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This article is about the Elf of Nargothrond. For the the Steward of Gondor, see Orodreth (Steward of Gondor).
Marya Filatova - Orodreth.jpg
Biographical Information
TitlesKing of Nargothrond
BirthSome time during the Years of the Trees, in Tirion
DeathFirst Age 495 (aged About 550 years)
ParentageAngrod + Eldalótë
ChildrenGil-galad and Finduilas
Physical Description
Hair colorDark
GalleryImages of Orodreth

Orodreth (S, pron. [oˈrodreθ]) was an Elf of the First Age, the son of Angrod and nephew of Finrod Felagund. His name in Quenya was Artaresto (pron. [ˌartaˈresto]). Orodreth was born in Valinor.



"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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Orodreth held the isle of Minas Tirith in the vale of Sirion until Sauron overran the isle and turned it into Tol-in-Gaurhoth. Orodreth then fled south to Nargothrond.

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. However when news came that Finrod had been killed and Tol-in-Gaurhoth destroyed, the Sons of Fëanor were shamed and fell from power – the people cried out that the maiden Luthien had done what the Sons of Fëanor had not (thrown down Sauron). Orodreth returned to power and expelled the Sons of Fëanor from Nargothrond.

When Túrin Turambar arrived in Nargothrond he quickly became Orodreth's closest councillor. Turin convinced Orodreth and the people of Nargothrond to abandon their secretive 'guerilla' strategies and declare open war against Morgoth. Though initially appearing successful, this policy eventually led to the destruction of Nargothrond: Orodreth was slain along with most of his forces at the disastrous Battle of Tumhalad, leaving his people defenceless in the sack of Nargothrond by Glaurung the dragon and the forces of Morgoth.



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.

See also