Maedhros, called the Tall, was one of the princes of the Noldor, the eldest of the six other Sons of Fëanor and head of the House of Fëanor following the death of his father Fëanor in Middle-earth. For hundreds of years, he led the House of Fëanor 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 was born in Eldamar, probably 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.
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 Feanor's sons not to participate in the burning of the Teleri ships.Shortly after the Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars) 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. 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.
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, which became known as the March of Maedhros. Allied with Fingolfin, he helped the High King win the battle of Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle). He stood with Fingolfin for nearly 300 years, until the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame) and thanks to his daring deeds during the battle, Himring stood while many other elven realms fell.
Hearing words of deeds of Beren and Lúthien, 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. The Union and the siege were utterly broken after the defeat in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears). Himring was garrisoned by orcs, and Maedhros and his brothers fled south, taking refuge upon the hill of Amon Ereb.
Several years later, Maedhros and his brothers learned that Elwing of Doriath, grandaughter of Lúthien and Beren, had inherited the Silmaril that they had recovered from Morgoth. Still driven by the Oath, Maedhros allowed Celegorm to convince him to attack Doriath. 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 Caranthir's servants in the Forest, leading Maedhros to search for the innocent youths. After learning that Elwing had survived, and 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.
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 forbid the slaying of the two brothers knowing that they would soon see the folly of their deeds. So 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.
Character and PersonalityEdit
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, especially his auburn hair, which was a contrast with his royal kin's dark hair.
Maedhros is a Sindarin word. His father name was "Nelyafinwë" which in Quenya means "Finwë the third". (Finwë, the name of his grandfather and Fëanor's father, is given to (nearly) all males in his House.) His mother name was "Maitimo", meaning "Well-shaped one", for he was noted for his comeliness. He was also given another name "Russandol", "Copper-top", referring to his dark red hair inherited through his mother Nerdanel from her red-haired father Mahtan.
The House of FëanorEdit
Finwë = Míriel Mahtan | | Fëanor = Nerdanel | ------------------------------------------------------ | | | | | | | Maedhros Maglor Celegorm Caranthir Curufin Amrod Amras | Celebrimbor
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of Beleriand and its Realms"
- ↑ The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
- ↑ The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Feanor"