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Old 04-03-2001, 05:12 PM   #1
Tar Elenion
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Ring The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A History

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I originally posted this on the rec.arts.books.tolkien newsgroup. I thought it might be of some interest here as well.


This is intended to be a 'primary world' history of the parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad and related matters.

It seems that Orodreth is the son of Finarfin (who was earlier named Finrod), third son (and fifth child) of Finwe, up through 1958. He appears as such in the 'Annals of Aman' (HoME 10), the 'Later Quenta Silmarillion (I)' (HoME 10 and 11), and the 'Grey Annals' (HoME 11). These were initially written in ca. 1950-1952. Corrections and emendations were made to these manuscripts and amanuensis typescripts, including these changes, were made in 1958. Finarfin in these typescripts is still called Finrod and Finrod Felagund is named Inglor. Later JRRT begins to emend these typescripts with changes including the names of Finrod and Inglor to Finarfin and Finrod and indications of the removal of Orodreth from among Finarfin's children. Finarfin is named Arafinwe in the earlier versions of 'Finwe and Miriel' which are dated to 1958 or earlier. The first unaltered appearence of the name: Finarfin (or Finarphin) is in the later versions of 'Finwe and Miriel' and the 'Later Quenta Silmarillion (II)' dated to 1959 (or later); while Finrod (for previously Inglor) is in the 'Athrabeth' also dated to 1959 (or later). In the 'Elessar' essay (UT) Galadriel refers to herself as the last of Finrod's children, and names Angrod, Aegnor and Felagund as the others but fails to mention Orodreth, who CT notes was removed and placed a generation down.

Gil-galad first appears as a Feanorian (of unknown descent) in the Fall of Numenor (II) (HoME 5). This is dated to not later than 1937. In the original (I) versions of Many Meetings/Council of Elrond (At Rivendell, HoME VI), dated to December 1938, Elrond states that Gil-galad is a descendant of Feanor (which ties in with the original FNII). On an 'isolated' sheet associated with (III) version Gil-galad is said to be son of 'Fin...' where the writing is illegible (CT notes that the fourth letter is _possibly_ an 'r' but the name is definitely not Finrod), this is struck out and 'Inglor?' is written in, this possibly dates to 1939 or early 1940 (HoME VII). Though marked with a query this agrees with the (III) version which has Gil-galad as son of Felagund seemingly through its association with the new ending to the Fall of Numenor II which was revised at the time of the writing of the third version of the Council of Elrond. In an early alteration to the Quenta Silmarillion text of HoME V, Felagund is mentioned as having a wife (Meril) and their son is Gil-galad. In the T3 version of the Tale of Years (of the Second Age) Gil-galad is the son of Felagund and this is also the case with 'Of the Rings of Power'. 'RoP' was extant (in versions) by 1948 (L. 115), while the 'T3' version is no later than August of '50 and was likely written in 1949 (PoME).

At this point it seems that we have Orodreth as the son of Finarfin (or rather Finrod) through 1958. Gil-galad is a Feanorian from ca. 1937 through ca. 1939. Gil-galad is the son of Finrod (or rather Inglor) Felagund from ca. 1940 until ca. 1949.

In the Gray Annals it is said that Felagund had no wife and this is consistant with Annals of Aman and the Later Quenta Silmarillion. That Felagund had no wife is maintained up until Dec. 1959.

In a 'pencilled note' on the amanuensis typescript of the Grey Annals Fingon is noted as the father of Gil-galad.

In a note (likely dated to Dec. 1959) to the genealogies (Finrod) Felagund is again given a son, Artanaro Rhodothir, otherwise known as Orodreth father of Finduilas. Later JRRT noted that Finrod had no child and had left his wife in Aman. At this point Orodreth is now made the son of Angrod (and renamed Artaresto) (PoME).

Now referring back to the 'Elessar' essay which must date from the time before 'Inglor' became 'Finrod' as Finrod (ie Finarfin) is her father but after or about the time Orodreth is made her nephew. That would tend to date the Elessar essay to late 1959 or 1960 (which may indicate that the 'Athrabeth' should be dated into 1960 as it seems that name Finrod was not given to Inglor until after Orodreth had been removed as his brother).

In 'Aldarion and Erendis' Gil-galad is named 'Finellach Gil-galad of the House of Finarfin'. In UT CT dates this work to 1965, though in PoME he says this might be dated to 1960. JRRT notes this work as 'nearly complete' in September of 1965 (L. 276). It seems that this must be later than the 'Elessar' story (as Finarfin is used for Finrod). But it is not impossible that Finarfin maintained the name Finrod for a time as well before it was decided that Felagund should receive it. Gil-galad is also called Finellach the 'Description of the Island of Numenor'.

It is not noted what parentage Gil-galad had as 'Finellach', though CT notes this preceded by some time the making of Gil-galad into the son of Orodreth, which happened in August of 1965 when 'scribbled at great speed' a note, suggesting that Gil-galad (here named Rodnor/Artanaro) should be the son Orodreth (Artaresto), son of Angrod, was written.

In the Elessar essay Celebrimbor is noted as a jewel smith of Gondolin, though in a note JRRT wrote against that essay he says it would be better to make Celebrimbor a descendant of Feanor (PoME). This happened with the Second Edition of RotK (1966). JRRT noted in one of his copies of this edition that Celebrimbor had grown to love Finrod and his (unnamed) wife while dwelling as a refugee in Nargothrond.

In the 1968 Shibboleth of Feanor, Orodreth is noted as 'Artaher' the son of Angarato (Angrod) and Eldalote. Gil-galad (Ereinion) is referred to with the Finarfinians and in a footnote is said to be the son of Artaher.

Orodreth is son of Finarfin until (it seems) 1959. Towards the end of 1959 he is made the son of Finrod Felagund. But this is then emended to the son of Angrod, since Finrod had no wife. However in an undated note on a 1966 copy of RotK Finrod is said to have a wife (in Nargothrond). In the Shibboleth there is no mention of his having a wife. Through the 1950's Gil-galad was no longer Finrod's son as Finrod had no wife, and he was noted as the son of Fingon on the 1958 typescript. Gil-galad returns to being a Finarfinian in the '60's (possibly as late as 1965 or as early as 1960). But who was his father considered to be in the Aldarion and Erendis essay, before he was made the son of Orodreth? We only have him being of the 'House of Finarfin'. When was the note made on the Second Edition of RotK that suggests Finrod did have a wife in exile? What was Gil-galad's lineage when he was descended from Feanor?

[ February 22, 2003: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]
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Old 04-03-2001, 06:09 PM   #2
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Re: The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A History

Was this incorporated in the Geneologies thread? I thought for sure it was. Of course I only skimmed it.

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Old 04-03-2001, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A History

This is more detailed regarding specifically Orodreth and Gil-galad. It naturally has some overlap. There are several questions here that could lead to interesting discussions. Off hand I do not recall whether I wrote the 'Genealogy' first or this first. I would have to check the newsgroup archives to find out. Perhaps sometime I should add in Celebrimbor, Celeborn and Amroth as they are the other characters with numerous changes in parentage.

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Old 04-04-2001, 12:20 PM   #4
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Re: The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A Hi

One problem that Tolkien would eventually have had to address if he finished the Silmarillion: why does Gil-Galad get the high kingship over both Celebrimbor and Galadriel?

If he were the son of Fingon, this would make more sense (the question then would be why it went Fingon -Turgon - Gil-Galad instead of just Fingon - Gil-Galad.) However, Tolkien seems to have pretty firmly rejected that genealogy. Do you think Tolkien had a reason for wanting to make him a Finarfinian?

A canon Silm. will have to explain why neither Celebrimbor nor Galadriel got a chance. Some have suggested that Galadriel could have been high queen, but did not wish it; this I find hard to reconcile with her portrayal elsewhere. The (perhaps more obvious) explanation that the High Kingship could only pass to a male is defeated by Tolkien's statement about the Neri and Nissi of the Eldar being equal.

Further, why didn't it go to Celebrimbor? When Maedhros gave up the kingship to Fingolfin, there was no suggestion that this barred the Feanorians from ever regaining it. The kingship remained in the House of Fingolfin only because it was then passing to the closest descendant or relative; but with all the descendants of Fingolfin dead (except Elrond and Elros), it seems that Celebrimbor would have had just as good a claim as Gil-Galad, if not better (he was of an elder generation from from an elder branch of the family.)

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Old 04-04-2001, 05:45 PM   #5
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re: inheritance

-----------------------------
Quothe Aiwendil:
A canon Silm. will have to explain why neither Celebrimbor nor Galadriel got a chance. Some have suggested that Galadriel could have been high queen, but did not wish it; this I find hard to reconcile with her portrayal elsewhere. The (perhaps more obvious) explanation that the High Kingship could only pass to a male is defeated by Tolkien's statement about the Neri and Nissi of the Eldar being equal.
----------------------------------

I am one of those who hold that the High Kingship could only pass to a male. I dont have MR handy but the essay 'Laws and Customs of the Eldar', while mentioning the 'equality' of the Neri and Nissi, also mentions something to the effect that they do have differing interests and aptitudes (women tend to be better healers, men tend to be the warriors and craftmasters). It also mentions that there are various customs which differing among the various Eldarin branches. It is possible that the High Kingship was considered as also a military position and this could tend to preclude the Nissi. It is also not unlikely that this was simply considered the custom.
One thing that could be noted is that when Turgon died and Gil-galad became High King, Galadriel was seemingly no longer in Beleriand (she mentions in LotR having passed over the mountains before the fall of Nargothrond and Gondolin).
Note also that if it was 'possible' for women to inherit the High Kingship then Idril Celebrindal was still present and the only child of Turgon the previous High King.
Again may simply be the accepted custom among the Noldor that women did not inherit.

-----------------------------------
Quote:
Further, why didn't it go to Celebrimbor? When Maedhros gave up the kingship to Fingolfin, there was no suggestion that this barred the Feanorians from ever regaining it. The kingship remained in the House of Fingolfin only because it was then passing to the closest descendant or relative; but with all the descendants of Fingolfin dead (except Elrond and Elros), it seems that Celebrimbor would have had just as good a claim as Gil-Galad, if not better (he was of an elder generation from from an elder branch of the family.)
------------------------------------

Actually, I think it is suggested. The House of Feanor was called the 'Dispossessed' because they lost their rights to inherit both in Elende and Endor. When Gil-galad inherited there were still several male descendants of Finwe extant, Maedhros, Maglor, Celebrimbor and Earendil. The first three were Feanorians and thus 'Dispossessed'. Earendil was only seven. (Elrond and Elros had yet to be born).

--------------------------
Quote:
If he were the son of Fingon, this would make more sense (the question then would be why it went Fingon -Turgon - Gil-Galad instead of just Fingon - Gil-Galad.) However, Tolkien seems to have pretty firmly rejected that genealogy. Do you think Tolkien had a reason for wanting to make him a Finarfinian?
----------------------------

Gil-galad's parantage shifted several times. In all of these he became High King in over any of the Feanorians (except when he was a Feanorian<img src=wink.gif ALT=""> ). He also became High King over any of the others. I think the reason Turgon became High King over Gil-galad even when Gil-galad was Fingon's son (and even when Fingon had other children) is because he was the eldest (male) of the House of Finwe. This is what Maedhros expressed when he relinquished his claim in favour of Fingolfin's claim saying that the Kingship would go by right to Fingolfin since he was the eldest of the House. Some have supposed that Gil-galad being made a Finarfinian could give him more legitimacy to the being 'King of the Eldar' (or however it was termed in LotR, Idont have my books here) as he ruled over many Sindar in the Second Age as well.




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Old 04-05-2001, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: Re: The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A Hi

Tar - Elenion posted:&quot;Later JRRT noted that Finrod had no child
and had left his wife in Aman.&quot;

Lindil replies:'Wife' is stated? I may be thinking of another reference but I recall a ______ of the vanyar 'whom he loved'. I got the impression it was an 'Amroth /Nimrodel' pre-marriage relationship. But as i stated, I may have the wrong references in mind or there could be more than one.



Aiwendil posted:&quot;A canon Silm. will have to explain why neither Celebrimbor nor
Galadriel got a chance. &quot;

Lindil replies: Without any desire to sound snippety Aiwendil, I don't think a new canon has to explain things which were left vague [ or in confusion] in the texts anymore than JRRT does [although granted he later would ponder and explain and such in various letters and essays] There will always be ambiguities in M-E as there are in the RW. There of course will need to be a commentary detailing the changes and decisions [of which I hope Tar-Elenion we would have liberty to qoute from or include your ever growing number of essays <img src=smile.gif ALT=""> ] but this would not need to be [nor shoud it be I think] in the text of the Silmarillion itself but could be made widely available at say www.New Silmrillion.com <img src=smile.gif ALT=""> .


Overall I think you have done an excellent job Tar-Elenion at what most might regard as tedious and near thankless work.

Of course we have to keep in mind that we could see further etymological tid-bit's come to light which upset the already shaky apple-cart. But I hope that CRT has scoured the errata, notes, 'hasty scribblings' and such so that any further revalations coming from the Vinyar Tengwar folks will not directly effect the geneologies.




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Old 04-05-2001, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: Re: The Parentage of Orodreth and Gil-galad: A Hi

--------------------------------
Quothe lindil:
Tar - Elenion posted:&quot;Later JRRT noted that Finrod had no child
and had left his wife in Aman.&quot;

Lindil replies:'Wife' is stated? I may be thinking of another reference but I recall a ______ of the vanyar 'whom he loved'. I got the impression it was an 'Amroth /Nimrodel' pre-marriage relationship. But as i stated, I may have the wrong references in mind or there could be more than one.
-----------------------------------

The reference to this is the 'parentage of Gil-galad' commentary by CT in the Shibboleth. There are two references by CT which mention JRRT noting that Finrod had no children (in exile) having left his wife in Aman.
Actually the most interesting is the seemingly latest which mentions Celebrimbor having affection for Finrod and Finrod's wife in Nargothrond.

--------------------------------
Quote:
There of course will need to be a commentary detailing the changes and decisions [of which I hope Tar-Elenion we would have liberty to qoute from or include your ever growing number of essays ].
--------------------------------

Certainly.


----------------------------------
Quote:
Of course we have to keep in mind that we could see further etymological tid-bit's come to light which upset the already shaky apple-cart. But I hope that CRT has scoured the errata, notes, 'hasty scribblings' and such so that any further revalations coming from the Vinyar Tengwar folks will not directly effect the geneologies.
---------------------------------

On the other hand it could be interesting to see yet another change in the genealogy of Gil-galad . I enjoy the 'tidbits' in VT I just wish they could be more regular.






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Old 04-17-2001, 04:20 AM   #8
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....

But sofar, nothing has been revealed in Vinyar Tengwar or the Parma E. that would lead to a different parentage of Gil-Galad.

Tar-Elenion, that was some great research, you do know your Tolkien. Let me get this straight. Tolkien's final thoughts on the matter seem to have been that Gil-Galad was Orodreth's son, with Orodreth the son of Angrod and not the son of Finarfin?

Why then Orodreth as Finarfin's son in the published Silmarillion, he could still have been Angrod's son, even if Gil-Galad was the son of Fingon. Why the emendation to son of Finarfin?

Concerning Gil-Galad, Aiwendil explained it quite well, why CT most have chosen Fingon as a father to Gil-Galad. That makes the most sense too me as well. Just curious as to what his final (written <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> ) thought was on the parentage of Gil-Galad, I always get my time frames mixed up.


As for Turgon taking precedence over Gil-Galad with regard to the High Kingship, that is easily solved. There is the matter of it going to the eldest in the house, there is also the fact that Gil-Galad was in fact quite young at that time and there is the matter of hope. Gil-Galad would at that point not have made for a great high king, not one in which many could believe. To lend the title to the older Hidden King, who could still oppose the Dark Lord, would make much more sense. Cirdan and Gil-Galad were certainly aware of his presence.

ps, was Thingol considered Overlord in Middle-earth at the time of the coming of the exiled Noldor to Beleriand?



</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000097>Pengolod h</A> at: 4/17/01 10:44:57 am
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Old 04-17-2001, 04:24 PM   #9
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Re: ....

-----------------------------
Quothe Pengolodh:
Tar-Elenion, that was some great research, you do know your Tolkien.
--------------------------------
Thanks.


--------------------------------------
Quote:
Let me get this straight. Tolkien's final thoughts on the matter seem to have been that Gil-Galad was Orodreth's son, with Orodreth the son of Angrod and not the son of Finarfin?
---------------------------------------
Yes.

---------------------------------------
Quote:
Why then Orodreth as Finarfin's son in the published Silmarillion, he could still have been Angrod's son, even if Gil-Galad was the son of Fingon. Why the emendation to son of Finarfin?
------------------------------------
CT was going off the more 'completed', if earlier written, narratives which had Orodreth as the son of Finarfin (though there had been some emendation by JRRT). Perhaps CT was also less aware of these changes at the time he was putting the Silmarillion together for publication.

------------------------------
Quote:
Concerning Gil-Galad, Aiwendil explained it quite well, why CT most have chosen Fingon as a father to Gil-Galad. That makes the most sense too me as well. Just curious as to what his final (written ) thought was on the parentage of Gil-Galad, I always get my time frames mixed up.
-------------------------------
CT indicates (in PoME, the Shibboleth) that he went with Gil-galad as son of Fingon because he could not be son of Finrod (who had no wife and there was no suggestion of a Finarfinian descent for Gil-galad in the genealogical tables. He considered the Gil-galads Orodreth parentage as too late and radical to justify changing the completed narratives.

Re Turgon's precedence:
My point exactly.


------------------
Quote:
ps, was Thingol considered Overlord in Middle-earth at the time of the coming of the exiled Noldor to Beleriand?
-------------------------

Overlord of Beleriand and its Elves. Some narratives suggest that Fingolfin (and others) also acknowledged Thingol's Overlordship (though this _may_ have been abandoned).





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Old 04-20-2001, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: re: inheritance

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Gil-galad's parantage shifted several times. In all of these he became High King in over any of the Feanorians (except when he was a Feanorian ). He also became High King over any of the others. I think the reason Turgon became High King over Gil-galad even when Gil-galad was Fingon's son (and even when Fingon had other children) is because he was the eldest (male) of the House of Finwe.<hr></blockquote>

The explanation is much simpler. Turgon's accession was already in the record. The pencilled note (briefly) making Fingon Gil-galad's father did not address the issue of inheritance. Christopher is right to call the notion of Fingon as Gil-galad's father &quot;an ephemeral idea&quot;. It was never developed in any essay or annal. It was essentially no more than a doodle and should not be given any serious consideration.

Christopher's decision in the 1970s to make Gil-galad the son of Fingon in the published Silmarillion does not in any way validate the idea as part of the J.R.R. Tolkien canon. Christopher himself has repudiated the idea.




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Old 04-21-2001, 03:24 AM   #11
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Re: re: inheritance

Hi Michael

That post is interesting and I have a few questions.

The explanation is much simpler. Turgon's accession was already in the record.
What do you mean by that?

Christopher is right to call the notion of Fingon as Gil-galad's father &quot;an ephemeral idea&quot;. It was never developed in any essay or annal. It was essentially no more than a doodle and should not be given any serious consideration.

Where does he say this and why, if it was a far from a developed idea did he go with this parentage at all? It was neither the last of JRRT's thoughts, nor was it a worked out idea.....

Christopher's decision in the 1970s to make Gil-galad the son of Fingon in the published Silmarillion does not in any way validate the idea as part of the J.R.R. Tolkien canon. Christopher himself has repudiated the idea.

It is very common to want to change things you composed once, later on. CT surely won't be different, but where did you read that he regretted the decision?

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Old 04-22-2001, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: re: inheritance

Christopher explains in HoME 12 that at the time he compiled the published Silmarillion, he did not fully understand the interrelations of all the relavant texts. At the time, he thought that the note suggesting Gil-Galad was Fingon's son was his father's final solution (no doubt it didn't hurt that this made the explanation of the high kingship easier). Later he came to understand that it was really only a passing idea, and that the last idea was that he was Orodreth's son. understand that it was really only a passing idea, and that the last idea was that he was Orodreth's son.

Michael: I don't think anyone was suggesting that the Fingon parentage is validated by Christopher's use of it; we were merely trying to work out any difficulties associated with the Orodreth parentage.

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Old 04-23-2001, 01:04 PM   #13
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Re: re: inheritance

It makes me wonder why CT then failed to correct Gil-galad's parentage in the new Second edition Silmarilion....

"In those days the Noldor still roamed the Hither Lands, Mightiest among the Children of Iluvatar, fair and tall and their beautiful voices were still heard by mere mortals"</p>
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