Ulfast

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Ulfast
Easterling (First Age)
"Ulfang with sons seeking audience with Caranthir" by Helena Stepanova
Biographical Information
LocationEast Beleriand (presumably Thargelion[1])
AffiliationCaranthir (feigned)
Morgoth
BirthPossibly F.A. 428NB
East of Ered Luin
DeathF.A. 472 (aged 44)
Nirnaeth Arnoediad
Family
ParentageUlfang
SiblingsUldor & Ulwarth
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Ulfast

Ulfast was the second sonNB of Ulfang the Black.[2]

History

After entering Beleriand, Ulfast along with his father and his brothers joined the service of Caranthir.[2]

Ultimately though, his father Ulfang's purpose from the beginning was to eventually betray the Elves,[3] which he and his brothers ultimately did in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, under the leadership of Uldor the Accursed - they turned against their allies, attacking them in the rear. Their betrayal proved crucial in the fight against Morgoth's forces, though, and Morgoth was victorious.[4]

However, Ulfast, as well as his brother Ulwarth were killed by the sons of Bór, who remained loyal to the sons of Fëanor during the battle - while Ulfast's brother Uldor was slain by Maglor.[4]

GenealogyNB

Ulfang
F.A. 400 - 470
Uldor
F.A. 425 - 472
ULFAST
F.A. 428 - 472
Ulwarth
F.A. 430 - 472

Etymology

The name Ulfast was probably not the character's true name, as it seems to be Sindarin for "Ugly shaggy hair": ul- ("ugly") + fast ("shaggy hair").[5][note 1]

A curious thing about the name Ulfast is that it remained unchanged from its conception to the later legendarium.

Other versions of the legendarium

Earlier versions of the Nirnaeth

According to an earlier version of the legendarium, instead of being killed by the sons of Bór, both Ulfast and his brother Ulwar survived the Battle of Unnumbered Tears - in fact, they were the ones that slew Bor and his sons in battle.[6]

However, even though Morgoth pledged better lands to Ulfang, Ulfast's father, he ultimately reneged on his promise and exiled the remainder of his people (under the leadership of Ulfast and Ulwar) to Hithlum, which was an unfertile and desolate land; Morgoth also forbade them from ever journeying to other lands.

Afterwards, the folk of Ulfast and Ulwar brutally oppressed the remaining native folk of Hádor who were already living there before their arrival.[7]

Ulfast's year of birth

In the appendix of The Lost Road and Other Writings in The Genealogies (dating from the early 1930s), it is stated that Ulfast was born in the year 128.[8]

When comparing the above date with its associated text The Earliest Annals of Beleriand, Ulfast was born 35 years before the Swarthy Men entered Beleriand in the year 163.[9]

Also, the dates found in The Earliest Annals of Beleriand were by and large moved 300 years into the future in The Grey Annals (c. early 1950s), such that, for example, an event happening in the year 195 in The Earliest Annals now happened in the year 495.[10]

Notes

  1. While Eldamo considers the name Ulfast to be Sindarin, its constituent parts are actually in Noldorin (which was a precursor language to Sindarin).

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand its Realms (Chapter 11)", "Sheet 2: North-east", p. 183
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals": §174, pp. 60-1, footnote
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  5. Paul Strack, "S. Ulfast m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 21 August 2023)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, III. The Later Annals of Beleriand", entry 272, p. 137
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, III. The Later Annals of Beleriand", entry 273, p. 138
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Appendix: I. The Genealogies", p. 403
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand: [The first version of The Earliest Annals of Beleriand (Text AB I)]", entry year 163, p. 300
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand: Commentary on the Annals of Beleriand (text AB I)", Annals 155 to 157, pp. 319-20