From Tolkien Gateway
Latest comment: 11 September 2023 by Oberiko in topic Stay in Himlad

Stay in Himlad

We get two accounts of Aredhel's stay in Himlad.

In The Silmarillion:

But Aredhel, having sought in vain for her companions, rode on, for she was fearless and hardy of heart, as were all the children of Finwë; and she held on her way, and crossing Esgalduin and Aros came to the land of Himlad between Aros and Celon where Celegorm and Curufin dwelt in those days, before the breaking of the Siege of Angband. At that time they were from home, riding with Caranthir east in Thargelion; but the people of Celegorm welcomed her and bade her stay among them with honour until their lord’s return. There for a while she was content, and had great joy in wandering free in the woodlands; but as the year lengthened and Celegorm did not return, she became restless again, and took to riding alone ever further abroad, seeking for new paths and untrodden glades. Thus it chanced in the waning of the year that Aredhel came to the south of Himlad, and passed over Celon; and before she was aware she was enmeshed in Nan Elmoth.

In War of the Jewels:

An important point not made clear is Curufin and Celegorm's earlier action in the matter of Areðel. She had actually stayed with them, and made no secret of who she was - indeed they knew her well from of old. Why did they not send word to Gondolin? Her escort though valiant chiefs would seem to have been so bewildered and daunted by the horrors of the valleys west of Esgalduin that they had never reached the Bridge of Esgalduin or come near to Aglond. This makes it necessary, I think, not to name the most eminent and bravest chieftains (Glorfindel, Egalmoth, and Ecthelion) as her escort. The answer then to the above question is this: the perils of Dungorthin etc. were universally dreaded by the Eldar, and not least by the sons of Fëanor, to him [read whom] refuge southward into Doriath was utterly closed. It had, of course, been expressly forbidden by Turgon that Areðel should go that way. Only her wilfulness had done this. Her escort plainly endured to the utmost of their strength the perils in their search, and so doubtless in fact aided her escape, by drawing to themselves the chief attention of the evil creatures. Now there had [been] since Gondolin was ‘closed’ no communication at all between the sons of Fëanor and Turgon. It was known of course that any of these sons (or any fully accredited messengers) bearing tidings of Areðel would at once have been admitted. But Areðel had evidently told Curufin (and later Celegorm of whom she was most fond) enough of herself, to understand that she had escaped from Gondolin by her own will and was glad to dwell [with] them and be free. 

Now they could only get word to Gondolin by facing evil perils, which only her rescue from misery would have seemed to them sufficient reason. Moreover while she was happy and at ease they delayed - believing that even if Turgon was informed he would only have demanded her return (since his permission to her to depart was void after her disobedience). But before they had made up their minds she was again lost, and it was a long time before they knew or even guessed what had become of her. This they did eventually when Areðel again began to visit the borders of Nan Elmoth, or stray beyond them. For they held a constant watch on Nan Elmoth, mistrusting the doings and goings of Eöl, and their scouts espied her at times riding in the sunlight by the wood-eaves. But now it seemed too late [to] them; and they all [? read they thought that all] they would get for any peril would be the rebuke or wrath of Turgon. And this [they] wished in no way to receive. For they were now under a shadow of fear, and beginning to prepare for war again ere the strength of Thangorodrim became insuperable.

I interpret these two as not being in conflict.

  1. Aredhel arrives in Himlad sometime in spring or summer, Celegorm and Curufin are in Thargelion
  2. As the year lengthened (I understand this to refer to the start of autumn) Celegorm hasn't yet returned and Aredhel gets restless and starts wandering again
  3. Aredhel tells her story to Curufin before Celegorm, the latter of whom she is more fond; not conclusive, but we can infer that Curufin returned before Celegorm
  4. Celegorm returns as Aredhel still informs him of her situation, even though after Curufin
  5. In the waning of the year (I understand this to refer to winter) Aredhel goes in Nan Elmoth and is lost

Thoughts? Oberiko (talk) 00:51, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]