Fingolfin and Feanor

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#1 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:12 am

We all know that Feanor and Fingolfin had a very strange relationship with each other. Feanor obviously had no feelings at all for Fingolfin except for resent, but Fingolfin's feelings towards his half-brother are slightly more complicated. Sometimes it seems he loves him and respects him as his brother, but at other times Fingolfin is rather cold. Do you think that maybe the more quiet brother Finarfin had something to do with this? Fingolfin's relationship with Finarfin was pretty close, and maybe the gentle, compassionate Finarfin healed bold Fingolfin's heart? I've always thought Finarfin had a part to play in the brothers. He should have been more use than just providing us with his offsprings. :girl:

But back to Fingolfin and Feanor. :D

Fingolfin went to Middle-Earth to fight Feanor's war. But after Fingolfin was betrayed by Feanor it was obvious neither would have much love for the other anymore. And in the end, both found their feas housed snugly in Mandos. But do you think that Fingolfin would forgive Feanor? (And I know all you Fingolfin fans will say "of course he'd forgive him") But even if he did forgive Feanor, do you think that the abyss between them would ever disappear? Would there ever be a day when everyone would no longer curse Feanor's name? And will there ever be a day when Feanor's spirit may be cooled and he may find peace and love with his brothers?

This last question might earn a few scowls from all you Tolkien purists out there, but really, Feanor has to have his chance at repenting and going out for a new life of joy too. And I've always felt rather sorry for him. He's so consumed by his own fire that he can never taste real joy. So what do you all think? I'm expecting a lot of posts on this thread... :cool:

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miruvor
Posts: 849

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#2 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:18 pm

Sometimes it seems he loves him and respects him as his brother, but at other times Fingolfin is rather cold.

After Fingolfin released Fëanor in the Ring of Doom after the latter had threatened to kill him ('See, half-brother!' he said. 'This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls.'), and after Fingolfin voluntarily submitted to Fëanor, in order to keep the peace (Then Fлanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: 'Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us.'), Fëanor thanked Fingolfin by burning the swanships at Losgar and hence condemning Fingolfin and his followers to a hellish ordeal along the Helcaraxë.

Thus, Fingolfin had all the rights to be a bit cold towards Fëanor. Nonetheless, Fingolfin still honoured the House of Fëanor in Beleriand after Fëanor's death, as he knew the Noldor had to be united in order to defeat Morgoth (even though the sons of Fêanor were a bunch of raving nutters, safe Maedhros and Maglor).

I'm pretty sure that Fingolfin would again forgive Fëanor - Fingolfin is noble and wise, not brooding and cunning like Fëanor.

This last question might earn a few scowls from all you Tolkien purists out there, but really, Feanor has to have his chance at repenting and going out for a new life of joy too. And I've always felt rather sorry for him. He's so consumed by his own fire that he can never taste real joy.

I doubt Fëanor ever experienced any joy in his life. He was the greatest mind, the greatest craftsman of all time, but for all his talent he didn't recieve any wisdom. Fëanor was a genius, but also an idiot savant. His whole life in Valinor was a restless struggle to pour all his talent, his spirit into great works - which culminated in the Silmarils. All his works were made because he believed it was the only thing that could possibly make him happy, give his life some meaning. Once he had made his 'masterpiece', his 'preciousssss', he considered his life to be complete and clinged to his precious jewelry like a shark to the leg of a hapless swimmer : his Simarils became his epitome of happiness.

That's why he went completely out of his mind, completely berserk after Melkor stole them, and burnt all bridges in order to get them back (*)- he never even thought about the consequences of his actions when he made his Oath and took the Doom of Mandos on the Noldor's shoulders; the only thing that gave his life meaning - the Sils - were gone, hence he decided to either retrieve them, or die in the process, not even taking in regard how many ppl would follow him -- his life was meaningless without his jewels.

That is the reason why Fëanor will never ever leave the Halls of Mandos before the Final Battle, the Apocalypse, Ragnarok, Dagor Dagorath, in which he will declare what material the Sils are made of.

(*) Some people believe that Fëanor went poco loco because of his father's brutal death, but i only consider this to be a contributing factor. With or without his father's death, Fëanor would've gone for Morgoth's jugular - if Finwë were still alive, he would've joined his beloved firstborn to Beleriand. Finwë's murder only worsened Fëanor's wrath and mental decay - it was oil on the fire within him, and this fire ignited the majority of the House of Noldor so they would join him. Soon though, this enthusiasm was quenched by the ruthless events initiated by Fëanor in Alqualondë and Losgar.

He should have been more use than just providing us with his offsprings.

Being the wisest of Finwë's sons, Finarfin did the greatest deed in the War of the Jewels : he refused to join the Exile, only to gloriously appear in Beleriand 600 years later in the War of Wrath.

Fingolfin was more noble than wise. That's why he joined the Exiles - he gave Fëanor his word and duly followed it. Fingolfin trying to reconcile with Fëanor is probably due to Finarfin, but Fingolfin submitting to Fëanor is not. Fingolfin made a mistake thinking Fëanor was honourable. Somebody who is willing to sacrifice almost an entire House in order to get three chunks of glass (or whatever they are made of) back, isn't though.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#3 » Sat Nov 05, 2005 1:20 am

Thanks for the long long answer. I really appreciated it. :D

Somebody who is willing to sacrifice almost an entire House in order to get three chunks of glass (or whatever they are made of) back, isn't though.


Feanor was pretty ruthless, and definately self-willed. But sometimes I just don't get it. Why do es such a clever being not understand right and wrong? Feanor knows just about everyhting except this. And it's ruined him. How can he, a Noldo who loves to preserve beauty and make beauty, not see the beauty of life? Surely that's the most beautiful of all things.

And Fingolfin, well, I agree that he was more noble than wise. I mean, taking on Morgoth alone? Brave, but foolish in my opinion. But he's the noble sort, so I suppose this is expected of him. You can't expect him to just sit and seethe with anger on his throne, now could you?

I, however don't think that Finwe would really follow Feanor into Exile. He loves his son, but I think he had enough wisdom to know his duties as a High King do not allow him to bandy with his brilliant son's rashness.

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#4 » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:41 am

Feanor was pretty ruthless, and definately self-willed. But sometimes I just don't get it. Why do es such a clever being not understand right and wrong? Feanor knows just about everyhting except this. And it's ruined him. How can he, a Noldo who loves to preserve beauty and make beauty, not see the beauty of life? Surely that's the most beautiful of all things.


Elven fea burn far stronger than those of Men. Part of a person's spirit is their emotion, which again will be stronger in an Elf. Because of the agelessness of elves that we see in Lothlorien and Rivendell during LotR, it is easy to think they have unbounded patience, but I don't think this is the case. Many of them seemed very driven by their emotions; Feanor with his crafting, Fingolfin with his bravery, Eol with his jealousy etc. In these individuals, that aspect of their emotion totally over-rode their wisdom. This is the case in many humans today. How many times do you hear people saying they did something wrong because they were in a rage? Often their pride does not let them repent and make ammends afterwards either, even when they know they are wrong. I think you are seeing something similar in Feanor. His passion was not just crafting. Unlike other elven craftsmen who tended to give away their work freely, Feanor also had a passion for the things he had created and coverted his own possessions. I think in a way he coverted his father's love in a similar manner, for he did not appear to like sharing it when Finwe remarried. He had no love for Indis or his two half-brothers.


And Fingolfin, well, I agree that he was more noble than wise. I mean, taking on Morgoth alone? Brave, but foolish in my opinion. But he's the noble sort, so I suppose this is expected of him. You can't expect him to just sit and seethe with anger on his throne, now could you?


When I first read the Silmarillion, I thought how noble and brave Fingolfin was to duel Morgoth. Each time I read it, however, that diminishes a little. The fight was futile and achieved nothing. Fingolfin did not attack Morgoth out of pride, but out of dispair after the might of the Noldor was broken during the Battle of Sudden Flame.

I, however don't think that Finwe would really follow Feanor into Exile. He loves his son, but I think he had enough wisdom to know his duties as a High King do not allow him to bandy with his brilliant son's rashness.


Finwe had already followed Feanor into exile when Feanor was banished for twelve years from Tirion.

From Of the Silmirils and the Unrest of the Noldor
Thither also came Finwe the King, because of the love that he bore to Feanor; and Fingolfin ruled the Noldor in Tirion.


Formenos was not as far as Middle Earth, but he had abandoned his subjects for his son once before. I think he would have followed him again had Morgoth not killed him.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#5 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:55 am

Well, following Feanor to Formenos is one thing, but abandoning the Valar and leading all the Noldor out to Middle-Earth? That's plain madness and no matter how much Finwe loves Feanor I don't think he'd be such a bad king to his people.

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valedhelgwath
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Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#6 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:04 am

Between them, Feanor and Fingolfin took the greater part of the Noldor into exile with them. Of the Noldorian princes, there was only Finarfin who remained. Even Finrod Felegund, who was considered among the wisest of elves, followed Fingolfin. By going to Middle Earth Finwe would not be abandoning his people, he would be leading them to war. Better to leave those who remain safely back home under the leadership of one of his sons than those going to war.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#7 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:20 am

Hmmmmm....you have a point, Val...

But wouldn't Finwe try to convince the Noldor to stay instead of supporting Feanor? Oh what am I saying, of course he couldn't do that. His people were lost in his son's words.

So I guess he would have gone after all.

Even Finrod Felegund, who was considered among the wisest of elves, followed Fingolfin.


Finrod was wise, but he didn't go to Middle-Earth because of wisdom. He did it more out of love for his cousins. But I admit that if Finrod hadn't gone to ME he wouldn't have been accounted wisest. Some things you just can't learn in Valinor, sometimes you have to do something really stupid to acquire wisdom, which is why he's named even before his father Finarfin in wisdom.

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miruvor
Posts: 849

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#8 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:42 am

Finrod would’ve been named equally wise if he had stayed behind with his father. It is true that he ventured to Beleriand out of love for the sons of Fingolfin, and perhaps also out of love for his brothers and sister, yet if he had stayed he would’ve done that out of love for the Vanyarin princess Amarië, his betrothed.

Finrod is perhaps the only Noldo who didn’t venture to Beleriand because he wanted to avenge Finwë, or meet Fëanor again like Fingolfin, or because he wanted to see and rule the lands over the Sea like Galadriel, but out of love. He went out of love and if he had stayed behind, he would’ve done that out of love as well.

No matter what Finrod would’ve done, he’d be the wisest Elf anyway. The reader would’ve only been ripped of some of the most noble and altruistic actions in the history of Arda, had he stayed with his father.

The greatest Elves in the history of Arda clearly come from the combination of Vanyarin, Noldo and Teleri genes : the House of Finarfin.

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floyd_n_milan
Posts: 551

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#9 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:32 pm

Fëanor was a genius, but also an idiot savant. His whole life in Valinor was a restless struggle to pour all his talent, his spirit into great works - which culminated in the Silmarils. All his works were made because he believed it was the only thing that could possibly make him happy, give his life some meaning. Once he had made his 'masterpiece', his 'preciousssss', he considered his life to be complete and clinged to his precious jewelry like a shark to the leg of a hapless swimmer : his Simarils became his epitome of happiness.


I think most of these 'talented' people find happiness in their works. To utilise their talents, skills is THE joy in their life. If I created a masterpiece, something I could never ever better again, I would want to hurt the person who destroys it or steals it from me! Whether I would actually go and hurt the person depends on my 'wisdom'.

I think the reason Feanor would never leave the halls of Mandos wasn't because he loved his creation too much. But because he lacked that 'wisdom' that would have saved many lives, including his own.

I'm pretty sure that Fingolfin would again forgive Fëanor - Fingolfin is noble and wise


I don't think forgiveness has to do anything with being noble and wise.. not always. Sometimes, people who forgive can make a real fool out of themselves. There are some things which should never be forgiven. But again that varies depending on the situation.

Being the wisest of Finwë's sons, Finarfin did the greatest deed in the War of the Jewels : he refused to join the Exile, only to gloriously appear in Beleriand 600 years later in the War of Wrath.


This I find really interesting. Throughout Tolkien's works, you will find words of praise associated with people who do mighty deeds in battle; people who kill most enimies; people who kill better than others. I find it quite funny that the word 'wise' should be associated with a person who pulled himself out of the war. Take Fingolfin's example.

When I first read the Silmarillion, I thought how noble and brave Fingolfin was to duel Morgoth. Each time I read it, however, that diminishes a little. The fight was futile and achieved nothing. Fingolfin did not attack Morgoth out of pride, but out of dispair after the might of the Noldor was broken during the Battle of Sudden Flame.


This sums it up for me. The first impression was that he was brave and noble. Upon thinking properly, he was stupid! It's been a while since I read the Silmarillion, so I don't remember what Tolkien said about Fingolfin's deed, but I wouldn't be surprised if he praised it for bravery.

Fëanor thanked Fingolfin by burning the swanships at Losgar and hence condemning Fingolfin and his followers to a hellish ordeal along the Helcaraxë.


I think need some refreshing of my memory here. But, couldn't Fingolfin have turned back instead of going to Beleriand at this point? If it was possible for him to turn back then, then I think he did exactly what Feanor did! Again, I don't remember exactly where Fingolfin was then.. pardon me if I'm wrong.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Fingolfin and Feanor

Post#10 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:21 pm

Wow! The chat room...great place... too bad I've never been able to log on.

I was laughing my head off while reading your conversation. I don't know why, it just sounds so funny...

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