Tolkien Gateway

Dagor Bragollach

(Redirected from Battle of Sudden Flame)
Dagor Bragollach
Alan Lee - Battle of Sudden Flame.jpg
Conflict: Wars of Beleriand
Date: F.A. 455[1]
Place: The north of Beleriand
Outcome: Decisive victory for Morgoth
Combatants

The leaguer of the Eldar
Elves of Nargothrond

Forces of Morgoth

Commanders

Fingolfin
Maedhros
Finrod
Fingon
Angrod
Aegnor
Celegorm
Curufin
Maglor
Caranthir
Bregolas
Hador
Barahir

Morgoth
Glaurung
Gothmog

Strength

Unknown, presumably full strength of the leaguer which included the Noldor, Grey-elves and Edain
A reinforcing army of Elves of Nargothrond

Unknown, but force has "multitudes" of Orcs
Force of Balrogs

Casualties

Severe for both Elves and Men, including the virtual destruction of the House of Bëor

Unknown

The Dagor Bragollach (Sindarin for "Battle of Sudden Flame") was the fourth great battle of the Wars of Beleriand, fought between the forces of Morgoth and the leaguer of the Noldor.

Contents

[edit] Background

See also: Dagor Aglareb

After the Dagor Aglareb, where Morgoth was defeated by the Noldor, the Siege of Angband was established.[2] For about four hundred years there was relative peace in Beleriand, the Elves built their cities and strongholds across the land and they were strengthen by the coming of Men to Beleriand.[3]

[edit] History

[edit] Prelude

In F.A. 422 Fingolfin pondered for a new assault upon Angband[4] as the Noldor did not wholly defeat Morgoth but contain him in his stronghold and the threat of another deadly assault was ever-present in the mind of the king. Angrod and Aegnor were like-minded but most of the Noldor were content with how things are and did not heed much to Fingolfin, the Sons of Fëanor least of all.[5]

Thus Morgoth was left alone to continue building his strength in secret and in F.A. 455 his preparation was complete.

[edit] Battle

On a winter's night, Morgoth sent out rivers of flame, consuming Ard-galen, which was renamed Anfauglith. Many elves perished as they tried to escape the fire and the confusion caused by the flame and smoke hindered the defenders. Then Morgoth sent forth his armies, led by Glaurung first of the Urulóki, and behind him Balrogs and multitudes of Orcs and they slaughtered anyone they came across.[5]

Aid on the Fens by Henning Janssen

The highlands of Dorthonion bore much of the assault and were overrun. Angrod and Aegnor were slain and many of Bëor's folk fell including their lord Bregolas. King Finrod Felagund came north from Nargothrond with an army however they were defeated and Finrod with a small company was surrounded at the Fen of Serech. Finrod would have been killed or captured but was saved by a sortie led by Barahir, brother of Bregolas, who was fighting in western Dorthonion near the Pass of Sirion. They managed to cut through with great loss and Finrod and his folk fled south to Nargothrond, while Barahir continued defending Dorthonion. It was this deed which later earned Barahir the ring of Finrod which would become known as the Ring of Barahir.[5]

In the north-west Fingolfin and Fingon marched with their host to aid the sons of Finrod but they were driven back with great lost to the mountains. Hador, the lord of Dor-lómin, and his younger son Gundor were slain defending the rearguard of their lord Fingolfin. In the mountain fortresses there was a fierce battle between the Orcs and Elves and Men of the North.[5]

The March of Maedhros were assaulted heavily by the armies of Morgoth. The Pass of Aglon were forced by the hosts of Morgoth with great cost and Celegorm and Curufin fled south near Doriath. Maglor's horsemen were overwhelmed on the plain of Lothlann and Maglor's Gap was taken. Glaurung came thither and burnt the land between the arms of Gelion. With the gap taken the Orcs moved south and captured Caranthir's fortress in Mount Rerir, Thargelion was ravaged and Lake Helevorn was defiled. Maglor fled to Himring while Caranthir fled south with Amrod and Amras to Amon Ereb. The Orcs did not come into Taur-im-Duinath or Ossiriand. Maedhros fought valiantly against the Orcs with the help of Maglor and Morgoth was unable to take the fortress on Himring.[5]

[edit] Aftermath

Thus the siege was broken and the forces of Morgoth were now able to roam at will throughout the north. However he did not completely destroy his foes.

The refugees of Dorthonion fled to Hithlum and Himring but a few folk of Barahir remained, fought foot by foot for their lands, refusing to retreat from the attacking forces, and Morgoth relentlessly pursued them to the death until very few remained.[5] So great was his wrath against them that Dorthonion was turned into a twisted land of dread and such dark enchantment that even Orcs would not enter it unless need drove them.[6]

Fingolfin and Fingon managed to defeat the Orcs attacking Barad Eithel and Hithlum was safe. However most of the Grey-elves forsook the northern war and fled south to Doriath, Nargothrond, Falas and Ossiriand.[5]

The sons of Fëanor were scattered and driven from their lands save for Maedhros who still held Himring. Celegorm and Curufin travelled to Nargothrond after being defeated in the Pass of Aglon.

[edit] The fall of Fingolfin

Main article: Fall of Fingolfin
Fingolfin's Wrath by Ted Nasmith

After a year of fight,[7] when Fingolfin, the High King of the Noldor, learned of the losses of so many Noldor, he rode in anger across the dust of Anfauglith and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel. Fingolfin's sword, Ringil, wounded Morgoth seven times. Yet, he was felled by Morgoth's hammer, Grond, and slain by Morgoth's mighty foot. Fingolfin's body was saved by Thorondor King of Eagles and brought into the mountain tops north of Gondolin and Turgon his son built a cairn over his body.[5]

[edit] Etymology

Dagor Bragollach is Sindarin for "Battle of Sudden Flame",[8] it contains the elements dagor ("battle") + bragol ("quick, sudden") + lach ("flame").

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

The earliest concept of the battle appears in the unfinished poem The Lay of Leithian, even though brief some elements of it remain in later writings such as Barahir saving Felagund and the deaths of Angrod and Egnor (Aegnor).[9] In the Sketch of the Mythology where Tolkien started to piece together the legends, the battle appears here but very brief as well. However Christopher commented that the new material that appears in later writings might have already been in the mind of his father when he wrote the Sketch.[10]

In the Quenta Noldorinwa there is a huge expansion of material in this version compared to the Sketch, of which many elements appear in The Silmarillion.[11] Moreover it was originally labelled as the second battle but was later changed to the third battle in the Wars of Beleriand, partly due to the inclusion of the Dagor Aglareb as the second battle.[12]

The naming of the battle went through many revisions in the writing. In the earlier writings the battle was not named until the Quenta Noldorinwa where it names it the Battle of Sudden Flame.[11]. It was later changed to Battle of Sudden Fire[13] and for the first time given an Elvish name, Dagor Hurbreged,[14] then to Dagor Húr-Breged.[15] The battle was known as Dagor Vreged-úr in the Quenta Silmarillion[16]. In latest versions it takes its final form Dagor Bragollach, Battle of Sudden Flame.[1][17]

[edit] See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §145
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §133
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §155
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto VI (Beren in Nargothrond)"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "II. The Earliest 'Silmarillion': Commentary on the 'Sketch of the Mythology'"
  11. 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 9"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Commentary on the Quenta, [Section] 9"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand: [The first version of The Earliest Annals of Beleriand (Text AB I)]"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand: Notes [to text AB I]"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, III. The Later Annals of Beleriand"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion"
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin (Chapter 15)"


Wars of Beleriand
First Battle · Dagor-nuin-Giliath · Dagor Aglareb · Dagor Bragollach · Nirnaeth Arnoediad · War of Wrath