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Maedhros sketch by filat-d3lpa1j
Maedhros, by Filat


Biographical information

Other names
Maedhros the Tall, Nelyafinwë, Maitimo, Russandol
Prince of the Ñoldor, Lord of the House of Fëanor, Lord of Himring or the March of Maedhros
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Maiden name
Elven sword

Physical description

Hair color
Dark red[3]
Eye color

Maedhros, also called Maedhros the Tall,[4] was one of the princes of the Ñoldor, the eldest of the seven Sons of Fëanor and head of the House of Fëanor following the death of his father in Middle-earth. For hundreds of years, he led his House against the forces of Morgoth but the Oath he and his six brothers swore to recover the Silmarils constrained him and ultimately led to his death.


Maedhros at the Kinslaying

Maedhros at the Kinslaying in Alqualonde

Maedhros was born in Eldamar, probably in Tirion, to Fëanor and Nerdanel sometime during the Noontide of Valinor. After the flight of Fëanor from Tirion in Valinor, he went with his father to Formenos. When Morgoth killed Finwë and stole Fëanor's beloved Silmarils, Maedhros was the first son to take the terrible Oath of Fëanor to recover the holy jewels.[5]

This oath took Maedhros, his father and his brothers to Middle-earth during the First Age where they established realms in exile, waged war against the armies of Morgoth, fought their own Elvish kind, and eventually brought ruin upon their House. Maedhros participated in the First Kinslaying alongside his father and brothers. However, he was the only one of Fëanor's sons not to participate in the burning of the Teleri ships.[5]

Jenny Dolfen - Maedhros captured by Orcs

Maedhros captured by Melkor's orcs, by Jenny Dolfen

Shortly after the Dagor-nuin-Giliath in which Fëanor was killed, an embassy came from Morgoth acknowledging defeat, and terms going as far as the surrender of a Silmaril. Each embassy came with many more men than the agreed number, but Morgoth sent more. Maedhros was captured by Morgoth and hung by the wrist of his right hand upon the face of a precipice of Thangorodrim.[6] In a daring rescue, his cousin Fingon, helped by Thorondor, the King of Eagles, saved him from torment but he had to cut off Maedhros's hand to release him from the shackle in FA 5. In gratitude for this, and in atonement for Fëanor's desertion of Fingon's house, Maedhros relinquished all claim as the heir of Finwë and made his Uncle Fingolfin, Fingon's father, High King of the Ñoldor, something his brothers did not like.

Fingon's rescue of Maedhros

Fingon rescuing Maedhros from one of the Thangorodrim

Seeing that his brothers were likely to cause feuds with their kinsmen, Maedhros moved them out of Hithlum, and later ruled the lands around the Hill of Himring,[7] which became known as the March of Maedhros. Allied with Fingolfin, he helped the High King win the battle of Dagor Aglareb. He stood with Fingolfin for nearly 300 years until the Dagor Bragollach, and thanks to his daring deeds during the battle, Himring stood while many other elven realms fell.

Soon after, he learned of Beren and Lúthien's successful quest to liberate a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown. Realizing that Morgoth was not invincible, he took hope and gathered his brothers and united with other Elven Houses to create the Union of Maedhros, an alliance to lay siege to Morgoth's fortress of Angband. However, the Union and the siege were utterly broken after the defeat in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Himring was garrisoned by Orcs, and Maedhros and his brothers fled south, taking refuge upon the hill of Amon Ereb.[8]

Maedhros and Maglor prepared to defend themselves and die.

Maedhros and Maglor prepared to fight and die after stealing the Silmarils after the War of Wrath

Several years later, Maedhros and his brothers learned that Elwing of Doriath, granddaughter of Lúthien and Beren, had inherited the Silmaril that her grandparents had recovered from Morgoth. Still driven by the Oath, Maedhros allowed Celegorm to convince him to attack Doriath. During the battle, Celegorm, Caranthir, and Curufin were slain by Beren's son, Dior Eluchil, the King of Doriath, but he himself died in the fight. Dior's sons, Eluréd and Elurín, were captured and abandoned by Celegorm's cruel servants in the forests around Doriath. Maedhros bitterly regretted this deed, and he long searched for the innocent youths but could not find them.[9] After learning that Elwing had survived and had taken the Silmaril with her, he and his surviving brothers descended with an army upon the remnants of the people of Doriath living in the Havens of Sirion. The Ñoldorin princes killed many elves and captured Elwing's sons Elrond and Elros in the sack, but she and her husband Eärendil escaped to the West with the jewel.[10] Heartsick with the burden of the Oath and the deeds he had participated in to see it fulfilled, Maedhros and his brother Malgor took Elwing's sons under their protection.

Jenny Dolfen - It ends in flame

Maedhros casts himself in the fiery chasm, by Jenny Dolfen

After the War of Wrath, he and his last surviving brother, Maglor, stole the two remaining Silmarils taken by the Valar from Morgoth, killing many. Then just as the camp arose against them, Eönwë, the herald of Manwë, spoke and forbade the slaying of the two brothers, knowing that they would soon see the folly of their deeds. Because of the evil deeds committed by the brothers to regain the jewels, they burned in Maglor's and Maedhros' hands. Unable to bear the suffering, Maedhros cast himself and the Silmaril he carried into a fiery chasm in the Earth.[10]


His father-name is Nelyafinwë ("Finwë the Third"), from the Quenya nelya ("third"),[11] and its shorter form is Nelyo. [3]

His mother Nerdanel called him Maitimo ("Well-shaped one") for he was "of beautiful bodily form". His first epessë is Russandol ("Copper top"), referring to his auburn hair.[3] The second epessë Maedhros is the Sindarin translation of Maitimo and Russandol, from the Sindarin maed ("shapely") and ross ("red-haired").[12] The Quenyan Maidhros means "Pale-glitter".[13]


Maedhros had a fierce spirit, hardened by his torment by Morgoth on Thangorodrim, but was more temperate than his father. He was an exceptionally skilled swordsman despite the loss of his right hand. He was well known for his handsome, comely appearance,[3] especially his auburn hair, which was a contrast with his royal kin's dark hair.

House of FëanorEdit

House of Feanor



Maedhros by Anna Lee
Maedhros, by Allen Lee
Maedhros Portrait by dalomacchi

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 梅斯羅斯
Russian Маэдрос
Small Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Maedhros. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The One Wiki to Rule Them All, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.


  1. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 11: The War of the Jewels, V. The Tale of Years
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth, X: "Of Dwarves and Men"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter V: "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  6. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIII: "Of the Return of the Noldor"
  7. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIV: "Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  8. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XX: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  9. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV: "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  11. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 11: The War of the Jewels, Part Four: Quendi and Eldar, C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar
  12. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", Note 65
  13. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"

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