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  • Updated 1 January 2020
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Spirit of Fire

Míriel's name for her son Fëanor

The firstborn son of High King Finwë of the Noldor was named Curufinwë by his father. His mother Míriel, though, recognised the burning spirit that drove him and give him another name, Fëanor 'Spirit of Fire', by which he became known in the histories of the Noldor. So intense was the inner fire that burned within Fëanor that his birth consumed Míriel's own spirit, which passed into the Halls of Mandos while her body slept forever in the gardens of Lórien.

Fëanor the Spirit of Fire proved to have been well named by his mother. He grew to become the most skilled of all the Noldor, creating - among many other things - the Silmarils and the palantíri. He was quick to judge and had a fiery temper, aspects of his nature that were manipulated by Melkor to engineer the downfall of the Noldor. Through subtle whispers, Melkor sowed dissension among Fëanor's people. This dissension led to the swearing of a dreadful and disastrous Oath, and then Fëanor led the greater part of his people out of Valinor into exile in Middle-earth.

Arriving in Middle-earth, the Noldor camped about Lake Mithrim, where they were attacked by Morgoth's armies. Though the assault was sudden and the Elves were unprepared, they nonetheless fought off their attackers in the battle known as Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Battle-under-Stars. Fëanor himself charged northward in pursuit of the fleeing Orcs, and found himself surrounded by enemies, including Balrogs. Fëanor's sons were able to drive off these creatures, but they found their father mortally wounded. He died as they carried him back southward towards their camp, and so hot was his Spirit of Fire that as he died his body burst into flame and crumbled to ash.

After Fëanor's death, his Oath continued to drive his seven sons, and so the Silmarils and the Oath to recover them lay at the heart of much of the history of the remaining First Age. Fëanor's legacy in Middle-earth was therefore one of warfare and mistrust among the Elves. Meanwhile his fiery spirit - the fëa of his name - returned to Aman and the Halls of Mandos. For most Elves, their spirits would abide in Mandos' Halls for a time before returning to life in the Blessed Realm. Because of the deeds of Fëanor, however, it was decreed that his Spirit of Fire would remain within the Halls of Waiting until the ending of the World.


See also...

Essë

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About this entry:

  • Updated 1 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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