HASA Resources

Timeline Event

War of Wrath: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 1st Age

Years: 0545 ~ 0587

Description:
War of Wrath - Overview

Table of Contents:

Summary
The Combatants
The Timeline
The Prelude
The Battle
The Aftermath
Summary

The Powers of the West, responding to Eärendil's plea, returned to Middle-earth to defeat Morgoth. This Event is also called the Great Battle, the Second War of the Gods, Battle Terrible, the Battle of Wrath and Thunder.


The Combatants

Attacking Forces

Also called the Host of the West

"…the host of the Valar prepared for battle; and beneath their white banners marched the Vanyar, the people of Ingwë, and those also of the Noldor who never departed from Valinor, whose leader was Finarfin the son of Finwë. Few of the Teleri were willing to go forth to war … but they hearkened to Elwing … and they sent mariners enough to sail the ships that bore the host of Valinor east over the sea. Yet they stayed aboard their vessels, and none of them set foot upon the Hither Lands."

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

"Eönwë, the banner-bearer and herald of Manwë, whose might in arms is surpassed by none in Arda."

The Silmarillion, Valaquenta: Of the Maiar

"among them went none of those Elves who had dwelt and suffered in the Hither Lands..."

"… the host of the Valar were arrayed in forms young and fair and terrible, and the mountains rang beneath their feet.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

"Thereupon Elrond paused a while and sighed. 'I remember well the splendour of their banners,' he said. 'It recalled to me the glory of the Elder Days and the hosts of Beleriand, so many great princes and captains were assembled. And yet not so many, nor so fair, as when Thangorodrim was broken, and the Elves deemed that evil was ended for ever, and it was not so.' "

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond

"And such few as were left of the three houses of the Elf-friends, Fathers of Men, fought upon the part of the Valar…"

"… Eärendil came, shining with white flame, and about Vingilot were gathered all the great birds of heaven and Thorondor was their captain…"

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

Defensive Forces

"There was marshalled the whole power of the Throne of Morgoth, and it had become great beyond count, so that Anfauglith could not contain it; and all the North was aflame with war."

"… Balrogs … and the uncounted legions of the Orcs…"

"… a great part of the sons of Men, whether of the people of Uldor or others new-come out of the east, marched with the Enemy; and the Elves do not forget it."

" …and out of the pits of Angband there issued the winged dragons…"

"… Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host…"

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath


The Timeline

536 Earendil comes to Valinor.
545 The host of the Valar comes up out of the West.
545-587, The last war of the Elder Days, and the Great Battle, is begun. In this war Beleriand is broken and destroyed. Morgoth is at last utterly overcome, and Angband is unroofed and unmade. Morgoth is bound, and the last two Silmarils are regained.
590 Morgoth is thrust from Arda into the Outer Dark.

Dates are from The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11. Christopher Tolkien notes Chapter 5, The Tale of Years, of that volume as his father's latest alteration to the chronology, written in approximately the 1950s. This is in contrast to the dates in The Lost Road, Annals Of Beleriand, written in the 1930s. Most dates are from the "B" version; the "C" version is used for Eärendil Comes to Valinor, as it was the only one changed from this event.


The Prelude

"And it is said that in that time Ulmo came to Valinor out of the deep waters, and spoke there to the Valar of the need of the Elves; and he called on them to forgive them, and rescue them from the overmastering might of Morgoth, and win back the Silmarils, wherein alone now bloomed the light of the Days of Bliss when the Two Trees still shone in Valinor…."

"The wise have said that the hour was not yet come, and that only one speaking in person for the cause of both Elves and Men, pleading for pardon on their misdeeds and pity on their woes, might move the counsels of the Powers…"

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 23, Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

" [Eärendil] thought to find perhaps the last shore, and bring ere he died the message of Elves and Men to the Valar in the West, that should move their hearts to pity for the sorrows of Middle-earth."

"…And Eärendil went into Valinor and to the halls of Valimar... Then the Valar took counsel together, and they summoned Ulmo from the deeps of the sea; and Eärendil stood before their faces, and delivered the errand of the Two Kindreds. Pardon he asked for the Noldor and pity for their great sorrows, and mercy upon Men and Elves and succour in their need. And his prayer was granted."

"Yet it is said that Morgoth looked not for the assault that came upon him from the West; for so great was his pride become that he deemed that none would ever again come with open war against him."

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath


The Battle

"But at the last the might of Valinor came up out of the West, and the challenge of the trumpets of Eönwë filled the sky; …"

"… all the North was aflame with war."

" The Balrogs were destroyed, save some few that fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth; and the uncounted legions of the Orcs perished like straw in a great fire, or were swept like shrivelled leaves before a burning wind."

" Then, seeing that his hosts were overthrown and his power dispersed, Morgoth quailed, and he dared not to come forth himself. But he loosed upon his foes the last desperate assault that he had prepared, and out of the pits of Angband there issued the winged dragons, that had not before been seen; and so sudden and ruinous was the onset of that dreadful fleet that the host of the Valar was driven back…"

"But Eärendil came … and about Vingilot were gathered all the great birds of heaven and Thorondor was their captain, and there was battle in the air all the day and through a dark night of doubt. Before the rising of the sun Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black… and he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his ruin. Then the sun rose, and the host of the Valar prevailed, and well-nigh all the dragons were destroyed; and all the pits of Morgoth were broken and unroofed, and the might of the Valar descended into the deeps of the earth. There Morgoth stood at last at bay, and yet unvaliant. He fled into the deepest of his mines, and sued for peace and pardon; but his feet were hewn from under him, and he was hurled upon his face…"

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath


The Aftermath

"[Morgoth] was bound with the chain Angainor which he had worn aforetime, and his iron crown they beat into a collar for his neck, and his head was bowed upon his knees. And the two Silmarils which remained to Morgoth were taken from his crown, and they shone unsullied beneath the sky; and Eönwë took them, and guarded them.

"Thus an end was made of the power of Angband in the North, and the evil realm was brought to naught; and out of the deep prisons a multitude of slaves came forth beyond all hope into the light of day, and they looked upon a world that was changed. For so great was the fury of those adversaries that the northern regions of the western world were rent asunder, and the sea roared in through many chasms, and there was confusion and great noise; and rivers perished or found new paths, and the valleys were upheaved and the hills trod down; and Sirion was no more.

"Then Eönwë as herald of the Elder King summoned the Elves of Beleriand to depart from Middle-earth. But Maedhros and Maglor would not hearken, and they prepared, though now with weariness and loathing, to attempt in despair the fulfilment of their oath; for they would have given battle for the Silmarils, were they withheld, even against the victorious host of Valinor, even though they stood alone against all the world…."

"In those days there was a great building of ships upon the shores of the Western Sea; and thence in many a fleet the Eldar set sail into the West, and came never back to the lands of weeping and of war."

"But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void; and a guard is set for ever on those walls, and Eärendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky. Yet the lies that Melkor, the mighty and accursed, Morgoth Bauglir, the Power of Terror and of Hate, sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men are a seed that does not die and cannot be destroyed; and ever and anon it sprouts anew, and will bear dark fruit even unto the latest days."

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 24, Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

"And after the victory of the Lords of the West those of the evil Men who were not destroyed fled back into the east…"

The Silmarillion Akallabêth

Contributors:
Lyllyn 19April03, Date corrected, format and quotes added 29Jan05

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