The Dagor Dagorath or "Final Battle" is the end-times event described and alluded to in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The published Silmarillion ends with the recounting of the voyage of Eärendil the Mariner, but this is due to an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien. The Silmarillion as Tolkien originally wrote it ends with a prophecy by Mandos about the Dagor Dagorath, often referred to as "The End". The remaining clue to this prophecy is found at the end of Akallabêth, where "Ar-Pharazôn and his mortal warriors who had set foot in Aman were buried by falling hills, imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotten until the "Last Battle and Day of Doom". The account is clearly inspired by and bears many similarities to the Norse legend of Ragnarök, but also that of the Biblical Armageddon. It is important to note that the final, published version of the Silmarillion contains no direct references to this prophecy (though there are still indirect references including the 'Last Battle', 'Day of Doom' and 'end of days'.
Doom of Melkor
In later writings of Tolkien's, it becomes apparent that Melkor was not merely bound, but unhoused, after his final capture, being "beheaded" and thus "killed"; that is, the body to which he had become so bound towards was destroyed, after which execution his spirit, still bound with the enchanted chain Angainor, was cast out through the Door of Night. His "will" is spoken of as an active force in the world, tempting and urging in thought, and sometimes in phantom manifestation.
The Second Prophecy of Mandos
In the 1937 manuscript of the Quenta Silmarillion, it ends with an additional prophecy by Mandos to the Valar which was not included in the final publication by Christopher Tolkien. This is where most details of Dagor Dagorath are defined, and the primary source for the details of the conflict. It is given below in full.
"Thus spoke Mandos in prophecy, when the Valar sat in judgement in Valinor and the rumour of his word was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers have grown weary, Morgoth, the Black Foe of the World, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of the Night out of the Timeless Void; and all shall be darkness, for the sun he will turn to black, and the moon will no longer shed his light.. But the Host of Valinor shall descend upon him as a searing flame, white and terrible. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day, Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Eönwë, and on his left Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, returning from the Doom of Men at the ending of the world; and the black sword of Túrin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Húrin and all fallen Men be avenged."
"Thereafter shall the Earth be broken and remade, and the Silmarils shall be recovered out of Air and Earth and Sea; for Fëanor shall surrender them willingly. Yavanna will rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth. And the mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the light shall go out over all the world. In that light the Valar will grow young again, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Ilúvatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy of Mandos doth not speak, and no Man it names, save Túrin only, and to him a place is given among the sons of the Valar."
According to the prophecy, Morgoth will discover how to break the Door of Night, and will blacken the Sun and the Moon. For the love of these, Eärendil will return from the sky and shall meet Tulkas, Manwë, Eönwë (with the old version of his name Fionwe) and Túrin Turambar on the plains of Valinor.
There the forces of the Valar shall fight against Melkor and The Dark Powers. Tulkas will wrestle with Morgoth, but it will be by the hand of Túrin that finally death and destruction will be dealt to Melkor. Túrin will run his black sword Gurthang (Iron of Death) through Melkor's heart, thus avenging the Children of Húrin (Sindarin: Hîn Húrin) and all the fallen (In the end of The Hiding of Valinor Eönwë, and not Turin, kills Morgoth). Then the three Silmarils will be recovered from the Earth, sea, and sky, then Fëanor taking them and will break, and with their fire Yavanna will rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth, and the Pelóri Mountains will be leveled. The battle will end and renew Arda's existence: all the Elves will awaken and the Powers will be young again.
Following this, there will be a Second Music of the Ainur. This song will sing into being a new world. Men and Elves will sing it with the Ainur. It is unknown what the fate of the old races, or of the old world, will be in the new one. However, It is worth noting that the Dwarves believe that after the greatest battle of all time, they will help the Vala, Mahal, rebuild Arda. For though Mandos prophesied it, even the Ainur do not know anything of the second world or the Second Music. All the Ainur know is that the Second Music will be greater than the First Music.
Christopher Tolkien removed the prophecy from The Silmarillion based on a 1958 version of the Valaquenta, wherein his father wrote that none of Mandos' dooms had declared whether the Marring of Arda would ever be repaired (Christopher Tolkien adopted this passage and used it to close the Quenta Silmarillion). Given this removal of the prophecy Christopher apparently assumed that the Dagor Dagorath had been removed as well.
The published Silmarillion contradicts the Second Prophecy in places. Whereas the Second Prophecy explicitly states that the Elves and Valar shall be renewed after Dagor Dagorath and that the fate of Men is unknown, The Silmarillion states that Men will participate in singing the Second Music, and that it is the fate of the Elves that is unknown.
In all of this the Creator, Eru, will retain His sovereignty and nothing Morgoth nor any evil force could do will be able to threaten his plan in any way. As Eru said, "And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
Dagor Dagorath was Sindarin for "Battle of Battles".
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Arabic||داغور داغوراث ("معركة المعارك" بالسندارية)|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Дагор Дагорат|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Дагор Дагорат|
|German||Schlacht der Schlachten|
|Kazakh||Дагор Дагорат (Cyrillic) Dagor Dagorat (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Дагор Дагорат|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Дагор Дагорат|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Дагор Дагоратh|
|Serbian||Дагор Дагорат (Cyrillic) Dagor Dagorat (Latin)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Дагор Дагоратҳ|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Даґор Даґорат|
|Uzbek||Дагор Дагоратҳ (Cyrillic) Dagor Dagorath (Latin)|
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter I: "Of the Beginning of Days"
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter II: "Of Aulë and Yavanna"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Ch. VIII: "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pg. 142
- ↑ History of Middle-earth, The Lost Road and Other Writings, Book V, Pt. II, Ch. VI: "Quenta Silmarillion", pg. 333
The Tale of Dagor Dagorath An analysis and adaptation of all Tolkien's materials related to the event put together in story form (with minimum editing or the editor's input).