Fingolfin

From Tolkien Gateway
Fingolfin
Noldo
"Crossing the Helcaraxë" by Jenny Dolfen
Biographical Information
PronunciationS, [fiŋˈɡolfin]
Other namesÑolofinwë (Q, fn),
Aracáno (Q, mn)
TitlesHigh King of the Noldor
King of the North
LocationEldamar, Hithlum
LanguageQuenya, Sindarin
BirthY.T. 1190[1]
Tirion
RuleF.A. 7[3] - 456
DeathF.A. 456[2] (aged c. 3426[note 1])
Anfauglith
Notable forLeading the Noldorin Exiles through the Helcaraxë
Keeping Morgoth at bay for almost four hundred years
Duelling Morgoth face to face
Family
HouseHouse of Finwë
House of Fingolfin (founder)
ParentageFinwë and Indis
SiblingsFëanor (paternal half-brother)
Findis, Írimë, and Finarfin
SpouseAnairë
ChildrenFingon, Turgon, Aredhel, and Argon
Physical Description
GenderMale
HeightTall
Hair colorDark[4]
ClothingSilver armour, blue shield set with crystals[5]
WeaponryRingil
SteedRochallor
GalleryImages of Fingolfin

Fingolfin was the strongest, the most steadfast, and the most valiant.

Fingolfin was a Noldorin prince of the First Age, son of Finwë and his second wife Indis. During the Flight of the Noldor, Fingolfin led the hosts that refused to accept his half-brother Fëanor as their king and were forced to cross the Helcaraxë. In Beleriand, he became the first High King of the Noldor and, along with his children, he helped to keep the Siege of Angband against the forces of Morgoth. He is renowned for his valiant death in single combat with Morgoth at the end of the Dagor Bragollach.

History

Early life

Fingolfin was the strongest and most valiant of the sons of Finwë.[6] Having different mothers, he and his older half-brother Fëanor never felt a close bond with each other. This lack of affinity developed into rivalry when Melkor secretly told each of them that the other was planning on driving them out of Tirion.

During the days of the Two Trees in Valinor, as Melkor's lies were taking root in the minds of the Noldor, a number of the Noldor started to believe that the Valar were somehow restraining them from going back to Cuiviénen in Middle-earth. Melkor's cunning had caused the suspicions he sowed to outweigh the Noldor's knowledge that the greatest Gift of the Valar was total free will.

Half Brothers by Tuuliky

Fëanor was the first to speak against the Valar, and Finwë summoned all of the lords of his house to resolve the issue. As Fingolfin was contending with his father to convince him to restrain Fëanor, the latter arrived fully armed with weapons he had secretly forged. Even though Fingolfin accepted him as his senior, Fëanor threatened Fingolfin, who was unarmed, with his sword, after which Fingolfin bowed to his father Finwë and left, only to be followed by Fëanor and threatened again in public. This threat, in the main square in front of the Mindon, King Finwë's seat, was witnessed by many as Fëanor drew his sword and placed the point to Fingolfin's breast. In the face of this public humiliation, Fingolfin turned quietly and walked away without a word to Fëanor, in an effort to avoid division and dissension within his father's House and among the Noldor.[7]

Following Fëanor's threat to Fingolfin, Fëanor was banished from Tirion for twelve years by the Valar; Finwë chose to follow Fëanor, self-banishing himself as well.[7] The rule of the Noldor was then committed to Fingolfin by Manwë and Fingolfin, who had up to this point been generally known by his mother-name, took the name of Finwë.[8]

After the escape of Melkor from Valinor, during the feast Manwë held for the reconciliation of the Eldar, Fingolfin publicly forgave Fëanor and called him "Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart".[9]

Journey to Middle-earth

Middle-earth by Elena Kukanova

After King Finwë died, murdered by Morgoth, Fëanor rallied up the Noldor and gave a passionate speech which concluded with his blasphemous oath. While Fingolfin spoke against Fëanor, and fierce words awoke that nearly came to violence, in the end nearly all of the Noldor chose to follow him to Exile.[10]

Fingolfin led the largest host of the Noldor that departed Aman for Middle-earth. Though against his wisdom,[10] Fingolfin joined with full will in the rebellion and the exile,[4] desiring to go to Middle-earth in order to avenge the murder of Finwë upon Morgoth.[11] Additional reasons were that his son Fingon urged him, he would not be sundered from his people that were eager to go, nor leave them to the rash counsels of Fëanor, and he did not forget his words before the throne of Manwë.[10]

As days passed in their exile, more and more of the Noldor started speaking against Fëanor, for their journey was difficult, and they feared the prophecy of Mandos. After Fëanor's Noldor 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.[10]

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. Soon after, at the rising of the Sun, he came to the Gates of Angband and smote upon them, but Morgoth stayed hidden inside. Fingolfin and the Noldor, realizing they could not be victorious in this way, then came to the northern shores of Lake Mithrim, from which the Fëanorian part of the host had withdrawn.[12]

Rule in Beleriand

Shortly after Fëanor's death, his oldest son Maedhros was captured by Morgoth. Learning this, Fingolfin's oldest son Fingon rescued Maedhros, with whom he was a good friend. At a subsequent council in Mithrim, Fingolfin was chosen to be the first High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth, with Maedhros waiving his claim. Fingolfin ruled from Hithlum, by the northern shores of Lake Mithrim.[12] After defeating the Orcs in the Dagor Aglareb ("Glorious Battle") in F.A. 60, Fingolfin helped to maintain the Siege of Angband for nearly four hundred years.

As High King, Fingolfin maintained amicable relations between various factions within Beleriand. He acknowledged the high-kingship of Thingol over the Sindar in Beleriand,[13] and conversely, even after learning of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë and banning the use of Quenya, Thingol kept friendship with Fingolfin and his folk.[14] When Men arrived in Beleriand they became allied to the Noldor, and added to their strength.[5] Notable among these men was Hador, who entered the house of Fingolfin in F.A. 405, and who Fingolfin made the first Lord of Dor-lómin in F.A. 416.[15]

In F.A. 422, seeing that his people were become numerous and strong, and that the Men were many and valiant, Fingolfin pondered an assault upon Angband as he knew that they lived in danger while Morgoth was free to labour and devise evils that none could foretell until revealed. Most of the Noldor were little disposed to hearken to Fingolfin though; they were content with things as they were, trusting them to last, and thus slow to begin an assault where many would surely perish. Fingolfin's designs for an assault therefore came to naught.[5][16]

Battle of Sudden Flame and the Fall of Fingolfin

Morgoth and the High King of Noldor by Ted Nasmith

In F.A. 455,[17] the Siege was ended by the sudden assault of Morgoth in the Dagor Bragollach ("Battle of Sudden Flame"). The realm of Dorthonion was first hit, and the sons of Finarfin who held it, Angrod and Aegnor, were slain. Fingolfin and Fingon marched from Hithlum to their aid, but were driven back with great loss to the fortresses of Ered Wethrin, and these they hardly defended against the Orcs. Fingolfin's vassal Hador, along with Hador's younger son Gundor, fell defending his rearguard at Eithel Sirion.[5]

Sundered from his kinsmen, and seeing what he believed to be the ruin of his people, Fingolfin rode to Angband in wrath and despair and fell to Morgoth after challenging him to single combat. During the battle Fingolfin wounded Morgoth seven times, and managed one last stab to Morgoth's foot before his death; wounds that would never fully heal. Before Morgoth could feed Fingolfin to his wolves, Fingolfin's body was rescued by Thorondor, the King of Eagles, and brought to a mountaintop overlooking Gondolin where Turgon built a cairn over the remains of his father.[5]

Fingon succeeded him as the High King of the Noldor.

Etymology

The name Fingolfin is Sindarin, but it is never glossed, although it is said that it is the Sindarized form of the name Finwë Ñolofinwë ("Wise Finwë").[18]

However, in the Noldorin phase of the language, Fingolfin is given as "Magical Skill".[19] In later versions, Tolkien considered changing the name to Ingolfin, as coming from Ingoldo, but the idea was soon discarded.[20]

Other names

His father-name was Ñolofinwë, with the stem ñolo (related to "wisdom") attached to the name of his father. Later, during the Exile of the Noldor, Fingolfin added Finwë to the beginning of this name, in pursuance of his claim to be King of the Noldor after his father's death.[18] This would result in Finwë·ñolofinwë.[20]

His mother-name was Aracáno ("High Chieftain"), and was held to be ‘prophetic’.[11] He further gave this name to his son Argon.[21]

After Fëanor and Finwë's banishment, a title he was known by was Vinya Finwë ("Young / new Finwë").[20][note 2]

Earlier titles in Noldorin were Aran Chithlum ("King of Hithlum") and Taur Egledhrim ("King of the Exiles").[22]

Genealogy

Fingolfin's heraldic device by J.R.R. Tolkien
Míriel
d. Y.T. 1170
Finwë
d. Y.T. 1495
Indis
b. Y.T.
Fëanor
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
Findis
b. Y.T.
FINGOLFIN
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
Anairë
b. Y.T.
Írimë
b. Y.T.
Finarfin
b. Y.T. 1230
Fingon
Y.T. 1260 - F.A. 472
Turgon
Y.T. 1300 - F.A. 510
Elenwë
d. Y.T. 1500
Aredhel
Y.T. 1362 - F.A. 400
Eöl
d. F.A. 400
Argon
d. F.A. 1
Tuor
b. F.A. 472
Idril
b. Y.T.
Maeglin
F.A. 320 - 510
Eärendil
b. F.A. 503

Other versions of the legendarium

The first appearance of Fingolfin in the legendarium is in a prose fragment, in which he is called Golfin son of Gelmir, carring an emblem with a silver sword upon gold.[23]

External links

Notes

  1. Years of the Sun. Each Year of the Trees is equal to 9.582 Years of the Sun, and the Years of the Trees ended in the year 1500.
  2. In both Morgoth's Ring and Parma Eldalamberon 17 it is stated that he was also known as Ingoldo Finwë, with Ingoldo being his mother-name before being changed by Tolkien. There is no known use of Aracáno Finwë

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Fourth section of the Annals of Aman", entry 1190, §81, p. 92
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", entry 456, §§ 155-7, p. 55
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals", entry 7, §69, pp. 33-4
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The case of the Quenya change of Þ to s", p. 336
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Laws and Customs among the Eldar, Notes [to Text B]", note 22
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  11. 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "Notes", note 33
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", note 11
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §105
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West (Chapter 14)", §31, p. 228
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §133
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §147
  18. 18.0 18.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of Finwë's descendants", pp. 344-5
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "PHIN"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 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. 118
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "Notes", p. 360. Cf. also p. 345
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entry "TĀ"
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "I. Prose Fragments Following the Lost Tales: (ii)", pp. 7-8
Fingolfin
House of Finwë
Born: Y.T. 1190 Died: F.A. 456
Preceded by:
Finwë
2nd King of the Noldor
Y.T. 1495 - 1497 (with Fëanor)
Followed by:
Finarfin
None
Title established
1st High King of the Noldor
F.A. 7456
Followed by:
Fingon