the son of Orodreth.
  6. Ereinion Gil-galad (ruled 3,514 years to Second Age 3441)
    The last High King, Gil-galad held the Kingship longer than any of his forebears since Finwë. He formed the Last Alliance with Elendil, and died during the Siege of Barad-dûr at the end of the Second Age.

Gil-galad was the last High King; after his time the title is never used. In order of succession, the Kingship would presumably have fallen on Turgon's descendants; Eärendil (who was in the West and could not exercise it) or his eldest son Elrond (who never made claim to the Kingship but ruled with all its authority).