Finrod

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Finrod Felagund
Noldo
"Finrod - First Encounter with Edain" by Elena Kukanova
Biographical Information
Other namesFindaráto (Q, fn)
Ingoldo (Q, mn)
Nóm or Nómin (T)
Felakgundu (K)
TitlesKing of Nargothrond
LocationEldamar
Minas Tirith
Nargothrond
AffiliationNargothrond
Quest for the Silmaril
LanguageQuenya
Telerin
Sindarin
Taliska
BirthY.T. 1300
Eldamar
RuleF.A. 102 - 465
DeathF.A. 465 (aged c. 2,381 years[note 1])
Tol-in-Gaurhoth
Family
HouseHouse of Finarfin
ParentageFinarfin & Eärwen
SiblingsAngrod
Aegnor
Galadriel
SpouseLover of Amarië
ChildrenNone
Physical Description
GenderMale
Hair colorGolden
ClothingRing of Barahir
GalleryImages of Finrod Felagund

Finrod was like his father in his fair face and golden hair, and also in noble and generous heart, though he had the high courage of the Ñoldor and in his youth their eagerness and unrest; and he had also from his Telerin mother a love of the sea and dreams of far lands that he had never seen.

Finrod was an Elven king of the Noldor, eldest son of Finarfin and older brother to Angrod, Aegnor and Galadriel. Finrod was like his father in his fair face and golden hair, and also in his noble and generous heart.

In Beleriand, Finrod became the ruler of Nargothrond, taking the after-name of Felagund. He was a wise, just and powerful Elf, and a great traveller.[1]

History

Finrod was born in Eldamar in the Year of the Trees 1300, the same as his cousin Turgon.[2] They were friends, and his beloved was Amarië of the Vanyar.

Finrod was among those who opposed Fëanor and the Exile of the Noldor. However, when the Noldor were set to depart from Aman, he joined them, for he would not be sundered from his friends and his people who were eager to go. Also, he had no wish to abandon his people to Fëanor's rule.[3]

Return of the Noldor

Finrod, along with his father, led the rear of the host along with many of the noblest and wisest of the Noldor; and often they looked behind them to see their fair city, especially Finrod, for he had to leave Amarië behind. With him, he brought along many treasures from Tirion,[4] including his Ring.[5]

Finrod and his people did not participate in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. While they were travelling up the coast of Araman, the Vala Mandos appeared and pronounced the Doom of the Noldor, and in that hour, Finarfin forsook the march and returned to Valinor with many of his people. However, Finrod and his siblings went forward still and led their people on the long and perilous march to Middle-earth.

Life in Beleriand

After their victory in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Noldor started building their numerous realms. Finrod established the tower of Minas Tirith on the island of Tol Sirion. Once, while journeying southward along the river Sirion, Finrod and his friend Turgon encamped upon its banks. Ulmo, coming up the river, laid a deep sleep upon them and heavy dreams; and it seemed to each that he was bidden to prepare for a day of evil, and to establish a retreat, lest Morgoth should burst from Angband and overthrow the armies of the North.

Finrod Felagund by Mysilvergreen

Now on a time Finrod and his sister Galadriel were guests of King Elu Thingol, their kinsman in Doriath. There, Finrod told Thingol of his admiration for the halls of Menegroth; and Thingol spoke to him of the deep gorge of the river Narog and told him about the caves under the High Faroth in its deep western shore. Thus Finrod came to the Caverns of Narog and established there deep halls and armouries; and that stronghold was called Nargothrond. In this he was aided by the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, and Finrod rewarded them with many jewels from Valinor. In that time, the Nauglamír was made for him, the Necklace of the Dwarves. After Nargothrond was made, Finrod committed Minas Tirith to the keeping of Orodreth, his nephew, and was referred to by the additional name of Felagund, an honorific title given him by the Dwarves, meaning a "Maker of Caves".

The realm of Nargothrond extended to the sea, excluding the Falas. Finrod was a friend and ally of Círdan, and had also built the tower Barad Nimras upon the cape.[6]

Encounter with Men

Finrod, Beor and the Green-elves of Ossiriand by Steamy

When over three hundred years had passed since the Noldor came to Beleriand, Finrod journeyed east of Sirion and went hunting with Maglor and Maedhros, two of the sons of Fëanor. But he wearied of the hunt and passed on alone towards the mountains of Ered Lindon. There, in the lands of Thargelion, in East Beleriand, Finrod was the first of the Noldor to come across Men. These were the kindred and followers of Bëor The Old. He went among them while they were sleeping and, picking up a harp which Bëor had laid aside, played music upon it such as the ears of men had not heard. When the men awoke and listened to his song, each thought that he was in some fair dream. He long stayed with them, learning their language and teaching them Sindarin. He also intervened on behalf of the Laiquendi of Ossiriand, who feared Men would destroy their home, and he got permission of Thingol, who held rule over all Beleriand, to guide the Men to Estolad.[7]

Finrod had a close friendship with Andreth of the House of Bëor, whom he often visited during the Siege of Angband to converse with her on the matters of Elves and Men. One such conversation was written down and later known as Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.

Finrod participated in the Dagor Bragollach, fighting in the Fen of Serech, when he was surrounded by Orcs. It was Barahir of the House of Bëor who saved his life, and Finrod swore an oath of abiding friendship and aid in every need to Barahir and all his kin. As a token he gave Barahir his ring, which became known as the Ring of Barahir.[8]

Quest for the Silmaril

Finrod is reminded of his oath by Anke Eißmann

When, ten years later, Barahir's son Beren came to Nargothrond seeking help, Finrod went with him on the Quest for the Silmaril to repay his debt. Celegorm and Curufin, who were living in Nargothrond at the time, persuaded (using barely veiled threats related to their Oath) most of Nargothrond to stay behind. Only ten warriors, headed by one Edrahil, were faithful and came with them. Beneath the Shadowy Mountains they came upon a company of Orcs, and slew them all in their camp. They took their gear and weapons, and by the magic of Finrod, their own forms and faces were changed to the likeness of Orcs. Thus disguised, they came far upon their northward road between Ered Wethrin and the highlands of Taur-nu-Fuin. However, the twelve were captured and imprisoned by Sauron on Tol-in-Gaurhoth ("Isle of Werewolves").[5]

And Finrod fell before the Throne by Kurai Geijutsu

Thus befell the contest of Finrod and Sauron. Finrod strove with Sauron in songs of power, and the power of the Elven King was very great. But in the end, Sauron had the mastery. It is told in the Lay of Leithian:

He chanted a song of wizardry,
Of piercing, opening, of treachery,
Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
Then sudden Felagund there swaying
sang in answer a song of staying,
Resisting, battling against power,
Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
Of changing and of shifting shape,
Of snares eluded, broken traps,
The prison opening, the chain that snaps,
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
And all the magic and might he brought,
Of Elvenesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
Singing afar in Nargothrond,
The sighing of the sea beyond,
Beyond the western world, on sand,
On sand of pearls in Elvenland.
Then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
In Valinor, the red blood flowing
Beside the sea, where the Noldor slew
The Foamriders, and stealing drew
Their white ships with their white sails
From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn,
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
And Finrod fell before the throne.

Death of Finrod Felagund by Anke Eißmann

Then Sauron stripped from them their disguise, but though their kinds were revealed, he could not discover their names or their purposes.

Sauron imprisoned them and one by one they were killed by werewolves until only Beren and Felagund were left, but none of the companions betrayed them. When the werewolf came to kill Beren, Felagund put forth all his power and burst his bonds. He wrestled with the werewolf, and slew it with his hands and teeth. Yet he himself was mortally wounded, and he died in the dark, in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, whose great tower he himself had built. Thus King Finrod Felagund, the fairest and most beloved of the house of Finwë, redeemed his oath.

Reincarnation

An Elf loremaster ponders at a mural of Finrod leading his House in battle. Art by Donato Giancola

As a reward for his noble and selfless actions in life, as well as his reluctance to depart the Undying Lands for Middle-earth during the Flight of the Noldor hundreds years earlier, Finrod was allowed to re-embody in Valinor after only a short time. According to song, Finrod still dwells beneath the trees in Eldamar, reuniting with both his father Finarfin and his beloved Amarië.[5][9]

Etymology

See also: #Other versions of the legendarium

The name Finrod is the Sindarin form of his father-name Findaráto ("[Golden-]Haired Champion"). It is possible he and his brother Angrod were first called Aráto, and later differentiated adding find-, referred to the golden hair derived from Indis. This name was Telerin in form where the adjectival element ("aráto" in this case) was typically placed second while in Quenya it would have preceded. Thus, the more natural Quenya form would have been Artafindë.[10]:346–347

Felagund

Felagund was an epessë given to him by the Dwarves that expanded the caves of Nargothrond, and meant "Hewer of Caves". It is not Sindarin, but rather Sindarinized Khuzdul, from Felakgundu. The name was Eldarized by other as Felagon (in relation with Fingon, Turgon).[11]

While revising his Elvish languages in later years, Tolkien reinterpreted Felagund as "den-dweller, brock, badger", from Sindarin fela, which was used for dens made by wild animals or temporary dwellings of wandering folks, unrelated to big carved caves. The west bank of Narog had many dens of badgers, some of them occupied by Petty-dwarves. It was thus probable that Felagund was actually given by the Sons of Fëanor as a mockery to Finrod, and transmitted by the Dwarves.[12]

An early etymology for Felagund was "Lord of Caves" in Noldorin, from fela ("caverns") + cunn ("prince").[13]

Other names

His mother-name was Ingoldo, which was also the mother-name of his father Finarfin. It meant "the Ñoldo", 'one-eminent of the kindred' which is in simpler words 'the wise'. It was a name used by his brothers and sister, who loved him.[10]:346, 360

Finrod was also called Nóm ("Wisdom") by Bëor and his people.[7] His other titles include "the Faithful", "the Friend of Men", "King of Nargothrond", "Lord of Nargothrond".[14][15]

He was often called by the Eldar Edennil or Atandil, which means "Friend of Men" in Sindarin and Quenya respectively.[16] A variant for Atandil was Firindil.[17]

Genealogy

Míriel
d. Y.T. 1170
Finwë
d. Y.T. 1495
Indis
b. Y.T.
Olwë
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
Eärwen
b. Y.T.
unknown sons
FINROD
Y.T. 1300 - F.A. 465
Angrod
d. F.A. 455
Eldalótë
b. Y.T.
Aegnor
d. F.A. 455
Galadriel
b. Y.T. 1362
Celeborn
b. F.A.
Orodreth
d. F.A. 495
Elrond
b. F.A. 532
Celebrían
b. S.A.
FinduilasNB
F.A. 272 - 495
Gil-galad
d. S.A. 3441
Elladan
b. T.A. 130
Elrohir
b. T.A. 130
Arwen
T.A. 241 - Fo.A. 121

Other versions of the legendarium

In earlier versions of the Middle-earth myths, and when The Lord of the Rings was published, the name Finrod was given to the character later known as Finarfin. Finrod Felagund was then named Inglor Felagund. However, that changed in later drafts, and the character who had the name Gildor Inglorion, in The Lord of the Rings, was unrelated to Finrod despite having a name that means Gildor son of Inglor. Finrod was childless and unmarried during the events of The Silmarillion because his lover, Amarië, remained in Valinor.[18]

In one note, while defining the term vanwa, Tolkien considered that Felagund, like Míriel, chose not to return to life because of a special will of their own.[19]:143

In the published The Silmarillion, Orodreth is Finrod's brother: this was an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien and an admitted mistake. Orodreth was actually the son of Angrod and thus Finrod's nephew.

Portrayal in adaptations

Will Fletcher as Finrod in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Television

2022: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Season One:

Episode 1: A Shadow of the Past: Galadriel recalls a memory of her brother during her childhood at the time of the Years of the Trees. In the memory, after some Elf children bully her and sink her paper swan ship, she attempts to attack one of them. However, Finrod (portrayed by Will Fletcher) shows up just in time to prevent her from doing any harm.
Not long after, Finrod is seen talking to Galadriel beneath a tree, where it is revealed that Galadriel had made the ship just as Finrod had taught her. Finrod then asks her if she knows why ships float while stones cannot, and tells her, after a moment of silence, that stones look downwards towards the irresistible darkness of water while ships look upwards towards the light, fighting against the darkness of water, whispering on things it would not know. Galadriel questions Finrod, saying that "light in the sky" is sometimes reflected brightly on the surface of water and that it is hard to know which light to follow. Upon thinking, Finrod whispers to her: "Sometimes we cannot know until we have touched the darkness". To this, Galadriel ponders that it sounds simple and Finrod tells her that many things are, but she must decide them for herself as he will not always be there to help.
Not elaborating on this further, Finrod stands up and tells her that their parents are waiting for them, before walking over a hill to reveal the Two Trees. This exchange, as well as the philosophy which Finrod imparts to Galadriel in it were created for the series because none of this dialogue nor the attitudes it attributes to Finrod are found within any Tolkien's writings. Later in Galadriel's recollections, Finrod is seen in a battle shouting phrases in Quenya: "Valaron kalanen" ("By the light of the Valar!") and "Firuvantë" ("They will die!"). Galadriel mentions that he vowed to destroy Sauron, Morgoth's sorcerer and lieutenant. Yet Sauron found and defeated Finrod first, marking his corpse with a red symbol, which not even the wisest Elves could decipher, causing Galadriel to take up her brother's vow and dagger for herself.
None of Galadriel's other brothers are mentioned in the series, and although no specific date is given, the timing and manner of Finrod's death are changed from what is recorded in Tolkien's writings. Finrod is said to have not died until after Morgoth's defeat, meaning that, in Amazon's continuity, Finrod survives the entirety of the First Age into the Second instead of having died in approximately year 465 of the First Age saving Beren.
The series does alude to Finrod being killed by wolves with the claw marks on his body, though Galadriel's monologue establishes that it was Sauron who slew him with no mention of werewolves or Beren. This would have been at a a time long after Beren's quest for a Silmaril led him to Nargothrond, seeking Finrod's aid.
Episode 8: Alloyed:
This Episode features a bizarre scene in which Halbrand enters Galadriel's mind beside the Glanduin in Eregion to try to prove to her that he truly desired to redeem himself and heal Middle-earth of evil, by appearing in the guise of Finrod as she remembered him. Nevertheless, Galadriel refuses to believe that he is redeemable and Halbrand is thrust from her mind and flees Eregion to the Southlands
Amazon Studios's rights to Finrod's character were limited to his mention in the Appendices, so the series made significant changes and additions to his story, including showing him taking an oath against Morgoth before he left Valinor, and his death at the hands of Sauron, which inspires Galadriel's revenge. It is worth noting that Finrod's death saving Beren is mentioned in Appendix B: The Tale of Years, and so Amazon could have used that material, but still opted to change it to have him dying in pursuit of Sauron.[15] Finrod's original personality was particularly wise, very respectful and reverent towards the Valar, rather than as a rebel who advises people to "touch the darkness".

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.

References

  1. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 144
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman": Note on §85
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §180
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of Finwë's descendants"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The Dwarvish origin of the name Felagund", p. 352
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: VII. The Founding of Nargothrond", p. 304
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", entries "KUNDU", "PHELEG"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry "Finrod"
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B "The Tale of Years".
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Four. Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: Glossary", p. 349 (cf. p. 306)
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Notes on Óre" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 41, July 2000, p. 14
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  19. 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)
Finrod
House of Finarfin
Cadet branch of the House of Finwë
Born: Y.T. 1300 Died: F.A. 465
None
Title established
1st King of Nargothrond
F.A. 102465
Followed by:
Orodreth