so_dark_a_road: (under cloud and sky)
Curufin, son of Fëanor ([personal profile] so_dark_a_road) wrote2015-06-07 04:14 pm

Character Biography

The Elvish songs and epics of the First Age tend to view identity as more collective than individual. Hence, Curufin's history is the history of his family, and it contains only a few brief stories that are about him personally. But such as it is, here it is. NOTE: THIS POST IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION.


I thought I would try writing an intermediate-length version, as the longer one below doesn't look like getting finished anytime soon. It's still there for reference, however -- under the double lines, at the bottom.

THE INTERMEDIATE VERSION


Curufin was born in the city of Tirion in Valinor in the First Age of Arda. He was the fifth son of Fëanor and Nerdanel the Wise. His older brothers were Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, and Caranthir, and his younger brothers were the twins Amrod and Amras. His paternal grandfather was Finwë, King of the Noldor clan. His grandmother Miriel died not long after Fëanor was born. When Fëanor was in his late adolescence, Finwë took another wife, Indis of the Vanyar, and had a second family, with sons Fingolfin and Finarfin, and there was discord between the sons of Miriel and the sons of Indis. Later on in Middle-earth, Curufin had one son, Celebrimbor.

Fëanor became a superlative craftsman and created the Silmarils, three jewels that captured some of the original light of the universe, collected from the Two Trees.

When Melkor was paroled from the Halls of Mandos, he destroyed the Two Trees, murdered Finwë, and stole the Silmarils. Curufin swore the Oath of Fëanor along with his brothers, pledging to pursue Melkor (Morgoth) to the ends of the earth in order to regain the jewels.

Curufin participated in the first Kinslaying when his father decided to hijack the ships of the Teleri to make his exit from Aman.

They sailed across the Helcaraxë, deserting Fingolfin’s people, and then they burned the Telerin ships. Fingolfin’s folk crossed on foot.

Curufin fought in the Second Battle of Beleriand, in which his father was slain by a Balrog. Morgoth took Maedhros prisoner and held him for ransom, and Curufin and his brothers gave him up for lost, unable to foreswear the Oath. Their cousin Fingon rescued Maedhros, who in gratitude yielded the kingship of the Noldor to Fingolfin. Curufin disagreed but kept his mouth shut.

Afterwards the seven sons of Fëanor went out to the Marches of Beleriand, the eldest five each occupying some part of that territory, while Amrod and Amras went to live in Ossiriand. Curufin and Celegorm took the Pass of Aglon and the land of Himlad to the south of the Pass.

Curufin fought in the wildly victorious Third Battle of Beleriand, and afterwards helped build the fortification system that held back Morgoth’s armies for several hundred years. There were frequent skirmishes on the Marches, but the sons of Fëanor kept the Orcs from invading the country to the south.

In the Fourth Battle of Beleriand, Curufin and Celegorm were driven out of Himlad. Instead of fleeing to Maedhros’ fortress on the Hill of Himring, they took their surviving people to Nargothrond. They wrested control of the city from their cousin Finrod. When Beren came to ask Finrod’s help in his own and Luthien’s quest of the Silmaril, the brothers sent him off with few followers -- to his death.

They kidnapped Luthien when they met her while hunting, and they tried to force her father King Thingol to give her hand to Celegorm, but she escaped. When she and Beren captured one Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown, the people of Nargothrond drove the brothers out of the city. Celebrimbor foreswore his allegiance to his father and refused to go. As the brothers were riding eastward, they met Luthien and Beren again. There was a tussle, in which Curufn was out-wrestled by Beren and tried to shoot Luthien with Celegorm’s bow as they were departing on Celegorm’s horse. They went to Himring.

Maedhros attempted to forge an alliance amongst the Elf-kingdoms, but neither Turgon of Gondolin nor Thingol of Doriath nor Orodreth of Nargothrond would join it because of the actions of Curufin and Celegorm.

When Luthien and Beren died, their son Dior inherited the Silmaril and attempted to restore the kingdom of Doriath. The sons of Fëanor demanded the jewel, and Curufin and Celegorm threatened to kill all of Dior’s people if they came back victorious and Dior had not yet surrendered the jewel.

In the disastrous Fifth Battle of Beleriand, all the brothers lost their lands but escaped to Amon Ereb and Ossiriand.

They assembled again to assault Doriath. In that battle, Dior killed Celegorm, and Curufin and Caranthir killed Dior but died afterwards. They failed to acquire the Silmaril, because Dior’s daughter Elwing fled to the Havens of Sirion, preserving the jewel to be her husband Earendil’s passport to the West in his embassy to the Valar.


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FEANORIAN FAMILY HISTORY IN AMAN, LAND OF THE GODS:

Curufin, son of Feanor, was born in the First Age of Arda (Earth), across the Western Sea in Valinor, the Blessed Realm of the Valar beyond the mountains of Aman, in the starlit era before the making of the Moon and the Sun. He was the grandson of Finwe, who was one of the leaders of the three Elven-hosts that followed the hunter-god Orome out of the far eastern realms of Middle-earth where the first Elves awoke into being.

Orome led these three kindreds of the Eldar (as the Elves who went with him are called), the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Teleri, west to the edge of the great Sea and then north to the narrow strait between the two great continents of this world, Aman and Middle-earth. The Elven-hosts then crossed over and turned south to the lands occupied by the fourteen powerful angelic spirits whom Eru Iluvatar ("The One, the Father of All") had given the stewardship of Arda in the deeps of Time. These mighty spirits each claimed an aspect, element, or realm of the world, according to their separate natures. The seven Lords of the Valar were Manwe of the winds and skies; Ulmo of the seas and of all waters; Aule of the deep earth and of the arts and sciences; Orome of the woods and of hunting; Mandos of the dead, the summoner of spirits; Lorien of dreams, also a summoner; and Tulkas of strength and courage, the hero-warrior god. The seven Queens of the Valar (the Valier) were Varda of the stars and of the night; Yavanna of the earth and of all growing things; Nienna of compassion, endurance, and wisdom; Este the healer of all hurts and sorrows; Vaire the weaver, Vana the ever-young, the goddess of youth; and Nessa the lady of the wild things of the forest. The servants of the Valar were the Maiar, lesser spirits but still very powerful. There was a fifteenth Vala, the Lucifer of this world, Melkor (later known as Morgoth, the original Dark Lord), whose elements were fire and darkness. The Elves settled in this land and learned much from the Valar, and each people became proficient in the arts and technologies that suited their nature: The Vanyar in song and poetry; the Noldor in mining, quarrying, architecture, gem-cutting, and metal-working, and also in the language arts; and the Teleri in musicianship and ship-building. Ingwe was King of the Vanyar, Finwe of the Noldor, and Olwe of the Teleri.

Finwe was married twice. His first wife, Miriel Serinde, was exhausted in body and spirit after the birth of their son, Curufinwe, whom she called Feanor ("Spirit of Fire"). All of her strength had gone into the creation of this one child, and she died in the gardens of Lorien where she went first to seek rest and then perpetual release. Feanor grew up raven-haired and piercing of gaze, tall, strong, beautiful, intelligent, willful, restless and indomitable. He was more skilled in his crafts than any of the Elven smiths before him and had a number of unique creations credited to him – the Feanorian Script, the telescope, and a means of infusing his gems with the light of the stars. He married Nerdanel the Wise, daughter of Mahtan the Smith. She was like her mate in having a strong will, but she was patient and tried to understand others rather than seeking to control them. Her sons each inherited some part of her nature, but not all in equal measure. These sons were Maedhros the Tall, Maglor the Minstrel, Celegorm the Fair, Caranthir the Dark, Curufin the Crafty, and Amrod and Amras, who were twins and famous hunters. Curufin was named Curfinwe after his father, because he was the most like him in appearance, temperament, skill, and subtlety of mind.

Finwe’s second wife was Indis of the Vanyar. The sons of Finwe and Indis were Fingolfin and Finarfin. Feanor was very displeased by this second marriage and these new half-brothers, whom he feared might come to covet and challenge his prerogatives as oldest son of the house of Finwe. And he was even less pleased when they proceeded to marry and have children of their own. Fingolfin’s wife is not named in the histories, but his sons by her were Fingon and Turgon, and his daughter was Aredhel Ar-Feiniel. Finarfin married Earwen of Alqualonde, Olwe’s daughter, and their sons were Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod and Aegnor, and their daughter was Galadriel. But whatever the disagreements amongst their parents’ generation, some of these cousins formed lasting friendships across the barrier of their parents’ disapproval. Aredhel loved roaming and hunting, and she was the friend of all seven of Feanor’s sons, who were avid woodsmen. Maedhros and Fingon had a close friendship as well. But aside from these little islands of amity, there was a serious breach in the house of Finwe, and in time everybody came to suffer from it.

Curufin was the only one of Feanor's sons to have a child of his own. This son was called Celebrimbor, who survived into the Second Age to became the maker of the Three Elven Rings. The sagas do not mention his mother, nor do they say whether he was born in Aman or later on, in Middle-earth. Fingon's son Ereinion Gil-Galad (whose mother is likewise not mentioned) and Aredhel's son Maeglin (whose father was Eol the Dark Elf) were both born in Middle-earth, but Turgon's daughter Idril Celbrindel was born in Aman (her mother was Elenwe, who died in the crossing to Middle-earth).

MELKOR INTERVENES IN FEANORIAN FAMILY MATTERS:

Melkor and the other Valar had a history of serious disagreement that stemmed from events that occurred before the making of Arda. By the time Feanor was born, Melkor and the rest of the pantheon had had a couple of wars that had destroyed or altered for the worse significant parts of Middle-earth, but they had defeated him in the last engagement and dragged him in chains to the House of Mandos, which was a pretty secure prison, since none ever leaves that place against the will of the Lord of Death. But Melkor pretended to repent of his rebellious ways, and Manwe believed him, although none of the other Valar did. He was let out of prison, and for a while he was able to fake being a good citizen of the Blessed Realm. But he secretly worked at creating or fostering dissension amongst the Elves, in revenge against the other Valar, who loved the Elves and had worked hard to make the Earth a good place for them to live. He tried to entangle Feanor in this web by offering to share his knowledge with him, but Feanor was nobody’s fool and would have nothing to do with him.

One of the lovelier features of the Blessed Realm was a pair of trees that had been created by Yavanna out of the living light of the universe, and they provided the first light other than starlight that Arda had ever known. One radiated a silver light and the other a golden, and they waxed and waned so that night and day were created in turn. Feanor caught some of the light of the Two Trees, blended it, and condensed it into three jewels of unparalleled beauty, and that was his final work of genius. However, in time he forgot that the source of this beauty was the Light of Valinor, and not something of his own creation, and his heart became passionately and jealously attached to these jewels, which were called the Silmarils.

Melkor resorted to indirect means to overthrow Feanor and the peace of Valinor. He waged a whisper campaign, spreading the idea that the Valar were keeping the Eldar in Aman in order to prevent them from becoming powerful and independent in Middle Earth, which was being reserved for the Atani (the Second-born), the race of Men, who were yet to be created but were long-awaited by the Valar. He started a rumor that Fingolfin and Finarfin were planning to usurp the leadership of the elder line of the family, overthrowing Feanor and his sons. He propagated another lie as well, that Feanor and was planning to exile Fingolfin and Finarfin from Tirion, the city of the Noldor. And last, he visited all factions of the Noldor secretly (and separately) and urged them to begin forging weapons of steel, in expectation that there would be internecine war. Feanor began to speak openly of leaving for Middle-earth, and of taking the leadership of the group that would depart. Finwe became worried and called a family council. Fingolfin arrived first and asked his father to exert his authority over Feanor, who was acting as though he were the King of the Noldor rather than Finwe. Among the Elves, the ironclad rule for males is for the son to defer to the father and the younger brother to the elder, and Fingolfin had breached it. Feaonor heard of this and arrived armed and in a fury that Fingolfin had dared to speak before him, and he caught him outside after the meeting and set the point of his sword to his brother’s throat and threatened him with death if he should ever dare to do such a thing again. Melkor had been so sneaky that the Valar did not perceive that he had anything to do with all this altercation, and they punished Feanor for his actions with twelve years of exile from Tirion. He went to Formenos, the northerly part of Valinor, and built a stronghold (including a lockbox for the Silmarils), and his father went with him, giving up the kingship for the duration of his favorite son’s exile. Fingolfin took up the leadership in Tirion, thus confirming Feanor’s paranoid beliefs. But Melkor made the mistake of visiting Feaonor in Formenos and volunteering to help him escape from Aman – and Feanor perceived that his only intention was to steal the Silmarils. He cursed him and told him to get out, and he reported Melkor’s visit to Finwe, who reported it to the Valar.

Manwe summoned all of the Eldar to a high feast in his own halls on the heights of Tanaquetil, the sacred mountain where the gods resided. Finwe declined to come, saying he would not appear so long as his son was under the ban. But the Valar commanded Feanor himself to appear before the throne of Manwe, and there he found Fingolfin, who offered him his hand and swore that henceforth, though he was a half-brother in blood, he would be a full brother in heart, and would follow and obey Feanor as the elder. Feanor took the hand but answered tersely and ambiguously.

Melkor’s cover was now blown, so he sneaked over the mountains that separated Valinor from the rest of the continent of Aman, where he found Ungoliant, one of the evil spirits who lived in the darkness on the edges of the world, who had taken on the form of a vast, fanged spider, and brought her back over the mountains into Valinor. Melkor struck the Trees to the heart with his spear, and Ungoliant sucked the brilliant living sap from them and poisoned them. Darkness fell on Aman. The two vandals escaped to Middle-earth. The Valar tried to save the Trees but were unable to do so, and they begged Feanor to let them break the Silmarils and loose the light imprisoned inside them, because Yavanna believed that just a little of that light might heal the Trees. Feanor was unable to part with the jewels, and he declared that every artist has a work whose like he will never make again, and in that work his heart may rest. If he were to permit the destruction of this work, then he, too, would be destroyed. The Trees died. And then a messenger arrived with the terrible news that Melkor had visited Formenos before departing from Aman and had killed Finwe and stolen the Silmarils. Feanor cursed both Melkor and the Valar and fled into the night, “for his father was dearer to him than the Light of Valinor or the peerless work of his hands.”

FEANOR AND HIS SONS DEPART FROM AMAN:

Not long after, he appeared suddenly in Tirion, in defiance of the Valar’s ban, and spoke passionately to the crowd. He claimed the kingship of the Noldor and urged his people to follow him back to Middle-earth to retake those lands, before the plans of the Valar to turn them over to the Atani should come to fruition. He swore a dreadful oath, and his sons swore it with him, Curufin among the rest. They swore eternal hatred and vengeance against any person or being that would try to possess the Silmarils which by right belonged only to Feanor and his sons. At this point there was a terrible argument in the family, as Fingolfin was against this course of action, and this quarrel nearly came to sword blows. But Fingolfin had pledged to obey his brother, and in the end he could not go back on his sworn word. Nearly all of the Noldor were behind Feanor on this venture.

Manwe sent his herald to this meeting with a message: he did not forbid the Noldor to depart, but he predicted disaster if they did. Furthermore, if they did go, Feanor alone was exiled permanently, because he was the author of the oath. Feanor ignored the warning, saying that they would seek their freedom, and even if Manwe's words were prophetic, Feanor and his followers "would so such hurt to the Foe of the Valar as even the mighty in the Ring of Doom shall wonder to hear it. Yea, in the end, they shall follow me."

And so they went on. When they reached Alqualonde, the coastal city of the Teleri, Feanor tried to persuade the Telerin mariners to join him, or, failing that, to provide some ships. But the Teleri were unwilling to do either. Feanor and his warriors attacked the Haven of the Swans, killed many of the mariners, and took the ships. This event was infamous forever after, and it was called the Kinslaying. As the host was progressing up the coast towards the Helcaraxe, the strait between the continents, another messenger from Manwe arrived. But this time it was Mandos himself, and he pronounced what was later called the Doom of Mandos, saying that because of the Kinslaying and the thieving of the precious ships, Feanor and his followers were cursed, unless they immediately returned and sought the judgement and pardon of the Valar. Finarfin, who was married to Earwen of Alqualonde, was stricken with grief and turned back.

But the rest went on, some by ship and some by land. However, by the time they reached the Helcaraxe, the cold was terrible and the people were suffering, and many of them were cursing Feanor as the responsible party. Furthermore, there were not enough ships to take all the people across the strait at once. Feanor and his sons and the followers of their household sneaked off and took the ships and crossed the strait. When they reached the landing of Losgar on the other side, Feanor ordered the ships burned. Fingolfin and his people saw the light of the fires across the water and knew they were betrayed. They could not go back, because they, too, were guilty of the Kinslaying, and so they continued on foot, over the ice floes, and many of them died on this crossing.

THE SECOND BATTLE OF BELERIAND:

The host of Feanor had landed at Drengist, a deep firth in the northern coast of Middle-earth. They were just in time for the Second Battle of Beleriand. They marched up the hills of the Ered Lomin, the westernmost mountain-chain, and came to the land of Hithlum, which was enclosed by these mountains, and camped by Lake Mithrim. They were immediately attacked by Morgoth's forces, which had come through the Ered Wethrin, the mountains that bounded Hithlum on its eastern side. (Morgoth had been busy since he arrived in Middle-earth. He had revived his old northern fortress of Angband and filled it with orcs, balrogs, and other nefarious creatures. He had already fought the First Battle of Beleriand with the Grey-elves of Doriath, the Sindarian-speaking Elves who were descendants of those who had followed Orome westward but had turned aside for one reason or another. In fact, he was intermittently at war with all the Elves of Beleriand, which was the current name for the northwest part of Middle-earth as it was before the later cataclysm that changed the shape of the lands forever.) Feanor's host fought a ten-day battle and won it, even though they were outnumbered and on the defensive. They were a fierce lot.

Morgoth's armies had also traveled down the great river Sirion and attacked the Elves of the Falas, where there was a haven for ships and a great fortress, and the people were led by Cirdan the Shipwright. But when word came to the southern Orc-host that Feanor's people had driven Morgoth's northern army back into the northern Plain of Ard-Galen -- back towards Angband -- they broke off their siege of the Havens and hurried north. But they were ambushed by Celegorm (and, presumably, Curufin, as these two brothers were practically inseparable) leading a part of the host of the Noldor, and the Orcs were slaughtered in the Fen of Serech.

Meanwhile, Feanor was in hot pursuit of the fleeing Orcs on the plain. He chased them right up to the gates of Angband, where he was attacked by a Balrog, who wrapped him in flame and smote him down. Feanor's seven sons caught up with him, bringing their forces. The Orcs and the Balrog retreated into Angband. Feanor's sons carried him back towards Mithrim, but on the way up to the Ered Wethrin mountain passes, he died. But first he charged his sons to keep their oath and to avenge their father. His body fell to ash as his fiery spirit departed.

Around this time, the Moon rose for the first time. In Valinor, before the Two Trees died, Yavanna had coaxed them to endure just a little longer, and each of them had bloomed for the last time. Two flowers were the result, one of glowing silver and one of brilliant gold, and she had caught their light and made the Moon and the Sun and sent them one after the other to voyage above the Earth. As the Moon first rose in the sky, Fingolfin and his people arrived in Middle-earth. And as the Sun rose, they marched into Mithrim.

Morgoth tried to trick Feanor's sons into an ambush by acknowledging defeat and offering them a parley and the possibility of getting one of the Silmarils back by negotiation, but both sides turned up with more strength than had been agreed on. There was a fight, and Maedhros was captured alive and taken to Angband. Morgoth sent word that he would release him if the Noldor agreed to leave Middle-earth, or else leave Beleriand for the south of Middle-earth, but they knew he was a liar. So they returned to Hithlum, and Morgoth hung Maedhros by one wrist from one of the high cliffs of Thangorodrim, the cluster of mountain peaks that were directly above the underground portions of the fortress of Angband.

Under the Sun, Fingolfin and Finrod marched right up to the doors of Angband and banged on them. But they knew they couldn't defeat Morgoth with their currant strength, so they went back to Hithlum. It was an awkward meeting, to say the least, between Fingolfin's family and the sons of Feanor. They had to live on opposite sides of the Lake of Mithrim in order not to succumb to anger. But Fingolfin's son Fingon tried to heal the feud in the best way he knew -- he had been been the friend of Maedhros in better days, and he went to Thangorodrim and rescued him. He couldn't break the iron band that secured his friend's hand, so he had to cut the hand off. Maedros lived to wield a sword left-handed with no less skill than before. And once safe in Hithlum, Maedhros asked forgiveness of Fingolfin and yielded the Kingship of the Noldor to him. The other sons of Feanor did not agree with this decision, but they were younger brothers and therefore kept silent.

WHERE EVERYBODY LIVED:

After this, the sons of Feanor chose places for their people to live. Because they were fierce and fiery of nature, like their father, they were willing to shield others against the threat of Angband. There were two major gaps in the geography of the north through which Morgoth might send forces into Beleriand: in the west, the gap between the land of Hithlum and the mountain-ringed country of Dorthonian, where the River Sirion had its sources; and in the east, the gap between the eastern mountain wall of Dorthonion and the foothills of the Ered Lindon, where the River Gelion originated. This second gap became the concern of the sons of Feanor. Maedhros journeyed to the lands beyond the River Aros and built a fortress on the Hill of HImring. Maglor took the lands between the two northernmost tributaries of the Gelion. Celegorm and Curufin took Himlad, a wedge of land between the upper Aros and its tributary, Celon, to the southwest of Maedhros' hills. Caranthir took the easternmost lands of this region, beyond the upper waters of Gelion, about Lake Helevorn, under Mount Rerir. Amrod and Amras did not establish a settled dwelling, but roamed the woods of East Beleriand between the upper Aros and Gelion.

Fingolfin remained in Hithlum, north of Lake Mithrim. His son Fingon also choose lands in Hithlum, east of the Firth of Drengist. His other son Turgon went to Nevrast, a mountain-hedged triangle of land south of the Firth of Drengist. But later, Turgon traveled to the land of Dorthonian and built the city of Gondolin in the westernmost part of that country, and became that city's lord. Their sister Aredhel went with Turgon to Nevrast and later to Gondolin.

Since Finarfin had remained in Aman, his son Finrod became the head of Finarfin's family. He went to West Beleriand, to the plain through which the upper part of the River Narog runs. He built the city of Nargothrond on the left bank of the river, and became its lord. His brother Orodreth claimed the Sirion river valley between the Ered Wethrin and the western part of the mountain range that ringed Dorthonian -- and thus, protecting that narrow pass, he stopped the first gap through which Morgoth might attack Beleriand. Angrod and Aegnor chose the north part of the plain of Dorthonian. Galadriel went to live in Doriath. She had become a student of Melian the Maia, who was the wife of the King of Doriath. In time, Galadriel married Celeborn, a kinsman of Thingol.

The realm of Doriath was located in central Beleriand, south of Dorthonian, in the plains and forests east of the River Sirion, and north of the Falls of Siron, and north of the river Aros. The King of Doriath was Elu Thingol, once known as Elwe Singollo, the brother of Olwe of Alqualonde, and originally the leader of the Telerian host. Elwe had turned aside from the journey and turned over the leadership to his brother before this host departed from Middle-earth -- after he had met and fallen in love with Melian. She had been one of the Maia who lived in Middle-earth and tried to heal the land of its injuries in the early wars of Morgoth and the Valar. She took on human form in order to live with Elwe and rule as his Queen in Menegroth, the magnificent underground halls that were the King's palace and the capital of Doriath. The people of this community became known as the Sindar, the Grey-Elves, and the Sindarian language spread all over the Elvish lands and became the common speech of its time. After the First Battle of Beleriand, Melian ringed the greater part of Doriath with a circle of magic which kept out Morgoth's armies and servants, and also kept out anybody who did not have the King's permission to be there.

Cirdan and his people occupied the plain and peninsula between Brithombar and Eglarest, the two sea-havens, just west of West Beleriand.

There was also a large community of Grey-elves in Mithrim.

And there were Green-elves in Ossiriand, the land between the east bank of the River Gelion and the Ered Lindon.

The Dwarf people lived in the Ered Lindon, later known as the Ered Luin (the Blue Mountains). They built two great underground cities on the west side of these mountains, Belegost and Nogrod. When the Eldar first came east to these mountains, the Dwarves recognized something like a kindred spirt in the Noldor. Both peoples were great miners and metal-workers and jewel-smiths, and they became trading partners. But even before that, the Elves of Doriath had hired Dwarves from the mountains to help turn the caves of Menegroth into a palace of unrivaled beauty. And later, Finrod engaged the Dwarves to help construct Nargothrond in a similar fashion.

Morgoth maintained his far-north residence in Angband, under the peaks of Thangorodrim. A great curving wall of ice- and snow-covered mountains, the Iron Mountain range, made it impossible for any attackers to get around the fortress and come at it from behind. Thangorodrim was a massif of these mountains, and it hung over Angband and sheltered it from the open sky.

[ Note: Sorry, everybody who is reading -- assuming anybody is -- but it is impossible to tell this story without a ton of geographical references, as it's a large-canvas tale. If this matters to you, see the map in The Silmarillion, edited by Christopher Tolkien, the Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. There are probably other editions available as well. See also the online map I've linked in the sidebar of this journal. ]

Twenty years after the Second Battle of Beleriand, Fingolfin held a great feast near the Pools of Ivrin, from which the River Narog rose. It was later called the Feast of Reuniting, and it was attended by Finrod and a great many of Fingolfin's and Finrod's chieftains, and Maedhros and Maglor came. (It was probably just as well that they left Celegorm and Curfin at home to guard the fort, so to speak. These two were the trouble-makers of the family.) Cirdan came with many of his people from the Havens, and Elves from all parts of Beleriand came, and from Ossiriand. Thingol did not come, but he sent messages of greeting and good will. Thirty years of peace followed this feast, during which Finrod established Nargothrond, and Turgon, the city of Gondolin.

THE THIRD BATTLE OF BELERIAND:

Morgoth abruptly launched an assault against his enemies. The Iron Mountains that fenced his territory poured forth flame, and the ground was shaken by earthquakes originating in the north. The Orc armies came across the plain of Ard-galen to the Pass of Sirion in the west and into a gap between Maedhros' hills and the foothills of the Ered Luin, and they attacked Dorthonian. But Fingolfin responded in the west and Maedhros in the east, destroying Morgoth's armies and chasing the survivors far into Ard-galen and killing them within sight of Angband. (Curufin would have been in this battle, whether attacking the Orcs who were attacking Dorthonion, or simply to block any Orcs trying to come through into Himlad. He might have been in the pursuit into Ard-galen.)

INTERIM:

After the Third Battle, the Elves built a string of hill-forts and encampments all along the borders of their territories and the plain of Ard-galen, to keep a watch on Morgoth and to be able to respond swiftly if he made a move towards them again. This was called the Leaguer of Angband, and it lasted 400 years. During this time, most of the battles were small sorties. Morgoth was only once able to field a full-sized army fielded, one hundred years after the Third Battle of Beleriand, and he did this by sending them north around Hithlum and then south again down to the Firth of Drengist. But Fingon got wind of this and attacked them at the mouth of the Firth and destroyed them.

During the years of relative peace, Celegorm and Curufin continued to hold Himlad, and they fortified the Pass of Aglon between Dorthonian's eastern mountains and the Hill of Himring in Maedhros' country. (Ironically for Thingol, as we will see later on, it was those two brothers that protected "the gateway to Doriath" for all those years.)

The sons of Feanor were the lords of East Beleriand (and proud of it), except for Amrod and Amros, who lived an itinerant life in the woodlands south of the River Aros.

THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG:

One day, Melian asked Galadriel point blank if the Noldor had been exiled by the Valar. Galadriel admitted that they had come for vengeance on Morgoth and to get the Silmarils back, but she insisted they had left Aman of their own free will, and she did not tell her mentor about the Oath or the Kinslaying or the burning of the ships at Losgar. Melian read between the words, however. She warned Thingol to beware of the sons of Feanor, because the shadow of the wrath of the Valar lay on them, and they had done evil both in Aman and to their own kin. She foresaw that the Silmarils would not be regained by the Eldar and that disaster would come before the jewels were taken from Morgoth. Thingol refused to listen. He was too happy to have the sons of Feanor defending him and his people, without having to participate.


{{This synopsis is shaping up to be longer than the story itself!!!! XD Still working on it. I will also write a much abbreviated version when I get the chance. }}