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Gwaith-i-Mírdain

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Gwaith-i-Mírdain
Other namesElven-smiths
FounderCelebrimbor
Date foundedc. S.A. 750
Race of membersNoldor
LocationEregion
AchievementsForged the Rings of Power
Destroyedc. S.A. 1697

The Gwaith-i-Mírdain, the People of the Jewel-smiths, was a brotherhood of Elven master craftsmen of the Second Age who created the Rings of Power.

[edit] History

The Gwaith were founded by Celebrimbor and other Noldor of Lindon who settled in Eregion, close to the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm and their mithril mines. Their capital was Ost-in-Edhil (S.A. 750[1]).

Noldor and Dwarves cooperated for about a thousand years, and their rare friendship was the closest between Elves and Dwarves in history. Celebrimbor helped to construct the famous and magical West-gate of Moria. The Gwaith were said to be the most talented artisans to have worked since the time of Fëanor himself (who was Celebrimbor's grandfather).

Sauron, after failing with Gil-galad and Elrond, targeted the Gwaith. In the guise of Annatar the "Lord of Gifts" in S.A. 1200 he presented himself as an agent of the Valar and taught them how to forge the Rings of Power. The Gwaith were easily tempted since they wanted to bring to Middle-earth the joys of Valinor[2][3]. The Rings would prevent or slow the decay of the mortal world, preserve what was desired or loved and also enhance the natural powers of a possessor even if that would mean disrupting the natural course of the mortal world.[3][4][5]

The Gwaith together with "Annatar" made several rings in S.A. 1500. Because of their friendship with the Dwarves, Celebrimbor presented King Durin III with a Ring of Power[6]. When Annatar had left (actually for Mordor) about S.A. 1590 Celebrimbor made the Three Rings[7] partly using the teachings of "Annatar".

Then Sauron betrayed them and forged the One Ring. However, the Gwaith realized his plan and denied to hand him their Rings, resulting in the War of the Elves and Sauron. Eregion was devastated in S.A. 1697 and the survivors of the Gwaith followed Elrond and retreated to Rivendell.

[edit] Etymology

Gwaith-i-Mírdain means "Brotherhood of Jewel-smiths" in Sindarin (from gwaith = "host, people" and mírdain = "jewel-smiths").

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 131, (undated, written late 1951)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 181, (undated, written January or February 1956)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 154, (dated 25 September 1954)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past"