Aredhel was tall and strong, fond of hunting and riding in the forests. Her skin was pale and her hair dark; she always wore silver and white. Though fond of the Sons of Fëanor, she never fell in love with any of them.
After arriving in Middle-earth, she dwelt in Nevrast with her brother Turgon until Gondolin was complete, and when it was she went with him to the hidden city. But after two hundred years, the longing for the forests and wide lands overcame her, and she asked leave to depart. Turgon was unwilling, fearing the exposure of the Hidden Kingdom, but eventually relented and allowed her to leave.
Riding with companions, they were denied entrance to Doriath, it being closed to the Ñoldor. But they did tell her of the best way to find the Sons of Fëanor, and so they went around to the north, where she was separated in the dangerous region of Nan Dungortheb and reported lost. However, she reached Himlad safely, and waited there to meet Celegorm who was abroad, but eventually she wandered out of boredom and became lost in the forest of Nan Elmoth.
Eöl the Dark Elf ruled those woods; seeing Aredhel and noticing her beauty, he set enchantments about her so that she could not escape the forest. Eventually, she wandered to Eöl's dwelling in the woods, where he finally revealed himself to her. After marrying him, she stayed with him many years. They had a son named Maeglin, and telling him of her former life and home, she desired to see them again, and left Nan Elmoth with Maeglin while Eöl was away. They reached Gondolin (not realizing that Eöl was following them all the while), and were received with rejoicing. Eöl was also discovered and brought before Turgon, but rather than accept Turgon's judgment to remain, he attempted to kill his son for disobeying him with a poisoned javelin concealed in his cloak. Aredhel stepped in front of it and was hit by it and because of its poison, she died that night from the wound.
Her name in Quenya was Irissë. The names Aredhel ("noble Elf") and Ar-Feiniel ("noble white lady") were both originally intended to stand alone, and be used as the main name of Irissë. While preparing The Silmarillion for publication Christopher Tolkien could not discover which name was intended to be used as her final name, and he therefore chose to use both names: a decision he later stated in The History of Middle-earth series was possibly mistaken.
The House of Fingolfin family treeEdit
Finwë = Indis | --------------------------- | | | | Findis Fingolfin Irimë Finarfin = Eärwen | ---------------------------------------- | | | | Fingon Turgon = Elenwë Aredhel = Eöl Argon | | | Gil-galad Idril = Tuor Maeglin | Eärendil = Elwing | Elrond
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of Maeglin"