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The secrecy of Valar's host in War of Wrath

Elaini

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In The Silmarillion it reads:
Of the march of the host of Valar to the North of the Middle-earth little is said in any tale; for among them went none of those Elves who had dwelt and suffered in the Hither Lands, and made the histories of those days that still are known; and tidings of these things they only learned long afterwards from the kinsfolk in Aman. But at last the might of Valinor came up out of the West, and the challenge of the trumpets of Eönwë filled the sky; and Beleriand was ablaze with the glory of their arms, for the host of the Valar were arrayed in forms young and fair and terrible; and the mountains rang beneath their feet.
However, the War of Wrath spans some fourty years according to Lotr Project timelines (F.A. 545-587). It's also hard for me to imagine that at least the Noldor didn't take a chance to visit their relatives in Middle-Earth, or warn the free peoples about the natural disasters about to happen.

Or avoid scenes like Finarfin meeting Galadriel:



So I take that the secrecy only concerned the movements of the Valar themselves and the Vanyar and Noldor or Aman had swore to keep them in secret in particular? If the Elves did not reunite at all, so much story potential would be gone to waste.
 

Elthir

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Elf babies

" . . . and the green grave of Finrod Finarfin's son, fairest of all the princes of the Elves, remained inviolate, until the land was changed and broken, and foundered under destroying seas. But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees of Eldamar."


For myself, I take this to mean that by the time Quenta Silmarillion was written, Finrod walks with Finarfin in Eldamar > in other words, they were reunited sometime after the War of Wrath/Ban of the Noldor was lifted/Finrod's time in Mandos was over.

Interestingly, when Tolkien first wrote this description, he still imagined that Elves were reincarnated by being reborn as baby Elves!

Tracking the Lady of Light

There are scenarios in which Galadriel was not in Beleriand during the War of Wrath. For one-and-a-half examples:

A) Tolkien's very late, adumbrated story (and partly illegible note), ". . . Galadriel and Celeborn departed over Ered Lindon before the end of the First Age."

B) The Fellowship of the Ring! "For ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through Ages of the world we have fought the long defeat!"

We know that the idea behind this statement (B), when it was written anyway, is that Galadriel left Beleriand before the War of Wrath and ultimately met the not-yet-Sindarin Celeborn in Lorien. That said, by the time The Lord of the Rings was published, Tolkien imagined Celeborn as Sindarin, but Galadriel's statement was not revised, not even for the revised second edition of the 1960s!

Anyway, I reject A, as even if I cherry pick this one idea from the larger, late text, for me it complicates what was published by Tolkien in RGEO in the 1960s. But I can't simply reject B outright -- it being author-published -- though admittedly I do some very fancy dancing with it, to try and smooth things with later description also published by JRRT in RGEO. Long story!


Anyway, in my legendarium, Galadriel is upon the Isle of Balar when the host from Aman arrives. And whatever happened after the War, in any case, her personal Ban was not lifted till much later in the Third Age.
 

Elaini

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According to Tolkien Gateway:
Because of Finrod's noble actions in life, and his reluctance to journey to Middle-earth, he was reincarnated after only a short time. He and Glorfindel were the only elves who were known to have been reincarnated before the War of Wrath. It is noted in the Lay of Leithian that Finrod was soon allowed to return to life in Valinor, and "now dwells with Amarië", so they probably were wed later. It is also noted in The Silmarillion that "Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar".
 

Elthir

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According to Tolkien Gateway: Because of Finrod's noble actions in life, and his reluctance to journey to Middle-earth, he was reincarnated after only a short time.
Finrod was certainly noble and generally awesome (I'm a huge Finrod fan myself), but ultimately he took up the same mantle as Galadriel, becoming co-leader of the Exiles when passing the Grinding Ice into Middle-earth, for which Galadriel was banned from Aman, even after the Noldorin Ban was lifted > banned for thousands of years as it would turn out, as we know.

Also, I note the reason our young Galadriel was eager to be gone from Aman: "No oath she swore, but she yearned to see the wide unguarded lands and to rule there a realm of her own."

This statement hails from the early 1950s Silmarillion phase, but Tolkien, much later, in 1968 or later (Shibboleth of Feanor), appears to include Finrod in this. "She was proud, strong, and self-willed; as were all the descendants of Finwe save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage."

For what that's worth :D

He and Glorfindel were the only elves who were known to have been reincarnated before the War of Wrath.
I would say: Glorfindel, yes; but Finrod, maybe.

It is noted in the Lay of Leithian that Finrod was soon allowed to return to life in Valinor, and "now dwells with Amarië", so they probably were wed later.
This seems to be noted in the Grey Annals, rather. Or at least, I couldn't find the word "soon" in any of the relevant Lay descriptions, and Amarie does not appear in the index to The Lays of Beleriand. Anyway, Grey Annals: "But it is said that released soon from Mandos, he went to Valinor and there dwells with Amarie."

Okay but what is "soon" to an Elf? And soon to an Elf in Mandos?

My weak "objection" with respect to the Glorfindel matter is that JRRT comes up with no less than four reasons to explain why Glorfindel could be reincarnated before the War of Wrath, given that he's up against the Ban of the Noldor. Perhaps I'm missing something, but what's the hurry here anyway? At one point (at least), Tolkien imagined that it took an Elf in Aman, roughly 3,000 years to grow from a child to an adult!

Well, enough questioning Tolkien himself for the moment. In Last Writings JRRT finds these reasons to reincarnate Glorfindel before the end of the First Age:

A) he was an Elda of high and noble spirit

B) he left Valinor reluctantly (he left because of kinship and allegiance to Turgon)

C) he had no part in the Kinslaying

D) "Most important" (Tolkien's words), Glorfindel had sacrificed his life in defense of the fugitives, unknowingly "connecting" a vital piece of the puzzle with respect to the designs of the Valar (that is, the escape of Earendil).

No doubt we could easily say a lot of nice/great things about Finrod too. And even granting that he died in noble fashion, again, he still did what Galadriel did which earned her a personal ban beyond that of the remaining Exiled Noldor.

I must admit I've wondered about Finrod with respect to the statements raised (especially within the older context of Finrod being born again as a baby, which was the idea in place when Tolkien wrote the Grey Annals). I imagine Finrod as leaving Mandos "soon" too, due to his noble and understanding heart, but I imagine he at least waited until the Ban was lifted, still relatively soon by Elf standards I think.

Finrod's dying words (QS): "I go now to my long rest in the timeless halls beyond the seas and the Mountains of Aman. It will be long ere I am seen among the Noldor again; and it may be that we shall not meet a second time in death or life, for the fates . . ."

We have soon, and long (from his perception, or Beren's maybe), and timeless ;)

To my mind, Tolkien Gateway has inserted an opinion here. While reincarnation before the War of Wrath can be said about Glorfindel given the late Glorfindel essays, I think TG has gone a little beyond what I would have written, as I think the Finrod case is more open to interpretation.

Kinslaying mumblings

As a side note, what does it mean to have a part in the Kinslaying? As I read the runes, in the later 1930s Silmarillion (no Galadriel yet, but still), the Finarfinians (Finrodians at the time) arrive too late to have any part in the Kinslaying, but later in life, Tolkien has Galadriel, and even Finrod, "fight" in defense of Swan-haven.

Okay, on the good side or not, that still seems to me to be taking some part. Granted, it's not said, either way, if Galadriel or Finrod slew anyone in this fight . . . but again. . . well, it seems "a part" to me, compared to the earlier scenario anyway
 
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Elthir

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A little beef with Tolkien Gateway on the Finrod page:

"In the published The Silmarillion, Orodreth is Finrod's brother: this was an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien and an admitted mistake. Orodreth was actually the son of Angrod and thus Finrod's nephew." Tolkien Gateway
To my knowledge Christopher Tolkien has never admitted that keeping Orodreth as Finrod's brother was a mistake. What he said about the various changes that affected Orodreth, and Gil-galad's parentage (and sisterage?) was rather " . . . but nothing of this late and radically altered conception ever touched the existing narratives, and it was obviously impossible to introduce it into the published Silmarillion."

Christopher Tolkien added that he thought it would have been better to have left Gil-galad's parentage obscure in the constructed Silmarillion > and here I note the much later constructed Children of Hurin, in which Orodreth is still Finrod's brother and Gil-galad's parentage is not noted on the family tree.

In my legendarium Orodreth is not Finrod's brother (I'm not wholly sure if the name Orodreth was going to be retained for this character as well), but that said, in the 1970s I was not tasked with trying to create a one volume, internally consistent (where possible) Silmarillion.

In the 1970s I was far too young anyway. I wasn't even one Valian Year old ;)
 

Elaini

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If Orodreth was Finrod's nephew, the family tree would be known: Orodreth's father would be Angrod and his mother Eldalótë.

I do have to do a lot of guesswork on Finduilas having a brother or not, though.
 

Miguel

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I think Gil-Galad being the son of Fingon is what i prefer for the most part, regardless if it was a mistake. His high king title "Ereinion" makes much more sense in this case.
 

Elthir

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(…) His high king title "Ereinion" makes much more sense in this case.
Plenty seem to agree with you here, still, the name Ereinion hails from a late text, dated 1968 or later, adopted by Christopher Tolkien into the 1977 Quenta Silmarillion. In other words, at least on paper, it looks like this name, meaning "Scion of Kings", appears after Tolkien brought Gil-galad back into the line of Finarfin.
 

Miguel

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Plenty seem to agree with you here, still, the name Ereinion hails from a late text, dated 1968 or later, adopted by Christopher Tolkien into the 1977 Quenta Silmarillion. In other words, at least on paper, it looks like this name, meaning "Scion of Kings", appears after Tolkien brought Gil-galad back into the line of Finarfin.
I'm not going to lie, i thought "Ereinion" was 100% the doing of Christopher. What i find nice about being from the house of Finarfin is Gil-Galad coming from all three houses while if he was Fingon's, he would be Noldo and Vanya alone. Also, someone from Finarfin's line got to be king.

However, when it comes to the title "Ereinion": "Scion of Kings" it still carries a heavier weigh of sense that he came from Fingon since Fingolfin's house WERE the kings; Fingolfin, Fingon and Turgon. There were no kings from any other Noldorin houses. I guess the title can still apply if he was Orodreth's but its just not as grounded on facts.
 

Elaini

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Finarfin himself was a king in Aman, but Noldor had a realm of their own to rule in Middle-Earth. And I don't mind the house of Fingolfin having a bit more fortune in that regard.
 

Elthir

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For me, the meaning "Scion, Descendant of Kings" just has to fit. There were thousands of Noldorin Elves, but (in the context of Tolkien's later idea of course) Gil-galad hailed from Finwe (King), and Finarfin (given the Kingdom of Túna), and Arothir (Orodreth), King of Nargothrond.

Arothir/Orodreth was knocked "down" . . . but not out ;)
 
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Miguel

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For me, the meaning "Scion, Descendant of Kings" just has to fit. There were thousands of Noldorin Elves, but (in the context of Tolkien's later idea of course) Gil-galad hailed from Finwe (King), and Finarfin (given the Kingdom of Túna), and Arothir (Orodreth), King of Nargothrond.

Arothir/Orodreth was knocked "down" . . . but not out ;)

In Beleriand, after Morgoth killed one High King he was already after the next one in line, and he didn't attack Turgon before the fall of Nargothrond because he simply didn't know Gondolin's location yet. Considering the amount of spies spread throughout Beleriand, what if they tried to hide Gil-Galad's identity as the next "High King" by spreading rumor about him being the son of Orodreth?. Maybe an effort to "cool down" Morgoth's rush to get rid of all High Kings?. I don't know, this might bring more problems :D
 

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