Orodreth was a Ñoldorin elf of the First Age, the son of Angrod and nephew of Finrod Felagund and Galadriel and a ruler of the underground city of Nargothrond in the western Beleriand. He was killed in the Battle of Tumhalad.
Orodreth was born in Tirion in Valinor during the Years of the Trees. Through his grandmother Eärwen of the Falmari (Teleri of Aman), he shared the blood of both the Ñoldor (House of Finarfin) and that of the Falmari (House of Olwë). When the Ñoldor left for Middle-earth, he followed the host of Fingolfin all the way and did not turn back to Valinor like his grandfather Finarfin and many of the House of Finarfin, after the Doom of Mandos was announced in Araman.
However in later versions Orodreth is described as son of Angrod and a grandson of Finarfin and Eärwen so it holds true that together with Turgon's daughter Idril and Curufin's son Celebrimbor, he was one of the three members of the Ñoldorin royal family in the third generation to come into exile. His father held Dorthonion, but Gil-galad was sent to the safer Nargothrond with his uncle Finrod.
When Beren came to Nargothrond, Finrod went with him on his quest for the Silmaril. However Celegorm and Curufin the Sons of Fëanor were also at Nargothrond, and forced Finrod to lay down his crown. Orodreth took it, ruling as regent, but the Sons of Fëanor held the real power. When news came that Finrod had been killed, the Sons of Fëanor were expelled from Nargothrond, and Orodreth became its leader.
When Túrin Turambar arrived in Nargothrond he gradually became its leader, and Orodreth held no actual power, even if he was still lord in name. High in Orodreth's councils, Túrin convinced him to build the Bridge of Nargothrond and abandon their secretive method of warfare in favor of open warfare. In FA 495, he and Túrin marched out to meet the hosts of Morgoth and the Dragon Glaurung at Tumhalad and died fighting there, and his realm was subsequently conquered.
Earlier and later versions of the legendariumEdit
In earlier versions of The Silmarillion legendarium as detailed in The History of Middle-earth series, Orodreth was a more important character, and the original King of Nargothrond. However, his importance diminished over time.
In the published Silmarillion, Orodreth is a son of Finarfin, with Quenya name Artanáro. This was an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien, made on the grounds that the later revision was not fully integrated into the extant texts by his father. Gil-galad, later High King of the Ñoldor, was his son, but in the published Silmarillion Gil-galad is made into Fingon's son instead. An earlier idea was that Orodreth's son was named Hallas, but Gil-galad replaced him.
In his last writings, Tolkien changed Orodreth's name to Artaher (Quenya)/Arothir (Sindarin), but it was never introduced in any narratives, so Christopher Tolkien left the name Orodreth unchanged. It is probable the Sindarin name Orodreth would have been retained nonetheless: Tolkien seldom changed names after they had long been used, even if only in unpublished writings.
In late writings, Tolkien apparently intended to make Orodreth the son of Angrod and the father of Gil-galad. However, this would have impacted a number of other characters and storylines and therefore the change was not made in the published Silmarillion.
Lord of Nargothrond
FA 465 - FA 495
None recognized, realm effectively destroyed
The House of FingolfinEdit
Finwë = Indis | ----------------------- | | Finarfin Fingolfin = Anairë | --------------------------------------------------------------- | | | | Fingon Turgon Aredhel Argon