Fall of Fingolfin

From Tolkien Gateway
The name The Fall refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Fall (disambiguation).
Abe Papakhian - Death of Fingolfin.jpg
Fall of Fingolfin
LocationGates of Angband
DateF.A. 456
ResultFingolfin's death; transfer of kingship to Fingon
Part ofThe aftermath of the Dagor Bragollach
ParticipantsMorgoth, Fingolfin
DescriptionDuel between Morgoth and Fingolfin in which the former killed the latter
GalleryImages of the Fall of Fingolfin
"Then Morgoth hurled aloft Grond, the Hammer of the Underworld, and swung it down like a bolt of thunder. But Fingolfin sprang aside, and Grond rent a mighty pit in the earth... Many times Morgoth essayed to smite him, and each time Fingolfin leaped away, as a lightning shoots from under a dark cloud."
Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"

The Fall of Fingolfin was the name given to the noble, yet hopeless, end of Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, at the hands of Morgoth.

After the destruction of the Dagor Bragollach, Fingolfin rode his horse Rochallor across Dor-nu-Fauglith, and those that saw him pass took him for Oromë, so great was his rage. He rode in fury to the gates of Angband, where he sounded his horn, beat upon the great doors, and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

"His hopeless challenge dauntless cried
Fingolfin there: 'Come, open wide,
dark king, your ghastly brazen doors!
Come forth, whom earth and heaven abhors!
Come forth, O monstrous craven lord,
and fight with thine own hand and sword,
thou wielder of hosts of banded thralls,
thou tyrant leaguered with strong walls,
thou foe of Gods and elvish race!
I wait thee here. Come! Show thy face!'
Lays of Beleriand, "The Lay of Leithian", Canto 12

Morgoth could not refuse such a challenge before his captains, and left his stronghold for the last time during those wars. He came forth in black armour, with his great shield and his Iron Crown. He swung the great hammer Grond, seeking to smite Fingolfin, but the King leaped aside. The hammer made great pits in the ground where it fell.[1]

Fingolfin wounded Morgoth seven times as they fought, but he began to weary. Three times Fingolfin fell to his knees, but each time he rose and continued to fight. At last, however, he stumbled in one of the pits left by Grond. But even as Morgoth set his great foot upon him to crush him, Fingolfin stabbed the foot of Morgoth with his sword. So perished Fingolfin, and Morgoth sought to cast his broken body to his wolves. But Thorondor swooped down on Morgoth, scarring his face and carrying the body of the King to a mountain-top. There Turgon built a cairn over him, and no Orc would go near it. Morgoth walked with a limp ever afterwards, and would always bear the wounds from that battle.[1]