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Thread: Elves vs Morgoth

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I was just wandering, if the elves, when Feanor and most of his father's house crossed into Bereliand, had any chance of victory against Morgoth anyway disregarding later battles. As in did they really have a chance of complete victory, say if Feanor didn't die, and Thingol helped out early on?
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As in did they really have a chance of complete victory, say if Feanor didn't die, and Thingol helped out early on?

No, since it was decreed in the Doom of Mandos that they'd never defeat one who was formerly of the Valar, that they would experience exteme pain & sorrow, death, so on and such like.
well, looks like maybe ill have to reread that bit. thanks!
There are some other clues in the Silmarillion that shows more or less clearly elves could not defeat Morgoth.

In the chapter about Dagor-nuin-Giliath it is said that just before he died Feanor had a look at the Thangorodrim and realized that Morgoth cannot be defeated.

Also before in the book there is a comment about Manwe thinking that the noldor could not win. An interesting aspect here is that he also expects the exile may at least have some good consequence for human race - and it is a fact that noldor settlement in ME have provided a sort of shelter for some human houses protecting them from Morgoth - To me that is an ambiguous aspect of the Valar policy regaring noldor exile in ME and awakening of human race which is kind of resolved in the Silmarillon- but in the earlier drafts (i.e. BoLT) they appear acting much more selfish - but well this is another topic ...
As already said it was extemely improbable that any of the Peoples of Middle-earth could have defeated Morgoth. However there was one battle that, had King Thingol sent aid as well as more help that should have come from other regions, perhaps the battle would have been victorious and Morgoth ovethrown:

"Then hope was renewed in the hearts of the Elves; and in that very time, at the third hour of morning, the trumpets of Maedhros were heard at last coming up from the east, and the banners of the sons of Fëanor assailed the enemy in the rear. Some have said that even then the Eldar might have won the day, had all their hosts proved faithful; for the Orcs wavered, and their onslaught was stayed, and already some were turning to flight."

So as we see there was a point where the Eldar might have won. If Thingol had waived his anger at the sons of Feanor and sent an army to join the union of Maedros and perhaps more help coming from Nargothrond then it is likely they would have won. But becuase Thingol sent squat they were defeated.
There are diferences in might have won, could have won, and would have won; and this wasn't against Morgoth, but just against his minions.
Good point there Grondmaster however I quote further:

"But even as the vanguard of Maedhros came upon the Orcs, Morgoth loosed his last strength, and Angband was emptied. There came wolves, and wolfriders, and there came Balrogs, and dragons, and Glaurung father of dragons."

As we can see here Morgoth loosed his LAST strength. All of Angband was emptied. Had the Elves had a host of 10-15 thousand from Thingol and perhaps 5000 from Nargothrond perhaps (not definate but I would say probable) Morgoth's last strength would have been overcome and the Eldar have won.

Also another condition was that the hosts of Men under Meadros' command stayed faithful. If Ulfang and co had stayed loyal as well its unlikely that Morgoth could have succeeded.

As it was Thingol and Nargothrond sent very few, if anything of significance and Ulfang betrayed Maedros. Thus caused the defeat and from then on Morgoth was an undefeatable enemy to the Peoples of Middle-earth.
I think had everything gone in their favour (eg. Thingol aiding them, and some of the men remaining faithful rather betraying them), they may have defeated Morgoth. Like it said, Morgoth was forced to use his last reserves. At one point they were banging on his gates and he withdrew in fear.

It was not to be, however. They were not fully united and some of the men did betray them. Mandos would have seen this, and hence knew their doom. I don't think he was saying to them, "You have no chance," but rather, "I have seen your future... things will go wrong and you will lose." Under different circumstances I think they stood a chance. Okay Morgoth was a fallen Valar, but Fingolfin gave him a good fight in a single combat. Imagine a legion of elven heroes trapping him in one of his chambers... bloody, but they'd probably manage to overcome him. By creating Morgoth's Ring he had effectively bound himself to flesh and the earth, so he was assailable.
A legion of Elven heroes would not even be necessary.

Just send in another sultry she-elf like Lúthien and Morgoth becomes so beguiled that he swoons.
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Just send in another sultry she-elf like Lúthien and Morgoth becomes so beguiled that he swoons.


Yep. btw Beren and Luthien should have left those damned Silmarils alone and looked after Morgoth before.
There is a difference between Morgoth swooning and being vanquished. Look what happens when Beren and Luthien heard Morgoth awake whilst they were escaping - they both trembled with fear.
That was merely a sarcastic remark.

But isn't there an open question here ? why did B&L not try to get rid of Morgoth at that moment (i.e. while he was asleep) ? Is there some clue about this ? If not I tend to think that it shows implicitly that Moroth could not be killed by human/elves in any way - probably due to his valarish condition.
I doubt you could simply stick a knife in him whilst he was asleep. His Power was the greatest of all things in Ea. Thats why the Valar had to cast him through the Door of Night before he could be rid of. Otherwise they would have just stabbed him and thats it.
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His Power was the greatest of all things in Ea.


I do not think so because it is said that most of morgoth strength passed into his minions but still he was still too strong to be overcome by any of the children of illuvatar as manwe himself had foretold to the fleeing Noldor in aman.
Indeed Melkor, when he first descended was mightier than all the other Ainur put together:

"It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped, and ere yet there was any thing that grew or walked upon earth; and for long Melkor had the upper hand."

It was only after the arrival of Tulkas did the Ainur finally manage to get the better of Morgoth. Tulkas was the 'straw that broke the camels back'.

But in after years Morgoth lost much of his power and wasted it and was no longer more Powerful than all the Ainur. Yet he still was the most Powerful individual throughout all his reign in Arda:

"That was the last time in those wars that he passed the doors of his stronghold, and it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear."

And this was after the Fourth Battle of Beleriand, very near the end of his reign and he was still the mightiest of all things.
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But isn't there an open question here ? why did B&L not try to get rid of Morgoth at that moment (i.e. while he was asleep) ? Is there some clue about this ? If not I tend to think that it shows implicitly that Moroth could not be killed by human/elves in any way - probably due to his valarish condition.

Fingolfin gave Morgoth many wounds with Ringil, "which glittered like ice" (according to the Sil, or Blind Guardian). This was a typically Elven-made enchanted "magical" weapon...I do not think Angrist had any magical qualities, or was strong enough to be able to slit Morgy's throat with it.

But at least they could've tried poking out his eyes (as Odysseus did to Polyphemos), or carve "Evil is so so c00l !!!!" in his brow.

That said, though, in the Final Final Battle Túrin would kill Morgy so it should be possible for one of the Children of Ilúvatar to nail one of the Ainur, at least destroy his bodily form. Sauron was of the Ainur and nailed many times; as were Saruman and Balrogs.

Ppl stare themselves way too blindly on the notion of "power". Power is one thing, dexterity something else entirely. Power is useless if one does not know how to harvest or wield it efficiently. See David vs Goliath.

Bottom-line : Fingolfin should've brought a sling.
The Dagor Dagorath is a very little known topic however. Clearly if Morgoth could be slain by a relatively simple method Beren and Luthien would have done so.

The Only reason I could think of why Turin would be able to slay Morgoth was becuase that was his Fate. It was the Fate of Morgoth to die in that battle and it was Turin's fate to slay him.

Just like Beren should not have been able to cross the Girdle of Melian, yet he did becuase Fate was with him.
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Sauron was of the Ainur and nailed many times; as were Saruman and Balrogs


Hmmm..

Sauron organized himself the condition of its defeat by concentrating his will in the One Ring.
In the case of Saruman (as for the other Istari) human condition (save age limit) was part of the original "deal". It is not stated whether their soul his saved though - but the idea can be supported that it is.
Balrogs ? Don't think we can consider Balrogs as Ainur.

Aniway I am with you on what you said on the notion of Power. This leaves the question of Morgoth could/could not be defeated widely opened ...
But, in any case all those who nailed Sauron did so to his body form not his spirit. Evem after the destruction of his ring his spirit was still present though it could only "gnaw itself in its own malice" or something like that.
You cannot destroy the Fea (spirit). Sauron with his Ring destroyed still had some power of spirit left yet not enough to phisically effect the world.
That was what i was pointing towards. Elk Grinning Smilie
Alright, so at first I thought most likely most people would agree it wasn't really possible, but now looking at what you're all saying, its not as simple as that. And I didn't know that Turin would be the one to deal the death stroke to Morgoth in the Final Battle, that was something interesting. Thanks for all your help.
Some think there's a possible indication (at least) that Túrin maybe was not going to slay Morgoth however, even in his 'prophesied role', but this is a complicated subject.

'In the last reappearance of the mysterious and fluctuating idea the prophecy is put into the mouth of Andreth, the Wise-woman of the house of Beor: Túrin will 'return from the dead' before his final departure, and his last deed within the Circles of the World will be the slaying of the Great Dragon, Ancalagon the Black. Andreth prophesies of the Last Battle at the end of the Elder Days (the sense in which the term 'Last Battle' is used shortly afterwards in this text, p. 371).' Christopher Tolkien, The Problem of ROS

But see also the changes made to the Later Quenta Silmarillion, and commentary about these changes, in The War of the Jewels.

Especially having read the new Children of Húrin recently, I tend to want to give Túrin the predicted honour in any case.
I think it's definitely possible that the Elves could've defeated Morgoth, if not destroying his Fea then at the very least killing his corporeal body, with his soul possibly returning to Valinor to suffer further imprisonment. But as someone mentioned earlier in the thread, they simply were fated not to:

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Mandos would have seen this, and hence knew their doom. I don't think he was saying to them, "You have no chance," but rather, "I have seen your future... things will go wrong and you will lose."


Exactly! In the Nirnaeth Anoediad, it says:

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...even now they could not be restrained; and they burst through the Gate and slew the guards upon the very stairs of Angband, and Morgoth trembled upon his deep throne, hearing them beat upon his doors.


Why else would he be so scared? Because he knows he can be beaten. Same thing happens a few years earlier, during the duel with Fingolfin:

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...it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear.


He didn't want to fight because he was afraid that he might lose. Apparently Morgoth no longer had super-sorceror powers, he couldn't just bring a mountain crashing down on your head or cause a gaping hole to appear and swallow you. By this time he had lost too much of his previous power, so that meant hand-to-hand combat. And apparently he was terrified of the prospect of facing the Noldor in that kind of fight -- he didn't even really want to duel ONE of them, could you imagine a whole army?

Of course it's possible that the Elves could have beaten his army and still not been able to get into Angband to defeat Morgoth. But in that case, at least the battle would've ended as a stalemate, and Morgoth would not have much of an army left. In the end it all boils down to the same conclusion: if they had been united from the beginning, the Elves most likely could have beaten Morgoth at some point. But instead they wasted much of their strength dealing with all the bickering and petty squabbles.
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Of course it's possible that the Elves could have beaten his army and still not been able to get into Angband to defeat Morgoth. But in that case, at least the battle would've ended as a stalemate, and Morgoth would not have much of an army left.

That's what happened after Dagor Aglareb. They couldn't get in and Morgoth just bred another army in his axlotl tanks.
But remember why the Elves had all those bickiring quarrals - only becuase of the cunning deceit Morgoth spread in Valinor. And I think only in the Battle of unnumbered tears were the Elves able to defeat Morgoth. Any other time I think he was simply undefeatable to the Peoples of Middle-earth.
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That's what happened after Dagor Aglareb. They couldn't get in and Morgoth just bred another army in his axlotl tanks.


Shoot, I forgot about that. Ok so then forget the part about the stalemate -- their best chance would've been to take care of him right then & there in the Nirnaith...provided they were able to break down those doors. Too bad those weren't the kind of doors that open simply by saying mellon, huh...

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But remember why the Elves had all those bickiring quarrals - only becuase of the cunning deceit Morgoth spread in Valinor.


No, not just because of Morgoth. The reason he was able to spread the deceit so easily was because of Fëanor's stubborn pride and hot temper. And then the Kinslaying, the Doom of Mandos, the burning at Losgar, etc, all played a part in the bickering that followed. After that, the Elves were never again one cohesive team -- instead everyone always had their own agenda, no one wanted to side with Fëanor's sons, everyone wanted to possess the Silmarils, and so on.

If (and it's a "big if") the Elves had put aside their differences, and if they had not been betrayed by the Men, then I think it's very possible that they could've defeated Morgoth.
But if that happened, that the Noldor won, we will be in a Noldor and Sindar owned world.And after that, the Elves would bicker over who is going to own the world.And then, either Fingon or Finrod or even Turgon would win and then its who is the richest ect.But look at the upside, nicer people, nicer buidings, nicer things, nicer clothes, nicer history(or not) ect. Cool Smilie
Feanor only wished to leave Valinor becuase Morgoth told him how the Valar were keeping the Elves captive and letting Men rule over Middle-earth. Morgoth told Feanor the Valar wanted the Silmarils. If Morgoth had not made the lies Feanor would not have rebelled and the dissensions of the Elves would not have occured.
I tend to think it was Noldor's fate to sunder.
iluvatar will guide the elves always no matter what morgoth does.

sleep the dreamer.
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But if that happened, that the Noldor won, we will be in a Noldor and Sindar owned world. And after that, the Elves would bicker over who is going to own the world.

Oh noooooooo, I just got the sickest thought in my head. Okay take what you said...and now picture a tv commercial, like the PC vs. Macintosh ads: "Hello I'm a Noldor" "And I'm a Sindar" LOLOLOLOLOLOL The Noldor would be like a PC: more technology (The Silmarils, nice swords & armor, etc) but the components (i.e. the people) don't play nice together. However the Sindar (the Macs) would have more beauty -- Melian because of Thingol, Galadriel defecting to their side to be queen of Lothlórien, etc. How's THAT for a comparison, LOL!
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If Morgoth had not made the lies Feanor would not have rebelled and the dissensions of the Elves would not have occurred.

Hmmmm, I dunno, I think SOMETHING would've set Fëanor off eventually. I think it was fated to happen, if not with the Silmarils then maybe with some other creation, and possibly even without Melkor stirring up the pot. Fëanor just seemed kinda...unbalanced in the first place. Definitely a hot head!!!
I thought the Noldor looked better than the Sindar because they seen the Light of the Two Trees they went to Valinor.The Noldor had pretty good-looking people e.g Galadriel an Feanor.
If you believe like I do that Ea already had its history planned out for it and Eru simply let it unfold and occasionaly excercised the parts which he assigned to himself (like the dorwing of Numenor and the pushing of Gollum into Mt doom) then we cannot keep saying 'this was fate' and 'that was fate'. Otherwise we are strictly limited to what DID happen, not what COULD have happened.

If we set Fate aside for a moment and assume Ea wasn't planned and that the action of each being would lead to some other unknown result (which doesn't seem likely in this myth considering the prophecies of Mandos and the forsight of other beings like Elrond) then its impossible to speculate what Feanor might have done or not done. He might of fallen of a cliff or choked on a Silmaril.
Its all speculation.

What we know for FACT is that he left Valinor becuase of the lies of Melkor and the diessensions of the Eldar in Valinor were solely started by Melkor and after became exaggerated through word of mouth etc.

Thus becuase of this the history of the First Age played out as it did and to the Elves Morgoth was an Undefeatable enemy becuase of his lies sown in Valinor. The Eldar had no hope to wholly unite. Thus was the Fate of the Noldor and Beleriand sealed and the prophecies of Mandos made true.
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If you believe like I do that Ea already had its history planned out for it and Eru simply let it unfold and occasionaly excercised the parts which he assigned to himself (like the dorwing of Numenor and the pushing of Gollum into Mt doom) then we cannot keep saying 'this was fate' and 'that was fate'.

Pardon? If the entire history is planned out and unfolded, then everything is 'fate'. This is the very definition of fate, everything being predetermined and having an inevitable outcome.

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What we know for FACT is that he left Valinor becuase of the lies of Melkor and the diessensions of the Eldar in Valinor were solely started by Melkor and after became exaggerated through word of mouth etc.

The lies of Melkor started the unrest amongst the Noldor, which was eventually discovered and resolved by the Valar; however, Fëanor left Valinor ultimately because of the theft of the Silmarils and the murder of his father. That is the FACT.
Firstly that is exactly what I am saying. If you believe Ea was planned then there is no point in stating that it was fate that made this happen and that happen becuase it goes without saying.

"But Feanor left Valinor becuase of the theft of the Silmarils and the death of his Father. That is FACT"

Which proves my point the more. Morgoth caused both of these things to happen.
But either way, aren't we supposed to believe that all of these actions & reactions were part of the Great Music as described in Ainulindalë?

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[N]o theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite.

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[T]he Ainur know much of what was, and is, and is to come, and few things are unseen by them.

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[T]o none but himself has Ilúvatar revealed all that he has in store...

That definitely sounds like fate/predestiny, that Eru has everything all planned out, and now the world will unfold according to the plans set forth in the Great Music.
That is my point. There is no point in speculating what Feanor might have done if Melkor wasn't there becuase Fate had already planned the course of his life for him. Thus Mandos knew that Feanor's life would be short and that 'He would come to him soon'.

Melkor caused the problems and distrust between the Eldar and Valar and was a direct cause for the Noldor's rebellion and the after events of Beleriand. It was Fate. The Eldar could never unite wholly and defeat Morgoth becuase it was there fate not to do so.
Free will and 'destiny' can excist at the same time. We had a very interesting discussion about it some time ago, and I recomend that you all go to this thread: Eru's thoughts
and read GrevBukMcjern's post on page two.
Lord of all, even though the Noldor would had never won in their wars against Morgoth its fun spectating it. For it's sort of fun talking in the Forum saying if the Noldor and the Sindar won, if morgoth died, if the Valar helped ect. For if the Noldor ever won they will eventually rule the world and then tey will be building whole pretty cities and towns, like Gondolin, Rivendell, The Grey havens ect. Wouldn't be nice living such cities?

Imagine that you turn on TV for the News and it said National Elf News brought to you by Glorfindel of Gondolin.
-"Hi my name is Glorfindel"
-"And mine is Ecthelion"
-"I shall start with the Leading Subject of the Day is that Maedhros and his brothers invaded Doriath and here is Ecthelion on the scene of destruction."
Then you see Elwig on the TV in a thick thicket of wood and Ecthelion saying "What was it like to see the Battle of Doriath?"
-"Terrible, especially seeing my father getting killed cruelly by Maglor"
-"How did he got killed?"
-"A spear went through him and pierced his heart, there was blood everywhere in Menegroth, and thatI was so close of getting killed by that, God forsaken Curufin." "I hate Maglor sooo much may the curse of a hundred generations may lay on his house." "It was so shoking about the heartlesness of these battles "Then she grabs the Silmarill out of her pocket, gleaming with the light of Telperion shining in it.As she grabbed it she said "For this"
-" Now you can see how heartless the Feanoriens are"
-"For that God forsaken Oath"
-"Now I shall show you live footage of the battle"
Then the screen blured for second and then it cleared. You then see the Gate of Menegroth banging under the weight of the Feanoriens. Dior sat in his throne dismayed of this and mny women and childen rushing out of a secret door with the children crying. The Male Elves soon go themselves armed. Many Bowmen were ready to shoot, with there arrows aimed at the door. Then Bang! THe Feanoriens came in charging with their weapons. Most of the First waves of Elves got killed by the Bowmen in the Attack and that Caranthir, Curufin and on the second rain of arrows kille many more, including Celegorm. Eventually though, the Feanorien cavalry brokein klling many of the Bowmen. On the side of the camera Elwig and her brothers ran away with the Silmarill just before Dior's headgot cut off by Maglor while defending his people. Then Maedros appeared with his sword, On horseback, he slashed his sword towards the Camera and than the TV got blured.

-Then Ecthelion said "Well there you have it, the cruel slaying of the Sindarian Elves by he Feanoriens" "Wait a go Maedros, ruining the Noldor's repuation, just after we had deafeated Morgoth,back to yu Glorfindel."
-Glorifindel said "Now to our next story, about the flooding of the Sirion and the Gelion, with me on the scene"
Immediatly, the screen had changed. From a view from a helicopter you could see the Sirion flooded, with parts of Brethil and Dimbar as well as parts of Neldoreath and Region flooded too and a huge lake north of the Andram. This is the scene of destruction. The Tower on Eithel Sirion barely survived.
-" Now I give you the scenes of destruction.This flood was devastating to The Sindar of Doriath killing thousands of Innocent Elves in the forest but at least Shelob and her sisters and children got drowned" said Glorfindel.
-"Now for some live footage of the Disaster."
Fromthe north came a huge flood, million of billions litres of water came crushing down, dark brown with soil. It soon swamped the Tower of Watch in its water, except that is top didn't get wet and you could see Orodereath's clothes stained brown with the mud. Then Doriath came nextand then the screen got blured as soon as the water hit it.
-"Now you've got a full scale of the Disaster,the same happened in Ossirialand, which you can see tommorow, back to Ecthelion"
-"Thanks Glorfindel,and now to the weather"
Gloifindel appeared on a screen in front of a map of Beleriand and he said now for Hithlum, a tempreture of 15 degrees and rainy tommorow,as for the same of Beleriand, And Gondolin.....ect.
-"Now excpect heavy showers and rain for the next week and more cataclysmic floods, back to you Ecthelion"
Both of the presenters were on the screen sitting at a table and Ecthelion said "bye" and Glorifindel said suddenly"and have a nice day and night"

Then you turn of the screen, horrified of the disasters that happenened that day feeling scared of your own wellbeing.Shocked Smilie
Perhaps that is more apt for the forum Fanfic? Interesting anyway.
Maybe I should.
Just to add in a question to get quotes flying, Luthien was part maiar/elf, In theory, could she defeat/overthrow Morgoth, being only half elven? Or... In theory, could a Maiar kill/overthrow a Valar??? (Well, one who was once a Valar)
She did overthrow him, didn't she?

If she happened to have brought a fitting blade with him, she could've plunged it into the fiend's foul and treacherous heart.

It takes a woman to do a man's job. If Galadriel had challenged Morgoth instead of that brash Fingolfin, who do you think would have won, eh?

Girl powah!!
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There are some other clues in the Silmarillion that shows more or less clearly elves could not defeat Morgoth.

In the chapter about Dagor-nuin-Giliath it is said that just before he died Feanor had a look at the Thangorodrim and realized that Morgoth cannot be defeated.

I was going purely by that quote furthur up the page.

Yeah, she did overthrow him, good point, so really I mean could Luthien kill him, or would it have been useless... if that quote is true then would Galadriel win? Or is Morgoth a women-beater too?
You cannot defeat Morgoth by sticking a blade through him. If you could then Luthien would have done it. More to the point the Valar would have done it. Instead they cast him through the Door of Night. If you could utterly vanquish him by such basic other methods they would have done it.
Regardless whether you class the Valar as Gods or Angels or whatever they are Angelic Powers that came before Ea. Morgoth was the powerfullest, though not the most important in status of Iluvatar's mind, of the Valar.
Fingolfin challenged Morgoth out of wrath and anger of what he saw was the destruction of his House. In truth there was no way he could have won the battle. Even if he disarmed Morgoth from his Great Mace and had a chance to thrust Ringil through his chest It wouldn't have defeated him.

Luthien managed to sooth Morgoth's hate and blurr his senses for a while. Perhaps even send him to sleep. I would hardly call that defeating him.
And if Mandos tells Feanor himself that he could not defeat a Vala Morgoth then why would Galadriel be able to? She wasn't as mighty as Feanor.
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Or is Morgoth a women-beater too?

Other than the fact that he was a mischievous, megalomaniac malcontent, why do you think Varda had rejected him and went to live with his enlightened brother instead?
Morgoth was just lucky that that sneak-thief Bilbo Baggins, the burrahobbit, hadn't yet been born; Bilbo with his magic ring would have stolen the two remaining pretty baubles from Morgoth's Iron Crown. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
Yeah but silly old Bilbo probably would've traded them away (like the Arkenstone) just so everyone would "make nice" and let him go back home. LOL, "burrahobbit"... Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
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