Morgoth, once named Melkor, is the highest-ranking villain in the universe of the Lord of the Rings, the primary antagonist of the Silmarillion and the master and predecessor of Sauron, in-turn eponymous primary antagonist and the true devil of The Lord of the Rings History.
Once part of the Valar (Deities), Melkor became the first Dark Lord who was named Morgoth Bauglir in Beleriand and Middle-Earth. He became greedy and hungry for Light, but seeng it was inaccessible to him, he turned to Dark, coveting it and, by seducing many deities and corrupting them for his course, he filled Dark with a fear for all future life. Melkor marred the Great Music of the Valar with his selfish ambitions and inspired fear and corruption amongst his brothers and sisters. Eventually, Iluvatar, the sole God, rebuked Melkor for his pride, and reminded him that pride was his weakness. Ashamed, Melkor withdrew, but when Iluvatar showed the Valar His new creation: Earth, Melkor longed to possess it. He gained a foothold on Earth's newly created surface and fell into battle with his brethren, which lasted all through Earth's early history. Eventually Melkor claimed Kingship over Earth and declared himself god of the realm, but it took the combined efforts of Elves, humans, Valar, and all the Free Peoples of the world to defeat him. The Valar captured him and thrust him through the Door of Night bound in a great chain, Angainor.
Amongst the Maiar (angels) that Melkor corrupted was Sauron, who was the greatest Maiar that has been created. Sauron became most like Melkor in corruption. Melkor handed some of his powers to Sauron to corrupt and govern Earth, but Sauron was not defeated until some 3500 years after Melkor's defeat. Melkor's lies and illusions live on in the souls of humans and Elves, who have inherited the world, & takes shape in men as the fear of death. Death began as a gift to humans from Illuvatar, allowing them to seperate from the world & go to astral parts unknown (possibly Eru's original inhabitance, where the Valar dwelled before coming to Valinor as Ainur), which elves cannot do as they are bound to it eternally. He warped this gift to be perceived as a curse & an insult, as if immortality had been stolen from Men. Sauron later uses this to his advantage on the Numenorians.
History[edit | edit source]
Ainulindalë[edit | edit source]
Melkor was in the beginning an Ainu created by Eru in the Timeless Halls. He was brother to Manwe, the future ruler of Arda. Of all the Ainur, Melkor was gifted with the greatest power and knowledge and had a share in all of the gifts given to his fellow Ainur by Eru.
Desiring to create great things of his own and knowing of but not understanding the Flame Imperishable, Melkor often went forth into the Great Void outside of the Timeless Halls in search of this flame. His quest was vain for he found not the Flame Imperishable for it lies with Eru alone. Afterwards, Melkor grew ever more impatient of the unclear designs of Eru, and was often alone and apart from his fellow Ainur. It was during this lonesome period that Melkor began to have ideas and designs of his own that were not in accordance with his fellow Ainur.
When the Ainur sung the Great Music before Eru, Melkor attempted to take it over and wove into it his own chords of vanity. This brought great discord to the once harmonious Music and each time Eru sounded the beginning of a new theme, Melkor would once again interfere with it. Soon the Music was marred and there was no longer any unity or harmony, but a sea of chaos, turbulence, and confusion before the throne of Eru. Then Eru arose with great might and the Music ceased. He spoke to Melkor saying that although he is mightiest amongst the Ainur, he could not create or play a theme, which does not first come from Eru, nor can the Music be altered. Full of shame Melkor secretly harbored great anger and thus began his rebellion.
Before the Two Trees[edit | edit source]
During the creation and shaping of Arda, Melkor thwarted the efforts of the other Valar, marring the world, and while the Valar started to build their kingdom of Almaren Melkor corrupted many of the Ainur First, he dwelt in The Void outside Ea at the beginning of the World, but he later built a new underground fortress in the north of Middle-earth. Naming it Utumno he built it behind the Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin) in the far north of Beleriand
From Utumno Morgoth waged five massive wars against the Valar, flattened Almaren, and destroyed the Great Lamps. It is likely that in this time Melkor delved his second, lesser fortress of Angband in the west, as a defense from the other Valar should they attack. Angband was delved into the Iron Mountains, and was given to Sauron to command. While the Valar were unsure where the Children of Iluvatar would awake, they were reluctant to wage war against Melkor, fearing the clash of powers might result in massive collateral damage. It is in this time that Melkor discovered the Elves first, captured many of them, and transformed them by torture and other foul craft into Orc.
Before the Sun and Moon[edit | edit source]
When it was discovered by the Vala Orome where the elves were, the Valar took immediate action against Melkor. Both Angband and Utumno were razed, and Melkor brought back in chains. However, many of Melkor's servants (including Sauron and the Balrogs) were not found, since in their haste the Valar did not wholly destroy Angband.
During the War of Powers, Melkor had been captured and chained, and for some years Middle-earth was allowed to prosper. At last Melkor was brought before the Valar to be judged. To the Valar he seemed to have changed and mellowed such that Manwe, Lord of the Valar, ordered his chains removed. Nevertheless, they were all deceived, and Melkor continued to wage war against them, destroying the Trees of the Valar with his ally Ungoliant (the first Giant Spider of Middle-earth) and stealing the gemstones known as the Silmarils.
After this point, Fëanor titled him Morgoth meaning Dark Enemy in Sindarin. The name Melkor was never spoken again. Occasionally people referred to him as Belegurth, The Great Death, a perversion of Belegur, the Sindarin form of Melkor.
Upon fleeing back to Middle-earth, he rebuilt Angband as his center of operations, and reared the tallest mountains to have ever been in Middle-earth, the Thangorodrim, over its gate. Thangorodrim was adorned with walls and gates, and functioned as a guardian fortress to Angband proper, which was underground.
First Age of the Sun[edit | edit source]
Another war began, the War of Great Jewels, in which the Noldor waged a long and ultimately hopeless war against Morgoth for the recovery of the Silmarils. This war lasted through the whole of the First Age of the Sun. Finally, in the War of Wrath, Angband was destroyed and, though Morgoth tried to call up more and more beasts of the shadows to aid him, he was eventually defeated by the mighty Host of Valinor. He was then bound as he was before, cast through Door of Night, and sent into the Void by the Valar.
In later writings of Tolkien's, it becomes apparent that Melkor was not merely bound, but unhoused, after his final capture, being "beheaded" and thus "killed", that is, the body to which he had become so bound was destroyed, after which execution his spirit, still bound with the enchanted chain Angainor, was cast out through the Doors of Night. His "will" is spoken of as an active force in the world, tempting and urging in thought, and sometimes in phantom manifestation; and it is foretold that at the end of the world, his old strength will come back to him, that he will overcome the guard upon the Door, and reenter Arda. This will initiate the Final Battle and the Day of Doom, the Dagor Dagorath
Early accounts of this battle have him being slain by Turin Tumbar who will run his black sword Gurthang, ' Iron of Death,' through him. This however does not appear in later versions of The Silmarillion; and indeed is inconsistent with the above late conception, unless Melkor re-incarnates himself after entering Arda, as he already has been slain by the Valar like a common criminal.
The Cursing of Húrin[edit | edit source]
Morgoth is also well known for the imprisonment of Hurin of the House of Hador during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears). In the last hours of the battle Húrin and his kin defended Turgon, for he was the last heir to the throne of Gondolin and of Fingolfin after his brother, Fingon, fell in battle. Turgon narrowly escaped the clutches of the host of orcs due to the valor of Húrin and Huor and their men.
Unfortunately, all but Húrin fell after the onslaught of Morgoth's forces. After slaying 70 trolls, Húrin was bound by Gothmog with his flaming whip and, thus, sent him to Angband. There, after a nightmare of chained torment in Thangorodrim's chambers, Húrin still defied Morgoth Bauglir and refused to tell him where Gondolin lay. Thus, Morgoth sent Húrin to the top of Haudh-en-Nirnaeth and cast a mighty curse on Húrin and his family and told him that his Shadow would be with them wherever they went, and his hate would pursue Hurin's family to the end. Melkor threatened Hurin that all Hurin loved would be rendered extinct with Melkor's evil thoughts, and wherever they went, evil would transpire..
And so Húrin stayed was chained atop Thangorodrim, forever watching his homelands fall under the shadow of Morgoth until he releases him. Túrin, who was valiant and powerful, nearly escaped the curse, as feared by Morgoth, but could not leave it. He and his sister perished. Thus, the curse of Morgoth on the Children of Húrin was fulfilled.
Appearence[edit | edit source]
Melkor, when he first came to Earth, took the form of a gigantic, ice-white humanoid deity, filled with flames. As time went on he became manifest in the Dark Lord when his shapeshifting abilities were stripped from him from all the evil he was committing. As the Dark Lord he was superhumanly tall, and covered in dark storm clouds and a dark powerful aura which humbled all who saw him. He wore an Iron Crown at all times, as his means of others identifying him with kingship of the world, and he placed the Silmarils in his crown when he had stolen them.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Morgoth is known for having similarities with Lucifer, who later became Satan. Melkor means "He Who Arises in Might." This has parallels with Lucifer, the Morningstar and the Light Bringer, in its majestic sense. Morgoth means the Black Foe of the World, given to him by Feanor, after Melkor had killed Feanor's father. Feanor created the Silmarils and thus desired vengeance.