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Do we know what the actual words spoken by Feanor and his sons were when they swore the Oath of Fëanor in Tirion?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, the full text is given in the tenth volume of the History of Middle Earth published by J.R.R Tolkien's son, Morgoth's Ring

Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean
Brood of Morgoth or bright Vala,
Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
Neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
Dread nor danger, not Doom itself
Shall defend him from Fëanáro, and Fëanáro's kin,
Whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
Finding keepeth or afar casteth
A Silmaril. This swear we all...
Death we will deal him ere Day's ending,
Woe unto world's end! Our word hear thou,
Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
Darkness doom us if our deed faileth...
On the holy mountain hear in witness
and our vow remember,
Manwë and Varda!

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  • 2
    The final version of the wording is in HoME 10 but it's largely unchanged from this.
    – user8719
    Mar 22, 2014 at 11:41
  • The text you quoted is not found anywhere in The Lays of Beleriand.
    – ibid
    Jul 22, 2021 at 23:08
  • I'm going to guess that you got this from LotR Wikia? You have the same typos as they have, and at the time you posted this answer they were misattributing this to The Lays of Beleriand.
    – ibid
    Jul 22, 2021 at 23:15
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J.R.R. Tolkien wrote at least four versions of the oath.

The Lays of Beleriand contains three of them. Here they are, in the order in which we suppose Tolkien wrote them.

From chapter 2 ("Poems Early Abandoned"), circa 1918 - 1920s, in The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor, lines 132 - 141:

Be he friend or foe or foul offspring
of Morgoth Bauglir, be he mortal dark
that in after days on earth shall dwell,
shall no law nor love nor league of Gods,
no might nor mercy, not moveless fate,
defend him for ever from the fierce vengeance
of the sons of Fëanor, whoso seize or steal
or finding keep the fair enchanted
globes of crystal whoso glory dies not,
the Silmarils. We have sworn for ever!

From chapter 3 ("The Lay of Leithian"), circa 1928, in Canto VI, lines 1628 - 1643:

Be he friend or foe, or seed defiled
of Morgoth Bauglir, or mortal child
that in after days on earth shall dwell,
no law, no love, nor league of hell,
not might of Gods, not moveless fate
shall him defend from wrath and hate
of Fëanor's sons, who takes or steals
or finding keeps the Silmarils,
the thrice-enchanted globes of light
that shine until the final night.

Also in Canto VI, a third version of the oath appears only a few lines later, lines 1848 - 1857:

Be he friend or foe, or demon wild
or Morgoth, Elf, or mortal child,
or any that here on earth may dwell,
no law, nor love, nor league of hell,
no might of Gods, no binding spell,
shall him defend from hatred fell
of Fëanor's sons, whoso take or steal
or finding keep a Silmaril.
These we alone do claim by right,
our thrice-enchanted jewels bright.

I believe a fourth version can be found in Morgoth's Ring (History of Middle Earth, volume 10). Alas, I do not have a copy of it myself, but it looks like Eurkea's answer contains that version.

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