The Dagor Bragollach or Battle of the Sudden Flame was the fourth of the great battles of the War of the Jewels. It marked the end of the Siege of Angband and beginning of Morgoth's gains against the Elves and Men of Beleriand.
For four hundred years after the Dagor Aglareb, the Ñoldor had managed to contain Morgoth's power inside Angband. Peace and prosperity reigned in Beleriand, to the point where green grass grew even to the very doors of Angband. The strength of the Elven kingdoms, and that of their Edain allies, became such that Fingolfin, High King of the Ñoldor, believed that the siege would last forever. But though the Elves and Edain had managed to contain Morgoth's forces, it was beyond their power to assault Angband or to overthrow the power of Morgoth. As such, the Dark Lord labored undisturbed in Angband during the siege, breeding countless legions of Orcs and other evil creatures, as well creating the first Dragon. He intended to use this new, unprecedentedly powerful force to utterly destroy those who had opposed him. However, in the furious haste of his malice, he decided to strike before his designs were complete, cynically underestimating the valor of the Elves, and not accounting for the Edain at all. This haste was credited as the reason why resistance against Morgoth was able to continue after the conclusion of the conflict; for if Morgoth had waited for a short time longer to complete the buildup of his forces, his foes would have been annihilated.
|The War of the Great Jewels|
On a cold winter's night when the Elven watch was at its least vigilant, Morgoth sent out rivers of flame and poisonous fumes from Thangorodrim and the Iron Mountains. The plains of Ard-galen were consumed by the fire and transformed into a barren desert which was renamed Anfauglith, "the Gasping Dust". The Elves had never faced an assault of this sort before, and many perished as they fled from these flames. Behind them came the Balrogs, Glaurung the Father of Dragons, and legions of Orcs in such numbers as the Elves had never imagined. Morgoth's primary aim was an onslaught so rapid that the various kingdoms of the Elves would not be able to consolidate their forces or come to each others' aid. And so it was that each of the Elven kingdoms had to fight Morgoth's forces on their own. The Orcs quickly overran the highlands of Dorthonion, and slew Angrod and Aegnor. Maglor's horsemen were burnt alive on the plain of Lothlann, and Maglor's Gap was taken, giving Morgoth an entry into Beleriand. Maglor retreated with heavy losses to Himring, where he helped defend the city of Maedhros. Though grievously besieged, the heavily fortified city did not fall, and Maedhros himself accomplished deeds of surpassing valor during the fighting.
The Pass of Aglon was also breached, and Celegorm and Curufin fled from the north of Doriath to Nargothrond. Morgoth's Orcs took the mountain forests of Mount Rerir, and defiled Lake Helevorn, scattering south through Thargelion into East Beleriand. Caranthir fled to Amon Ereb, where he and Amrod built defenses. From there they slowly freed East Beleriand of the Orcs, while Maglor and Maedhros held the northern border. Eventually, Maedhros even managed to re-secure the Pass of Aglon, denying the forces of Morgoth continued entry into Beleriand from that route.
Minas Tirith in the Pass of Sirion in the West under Orodreth held, and Orodreth's uncle and Lord Finrod Felagund came north from Nargothrond with a large army. However, they were ambushed by a huge number of Morgoth's forces at the Fen of Serech. The Noldor found themselves trapped, and Finrod would have been killed or taken but for a sortie by Barahir and his men, who descended from Dorthonion and rescued the Elven lord. The cost in lives was heavy, but Finrod escaped the Orcs. In profound gratitude, Finrod gave Barahir his ring, which would become known as the Ring of Barahir, and pledged that he would aid Barahir and his kin in any time of need.
Finrod and his folk fled south to Nargothrond, while Barahir continued defending Dorthonion until both his forces and his people dwindled to nothing. The mountain forts of the Ered Wethrin around Hithlum were heavily assaulted but managed barely to hold, as the mountains themselves provided protection from the fires Morgoth had released from Thangorodrim.
Thus the Siege was broken, the Sons of Fëanor scattered, and the forces of Morgoth roamed at will throughout the north.
When Fingolfin, the High King of the Ñoldor, learned of the heavy casualties of so many Ñoldor, he rode in wrath across the dust of Anfauglith to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel, and Fingolfin wounded Morgoth seven times. Yet, Fingolfin was ultimately no match for the Dark Lord and was crushed beneath Morgoth's foot, but not before stabbing Morgoth in the heel with his last stroke. Thorondor, king of the Great Eagles, then swooped down and retrieved Fingolfin's body and scarred Morgoth's face. Though Morgoth's wounds would never heal and he was left with a permanent limp, Morgoth and his forces were nevertheless victorious.
Still, Morgoth was cautious. For though he had won a great victory, his foes had inflicted upon him loss as great as their own. As his initial onslaught had abated, his foes had begun to recover, making small advances into the fringes of the territory he had conquered. He had not expected the Elves to resist him so strongly, and the aid of their Edain allies had been a completely unforeseen variable in his plans. As such, he checked his assault and recalled the main host of the Orcs to Angband.
Two years after Morgoth's onslaught abated, the isle of Tol Sirion, held by Orodreth nephew of Finrod, came under assault by Morgoth's most terrible servant, Sauron. His coming caused a dark cloud of fear to grip the hearts and wills of the defenders, and the watchtower of Minas Tirith upon the isle was taken. This secured for Morgoth the western pass of the river Sirion. After another five years had passed, Morgoth renewed his assault against Hithlum and very nearly destroyed it. Fortunately for Fingon, now High King of the Ñoldor, his forces were reinforced by a host under the command of Círdan, and the Orcs were repelled.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Дагар Браголах (Dagor Bragollach)
Бітва раптоўнага полымя (Battle of the Sudden Flame)
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Дагор Браголах (Dagor Bragollach)
Сражението Дагор Браголах (Battle of the Sudden Flame)
Batalla de la Flama Sobtada (Battle of the Sudden Flame)
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||班戈拉赫戰役|
|Danish||Den Pludselige Flammes Slag (Battle of the Sudden Flame)|
|Hebrew||דַאגוֹר בּרַאגוֹלַאך (Dagor Bragollach)
קרב להבת הפתע (Battle of Sudden Flame)
|Kazakh Cyrillic||Дагор Браголлач (Cyrillic) Dagor Bragollaç (Latin)|
|Korean||다 고르 브라 고착|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Дагор Браголлацh|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Дагор Браголлач|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Дагор Браголлач|
|Russian||Дагор Браголлах (Dagor Bragollach)
Битва Внезапного Пламени (Battle of Sudden Flame)
|Serbian||дагор Браголлацх (Cyrillic) Dagor Bragollach (Latin)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Далер Брайтолач|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Дагор Браголлах|
|Uzbek||Дагор Браголлач (Cyrillic) Dagor Bragollach (Latin)|
|First Battle • Dagor-nuin-Giliath • Dagor Aglareb • Siege of Angband • Dagor Bragollach • Nírnaeth Arnoediad • War of Wrath|