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|Titles||King of Nargothrond|
|Birth||During the Years of the Trees |
|Death||F.A. 495 (aged c. 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. 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.
In LQ2 version of the chapter "of Beleriand and its Realms" Orodreth is brother of Angrod and Aegnor. Quoting: "And Ingolr [= Finrod] held the pass of Sirion, and built a great watchtower, Minnastirith [= Minas Tirith], upon an isle in the midst of the river; but after the founding of Nargothrond this fortress he committed mostly to the keeping of his brother Orodreth. His younger brethren Angrod and Egnor [= Aegnor] watched the fields of Bladirion [= Ard-galen] from the northern slopes of Dorthonion".
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.