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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 - Artaresto.jpg
"Artaresto" by Marya Filatova
Biographical Information
Other namesArtaresto (Q, fn)
TitlesKing of Nargothrond
PositionWarden of Minas Tirith
(F.A. 60 - 457)
LocationTirion; Minas Tirith; Nargothrond
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
Birthbetween Y.T. 1300 and 1495
RuleF.A. 465 - 495
DeathF.A. 495[1]
Battle of Tumhalad
HouseHouse of Finarfin
ParentageAngrod & Eldalótë or (Finarfin & Eärwen)
Siblings(Finrod), (Angrod), (Aegnor), and (Galadriel)
SpouseUnnamed Sindarin lady[2]
ChildrenFinduilas and (Gil-galad)
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden
GalleryImages of Orodreth

Orodreth (S, pron. [oˈrodreθ]) was a Noldo and in earlier versions, he was the son of Angrod and Eldalótë of the Noldor. Orodreth, later on in Beleriand would become the second King of Nargothrond in the First Age after the death of his eldest brother (Finrod). His name in Quenya was Artaresto (pron. [ˌartaˈresto]). He was born in Valinor sometime during the Years of the Trees.[3]



Early History

During the Flight of the Noldor, Orodreth, alone save Finarfin (youngest son of King Finwë of the Noldor), spoke softly and sought to calm the Noldor.[4] After the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth and the completion of Nargothrond, Finrod, the eldest son of Finarfin, gave the fortress of Minas Tirith to Orodreth's keeping.[5]

In the published Silmarillion Orodreth was the second son and second child of Finarfin and Eärwen, and his siblings were Finrod, Angrod, Aegnor, and Galadriel. His only child and daughter was Finduilas and his wife was unnamed.

Orodreth held the fortress of Minas Tirith in the vale of Sirion until Sauron, lieutenant of Morgoth, overran the isle shortly after the Dagor Bragollach and turned it into Tol-in-Gaurhoth, The Isle of Werewolves, in F.A. 457. Orodreth then fled south to Nargothrond.[6]

Arrival of Beren

When Beren, son of Barahir came to Nargothrond in F.A. 465, Finrod, the King of Nargothrond, went with him on his quest for the Silmaril, fulfilling his oath. However, Celegorm and Curufin, the Sons of Fëanor, were also at Nargothrond at the time, and forced Finrod to help Beren with Edrahil and only ten companions, and without the help of the majority of his people. Orodreth took up the crown, ruling as a 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 dared not. Orodreth returned to power and expelled Celegorm and Curufin from Nargothrond.[7]

Arrival of Túrin

In F.A. 490[8], Gwindor, a prince of Nargothrond, and an escaped thrall of Morgoth, returning from his captivity in Angband, led Túrin, son of Húrin, a Man of the House of Hador to Nargothrond. In Nargothrond Túrin hid his name, calling himself Agarwaen, son of Úmarth ("Bloodstained, son of Ill-fate"). Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth, fell in love with him, but he avoided her because she had previously been the beloved of his friend Gwindor. Túrin declined to tell her his name, so that she called him Thurin ("The Secret"). He was also called Adanedhel ("Man-Elf") because he was so alike to an Elf, though he was a Man.[9][10][11]

His identity did not remain hidden for long. Gwindor revealed to Finduilas that 'Agarwaen' was in fact Túrin, and 'Úmarth' his famous father Húrin. When the news of this reached Finduilas' father, Orodreth, King of Nargothrond, Túrin was given great honor and standing, but the revelation of Túrin's identity would also bring Morgoth's curse with him.[9][10][11]

Túrin became a chief counselor of Orodreth, and was extremely influential in Nargothrond. He encouraged the people of Nargothrond to abandon their practice of secrecy, and they built a great bridge before the gates. Because of his prowess with Gurthang, his black sword, he himself became known as Mormegil ("Black Sword").[9][10][11]

However, sometime after, two messengers, named Gelmir and Arminas, sent there by Círdan, arrived to Nargothrond, delivering the message from Ulmo, Lord of Waters himself, to the King Orodreth, advising him to shut the doors of Nargothrond and destroy the bridge before its gates. At this time Orodreth relied upon the counsel of Túrin, who scorned the words of the messengers, for it was upon his advice that the bridge had been built and it was his policy for the King's forces to go forth openly to war, and sent them away.[12][10][11]

This would prove to be a fatal mistake, since in F.A. 495[13], Morgoth unleashed his forces at Nargothrond and led by Glaurung the dragon, they devastated the army of Orodreth at the Battle of Tumhalad. In that battle Orodreth was slain, and after that the Fall of Nargothrond was inevitable, due to the bridge that allowed Glaurung and Morgoth's host to ravage the city, and most of its people were either enslaved or killed (including Orodreth's daughter Finduilas).[12][10][11]


The name Orodreth is glossed as "mountaineer"[14] from the Sindarin "OROD" meaning "mountain."[source?]


d. Y.T. 1170
d. Y.T. 1495
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T. 1230
b. Y.T.
unknown sons
Y.T. 1300 - F.A. 465
d. F.A. 455
b. Y.T.
d. F.A. 455
b. Y.T. 1362
b. F.A.
d. F.A. 495
b. F.A. 532
b. S.A.
d. S.A. 3441
d. F.A. 495
b. T.A. 130
b. T.A. 130
T.A. 241 - Fo.A. 121

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 Artaresto. In the later version Gil-galad, later High King of the Noldor, 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. 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.

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.[3]

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §275
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The names of Finwë's descendants, The parentage of Gil-galad
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The names of Finwë's descendants
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §267
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin in Nargothrond"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)"
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Fall of Nargothrond"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §275
  14. 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
House of Finarfin
Born: during the Years of the Trees Died: F.A. 495
Preceded by:
King of Nargothrond
F.A. 465495
kingdom destroyed