Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Amrod and Amras

Amrod and Amras

Could anyone tell me some basic information about them, such as their personalities, if such things are mentioned at all in the Silmarillion? Thanks! CLF

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Little is said of them in the Silmarillion that I remember. Maybe Tolkien didn't write that much about them for the reasons I will explain. However, there is an interesting story about them in "People's of Middle-earth," HoME Vol. 12 I believe. You probably will want to know this if you feel like using it as canon. Chris Tolkien said that he should have included it in the Silm. Here is my brief paraphrase -- correct me if I don't get the names quite right because I haven't my book with me at the moment. Both of the twins were named Ambarto or Ambarussa, but Nerdanel had desired the younger one be named Umbarto, which meant "fated." Feanor had been like, "Whatever," and didn't pay that much attention to his wife. Then right before Feanor led them away from Valinor, Nerdanel begged him to leave the twins with her. He said all of his sons were coming and if she was a good mother and a good wife, she would come too. She was adamant about not following him and said something bad would happen to one of the twins if he went. Feanor again was like, "Whatever" and of course took all seven of his sons. After burning the ships at Losgar, Feanor gathered his people to march and he realized that only six of his sons were there. The youngest was not. He asked Amrod (I can never keep Amrod and Amras straight, but we'll pretend its Amrod for brevity's sake) where Amras was. Amrod said, "Ummm... He didn't feel comfortable sleeping on shore so he slept on that ship." And Feanor said, "Oh, you mean the first ship I burned???" So yeah., one of the twins was accidentally burned on a ship. Oops. In "War of the Jewels," Chris Tolkien suggests that maybe his father meant to kill both off since at one point he talked about Feanor's five sons, and that seemed to Chris an odd oversight. But in Silm canon -- if you're using solely that -- they are both alive and nothing is really said of them other than that they hunt alone in the wild and aren't terribly involved in the politics of Beleriand.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Very nice summary, Gypsum! The only thing I would add is that (in the Silmarillion) both Amrod and Amras were killed in the Third Kinslaying, the Sack of Sirion. I always thought it was rather considerate of Tolkien to make sure that all of the sons of Fëanor who died in a specific event had names that started with the same letter... Maybe he had trouble keeping track of them all, too? - Barbara

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Thanks for all of your help, Gypsum and Barbara. I have one question, though. Did the twins actually have separate names (Amrod and Amras), or was it just like, "Hey, Ambarussa, get over here," and both of them come running? I'm just curious. CLF

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Okay, I am now in my room with "The Shibboleth of Feanor" in front of me, which has all of this info. Tolkien wrote, "The two twins were both red-haired. Nerdanel gave them both the name Ambarussa -- for they were much alike and remained so while they lived (a/n: why would anyone give two of their children the same name? Can anyone answer this?). When Feanor begged that their names should be at least different Nerdanel looked strange and after a while said: "Then let one be called [Ambarto >] Umbarto, but which, time will decide. Feanor was disturbed by this ominous name ('Fated'), and changed it to Ambarto -- or in some versions thought Nerdanel had said Ambarto, using the same first element as in Ambarussa . But Nerdanel said, "Umbarto I spoke; yet do as you wish. It will make no difference." Chris wrote that the material on the names of the twin brothers was very confusing, but he somehow worked out that Ambarussa was the elder of the two and Ambarto/Umbarto the younger. But this was switched around depending on which notes Chris was looking at. But they called one another Ambarussa. Amrod and Amras are both Sindarized names. There is a lot written about the Sindarization of the names of Finwe's other descendents -- Fingolfin and his children, Finarfin and his children, and Feanor -- but Chris said that the notes on the Sindarization of the names of Feanor's sons were pretty much illegible. He figured that Maedhros was the Sindarization of Nelyafinwe's mother name Maitimo and his nickname Russandol. He also worked out that Amros > Amras was the Sindarization of Ambarussa. There is nothing else written on the Sindarization of the other sons of Feanor (except I think Curufin is pretty self-explanatory considering his Quenya father-name is Curufinwe). HoME and Silm canon is amazing. You ask a simple question and it takes a thousand words to answer it. LOL.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Thanks! CLF

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

No problem. I know waaaay too much about the Silmarillion these days. Direct all obscure enquiries here.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Hi! One tidbit is that when they grew older, Amras' hair darkened, and people no longer had trouble telling them apart. Other than that, I think everything has been mentioned that was ever written canonically on them. EDIT - One interesting thing about Amrod's death at Losgar - it's assumed he chose to stay on the ship because he intended to sail back to Valinor and rejoin Nerdanel, as Feanor's actions had upset him.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Thanks. If I was going to write a fic with them, should I use their Sindarin names, or their regular names? I'm so confused . . . CLF

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

It's up to you. If you set your fic in Valinor, all the Noldor would call one another by their Quenya names. No need for Sindarin names until you get to a place where there are Sindar Elves. There is a dubious line in HoME that suggests no one called the youngest Ambarto, but there is a question mark by this line which tells me that Chris Tolkien couldn't read it very well and was guessing. So were they called Ambarussa 1 and Ambarussa 2? Who knows? My guess is that they used their father-names, which are Pityafinwe and Telufinwe respectively (yes, all Noldo had two, if not three names). However, Tolkien uses Sindarin names 98% of the time whether he is talking about Aman or Beleriand. In my fics so do I because I'm more familiar with them, the readers are more familiar with them, they are known in lore by those names, if Tolkien can do it so can I, and if I had to keep track of bunch of characters named Curufinwe, Arafinwe, Nolofinwe, Nelyafinwe, Kanafinwe, Turkafinwe, Kurufinwe, Morifinwe, and the two named above, I'd cry.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

One thing I've seen people do is use the Sindar versions of their names in all but the dialogue, but use the Father Names and/or Mother Names of the characters when they address each other when the fic is set in Aman. It's a lot easier for me to follow than when authors use the Quenya names throughout, as I got to know the characters by their Sindar names.

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

if I had to keep track of bunch of characters named Curufinwe, Arafinwe, Nolofinwe, Nelyafinwe, Kanafinwe, Turkafinwe, Kurufinwe, Morifinwe, and the two named above, I'd cry. I've seen stories like that. I, as the reader, cried... and spent half the story either not knowing who was doing which action, or sometimes not caring -- and sometimes giving up on reading the story... If you do choose to use Quenya names, please give your poor readers a character list (with Sindarin translations) in the first chapter! *Begs* - Barbara

 

 

Re: Amrod and Amras

Interesting...;) I find it easy memorising all those '-finwe' names - and quite enjoyable too. But then, that's just me.

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Research Questions

Stories linked to the forum