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Topic: Understanding Fingolfin ... Lost Hero ... opinions welcome!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Jan 4, 2011
Understanding Fingolfin ... Lost Hero ... opinions welcome!

We have threads on favorite Silmarillion characters.
We have threads on Feanor, Fingolfin, Finwe, etc. and etc.
We have threads on Morgoth's destruction of Fingolfin ...

I am a little lost in the blind loyalty of Fingolfin and the desperate, almost suicidal, choices he makes ... I am looking for away to connect this lost hero stuff to what Tolkien was trying to say ...
Please venture an opinion ... all answers will be welcome ...


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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Jan 5, 2011
Fingolfin seems to possess the same kind of fiery spirit that Feanor does, though not to the same degree. A mind-set which will not alter by any counsel once it has been given focus. I think his choice to cross the Grinding Ice was a good one overall. It went against the Valar, that is true, but if that decision had not been taken then Beleriand would have fallen far sooner and much history would have been lost.

In other ways I don't think Fingolfin is given a clear psychological pattern that can be evaluated. Feanor is clearly the rebellious one and Finarfin more of a live and let live but Fingolfin seems to be somewhere in the middle. I am not sure Tolkien had any real plan in this regard. The only real character of Fingolfin is displayed with his duel with Morgoth, an epitome of the noble High Elven Noldorin First Age valour.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Jan 5, 2011
I am a little lost in the blind loyalty of Fingolfin and the desperate, almost suicidal, choices he makes

My dear Bear, his desperate and almost suicidal choices were toward the end at the defeat of the Noldor when he was overcome with a rage of despair before he raised across Ard- galen and challenged Morgoth. Up until then he was a long-term strategist

After all he was a Noldorin Prince, the second son of Finw, and most likely taught in Warfare and survival. You said that he had a temper, but when he was attacked and insulted by Fanor in Eldamar, he remained temperate and forgiving. He joined the revolt of the Noldor at the urging of his sons Fingon and Turgon, and protected his people from the rashness of Fanor and led the people of Finarfin. Not a small undertaking.

Deserted by Fanor in Araman and left without transportation, he showed guts by leading the people across the Helcarax nothing desperate, just a a will to succeed, since all the ships were either gone or destroyed.

I wonder why Yavanna would have made flowers to spring up at his feet when he entered Middle-earth as the Full Moon rose, and the Forces of Morgoth retreated at his coming.
That alone speaks to me of power. He did not go and camp outside Morgoth's door, but prudently established himself in Hithlum, preparing himself for a long war.

If the People thought him to be temperamental and unstable or unreliable, I don't think they would have made him High King of the Noldor in 1-455 and for 100s of years he coordinated the Siege of Angband. He was somebody who reached out to people. When the Edain came to Beleriand he befriended them and established diplomatic ties with them.
The Third House of the Edain were his friends, and he allowed them to settle in Dor-lmin.

Only during Dagor Bragollach when everything failed on all fronts were his forces driven to Ard-galen and when he ran, trying to save his people in an act of despair, which cost him his life, but even in death he was honored. Manw send the King of Eagles, Thorondor, to carry his body to northern Echoriath, the Encircling Mountains, to be buried.

Because he was not perfect, people of all Ages can identify with him. Because we all make mistakes and we all want our family and friends to be save. Just like a mother bear will attack anybody who threatens he cubs or any mother in the animal kingdom. so did Fingolfin try to protect his people.


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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Jan 7, 2011
Good post Arwen, I had not thought of him like that. Yes, he does seem to blend the gentler nature of Finarfin with the strong willed nature of Feanor. Not really anymore to add to Arwen's description.

Obviously when he went to fight Morgoth he thougt the House of the Noldor was ruined and didn't realise they were to live longer yetand fight for a while after.

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 on Friday 7th of January 2011 12:04:53 AM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jan 7, 2011
Thank you.
Your comments do help.

From deep inside there is this doubt when he acknowledges Feanor as leader ...
is it loyalty or something else (revenge?) that leads him across the "Grinding Ice"?


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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Jan 8, 2011
Revenge Bear? The Kinslaying didn't exactly leave him a choice. And maybe he saw it as a kind of atonement for his vanguard reinforce Fanor in the Kinslaying. He himself never gave that order. Many of the Noldor were slain by the storm of grieving Uinen under whose protection the slain Teleri were. There was no other way to Middle-earth other then the Grinding Ice since Fanor had either taking or destroyed all the Swanships. It was Fingon who led the vanguard, not Fingolfin. I don't think it was loyalty to Fanor since Fanor had drawn iron against Fingolfin when Fingolfin took the side of the Valar.

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Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
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