The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 18 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

Great Enemy

A title of Morgoth the first Dark Lord

Both Sauron and his former master Morgoth were known by Elves and Men as the 'Enemy', but the title of 'Great Enemy' was reserved for the primordial Dark Lord, Morgoth. A peer of the Valar originally known as Melkor, Morgoth played a part in the Music of the Ainur through which the World was created, in which he sowed discord and disharmony. Then he descended into the newly made World, and spread chaos and destruction in ancient wars against the Powers until he was captured and imprisoned in the Halls of Mandos.

Released after three ages of confinement, Morgoth quickly turned back to his old ways. He darkened the Two Trees of Valinor, and slew High King Finwë of the Noldor before stealing the Silmarils and escaping from Aman into Middle-earth. There, he established himself in his fortress of Angband in the far North of the World. The Noldor followed him in pursuit of revenge and of the stolen Silmarils, and made war against him throughout the remaining centuries of the First Age.

For more than four hundred years after his return, Morgoth was held at bay by the Siege of Angband, but in I 455, he sent out rivers of fire and poisonous fumes, and unleashed his forces of Orcs and Balrogs against his besiegers. From the time of that Battle of Sudden Flame, Morgoth's armies won victory after victory until his power spread across most of Beleriand, leaving his foes scattered and defeated. He did suffer one reverse during this time, when Beren and Lúthien were able to capture one of the three Silmarils that he held, but even this would lead in time to disaster as it fostered war among the Elves for possession of the Jewel.

That Silmaril was eventually taken to the Havens of Sirion - one of the last remaining refuges in the land - and from there Eärendil the Mariner set out across the Great Sea, making his way to Aman to entreat the Valar for their aid. The Powers set his vessel Vingilot into the sky, with the Silmaril shining out as a symbol of hope to the foes of the Great Enemy. Then a force set out from Aman into Middle-earth to challenge Morgoth, and fought the long War of Wrath against the Great Enemy and his servants. At last Morgoth was defeated, and the Valar cast him out into the Void beyond the World. So the threat of the Great Enemy was finally vanquished, but his follower Sauron would eventually arise, a lesser Enemy than his old master, but still a terrible threat to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 18 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by myDISCprofile, the free online personality test.
How do your personal strengths fit in with career matching? How can you identify them? Try a free personality test from myDISCprofile.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Menu
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry