Namo, Lord of Mandos

The Curse of Mandos

 by Varda-(Valar)

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Part I: Banishment
Part II: The Curse

    The Lord of Doom's name in Valinor is Namo, and his place is called Mandos. He is most often called by that place name as are many lords. 
    Namo is fifth of the seven Lords of the Valar, sixth of the eight Aratar.
    Mandos is Lord of Doom (as in destiny in the Afterlife) for the true Children of Eru. The Firstborn, the Elves, who tire of Middle Earth or who die, go to Mandos, to the Houses of the Dead; from there, they may be reborn into Valinor or, in special cases, returned to Middle-earth. The Secondborn, the Humans, stop in Mandos to reflect on their lives before going to the Void to be with Eru. The adopted children of Eru, the Dwarves, however, go to the Halls of Aule, their maker.
    Singer of What is to Come, Mandos is also Lord of Doom as in destiny in Life, rarely telling what will happen, but when he speaks, it behooves all to listen! He often knows the future, at least in part. If he pronounces a "curse", it becomes the doom or fate.
    His younger brother is Irmo, Lord of Lorien and of dreams, which are the "little death".
    Their sister is Nienna who has and can give the ability to feel pity.  She or her gift is sometimes referred to as "Pity"; note when Gandalf capitalizes this word.
    Namo's wife is Vaire who shows the future in the tapestries she weaves and hangs in their Hall.

    The Doom of Mandos, also known as the Curse of Mandos and the Curse of the Noldor, is a specific reference to his judgement over Feanor and his followers. Part 1 is found in the Silmarillion, "Of the Silmarils". Part 2 is in "Of the Flight of the Noldor".

    Melkor was at the root sowing bitterness that lived long afterwards between the sons of Fingolfin and Feanor, but the Noldor had become proud. Feanor openly did the deeds Melkor desired, although he hated Melkor and did the deeds for himself. Feanor broke the peace of Valinor claiming the elves were slaves of the Valar and drew sword against his kinsman, Fingolfin, and later was responsible for the heinous Kinslaying.

    Part I: Banishment. Before the gates of Valmar in the Ring of Doom, Mandos said, "Thou speakest of thraldom. If thraldom it be, thou canst not escape it; for Manwe is King of Arda, and not of Aman only. And this deed was unlawful, whether in Aman or not in Aman. Therefore this doom is now made: for twelve years thou shalt leave Tirion where this threat was uttered. In that time take counsel with thyself, and remember who and what thou art. But after that time this matter shall be set in peace and held redressed, if others will release thee."
    Fingolfin, immediately released his half-brother, Feanor, but Feanor, feeling humiliated, spoke no word and went into banishment with his seven sons, joined by Finwe the King who cared deeply for his son Feanor. Finwe declared himself unkinged during this time. Fingolfin then became ruler of the Noldor in Tirion. Later, Fingolfin tried to reconcile with Feanor, saying "Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us." This trapped Fingolfin's line into Feanor's fate.
    Melkor showed his desire for Feanor's Silmarils and lost his direct hold over Feanor. Melkor and Ungoliant destroyed the Light of Valinor: the Trees of Yavanna and the Wells of Varda, leaving only the light which had been put into the Silmarils, so that all was in darkness. Feanor refused to part with the Silmarils which were the greatest work of his hands, when the Valar asked that they be opened to return the light. The Valar accepted this, and while Feanor was speaking with the Valar, Melkor killed Finwe and stole the Silmarils.
    Feanor chased after Melkor, taking with him most of the Noldor, claiming that the rest of the Valar were as bad acting as slave masters. He swore a terrible oath by Iluvatar, calling on Manwe, Varda, and the hallowed mountain of Taniquetil to witness it, saying that he would pursue any, even a Vala, who should hold or take or keep a Silmaril from his possession. His sons swore the same oath with him. He inflamed many of the Noldor with the desire to see new things and places, so that they followed him for that. Galadriel was one of these, and also desired a realm of her own.
    As Feanor led away the Noldor, the Valar sent a messenger, Eonwe the Herald, who spoke the words of Manwe. He warned Feanor that the quest was folly leading to evil Feanor could not foresee. The Valar would neither aid nor hinder the quest. But Feanor himself was banished. Feanor laughed and said he would at least do hurt to Melkor and the march continued.
    Feanor insisted the Teleri elves give him their swan ships to cross the ocean after Melkor, ships as precious to them as the Silmarils to him, and took them by force, and led the killing of a great many of the less well armed, mostly unarmored or lighter-armored, Teleri. This is referred to as the Kinslaying. Osse was not allowed to help the Teleri, but when his wife Uinen wept for the mariners, his great sea rose in wrath killing many Noldor.

    Part 2: Prophecy of the North, Doom of the Noldor, Curse of Mandos.  At the northern border, a dark figure stood high upon a rock on the shore, and they heard a great voice. All fell silent to hear, and it is believed the figure was Mandos himself. And the great one said:

    "Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Feanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from theWest unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them,and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
    "Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Ea, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken."

At this, Finarfin forsook the march and returned to Valinor, taking many of his people with him, and he became king of the remnant of the Noldor. But his sons continued on with Feanor for they would not forsake the sons of Fingolfin, who had sworn to follow Feanor. Many others continued with Feanor, many fearing the Doom of the Valar for what the Noldor had done to the Teleri; for those not with Feanor but in back had also killed Teleri, thinking they had waylaid Feanor, and felt the guilt of the Kinslaying.

Reference: Silmarillion