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|Other names||Nelyafinwë (Q, fn),|
Maitimo (Q, mn),
Russandol (Q, epessë),
|Location||Tirion; Himring, March of Maedhros; Amon Ereb|
|Affiliation||Oath of Fëanor, Union of Maedhros|
|Language||Quenya and Sindarin|
|Birth||During Years of the Trees |
|Death||F.A. 587 |
Into fiery chasm
|House||House of Fëanor|
|Parentage||Fëanor & Nerdanel|
|Siblings||Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras|
|Hair color||Dark red|
|Gallery||Images of Maedhros|
Maedhros was born during the Time of the Two Trees in Valinor. After the banishment of Fëanor from Tirion in Valinor he went with his father to Formenos in exile. 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 jewels.
Maedhros went with his father to Alqualonde, where the First Kinslaying broke out, in which he took part. When Fëanor sailed off without the host of Fingolfin, Maedhros thought that he was planning to return and carry across the others. He expected that the first ship would carry Fingon, his best friend. When he learned that in fact, Fëanor planned to abandon them, he was angry and, the only one of his brothers, refused to help burn the ships, to prevent Fingolfin from following.
When Fëanor was killed in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, Maedhros became the High King of the Noldor. However, this position was held for a short time, as Morgoth sent an embassy, feigning the surrender of a Silmaril. The Oath driving him, Maedhros was captured by Morgoth's embassy 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 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 Noldor, 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 won the battle of Dagor Aglareb, and, thanks to his daring deeds during the Dagor Bragollach, 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 was utterly broken after the defeat in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Himring was garrisoned by Orcs.
Maedhros had learned that Elwing of Doriath, granddaughter of Lúthien and Beren, had inherited the Silmaril that they had recovered from Morgoth. Still driven by the Oath, he allowed his brother Celegorm to convince him to attack Doriath. Celegorm, Caranthir, and Curufin were slain by Beren's son, Dior Eluchíl, the King of Doriath, who was in-turn slain by them. Dior's sons, Eluréd and Elurín, were captured and abandoned by Celegorm's servants in the forest, leading Maedhros to search for the innocent youths. After learning that Elwing had survived, he and his surviving brothers descended with an army upon the remnants of the people of Doriath living in the Havens of Sirion. The Noldorin 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. But because of the evil deeds committed by the brothers to regain the jewels, they burned in Maglor's and Maedhros's hands. Unable to bear the suffering, Maedhros cast himself and the Silmaril he carried into a fiery chasm in the Earth.
Maedhros' father-name was Nelyafinwë, meaning "Finwë the Third", shorter form Nelyo, as his grandfather and father both shared the name Finwë. Nelya is a Quenya adjective that means "third". His mother-name was Maitimo, "Well-shaped One", for he was noted for his comeliness. His epessë was Russandol, "Copper-top", referring to the dark red hair he inherited from his grandfather Mahtan. It is derived from russa, a Quenya adjective meaning "red-haired".
In the earlier work The Etymologies, the name Maedhros is original Noldorin, and is said to mean "Pale-glitter". It is formed by the adding up maidh ("pale", "fallow" or "fawn") and "archaic" rhoss ("flash", "glitter of metal").
Names shown in italics are females.
- The Silmarillion, Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
- The Silmarillion, Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
- The Silmarillion, Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
- The Silmarillion, Of the Flight of the Noldor
- The Silmarillion, Of the Return of the Noldor
- The Silmarillion, Of Beleriand and its Realms
- The Silmarillion, Of the Noldor in Beleriand
- The Silmarillion, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
- The Silmarillion, Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
- The Silmarillion, Of the Ruin of Doriath
- The Silmarillion, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
- The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind
- The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, The Nauglafring
- The Shaping of Middle-earth, The Earliest Annals of Valinor
- The Shaping of Middle-earth, The Earliest Annals of Beleriand
- The Lost Road and Other Writings, The later Annals of Beleriand
- The Lost Road and Other Writings, The later Annals of Valinor
- The Lost Road and Other Writings, Quenta Silmarillion
- The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Etymologies
- Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman
- Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion
- The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals
- The War of the Jewels, The Later Quenta Silmarillion
- The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Shibboleth of Feanor