Morgoth Breaks the Doors of Night
|Conflict: Dagor Dagorath|
|Date: The last year of Arda|
|Outcome: Final Victory for the free people
|The Dark Powers||The Free Peoples|
|Morgoth† Sauron†||Manwë, Tulkas|
|all evil creatures, Orcs, Trolls, Uruk-Hai, Wargs, Great spiders, Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves, Wraiths, Barogs||all light creatures, Ainur, Mair Elves, Ents, Men, Dwarves, Great eagles, Hobbits, all Animals of Arda|
|Morgoth, all evil beasts||Arda and all life in that world|
The Dagor Dagorath or the Final Battle is an event described in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. The published Silmarillion ends with the recounting of the voyage of Eärendil the Mariner, but this is due to an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien. The Silmarillion as J.R.R. Tolkien originally wrote it ends with a prophecy by Mandos about the Dagor Dagorath, often referred to as "The End". The remaining clue to this prophecy is found at the end of Akallabêth, where "Ar-Pharazôn and his mortal warriors who had set foot on Aman were buried by falling hills, imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotten until the "Last Battle and Day of Doom". The account is clearly inspired by and bears many similarities to the Norse legend of Ragnarök, but also that of the Abrahamic Armageddon. It is important to note that the final, published version of the Silmarillion contains no references to this prophecy.
In later writings of Tolkien's, it becomes apparent that Melkor was not merely bound, but unhoused, after his final capture, being "beheaded" and thus "killed", that is, the body to which he had become so bound was destroyed, after which execution his spirit, still bound with the enchanted chain Angainor, was cast out through the Door of Night. His "will" is spoken of as an active force in the world, tempting and urging in thought, and sometimes in phantom manifestation; and it is foretold that at the end of the world, his old strength will come back to him, that he will overcome the guard upon the Door, and reenter Arda.
The Second Prophecy of MandosEdit
- "Thus spoke Mandos in prophecy, when the Valar sat in judgement in Valinor and the rumour of his word was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of the Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and the Moon. But Eärendil shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day, Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Eönwë, and on his left Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, coming from the halls of Mandos; and the black sword of Túrin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Húrin and all Men be avenged.
- Thereafter shall Earth be broken and remade, and the Silmarils shall be recovered out of Air and Earth and Sea; for Eärendil shall descend and surrender that flame which he hath had in keeping. Then Fëanor shall take the Three Jewels and bear them to Yavanna Palúrien; and she will break them and with their fire rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth. And the mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the light shall go out over all the world. In that light the Valar will grow young again, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Ilúvatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy of Mandos doth not speak, and no Man it names, save Túrin only, and to him a place is given among the sons of the Valar."
According to the prophecy, Morgoth will discover how to break the Door of Night, and will destroy the Sun and the Moon. For the love of these, Eärendil will return from the sky and shall meet Tulkas, Manwë, Eönwë (with the old version of his name Fionwe) and Túrin Turambar on the plains of Valinor.
There the forces of the Valar shall fight against Melkor and The Dark Powers. Tulkas will wrestle with Morgoth, but it will be by the hand of Túrin that finally death and destruction will be dealt to Melkor. Túrin will run his black sword Gurthang (Iron of Death) through Melkor's heart, thus avenging the Children of Húrin (Sindarin: Hîn Húrin) and all Men (In the end of The Hiding of Valinor Eönwë, and not Turin, kills Morgoth). Then the Pelóri Mountains will be levelled, the three Silmarils will be recovered from the Earth, sea, and sky, and Fëanor's spirit will be released from the halls of Mandos to give them to Yavanna, who will break them and rekindle the light of the Two Trees. The battle will end and renew Arda's existence: all the Elves will awaken and the Powers will be young again.
Following this, there will be a Second Music of the Ainur. This song will sing into being a new world. Men and Elves will sing it with the Ainur. It is unknown what the fate of the old races, or of the old world, will be in the new one. However, It is worth noting that the Dwarves believe that after the greatest battle of all time, they will help their god, Mahal, rebuild Arda. For though Mandos prophesied it, even the Ainur do not know anything of the second world or the Second Music. All the Ainur know is that the Second Music will be greater than the First Music.
Christopher Tolkien removed the prophecy from The Silmarillion based on a 1958 version of the Valaquenta wherein his father wrote that none of Mandos' dooms had declared whether the Marring of Arda would ever be repaired (Christopher Tolkien adopted this passage and used it to close the Quenta Silmarillion). Given this removal of the prophecy Christopher apparently assumed that the Dagor Dagorath had been removed as well.
The published Silmarillion contradicts the Second Prophecy in places. Whereas the Second Prophecy explicitly states that the Elves and Valar shall be renewed after Dagor Dagorath and that the fate of Men is unknown, The Silmarillion states that Men will participate in singing the Second Music, and that it is the fate of the Elves that is unknown.
In all of this the Creator, Eru, will retain His sovereignty and nothing Morgoth nor any evil force could do will be able to threaten his plan in any way. As Eru said, "And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
Dagor Dagorath was Sindarin for Battle of Battles.