Amph The History of Middle Earth Chronologically: Disc. Of Maeglin

Discussion in 'Community' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Given the truncated posts issue and the fact that I'm posting my reviews on another site now, I thought I would link to a page where you can get some of them since they can no longer be read in this thread.

    Here is my Lord of the Rings page: Dangerous Thing Going Out Your Door: A Chronological History of Middle Earth

    The newest one I have up is the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, so I still have a lot to post, but I'll eventually get them all up on that site, whether the truncated posts get restored or not! :)

    If you're wondering, given my chronological journeys through the Star Wars universe and Chris Carter's television universe, if I need some sort of medication . . . well, keep wondering, but if you figure it out, let me know, yes?

    This thread is exactly what it claims to be. It's a chronological journey through the story of Middle Earth. I've previously read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I've never cracked the Silmarillion, investigated any of the unfinished tales or looked The History of Middle Earth. So, the time is right, I think.

    I'll be using [link=http://www.timelineuniverse.net/MiddleEarth/MiddleEarthChronology.htm]this timeline.[/link] There are plenty on the net, but I've chosen this one for several reasons.

    Number One: this one is purely based around the texts; a lot of the timelines/chronologies I've found are based around events and would require some work to figure out exactly which texts they refer too.

    Number two: I'll be getting a lot of books from the library and, unlike, some very famous chronologies, this doesn't require me having all the books at once and writing all over them.

    Number three: this timeline is the most complete that I've found. It includes a lot of bits from The History of Middle Earth, though it doesn't include any rough draft material, just stories that were never quite told anywhere else or not told in much detail. It also includes, and this may be controversial, LOTR EU, those very few stories written in the brief window between Tolkien's death and the decision of the Tolkien estate to shut the door completely on letting anyone else work in Middle Earth.

    Number four: this timeline comes from the same people who gave me the X-Files and Star Wars timelines I'm using, so that's nice. :)

    I'm hardly an expert; hopefully, I'll have some experts show up in here to help me along. I'll be doing this thread the same as my Star Wars and X-Files threads. Given the depth of this material, don't expect me to speed along at a rapid clip; this will take more effort than, say, reading Star Wars junior novels, or watching an episode of The X-Files. Let's take our time and do this right; note connections within the works themselves and connections to things outside the work.

    Show up, you guys, and help me out. :) I'm sure this will be much more rewarding with all your help.

    Oh, by the by, this timeline doesn't include any of the movies. I'd be glad to include them or to leave them out; what say you? We've got plenty of time before we hit The Hobbit, with its bizarre animated adaptation. What do you think? Films or no?

    Expect the Ainulindale up soon. Also, don't expect me to actually put in all those accents and umlauts and what not. :p
    Last edited by Rogue1-and-a-half, Feb 20, 2013
  2. Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master

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    I never knew such works exist. Some Tolkienite I am... :p

    I expect this thread to become one of my favourites, as I've always been fascinated by the depth and richness of Arda's history. :)
  3. Darth McClain Manager Emeritus

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    Good luck, Rogue. I like what you've done in over in Lit.

    One of these days, I'm going to read The Silmarillion, after I reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  4. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    You're absolutely nuts, you know that?

    I start this sort of project all the time, though not as often as I used to, but find that time and interest tend to be severely limiting factors on my ability to follow through. I admire your dedication!
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Hey, Mar and McClain. I hope you'll enjoy this.

    Though, Mar, I fear this may become your least favorite thread because of the shallowness and poverty of my commentary on the depth and richness of Arda. :p

    I was sort of prepared for this to be hugely difficult. I'm enjoying The Silmarillion for the moment.

    So, let's get started!

    The Creation of Ea

    Ainulindale - J.R.R. Tolkien

    *One of two very short prologues of a sort to The Silmarillion proper. This one is under eight pages in the book I'm reading.

    *"There was Eru, the One." So, this is God, I'm presuming.

    *So, Eru, also known as Iluvatar, leads the Ainur, his first creation, in a song; one powerful member of the Ainur by the name of Melkor tries to interpolate his own melody, but Iluvatar keeps overriding him with a new theme.

    *Ultimately, this song paints a . . . vision or a model or the ideal of the earth. Iluvatar has essentially been showing the Ainur what he's going to shortly send some of them to do.

    *I'm quite familiar with the Bible (perhaps one reason the Silmarillion isn't being quite as difficult as I expected). I've read the Bible perhaps two dozen times or something like that. So, I'll be noting more Biblical similarities than other kinds, probably. Pipe up with all the influences and references you see.

    *So, the world formed in a song, in Tolkien's lore, as Iluvatar leads the Ainur in music. Let's go to Job, my favorite book of the Old Testament.

    *As God appears at the close of that book, in chapter 38, to essentially upbraid Job for having the temerity to think he knows better than God Himself, God poses a series of questions, meant to remind Job of his smallness in the universe. Here's a brief passage:

    *"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

    *So, the Hebrew Bible, of which Job is probably the very oldest book, if I've been keeping up with current scholarship, also has the world formed in the midst of a song. A song by the 'morning stars,' perhaps meaning angels or perhaps meaning actual stars. Whatever.

    *It should also be noted that the phrasing translated as 'morning stars' in the KJV, my translation of choice, has been translated in later versions as 'daystars.' I've read far enough along in the Silmarillion to recognize the significance of that as well.

    *Daystar and the Morning Star are also, of course, significant names for Christ in the New Testament, but enough about that.

    *Also, this got me digging. Melkor's fall from grace here is obviously inspired by the Judeo-Christian tradition of Lucifer's fall from being, well,Lucifer, the "Light Carrier" to being Satan, the "Adversary."

    *This story of Lucifer's fall isn't very clearly enunciated in the Bible; it's mostly a patchwork of vague passages in several of the prophetic books, like Isaiah and Ezekiel. But I recalled that part of the Christian pop culture of this myth, if you will, is that Lucifer was indeed in charge of music in heaven prior to his fall.

    *So, I did some digging to see if that's Scriptural or not. There's a vague reference to Lucifer, if it is to Lucifer, in Ezekiel as having timbrels and pipes, meaning musical pipes and tambourines. So, it's quite an extrapolation, but still worth mentioning here, I think, in conjunction with Melkor's initial fall being a musical one, that of trying to introduce his own theme into Iluvatar's composition.

    *I have no idea when that became part of the Lucifer Story, as it were. I don't know if that's more modern or if, in fact, Tolkien might have been aware of that version of Lucifer's duties in heaven. Food for thought.

    *So, Melkor weaves his own theme:

    *"Some of those thoughts he now wove into his music and straightway discord ar
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  6. Ramza Administrator Emeritus

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    While Tolkein, as a very staunch Catholic, is definitely going to use a lot of Biblical allusions, I should point out that he also borrowed a great deal of elements from Norse mythology, so that might also be something to watch out for.

    That said, solid synopsis and commentary. I'm looking forward to following this thread.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Yeah, that too. I've read some early Welsh mythology, the Mabinogion or something like that. And likewise the Nibelungenlied. Obviously, stylistically and metaphorically, Tolkien is sort of springboarding off those very, very early texts from a variety of sources, I'd think. Given his linguistic interests, well, there's no wonder people have been analyzing and studying his works all these years. There's a lot there from all over.

    It is interesting how stylistically similar a lot of the Silmarillion is to, for instance, the Mabinogion or the Nibelungenlied in the way that it tells its story. Tolkien obviously could have and perhaps would have fleshed a lot of this out if he'd been able to live to be a thousand or whatever ( :p ), but the way it's been preserved in the Sil. is very much in the style of a lot of the ancient collections of myths and legends. I suppose we'll talk about a few exact examples when we get to them.

    And then, of course, Tolkien was, I assume, well educated in philosophy. And you can see that in a lot of his work too.

    Oh, hey, Mas, didn't see your post before. Yes, I'm completely mad, I know. I'm currently prepping yet another chronological journey through a fictional universe, by which I mean thinking about how exactly one might work it. So, maybe in a few months, another one, who knows? :p I haven't given up on one yet; I remember when I started my EU thread in Lit, someone said, "Every year someone starts one of these and then disappears in about six months." I've been running that thread for, God, four or five years now. I've had a few slack periods, but I'm still plugging. That's what you call real pathology. :p
  8. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    He borrowed from everything. Heck, he borrowed from Dracula!
  9. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I've never read these works, nor do I plan to anytime in the foreseeable future given how much other stuff I have to read/play/watch first, but it's a interesting world, and I may just follow along as your commentary and analysis tends to be entertaining and informative.

    One general question: would the Silmariwhateveriion have been the third book alluded to at the end of ROTK (Book 1 was Bilbo's, Book 2 was Frodo's, then Sam's was suggested to be next)? Or is that just sort of a background reference source, and Sam's story was never written?

    God's name starts with "I luv"? That's kinda corny yet appropriate. I wonder if Tolkien just was really big on Atari. ;)

    [image=http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y295/stringsx/jasonlee.jpg]

    "I was an artist!"
  10. Ramza Administrator Emeritus

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    Norse mythology just comes to my mind because of this passage in the Poetic Eddas:

    Some of those names might look a bit familiar.
    [face_whistling]
  11. Forcefire Jedi Master

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    Jul 17, 2000
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    Rogue, you are a sick, sick man, and bless you for it. I'll look forward to discussing the things I do know about LotR and using you as a guinea pig to see whether I should try the stuff I haven't read.

    Ainulindale is grade-A creation myth. The notion of creation through song is very nice and fits perfectly with these books in particular.
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Everything in the Silmarillion pretty well comes prior to the Lord of the Rings. You can glance at the timeline I linked to in my first post, if you want, but basically, the Silmarillion is backstory. There are a few things on the timeline that follow LotR, stories from the Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle Earth and such. That timeline by the way, also includes C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy as happening in the same universe too, based on a couple of references to Numenor and the Eldar, though both are misspelled in the Lewis works.

    Also, the idea that God's name begins with "I luv?" [face_laugh] Priceless. I'll have to check The History of Middle Earth; I wonder if in the rough drafts, he was originally named "Iluvuall." :p

    Anyway, welcome all. I hope this will be a lot of fun.
  13. Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master

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    You? Shallow? Nevar!! :p I'll try to contribute with what little knowledge I have of it... ;)

    Okay, linguistics time... :-B :p It's actually spelled "Ilúvatar", which means "Father of all" (from "ilúvë" - allness, the all, and "atar" - father). "Eru" obviously means "the One" (from "er" - one, alone. Compare with Erebor - the Lonely Mountain).

    Also, this is an essential website when it comes to the made-up languages of Tolkien's world: [link=http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/]Ardalambion ("Of the tongues of Arda")[/link] by Helge Fauskanger, who is considered to be one of the big experts on Tolkien's Elvish languages, and his Ardalambion is a very extensive source of grammar, vocabulary and history, both internal and external, of Tolkien's made-up languages (mostly Quenya and Sindarin, the two Elvish languages, as these have been developed the most).

    No. The Silmarillion is basically the history of Middle Earth and covers mostly the First Age (from the Creation of Arda to the War of Wrath, when the first Dark Lord Morgoth, "of whom Sauron was but a servant", was defeated), and a bit from the Second Age (which ends with the fall of Númenor) and a bit from the Third Age. The events described in LOTR take place at the end of the Third Age.

    And I'm not sure what you mean by Sam's story - his story was alongside Frodo's. After Frodo passed into the West, there wasn't much of a story for Sam. He was Mayor of the Shire for many years, had a lot of kids, added more stuff to Bilbo and Frodo's Red Book, and in the end went across the Sea as well, as the last of the Ringbearers. :)
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    So, is Tom Bombadil supposed to be Iluvatar himself, or do I have to ask that question later?
  15. Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master

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    This is very much debatable and there's been no general consensus on this, AFAIK - Tom Bombadil doesn't really "fit" anywhere in the "system" of races so elaborately crafted by Tolkien. I personally think that the best and the most reasonable and fitting explanation is that Tom Bombadil is a Maia (possibly one of Yavanna's), who chose to remain in Middle-earth (similar to how Melian lived in Doriath with Thingol).
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  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    So Sauron was a lacky back in the day? Neat.

    It's been awhile since I saw ROTK, but I recall there being a line from Frodo to Sam that, after having finished writing The Lord of the Rings, the next story/chapter was Sam's to tell.

    Oh, you just can't acept the possibility that Tolkien was rockin' the Pac-Man in his day. :p

    ;)
  17. Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master

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    Well, Sauron is a lesser being than Melkor. ;) Let me explain.

    The first beings created by Eru Ilúvatar were the Ainur, the angelic-like spirits that made the Music before Arda was created. From their Song Eru made the World (Ëa). Melkor was one of the greatest Ainur, but he wanted to make his own music, rather than play his part, but he only caused discord in the Music. When the World was created, some of the Ainur decided to take physical forms upon them and descend into the World, help shape it and take care of it. These were the Valar ("the Powers") and the Maiar. They were of the same kind, but the Valar were of the higher "level", so to speak. There were seven Vala Kings and seven Vala Queens:

    Manwë (the greatest of the Valar, he was closest to Ilúvatar's mind. He is also called Súlimo, the Lord of Winds)
    Ulmo (second only in power to Manwë, he's the Lord of Water - basically, your Arda version of Neptune :p)
    Aulë (the Lord of Earth and master of crafts. He is also the creator of the Dwarves)
    Oromë (the Hunter - he's the lord of forests and all the beasts)
    Mandos (his true name is Námo, Mandos is actually the name of his dwelling. He's guards the Houses of the Dead, where the spirits of the dead go. He's also the Doomsman of the Valar)
    Lórien (Mandos' younger brother, his true name is Irmo. He's master of visions and dreams. His gardens in Valinor are a place of rest and peace. He and his brother are called the Fëanturi, masters of spirits)
    Tulkas (also called Astaldo, the Valiant, he's the champion warrior of the Valar. He came last into Arda, and wrestled with Melkor during the first battles of Valar against Melkor, when they first imprisoned him)

    Varda (also called Elentári, the Queen of Stars. She's Manwë's wife and the Vala most revered by the Elves. In Sindarin her name is Elbereth Gilthoniel)
    Yavanna (also called Kementári, the Queen of the Earth, the second greatest Vala Queen - she's the lady of all that grows, all trees and flowers. She's the wife of Aulë and she's also the maker of the Ents)
    Nienna (she's the sister of the Fëanturi, Mandos and Lórien. She's the mourner for all the wounds that Arda suffered from Melkor)
    Estë (wife of Lórien, she's the healer of wounds and weariness)
    Vairë (also called the Weaver, she's the wife of Mandos. She weaves all the history of Arda in her webs that decorate the halls of Mandos)
    Vána (Yavanna's younger sister, she's the wife of Oromë. Also called the Ever-young, she brings spring and new life wherever she goes)
    Nessa (Oromë's sister and the wife of Tulkas. She loves dancing and running with the deer)

    Melkor (the Powerful) is no longer counted among the Valar, being evil and all that, and he was named Morgoth (the Black Foe of the World) by Fëanor after he stole the Silmarilli (but we'll get to that later in this extensive summary... :p). He was Manwë's brother.

    Now, the Maiar were more like servants and helpers of the Valar. Some of these are:

    Ilmarë (the handmaid of Varda)
    Ëonwë (the banner-bearer and herald of Manwë)
    Ossë (Ulmo's vassal, master of the shallow seas near the shores of Middle-earth)
    Uinen (Ossë's wife, the Lady of Rivers)
    Melian (she served Vána and Estë, but later she went to Middle-earth, where she met Elwë Singollo and married him. Her daughter was Lúthien Tinúviel)
    The Istari (the Wizards were also Maiar. Saruman the White, also known as Curumo, was one of Aulë's Maiar; Gandalf the Grey, also known as Olórin, was one of Manwë's Maiar; Radagast the Brown, also known as Aiwendil, was one of Yavanna's Maiar; and the two rather obscure Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando, who were Oromë's Maiar)
    Sauron (one of Aulë's Maiar, later recruited by Melkor)
    Balrogs (also called Valaraukar)
    Arien (she was similar in nature to the Valaraukar, being a spirit of fire, and she was chosen to guide the vessel of the Sun)
    Tilion (one of Oromë's hunters, he was chosen to guide the vessel of the Moon)



    Umm, Rogue, I guess I just summed up Valaquenta here... :p Hope you're not mad... :p Bu
  18. solojones Force Ghost

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    I've actually been wanting to do this for years. I read about half of the Silmarillion and liked it, have the Unfinished Tales, have only read half of Fellowship, and have read all of The Hobbit. So basically my Middle Earth understanding is all patchy :p But I unfortunately don't have my books with me here in CA, otherwise I'd be interested in joining you in this endeavor. Maybe I'll try this summer.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  19. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Oh god, there are Mandos in LOTR too? :oops:

    ;)
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  20. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Oh, look, The Valaquenta! And linguistics! And answers to all the questions! I guess I'll just go to bed and never get up since someone else is running the thread now! [face_frustrated]


    :p

    Yeah, I'll put up my Valaquenta round up shortly. It's much less informative than all that, though you did spoil my big reveal of Sauron at the end of it.

    "And his name . . . is Gorthaur the Cruel. But you might know him as . . .






    . . .




    SAURON!" [face_aaaaieeeeee!]

    Oh, well. This is what comes of crowd sourcing. :p I forget, did you spoil the Balrog reveal? Oh, well, just don't mention Finarfin and we'll be okay. Or do I mean Fingolfin? I never could tell them apart. :p
  21. Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master

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    But but but... I wantz to halp! :(


    :p


    Anyway, if you're looking for a simple, short way to summarise the Silmarillion, there's no better way than...

    *drumroll*

    [link=http://fan.theonering.net/writing/stories/files/kyriel_monty15.html]Monty Python's Fifteen Minute Silmarillion[/link]! :D

    Even though it's fan-written, it's still hilarious. We did an EXTREMELY amateur production of it in 2004 at TolkienCon, a Tolkien-themed convention in Prague. The result was very chaotic (quite understandably, as I was the director... :p), but the audience liked it, apparently... :p
  22. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

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    not that it matters all that much but i understood part of sauron being a lesser 'creature' that everything had somehow been in decline for a long time. it sort of ties in with how tolkien describes magic, a deep understanding of the workings of eru, if you will, or the will of the force, like extreme craftsmanship or something, and once that understanding vanishes, we become secularised....

    like... it's easy to believe when your understanding of nature is so rich and it's all just visible to you, but we modern people find it hard to believe because magic has receded from our daily lives.

    so, anyway, LOTR comes at a time when we start to act as preservers but no longer live in the world properly.

  23. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

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    I think Sam's tale is literally what happens from the time he gets the book (Frodo leaving at the Grey Havens) until his own departure. Obviously the main point of drama is now over, but the timeline in the LOTR Appendixes does indicate that the three remaining Hobbits live somewhat eventful lives. And Sam, before heading for the Grey Havens himself, gives the book to his daughter, the implication being that she and her husband are to continue it, not just preserve it.

    And great job so far, Rogue. those first two parts of the Silmarillion are a chore to get through, much less summarize.
  24. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    I'm well into the Quenta now. I'm loving this stuff. It's great. I'll get my post on the Valaquenta up by the end of the week.
  25. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

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    You're a better man than I am -- the first time I tried to read the Silmarillion, I put it down a few pages into the Ainulindale, put it down and took 3 years until I picked up again. I've reread the book 3-4 times since then, but I don't think I've ever done more than skim those first 2 parts.