"Felagund among Beor's Men" by Ted Nasmith
men awoke and listened to Felagund as he harped and sang,
and each thought that he was in some fair dream,
until he saw that his fellows were awake also beside him;
but they did not speak or stir while Felagund still played,
because of the beauty of the music and the wonder of the song.
Names: Finrod (Quen. Findàrato), Felagund, Artafindë, Ingoldo, Nóm, Felak-gundu,
Titles: The Faithful, Friend of Men, Lord and King of Nargothrond
Though of the royal line of the Noldor, Finrod is akin both to the Vanyar and to the Sindar:
Father: Finarfin, third son of Finwë, high-king of the Noldor, in his marriage to Indis of the Vanyar,
Mother: Eärwen, daughter of Olwë, king of Aqualondë,
Brothers: Orodreth, Angrod, Aegnor
Once in Beleriand, the high-kingship of the Noldor passed from the house of Feänor to the house of Fingolfin. But it was the destiny of the friends, Finrod and Turgon, to establish the great realms of the Noldor in exile: Nargothrond and Gondolin. In this they were led by Ulmo himself, who had laid a dream on them in which they were called to "prepare for a day of evil, and to establish a retreat".
When Finrod told Elwë Singollo of his
admiration for the halls of Menegroth in Doriath, Elwë told him
about the gorge of the river Narog. And it was there that Finrod delved
the stronghold of
Nargothrond. In this he was aided by the dwarves of the Blue Mountains,
were given many jewels of Valinor for their efforts. But the dwarves
for Finrod the necklace called Nauglamir, most renowned of all the
of old. The dwarves called Finrod “felak-gundu”, hewer of caves, and by
name of Felagund he was called since then.
The realm of Nargothrond stretched from Doriath and the river Sirion in the east to the havens of Cirdan in the west. In the north, Nargothrond even touched upon the very plains of Ard-Galen. There, in the narrow valley between Dorthonion and the Shadowy Mountains, upon the isle of Tol Sirion, Felagund built the mighty watchtower of Minas Tirith. Thus it came that the realm of Finrod was the greatest by far in Beleriand, though he was the youngest of the Noldor Kings.
Wandering through the wild beauty of Ossiriand,
Felagund encoutered the first of the Edain to cross the Blue Mountains,
the kindred of Beör the Old. Then for them he played harp-music
and sang songs of
learning and wisdom. Thus to the first Men that entered Beleriand
visions of Valinor. And Felagund they called “Nóm”, which means
in the language of these Edain. And Felagund became a teacher to the
and gave them lands to live in, pleading on their behalf before King
But Beorn and his family stayed with Felagund in Nargothrond.
In the horrible Dagor Bragollach, the armies of Morgoth led by Glaurung and many Balrogs broke the Siege of Angband. The sons of Finarfin bore the brunt of the assault, and Angrod and Aegnor were slain. But Felagund was then saved from peril by Barahir and his men. For this Felagund swore an oath of abiding friendship to Barahir and his kin, and gave to Barahir his ring as a token.
Thus it was that many years later Beren, son of Barahir, came to Felagund with the burden laid upon him by Thingol: to go and take a Silmarillion from the crown of Morgoth himself. And in this he sought the aid of King Felagund. Then Felagund knew himself to be ensnared in the Oath of Feänor after all. For in fulfilling his own oath to Barahir he would find the sons of Feänor on his path. And it came to be that many of his people were won over by Celegorm and Curufin, disclaiming an oath to a mere Man, claiming their first right of Oath and Silmarillii. Then Felagund and Beren journeyed into the valley between the Ered Withrin and Dorthonion with only ten companions. But the watchtower of Tol Sirion was now taken by Sauron, and it was renamed Tol-in-Gauroth. And Sauron was ware of everything that would pass. Thus befell the contest of Sauron and Felagund which is renowned.
In the "Lay of Leithian", most beautiful of the epic poems of Middle Earth, it is told how the Elvenking fought the evil Maia:
”The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,But the song of Sauron then turns to the doom of the Noldor, to the kinslaying of Aqualondë and the doom of Mandos, and Felagund is stripped of his power:
And all the magic and might he brought,
Of Elvenesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
Singing afar in Nargothond,
The sighing of the sea beyond”
“The captives sad in Angband mourn,Sauron locked the twelve into a pit, and threatened to slay each cruelly, if they would not tell him the true identity of Felagund. But none would betray the elvenlord, though each night a werewolf came to devour one of them. And when only Beren and Felagund were left, the werewolf came for Beren. Then Felagund in a last and desperate effort burst his chains and slew the wolf with his bare hands and teeth. But he himself was mortally wounded.
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn-
And Finrod fell before the throne”
“He died then in the dark, in Tol-in-Gauroth, whose great tower he himself had built. Thus King Finrod Felagund, fairest and most beloved of the house of Finwë, redeemed his oath.”
Silmarillion, The History of Middle Earth, volumes III, XI, XII