A map of the Dagor Bragollach
|Conflict: The War of the Jewels|
|Date: FA 455 - FA 456|
|Place: Thangorodrim, outside of Angband|
|Outcome: A decisive victory for the forces of Morgoth|
|Angband, Thangorodrim||Sons of Fëanor, Elves of Hithlum, Edain|
|Morgoth, Glaurung||Fingolfin†, Angrod†, Aegnor†, Bregolas† Barahir, Hador†, Maglor, Finrod Felagund, and Maedhros|
|Orcs (70,000); Trolls (10); Balrogs (5); and one dragon, Glaurung||140,000-150,000 Elves; and some tens of thousands of Edain|
|Unknown, most likely, many thousands of orcs and many trolls.||Unknown, possibly 100,000 elves and several thousand humans.|
The Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame) was the fourth of the great battles of the War of the Jewels. It marked the end of the Siege of Angband and beginning of Morgoth's gains against the Elves and Men of the Beleriand.
It began when Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband, which had held for four hundred years. On a winter's night, Morgoth sent out rivers of flame from Thangorodrim and Angband, consuming Ard-galen, which was renamed Anfauglith. Many elves perished as they fled from these flames. His armies of Balrogs and Orcs, led by Glaurung first of the Foalókë, overran the highlands of Dorthonion, and slew Angrod and Aegnor. Maglor's horsemen were burnt alive on the plain of Lothlann, and Maglor's Gap was taken, giving Morgoth an entry into Beleriand itself. Maglor retreated with heavy losses to Himring, where he helped defend the city of Maedhros.
The Pass of Aglon was also breached, and Celegorm and Curufin fled north of Doriath to Nargothrond. Morgoth's Orcs took the mountain forests of Mount Rerir, and defiled Lake Helevorn, scattering south through Thargelion into East Beleriand. Caranthir fled to Amon Ereb, where he and Amrod built defenses. From there they slowly freed East Beleriand of the Orcs, while Maglor and Maedhros held the northern border.
Minas Tirith in the Pass of Sirion in the West under Orodreth held, and Orodreth's uncle and Lord Finrod Felagund came north from Nargothrond with a large army. However, they were ambushed by a large army of Morgoth's forces at the Fen of Serech. The Noldor now found themselves trapped, and Finrod would have been killed but for a sortie by Barahir, who descended from Dorthonion and rescued the elven lord. It was this deed which later earned Barahir the ring of Finrod which would become known as the Ring of Barahir.
Thus the Siege was broken, the Sons of Fëanor scattered, and the forces of Morgoth roamed at will throughout the north.
When Fingolfin, the High King of the Ñoldor, learned of the heavy casualties of so many Noldor, he rode in anger across the dust of Anfauglith and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel. Fingolfin's sword, Ringil, wounded Morgoth seven times. Yet, Fingolfin was ultimately no match for the Dark Lord and fell by Morgoth's hammer, Grond, crushed beneath Morgoth's foot, but not before stabbing Morgoth in the foot with his last breath. Thorondor, king of the eagles then swooped down and retrieved the fallen Elf Kings body and scarred Morgoth's face. Although Morgoth's wounds would never heal and he would limp forever more when walking, Morgoth and his forces were nevertheless victorious. 
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVIII: "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"