Full summary [minor spoilers]

First Age, 467. The incredible story of Beren Erchamion and Lúthien Tinúviel spreads to every corner of Beleriand, but the only detail of their heroic adventures Maedhros, Lord of Himring and Warden of the East cares about is that they managed to steal a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown. He decides to reunite the People of Beleriand against the Enemy and attack him while he is still unprepared. To win, Maedhros would need not only the support of the High King Fingon and the lords of Men and Dwarves but also the aid of Thingol and Orodreth, the rulers of Doriath and Nargothrond; thus, he seeks to bend them to his cause, trying to master the pride of his brothers and the distrust of the Úmanyar at the same time. He and his faithful counsellor Tyelcano work hard to maintain order in the East – fruitlessly, it would seem. But the deeds of Beren and Lúthien are not only known to the Fëanoreans; nor are they the only ones to cherish vengefulness in their hearts.

News of the freshly formed alliance reach even the sealed kingdom of Gondolin; the swiftly rising hope and the desire to overthrow Morgoth's reign in the North seem to crack the rigid traditions of law and decision-making in the Hidden City. King Turgon decides to take matters into his own hands, and a small group of his captains and trusted advisors are forced to battle their own convictions to serve their King. Meanwhile, Lord Glorfindel of the Golden Flower pursues the meaning of his recurring nightmares, only to find himself in the centre of a secret ploy against the ever-growing power of Maeglin Lómion in the King's Council.

The People of Beleriand are astir; and as the strings of our heroes' fates tangle, a dark shadow creeps above the North – the Fifth Battle approaches. And to what end, no one could dream...


Warnings

This story is rated T due to implied adult themes, minor coarse language, and graphic descriptions of violence.

'The Seven Gates' has been / is being written as an attempt in canonical gap-filling, with two liberties taken: #1 the role of Counsellor Tyelcano and #2 the existence of Curufin's daughter, Erenis. Anything else in this story is my take or speculation on the canon – explications of minor divergences and/or choices of interpretation can be found in the footnotes of adequate chapters, as do linguistic notes.

All songs, lays or poems within the narrative frame are a) my own creations or b) credited in the footnotes.

THE COVER IMAGE WAS MADE & IS OWNED BY THE WONDERFUL ARTIST CATHERINE CHMIEL.


Disclaimer

The characters, names and places from J. R. R. Tolkien's works have been used without the successor's official permission, and fall solely under the copyright of the Tolkien Estate. Publishing fanfiction doesn't bring me any financial gain.

However, all original characters appearing in the works below belong under my general copyright.


FOREWORD

"In those days Maedhros son of Fëanor lifted up his heart, perceiving that Morgoth was not unassailable; for the deeds of Beren and Lúthien were sung in many songs throughout Beleriand. Yet Morgoth would destroy them all, one by one, if they could not again unite, and make new league and common council; and he began those counsels for the raising of the fortunes of the Eldar that are called the Union of Maedhros."

(J. R. R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion ; XX. Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad)

Every time I read the twentieth chapter of The Silmarillion, it leaves me with more questions than perhaps all the others united. The Sons of Fëanor have already captured my heart by the time I got there in the book (despite themselves), and most of the questions I've raised began with "How", "Why", "When" and "What for". What did Maedhros say when the news of the stolen Silmaril first reached him? How did he feel about the deeds of Celegorm and Curufin? Who came up with the idea of the Union in the first place? What steps led to the expulsion of Orcs from Beleriand, and what role did the Dwarves have in it all? Did something change in Fingon's and Maedhros's relationship with the former becoming High King? And what about those Easterlings? Were they evil to the core, or were they just deeply misled?

And what exactly led Celebrimbor to disowning his father?

And how the hell did Turgon arrive just in time…?!

Knowing that scepsis and inscience leads to deep frustration, I decided to try and answer my own questions. I hope many of you will like this little tale, and consider it as a possible take on what on Arda could have happened.

Have a great read,

Laerthel


PROLOGUE

An Ode to the Fallen
(as sung in the Hall of Fire by those who still remember)

Torches burnt low and darkness grew
in starlight's gleam hope stirred anew
in weary hearts of iron hewn
on brows clouded by icy gloom.

Proud kings fled and proud realms failed
our lands devoured by fire;
bury the dead and clean the mead
were all my heart's desire;

But lo! New threat comes from the North
along with hope, though be it false!
New hordes of Orcs are stepping forth
let thus a tale of woes be told;

Of he who walks in starlight,
who drapes himself in clouds
He who hides in caves and breaches,
icy peaks that Darkness shrouds;

Of he who climbed those Mountains
where all paths find their ends;
of he who found pride, worth and might
where plague, danger and evil dwelt:

Of he who was not without fear
but strong enough he was;
of he whose fate, though hard to bear,
was still the one he chose;

And all those swords and all that light
and all those clear eyes burning bright;
O! Let me sing of silent nights,
of mighty deeds and twinkling stars;

Our Bane with valor in the midst
with life in death's embrace
as proud armies rode in the mist
with the worst of foes to face;

Our Alliance, our deepest sorrow
let our Great Tale begin!
Let the light of day stir by the morrow
while crows feast on our kin.