The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Winter I 455 to spring I 456
The north of Beleriand
dah'gor brago'llach (ch as in Scots loch)
Other names


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  • Updated 15 October 2008
  • This entry is complete

Dagor Bragollach

The Battle of Sudden Flame

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Major Events of the Dagor Bragollach
(1) Barad Eithel withstands the attack in the west; (2) A force breaks through the Pass of Aglon, and Dorthonion is captured; (3) Maedhros survives the attack in his fortress on Himring; (4) Caranthir's fortress on Rerir is overrun, and he flees south; (5) Two years after the main battle, Minas Tirith is captured by Sauron.

Battles of the Wars of Beleriand

For some four centuries, the forces of the Noldor had besieged Morgoth in his northern fortress of Angband, holding the northern mountain fences of Beleriand and their passes against his forces. In I 455 Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband in the battle that came to be known as the Dagor Bragollach, the Battle of Sudden Flame.

The Battle began one night in winter, when Morgoth sent out rivers of flame from Angband that consumed the wide plains of Ard-galen. Then came his armies of Balrogs and Orcs, led by Glaurung the dragon. They forced the highlands of Dorthonion, and took the fortresses of Angrod and Aegnor who dwelt there. Maglor's Gap was also taken, giving Morgoth an entry into Beleriand itself.

Maedhros' fortress on Himring held against the tide of foes, and so did the tower of Minas Tirith in the west, and the mountain forts of Ered Wethrin. Nonetheless, the Siege was broken, the Sons of Fëanor scattered, and the forces of Morgoth roamed at will throughout the northern lands.

As the battle raged against the Mountains of Shadow, Fingolfin the High King rode in anger across the dust of Anfauglith (the plain that had been Ard-galen) and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel, but though Morgoth was wounded, Fingolfin was defeated and destroyed.

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