Fingolfin was the first of the two children born to Finwë's second wife, Indis. He and his younger brother Finarfin were half-brothers to Fëanor. He led those of the Noldor who had been deserted by Fëanor over the Helcaraxë. Once in Beleriand, Fingolfin established his people in the region of Hithlum and prepared for a long war. After the death of Feanor, Fingolfin was named the High King of the Noldor.
During the Dagor Bragollach, Fingolfin challenged Morgoth to single
combat as told in the Silmarillion:
Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumor of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable unblazoned, cast a shadow over him like a stormcloud. But Fingolfin gleamed beneath it as a star; for his mail was overlaid with silver, and his blue shield was set with crystals; and he drew his sword Ringil, that glittered like ice.
Then Morgoth hurled aloft Grond, the Hammer of the Underworld, and swung it down like a bolt of thunder. But Fingolfin sprang aside, and Grond rent a mighty pit in the earth whence smoke and fire darted. Many times Morgoth essayed to smite him, and each time Fingolfin leaped away, as a lighting shoots from under a dark cloud; and he wounded Morgoth with seven wounds, and seven times Morgoth gave a cry of anguish, whereat the hosts of Angband fell upon their faces in dismay, and the cries echoed in the Northlands.
But at last the King grew weary, and Morgoth bore down his shield upon him. Thrice he was crushed to his knees, and thrice arose again and bore up his broken shield and stricken helm. But the earth was all rent and pitted about him, and he stumbled and fell backward before the feet of Morgoth; and Morgoth set his left foot upon his neck, and the weight of it was like a fallen hill. Yet with his last and desperate stroke Fingolfin hewed the foot with Ringil, and the blood gushed forth black and smoking and filled the pits of Grond.
Thus died Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, most proud and valiant of the Elven-Kings of old. The Orcs made no boast of that duel at the gate; neither do the Elves sing of it, for their sorrow is too deep. (S. 184-185)
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