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Nerdanel

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Nerdanel
Noldo
Jenny Dolfen - Nerdanel.jpg
Nerdanel by Jenny Dolfen
Biographical Information
Other names"the Wise"
LocationTirion
AffiliationNot Oath of Fëanor
LanguageCommon Eldarin and
Quenya
BirthDuring the Years of the Trees
Family
ParentageMahtan
SpouseFëanor
ChildrenMaedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod, and Amras
Physical Description
GenderFemale
Hair colorBrown [note 1]
GalleryImages of Nerdanel

Nerdanel (Q, pron. [ˈnerdanel]) was the daughter of the Noldorin smith Mahtan and the wife of Fëanor.

Contents

History

Early life

Nerdanel was described as having a ruddy complexion and reddish brown hair which she took after her father Mahtan. This red hair was described as a trait "of Nerdanel's kin".[1] Nerdanel was a noted sculptor. She was said to have made statues so lifelike that people thought them real.[2] In her youth, Nerdanel loved to wander far away from the dwellings of her people going to the shores or the hills of Aman where she eventually met Fëanor and they then became companions on many journeys together.[3]

Marriage and Motherhood

When Nerdanel married Fëanor, many of the Noldor wondered why for Nerdanel was not among the fairest of their people. But Nerdanel was strong and free of mind being filled with the desire for knowledge.[3] Nerdanel's will was strong and she was more patient than her husband, desiring to understand minds rather than to master them. Nerdanel, unlike Fëanor, was of a peaceful nature and sought to moderate his fiery temper and pride with her wisdom. For a time, she was able to influence and restrain her husband. Fëanor's later deeds deeply grieved her. She was counselled not to become involved in the rebellion. In the end, Nerdanel and her husband became estranged from one another, and she did not follow him to Middle-earth.[2]

Nerdanel bore Fëanor seven sons: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod, and Amras (see Sons of Fëanor). Elves typically have four children or fewer, so this was a notable exception.[4]:Note 4 Nerdanel's calmer temperament had passed in part to some of her sons.[2] Only Nerdanel's eldest son Maedhros and her youngest sons, Amrod and Amras, inherited the reddish-brown hair from her line.[5]

The Unrest and Flight of the Ñoldor

Soon after, Fëanor was banished from Valinor for a time by the Valar for causing unrest among the Ñoldor. So with Nerdanel's husband, went all of her sons as well as her husband's father Finwë. In spite of that, Nerdanel did not join Fëanor and her sons into banishment, but instead asked for leave to abide with Indis of the Vanyar (the second wife and queen of Finwë) whom Nerdanel apparently had ever esteemed though little to the liking of Fëanor.[3]

Ultimately, Nerdanel returned back to her father's house. Shortly, when Nerdanel learned that her husband and all of her sons were planning to go into exile to Middle-earth, Nerdanel then came to her husband before the flight of the Ñoldor and she begged Fëanor to leave with her their youngest twin-sons, Amrod and Amras, or atleast one of them. But Nerdanel's husband simply spoke that if she wished to keep all their sons then she should join him and their sons to leave Valinor for Middle-earth. However, Nerdanel refused to follow Fëanor being warned by her father of the advice that Aulë gave him; thus Mahtan said to his daughter: "It would in the end, only lead your husband and all your children to death." However, Nerdanel's sons were determined to leave with their father and hence, Nerdanel was parted from her sons never to see them ever again.[5] Regardless, Nerdanel ended up first alone and then a widow, while all of her seven sons perished one by one in Middle-earth. Further, it was said that Nerdanel apparently still lived in Aman.[2]

Etymology

The name Nerdanel is given no clear meaning or etymology in the published writings of Tolkien. The original (rejected) version of her name was Istarnië.[6]

Editor and linguist Patrick H. Wynne has suggested that the element nerd- in Nerdanel perhaps derives from nerdo ("large, strong man"), noting that the name "might refer to her strength of body and mind, and her pursuits of crafts more commonly practiced by men." Wynne also suggests that Istarnië derives from Quenya ista- ("know"), apparently "referring to her 'desire for knowledge'".[7]

Geneology

Mahtan
b. Y.T.
 
Míriel
d. Y.T. 1170
 
Finwë
d. Y.T. 1495
 
Indis
b. Y.T.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NERDANEL
b. Y.T.
 
 
 
Fëanor
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
 
Findis
b. Y.T.
 
Fingolfin
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
 
Írimë
b. Y.T.
 
Finarfin
b. Y.T. 1230
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maedhros
d. F.A. 587
 
Maglor
b. Y.T.
 
Celegorm
d. F.A. 506
 
Caranthir
d. F.A. 506
 
Curufin
d. F.A. 506
 
Amrod
d. Y.T. 1497
 
Amras
d. F.A. 538
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Celebrimbor
d. S.A. 1697
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes

  1. See J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" pp. 353 & 365-6

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "From The Shibboleth of Fëanor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 41, July 2000, p. 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Laws and Customs among the Eldar, Notes [to Text B]"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of the Sons of Fëanor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor", p. 273
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part One" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 47, February 2005, p. 33-4

See Also