Aegnor was the third and youngest son of Finarfin and Eärwen. His precise year of birth was not given by Tolkien, but must be between Y.T. 1300 (the birth of his eldest brother Finrod Felagund) and Y.T. 1362 (the birth of his younger sister Galadriel). He was the elder brother of Galadriel and younger brother of Finrod and Angrod.[note 1] He was generous and had a noble spirit, despite being fierce in battle; he was also ambitious and, like his siblings, dreamt of having lands of his own in faraway Middle-earth to govern. He and his siblings were close to their cousins the sons of Fingolfin, to the extent that they behaved as though they were all brothers; he and Angrod were in particular close to Fingon, the eldest son of Fingolfin, and always stood together with him. After the Darkening of Valinor in Y.T. 1495, his uncle Fëanor returned from Formenos where he had been exiled to Tirion, claiming the High Kingship of the Noldor after his father Finwë's death at the hands of Morgoth and speaking fiery words leading the Noldor to Middle-earth; like Fingon, Angrod and Aegnor were influenced by his words, but their father Finarfin spoke in favour of caution and reflection before irreversible actions took place, and they did not speak out against him. Urged on by their sons, Fingolfin and Finarfin chose to follow Fëanor when it became clear that nine-tenths of the people of Tirion would follow him, so as not to abandon their people. By the time the main hosts of Fingolfin and Finarfin arrived at Alqualondë, the First Kinslaying begun by Fëanor was already over, and Finarfin turned back and returned to Tirion. His sons did not follow him and continued with Fingolfin across the Helcaraxë to Middle-earth, arriving in Y.T. 1500.
In Beleriand he, along with Angrod, became a vassal of his eldest brother Finrod, and ruled over the highland Dorthonion, adjoining the realms of the sons of Fëanor to the east, where they kept watch over Ard-galen. Their lands did not have many people due to its barrenness. In Y.S. 60 Morgoth attempted to surprise the Noldor by attacking Dorthonion, but his troops were completely defeated in the Dagor Aglareb and his fortress Angband was besieged. This led Fingolfin to contemplate attacking Angband directly, but the leaders of the Noldor all considered it a better idea to not do so and continue building their kingdoms, except Angrod and Aegnor. Later the Men of the House of Bëor who served Finrod came to Dorthonion to live. At around this time Aegnor fell in love with the wise Bëorian woman Andreth, but because it was wartime did not make his intentions towards her clear: he never married and died before her. In Y.S. 402, the Orcs made an attempt to go through the Pass of Aglon in the east of Dorthonion, but Angrod, Aegnor, Maedhros, Maglor and the Bëorians defeated them. But in Y.S. 455, Morgoth suddenly broke the Siege of Angband and attacked. The northeastern lands of the Noldor were all taken except Himring ruled by Maedhros; Angrod and Aegnor were killed and Dorthonion was captured by Morgoth. Fingolfin received news of this, but it was exaggerated and claimed that his allies had been routed on all fronts; filled with wrath and despair, he rode to Angband to challenge Morgoth to single combat, and was killed. Out of his love of Andreth, Aegnor never returned from the Halls of Mandos.
Etymology of name
The name Aegnor is a Sindarized form of his Quenya mother-name Aicanáro or Aicanár, meaning "Fell Fire", a prophetic name given with regards to his character and his terribleness in anger and war. The name is not true Sindarin, as the Quenya word aica (meaning "fell, terrible, dire") did not have a Sindarin cognate, though if one had existed it would have been aeg. His father-name was Ambaráto (in Telerin), meaning 'High Noble' and resembling the names Findaráto and Angaráto of his brothers Finrod and Angrod; a similar name was later given to his half-cousin Amrod. Aegnor used his mother-name because of personal preference and to distinguish himself from his brother Angrod. A variant Ecyanáro (in Sindarin, Eignor) "Sharp Fire" occurs.
Aegnor was of the so-called Golden House of Finarfin, so named because Finarfin and his sons all had golden hair inherited from Finarfin's mother Indis. The light in his eyes was fiery, especially in anger and war, and this was the reason behind his name Aegnor. His hair was also described as being "strong and stiff, rising upon his head like flames".
Other versions of the legendarium
In earlier versions of Tolkien's legendarium, the character's name was spelt Egnor. In some of the earliest stories (see: The Book of Lost Tales), this was the name of the father of Beren (who then was a Noldorin Elf, not a Man as in later writings), though this was most likely not the same character. In the original version, he, along with his brothers Orodreth[note 1] and Angrod, was close to Celegorm and Curufin sons of Fëanor, and were the only three not of the host of Fëanor to join him on the stolen Telerin ships.
House of Finarfin
d. YT 1495
YT 1190 - FA 456
b. YT 1230
YT 1300 - FA
d. FA 455
d. FA 455
b. YT 1362
d. FA 495
b. FA 532
d. SA 3441
d. FA 495
TA 2931 - FA 120
TA 241 - FA 121
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