Maedhros: Smarter then your average Red-head
'Maedhros' the eldest son of FŽanor, is generally held with a reverence, respect and admiration that is bereft of the (misunderstood!) house of FŽanor-of all the FŽanorians he is the one who for the most part keep his poise, nobility and strength of character and thus enhanced the reputation of the FŽanorians greatly and changed the fate of Arda (albeit unwillingly) for the better.
Well, letís start with his early history in Valinor. In the
Shibboleth of FŽanor (HoME 12) in a excursus to the original essay, Tolkien writes some information on the Quenya names of the FinwŽans. In it we find out that Maedhros's father name NelyafinwŽ means 'FinwŽ third in succession', his father, FŽanor, was first named MinyafinwŽ though this was later changed to KurufinwŽ. His name could be a assertion on the part of FŽanor on his house being the legitimate and eldest house of FinwŽ thus disregarding his half-brothers, Fingolfin and Finarfin, though I don't think Findis and LalwendŽ would have come into it. His mother-name was Maitimo which means 'well shaped one', since Maedhros was of "beautiful bodily form". So Maedhros had a nice body (Did Tirion have a gym? ) in comparison to most of the Eldar. Of course the Amanyar had a vitality of body that was greater then that of their counterparts in Middle-Earth, and even the Elves of Middle-Earth had a vitality of body that was greater then most Men. (Note Tolkien's description of Legolas in The History of Eriol BoLT 2).
His epessŽ was Russandol (coper-top), and he used his mother and nick-name to create his Sindarin name, Maedhros. A interesting point here is that in latter essays Tolkien often dropped the "h" from his name and wrote it as Maedros. In the Problem of Ros we learn that Tolkien wanted to changed his name from Maedhros to Maedron. This could be because of of FŽanor's disdain with the letter 'S' (See the Shibboleth of FŽanor (HoME 12) for more info. on this) though it could be because Tolkien was unsure on the meaning of ros and how it fitted in with Maedhros's name. He was also called 'the tall'.
Maedhros also had re-brown hair, as did the twin brethren Amrod and Amras. They inherited this from their mother Nerdanel. His was said to be similar in mood and face to his grandfather Sarmo Urundil (Mahtan) and they both wore copper-circlets on their heads. Maedhros may have been a great lover of copper then, he may have received a lot from the Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod who trafficked much in Beleriand and his younger brother Caranthir was said to have received a lot of the goods of Dwarves that passed into Beleriand. We learn in Of Maeglin (HoME 11) that the Dwarves of Belegost were closer to the FŽanorians then the Dwarves of Nogrod, but whether they had more copper or any other goods it now known, though they play the more heroic part in the WoTJ. His grand-father was also a AulŽndur (Servant of AulŽ), in History of Galadriel and Celeborn we learn that Galadriel too was a AulŽndur so maybe Maedhros had a positive relationship with Galadriel in Aman? He seems to be the most diplomatic of all the FŽanorians, he was close friends with Findekano (Fingon) but of course there would be no reason for the various houses of FinwŽ not to mix prior to their corruption by Morgoth's lies.
Him and Fingon were great friends in Aman. One wonders what they used to get up to? Maedhros would have been the eldest, but they would have been the first of the Second generation of FinwŽans and shows a closeness and love that developed in the sons of Fingolfin and FŽanor-though they had little of it for each other.
As attributed by the chapter Of The Return of the —oldor , Maedhros and Fingon were caught up in the rivalries that were brewing amongst the —oldorin houses and they didn't make up (with many hugs and kisses I bet) until Fingon rescued Maedhros when he was hanging off Thangorodrim.The Annals of Aman tell us that Maedhros was out hunting with his brother when FinwŽ was slain by Morgoth and they came back late but it was he who brought the tidings to his father. Like all his brother swore the oath of the Silmaril, much to the disgust of the —oldor and no doubt his boyfri... (sorry 'friend'-thereís only room for straight-laced platonic relationships in Tolkien) yet he was against the burning of the ships at Losgar by his father. But in the Shibboleth of FŽanor we learn that FŽanor roused a few people at night and burnt the ships without the general knowledge and consent of most his host.
After the death of his father, Maedhros led a group in order to discuss peace with Morgoth, though the intentions of both parties were crooked. But Maedhros's group was over-helmed and he was captured and held hostage by Morgoth. When Morgoth realised that the FŽanorians would not meet his demands for the release of Maedhros he hung him off a precipice on Thangorodrim. According to the Annals of Aman (HoME 10) Maedhros was left hanging ( ahh-a double entendre ) for some 20 odd years. Now I think most people are aware that you cannot live 20 odd years without food (despite the rigorous efforts of Mr. Blaine) or a copy of PlayboyTM. So was Maedhros fed-if so how? And why would Morgoth want to keep him alive unless it was a symbol of fear for the Elves and to dent to pride of the —oldor. Or was he able to survive this long with no food, water etc. Osanwe-Kwenta makes it clear that the incarnates had to eat-so one wonders how he survived with no food, was it because he had just come from Aman?
Maedhros then seceded, and the Kingship passed from the house of FŽanor to the House of Fingolfin, thus fulfilling the Curse of Mandos that the FŽanorians would become the dispossessed. One must wonder if Fingolfin was not already the King of the —oldor? The Shibboleth of FŽanor tells us that Fingolfin claimed the Kingship during the rebellion and Of the Flight of the —oldor tells us that the majority of the —oldor marched under Fingolfin and Finarfin. I think 'passing over' the Kingship was a mere formality on the part of Maedhros, though not all his brothers liked it.
Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form-Vladimir Nabokov
Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live. -Gustave Flaubert
We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us.-Marcel Proust