High King of the Noldor was the title of the head of the House of Finwë in Beleriand and Middle-earth, having overlordship over all the Noldorin realms. The title was mostly nominal; the Sons of Fëanor, in particular, while they acknowledged the Kingship, paid its bearer little heed, following their own agenda under the general leadership of Maedhros.
The forefather of the House of Finwë and the first King of the Noldor was Finwë, the first lord of the Tatyar who led his people in the Great Journey from Cuiviénen into the West to dwell in Valinor. He was slain by Morgoth at Formenos. His eldest son Fëanor claimed the kingship, but led a Rebellion of the Noldor back to Middle-earth to avenge his father's death and recover the Silmarils from Morgoth.
Fëanor died before establishing a realm and the Kingship by right belonged to his eldest son Maedhros who was captured by Morgoth. After Fingon saved his life, in gratitude (and regretting that his father had abandoned the other Noldor in Araman) Maedhros passed his titles to Fingon's father, Fingolfin, being the eldest and wisest of all. Thus the Kingship passed from the House of Fëanor to the House of Fingolfin (fulfilling the Doom of Mandos that the Sons of Fëanor would become the Dispossessed) and the two Houses made peace.
High Kingship in Beleriand
Fingolfin became the first High King of the Noldor, ruling from the northwest of Beleriand with his sons, mostly during the Siege of Angband. When Morgoth broke the leaguer in the Dagor Bragollach, he rode in anger to the gates of Angband and died in single combat with Morgoth. He was succeeded by his eldest son Fingon who reigned during an endless war. With Maedhros, he prepared a final assault on Morgoth, which ended in disaster for the Noldor and Fingon's own death, after a short rule.
Fingon's brother Turgon succeeded Fingon nominally, but his kingship was titular at the least, as it was not possible for the "Hidden King" to rule from his Hidden City, the location of which was unknown by even his own kin. That was until Gondolin's location was discovered by Morgoth through the treachery of Maeglin.
Following Turgon's death in the Fall of Gondolin, there were no more extant Noldorin realms in Beleriand; the Kingship passed to the House of Finarfin, and the son of Orodreth, the young Ereinon Gil-galad was named High King once news of Turgon's death had spread. Seeing the end of the War of the Jewels, Gil-galad held the Kingship through the Second Age, longer than any of his forebears ruling.
In the Westlands
After the cataclysmic War of Wrath that ended the First Age, the surviving Noldor who did not depart for the Undying Lands constituted the realms of Lindon and later Eregion in northwestern Middle-earth. Gil-galad was acknowledged as "High King of the Elves of the West", though as in the First Age this title brought little real authority beyond the king's own direct realm. He was the chief enemy of Sauron in the Dark Years, at the end of which he appointed Elrond as his vice-regent in Eriador. He formed the Last Alliance with Elendil, being the commander of almost all of the Elven forces who fought in that War. and died during the Siege of Barad-dûr at the end of the Second Age.
Gil-galad was the last High King; after his time the title is never used, as he fathered no children and obviously no heirs of the House of Finwe remained in Middle-earth. Galadriel of the House of Finarfin perhaps could have some rights. Elrond was a direct descendant of Turgon, but through his daughter Idril; he never made claim to the Kingship but ruled with all its authority. The Noldorin population of Middle-earth was greatly diminished in the Third Age.
List of High Kings
- Fingolfin (ruled from FA 5 - FA 456)
- Fingon (ruled from FA 456 - FA 472)
- Turgon (ruled from FA 472 - FA 510)
- Ereinion Gil-galad (ruled from FA 510 - SA 3441)
Other versions of the legendarium
In the published version of The Silmarillion, Gil-galad is said to be the son of Fingon. However, in some of Tolkien's later notes, published in The History of Middle-earth, Gil-galad is said to be the son of Orodreth and thus a junior member of the House of Finarfin, and Turgon's closest living relative in the male line (excluding the dispossessed House of Fëanor).
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Afrikaans||Hoë Koning van die Noldor|
|Albanian||Mbreti i Lartë i Noldorit|
|Arabic||الملك عالية من نولدور|
|Basque||Noldorko errege nagusia|
|Bosnian||Vrhovni Kralj Noldora|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Върховният Крал на Нолдор|
|Catalan||Rei Suprem dels Ñoldor|
|Cebuano||Hataas nga Hari sa Noldor|
|Corsican||Re di Rè di Noldor|
|Dutch||Hoge-Koning van de Noldor|
|Esperanto||Supera Reĝo de Noldor|
|Estonian||Noldor Kõrge kuningas|
|Filipino||Mataas na hari ng mga Noldor|
|Finnish||Noldorin korkea kuningas|
|French||Haut Roi des Noldor|
|Frisian||Hege Kening fan 'e Noldor (Western)|
|Galician||Altos Rei dos Noldor|
|Georgian||ნოლდორის მაღალი მეფე|
|German||Hoher König der Noldor|
|Greek||Ανώτατο βασιλιάς των Νόλντορ|
|Gujarati||નોલ્ડરના ઉચ્ચ રાજા|
|Haitian Creole||Anwo nan syèl la wa peyi Noldor|
|Hausa||Babban Sarki na Noldor|
|Hebrew||העליון קינג של הנולדור|
|Hmong||Huab tais siab ntawm qhov Noldor|
|Hungarian||Noldor nagy királya|
|Icelandic||Hákonungur af Noldor|
|Indonesian||Raja Tinggi Noldor|
|Irish Gaelic||Ard Rí na hNoldor|
|Italian||Re Supremo dei Noldor|
|Javanese||Raja Agung saka Noldor|
|Kannada||ನೊಲ್ಡರ್ನ ಉನ್ನತ ರಾಜ|
|Kazakh||Нолдордың Жоғары Патшасы (Cyrillic) Noldordıñ Joğarı Patşası (Latin)|
|Korean||놀도르의 높은 왕|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Нолдордын Жогорку падыша|
|Latvian||Augsts Noldoras karalis|
|Lithuanian||Aukštas Noldoro karalius|
|Luxembourgish||Héijer Kinnik vun Noldor|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Висок Крал на Нолдор|
|Malagasy||Mpanjaka avo ao amin' ny Noldor|
|Malaysian||Raja Tinggi Noldor|
|Maltese||Re Għoli tal-Noldor|
|Marathi||नोल्डरचा सर्वोच्च राजा ?|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Нолдор-ийн Өндөр хаан|
|Nepalese||णोल्दोर को उच्च राजा|
|Norwegian||Høykonge av Noldoene|
|Persian||پادشاه بزرگ نولدور|
|Polish||Najwyższy Król Noldorów|
|Portuguese||Alto Rei dos Noldor|
|Punjabi||ਨੋਲਡਰ ਦਾ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਰਾਜਾ|
|Romanian||Marele rege al Noldorii|
|Russian||Верховный король Нолдор|
|Samoan||Le tupu Maualuga o le Noldor|
|Scottish Gaelic||Àrd Rìgh de na Noldor|
|Serbian||Велики краљ Нолдора (Cyrillic) Veliki kralj Noldora (Latin)|
|Slovenian||Nadkralj vseh Noldorov|
|Spanish||Rey Supremo de los Noldor|
|Sundanese||Tinggi Raja tina Noldor|
|Swahili||Mfalme mkuu wa Noldor|
|Swedish||Högkung av Noldor|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Нолдор баландтарин Подшоҳи ?|
|Telugu||ణొల్దొర యొక్క ఉన్నత రాజు|
|Turkish||Yüce Noldor Kralı|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Верховний король Нолдор|
|Urdu||ہائی شاہ نولڈاور|
|Uzbek||Нолдорнинг Олий қирол (Cyrillic) Noldorning Oliy qirol (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Vua cao của Noldor|
|Welsh||Uchel Frenin Noldor|
|Yiddish||הויך מלך פון די נאָלדאָר|
|Zulu||INkosi ephakeme ye-the Noldor|
- The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
- The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
- The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
- The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
- Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
- Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
- The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "High King of the Noldor"
- The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
- The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
- The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The parentage of Gil-galad"