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Orodreth

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This article is about the Elf of Nargothrond. For the the Steward of Gondor, see Orodreth (Steward of Gondor).
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Orodreth
Noldo
Biographical Information
Other namesArtaresto
TitlesKing of Nargothrond
PositionWarden of Minas Tirith
(F.A. 60 - 457)
LocationNargothrond
Birthduring Years of the Trees
Tirion
RuleF.A. 465 - 495
DeathF.A. 495
Battle of Tumhalad
Family
HouseHouse of Finarfin
ParentageFinarfin and Eärwen
SiblingsFinrod, Angrod, Aegnor, and Galadriel
ChildrenFinduilas
Physical Description
GenderMale
Hair colorDark[source?]

In the published version of The Silmarillion, Orodreth was an Elf of the First Age, the second son of Finarfin (with Finrod, Angrod, Aegnor, and Galadriel being his siblings), and a ruler of Nargothrond. His name in Quenya was Artaresto (pron. [ˌartaˈresto]). Orodreth was born in Valinor.

Contents

History

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 Lúthien 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.

Etymology

The name Orodreth is glossed as "mountaineer".[1]

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 Tolkien's late genealogies he was made the son of Angrod and Eldalótë, a Noldorin lady whose name in Sindarin became Edhellos. Together with Turgon's daughter Idril and possibly Curufin's son Celebrimbor, he was one of the few members of the Noldorin royal family in the third generation to come into exile . In this version, both Finduilas and Gil-galad were his children, while in the published Silmarillion, Gil-Galad was the son of Orodreth's cousin Fingon.[2]

 
 
 
Finarfin
 
Eärwen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finrod
 
Angrod
 
Aegnor
 
Galadriel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ORODRETH
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gil-galad
 
Finduilas
 
 
 
 


Since this later revision wasn't integrated in any of his father's narratives, Christopher Tolkien didn't include it in the published text. However, unlike in the matter of Gil-galad, Christopher Tolkien believed that the decision to make Orodreth the son of Angrod was final. An earlier idea was that Orodreth's son was named Hallas, but Gil-galad replaced him.

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

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 182
  2. The Shibboleth of Fëanor, in "History of Middle Earth vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle Earth"