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Catherine Karina Chmiel - Feanor.jpg
"Feanor" by Catherine Karina Chmiel
Biographical Information
Other namesCurufinwë (Q, fn),
Fëanáro (Q, mn)
TitlesHigh King of the Noldor
LocationTirion in Valinor
AffiliationOath of Fëanor
BirthY.T. 1169
RuleY.T. 14951497
DeathY.T. 1497 (aged 328 Y.T./3142 years)
Slopes of Ered Wethrin
Notable forCreated the Silmarils
HouseHouse of Finwë, founded the House of Fëanor
ParentageFinwë & Míriel
SiblingsFindis, Fingolfin, Írimë and Finarfin (half-siblings)
ChildrenMaedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras
Physical Description
Hair colorBlack
GalleryImages of Fëanor
"For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and a bright flame was in him."
The Silmarillion, "Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"

Fëanor (S, pron. [ˈfe.anor]) was the second High King of the Noldor, eldest and most beloved son of Finwë. He had the greatest skill of word and hand, a renowned craftsman, gem-smith, and warrior. His most famous deed was the creation of the Silmarils, but he also created the palantíri,[1] and may also have wrought the Fëanorian lamps.[2] In addition, he invented the widely-used Tengwar script. His passionate hatred of Morgoth and terrible oath led directly to the great triumphs and tragedies of the First Age.



Life in Tirion

Born in Y.T. 1169,[3] Curufinwë Fëanáro (as was his original name in Quenya, pron. N [ˌkuruˈfinweˌ fe.aˈnaːro ], V [ˌkuruˈɸinweˌ ɸe.aˈnaːro ][4]) was the eldest son of Finwë, the King of the Noldor, and his first wife Míriel Serindë. He drew so much of Míriel's life energy when he was born that she grew weary of living, and departed to Lórien, where she voluntarily left her corporeal form and died. Finwë remarried, and had two more sons, Fëanor's half-brothers Fingolfin and Finarfin,[5] and two daughters, Findis and Írimë.[4]

Feanor, deviser of the Tengwar. Art by Ryszard Derdzinski

Fëanor's skills began to blossom and other than a skilled smith, he was a linguist and a Loremaster.[6] In 1250 he devised the lettering system of Tengwar, improving the work of Rúmil. He then turned his mind to the study of gems.[7]

Feanor and Nerdanel. Art by Tuuliky

While still a youth Fëanor wedded Nerdanel, daughter of Mahtan,[5] who bore him seven sons: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras.[8]

In 1400[7] Melkor, the mightiest of the Valar and source of evil, deceived the Valar into thinking that he had repented of his evil ways. Pardoned and residing in Valinor, he undertook to corrupt the Noldor and succeeded in making them instruments of his malice, particularly Fëanor. But Fëanor greatly mistrusted Melkor, which was part of Melkor's plan.[5]

In 1449 Fëanor began and by 1450 he had succeeded[7] in the greatest of his achievements: capturing the light of the Two Trees to make the three Silmarils, also called the Great Jewels. He prized the Silmarils above all else, and grew increasingly suspicious that the Valar and other Eldar coveted them. He either vainly displayed the jewels or jealously guarded them from all except his immediate family.[9]

Feud with Fingolfin

"The Threat of Feanor" by Antti Autio

Melkor greatly desired the Silmarils and his hatred for Fëanor grew, but the Valar still did not know of Melkor's true intentions. Melkor played upon Fëanor's temperament and pride to convince him that his own half-brother Fingolfin was not only planning to usurp his place as heir to Finwë, but also seize the jewels for himself.[9] The Noldor then began forging weapons, which at that point no other Eldar possessed in Valinor. Fëanor's hostility grew to the point where, in 1490,[7] he threatened Fingolfin's life. For this, the Valar exiled him to Formenos. He took a substantial treasure with him, including the Silmarils, which he stowed in a locked box. In a show of support for his eldest son, Finwë withdrew to Formenos as well.[9]

The Valar realized that Melkor was behind Fëanor's actions. They sent Tulkas to imprison him again, but he could not be found. Melkor was not seen for a long time, until in 1492,[7] he unexpectedly showed up at Formenos. Melkor tried again to manipulate Fëanor, but he went too far, and Fëanor realized that Melkor's true goal was to obtain the Silmarils. He shut the door in Melkor's face. In a rage, Melkor left. When the Valar heard of the incident, they resumed the hunt. But it was apparent that Melkor had fled from Valinor.[9]

Theft of the Silmarils

In 1495[7] the Valar sought to reconcile Fëanor and Fingolfin, and to mend the enmity between the Noldor and Valar, and invited them all to Valimar to make peace. Fingolfin offered a hand to his half-brother, recognizing Fëanor's place as the eldest, which he grudgingly accepted.

Fëanor's device
Meanwhile, after first feigning to go north, Melkor had stolen away to Avathar in the south of Aman to seek out the evil, spider-like creature Ungoliant. Even as Fëanor and Fingolfin were reconciled, Ungoliant helped Morgoth destroy the Two Trees, bringing darkness to Valinor.[10]

Yavanna examined the Two Trees and found them lifeless. The light of the Trees survived only in the Silmarils and she said that only by their power could she restore the Trees. Manwë then asked Fëanor to give them up for this purpose but Fëanor emphatically declared that he would not give up his Silmarils of his own free will; if the Valar forced him, he said, they would be no better than Melkor. It was after this that messengers came telling of the raid at Formenos.

According to the messengers, Melkor, surrounded by an impenetrable black fog, had come to Fëanor's vault in Formenos. Finwë the King fought and lost against Melkor, and was the first to be slain in Valinor. Melkor ransacked the vault, taking many valuable jewels, including the Silmarils. He and Ungoliant escaped by crossing the Helcaraxë, or Grinding Ice, in the north to Beleriand in Middle-earth.[11]

Following his father's death, Fëanor claimed the kingship of all the Noldor.[12]

The Kinslaying

"Fëanor" by Tuuliky
The Valar and Eldar now fully understood the extent of Melkor's treachery. Fëanor, upon learning of his father's murder and the theft of his prized Silmarils, named Melkor "Morgoth", or "Black Enemy". Claiming kingship over the Noldor, Fëanor delivered an impassioned speech, which he unwittingly filled with Morgoth's taint. He rallied the Noldor against the Dark Lord, but because of Morgoth's influence, he also blamed the Valar for Morgoth's deeds. He persuaded most of his people that because the Valar had abandoned them, the Noldor must follow him to Middle-earth and fight the Dark Lord. Fëanor then swore the terrible Oath of Fëanor which all seven of his sons also proclaimed, vowing to fight anyone and everyone—whether Elf, Man, Maia, or Vala—who withheld the Silmarils, and invoking even Ilúvatar as a witness. This Oath led to much conflict and later caused great tragedy among his seven sons.

Seeking a way to get to Middle-earth, he went to the shores of Aman, where the seafaring Teleri lived, and demanded the use of their ships. When Teleri refused to give or lend their vessels, Fëanor ordered the Noldor to take the ships. The Teleri resisted, and a battle broke out, in which many of the Teleri were slain, for they were armed with mere hunting bows, against the fully armed Noldor. Three times the Teleri were able to push back Fëanor until Fingolfin and Finarfin brought up their host, overwhelming the Teleri.

In repentance of this act, Finarfin, Finwë's third son, took his host and turned back. They were accepted by the Valar, and Finarfin ruled as King of the remaining Noldor in Valinor.[11]

Exile in Middle-earth

"La Quema de las Naves" by NOLANOS

As the year 1496 wore on Fëanor led the Noldor northward. By 1497 the host had reached the Helkaraxë and halted.[13] There were not enough ships to carry all of the Noldor across the sea, so Fëanor and his sons led the first group. Upon arriving at Losgar, in the land of Lammoth, in the far west of Beleriand, where Morgoth and Ungoliant had passed not long before, Fëanor decided to burn the ships and leave the followers of Fingolfin behind.[11] The earth being flat in those days, the remaining Noldor saw the flames, and perceived that if they were to reach Middle-earth, they had no choice but to cross the Helcaraxë. This they did under the leadership of Fingolfin, and suffered heavy losses along the way, which greatly added to the animosity they had for Fëanor and his sons.[11]

"Fëanor's Last Stand" by Jenny Dolfen

Learning of the Noldor's arrival, Morgoth summoned his armies from his fortress of Angband and attacked Fëanor's encampment in Mithrim. This battle was called the Dagor-nuin-Giliath ("Battle under the Stars"), for the Sun and Moon had not yet been made. The Noldor managed to win the battle and disperse Morgoth's armies. Fëanor, still in a great rage, pressed on toward Angband with his sons. He came even within sight of Angband, but was ambushed by a force of Balrogs, with few elves about him. He fought mightily, hewing his foe even after receiving several wounds from Gothmog, lord of Balrogs.

His sons came upon the balrogs with great force of elves, and were able to drive them off. However, as Fëanor was being carried off the battlefield, he knew his wounds were fatal. He was brought to the slopes of the Ered Wethrin from where he saw from afar the peaks of Thangorodrim. He cursed Angband thrice, but with the eyes of death, he knew that his elves, unaided, would never throw down the dark towers. At the moment of his death the passing of his fiery spirit reduced his body to ashes. He was the only person to die this way, for no death like his was ever seen or heard.[14]

His sons were still bound by the Oath to recover the Silmarils, which would determine many of the events of Middle-earth during the First Age.

Fëanor's spirit remained in the Halls of Mandos and was not reincarnated in Valinor.[14] It is said that he will return only for Dagor Dagorath, and will finally reclaim his beloved Silmarils, and then surrender them to Yavanna.[15]


b. Y.T.
d. Y.T. 1170
d. Y.T. 1495
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T. 1230
d. F.A. 587
b. Y.T.
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 538
d. F.A. 538
d. S.A. 1697


Fëanor's father-name was Curufinwë, "Skillful Finwë", by adding curu, the Quenya noun for "skill", to his father's name. He later gave his favorite son Curufin the same father-name. His mother-name was Fëanáro, which translates as "spirit of fire",[4] being formed by adding fëa, a Quenya noun for "spirit" and nár, "flame". Apparently, the masculine ending -o is also present.

The name Fëanor is the Sindarized version of his mother-name; the proper Sindarin form of his name was Faenor.[4]

External links


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", note 2
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Notes [on Section 4]", Note 1, p.101
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of Finwë's descendants"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 396-8
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Fourth section of the Annals of Aman"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Fifth section of the Annals of Aman"
  14. 14.0 14.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Commentary on the Quenta, [Section] 19"
House of Finwë
Born: Y.T. 1169 Died: Y.T. 1497
Preceded by:
High King of the Noldor
Y.T. 14951497
Followed by: