Gothmog died to a charge attack with a helmet. That's not a show of superior strength. Ecthelion was a badass, but he wasn't a top-tier elf, which is why he was guarding a gate.
Elrond might be stronger than either. He is part Maiar, had a Ring of Power, and did well during the first war with Sauron. Gil-Galad outranked him, and may have been more powerful while he was alive, but the longer-lived Elrond with his part-angelic bloodline likely surpassed him. Glorfindel was bordering on Maiar-levels of power after his rebirth, so he could be stronger, or a peer, but the power levels are rather nebulous.
If we're allowing part Maia, then the answer is Luthien.
Can she beat Feanor or Fingolfin in a sword fight? No.
But she ****ing knocked out Morgoth with her enchantment. She is easily one of the most magically powerful characters in the setting, probably only under Sauron (As well as some other top-tier Maia probably) and the Valar.
In The Silmarillion it says "Long he fought on, and undismayed, though he was wrapped in fire and wounded with many wounds; but at the last he was smitten to the ground by Gothmog..."
The number of Balrogs is never mentioned in this passage, so we don't know how many did fight against Feanor.
Why Gothmog and co. worked hard for it? They were fighting against Feanor, that explains much.
Most powerful elf is Luthien and Fëanor (who was pronounced the most powerful of all Eru's children, which means he should be more powerful, but I'll give Luthien the benefit of the doubt, especially since her power could effect even Morgoth), quote from Sil 'For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar.' And in Morgoth's Ring it's said of Fëanor, "This child is the greatest in gifts that hath arisen or shall arise among the Eldar." And Mandos says, "Aule nameth Feanor the greatest of the Eldar, and in potency that is true."
Strongest elf in combat is Fingolfin and Fëanor.
Last edited by Kaldin on Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:04 AM
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Fëanor did fight more than one Balrog, he was proclaimed the 'mightiest' and 'most powerful' of all of 'Illuvatar's children' for a reason.
'Thus it was that he (Fëanor) drew far ahead of the van of his host; and seeing this the servants of Morgoth turned to bay, and there issued from Angband Balrogs to aid them. There upon the confines of Dor Daedeloth, the land of Morgoth, Fëanor was surrounded, with few friends about him.' The Silmarillion.
He was surrounded by Balrog's. Obviously there is much dispute over the exact number of Balrog's but the passage is pretty clear.
Fëanor's power was so great that his body literately turned to ash because it couldn't handle his 'flame.'
He managed to create the Palantír, and not even Sauron could properly control the Palantír or fully comprehend them. He also made the Silmarils that even Aule couldn't fully gauge.
Last edited by Kaldin on Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:06 AM