Feanorean Storylines

Marielle

Well-Known Member
three years is still a long time for someone to be missing, or to have a search party.

I agree that's why the reason no one in the Feanorean camp is searching for Maedhros. But Fingon does, and we need to explain why. Devotion seems the most obvious idea to me, and having others speak (logically) against it and him going anyway, as Cellardur suggests, appeals to me.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Okay, first of all, no one is searching for anyone for 23 years.

Fingon doesn't even realize Maedhros is captured until the two Hosts interact with one another. So, that happens (at the earliest) in FA 2. Fingon rescues Maedhros in FA 5. So, we're talking three years (max) between Fingon's discovery that Maedhros is a prisoner, and his attempt to rescue him.

The obvious reason why there has been no rescue attempt is because they think he cannot be rescued. He's Morgoth's prisoner; what are you supposed to do about that? The assumption would be that he's deep in Angband's dungeons. So, no, he's not stapled to the front door or put in any obvious location. He's on the side of a cliff that you would only see if you were randomly mountain climbing in Thangorodrim, which is not a thing the elves do.

Morgoth already bartered with the Sons of Fëanor. They turned down his offer. They have to assume their brother is dead, or at the very least a prisoner forever. They don't think there is a rescue attempt to be made.
Precisely. Maedhros is in a location most people would not think to look. When Fingon is searching, he is likely searching for a way into Angband rather than searching for Maedhros himself. The concept of an impenetrable fortress is still pretty foreign to the elves.
 

cellardur

Active Member
So he’d be the first person to try and get into Angband by stealth, a precursor to Beren and Luthien?
Yes and even he won't be able to find a way. Perhaps he can mutter under his breath something like, 'It's impossible to ever get into Angband even with all the armies of the Noldor.'

Luthien and Beren will restore his hope and make him believe in victory again.

Precisely. Maedhros is in a location most people would not think to look. When Fingon is searching, he is likely searching for a way into Angband rather than searching for Maedhros himself. The concept of an impenetrable fortress is still pretty foreign to the elves.
It's not. Valinor in many ways was supposed to be an impenetrable fortress as was Formenos, which literally means northern fortress. The problem is Angband is more impenetrable than the others.

The more I think about it, the more I think about how crazy Fingon was and just how close he was to Maedhros, even after he believes Maedhros betrays him. It's a shame we cannot go back and make Maedhros' refusal to burn the ships a bigger event. It could have worked nicely ifMaedhros, despite not being his father's favourite was always the dutiful son, until this moment.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Yes and even he won't be able to find a way. Perhaps he can mutter under his breath something like, 'It's impossible to ever get into Angband even with all the armies of the Noldor.'

Luthien and Beren will restore his hope and make him believe in victory again.


It's not. Valinor in many ways was supposed to be an impenetrable fortress as was Formenos, which literally means northern fortress. The problem is Angband is more impenetrable than the others.

The more I think about it, the more I think about how crazy Fingon was and just how close he was to Maedhros, even after he believes Maedhros betrays him. It's a shame we cannot go back and make Maedhros' refusal to burn the ships a bigger event. It could have worked nicely ifMaedhros, despite not being his father's favourite was always the dutiful son, until this moment.
I'm certainly not going to get into speculation about how impenetrable Valinor or Formenos, or Fingon's general familiarity with either. The point I made is that the elves don't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. They don't live or come from a land that is or was dotted with fortifications.

As to Maedhros' refusal to burn the ships, we have done the very best we could with the time we had. We depict pretty much exactly what you describe. Maedhros is loyal to his father to a fault, despite not being the foremost recipient of what little approval Feanor gives. He is still loyal, even when it is increasingly clear that Feanor is coming unhinged. It is not until Feanor's Big Bonfire that Maedhros says "No." to him.
 

cellardur

Active Member
I'm certainly not going to get into speculation about how impenetrable Valinor or Formenos, or Fingon's general familiarity with either. The point I made is that the elves don't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. They don't live or come from a land that is or was dotted with fortifications.
I think they have enough personal experience and second hand information to have a rough idea how difficult it would be to sneak into Angband. Not until now have I ever really given Fingon credit for his actions. It's one of the greatest acts of friendship we will ever see in ME, matching Frodo/Sam and Beleg/Turin.

Therefore he dared a deed which is Justly renowned among the feats of the princes of the Noldor: alone, and without the counsel of any, he set forth in search of Maedhros; and aided by the very darkness that Morgoth had made he came unseen into the fastness of his foes.

The more I think about, it the more I have to agree with the narrator. I think we could even have Turgon remind Fingon. that Maedhros abandoned him to the ice.
As to Maedhros' refusal to burn the ships, we have done the very best we could with the time we had. We depict pretty much exactly what you describe. Maedhros is loyal to his father to a fault, despite not being the foremost recipient of what little approval Feanor gives. He is still loyal, even when it is increasingly clear that Feanor is coming unhinged. It is not until Feanor's Big Bonfire that Maedhros says "No." to him.
That's good, but I was saying the decision to say 'No.' would be based more on his love of Fingon than moral reasons.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think they have enough personal experience and second hand information to have a rough idea how difficult it would be to sneak into Angband. Not until now have I ever really given Fingon credit for his actions. It's one of the greatest acts of friendship we will ever see in ME, matching Frodo/Sam and Beleg/Turin.

Therefore he dared a deed which is Justly renowned among the feats of the princes of the Noldor: alone, and without the counsel of any, he set forth in search of Maedhros; and aided by the very darkness that Morgoth had made he came unseen into the fastness of his foes.

The more I think about, it the more I have to agree with the narrator. I think we could even have Turgon remind Fingon. that Maedhros abandoned him to the ice.

That's good, but I was saying the decision to say 'No.' would be based more on his love of Fingon than moral reasons.
They do have a "rough idea" but there is no reason to suspect they fully comprehend it. Not without a lot of speculation about what they might or might not know.

As to Maedhros and the ships, we do specifically connect it to Fingon.
 

cellardur

Active Member
They do have a "rough idea" but there is no reason to suspect they fully comprehend it. Not without a lot of speculation about what they might or might not know.

As to Maedhros and the ships, we do specifically connect it to Fingon.
None of the Noldor have any idea just how powerful Morgoth is, or else they wouldn't believe they could win. There could be a thousands elvish fortresses in Valinor and they would not be able to fully comprehend how terrible Angband is.

My point is Fingon knows just how crazy and most likely futile his mission is. The most likely outcome is he is either killed or thrown into the same dungeon as Maedhros, but he is willing to risk it all for the glimmer of hope he can save Maedhros.

To quote Gandalf, 'There never was much hope,' maybe like Gandalf he could have been told 'fools hope.' When he sees Angband much like Frodo, all hope will die of anyone elf ever being able to get break through.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We establish the glimmer of this from Fingon's first introduction, though. As a child, he rescues Celegorm, who has fallen into a dry well while trying to save an animal. Maedhros gives him the nickname of 'Fingon the Valiant' in response to that deed.

Certainly, Fingon's rescue of Maedhros from the cliff has many similarities to Sam's rescue of Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol. The most obvious connection is the singing, but of course the hopelessness of the task and the invocation of the Valar (Sam uses the name of Elbereth as a password, as surely no orc would say that; Fingon calls on 'Manwë to whom all birds are dear' to speed his feathered shaft to kill Maedhros in his predicament.) Obviously, Sam's relationship with Frodo is a bit different, being the servant/master dynamic, whereas Maedhros and Fingon are both eldest sons of Noldorin princes, and half-cousins. They are more like Merry and Pippin in that they are equals. But it's a strong parallel.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Elves can survive longer, but nothing close to years. Tuor and Voronwe look set to die very soon.

I think this is case similar to Hurin. Morgoth wants to torment Maedhros and draw out his suffering. It's also a sends the message, he can take the 'Noldor King' and there is nothing the Noldor can do about it. He is displayed in plain sight and they can't get to him.
When Tuor and Voronwe are in danger, they're exposed outside (and hiking a lot) during the Fell Winter. But I thought only Tuor was near death - Voronwe said that it would take an unspecified "long" time for hunger and cold to kill a Noldo. And Vonrowe wasn't even from Valinor, he was born in Nevrast.

I think the intent is that Elves, or at least Calaquendi, can indeed survive for years without food or water. The description of Maedhros after his rescue seems to emphasize that he survived because he was a Calaquende, but doesn't mention Morgoth keeping him alive. I think if Morgoth was doing that, it would be mentioned. It's extreme to say he survived for 33 years like that, but that seems to be what Tolkien meant.

But I don't think it's necessary to persuade audiences that Calaquendi are that implausibly tough. We showed lots of them dying of hunger+extreme cold+exertion on the Helkaraxe.

In any case, he would be skin and bones when Fingon finds him.


three years is still a long time for someone to be missing, or to have a search party.

I agree that's why the reason no one in the Feanorean camp is searching for Maedhros. But Fingon does, and we need to explain why. Devotion seems the most obvious idea to me, and having others speak (logically) against it and him going anyway, as Cellardur suggests, appeals to me.
I don't think that the folk of Fingolfin need to learn about what happened to the Feanorians right away -- they might not learn until year 4, and then the next year (5) Fingon would set out. Or it might take him a year to travel to Angband and search for an entrance.

I think we could even have Turgon remind Fingon. that Maedhros abandoned him to the ice.
I like that. It's definitely something Turgon would say.

I don't like the idea of Maglor trying to dissuade Fingon, though. That makes me uncomfortable somehow.

I'm not sure Fingon tells anyone what he's planning. There's the line saying he set out "without the counsel of any" which I always interpreted to mean he just left without telling anyone where he was going. Hopefully there's a way to make that look rash instead of irresponsible, although people would get upset when he just... disappears. Especially if he's gone for a year. But maybe he doesn't want to hear what Turgon would say, if he told anyone his plans.

And I think it's fair for it to take some time for him to make up his mind to decide to go in the first place. I think part of it is that he sees the Noldor are divided and not speaking to each other (except only once to exchange news), letting Morgoth start rebuilding his armies and preparing for war. If nobody heals the feud, they might just sit there until Morgoth flattens them all.


None of the Noldor have any idea just how powerful Morgoth is, or else they wouldn't believe they could win. There could be a thousands elvish fortresses in Valinor and they would not be able to fully comprehend how terrible Angband is.
I think this is true, but I also think the Noldor are to some extent blinded by pride and hope. After Maedhros knows exactly how terrible Angband is, he still thinks the Noldor can beat Morgoth, until after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Finrod and Aegnor know better, but they keep fighting anyway, because not fighting would be worse.


edited to correct the book quote
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Did you mean to imply, MithLuin, that the twins are supposed to be married? I think we could cut that, if so, especially as we're likely killing one of them at the Ships, unless we want an angry daughter-in-law haunting Feanor's last days...
Tolkien seems to have thought they were married, yes. But again - if we don't have a story, then they won't be.
I'm really curious where this was said (every First Age text I haven't found yet is one I want to read). The only mention I've been able to find of Feanor's daughters-in-law, was the one in the notes to Of Dwarves and Men, where only Maglor, Caranthir, and Curufin were married. That note sadly has no useful details, so I'd like to read any others. I'd like the wives to be characters, except Curufin's wife stayed behind according to that note. (Unless there's another note saying she came to Middle-earth?)
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I'm moving this here because it's off-topic for a casting thread.

If Amros/Amras kidnaps Earendil's sons, who kills him? It's part of the books that he was killed in the Third Kinslaying? And if he is killed while kidnapping them, it was most likely done by a refugee, which begs the question as to why they weren't recovered.
He may have ordered them to be kidnapped instead of doing it personally (just as Celegorm's servants captured the sons of Dior, instead of Celegorm himself). Or, perhaps it was done early in the battle, and they were tied up and secured by the time he died. I don't know for sure, there are few details, although the History of Middle-earth does have more details than the 1977 Silm.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
It takes the Fëanoreans an awfully long time to get to the point of realizing, oh, hey...maybe it would be better to just, you know....break the Oath. Only Maglor ever voices that,
That is not accurate, however. I want to address this, but not clog the Episode Questions with it.

Christopher Tolkien chose to reword what his father wrote about these events, using only the 1930s Quenta Silmarillion while ignoring the contemporary 1930s Annals of Beleriand. I am quoting from the Annals, using the dates from the post-LotR 1950s Tale of Years. Other changes made in the 1950s are in brackets. I’m quoting the minimum, to respect copywrite.


[506-507]. Here Dior Thingol's heir fought the sons of Fëanor on the east marches of Doriath, but he was slain. This was the second kinslaying, and the fruit of the oath. Celegorm fell in that battle, and Curufin, and Cranthir. The young sons of Dior, Elboron and Elbereth [Eluréd and Elurín], were taken captive by the evil men of Maidros' following [“cruel servants of Celegorm”], and they were left to starve in the woods; but Maidros lamented the cruel deed, and sought unavailingly for them. ...

[512]. Maidros learned of the upspringing of Sirion's Haven, and that the Silmaril was there, but he forswore his oath.

[527]. Torment fell upon Maidros and his brethren, because of their unfulfilled oath.

[?]. Damrod and Díriel [Amrod and Amras] resolved to win the Silmaril, if Eärendel would not give it up willingly. ...

[538]. Here Damrod and Díriel [Amrod and Amras] ravaged Sirion, and were slain. Maidros and Maglor were there, but they were sick at heart. This was the third kinslaying. ...​


As can be seen, after the Second Kinslaying all the surviving Sons of Fëanor made a quite large effort to break the Oath for 26 years, even resisting torment for 11 years. That is very significant. They did not voluntarily attack Sirion’s Haven just for honor, they were coerced into doing it. The Oath is not something voluntary that they could break anytime they wanted, and just never bothered. They did try, though it’s fair to say they didn’t try hard enough.

I don’t want to depict them as remorseless monsters.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I’ll add that I agree they failed morally, and that Maglor got closer to success. But I think their failure and the difference between Maglor and Maedhros is more subtle than not trying to break the Oath, or not repenting.

Rather, I think they failed because they didn’t earn the grace of God like Frodo did. They didn’t keep trying the impossible until their wills wholly broke, and they didn’t have faith in the Valar or God nor the humility to give up their claim and desire for the Silmarils. Maglor had a little faith, and flirted with the idea of giving up his claim. Maedhros and Amros tried to break the Oath, but kept thinking of the Silmarils as theirs by right, and they lacked faith.


And also addressing the question here “Why did it take Fingon 5 years to look for Maedhros?” part of it is surely that it took Morgoth 5 years to make that convenient smokescreen.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
The quote from Maglor I was referring to is when he and Maedhros debate taking the Oath to Valinor unfulfilled or breaking into Eonwë's camp. Neither choice was good, of course, but Maglor is finally saying that, you know, maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing to not fulfill it after all.... And if they went to Valinor, they know the Valar would be able to keep them from fulfilling the Oath, in a way that the elves of Doriath and the Havens could not.

I realize that there is a delay between the 2nd and 3rd kinslaying, and a temporary putting-on-hold of the Oath. They have their reasons, but in the end, they don't hold it worse to keep it than to leave it unfulfilled.
Forswearing and trying to break the Oath was temporary in practice because they fell short of their goal. It clearly wasn't temporary in intent. "Forswear" doesn't mean procrastinate or delay or equivocate. Oxford defines it as "Agree to give up or do without." Webster defines it as "to deny or renounce an oath". Merriam-Webster defines it as "to reject or renounce under oath" or "to renounce earnestly". It clearly means he declared his intent to break the Oath and that he intended to break it permanently.

The dead men of Dunharrow were called "oathbreakers", not oath-procrastinators or oath-delayers. The fact that they eventually fulfilled their oath in the Third Age (under magical coercion) didn't retroactively change the fact that they did break it in the Second Age.

Trying to understand what you're saying. Are you arguing that, when Maedhros forswore the Oath, that he planned in advance to gather in 26 years to attack the Havens? That it was his goal from the beginning to attack the Havens in 26 years? That he specifically scheduled the Third Kinslaying for a particular year on his calendar, the way he scheduled the Fifth Battle?
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Unrelated to the latest topics in this thread, but related to this thread.

How many "Feanoreans" are there? I can name 9. Feanor, 7 sons, Celebrimbor. That's it. Are there any more? Any of the other sons have any kids, or Celebrimbor? Was there a drop of Feanor's blood left outside the Halls of Mandos by the start of the Third Age?

I should know this, but it's been a while since I've gone through the material other than to reference specific items.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Unrelated to the latest topics in this thread, but related to this thread.

How many "Feanoreans" are there? I can name 9. Feanor, 7 sons, Celebrimbor. That's it. Are there any more? Any of the other sons have any kids, or Celebrimbor? Was there a drop of Feanor's blood left outside the Halls of Mandos by the start of the Third Age?

I should know this, but it's been a while since I've gone through the material other than to reference specific items.
It’s possible that Maglor is still wandering the western shores of Middle-Earth after casting his silmaril into the sea, singing laments. Other than that, his fate is unknown.

*In the Peter Jackson films, there is a theory surrounding them that Tauriel is a Noldor of the House of Feanor, owing to her red hair, which none but Feanor’s father-in-law, wife, and three of his sons share amongst the Elves.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Just the sons, a few wives and a large group of followers... ive read some articles by Thomas Morwinsky and Stephen wigmore who tried to calculate demography stats for middle-earth , mostly by strenthgs of hosts or armies and few mention of numbers which jrrt actually gives us.

I made my own calculations by usi g the original number of elves and cuivienen and adding generations and came to very close numbers as wigmore did.

That is:

before the Exile ca.T.T. 1496:

ca. 1,800,000 Elves
600,000 Falmari
ca. 800,000 Noldor
ca. 200,000 Feanorians
ca. 200,000 Finarfinians
ca. 400,000 Fingolfinians
ca. 400,000 Vanyar

after the Exile ca.T.T. 1496:

ca. 530,000 Elves
less than 270,000 Falmari
ca. 75,000 Noldor
ca. 190,000 Vanyar

Beleriand

F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):

ca. 1.3-1.5 million Elves
Noldor: ca. 300,000
Sindar: ca. 950,000 - 1,000,000 Million

ca. 150,000 Men

ca. 30,000 Beorians
ca. 30,000 Halethrim
ca. 90,000 Hadorians

ca. 1/3 million Dwarves

120,000-160,000 Broadbeams
160,000-220,000 Dwarves Firebeards

Ents: ca. 5,000

F.A. ca. 310 - 313:

Men ca. 33,000

Beorians:ca. 6,000
Halethrim:ca. 9,000
Marachians:ca. 18,000

Doriath:
Menegroth: F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband): 100,000 Sindar & Guest ElvesTotal: F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband): 450,000 Sindar & Guest Elves

Brethil:
Men F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):ca. 25,000 HalethrimMilitary: ca. 2,500 Halethrim (core)

Dorthonion:
Men F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):ca. 25,000 BeoriansMilitary: ca. 2,500 (core)

Gondolin
FA 510: ca.120.000 Gondolindrim50,000 Noldor70,000 SindarMilitary:10,000 (core) + 5.000 (reserves

BelegostEditF.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):120,000-160,000 DwarvesNogrodEditF.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):160,000-220,000 Dwarves

Brithombar F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):30,000 FalathrimEglarest F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):30,000 FalathrimTotal F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):70,000 Falathrim

Feanorian marches:
F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):130,000 Elves75,000 Noldor60,000 Sindae

Hithlum
F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):150-170,000 Elves100,000 Noldor50,000-70,000 SindarF.A. ca. 455 (after Dagor Bragollach):ca. 90,000 Easterlings and Hadorians

Dor lomin
Men ca. F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband): 75,000 HadoriansMilitary: ca. 7,500 Hadorians (core)

Ossiriand:
F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):70,000 LaiquendiTA 3000: 60,000 Sindar and Noldor (plus remnants of the Laiquendi and Eolrim)Military: 6,000

Nargothrond (proper)
.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):ca. 200,000 Elves75,000 Noldor120-150 Sindar

Angband:
ca. 1-7 Millions Orcs, Trolls, Easterlings, Thrall-Elves

Eriador:
F.A. ca. 60 - 455 (Siege of Angband):ca. 65,000 Nandor
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I tried to calculate similar numbers... somewhere on these forums.

If you mean only Feanor and descendants, @amysrevenge you listed all the named ones. It's theoretically possible Maglor and/or Caranthir had kids, or that Celebrimbor had siblings.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I tried to calculate similar numbers... somewhere on these forums.

If you mean only Feanor and descendants, @amysrevenge you listed all the named ones. It's theoretically possible Maglor and/or Caranthir had kids, or that Celebrimbor had siblings.
Well, it’s just that none of Feanor’s line apart from the seven sons and Celebrimbor come up at all, so Celebrimbor is typically held as the last of the line.
 
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