Battle of the Lammoth

From Tolkien Gateway
Battle of the Lammoth
Conflict: War of the Jewels
Date: F.A. 1
Place: Lammoth
Outcome: Victory for the Exiles

Exiles (Followers of Fingolfin)

Forces of Morgoth



Unnamed Orc-captain †



Unknown, except only Orcs




The Battle of the Lammoth was fought against the Orcs in the Lammoth soon after Fingolfin and his host arrived in Middle-earth.



After Fëanor's host acquired the ships of the Teleri following the First Kinslaying, Fëanor and his followers used them to sail across the sea. Fëanor burned the ships after reaching Middle-earth, stranding the others, for he thought the followers of Fingolfin would prove to be useless.[1] Fingolfin and his people saw the smoke of the ships from afar, and chose to travel through the icy Helcaraxë, for they were ashamed to go back to Valinor, and were angry at Fëanor. The journey was hard and many died, yet they were filled with hope when they saw the Moon for the first time.[2]


With the first rising of the Moon, Fingolfin and the second, greater host of the Noldor marched southward into the Lammoth. There they were attacked by Orcs issued from Angband. The Orcs made a surprise attack upon the Elves, who were caught off-guard and began to give way when Argon, Fingolfin's youngest son, dashed forward and cut a path to the Orc-captain, whom he slew. Although the Orcs surrounded and killed Argon, his brave deed turned the tide of the battle and the Noldor pursued the Orcs with slaughter.[3]


Soon after, Fingolfin's host passed into Mithrim as the Sun first rose. He led his host unopposed through Dor-Daedeloth to the Gates of Angband and smote upon them, but Morgoth and all his servants stayed hidden inside. Fingolfin realized that he and his host lacked the strength to force the entrance, so they withdrew to Lake Mithrim, where the other Noldor had encamped.

Owing to the great animosity that had come between the two hosts due to the burning of the ships, Fingolfin and his people made camp on the northern shores of the lake and the late Fëanor's people withdrew to its southern shores.[2]

Other versions of the legendarium

The Battle of the Lammoth and the character Argon do not appear in The Silmarillion.

According to Christopher Tolkien, Argon, "of whom there had never before been any mention, entered (as it seems) without a story" in the genealogies of "The Shibboleth of Fëanor."[3] In his notes on that essay, Christopher Tolkien observed that the account of Fingolfin's arrival in Beleriand given in the "Shibboleth" contradicts that of "The Grey Annals," in which Fingolfin's host "marched from the North unopposed."[3] "The Grey Annals" was the source for the version published in The Silmarillion.[2]

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote two other versions of Argon's death in a pencilled note on a draft of the genealogy tables of the "Shibboleth:" the first, later struck out, was that Argon was killed in the First Kinslaying; the second, that Argon perished in the ice of the Helcaraxë.[3]

See also