Orodreth

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This article is about the Elf of Nargothrond. For the the Steward of Gondor, see Orodreth (Steward of Gondor).
Orodreth
Noldo
Marya Filatova - Artaresto.jpg
"Artaresto" by Marya Filatova
Biographical Information
PronunciationS, [oˈrodreθ]
Other namesArtaresto (Q, fn)
TitlesKing of Nargothrond
Lord of Narog[1]
PositionWarden of Minas Tirith
(F.A. 60 - 457)
LocationTirion; Minas Tirith; Nargothrond
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
Birthbetween Y.T. 1300 and 1495
Tirion
RuleF.A. 465 - 495
DeathF.A. 495[2]
Battle of Tumhalad
Family
HouseHouse of Finarfin
ParentageAngrod & Eldalótë
SpouseUnnamed Sindarin lady[3]
ChildrenGil-galad & Finduilas
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Orodreth

Orodreth was a lord of the Noldor and a member of the House of Finarfin. He served as the warden of Minas Tirith under his uncle Finrod until the fortress was overrun by Sauron.

After Finrod’s death, Orodreth was proclaimed King of Nargothrond but was killed during the fall of the city. He was the son of the Noldorin lord Angrod and the father of Finduilas and Gil-galad.[4]

History[edit]

Early History[edit]

He was born in Valinor sometime during the Years of the Trees. His name in Quenya was Artaresto.[4]

During the Flight of the Noldor, Orodreth spoke softly and sought to calm the Noldor to reflect before taking the decision to leave Aman.[5] After the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth and the completion of Nargothrond, Orodreth's uncle Finrod gave the fortress of Minas Tirith to Orodreth's keeping.[6]

Orodreth held the fortress of Minas Tirith in the vale of Sirion until shortly after the Dagor Bragollach Sauron, lieutenant of Morgoth, overran the isle, took Minas Tirith by storm and turned it into Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the Isle of Werewolves, in F.A. 457. Orodreth had to flee from Minas Tirith south to Nargothrond.[7]

Arrival of Beren[edit]

When Beren, son of Barahir came to Nargothrond in F.A. 465, Finrod, the King of Nargothrond, decided to accompany 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 pursuaded almost all the people of Nargothrond to refuse to accompany Finrod on the quest for the Silmaril so that only Edrahil and ten companions agreed to go with Finrod and Beren. Finrod gave his crown to Orodreth to rule Nargothrond as a regent in his absence. When news came that Finrod had been killed and that Tol-in-Gaurhoth had been destroyed, the sons of Fëanor were shamed and fell from power, as 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.[8]

Arrival of Túrin[edit]

In F.A. 490[9], 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.[10][11][12]

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.[10][11][12]

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").[10][11][12]

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.[10][11][13]

This would prove to be a fatal mistake, since in F.A. 495[14], Morgoth unleashed his forces at Nargothrond. 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).[10][11][13]

Etymology[edit]

Orodreth is a Sindarin[4] name, which means "mountaineer".[15] Paul Strack suggests that it is a combination of orod ("mountain") and reth ("climber").[16]

Genealogy[edit]

Míriel
d. Y.T. 1170
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finwë
d. Y.T. 1495
 
Indis
b. Y.T.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Olwë
b. Y.T.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fëanor
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
 
Findis
b. Y.T.
 
Fingolfin
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
 
Írimë
b. Y.T.
 
Finarfin
b. Y.T. 1230
 
Eärwen
b. Y.T.
 
unknown sons
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finrod
Y.T. 1300 - F.A. 465
 
Angrod
d. F.A. 455
 
Eldalótë
b. Y.T.
 
Aegnor
d. F.A. 455
 
Galadriel
b. Y.T. 1362
 
Celeborn
b. F.A.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ORODRETH
d. F.A. 495
 
 
 
 
 
Elrond
b. F.A. 532
 
Celebrían
b. S.A.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gil-galad
d. S.A. 3441
 
Finduilas
d. F.A. 495
 
Elladan
b. T.A. 130
 
Elrohir
b. T.A. 130
 
Arwen
T.A. 241 - Fo.A. 121
 

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In earlier versions of the legendarium, Orodreth was a more important character, and the original king of Nargothrond. However, his importance diminished over time. In these early versions, he had two sons whose names were translated as Ordhelm and Ordláf in Old English by Ælfwine, though the original Elvish names were lost to time.[17]

In the published Silmarillion and in the published Unfinished Tales Orodreth is a son of Finarfin[18][5][19] and the brother of Finrod[6][8] and Fingon is the father of Gil-galad[7][20][21][22][23].

In later writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Gil-galad, later High King of the Noldor, was Orodreth's son. Since this later revision wasn't integrated in any of his father's narratives, Christopher Tolkien didn't include it in the published text. In the opinion of Christopher Tolkien his father's last word on the subject of the parentage of Orodreth was that Orodreth was the son of Angrod. J.R.R. Tolkien did not include this radical change of the parentage of Orodreth in his narratives before this death. It is not known if J.R.R. Tolkien would have changed the narrative or abandoned this change if he had lived longer. Christopher Tolkien believed that it was obviously impossible to include in the Silmarillion that Orodreth was the son of Angrod. In the opinion of Christopher Tolkien it would have been much better if he would have left the parentage of Gil-galad obscure in the published Silmarillion. Christopher Tolkien did not make a statement that it would also have been better to leave the parentage of Orodreth obscure in the published Silmarillion.[24]

In his last writings, Tolkien changed Orodreth's name to Artaher (Quenya) / Arothir (Sindarin), both meaning "Noble Lord". However, it was never introduced in any narratives, so Christopher Tolkien left the name Orodreth unchanged.[25]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Land of Bow and Helm" = J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)".
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §275
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The parentage of Gil-galad"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The parentage of Gil-galad", p. 350
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §267
  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 12.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin in Nargothrond"
  13. 13.0 13.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Fall of Nargothrond"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §275
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings: Eldarin Roots and Stems", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), root RETE, p. 182
  16. Paul Strack, "S. Orodreth m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 19 October 2022)
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names", p. 213
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)", "Appendix", much fuller account of the coming of the Elves Gelmir and Arminas to Nargothrond
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The parentage of Gil-galad", p. 351
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of Finwë's descendants", p. 346
Orodreth
House of Finarfin
Cadet branch of House of Finwë
Born: After Y.T. 1300 Died: F.A. 495
Preceded by:
Finrod
2nd King of Nargothrond
F.A. 465495
None
Kingdom destroyed