The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Slain I 472
Race
Division
Culture
Followed the people of Caranthir
Pronunciation
u'lfast
Meaning
Uncertain1

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 4 April 2017
  • This entry is complete

Ulfast

Faithless son of Ulfang

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

One of the three sons of Ulfang the Black, who travelled out of the eastern lands of Middle-earth with their father during the First Age. Crossing the Blue Mountains, Ulfang and his sons joined themselves to the forces of Caranthir in the years after the Dagor Bragollach.

When the time came for the immense battle that became known as the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Ulfast went with his brothers Ulwarth and Uldor (though not, apparently, his father) under the banners of the Fëanorians. In the heat of battle their secret plans were revealed: Ulfast and his brothers abandoned their allegiances and sided with Morgoth, suddenly attacking the Sons of Fëanor from the rear.

If Ulfast and his brothers had hoped for any reward for their treachery, they were disappointed. All three were slain, Ulfast at the hands of the sons of Bór, faithful Easterlings attached to the hosts of Maedhros and Maglor. Nonetheless, the treachery of the three brothers turned the tide on the eastern battlefront, and the Sons of Fëanor were forced to flee the field. According to The Silmarillion, it was the actions of Ulfast and his brothers that ultimately brought about Morgoth's victory in the Nirnaeth, and the end of hope for Elves and Men.


Notes

1

The Etymologies in volume 5 of The History of Middle-earth suggest an Elvish origin for Ulfast's name, connecting it explicitly with ulug 'hideous, horrible' and phas 'shaggy hair'. Of course Ulfast's father Ulfang would hardly have chosen such a name for his son, nor would he be expected use Elvish elements as the source. The implication suggested by The Etymologies is that Ulfast was an insulting name bestowed by the Elves after his treachery was revealed. If this true then Ulfast's true birth name must have been quite different, though it remains unknown.

See also...

Borthand, The Accursed

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

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1999, 2001, 2010, 2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.