Celegorm

From Tolkien Gateway
Celegorm
Noldo
"Celegorm" by Jenny Dolfen
Biographical Information
Other names"the Fair"
Turcafinwë (Q, fn),
Tyelkormo (Q, mn)
TitlesLord of Himlad
LocationEldamar, Himlad, Nargothrond, Himring, Amon Ereb
AffiliationOath of Fëanor, Union of Maedhros
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
BirthBetween Y.T. 1190 & 1362
Tirion
RuleF.A. 7 - 455
DeathF.A. 506
Second Kinslaying: Menegroth
Family
HouseHouse of Fëanor
ParentageFëanor & Nerdanel
SiblingsMaedhros, Maglor, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras
SpouseNever married
ChildrenNone
Physical Description
GenderMale
Hair colorFair
WeaponrySword, spear and bow
GalleryImages of Celegorm

Celegorm was a Noldorin prince and one of the seven sons of Fëanor. Along with all the other sons of Fëanor, he swore the Oath of Fëanor, joined the exile of the Noldor, and settled in East Beleriand.

Celegorm was a great huntsman, and was a friend of the Vala Oromë. From Oromë he learned great skill of birds and beasts, and could understand a number of their languages. He was further given by Oromë the great hound Huan.

Celegorm was almost always in the company of his brother Curufin, and the pair are most notable for their role as antagonists in the story Of Beren and Lúthien where they attempted to usurp the kingdom of Nargothrond, and to force Lúthien into marriage to coerce a political alliance with the kingdom of Doriath.

Their misdeeds resulted in weakening the Union of Maedhros, which contributed to the disastrous outcome of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. They were eventually killed when the sons of Fëanor attacked Doriath in an effort to claim the Silmaril held there.

History

Early life and exile

Grandson of Míriel by ToastedBuckwheat

Celegorm was a Noldorin prince, the third of the seven sons of Fëanor and Nerdanel, born in Valinor during the Time of the Two Trees. Celegorm was a hunter, and a friend of Oromë. He often followed the Oromë’s horn[1] and, while his father and brothers were frequently guests at the halls of Aulë, Celegorm instead went to the house of Oromë where he obtained great knowledge of birds and beasts and learned all their tongues.[2] Oromë further gifted the great wolfhound Huan to Celegorm.[3]

The Years of Youth by Elena Kukanova

During the unrest of the Noldor, Fëanor forged "fell swords" for his sons,[4] and they followed him to Formenos when he was banished from Tirion.[5] When Morgoth killed Finwë and stole Fëanor's beloved Silmarils, they all took the terrible Oath of Fëanor to recover the jewels, participated in the First Kinslaying at Alqualondë to obtain the Falmari ships, and abandoned the host of Fingolfin when they sailed to Middle-earth.[6]

From their landing place at the Firth of Drengist, Fëanor's host traveled north and encamped on the northern shore of Lake Mithrim where they were attacked unaware by a host of Morgoth. In the battle that followed, Fëanor's forces were swiftly victorious, and pursued the routed orcs over the Mountains of Shadow into Ard-galen.[7]

Other armies of Morgoth, which had been besieging the Havens of the Falas, came north in an attempt to aid the routed forces, but they were intercepted by Celegorm and a part of the Elven-host at the hills near Eithel Sirion and driven into the Fen of Serech.[7]

Though Morgoth's assaulting forces were destroyed,[7] Fëanor recklessly drew far ahead of his host in pursuit of the remnant orcs, and was ambushed and mortally wounded at the confines of Dor Daedeloth. He was rescued by his sons, and just before his death he laid it on them to uphold their oath and to avenge him. Shortly after, Maedhros was taken captive after feigning to treat with Morgoth.[8]

The host of Fëanor remained at northern shore of Lake Mithrim until the arrival of Fingolfin's host with first sunrise in F.A. 1 which prompted them to relocate to the southern shore of Lake Mithrim to avoid open hostilities with the larger host of Fingolfin.[9] In F.A. 5 Maedhros was rescued by Fingon,[10] and waived his claim of High King of the Noldor to Fingolfin before relocating the House of Fëanor to East Beleriand[8] in F.A. 7.[11]

Establishment in Beleriand

Celegorm in Himlad by Marya Filatova

Celegorm and his brother Curufin held and fortified the realm of Himlad, including the Pass of Aglon. This was situated between King Thingol's realm of Doriath, Maedhros' realm at Himring, and Eöl's realm of Nan Elmoth.[12]

Swiftest Horses by Marya Filatova

In F.A. 316, while Celegorm and Curufin were riding with Caranthir in Thargelion, his cousin Aredhel arrived at Himlad.[13] Before they return, Aredhel disappeared, having unknowingly crossing into Nam Elmoth during her restless wandering. Celegorm and Aredhel never shown or said to meet again before her death.

In F.A. 455 Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband with a massive assault against the Noldor. Celegorm and Curufin held strong forces, with many horsed archers, behind Aglon, but they were overthrown[14] and the Pass of Aglon was forced, though with great cost to the hosts of Morgoth.[15] Celegorm and Curufin hardly escaped, and passed westward along the north borders of Doriath with such mounted following as they could save, and came at length to the vale of Sirion.[14]

Overpowerful guests in Nargothrond

"Tyelkormo and Curufinwe" by Tuuliky

Following Morgoth's victories against the House of Finarfin, and scattering of the people of Fëanor, he sent his greatest servant Sauron to assault Minas Tirith on Tol Sirion in F.A. 457.[15] Sauron was able to besiege and take the fortress, driving Orodreth out where he would have been slain if not for the arrival of Curufin and Celegorm with their riders and other forces they could gather. They fought fiercely, allowing Orodreth to escape to Nargothrond, before they too had to fall back and join him.[16] The people of the city harboured their Fëanorian brethren,[15] and the grief between Houses of Fëanor and of Finarfin was put aside for a time.[16] While there, Celegorm and Curufin showed their cousin Finrod, King of Nargothrond, friendship in every need.[17]

In F.A. 465, Beren came to Nargothrond to ask for aid in his quest for the Silmaril as Finrod had previously sworn an oath to Beren's father Barahir to render whatsoever service was asked in hour of need to him or to any of his kin.[18] Bound by this oath, Finrod summoned his people and declared that he would aid Beren and requested the help of his chieftains. Celegorm and Curufin, their own Oath now reawakened, both spoke against Finrod. Celegorm, drawing his sword, spoke first and declared that the Silmarils belonged only to Fëanor's sons, and that even should the quest be achieved they would slay any that kept the Silmaril or gave it to any hands but their own. Curufin spoke next, more softly but with no less power, of war and the ruin of Nargothrond, and instilled such fear in the hearts of the Elves that they refused to obey their king or go into open battle until the time of Túrin, forgetting all bonds of kinship. In their hearts, Celegorm and Curufin thought to send Finrod to his death so that they could usurp his throne. Finrod, forsaken, then gave his crown to Orodreth to govern in his stead and left with Beren and only ten other companions. With Finrod gone, Celegorm and Curufin further swayed the hearts of the people of Nargothrond, and Orodreth had no power to withstand them. The ultimate goal of the brothers was to take control of all Elf-kingdoms before then seeking the Silmarils.[17]

Luthien and Celegorm in Nargothrond by Mysilvergreen

While hunting Sauron's wolves in the Guarded Plain, Celegorm, Curufin, and Huan came across Lúthien, daughter of Thingol the King of Doriath, searching for Beren. Feigning to help her, they brought her to Nargothrond and then kept her captive. Celegorm had become enamored with her, and intended to wed Lúthien to coerce Thingol into an alliance.[19]

With the aid of Huan, however, Lúthien escaped and the two managed to rescue Beren along with many Elf prisoners from Sauron. When these Elves, along with Huan, returned to Nargothrond the people learned of Finrod's death and Lúthien's great deeds and turned against the brothers, now perceiving their motives as treachery. Returned to power, Orodreth would not let Celegorm and Curufin be slain, and instead expelled them from Nargothrond. None went with them; even Curufin's son, Celebrimbor, repudiated his deeds and remained behind. Huan, however, still followed his master Celegorm.[17]

Beren's Leap by Ted Nasmith

Leaving Nargothrond, the two brothers rode towards Himring where Maedhros dwelt, and encountered Lúthien and Beren on the way. While Celegorm charged at Beren, Curufin, being a strong and cunning horseman, captured Lúthien. As Curufin passed by, he was caught from behind at the throat by the Leap of Beren, and hurled to the ground. Beren then proceeded to throttle Curufin while Celegorm was held at bay by Huan who had finally forsook the service of Celegorm. Lúthien forbid Beren to slay Curufin, so instead Beren stripped Curufin of his gear and weapons, including his knife Angrist, before flinging him away. Beren further claimed Curufin's horse, bidding Curufin to walk back to his kinsfolk. Curufin cursed Beren to "Go hence unto a swift and bitter death" before joining Celegorm on his horse and they made as if to ride away. Filled with shame and malice, Curufin took Celegorm's bow and shot two arrows at Lúthien; Huan caught the first in his mouth while the second hit Beren in the breast when he sprang in front of Lúthien. Huan then pursued Celegorm and Curufin, and they fled in fear.[17]

Later deeds in Beleriand

The evil deeds of Celegorm and Curufin impeded the Union of Maedhros against Morgoth. Because of them, Thingol and Orodreth would not join save some token forces that would not be restrained.[20] Additionally, the wounding of Beren caused only half of the House of Haleth that dwelt in Brethil to come forth, and they joined Fingon and Turgon in the west instead of Maedhros.[21] In retaliation, Celegorm and Curufin vowed openly to slay Thingol and destroy his people if they were victorious and the Silmaril (now in Thingol's possession) was not then freely surrendered to them.[20]

In F.A. 472 the Union of Maedhros launched their disastrous assault on Morgoth. During the battle, their host was scattered and all of the sons of Fëanor were wounded, though none slain. Gathering a remnant of their forces, they managed to hew their way out, escaping towards Mount Dolmed. In the aftermath of the battle, the sons of Fëanor were greatly diminished, and took to a woodland life, mingling with the Green-elves of Ossiriand.[20]

The sons of Fëanor learned of the F.A. 495 Fall of Nargothrond, and while Maedhros was dismayed, Celegorm and Curufin were not displeased.[22]

The Oath Has Been Awakened... by Jenny Dolfen

A Silmaril was in the possession of Thingol's heir, King Dior and Celegorm stirred his brothers to attack Doriath to seize it. In F.A. 506 the Sons of Fëanor attacked and Celegorm died at the hands of Dior himself, before he was also killed. His brothers Curufin and Caranthir were also killed in this battle.[23]

Etymology

Celegorm is not glossed, but being the Sindarized version of the Quenya name Tyelkormo, it would mean "Hasty-riser".[24] It is actually North Sindarin, as it keeps the final m.[25]

In the Noldorin phase of the name, it was rendered as Celegorn, presumably meaning "Swift-impetuous".[26]

Other names

Celegorm's father-name was Turcafinwë ("Strong, powerful(in body) Finwë"), being Turko the short form.[24]

His mother-name was Tyelkormo ("Hasty-riser"), a reference to his quick temper and his habit of leaping up when angered. Tyelka is Quenya for "hasty".[24] An earlier form of the Quenya version of Celegorm was Celecormë, related with Oromë.[27]

Genealogy

Mahtan
b. Y.T.
Míriel
d. Y.T. 1170
Finwë
d. Y.T. 1495
Indis
b. Y.T.
Nerdanel
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
Maedhros
d. F.A. 587
Maglor
b. Y.T.
CELEGORM
d. F.A. 506
Caranthir
d. F.A. 506
Curufin
d. F.A. 506
Amrod
d. F.A. 538
Amras
d. F.A. 538
Celebrimbor
d. S.A. 1697

Other versions of the legendarium

In earlier drafts, both Celegorm and Curufin present in Himald when Aredhel arrived. She expressed to them that she escaped from Gondolin of her own will and was glad to dwell with them and be free. The brothers considered sending a message to her brother King Turgon to inform him, but delayed as she was happy, the route was perilous, and Turgon would have demanded her immediate return.

In The Nauglafring, from the second volume of The History of Middle-earth, he is "pierced with a hundred arrows" and dies beside Cranthor (Caranthir) in the attack on Dior's realm.[28]

In Lay of Leithian Canto X, from the third volume of The History of Middle-earth, it is Celegorm, instead of Curufin, who fires the two arrows at Lúthien. His weapons are described as a "bow of yew with gold wire bound" and "a dwarvish dart and cruelly hooked"[29]

Celegorm's hair color is often referred to as being blonde in early versions of the legendarium. In the Quenta Silmarillion, from the fifth volume of The History of Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien summarizes as follows:[30]

The QS version(s) of ‘Beren and Lúthien’ are thus to be found in chapter 19 of the published work, and are not given here; but significant points in which the QS text(s) were altered editorially must be mentioned. I list these in order of their occurrence, with references to the pages of The Silmarillion (hardback edition). ... Then Celegorm arose amid the throng (p. 169). In QS this is followed by ‘golden was his long hair’. In the Lay at this point (line 1844) Celegorm has ‘gleaming hair’; his Old English name was Cynegrim Fægerfeax (‘Fair-hair’), IV. 213. The phrase was removed in The Silmarillion text on account of the dark hair of the Noldorin princes other than in ‘the golden house of Finarfin’ (see I. 44); but he remains ‘Celegorm the fair’ in The Silmarillion p. 60.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië", pg. 97
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië", pg. 99
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien", pg. 265
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor", pg. 111
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor", pg. 169
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §59
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §61
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §65-71
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
  14. 14.0 14.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §148
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  16. 16.0 16.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §153, p. 54
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §146
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §181, p. 63
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 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 Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", §7
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", p. 256
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath", pg. 359
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of the Sons of Fëanor", pp. 352-353
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, "From The Shibboleth of Fëanor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 41, July 2000, p. 10
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entries "GOR", "KYELEK-"
  27. 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), p. 112
  28. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "IV. The Nauglafring", pp. 241-242
  29. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto X (The attack by Celegorm and Curufin)"
  30. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", pg. 234
Celegorm
House of Fëanor
Cadet branch of the House of Finwë
Born: Between Y.T. 1190 & 1362 Died: F.A. 506
None
Title established
Lord of Himlad
F.A. 7455 (with Curufin)
None
Realm destroyed