The Battle began on a winter's night, when Morgoth sent out rivers of flame, consuming Ard-galen. His armies of Balrogs and Orcs, led by Glaurung the dragon forced the highlands of Dorthonion, and took the fortresses of Angrod and Aegnor. Maglor's Gap was also taken, giving Morgoth an entry into Beleriand itself.
Maedhros' fortress on Himring held against the tide of foes, and so did the tower of Minas Tirith in the west, and the mountain forts of Ered Wethrin. Nonetheless, the Siege was broken, the sons of Fëanor scattered, and the forces of Morgoth roamed at will throughout the northern lands.
As the battle raged against the Mountains of Shadow, Fingolfin the High King of the Noldor rode in anger across the dust of Anfauglith and challenged Morgoth to single combat. At the doors of Angband itself, they fought a great duel, but though Morgoth was wounded, Fingolfin was destroyed by the Hammer of the Underworld.