Lyrics Analysis

Here you get the analysis of the lyrics of "Nightfall in Middle Earth". If there is anything wrong in your eyes or if you have any suggestions, feel free to mail me!

All the lyrics on the album are about the book "The Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien. For those of you who don't know the book it is unpossible to understand the lyrics - it's even difficult to understand my explanations on it. That's why I have written a summary of the Silmarillion (you can also read it on the Tolkien page).

Font explanations:
Red:    Comments on the whole song
White and italic:    Parts of the lyrics
Blue:    Comments on these text passages

War of Wrath

It is about the last Great Battle of Beleriad when the Valar beat Morgoth (or Melkor) once and for all after Earendil had brought back one Silmaril to Valinor. Actually this war is at the end of the 'Quenta Silmarillion' and I am not sure why it's at the beginning of the album. Here is Juergen Bartholomae's theory: It is in the present, and Melkor and Sauron are remembering past times. Melkor's words about Ungolianth are a good link to the following song.

"The field is lost, everything is lost. The black one has fallen from the sky and the towers in ruins lie. The enemy is within, everywhere - and with him the light. Soon they will be here. Go now, my lord, while there is time. There are places below." 
The Valar were victorious. The 'black one' is the first winged and greates dragon Ancalagon. He fell on the towers after Earendil had smashed him down. Sauron, a Maia and Melkor's most powerful servant want his lord to flee.
"And you know them too. I release thee, go! My servant you'll be for all time."
Melkor releases Sauron so that he shall carry on the evil.
(As you can read in The Lord Of The Ring - he did)
I had a part in everything. Twice I destroyed the light and twice I failed. I left ruin behind me when I returned. But I also carried ruin with me. She, the mistress of her own lust.
Melkor destroyed the light twice in the very early days of Arda. The second time was when he destroyed the trees (the 'ruin'). 'She' is Ungolianth, the great spider monster who helped him to destroy the trees.

Into the Storm

Melkor and Unolianth have destroyed the two trees of Valinor, robbed the Silmarils and slain Finwe (high lord of the Noldor). The song is just about the small scene when Melkor tried to flee from the spider, who demands what the Dark Lord had promissed: The Silmarils. The song is written from Ungoliath's view - except the Bridge: it's from Melkor's view - and the chorus: from Melkor's subjects view

Give it to me
I must have it
Precious treasure
I deserve it

Ungolianth demands the Silmarils as Melkor had promissed her.

Where can I run
How can I hide
The Silmarils
Gems of treelight
Their life belongs to me
Oh it's sweet how the
Darkness is floating around

Melkor tries to run away because he never really thought of giving the Silmarils to the spider. 

We are following
The will of the one
Through the dark age
And into the storm
And we are following
The will of the one
Through the dark age
And into the storm
Lord I'm mean

These are the Balrogs who rushed to Melkor's aid, who had been attacked by the spider.


Morgoth is calling for help after Ungoliant, a giant spider, has attacked him in the far Northeast of Middle Earth. The echos of his call should last eternally, so that this land was called Lammoth (the Great Echo) from then on.


This song shows the situation in Valinor after Melkor and Ungolianth had destroyed the trees. The trees, which illuminated the world up to then, are gone and darkness covered the land. The Silmarils, all the proud of the Noldor were stolen and their high lord Finwe was slain by Melkor. In my oppinion this song is written from Maglor's view (one of Feanor's sons) and out of his memories, since the booklet story written by Hansi is also from his view.

No sign of life did flicker
In floods of tears she cries
"All hope's lost it can't be undone
They're wasted and gone"

The trees are gone and Yavanna, who once created them, cries for them.

"Save me your speeches
I know ("They blinded us all")
What you want
You will take it away from me
Take it and I know for sure
The light she once brought in
Is gone forevermore"

This is from Feanor's view. He believed in many lies Melkor told him once. Thus he thought the only thing the Valar wanted are the Silmarils. "They blinded us all" also referes to the Valar. 

Like sorrowful seagull they sang
"(We're) lost in the deep shades
The misty cloud brought
(A wailing when beauty was gone
Come take a look at the sky)
Monstrous it covered the shore
Fearful into the unknown"
Quietly it crept in new horror
Insanity reigned
It spilled the first blood
When the old king was slain

This is about the nightfall and the destruction of the trees. "The old king" is Finwe and he was slain by Melkor before he (Melkor) robbed the Silmarils. It was the first blood that was spilled in the following great war between Melkor and the Noldor. Also it was the first spilled blood in Aman.

"How long shall we mourn in the dark
The bliss and the beauty will no return
Say farewell to sadness and grief
Though long and hard the road my be"
But even in silence I heard the words
"An oath we shall swear
By the name of the one
Until the world's end
It can be broken"

This is Feanor's great speech to the Noldor. He forced them to go with him to Middle-Earth to take revenge on Melkor and to get back the Silmarils. He swor a terrible oath in the name of Ilúvatar, the One (or Eru).

Just wondering how
I can still hear these voices inside

That's why I think it's from Maglor's view.

The words of a banished king
"I swear revenge"
Filled with anger aflamed our hearts
Full of hate full of pride
We screamed for revenge

Also about Feanor and his reaction to Finwe's (his father) death. It's a great part of the song where the lyrics and how Hansi sings them fit exactly with the situation.

"Valar he is that's what you said
Then your oath's been sworn in vain
(But) freely you came and
You freely shall depart
(So) never trust the northern winds
And never turn your back on friends"

When the Noldor were about to leave Valinor some messengers of the Valar came to warn them. Feanor himself said that Melkor was Vala too. Thus his oath was in vain since no elf would have a chance against a Vala. But they didn't stop him.

"Oh I'm heir of the high lord!
"You better don't trust him"
The enemy of mine
Isn't he of your kind and
Finally you may follow me
He said

Feanor is after his father's death the new high lord.
He still doesn't trust the Valar and thus he doesn't care about their warning. He says that Melkor is a Valar (as they said to him) and thus they are from the same kind. His words were so strong that the messengers bowed for him. Then they left.

The Ministrel

This song is absolutely unimportant for the story. In my oppinion it's again Maglor who stands in front of the crowd and doesn't know at all what lies in the future of the Noldor.

The Curse of Feanor

The Curse of Feanor in the Silmarillion is a curse a messanger of the Valar (many thought it was Mandos himself) spoke over Feanor and the Noldor after they had slain the Teleri to get their ships.

Taken the long way
Dark realms I went through
I arrived
My vision's so clear
In anger and pain
I left deep wounds behind
But I arrived
Truth might be changed my victory

Feanor and his tribe have finally reached Middle-Earth. His vision is of course nothing different than revenge.

Beyond the void but deep within me
A swamp of filth exists
A lake it was of crystal beauty
But Arda's spring went by
I've heard the warning
Well curse my name
I'll keep on laughing
No regret
No regret

Deep inside him Feanor knows that he has done wrong (the murder of the Teleri). But even though he heard the curse he only thinks of his revenge - there is 'No regret'.

Don't fear the eyes of the dark lord
Morgoth I cried
All hope is gone but I swear revenge
It's my oath
I will take part in your damned fate

This is again about his oath. After Melkor had destroyed the trees (and so on) Feanor named him 'Morgoth' (Black Enemy of the World) the first time.

I will always remember their cries
Like a shadow which covers the light
I will always remember the time
But it's last
I cannot turn back time
(I) don't look back
There's still smoke near the shore
But I arrived
Revenge be mine

Here are again Feanor's twingels of remorse about what they have done to their brothers, the Teleri. But at once he turns his mind back to his oath (so to say).

Soon you will be free
Set your spirit free
"Suddenly I realized
The Prophecies
I've never believed in
My deeds were wrong
I've stained the land
And slain my kin
(Burning soul)
There's no release from my sins
It hurts
Time and only time will tell us
Tell: was I right or wrong?
When anger breaks through
I'll leave mercy behind "

Here you can see that he is really sorry about his deed and that he regrets it. It's quite strange since nowhere in the book is written anything about those kinds of feelings. But you can imagine that he really felt like this.


After Feanor had died Maedhros (Feanor oldest son) were catched by Morgoth and chained to the cruel mountains of Thangorodrim. Here is Morgoth talking to him.

Blood Tears

Fingon, who was a friend of Maedhros in earlier days, went to the mountains of Thangorodrim to rescue him.

Welcome to my realm
We are both condemned to live
It's a dark fate
(I can hear your calls
I can hear your calls)

Here is Morgoth talking to Maedhros - he 'welcomes' him.

My mind's in frozen dreams
The rotten flesh
Or bitter lies
Welcome to where time stands still
Noone leaves and noone ever will

Again it's Morgoth talking to Maedhros.

Can't hold it
It burns
Each night I cry in pain

This is Maedhros and the pain he is suffering.

It seems so clearly
Bent the bow
Cause life in me is gone
And a cruel wind's blowing cold
And a cruel wind's blowing cold
In blame

When Fingon reached Maedhros it was impossible to climb up to the rock his friend was chained to. In his pain Maedhros asked Fingon to shoot him with his bow. But then Thorondor, king of eagles, took him up to his friend.

And blood tears I cry
Endless grief remained inside
Cut off your old friends hand

To rescue Maedhros from his chains Fingon had to cut off his right hand.

 Mirror Mirror

This song is about Gondolin. Mainly how Turgon (one of Fingolfin's sons) found the hidden valley of Tumladen and how he built his magnificent town.

I lies unknown
The land of mine
A hidden gate
To save us from the shadow fall

This is about Tumladen, the hidden valley, which Turgon found with Ulmo's help.

The Lord of Water spoke
In the silence
Words of wisdom
I've seen the end of all
Be aware the storm gets closer

Ulmo the Lord of Water send visions to Turgon's dreams about the place he should built a place of refuge. The 'strom' (the truimph of evil) is getting closer.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall
True hope lies beyond the coast
You're a damned kind can't you see
That the winds will change
Mirror, Mirror on the wall
True hope lies beyond the coast
You're a damned kind can't you see
That tomorrow bears insanity

This 'Mirror Mirror' has no meaning - and also no sense in the context (But I can mail you the reason why if you want to - just contact me!).
'True hope lies beyond the cost' are the words Ulmo said to Turgon - since the only hope for the Noldor to survive is to return to Aman. Morgoth's power is too great.

Gone is the wisdom of
A thousand years
A world in fire in chains and fear
Leads me to a place so far
Deep down it lies my secret vision
I better keep it safe

This is how Turgon returned to the valley when the land lied down in agony to built Gondolin - the hidden town - and to keep it safe and secret.

Shall I leave my friends alone
Hidden in my twilight hall
(I) know the world is lost in fire
Sure there is no way to turn it
Back to the old day
Of bliss and cheerful laughter
We're lost in barren lands
Caught in the running flames alone

Maybe (!) this is many years later when Turgon had to make the decision either to help outside of Gondolin and fight agaist Morgoth's troops or to stay in his town. He stayed - the reasons you can read in the lyrics.

Shall we dare the dragon
Merciless he's poisoning our hearts
Our hearts

The dragon is Glaurung, the great worm, the most powerful of Morgoth's creatures.

Face the Truth

Here a Noldo of Fingolfin's tribe is speaking - maybe Fingolfin himself. He talks about the first appearance of the moon and about the Noldors' destiny.

Noldor (Dead Winter Reigns)

This song is about the Noldor's dark fate and mainly about Fingolfin's way across the Helcaraxe. It's also mainly written from his view.

Blood is on your hands
Your bane's
A tearful destiny

Just about the Noldors' fate. There's blood on their hands after they have slain the Teleri.

We were lost
On grinding ice
I fear and hunger
Dead winter reigned
In Araman

This is about Fingolfin's trail through the ice mountains over the Great Sea to Middle-Earth. Araman is the northern region of Aman.

(You) can't escape
From my damnation
(Nor) run away
From isolation

I don't know what this is about. Maybe it's Fingolfin talking about Feanor, who left him back in Aman. It also can be the Curse of Feanor again when Mandos cursed him. Or it's someone cursing Morgoth...

Guilty spoke the one
This deed can't be undone
Hear my words
Fear my curse

It's the same with this part. Choose the version which fits best in your eyes.

I know where the stars glow
(And the) sky's unclouded
Sweet the water runs my friends
(But) Noldor
Blood is on your hands
Tears unnumbered
You will shet and dwell in pain

This is the way the Noldor thought of Middle-Earth - it's just a vision. This imaginations drove them to cross the Great Sea towards east in any case. This 'blood' is again from their murder of the Teleri. The last two lines are the actual way it developed later.

Your homeless souls
Shall come to me
There's no release
Slain you might be
Slain you will be
Slain you will be
And lost
Who will not reach the
House of spirits
(Will) grow old and weary

This is Mandos speaking the curse.

I've seen this bitter end
As I've foreseen
The storm and ice
And I could see it
(How) a million died
And I?
The blame's on me
Cause I was not there

Hmm... difficult. Maybe this is Maedhros. He (and Maglor perhaps) was the one of Feanor's sons who regret the Noldors' deeds most.

Dead winter reigns
And tomorrow's still unknown
Condemned and betrayed
Now everything is said
See my eyes
Are full of tears
And a cruel pride
We've paid
But still I can't claim
That I'm innocent

This is from Fingolfin's view when he (and his tripe of course) had to cross the ice mountains of the Helcaraxe because Feanor had left him back.

The Battle of Sudden Flame

This song is about Dagor Bragollach - the Battle of Sudden flame. In this great battle Morgoth made fire spreading through the lands and his creatures - Glaurung (the first dragon), Balrogs and thousands of Orcs wasted it and murdered everything. A great victory for Morgoth.  Maybe Fingolfin, high lord of all Noldor, is speaking. Maybe he notices the great destruction and decides to leave towards Angband to dare Morgoth.

Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)

This song is about Fingolfin who rides to Angband and dares the Dark Lord. After a hard fight he finally was smashed down by Morgoth. This is my favourite scene in The Silmarillion and Hansi has made really great lyrics on it.

Finally I've found myself
In these lands
Horror and madness I've seen here
For what I became a king of the lost?
Barren and lifeless the land lies

Fingolfin decides to ride against the Dark Lord after the Battle of Sudden Flame.

Lord of all Noldor
A star in the night
And a bearer of hope
He rides into his
Glorious battle alone
Farewell to the valiant warlord

Just a description of Fingolfin when he rode to Anband.

The Fate of us all
Lies deep in the dark
When time stands still at iron hill

The iron hills are the hills around Angband (Later mountains in the far Northeast of Middle-Earth were called like this - they have nothing to do with this song).

I stand alone
Noone's by my side
I'll dare you
Come out
You coward
Now it's me or you

Well, clearly! Fingolfin has reached Angband and dares Morgoth.

He gleams like a star
And the sound of his horn's
Like a raging storm
Proudly the high lord
Challenges the doom
Lord of slaves he cries

Again a description of Fingolfin when he dares the Dark Lord.

Slowly in fear
The dark lord appears
Welcome to my lands
You shall be damned

Morgoth comes out of his fortress. It was the first and the last time he took a weapon and fought personally against an enemy.

The iron crowned
Is getting closer
Swings his hammer
Down on him
Like a thunderstorm
He's crushing
Down the Noldor's
Proudest king

After a long and hard fight Morgoth finally hits Fingolfin with his hammer Grond. But before the elfen king has wounded Morgoth seven times with his sword Ringil. 

Under my foot
So hopeless it seems
You've troubled my day
Now fell the pain

After Morgoth had smashed him down he put his foot on Fingolfin (yes, Morgoth was veeery big).

The Elvenking's broken
He stumbles and falls
The most proud and most vailant
His spirit survives
Praise our king

Finally Fingolfin dies. But his spirit lives on and he and his great fight has never been forgotten. He was the greates and most valiant of all Noldor.

The Dark Elf

The dark elf was Eol. He married Aredhel from Gondolin and their son Maeglin was born. He later came to Gondolin. And in the end he became a betrayer.


This song is about Maeglin and how he bacame a betrayer. The lyrics of this song are quite difficult to understand and thus I'm not sure at all whether everything I have written is correct...

A black swan
Is born in that night
The misty pond
(Has) got a new king
Got a new king
So what can we do
With our lifes
When it all begins
It's hard and
It's cruel
Will grace die in pain?
Will light ever rise again?

Mainly this is about Maeglin's burth.

I'm trapped in darkness
Still I reach out for the stars
I'm moving in silence
I leave it all far behind

Maeglin secretly left the dark forest he was born and went to the glorious town of Gondolin. Or it could be when Maeglin  left Gondolin several times against Turgon's order..

Let us march on
To the fields of sacrifice
(I'm) wondering why
I'll carry on
Will I betray myself
To rise
In the silence
It's time to explain
(And) search for truth in lies
Useful lies
Needless love's damned

This is (maybe) about the fight inside of Maeglin about what to do.  This 'love' is his love to Idril, Turgon's daughter. But she doesn't love him at all.
Later Meaglin was catched by Morgoth who promissed him to become a great king under his command if he told him where to find Gondolin.

Come and follow me
And you will see
How it will be
When all the pain is gone away

This is Morgoth talking to Maeglin when he catched and tortured him.

Let us march on
Though there's no hope at our side
Let us be brave
Though by glory we are denied
But don't you think
It's time for us
To bring to an end
Come play the song of death
The wisdom in us both
Will make it
Special guaranteed
Play the song of death

It's again the fight inside Maeglin. In some parts Morgoth talks to him to make him betray Gondolin.

I'm lost in the depth of this eyes
I can't flee
Inner pain caused insanity
It's deep within
The fear and the hunger
Enslaved and denied
By my love and my enemies
I'm the illgotten son

This is Maeglin when he couldn't endure the torture any more and betrayed Gondolin.

The Eldar

'The Eldar' is about Finrod (Finarfin's son) who died in Minas Tirith (it's not the one mentioned in 'The Lord Of The Rings') after a fight with one of Sauron's wolfs who was about to kill Beren. Finrod, who was the first who met the men coming from the east, was dead. It's a very emotional song.

I've seen the moon
And the first sunrise
I'll leave it to the memories
And kiss the wind goodbye

Finrod is about to die. He remembers earlier days when the sun and the moon appeared.

I've tasted poison
When I drank the wine of fate
But fear was in my heart
I realized too late
The house of spirits' call

This very metaphoric part says that he dared too much by trying to get one of the Silmarils in Morgoth's crown (that's why they were prisoned in Minas Tirith).

Nom the Wise

Here Beren is mourning for his dead friend Finrod. He was a very good friend of men and they called him 'Nom The Wise'.

When Sorrow Sang

This is about the story of Lúthien (Thingol's and Melian's daughter) and Beren. In order to be allowed to be together Beren had to bring Thingol one of the Silmarils in Morgoth's crown. Thingol wanted Beren to do this in order to get rid of him since he wanted to give his daughter to a human. But they (Lúthien went with him) finally managed this incredible task. But after that Beren was killed by a great one of Morgoth's wolfs.  The song is now about Beren's death and how he returned to the world of living. It's one of the very few "bright" stories in this dark time of evil.

So let me out of it
Out of the cold
To bring back light and hope for all
 And so if I could get you in
Just for a little while
Into my songs of sorrow
You might understand
Where am I now
Beyond the dawn
(Where) hope's turned to dust
At all
Immortal love's
Fooled by the hands of doom
That love means death
I realized too soon

This is Beren and he realizes that he is dead.

Caught in the afterlife
I've gone too far
When sorrow sang softly and sweet
The air was filled with tears
Full of sadness and grief
When sorrow sang softly and sweet

Also Beren who is 'caught' in the afterlife while his love (Lúthien) is still in 'real life'.

I feel like screaming
But I can't breath in
Shall I wane right now
I will not leave this
World of living
Till she has said

Beren doesn't want to leave until he has said goodbye to Lúthien.

Out in the cold
I still wait for her call
And her last kiss
It shall be release
I can't forget her
Her face will not leave
From the depth of my soul
I long for her

Beren waits at the shores of the Great Outer Sea for a last kiss from Lúthien.

So I heard all about it
Her voice's so clear
She's woven both themes in there
Moved me to tears
The world shall hear this sad song
Song of sorrow song of grief
Can't change the way of his kind
Can't change the way of her kind

This is from Mandos' view. Lúthien went to his halls in order to get Beren back. And she sang a sad song in which she wove both the theme of elves and the theme of men. And Manwe let her choose either to become mortal and return with Beren to Middle-Earth or to return immortal (just like before) without Beren. She has chosen the first one.

Out on the Water

From then on Lúthien and Beren lived an small island in Middle-Earth. This land was called 'The island of the dead that live'. They lived there until they died there together.

The Steadfast

This is Morgoth speaking to Húrin, the greates warrior of all men. He was called 'Húrin The Steadfast'. Morgoth talks here about his final victory after the Fifth Great Battle.

A Dark Passage

This song is about the fifth battle, Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of the unnumbered tears). It was a devastating battle in which Morgoth won about the elves. He only could do this because among the men there were the ones form Ulfang's house who betrayed the elves and fought on Morgoth's side. Actually this song is after this battle when the evil has already won.

I feel cold
Facing the darkness
The light's gone away
Deep in his castle he said
All land'll be mine
There's one thing for sure
The triumph of shadow is near
Deep in his castle they sang
We shall not rest
Until all will be thyne

This is about Morgoth enjoying his great victory

Smashed down the light
I will not rest till I'm king
Valinor's empty now
Allied the elves and men
They shall be damned

Here Morgoth talks about or thinks of this victorious battle.

Just wondering how
In the darkness
They found their way
To the right place
Children of the sun
Second kindred
We call their race
Treat them kindly
Born in the east
(Are the) nightfearer
They moved westwards
Towards the sunshine
(They are) morning breath like
Short's their life
(Like) dawn passes by
When the day comes

This is a description of the men when they came from the east. It's in the song since because of the men's betrayal this victory was possible for Morgoth.

The field was lost
(And) hope had passed away
The sun went down
Beyond the sea
Dark was the hour
But day shall come again

Here the battle from the elves view

Clean my wounds
Wash away all fear
Let courage be mine
Noone hears me crying

Maybe this is Húrin. Morgoth caught him after this battle.

Sit down on your chair
And look out for your kin
With my eyes you'll see
And with my ears you'll hear
You troubled my day
And you've questioned my strength
(But) don't mess
With the master of fate

When Morgoth caught Húrin, the Dark Lord put him onto a chair on the top of the mountains of Thangorordrim to watch his dying tribe and family and all the agony in the destroyed land.

Final Chapter (Thus Ends...)

This is a narrator who tells the end of the story
"Thus ends the fifth battle. By the treachery of men the field is lost. The night falls and great is the triumph of evil. The league is broken.The last vestige of hope lives in the hidden king. Only he troubles the dark one's mind. Only he could bring ruin to the black foe. Though the land lies down in agony and the curse lives on, a new star shall arise. And a new day shall come again." The treachery of men is the betrayal of Uldor (Ulfang's son). The only hope lives in Turgon in the hidden town of Gondolin. The start that shall arise is Earendil who later brought a Silmaril back to Valinor and fought with the Valar in the following Great Battle (War of Wrath) against Melkor.