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Elena Kukanova - Caranthir.jpeg
"Caranthir" by Elena Kukanova
Biographical Information
Other names"the Dark"
Morifinwë (Q, fn),
Carnistir (Q, mn)
TitlesLord of Targelion
LocationEldamar, Thargelion (Dor Caranthir)
AffiliationOath of Fëanor, Union of Maedhros
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
BirthBetween Y.T. 1190 and 1362
RuleF.A. 7 - 455
DeathF.A. 506
Second Kinslaying: Menegroth
HouseHouse of Fëanor
ParentageFëanor & Nerdanel
SiblingsMaedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin, Amrod and Amras
Physical Description
Hair colorDark
GalleryImages of Caranthir

Caranthir, the fourth of the Sons of Fëanor, was also the harshest and the quickest to anger. He was known as "Caranthir the Dark".


The Wife of Caranthir. Art by Marya Filatova

As with the other Sons of Fëanor, Caranthir was bound by the Oath of Fëanor to recover his father's Silmarils, which had been stolen by the Dark Lord Morgoth. This oath brought the Noldor to Middle-earth near the end of the First Age.[2] Angrod of the House of Finarfin was the first messenger of the Noldor to come to King Thingol who gave his permission to the Noldor to dwell in some free lands, but not in Doriath, as he considered himself Lord of Beleriand. Maedhros laughed at Thingol's claims, remarking that Thingol had merely given them lands in which he had no power. But Caranthir despised the children of Finarfin, and spoke in anger against Angrod, saying that he ought not to have been the spokesperson of the Noldor. Maedhros rebuked him, but division between Noldor increased after the outburst.[3]

The people of Caranthir went to the furthermost East Beleriand, reaching Ered Luin, and there they became the first of Noldor to encounter the Dwarves. Caranthir disliked the Dwarves for their unloveliness, but though there was little love between the two peoples, they allied against their common enemy: Morgoth. The alliance brought great profit, for all the trading that came to Beleriand from the Dwarves went first through Caranthir's hands, and he gained great wealth.[3] Caranthir's realm was in Thargelion, and was sometimes called Dor Caranthir ("Land of Caranthir"). His abode was on the shores of Lake Helevorn.[4]

In F.A. 375, Caranthir rescued Haleth and her people, the Haladin, when they were besieged by Orcs. At last recognizing the valour of Men, he offered the Haladin a fiefdom in his lands to the North. However, Haleth's heart was proud, and wanting her people to serve no lord she thanked him but removed to the Forest of Brethil.[5]

In the Dagor Bragollach, Caranthir was forced to retreat and joined the remnant of his people to the scattered folk of Amrod and Amras. They fled to the south and maintained a watch upon Amon Ereb, aided by the Laegil.[6]

In F.A. 463, the Easterling Ulfang led his people over the Blue Mountains, and they allied themselves with Maedhros. They swore allegiance to Caranthir, whom they followed,[6] and were given land in Lothlann.[7]

In F.A. 472, the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad ("Battle of Unnumbered Tears") occurred, caused by the betrayal of the people of Ulfang, and the sons of Fëanor were scattered.[8]

In F.A. 505, he perished along with his brothers Celegorm and Curufin during the Second Kinslaying, the attack by the Sons of Fëanor on Menegroth in an attempt to recover a Silmaril from King Dior Eluchíl of Doriath.[9]


Caranthir is the Sindarized version of his name Carnistir ("Red-face"), being the compound of caran + thir.[10]

Other names[edit]

Caranthir's father-name was Morifinwë ("Dark Finwë"), as he was black-haired as his grandfather. The short version of the name was Moryo.[11]

His mother-name was Carnistir ("Red-face"). Although he was not a redhead like his mother (but dark brown haired), he had her ruddy complexion.[11]


b. Y.T.
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
d. F.A. 587
b. Y.T.
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 538
d. F.A. 538
d. S.A. 1697

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, within the chapter called "The Nauglafring", he was called Cranthor, while in the early version of the Quenta Silmarillion, found in The Lost Road and Other Writings, he was named Cranthir.