Fingon, the Valiant was an Ñoldorin elf, the eldest son of Fingolfin, older brother of Turgon, Aredhel, and Argon. He was High King of the Ñoldor in Middle-earth during the First Age after the death of his father. He was an instrument in healing the rift between the Sons of Fëanor and the followers of his father after their desertion of them Araman.
Fingon was born in Aman, probably in Tirion where the House of Finwë was located. When the Ñoldor were resolved to return to Middle-earth, Fingon followed his father and his people, though they were drawn more to the ruling of their own realms and adventurism rather than vengeance and the recovery of the Silmarils, as Fëanor and his sons sought. He fought in the first Kinslaying but only because he, seeing elf fighting elf, believed that the Teleri had been told to prevent the Ñoldor from leaving Aman by force by the Valar.
He and his father arrived in Middle-earth after the host Fëanor it was the beginning First Age and the Sun had just arose. Just after the Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars), he achieved great renown soon after for his daring rescue of Maedhros from Thangorodrim on FA 5. Thorondor took him to where Maedhros had been chained by Morgoth. Maedhros begged Fingon to kill him, but Fingon instead severed Maedhros's hand at the wrist, and brought him back to the Noldorin camp. It was this act of bravery and compassion that resolved the dispute as to whose house would rule over the Ñoldor in Middle-earth, for Maedhros renounced his claim to the High Kingship of the Ñoldor instead ceding it to House of Fingolfin. Fingolfin gave him a domain in Dor-lómin, in the west of Hithlum, where he did good service during the Siege of Angband; defeating orcs that attempted to go around to the north and attack Hithlum from the west, and then later the first to fight against the dragon Glaurung when he first came forth from Angband during the Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle).
Fingon became High King when Fingolfin died dueling with Morgoth after the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame). Seven years later, Morgoth's forces invaded Hithlum, and Fingon was hard-pressed and outnumbered, but Círdan and the people of the Falas, who came up the Firth of Drengist rescued them in their ships. Fingon had one son Gil-galad, who ruled the remnant of the Ñoldor during the Second Age from Lindon.
Fingon's final battle was the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears). Fingon led the attack on Angband, and the fury of his warriors nearly won the day. Unfortunately, due to Ulfang's treachery, Maedhros did not arrive until three days after he was expected. This resulted in Morgoth releasing his Balrogs and Glaurung the dragon on the already-weakened Ñoldor force. When Maedhros finally arrived, hope was reborn for Fingon's army; however, Ulfang's treachery again took effect, causing Maedhros to withdraw. Fingon was then surrounded and his guards killed. He dueled Gothmog, lord of Balrogs, but was struck from behind by another. Gothmog then clove Fingon's helm, and fire sprang from it. This presumably killed Fingon instantly, but the Balrogs proceeded to beat his body into the dust long after he was dead. Thus the day ended in defeat for the elves.
Appearance and characterEdit
In The Lost Road and Other Writings (History of Middle-earth Vol. 5), 'the earliest Quenta Silmarillion, he was described as follows: "His valour was as a fire yet steadfast as the hills of stone; wise he was and skilled in voice and hand; troth and justice he loved and bore goodwill to all, both Elves and Men, hating Morgoth only; he sought not his own, neither power nor glory, and death was his reward."
The only note of Fingon's physical appearance comes from The Shibboleth of Fëanor (The Peoples of Middle-earth, History of Middle-earth Vol. 12), where it was said that Fingon 'wore his long dark hair in great plaits braided with gold'.
Fingon's name was a Sindarin word. The Quenya name Findekáno. It may be noted that the first element was certainly Quenya finde 'hair' - a tress or plait of hair. Kano meant in Quenya 'commander', usually as the title of a lesser chief, especially one acting as the deputy of one higher in rank.
Earlier versions of the legendariumEdit
In the published Silmarillion, Fingon was the father of Gil-galad, but this was an editorial mistake by Christopher Tolkien, and is said "to have no wife or children". Argon does not appear in the published Silmarillion at all.
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
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
- ↑ The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 18
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth: The Lost Road and Other Writings
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Appendix