Thread: Noldor Passing of Kingship
We all know about the cutting out of the house of Feanor of the kingship and we all assume (or i do anyway) its because of the crimes he commited, however after the death of Fingon in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad the kingship passed to Turgon, his brother, rather than Gil-Galad, his son. Does anyone here know why?
Perhaps the Kingship was passed to the Noldor lord who is considered the most senior, or most powerful? or some sort of semi-democratic process where the leading Noldor would choose someone from the royal house to succeed the previous king as is found in some ancient cultures?
Would appreciate any information anyone has on this subject, as unfortunately i have not yet read HOME.
(and if there is another thread already about this, I apologize, but there are many to look at and I am exceptionally lazy)
There Maedhros in time was healed; for the fire of life was hot within him, and his strength was of the ancient world, such as those possessed who were nurtured in Valinor. His body recovered from his torment and became hale, but the shadow of his pain was in his heart; and he lived to wield his sword with left hand more deadly than his right had been. By this deed Fingon won great renown, and all the Noldor praised him; and the hatred between the houses of Fingolfin and Fëanor was assuaged. For Maedhros begged forgiveness for the desertion in Araman; and he waived his claim to kingship over all the Noldor, saying to Fingolfin: 'If there lay no grievance between us, lord, still the kingship would rightly come to you, the eldest here of the house of Finwë, and not the least wise.' But to this his brothers did not all in their hearts agree.
Therefore even as Mandos foretold the House of Fëanor were called the Dispossessed, because the over-lordship passed from it, the elder, to the house of Fingolfin, both in Elendë and in Beleriand, and because also of the loss of the Silmarils. But the Noldor being again united set a watch upon the borders of Dor Daedeloth, and Angband was beleaguered from west, and south, and east; and they sent forth messengers far and wide to explore the countries of Beleriand, and to treat with the people that dwelt there.
This is the reason why the House of Fëanor lost its claim.
Turgon became king after Fingon, because Ereinion Gil-galad was apparently too young; his father even sent him away :
Great was the lamentation in Hithlum when the fall of Fingolfin became known, and Fingon in sorrow took the lordship of the house of Fingolfin and the kingdom of the Noldor; but his young son Ereinion (who was after named Gil-galad) he sent to the Havens.
Only after Turgon's demise there was no other option than to make him King. It seems to me that Turgon was more a regent than an actual King. He was hiding back in Gondolin anyway, holding the crown until Gil-galad was old enough (Gil-galad was born in F.A. 445, so he was indeed very young). But even after the sack of Gondolin in F.A. 510, Gil-galad was still a very young King.
For Maedhros begged forgiveness for the desertion in Araman
if this is why Maedhros waived his claim, and the act itself was under Feanor's orders, then it would signify that it was indeed Feanor's crimes which made his house "the dispossessed"
indeed, although i believe even an elf could become a king at 26, the age at which Gil-Galad was at the death of his father,i could see how this could be too young for elven kingship, even though he wasnt a huge amount older (by elven standards) when he took the throne, as you pointed out.however it is this passage that seems intriguing,
if there lay no grievance between us, lord, still the kingship would rightly come to you, the eldest here of the house of Finwë, and not the least wise
surely this gives atleast some evidence for the rites of kingship being atleast partly different from that of the father to son way of european (and other) monarchies? surely in a race that is meant to live almost forevor there would be some deviation from that of our own system, which is primarily there because of the extremely low average age of death of the time where it was implemented, and would not account for a race which, in perfect conditions, would only increase.
As for the Elves, it does sound quite natural for them that the kingship should belong to the eldest of a house, probably deemed the most experienced and the wisest. So Maedhros' words could be interpreted as a confirmation of this fact. On the other hand, his brothers' disagreement could sugest the kingship usually passed from father to the eldest son, as was the case in most human monarchies. I dunno... it's just a thought. *shrugs*
But, one must not forget that normally, the Kingship would never have been passed, as Elves are immortal and in normal circumstances never die... but the Noldor were of course never in those circumstances.
If we look at the Houses of Teleri and Vanyar though, there Olwë and Ingwë would be Kings until the breaking of Arda. Not to mention, Ingwë is in fact the High King of all Elves until the breaking of Arda.
Anyway, i think Galadriel would have the most right to call herself Queen of the Noldor after the First Age, and in fact she kinda acted like it (with starting the White Council and what not), as she was the highest pure Noldo still in Middle-Earth after the War of Wrath.
OK, but what happens after the War of the Ring?
All Elves leave Middle-Earth in time, even the reluctant Celeborn, safe some stubborn ones who then "dwindled to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and to be forgotten. "
Earendil, Elrond, and Aragorn are some pretty potent mongrels.
I'd like to see Aragorn in the great battles of the First Age, though. Even he was not much compared to his forefathers, me thinks. Slaying Orcs is one thing, but 70 trolls, 5 Balrogs and what not, is another.
Of all great heroes, i think he's most alike to Beren, who was the Ranger of all Rangers, after all, and the first to steal an Elven maiden.
And sadly that failed too.
Tolkien also decided to make Gil-galad a Finarfinian as the son of Arothir (Orodreth), who himself was moved down a generation to being Angrod's son. So Angrod -- Orodreth -- Gil-galad instead of (as in the 1977 Silmarillion) Fingon -- Gil-galad.
On the web, Solicitr noted (I think he might be William Hicklin, but I'm not sure):
Solicitr wrote: 'Perhaps the law was simply 'the eldest male member of the Royal House in Middle-earth.' Elves didn't have to worry about an older generation being short-lived! Therefore Turgon would come before GG [Gil-galad], no matter who GG's father was, and GG would then be senior to Earendil. (...)
An observation on 'male primogeniture:' I don't think it quite fits the given accounts (any of them) to impose the Salic Law on the Eldarin royal houses. The more I revolve the claim of kingship as it in fact passed (and didn't pass), the more I am convinced that Kingship among the Elves could pass in the female line, but not to a female: she would preserve it for her male descendants. (...)
We are still left with the singular exception of Elrond, who was the very last male descendant of Finwe in M-E, and whose Fingolfinian claim was actually superior to Gil-Galad's (except of course that he hadn't been born when G-G took the title). It seems to me that, as a best guess, Elrond just didn't want the job- preferring (by medieval analogy) to be Archbishop rather than King.
Maybe the confusion of Turgon and Gil-galad's kingship is due to Christopher's regretful editing of Gil-galad's lineage.