Fingon, the Valiant was an Ñoldorin elf, the eldest son of Fingolfin, and older brother of Turgon, Aredhel, and Argon.[1]

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 in Araman.


Brave Heart - Children of Fingolfin

The Children of Fingolfin, by niyochara

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.[2]

After Fëanor's abandonment of them, Fingon and his people were led by Fingolfin and crossed the perilous icy wastes of Helcaraxë. They arrived in Middle-earth at the beginning of the First Age and the Noldor witnessed the arising of the Sun.

Fingon's rescue of Maedhros

Fingon saves Maedhros from Thangorodrim

After the Dagor-nuin-Giliath and the death of Fëanor, Maedhros, Fingon's cousin and friend, was taken and hung by the wrist upon Thangorodrim. Fingon marched to Thangorodrim and with the help of Thorondor, Lord of the Eagles, found Maedhros. Maedhros begged Fingon to kill him, but Fingon instead severed Maedhros's hand by 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.[3]

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).[3]

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.[note 1][4]

Jenny Dolfen - Death of Fingon

The Death of Fingon, by Jenny Dolfen

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.[5]

His younger brother Turgon became the next rightful High King of the Ñoldor, even though his host retreated after the battle and remained secretly in Gondolin.[6][7]


Fingon is the Sindarin version of his Quenyan father-name Findekáno.[8] The exact origin of the name Findekáno is unclear, but it may possible be from the words findë ("hair") or phin ("skill"), and kane ("valour")[9] or káno ("commander, lesser chief").[8]

The name Findekáno could mean either "cunning commander", or rather unusually, "hair commander". In Sindarin, fin translates to "hair".[10]


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."[11]

The only note of Fingon's physical appearance describes that Fingon "wore his long dark hair in great plaits braided with gold".[8]

House of FingolfinEdit

House of Fingolfin


Earlier versions of the legendariumEdit

In the published The Silmarillion, Fingon was the father of Gil-galad,[4] but Christopher Tolkien later said that this was due to an an error he made in editing the The Silmarillion, and that he believed his father's intention was that Gil-galad was the son of Orodreth of the House of Finarfin. This is a matter of lively academic debate; there are some who say that we must believe what Tolkien's son says about his intention, and therefore Gil-galad was the son of Orodreth, and others who say that the The Silmarillion says he was the son of Fingon, and therefore we must go with the published canon. Logically The Silmarillion is canon as the high kingship belonged to the House of Fingolfin, not the House of Finarfin, which entitled Gil-Galad to the Kingship. It is interesting to note that Gil-galad became High King of the Ñoldor when Turgon died, and not when Fingon died.

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 芬鞏
Russian Фингон
Korean 핑곤


Fingon faces Gothmog, the Lord of Balrogs.
Fingon the Brave
Fingon standing proudly; ready for battle.
Fingon by Losse elda
Fingon, the High King of the Ñoldor, by Losse-elda
Aran Fingon by Filat
Fingon, by Filat
High King of the Ñoldor
Preceded by
Fingon Succeeded by
FA 455 - FA 473


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter V: "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVIII: "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  5. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XX: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  6. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
  7. The Atlas of Middle-earth
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  9. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  10. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings


  1. At this point in The Silmarillion, Fingon was said to have sent his wife and son Ereinion (Gil-galad) to the havens for safety, but this was an editorial mistake by Christopher Tolkien, and Fingon is said "to have no wife or children".

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