He may have been super skilled, but Fëanor might just have been the biggest dick in the history of Middle Earth. Allow me to make my case.

It should probably go without saying, but I’ma have spoilers below. If spoilers for a 40-something-year-old book are an issue for you, you have been warned.

Feanor and his sons by Lída Holubová

Early Life

Born in YT 1169, Fëanor was the eldest son of Finwë, King of the Noldor. They lived in Tirion upon Tuná. Fëa was so fucking needy that his mom Míriel just up and DIED (no really, she went to Lórien and then chose to leave her corporeal form). So, you know, next time you feel overwhelmed, just remember that it could be worse and you could have had Fëanor as your kid.

Credit where credit is due, Fëanor wasn’t just a skilled smith but was also a loremaster. He created the palantirí, the Tengwar script, and (shock) Fëanorian lamps, which glowed blue from a crystal within and couldn’t be extinguished with water or wind. Fëanor got the feeling that he should try and preserve the light of the Two Trees just in case.

Side note: Fëanor loooooooved Galadriel’s hair and asked her three times for a strand. She didn’t trust him or what he would use them for (good job, Galadriel) so she never gave him any. If you fast forward to Galadriel’s gifts to the Fellowship of the Ring, Gimli doesn’t know what to ask for but then asks for a strand of her hair so that he can gaze upon it and remember her and the friendship of the elves. She gives him three as a huge SCREW YOU to Fëanor. 


Being that Fëanor couldn’t get ahold of Galadriel’s hair, he figured out how to capture the light in three gems he named the Silmarils. And Y’ALL. He fucking LOVED these things. He got really paranoid that everyone was trying to steal them from him and hid them from everyone apart from his family.

So Melkor the Vala wanted the Silmarils BAD, and convinced Fëanor that his half-brother Fingolfin was planning to usurp his heirship and terk his jerb steal his jewels. He started forging weapons (yup, Fëanor made the first ever weapons in Arda) and then threatened to kill Fingolfin. The Valar were Not Pleased and exiled Fëanor to Formenos, so he took his gems and left. Finwë also went with him.

Realizing that Melkor was behind Fëanor’s actions, the Valar tried to find and imprison Melkor, but he was nowhere to be found until one day when he showed up at Formenos. Melkor tried to manipulate Fëanor again, but Fëanor realized Melkor was after the Silmarils so he slammed the door in Melkor’s face.

The Valar decided enough was enough and brought Fëanor and Fingolfin to Valimar to reconcile them, and also reconcile the Valar and the Noldor. They did (yay!) but while they were working things out, Melkor came back with his pal Ungoliant and killed the Two Trees (and Ungoliant drank their blood).

Re: Ungoliant: Not much is known about her, but she may have been one of the Ainur that Melkor corrupted in the beginning – we do know that Shelob was one of her descendents. Ungoliant did require payment for helping Melkor, and made Melkor give her the Silmarils, but Melkor got them back.

The Vala Yavanna pronounced the Trees dead and said only the Silmarils could help her restore them. Fëanor was like “You’ll take them over my dead body”… and that’s when they heard that Melkor had raided Formenos, killing Finwë and stealing the Silmarils.

Fëanor named Melkor “Morgoth”, or Black Enemy, and that’s where the real dickishness started. He gave a big speech about the how the Valar are big stupidheads and that they couldn’t help so the Noldor needed to rally together and go to Middle Earth and defeat Morgoth. Not forgetting his precious gems, he and all of his sons proclaimed an oath, aptly named the Oath of Fëanor, that they would kill anyone, no matter who they were, who kept the Silmarils from them. This oath was a Bad Idea™ for everyone who swore it.

Murder Hoboing His Way to Middle Earth

Looking for a quick and easy way to get to Middle Earth, Fëanor brought the Noldor to Alqualondë on the shores of Aman. He tried to persuade the Teleri there to let him take their boats, which they declined since it was against the Valar’s wishes. Fëanor then “convinced” them by murdering them with his army of fully-armed Noldor. The Teleri, armed only with hunting bows, were actually not doing that badly… until Finarfin showed up with his dad Fingolfin’s army and, thinking the Teleri attacked first, helped Fëanor put them down. Fëanor then stole their ships. 

The Valar were Not Pleased (see a trend here?) and pronounced the Doom of the Noldor, which said that tragedy would befall on anyone who followed Fëanor to Middle Earth. Fëanor, of course, was like “Our deeds are going to live forever in song! Let’s goooooooo!” (Fëanor was right, but their deeds didn’t live forever in song because they were happy deeds). Finarfin, Finwë’s third son, decided that anything called “Doom” didn’t sound super fun, so he brought everyone who decided to repent with him back to the Valar, who forgave them. Finarfin became the King of the Noldor.

Everyone who decided to follow Fëanor to Middle Earth (including Fingolfin and his men, as well as Galadriel) headed north, and then Fëanor and his sons took the ships across the sea to Middle Earth. Now, one thing you have to remember is that the world was flat at that point, so what happened next is a dose of extra-strength dick. Fëanor BURNED THE SHIPS when he got to Middle Earth, knowing full well that everyone on the other side would see the flames. Those left behind had to get to Middle Earth by traveling over the Helcaraxë, a dangerous route which claimed many of their number. This didn’t win Fëanor any favor among those who survived. 

Fëanor’s End

Morgoth ended up attacking Fëanor’s encampment, and the Noldor were able to win and disperse Morgoth’s forces. Fëanor was PISSED and took his sons to go attack Morgoth in his stronghold of Angband and get his pretties back. He was ambushed by Balrogs, and was fatally wounded by the greatest of the Balrogs, Gothmog. 

His sons carried him off the battlefield and to Ered Wethren. He looked at the peaks of the Thangorodrim, volcanoes raised by Morgoth above Angband, and he cursed Morgoth three times. When he died, his spirit was on fire (no, literally) and burned up his body (no one else in Arda ever died like that before or after).

Fëanor’s spirit went to jail in a special place in the Halls of Mandos, never to be reincarnated in Arda until the Battle of Battles, the last battle for the world, where he will finally defeat Morgoth and reclaim the Silmarils and crack ’em open so Yavanna can finally restore the Two Trees. 

So? Am I right in my assessment?

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