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The War of Wrath, also called the Great Battle, was a war of Elves, Men, and Valar against Morgoth at the end of the First Age that marked the end of both the Age and of Morgoth's rule in Middle-earth. It was the largest battle of the First Age and possibly the largest battle to ever occur in Arda. It resulted in the expulsion of Morgoth from Arda and the ruin of Thangorodrim, but the violence of the clashes between the forces of the Valar and Morgoth shattered the northwestern portion of Middle-earth, Beleriand, causing it to sink beneath the ocean.

History

Background

Finarfin leading the Host of Valinor

By the early sixth century of the First Age, Morgoth's dominion had been completely uncontested in Middle-earth. The effort of Elves, Men, and Dwarves to resist him had failed, and all the great Elf kingdoms had been overthrown. Morgoth was now master of nearly all of Beleriand, save for the havens in Arvernien, which he gave little heed to. To make matters worse, and to the great amusement of Morgoth, the Sons of Fëanor, seeking the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien, had launched two devastatingly brutal Kinslayings in which they had destroyed both Doriath and the Havens of Sirion. In this time of need, the mariner Eärendil, by the guidance of a Silmaril which he wore on his forehead, searched for and came to Valinor on behalf of Elves and Men. There, he begged the Valar to pardon and aid the overmatched peoples of Middle-earth.

The battle

Despite having pledged to leave the Ñoldor to reap the bitter harvest of their folly in pursuing Morgoth, Manwë was moved by Eärendil's plea. Along with the Vanyar and the remaining Ñoldor in Aman, the host of the Valar came to Middle-earth in the mightiest gathering of arms in the history of Arda. The Teleri of Alqualondë granted the use of their ships to ferry the hosts of Aman to Middle-earth, but they remembered still the Kinslaying of their people long ago and harbored much bitterness over it. As such, they sent only what mariners were needed to crew the ships, and none of them set foot on Middle-earth once they arrived. The great force of Aman marched across Beleriand and met the armies of Morgoth in the plains of Anfauglith. Morgoth marshaled the entirety of his forces, which had by this point grown so vast that Anfauglith could not contain their numbers.

Though the war lasted for over 40 years, the host of the Valar utterly destroyed the Orc armies of Morgoth, as well as most of the Balrogs. While the Three Houses of Men fought alongside the Valar, many other Men from the East fought for the forces of Morgoth and were either destroyed or forced to flee back to the far eastern parts of Middle-earth. Facing final defeat, Morgoth released his ultimate weapon, the winged Dragons, which had never been seen before. Their terrible onslaught was accompanied by lightning storms and tempests of fire, and they drove the Valar back and nearly destroyed the host of the West.

Arrival of the reinforcements, by DanPilla

Fortunately, Eärendil came with his sky-ship Vingilot, along with the Eagles of Manwë led by Thorondor. In the skies above Angband, they confronted the dragons, and Eärendil himself slew their captain, the mighty Ancalagon the Black, who broke the towers of Thangorodrim in his fall. Angband was then leveled and Morgoth was finally captured in the deepest of his mines. He sued for peace and pardon, but he was bound again with the old chain Angainor and the two Silmarils still in his possession were taken by the Maia Eönwë, the herald of Manwë. Morgoth was taken to Aman and tried for his crimes. In the end, the Valar un-housed Morgoth by beheading him and "thrust him through the Door of Night", beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void, the doors of which are forever guarded by Ëarendil.

Aftermath

The geographical wreckage of the war was immense; most of the land west of the Blue Mountains was destroyed and sank beneath the waves. Though it is not known exactly how many casualties the Host of the West endured, the war dragged on for decades before they managed to approach Angband, and the attack of Morgoth's winged dragons was known to have been nearly catastrophic for the forces of the Valar. While the hosts of Morgoth were utterly defeated, the creatures that composed them were not eradicated, and many (particularly Orcs) remained to trouble the world under the power of Sauron. Additionally, it was noted that a few Balrogs fled and hid deep in the Earth, though only one, known by the title of Durin's Bane, was ever noted by history to have appeared again. Some number of dragons, particularly Cold-drakes, also hid away in the mountains. These dragons bred over time and became particularly troublesome for the Dwarves in ages to come. Nearly all of the winged Fire-drakes were destroyed by Ëarendil, Thorondor, and his Eagles, but two fled.[1]

The remaining Elves were bidden by Ëonwë to return with him to the lands of Aman. Most of the Elves went into the West, while others still refused the summons and rather journeyed eastward where they would become lords of the remaining Eldar or those Elves who still dwelt in the East. Gil-galad, Galadriel, Celeborn, and Elrond were chief among these. Additionally, the victory was made even more bitter by the loss of the Silmarils. Maedhros and Maglor, the two surviving sons of Fëanor, were compelled by their oath to recover the gems. Though sick at heart at the burden of the terrible oath, they conspired to sneak into the camp of the victorious host of the Valar, where they slew the guard around the Silmarils and took them. The camp was aroused against them, and though they were prepared to fight to the death to keep the gems, they were permitted to go. But they soon discovered that, due to the wicked deeds they had performed in recovering the jewels, first among them the three Kinslayings, they could not hold the Silmarils without suffering terrible pain. And so Maedhros cast himself and the Silmaril he bore into a fiery pit, and Maglor threw his jewel into the Sea. And so both were lost to the Host of the Valar, and they returned to Aman empty-handed.

For those men of the Edain who fought for the host of the Valar, the land of Númenor (in the full Quenya form Nùmenórë) was given to them. This land was neither of Aman nor of Middle-earth but was closer to Aman.[2][3]

Other versions

In a prophecy told in Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth in Morgoth's Ring, Ancalagon is killed by Túrin rather than by Eärendil.

Translations

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Oorlog van Toorn
Albanian Lufta e zemërimit
Amharic ጦርነት የጭንቀት
Armenian Ւար ոֆ Ւրատհ
Arabic الحرب الغضب
Assamese ক্ৰোধৰ যুদ্ধ
Azerbaijani Qəzəb Müharibə
Basque Haserrearen Gerra
Belarusian Cyrillic вайна гневу
Bosnian Rata Gnjeva
Bulgarian Cyrillic войната на гнева
Cambodian សង្រ្គាមនៃកំហឹង
Catalan Guerra de la Còlera
Cebuano Gubat sa Kasuko
Chichewa Nkhondo ya Mkwiyo
Chinese (Hong Kong) 憤怒之戰
Cornish Bell a Sorr ?
Corsican Guerra di Fureur
Croatian Rat Gnjeva
Czech Válka hněvu
Danish Vredens Fejde
Dari جنگ خشم
Dutch Oorlog van Gramschap
Esperanto Milito de Kolero
Estonian Sõja Viha
Filipino Digmaan ng Poot
Finnish Vihan Sota
French Guerre de la Grande Colère
Galician Guerra da ira
Georgian რისხვის ომი
German Krieg des Zorns
Greek πόλεμος της οργής
Gujarati ક્રોધ યુદ્ધ
Haiti Creole Lagè nan kòlè
Hebrew מלחמת החרון
Hindi क्रोध का युद्ध
Hmong Ua tsov ua rog ntawm txoj kev npau taws
Hungarian Izzó Harag Háborúja
Indonesian Perang murka
Italian Guerra d'Ira
Irish Gaelic Cogadh na Feirge
Japanese 怒りの戦い
Javanese Perang Bebendu
Kannada ಕ್ರೋಧ ಯುದ್ಧ
Kazakh Соғыс гнева (Cyrillic) Soğıs gneva (Latin)
Konkani रागाचें झूज
Korean 분노의 전쟁
Kurdish Şer ji Xezeba (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic согуш Каары
Latin Bellum Irae
Latvian Karš Dusmu
Laotian ສົງຄາມຂອງພຣະພິໂລດ
Lithuanian Karas Rūstybės
Macedonian Cyrillic војна на гневот
Maithili क्रोध के युद्ध
Malaysian Perang Kemurkaan
Manx Chaggey ny Ymmoose
Marathi राग युद्ध
Mongolian Cyrillic Уур хилэнгээс дайн
Nepalese क्रोध युद्ध
Norwegian Vredens Krig
Pashto د غلا جنګ
Persian نبرد خشم
Polish Wojna Gniewu
Portuguese Guerra da Ira
Punjabi ਗੁੱਸਾ ਯੁੱਧ
Romanian Rrăzboi de Mânie
Russian Война Гнева
Scottish Gaelic Cogadh de Corraich
Serbian Рат Гневa (Cyrillic) Rat Gneva (Latin)
Sinhalese උදහස යුද්ධය
Sindhi ڏمر جي جنگ
Slovak Vojna Hnevu
Slovenian Vojna Srda
Somalian Dagaalkii oo Cadaabka
Spanish Guerra de la Cólera
Swahili Vita ya Ghadhabu
Swedish Vredens Krig
Tajik Cyrillic Ҷанги ғазаб
Tamil கோபத்திற்கு போர்
Telugu ఆగ్రహం యుద్ధం
Thai สงครามแห่งความโกรธา
Tigrinya ኲናት ቁጥዐ
Turkish Öfke Savaşı
Turkmen Gahar Söweşi
Ukrainian Cyrillic Війна Гніву
Uzbek Ғазабкорлик уруши (Cyrillic) G'azabkorlik urush (Latin)
Urdu غصہ جنگ
Vietnamese Chiến tranh của cơn thịnh nộ
Welsh Rhyfel o Ddigofaint
Xhosa Kwimfazwe ye Ingqumbo
Yiddish מלחמה פון צארן

Affiliations

War of the Great Jewels

First BattleDagor-nuin-GiliathDagor AglarebDagor BragollachNírnaeth ArnoediadWar of Wrath

Battles of Beleriand

First BattleDagor-nuin-GiliathDagor AglarebSiege of AngbandDagor BragollachNírnaeth ArnoediadWar of Wrath

References

  1. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, “The Tale of Years”
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV: "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  3. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "The Battles of Beleriand"
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