|Boldog's Raid or the Battle of the North March|
Fight between Thingol and Boldog. Illustration by Tom Loback
|Angband||Kingdom of Doriath|
|Commanders and leaders|
|An Orc-host, consisting of Orc-armies and auxiliary Wolf-bands||The Army of Sindarin Elves of Doriath|
|Casualties and losses|
|Nearly the entire Orc-host||Light|
"Boldog he sent, but Boldog was slain:
strange ye were not in Boldog's train."
As told in the Lays of Beleriand, Boldog, a formidable Orc Captain, by direct command of Morgoth, led a host of Orcs on a great razzia to ravage the realm of Doriath and capture Lúthien, the daughter of its King Thingol and Queen Melian, the Maia. Boldog drove his Host south over the highlands of Dorthonion and through the enchanted forest of Taur-nu-Fuin following the Orcs' Road of Haste into the Pass of Anach, which cut down the mountains of Ered Gorgoroth and across the shadowed valley of Nan Dungortheb. There, the Orc-host reached the border of Doriath. To meet the deadly threat posed by Boldog's invasion in force, Thingol mustered his full might with his two great Captains, Beleg and Mablung. He led the army of Sindarin Elves beyond the North March of Doriath. Thingol and Boldog met in single combat in the midst of the battle. Thingol wielded his Dwarf-forged sword, Aranrúth, while Boldog fought with an iron spear of some note that was later used by Mablung in the Hunt of the Wolf. Thingol slew Boldog, the Orc-host was utterly defeated and the remnants destroyed by being driven into Taur-nu-Fuin.
The Battle of the North March was the culminating battle of a series of attacks in Morgoth's campaign against Doriath following his victories in the Dagor Bragollach, Battle of Sudden Flame, the fourth Great Battle of Beleriand that broke the Siege of Angband. Other battles and events around Doriath included Beleg's victory in Brethil over an Orc-legion and the defeat of the Orc-army in East Beleriand as well as Lúthien's triumph over Sauron at Tol Sirion and the taking of the Silmaril from Morgoth's Crown in Angband by Beren and Lúthien. In contrast with Morgoth's success in the Dagor Bragollach, his campaign against Doriath was a series of setbacks and defeats at the hands of Thingol and his forces which inspired resistance and restored hope to the free peoples of Beleriand.
Details of Boldog's Raid are scattered through numerous texts and versions of texts, with the exception of The Silmarillion as published by Christopher Tolkien. No aspect of it is in serious contradiction with the general story, however, and its presence in such primary Middle-earth sources, as the Lay of Leithian is intended to be, argues for its continued inclusion. Boldog's independent command of a Host of Orcs with its formidable objectives indicates that he is several cuts above most other Orc Captains and Champions and it is thought elsewhere in the sources that he is of some lesser order of the Maiar serving Morgoth.
Tolkien noted that the name appeared over a long period of time during the First Age. He considered that this might be due to use of the name as a title by several Orc chieftains or that Boldog might describe a type of creature, lesser Maiar, servants of Morgoth, who had taken an Orcish hröa (body/shape). The theory of Boldog as Orc-shaped Maiar entered the legendarium at a relatively late stage, and was not taken up in the published Silmarillion.
See also[edit | edit source]
Others articles of the Topic Speculative fiction : Reunited Kingdom, Carcharoth, Pelendur, Avranc, Melian, Eldarion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
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References[edit | edit source]
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1985). Tolkien, Christopher, ed. The Lays of Beleriand. London, England: Allen & Unwin. p. 311. ISBN 978-0261102262.
Thingol’s army meets with the host of Boldog...
- Tolkien 1985, “Lay of Leithian”, p.285
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1984). Tolkien, Christopher, ed. The Book of Lost Tales. II. p. 38. ISBN 0-395-36614-3.
...a spear - a mighty weapon captured in battle with the distant Orcs
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1986). Tolkien, Christopher, ed. The Shaping of Middle-earth. London, England: Allen & Unwin. pp. 36, 229, 235, 274, 288, 293, 310–13, 16, 117. ISBN 978-0261102187.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher, ed. The Lost Road and Other Writings. London, England: Allen & Unwin. pp. 134, 375. ISBN 978-0261102255.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1992). Tolkien, Christopher, ed. Sauron Defeated. New York City: HarperCollins. pp. 418, 423. ISBN 978-0261103054.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1993). "Myths Transformed". In Tolkien, Christopher. Morgoth's Ring. London, England: Allen & Unwin. p. (Author's note to text). ISBN 978-0261103009.
Some of these things may have been delusions and phantoms but some were no doubt shapes taken by the servants of Melkor, mocking and degrading the very forms of the children. For Melkor had in his service great numbers of Maiar, who had the power, as their Master, of taking visible and tangible shape in Arda. Boldog (...) is a name that occurs many times in the tales of the War. But it is possible that Boldog was not a personal name, and either a title, or else the name of a kind of creature: the Orc-formed Maiar, only less formidable than the Balrogs...Melkor had corrupted many spirits — some great as Sauron, or less as Balrogs. The least could have been primitive Orcs.
- Tolkien, J.R.R.; Rateliff, John D. (2007). The History of The Hobbit. New York City: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-736966-9.
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