Finrod Felagund

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Finrod
Tolkien's legendarium character
Aliases Findaráto Artafindë Ingoldo,
Nóm, Felagund,
'The Faithful',
'Friend of Men',
King of Nargothrond
Race Elf
Gender male
Book(s) The Silmarillion

Finrod Felagund (IPA: [ˈfinrod ˈfelaɡund] is a fictional character in the fantasy-world Middle-earth of the English author J. R. R. Tolkien. He appears in The Silmarillion, the epic poem The Lay of Leithian and the Grey Annals, as well as other material.

Character Overview[edit]

In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Finrod Felagund was a Noldorin Elf, the eldest son of Finarfin and Eärwen of Alqualondë in Aman. He was the brother of Galadriel, Angrod and Aegnor and Orodreth.[1] He was the king of Nargothrond before travelling into the west. There, the men gave him another title, Nóm, meaning "Wise".

Etymology[edit]

The name Finrod is a Sindarin form of his Telerin (Quenya) name Findaráto, with the approximate meaning "Mighty descendant of Finwë". (More fully it was Findaráto Ingoldo, including the name given by his mother which was never translated.) Artafindë was the proper Noldorin Quenya version of Findaráto. Felagund was an epessë given to him by the Dwarves who expanded the caves of Nargothrond, and meant "Hewer of Caves". It is not Sindarin, but rather Sindarized Khuzdul. Another name given to Finrod was Nóm ("Wisdom"). It was given to him by Bëor and his followers. His other titles include: King/Lord of Nargothrond, Friend-of-Men.

Fictional context[edit]

Biography[edit]

Finrod founded the original Minas Tirith in the Pass of Sirion, and was later King of Nargothrond.

While hunting in the lands of Thargelion in East Beleriand Finrod was the first of the Noldor to come across Men, and he long stayed with them, learning their language and teaching them Sindarin. He also intervened on behalf of the Laiquendi of Ossiriand, who feared Men would destroy their home, and he got permission of Thingol, who held rule over all Beleriand, to guide the Men to Estolad.

Finrod had a close friendship with Andreth of the House of Bëor, whom he often visited during the Siege of Angband to converse with her on the matters of Elves and Men. One such conversation was written down and later known as "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth". In this tale, Finrod is also acknowledged as the "wisest of the Noldor."

Barahir of the House of Bëor saved Felagund's life at the Dagor Bragollach, and Finrod gave him his ring, which became known as the Ring of Barahir. He also swore an oath of friendship and aid to Barahir and all his kin. When, years later, Barahir's son Beren came to Nargothrond seeking help, Finrod went with him on the Quest of the Silmaril to repay his debt. Celegorm and Curufin, who were living in Nargothrond at the time, persuaded (using barely veiled threats related to their oath) most of Nargothrond to stay behind; only ten warriors, headed by Edrahil, were faithful and came with them. The twelve were captured and taken to Tol-in-Gaurhoth (Isle of Werewolves), formerly Minas Tirith. Finrod and Sauron battled with songs of power but Sauron eventually won. He imprisoned them seeking to learn their errand and identities. Sauron sent a werewolf to devour them one by one until they told their secret. None did. When the wolf came for Beren, Finrod broke his chains and killed the wolf barehanded, fulfilling his oath, but being mortally wounded himself.

Finrod loved Amarië, a Vanyarin Elf who did not follow him to Middle-earth, and foretold that nothing of Nargothrond would last that a son could inherit, as he never married while in Middle-earth. It is noted in The Lay of Leithian that Finrod was soon allowed to return to life in Valinor, and "now dwells with Amarië", so they probably were wed later. The Silmarillion briefly mentions Finrod's return to life and reunion with his father.

House of Finarfin[edit]

Earlier versions[edit]

In earlier versions of Tolkien's writings, and in the first edition of The Lord of the Rings, the name Finrod was given to the character later known as Finarfin. Finrod Felagund was then named Inglor Felagund. In the first edition of The Lord of the Rings, the character Gildor introduces himself as "Gildor Inglorion of the house of Finrod." However, in the second edition, when Finrod's name was changed to Finarfin, this line was not changed.[2]:72 The earliest name of this character was Felagoth.[3]

In the published The Silmarillion Orodreth is Finrod's brother.

Reception[edit]

Finrod's battle of chants with Sauron in its early, extended version has been seen as an example of "the power Tolkien locates in language and in story-telling". Just like the elves of Middle-earth keep dwindling throughout the centuries, their linguistic and poetic power becomes also lesser. While Finrod is still able to sing of elven creations and deeds, his sister Galadriel's "Song of Eldamar" in a later age is confined to memories.[4]

Likewise, his first encounter with Men has been interpreted as an indirect move of the elves towards the light since the Men of Middle-earth are instictively striving to move out of darkness. In contrast, Maeglin, an elf of Gondolin would later betray his city to the dark lord Morgoth.[5]

Randel Helms has compared Felagund's role in Beren's quest to that of Arthur when he is called upon by Culhwch. "In both tales... the young men enlist the aid of a great king."[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion. Ballantine. p. 380. ISBN 0-345-32581-8. 
  2. ^ Christopher Tolkien (1988), The History of Middle-Earth, The Return of the Shadow; ISBN 0-395-49863-5
  3. ^ Drout, Michael D. C., ed. (2007). "Finrod". J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Taylor & Francis. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-41596-942-0. 
  4. ^ Barootes, B. S. W. (2014). "'He chanted a song of wizardry'". In Houghton, John Wm.; Croft, Janet Brennan; Martsch, Nancy; Rateliff, John D.; Reid, Robin Anne. Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-1-47661-486-1. 
  5. ^ Flieger, Verlyn (2002). Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World (revised ed.). Kent State University Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-87338-744-6. 
  6. ^ Helms, Randel (1981). Tolkien and the Silmarils. Houghton Mifflin. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-39529-469-7. 

External links[edit]

Finrod Felagund
Born: Years of the Trees 468 FA
Preceded by
None; Kingship established
King of Nargothrond Succeeded by
Orodreth
Preceded by
None; Kingship established
Lord of West Beleriand Succeeded by
None