Friday, July 23, 2010

The Many Deaths of Fingolfin

I'm sure many of you have read The Silmarillion (if you haven't and want to avoid spoilers, you might not want to read any further). One of my favorite parts of that book was when the elf king Fingolfin challenged the evil Morgoth, most powerful of the Valar, to single combat. It always struck me as such a powerful part of The Silmarillion, where a lone elf king dared to challenge a god. Fingolfin knew he was doomed, but he went ahead with the battle anyway. Morgoth of course slays Fingolfin, but not before the elf holds his own in the fight, and gives the god a wound that never heals. Awesome stuff.

Apparently, judging by how many times the scene has been the subject of artistic depictions, it's also high on the list of many other readers as well.

The following is the battle as depicted by long-time Middle Earth artist Ted Nasmith:

The next image, probably my favorite depiction, is the work of John Howe, another artist that has done a lot of work focused on Middle Earth:

There's many many other depictions to be found on the Web, located here (this link seems a bit buggy, try hitting refresh if this page comes up with an error), here, here, here, here, here (Morgoth seems a bit too gigantic in this one), here, here, here...and these are just a few of the many that I found through a Google search for "Fingolfin"! Try it out and see what I mean.

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