The Flight of the Noldoli

From Tolkien Gateway
The Book of Lost Tales Part One chapters
  1. The Cottage of Lost Play
  2. The Music of the Ainur
  3. The Coming of the Valar
  4. The Chaining of Melko
  5. The Coming of the Elves
  6. The Theft of Melko
  7. The Flight of the Noldoli
  8. The Tale of the Sun and Moon
  9. The Hiding of Valinor
  10. Gilfanon's Tale

The Flight of the Noldoli is the seventh chapter of The Book of Lost Tales Part One.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Lindo's narrative continues. After Melko's escape, Fëanor spoke to the Noldoli in Kôr and urged them to follow him out of Valinor. Many joined him, and although Nólemë counselled them against this, they were determined to go. Nólemë, not wishing to be separated from his people, went with them out of Kôr, and to the shoreland homes of the Solosimpi.

This text is followed by a brief section later struck through by Tolkien, which describes the coming of the Noldoli to the haven of Cópas, and their taking of the ships of the Solosimpi for the use of their own women and children.

The short struck-out section was replaced at a later time by a longer, more carefully written passage titled "The Kinslaughter (Battle of Kópas Alqalunten)", which details a slightly altered story: The Solosimpi had built on the shores a beautiful haven called Kópas Alqaluntë. The Noldoli came there, and desiring ships to hasten their journey along their shore, the Noldoli asked ships of the Solosimpi. The Solosimpi refused, but the Noldoli seized their ships despite this. They placed their women and children on board and set the ships to sail while the rest of the host walked alongside them on the shore. This angered the Solosimpi, who threatened the Noldoli in the ships with rocks and strung their bows. The Noldoli on the shore, thinking war already begun, came up behind the gathered Solosimpi and slew them. This evil deed led to great sorrow throughout all of Valinor afterwards.

The inserted section ends and Lindo's story continues: The Noldoli travelled north to where the sea dividing the Great Lands from the western shores dwindled to a narrow strait. Before arriving there, they were spied by a servant of Vefántur, who warned them and spoke prophecy of evil things to come. This prophecy later became known as the Prophecy of Amnos. The Noldoli attempted to use ships to ferry their host across the icy gulf in groups, but the great ship they sent was destroyed by a terrible eddy. A thin neck of ice called the Helkaraksë nearly bridged the gulf, but it was cut off from the far shore by the Qerkaringa, a dangerous sound of water, and they could not pass that way.

The Noldoli despaired, and many blamed Fëanor, but they knew they would not be permitted to return to Valinor. They camped on the shores with much regret. Yet winter deepened, and floating ice jammed in the Qerkaringa until the current could not move it. Then the Noldoli left their ships and their camp and attempted the treacherous passage of Helkaraksë and Qerkaringa. Many were lost to the dangerous ice, but at last a reduced host of the Noldoli reached the Eastern shore. Here concluded Rúmil's tale of the darkening of Valinor.