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Oath of Fëanor

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Jenny Dolfen - The Oath of Feanor

Fëanor swears the Oath beneath the tower of the Mindon Eldaliéva in the Great Square of Tirion by Jenny Dolfen

"They swore an oath which none shall break, and none should take, by the name even of Ilúvatar, calling the Everlasting Dark upon them if they kept it not..."
The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"

The Oath of Fëanor was an oath taken by Fëanor and his seven sons to non-negotiable enmity against any person who would take a Silmaril or keep it from them. After Morgoth killed Finwe and stole the Silmarilli, in the First Age, this oath would be the greatest cause of strife between the Ñoldor.

HistoryEdit

Learning of his father's death at the hands of Morgoth, Fëanor went back to Tirion, breaking the exile set by the Valar. At Tirion, Fëanor gave an impassioned speech in which he convinced the vast majority of the Ñoldor to follow him to Middle-earth to wrest the Silmarils back from Morgoth and avenge Finwë. At the end of his speech, still drunk on rage, Fëanor swore the dreadful oath to Eru, calling Manwë and Varda in witness. This oath saw him pledge, on pain of calling upon himself the Everlasting Darkness, to pursue with violence any who would keep or hold a Silmaril from him, no who it was, and no matter what the reason or circumstance. His seven sons jumped to his side and swore the oath with him. [1]

Fëanor died soon after his return to Middle-Earth but the remaining oath-takers, his sons, lived on in relative harmony with the Eldar of Beleriand, in no small part thanks to the diplomatic skill of Maedhros. [1] For the greater part of the First Age, the oath kept the sons of Fëanor united in one cause: to defeat Morgoth and retrieve the Silmarils. So long as the jewels remained in the hands of the Dark Lord, they were irretrievable by force. And so the oath slumbered, as by fighting Morgoth, even hopelessly, the brothers were still technically attempting to fulfill it.

However, the terrible dangers of the oath became apparent when Beren and Lúthien recovered one of the jewels from Morgoth.[2] Now that the jewel was no longer in Morgoth's hands, it became possible to retrieve it and genuinely fulfill the oath. Beren gave the Silmaril to King Thingol of Doriath, who had demanded it as a bride-price for his daughter believing that Beren could not possibly retrieve one. When the sons of Fëanor learned of this, they demanded it's surrender. However, Thingol was insulted by the demand and had begun to lust of the Silmaril. He refused their request, and Curufin and Celegorm openly threatened to destroy Doriath. This threat was the cause of considerable turmoil and resulted in much grief, for Maedhros was attempting at the time to forge a coalition between the various Elven kingdoms to go prepare for a final, decisive strike against Morgoth's power. The threat caused Thingol to close his boarders and send no aid to the military alliance. Though the Elves would never have been able to overthrow Morgoth, the loss of Thingol's aid would still prove detrimental to the alliance. After the Elven defeat during Nírnaeth Arnoediad, a series of unfortunate events led to the death of King Thingol and the disappearance of Queen Melain, who returned to Valinor in grief. With her departure, the Girdle of Melian, which had protected Doriath from attack, faded. Beren and Lúthien's son, Dior, was crowned King of Doriath. He likewise refused to surrender the jewel, and the brothers attacked Doriath and sacked the halls of the Sindar, committing the second kin-slaying. However, the Silmaril escaped the destruction of Doriath and the oath drove the sons onwards.[3] When they learned that it was possessed by Elwing, who dwelt near the mouths of Sirion, they attacked the defenseless exiles of Gondolin and Doriath, committing the third and most terrible kin-slaying.[4]

But the Silmaril escaped them again and was borne by Eärendil into the West. That Silmaril was forever lost to the sons of Fëanor but two more remained in the crown of Morgoth. With the complete destruction of the Elven kingdoms of Beleriand, it seemed virtually impossible that these would ever see the light of day again. However, Eärendil convinced the Valar to take pity on the Elves and Edain under Morgoth's power, and initiated the War of Wrath. This war saw Morgoth's power utterly overthrown, and the two remaining Silmarils were wrested from him. However, most of the sons of Fëanor had been slain in battle, and no few of them during the kinslayings by their victims. The only brothers to survive the third and final kinslaying were Maedhros and Maglor. They demanded the Silmarils from Eönwë, the standard bearer of Manwë, but because of the wicked deeds they had committed in the name of retrieving it, they were denied. By now weary at heart of keeping the dreadful oath, neither particularly wanted anything more to do with the Silmarils, and Maglor openly opposed attempting to retrieve them. However, Maedhros convinced him to help him lay hands upon the jewels. They snuck in to the camp of the victorious Host of the West, slew the guard around the jewels, and retrieved them. The camp was roused against them, and they prepared themselves to die defending their claim. But Eönwë simply permitted them to leave unharmed. However, due to the terrible deeds committed by the brothers in their retrieval of the Silmarils they found they could not handle the Silmarils without enduring searing pain. The two brothers parted and in his anguish Maedhros threw himself and his Silmaril into a fiery chasm. Maglor on the other hand tossed his Silmaril into the sea and was said to wander the coast forever after lamenting his loss and pain.[4]

The Oath itself, as given in Morgoth's Ring, is as follows:

“Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean
Brood of Morgoth or bright Vala,
Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
Neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
Dread nor danger, not Doom itself
Shall defend him from Fëanáro, and Fëanáro’s kin,
Whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
Finding keepeth or afar casteth
A Silmaril. This swear we all…
Death we will deal him ere Day’s ending,
Woe unto world’s end! Our word hear thou,
Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
Darkness doom us if our deed faileth…
On the holy mountain hear in witness
and our vow remember,
Manwë and Varda!" [5]

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Eed van Fëanor
Albanian Betimi i Fëanor
Amharic ዖኣጥ ኦፍ ፌኣኖር
Armenian Ոատհ ոֆ Ֆըանոր ?
Belarusian Оатh оф Фёанор
Bosnian Zakletva na Fëanor
Bulgarian Клетва на Феанор
Catalan Jurament de Fèanor
Cebuano Panumpa sa Feanor
Chinese 费诺誓言
Croatian Prisega Fëanor
Czech Přísaha Fëanor
Danish Ed af Fëanor
Dutch Eed van Fëanor
Esperanto Ĵuro de Fëanor
Finnish Fëanorin Vala
Estonian Vanne Feanor
Filipino Panunumpa ng feanor
French Serment de Fëanor
Galician Xuramento de Fëanor
German Eid der Fëanor
Greek Όρκος Φέανορ
Georgian ოათჰ ოf ფეანორი ?
Gujarati ઑઅથ ઓફ ફનોરે
Hindi ॐअथ ओफ़ फ़नोरे ?
Hungarian Esküt a Fëanor
Icelandic Eið af Fëanor
Italian Giuramento di Fëanor
Japanese フェアノールの息子たちの誓い
Kazakh Оатһ оф Феанор
Kyrgyz Оатh оф Фэанор
Latin Iusiurandum Fëanor
Latvian Zvērestu Fëanor
Lithuanian Priesaika Feanor
Macedonian Оатх оф Феанор
Malay Sumpah Fëanor
Maltese Ġurament ta Fëanor
Mongolian Оатh оф Фёанор
Nepali ॐअथ ओफ़ फ़नोरे
Norwegian Ed av Fëanor
Russian Клятва Феанора
Romanian Jurământul lui Fëanor
Serbian Оатх оф Феанор (Cyrillic) Zakletva na Fëanor (Latinised)
Siamese (Thai) คำสาบานของ เฟอานอร์
Sinhala ඕඅථ් ඔෆ් ෆෙඅනොර්
Slovak Prísaha Fëanor
Slovenian Prisega Fëanor
Spanish Juramento de Fëanor
Swahili Kiapo cha feanor
Swedish Ed av Fëanor
Tajik Оатҳ оф Феанор
Tigrinya ዖኣጥ ኦፍ ፌኣኖር
Turkish Feanor'un Yemini
Persian واته وف فهانور
Polish Przysięga synów Fëanora
Portuguese Juramento de Fëanor
Ukrainian Оатг оф Феанор
Urdu واته وف فےانور ?
Uzbek Оатҳ оф Феанор (Cyrillic) Feanor'nin Qasamyodi (Latinised)
Welsh Llw o Fëanor
Yiddish ױאַטה אָף פֿעאַנאָר
Hebrew שבועת פאנור

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV: "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  5. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 10: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman

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