|Titles||King of Nargothrond|
|Birth||Some time during the Years of the Trees, in Tirion |
|Death||First Age 495 (aged About 550 years)|
|Parentage||Angrod + Eldalótë|
|Children||Gil-galad and Finduilas|
When Beren came to Nargothrond, Finrod went with him on his quest for the Silmaril. However Celegorm and Curufin the Sons of Fëanor were also at Nargothrond, and forced Finrod to help Beren alone,without his people. Orodreth took up the crown, ruling as regent, but the Sons of Fëanor held the real power. Curufin called him "a dullard slow" in the Lay of Leithian, and with his brother Celegorm plotted to take over Nargothrond if news came of Finrod's death.
When news came that Finrod had been killed and Sauron's isle destroyed, the Sons of Fëanor lost their power, for the people cried out that a maiden Luthien had done what the Sons of Fëanor had not (thrown down Sauron). Orodreth, who regained his power, spared their lives but expelled from Nargothrond, and became its leader.
When Túrin Turambar arrived in Nargothrond he gradually became Orodreth's closest councillor.Turin forced Orodreth and the people of Nargothrond to abandon the secretive warfare and declare open war against Morgoth. However this led to the destruction of Nargothrond. He later died fighting the hosts of Morgoth and Glaurung the Dragon in the Battle of Tumhalad before the Sack of Nargothrond.
Other Versions of the Legendarium
In earlier versions of the Silmarillion legendarium as detailed in the History of Middle-earth series, Orodreth was a more important character, and the original king of Nargothrond. However his importance diminished over time.
In the published Silmarillion, Orodreth is a son of Finarfin, with Quenya name Artanáro. In the earlier version Gil-galad, later High King of the Ñoldor, was his son, but in the published Silmarillion Gil-galad is made into Fingon's son instead. An earlier idea was that Orodreth's son was named Hallas, but Gil-galad replaced him. In The Children of Húrin Orodreth is once again the son of Finarfin, for reasons unstated. One can assume this was so as not to confuse readers already familiar with The Silmarillion.
In his last writings, Tolkien changed Orodreth's name to Artaher (Quenya) / Arothir (Sindarin), but it was never introduced in any narratives, so Christopher Tolkien left the name Orodreth unchanged. It is probable the Sindarin name Orodreth would have been retained nonetheless: Tolkien seldom changed names after they had long been used, even if only in unpublished writings.