Also called Curufinwë (meaning 'skillful son of Finwë'). The name 'Fëanor' was given to him by his mother, and meant 'spirit of fire'.

Fëanor was the eldest son of Finwë, Lord of the Noldor, and the half-brother to Fingolfin and Finarfin. His mother, Miriel Serindë, gave so much of herself when giving birth to him that she died. He was tall with hair dark like a raven, and had piercing eyes.

His wife's name was Nerdanel and she bore to him seven sons: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod and Amras. No elf has ever born that many children again.

In Valinor, he made three stones to capture the light of the Two Trees and he called them the Silmarils. When Melkor stole them, and slew his father Finwë, Fëanor rebelled against the Valar. He and his sons then made the dreadful Oath of Fëanor, swearing that none of them would rest until the Silmarils were back in their hands.

He fought for, and stole, the ships of the Teleri when they would not give them up willingly, causing the first Kin-slaying. Once those who traveled with Fëanor were ashore the lands of Middle-earth, he ordered that the ships be burned. Because of this, Fingolfin and his followers had to make their own way to Middle-earth by crossing the Helcaraxë. For these deeds, Fëanor and his followers were cursed by Mandos and were exiled.

On his return to Middle-earth, Fëanor immediately marched onward to Angband, though outnumbered by Morgoth's host of Orcs and Balrogs. He was eventually slain by Gothmog the Balrog, and after his death, his body was consumed by flame and fell to ash, thus he earned at last the name his mother gave him, 'spirit of fire'. That was in the first year of the First Age.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Scattergold