MiddleEarthBlog: The Terrible Oath


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Terrible Oath

What was the terrible oath that i am  speaking of? It was the oath of the Elf Feanor and his sons to reclaim the Silmarils at whatever cost against whomever would possess them.The tale begins with the creation of the two trees of the  Valinor by Yavanna Kementari of the Valar,the wife of Aule.Of the two trees and their fate all the tales of the Eldar days are woven.But for our purposes I only wish to discuss their relevance with the terrible oath and save the other tales for another day. The trees were called Telperion and Silpion one had dark leafs of green and the underside were as of shining silver and the other a lighter shade of green with and underside of gold and eevry day as one waxed the other would wane and with them came the days known as the bliss of Valinor and thus also began the count of time in Middle Earth. There was an Elf, the greatest of Elfs, his name was Feanor the son of Finwe the King in Terion. Feanor was a master Craftsman and created many and wondrous things and he pondered how the light of the two trees might be preserved imperishable and he summoned all his skills and created the Silmarils, three great jewels and the inner fire of these jewels Feanor made from the blended light of the two trees and Varda hallowed the Silmarils so that no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything evil could touch them without suffering from unending pain.Melkor,the evil god was jealous of Feanor and secretly plotted to take the Silmarils from him but he was afraid to show his hand in this and decided to trick Feanor instead.He told them that the Valar secretly were plotting to take the Silmarils for their very own but Feanor did not trust Melkor yet the seed of doubt was placed in Feanors mind. Melkor who had been released from the prison of the Valar had vowed his revenge upon them and with the aid of Ungoliant a a spirit of evil in the shape of a great spider traveled to the undying lands hidden in an impenetrable darkness woven by Ungoliant and their they slew the two trees Telperion and Silpion then Melkor and Ungoliant traveled to the house of Finwe,Feanors father and there slew him and took the three Silmarils and then made there escape back to Middle Earth. The Valar upon hearing of this turned to Feanor and asked him to give them the Silmarils for they contained the light of the trees and with tis light the trees could be remade but Feanor refused. Feanor the gathered his people together aand convinced them they must pursue Melkor to Middle Earth and there retrieve the Silmarils and that the Valar had convinced the Elfs to live with them so that they would be protected by them but the Valar could not even protect the two trees. It was then and there that Feanor and his seven sons: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras made the terrible oath and this is what they swore to.They swore with Illuvatar(Eru) as their witness vowing to pursue with hatred and vengeance to the ends of the world be it Valar,Elf or Man as yet unborn, or any creature,great or small,good or evil, that time should bring forth until the end of days, whoso should take or keep a Silmaril from their possession. Wth this oath they sealed their own doom and the doom of many,many others. then seeking away to leave the undying lands and travel to Middle Earth he went to the seashore where the Teleri a seagoing race of Elfs lived and asked to use their great ships.The Teleri refused so in what is knaown as the Kinslaying Feanor and his people fell upon and slew them and took their ships and passed into Middle Earth.There were not enough ships to carry all of the Noldor across the sea, so Fëanor and his sons led the first group. Upon arriving at Losgar, in the land of Lammoth, in the far west of Beleriand, where Morgoth and Ungoliant had passed not long before, they decided to burn the ships and leave the followers of Fingolfin behind. However, Fëanor accidentally left his son Amras in the ships, and he was burned alive. The earth being flat in those days, the remaining Noldor saw the flames, and perceived that if they were to go to Middle-earth, they had no choice but to cross the Helcaraxë. This they did under the leadership of Fingolfin, and suffered great losses along the way, which greatly added to the animosity they had for Fëanor and his sons. Learning of the Noldor's arrival, Morgoth summoned his armies from his fortress of Angband and attacked Fëanor's encampment in Mithrim. This battle was called the Dagor-nuin-Giliath ("Battle under the Stars"), for the Sun and Moon had not yet been made. The Noldor managed to win the battle and disperse Morgoth's armies. Fëanor, still in a great rage, pressed on toward Angband with his sons. He came even within sight of Angband, but was ambushed by a force of Balrogs, with few elves about him. He fought mightily, hewing even after receiving several wounds from Gothmog, lord of Balrogs.His sons came upon the balrogs with great force of elves, and were able to drive them off. However, as Fëanor was being carried off the battlefield, he knew his wounds were fatal. He cursed Angband thrice, but with the eyes of death, he knew that his elves, unaided, would never throw down the dark towers. At the moment of his death the passing of his fiery spirit reduced his body to ashes. He was the only person to die this way, for no death like his were ever seen or heard, nor did his soul leave the halls of Mandos his sons were still bound by the Oath to recover the Silmarils, which would determine the events of Middle-earth during the First Age.It is said that he will return for Dagor Dagorath, and will finally reclaim his beloved Silmarils, and then surrender them to Yavanna.
    Now because of the oath Feanor, his son Amras and the TeLeri Elfs are dead. A doom has been laid on his people and the Elfs he left to their fates are turned bitter to his people and yet even more death and grief is yet to come.A silmaril was at last taken from the crown of Morgoth(Melkor) by Beren and Luthien and given to the Elven king Thingol.The sons of Feanor demanded the Silmaril be turned over to them and when refused the second kin slaying occured when they attacked the Elfs who possessed and even though their were many deaths the sons of Feanor did not gain possession as the Silmarils was taken to the undying lands by Earendil and away from them.During this battle three of the sons(Celegorn,Carunthir ,and Curuthin) fell.Then occured the War of Wrath where the Lords of the West finally assaulted Angband the fortress of Morgoth and defeated him and cast him into the void and the two remaining Silmarils wer captured.  When the last surviving sons of Feanor (Maehdros and Maglor) learned of their capture they demanded that the jewels be returned to them but this was denied them,they attacked the camp of the Elfs who had the jewsls in their possession, slew the guards and stole the Silmarils but because of their black deeds the jewels rejected them and caused great pain to come upon them and the pain was so great that Maehdros threw his Silmaril into  a firey fissure and threw himself in as well, Maglor tossed his into the sea,legend has it that he still wanders the shore singing laments for his despair and regret.Because of the terrible oath Feanor and most of his sons were dead and yet the jewels were never to be held by them again. THe jewels were turned to the Fire,water and skys. What was the sin of Feanor,theterrible oath? No,that was but a byproduct of it,the real sin of Feanor was pride, a great and terrible pride that in the end caused the death of many and the destruction of much.Pride goeth before the fall as the old saying goes and in this case it was assuredly so

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