Maedhros the Tall is a fictional character from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He was one of the princes of the oldor and was eldest of the sons of Fanor.

His father name was "Nelyafinw" which in Quenya means "Finw the third". (Finw, the name of his grandfather and Fanor's father, given to (nearly) all males in his House.) His mother name was "Maitimo", meaning "Well-shaped one", for he was noted for his comeliness. He was also given another name "Russandol", "Copper-top", referring to his dark red hair inherited from his mother Nerdanel through her red-haired father Mahtan.

After the banishment of Fanor from Tirion in Valinor he went with his father to Formenos. When Morgoth killed Finw and stole Fanor's beloved Silmarils, Maedhros was the first son to take the terrible Oath of Fanor to recover the holy jewels.

This oath took Maedhros, his father and his brothers to Middle-earth during the First Age where they established realms in exile, waged war against the armies of Morgoth, fought their own Elvish kind, and eventually brought ruin upon their House.

Shortly after the Dagor-nuin-Giliath in which Fanor was killed, Maedhros was captured by Morgoth and hung by the wrist of his right hand upon the face of a precipice of Thangorodrim. In a daring rescue, his cousin Fingon, helped by Thorondor the King of Eagles, saved him from torment but he had to cut off Maedhros's hand to release him from the shackle. In gratitude for this, and in atonement for Feanor's desertion of Fingon's house, Maedhros relenquished all claim as the heir of Finw and made his Uncle Fingolfin, Fingon's father, High King of the oldor, something his brothers did not like.

Seeing that his brothers were likely to cause feuds with their kinsmen, Maedhros moved them out of Hithlum, and later ruled the lands around the Hill of Himring, which became known as the March of Maedhros. Allied with Fingolfin, he won the battle of Dagor Aglareb, and, thanks to his daring deeds during the Dagor Bragollach, Himring stood while many other elven realms fell.

Hearing words of deeds of Beren and Lthien, he took hope and gathered his brothers and united with other Elven Houses to create the Union of Maedhros, an alliance to lay siege to Morgoth's fortress of Angband. The Union and the siege was utterly broken after the defeat in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Himring was garrisoned by Orcs.

Maedhros had learned that Elwing of Doriath, granddaughter of Lthien and Beren, had inherited the Silmaril that they had recovered from Morgoth. Still driven by the Oath, he allowed Celegorm to convince him to attack Doriath. Celegorm, Caranthir, and Curufin were slain by Beren's son, Dior Eluchil, the King of Doriath, who was slain by them. Dior's sons, Elured and Elurin, were captured and abandoned by Celegorm's servants in the Forest, leading Maedhros to search for the innocent youths. After learning that Elwing had survived, he and his surviving brothers descended with an army upon the remnants of the people of Doriath living in the Havens of Sirion. The oldorin princes killed many Elves and captured Elwing's sons Elrond and Elros in the sack, but she and her husband Erendil escaped to the West with the jewel.

After the War of Wrath, he and his last surviving brother, Maglor stole the two remaining Silmarils taken by the Valar from Morgoth. But because of the evil deeds committed by the brothers to regain the jewels, they burned in Maglor's and Maedhros's hands. Unable to bear the suffering, Maedhros cast himself and the Silmaril he carried into a fiery chasm in the Earth.

The House of Fëanor

Finw = Mriel   Mahtan
      |           |
    Fëanor = Nerdanel
      |        |       |          |         |       |      |
  Maedhros  Maglor  Celegorm  Caranthir  Curufin  Amrod  Amras 



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