Mahtan was a renowned Ñoldorin metallurgist of Aman and the father of Nerdanel, the wife of Fëanor.


Mahtan was a skilled smith in Valinor learning the arts of metal and stone work under the direction of the Vala Aulë.[2] He wore a copper circlet around his head and was known for his fondness for the metal more than gold. Mahtan passed on his knowledge to his eager pupil and son-in-law Fëanor who surpassed his teacher by becoming the greatest of all Elven craftsmen. When Fëanor and certain Ñoldor became more proud and suspicious of other Ñoldor kin due to the lies of Melkor, and began forging weapons and armour of war the first ever in Valinor, Mahtan came to regret teaching him given the way he was using his knowledge. Later, Nerdanel became estranged from her husband and retired back to Mahtan's house. The servants of Aulë counselled against joining the Revolt of the Ñoldor and therefore he chose not to rebel and remained in Valinor in peace forever after.[1]

Mahtan had a beard - unusual for an Elf, especially a young one. According to J.R.R. Tolkien, most elves could only grow beards from the "third cycle" of their lives, while Mahtan was an exception in being only early in his second. It is unclear what these "cycles" actually refer to.[3]


The name Mahtan seems to come from the Quenyan mahta- ("to handle"), reference to the arts and skills of making. His devotion to Aulë had earned him the name Aulëndur ("Servant of Aulë")[4] from -ndur ("to serve").[5] The earlier form of this name was Aulëndil, which was later used by Sauron during his treachery to Númenor. His other name Urundil means "Copper-lover"[4] from urun ("copper") and -ndil ("lover, friend").[5][6] His other epessë Rusco meant "Fox", a reference to his red-brown hair.[1]

House of Fëanor

House of Feanor


Translations around the world

Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ማህታን
Arabic ماهتان
Armenian Մահտան
Belarusian Cyrillic Маhтан
Bengali মাহ্তান
Bulgarian Cyrillic Махтан
Chinese 瑪哈坦
Georgian მაჰტანი
Greek Μάχταν
Gujarati મહતાન
Hebrew םאהתאנ
Hindi मह्तन
Japanese マハタン
Kazakh Маһтан (Cyrillic) Маһтан (Latin)
Korean 마흐탄
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Маhтан
Lao ມະຫຕະນ
Macedonian Cyrillic Махтан
Marathi महतान
Mongolian Cyrillic Маhтан
Nepalese मह्तन
Pashto ماهتان
Persian ماهتان
Punjabi ਮਹਾਤਨ
Russian Махтан
Sanskrit मह्तन्
Serbian Махтан (Cyrillic) Mahtan (Latin)
Sinhalese මහ්තන්
Tajik Cyrillic Маҳтан
Tamil மஹ்தந்
Telugu మహ్తన
Ukrainian Cyrillic Магтан
Urdu ماہتن
Uzbek Маҳтан (Cyrillic) Mahtan (Latin)
Yiddish מאַהטאַנ


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter VI: "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
  3. "From The Shibboleth of Fëanor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 41, July 2000, p. 9
  4. 4.0 4.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XI: "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", Note 61
  5. 5.0 5.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  6. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
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