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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    The Shaping of Arda

    Valaquenta

    *So, the Valaquenta is the second of the two short prologues to the Silmarillion proper. Like the Ainulindale, it is about eight pages in length.

    *Now, like in all Russian novels worth reading, you may be aware, everyone has at least three names, used interchangably throughout the book. The same is true here.

    *The Ainulindale was so called because it was about the music of the Ainur, Tolkien's angelic analogues.

    *Once the Ainur descend to Ea and began working on Arda, they are known as the Valar. Thus the title of this work, the Valaquenta or history of the Valar.

    *Also, last time, I sort of made Ea and Arda seem like the same things. They're not, actually. Ea is both the vision Iluvatar gives to the Ainur and also the region of space to which he sends them to work. Arda is the planet on which they work. Ea would then be, I suppose, the galaxy and Arda the Earth. Or something like that. I finally figured that out.

    *Now the Valar are essentially angelic beings that mankind has 'often called gods.' Like the gods in many different religions, the Valar that work on Arda are generally given dominion over one particular region or area of creation: Ulmo is the Vala over the water, Aule is over the Earth itself, the rock and dirt, Manwe is Vala of the winds, etc.

    *So, in the Ainulindale, we get a brief picture of them as angels in the court of the one great Creator. But from here on out, they will essentially be playing the part of gods themselves as we think of gods in the context of, yeah, the Norse religions, but also the Greek, the Roman, etc.

    *Astonishing Prose Alert: "Este the gentle, healer of hurts and weariness, is his spouse. Grey is her raiment; and rest is her gift. She walks not by day, but sleeps upon an island in the tree-shadowed lake of Lorellin." Grey is her raiment; and rest is her gift. That's lovely.

    Astonishing Prose Alert Again:

    "Mightier then Este is Nienna, sister of the Feanturi; she dwells alone. She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor. So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began. But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope."

    *Sorrow is, I think, one of the great themes of art and one of the themes that touches me most deeply. As myself a Christian, I have found it incredibly difficult to make my feelings on sorrow understood to many others of my faith. The scripture speaks powerfully, of course, of joy and hope and victory. But central to my faith as a Christian is the concept of sorrow, of grief, of longing, of yearning, of essentially homelessness.

    *To the Charismatic church, to the Prosperity Gospel preacher, to the megachurches and the teleevangelists, this isn't something to talk about or even think about. But it's always been key to my understanding of the person of Christ, the character of God and my status as a pilgrim in a land where I don't entirely belong, as a pilgrim soul, as . . . was it Yeats put it?

    *I find images of sorrowing deities, then, incredibly powerful. The shortest verse in the New Testament, of course, is simply "Jesus wept," his reaction at the graveside of Lazarus.

    *And in one of the great prophetic passages in Isaiah, Isaiah points toward a Messiah that Christians accept as Jesus (though the Jews, of course, do not) as being a "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." Tolkien borrows that last phrase exactly from the KJV translation of Isaiah and applies it to Nienna here. A beautiful phrase it is.

    *But the idea of a deity that weeps for our losses, that feels our sorrows and shares our griefs . . . this is a powerful, powerful, evocative idea. Though I am not Catholic, believe me when I say I understand why, in the Catholic tradition of icongraphy, when the images of Jesus and Mary are touched with divinity and the miracul
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  2. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    GRRR!! Rogue! Go back and edit your post at once! :mad: The singular form is Maia, Vala, Ainu; the plural is Maiar, Valar, Ainur!!!

    Actually, no. Ëa is the World as a whole. Arda is only the Earth - as opposed to the Heavens. I think this rough map illustrates it nicely:

    [image=http://www.tolkienforums.com/map%20of%20arda%20after%20pillers.bmp]

    And you can't really talk about galaxies and planets here - basically, Tolkien's universe (Ëa) consists of just one world (Arda). Plus, before the fall of Númenor, Arda was flat, only after Ar-Pharazôn's attempted attack on Valinor Ilúvatar made Arda round and took Valinor away from it.


    EDIT: But I really like your comparison to the themes of sorrow and grief in Christianity. :)
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Arda was flat! Jeez, no wonder I haven't been able to make sense of the geography. So, what happened to . . . well, I guess we'll get there. But if Arda is Earth, then, actually, at this point, we haven't been to Middle Earth yet? What happens to Middle Earth when Arda becomes Earth?
  4. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    Middle-earth is just the continent. ;)

    EDIT: But please, please edit those singular forms of Valar/Maiar... they're horrible to look at... :p It's like someone saying "I am an Americans". *shudder*
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  5. Sauntaero Force Ghost

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    I'll have to join in this thread when I can, though it looks like Mar has things pretty well under control.

    "Astonishing Prose Alerts": [face_laugh] but get used to it--one could almost skip calling it prose, and take the whole volume as a work of poetry. Professor Tolkien's command of the English language is... well, definitive. ;)
  6. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    And the proper singular forms are still not fixed. *grumblegrumble*
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  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    You know, I used to think Grammar Nazis were annoying. Now I discover there are even Grammar Nazis for fictional languages. I suppose it's a good thing I haven't gotten into Star Trek. :p

    EDIT: It's even funnier when you consider that the whole last section of that post was dedicated to me talking about cussing out pedantic LotR experts. :p
  8. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    Oh, I'm no expert on Tolkien's languages, but I'm quite interested in them. And this sort of thing (the correct singular and plural forms of names and objects) is my pet peeve, mostly because they did them totally wrong in the official Slovak translation of the Silmarillion (which is utterly hideous, even I could've translated it better).
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The Years of the Trees

    Quenta Silmarillion I - XI

    *Okay, the years of the trees. They're called that because the Valar plant two trees in Valinor, the section of Arda where they live that give light to the whole world. In the waxing and waning of their lights in rhythm with each other, they produce a cycle of light, but never a total night. This, along with another conflict with Melkor happens in chapter one, Of the Beginning of Days.

    *The Years of the Trees, before the creation of the sun and moon, are covered in the first eleven chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion, the longest section of The Silmarillion. These first eleven chapters cover some sixty pages of text.

    *Astonishing Prose Alert, as Iluvatar muses on the gifts he will give to his children. To the Elves, he will give eternal life, but to the Men, something else, a greater gift even than eternal life.

    *"Therefore he willed that the hearts of Men should seek beyond the world and find no rest therein; but they should have a virtue to shape their life, amid the powers and chances of the world, beyond the Music of Ainur, which is as fate to all things else . . .

    It is one with this gift of freedom that the children of Men dwell only a short space in the world alive, and are not bound to it, and depart soon whither the Elves know not. For the Elves die not till the world dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief . . . But the sons of Men die indeed and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers. Death is their fate, the gift of Iluvatar, which as Time wears on, even the Powers shall envy."

    *Thus three powerful things are granted to men, all wonderfully expressed by Tolkien.

    *First, that man will have a restless heart, a pilgrim soul, an outlook that stretches ever beyond this world and searches for something more. Our spirituality and our yearning, indeed a gift.

    *Second, that man will be self-determining and that even Iluvatar himself will not override our wills. Our freedom of choice, our free will, indeed a gift.

    *Third, that we will not always endure in these bodies on this earth but that we will pass away, to a place that the Elves cannot understand or comprehend. We will one day end, and while this may not seem a blessing, certainly it is. A rest, after all, is promised to the children of Men.

    *I'm reminded of I Am That, a powerful, confounding and life changing book compiled from interviews given by Sri Maharaj (whose middle name I have skipped for fear of mangling it beyond all cultural tolerance), a shopkeeper/guru in the late seventies. It's a book I'd recommend all read, even if it eventually delves too far into a sort of Buddhist ideal of utter removal from life even in life. There's a wealth of incredible truth there.

    *One section that I remember comes when he is talking about needs. The body, he says, has needs and the soul shares somewhat in those needs. The need to eat, to drink, to sleep, to eliminate waste, to die. The questioner asks, "To die is a need?" Maharaj replies, "When one has lived, to die is a need."

    *So, yes, for all the grief and sorrow that flows from death in this world, still what a beautiful majesty is found in it. It is the cycle of our life, we are born, we go through seasons, we die, sometimes seemingly too soon or too late, but always we die. What a gift.

    *I've made my peace with God. I don't fear death. I know it's not the end of the soul, I feel it with every fiber of my being some days. I'd encourage everyone to do the same who hasn't. When my time comes, will I perhaps struggle to live? Sure; I don't dislike life . . . I quite enjoy it. But ultimately, there's no fear there. Death isn't the end of life, just the next part of it.

    *Next up, Aule, Valar of the earth itself decides that really if the Elves and Men aren't going to just hurry up and show up, he's going to create some beings himself to entertain himself. He thus molds out of the earth the Dwarves. Iluvatar is kind of piqued at this, but Aule begs Iluvatar to spare his creat
  10. Havac Former Moderator

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    You've finally drawn me out of lurking.
    Most of it is actually relevant to the Silmarillion itself. By LOTR, most of the Elves have kind of mingled back together. The really relevant stuff is this: the Avari who stay rather than go with the Valar drop out of the story. Among those who go, the Eldar, the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri just provide three racial groups. The Vanyar get to Valinor and stay there, and so drop out of the story. The groups at play in the Silmarillion, then, are the Noldorin Exiles who return to Beleriand and the Sindar -- the Teleri who stayed in Beleriand. As a minor point, a handful of the Nandor who dropped out in the course of the journey then start back up and travel into Beleriand during the course of the story -- but again, they're only a minor point.

    By LOTR, the Noldor and Sindar remnants have effectively merged into one people, and you see them with Cirdan and Elrond, and ruling Lothlorien. Straight Sindar rule Mirkwood (the Elves from The Hobbit, and where Legolas is the king's son), but Lothlorien and Mirkwood are both largely populated by the Nandorin dropouts. So most of it's all just deep-background stuff.

    Yep, that Galadriel. So, she's a third-generation Elf and somewhere over ten thousand years old by the time of LOTR, which . . . most of Tolkien's stuff is just breathtaking when you consider it. She and Glorfindel are the only two characters we see in LOTR who have been to Valinor and seen the Light of the Trees, though Gandalf confirms there are more in Rivendell.

    There's a really interesting motif throughout the Silmarillion that as many problems as Men and Elves can have on their own, it always takes Evil -- Morgoth or Sauron -- to end a golden age.

    There's another interesting motif, of the Valar's remove from the world. They'll maintain their provinces, they'll defend against Melkor when he runs wild, but they just aren't inclined to direct intervention in the affairs of the world, and after Feanor's revolt they're even less so. Even for mythological gods, they're peculiarly remote and detached. There's a great deal of free will in that respect; the gods aren't going to intervene in anything other than extraordinary circumstances.

    It's incredible how tragic Tolkien makes this. Morgoth is an Ainu; Feanor and his followers can't possibly hope to defeat him. Yet, in t
  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    All very interesting comments. This bit of discussion really needs to maybe wait as I'll bring it up later, but I particularly find interesting your comments about the way the Elves under Feanor must go in pursuit of this hopeless cause and all that. They're even eventually willing to, as you say, kill the Teleri in order to carry it out.

    Because what I find so fascinating as I read on and somewhat infuriating is the fact that they take on this huge massive doomed task because of their honor and their hubris and then once they get to Middle Earth, they effectively just . . . stop.

    In my own reading, I'm nearly at the end of the First Age already; I just finished all the Turin texts, which more on that later, but I don't particularly understand the whole point of these great oaths they were willing to swear and the great atrocities they were willing to commit in order to get to Middle Earth, only to just settle down and let things tick on. I mean, what's the deal with the Siege of Angband? You guys came over here to do a siege? Funny, I thought you came over here to kick some ass and gets your Silmarils back.

    I find it particularly dumb considering . . . God, I can't get into it all yet, I'm jumping way ahead, but you know Beren & Luthien. How hard was that?

    But more on all this later, I suppose. Thanks for delurking. :)
  12. Havac Former Moderator

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    Yeah, the nature of what Tolkien wants to do with the narrative forces some interesting scenarios. The Valar, for example, do this odd retreat into Valinor because, obviously, Tolkien isn't here to tell stories about the gods. After the creation story they become superfluous, because the focus is on epic heroes, Men and Elves. And so we get into the same situation here, where they can't beat Morgoth right away and they can't devote their entire effort as a civilization to destroying him, because then the non-battle stories disappear. So everything up to now, essentially, has been setting up this epic backdrop against which the majority of the legendarium takes place. I think the rest of this discussion is going to have to wait for the next entry, though.
  13. timmoishere Chosen One

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    When Arda was flat, there were 3 main continents: Aman (where Valinor was located) in the West, Middle-earth and the Lands of the Sun in the East. The Valar erected a tiny island in the ocean between Valinor and Middle-earth called Númenor. When the Men from Númenor attempted to invade Valinor by force, the Valar removed Valinor from the world entirely and "bent" the oceans around to turn Arda into a spherical world. Because of the massive tidal waves formed by this transformation, Númenor was lost beneath the Sea, and the surviving Men of Númenor fled to Middle-earth to found the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

    [image=http://www.tolkienforums.com/map%20of%20Arda.jpg]

    So in today's world, Middle-earth is the equivalent of Europe, Asia and Africa (with Mordor being in the approximate location of the Black Sea, Gondor near Greece and the Shire near England). The Lands of the Sun, which hardly factor into Tolkien's writings at all, became the Americas. And as you can see by the map above, there was also a 4th continent to the southeast, which seems to be a combination of Australia and Antarctica.
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    It's fair to say it isn't a problem really because Tolkien's stories are so powerful and evocative. Also, it isn't the problem it could be since it seems to me that Tolkien's entire theme, at least through the First Age which is where I stand now is basically 'failure,' if not 'epic, towering, horrifying, utter failure.'

    But as you say, more on this to come.
  15. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The Years of the Sun

    Quenta Silmarillion XII - XIII

    *Okay, so I decided to sort of rethink how I would be doing my posts. I decided to split things up via the dates noted on the timline I'm using. So, rather than taking the next eight chapters of the Silmarillion at a leap, as I was originally planning, I'll be going a little slower and, hopefully, keeping things in a very strict time frame for us all. I know this will help me keep things straight and also be able to talk about things in more depth.

    *So, to start the Years of the Sun is to enter the periods of timekeeping. We are now beginning the First Age; The Lord of the Rings, as has been mentioned before, you will remember take place toward the end of the Third Age. The First Age covers around six hundred years of Middle Earth History, so let's leap into it.

    *This post will cover the first 260 years of the First Age in a leap. Then in my next post we'll go back and take a look at some of those events in more detail.

    *So, Chapters 12 & 13 of the Quenta Silmarillion.

    *Okay, so the Years of the Sun obviously refer to the time when the sun is in the sky. This would be the 600 years of the First Age, the 3500 of the Second Age, the 3000 of the Third Age, the unnumbered years of the Fourth Age and the Modern Age, which is of course the span of recorded human history.

    *We are told at the beginning of chapter 12, Of Men, that the Years of the Sun are briefer than the Years of the Trees, the time when the Elves lived in Valinor and Middle Earth was lit by the two trees in Valinor.

    *So, jeez, recorded human history seems to go back a long time. And then add at least 8000 years to that. That's the Years of the Sun. And the Years of the Trees were far, far longer than that. Wow.

    *So, Of Men basically alerts us that Men have awakened in Middle Earth. They will become an increasingly important part of the story as we move forward. No sign of women yet, so all is still peaceful. *rimshot*

    *Here's a great representative passage, talking about the names of Men:

    *"The Atani they were named by the Eldar, the Second People; but they called them also Hildor, the Followers, and many other names: Apanonar, the After-born, Engwar, the Sickly, and Firimar, the Mortals; and they named them also the Usurpers, the Strangers, and the Inscrutable, the Self-cursed, the Heavy-handed, the Night-fearers, the Children of the Sun."

    *That's right, seventeen different names. You'll excuse me if I just call them *ahem* Men.

    *The end of this chapter namechecks Beren and Luthien, story still to come, and also tells of someone named Elrond, soon to be born.

    *Chapter 13, Of the Return of the Noldor, catches up with our two Noldor groups, the one led by Feanor in his quest to regain the Silmarils and the other by Fingolfin, still a little pissy about that whole 'burning the boats leaving to die on the icefloes' thing Feanor pulled.

    *So, no sooner does Feanor arrive than Morgoth, having spotted the burning ships from afar (yeah, great job with the stealth, Feanor) sends his Orcs to drive Feanor and his group of Noldor into the sea.

    *This is the first great battle of Middle Earth; Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Battle-under-Stars. It lasts ten days and sees the Orcs roundly trounced. They call for reinforcements from the Balrogs, but are still forced to retreat.

    *Feanor, however, is slain by Gothmog, king of the Balrogs.

    *Astonishing Prose Alert: "Then he died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped away his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke."

    *Thus, fare thee well, Feanor, you great honking ass. Thinks for ruining everything.

    *Maedrhos, eldest son of Feanor, is captured by Morgoth and is not exactly treated adhering to the Geneva Convention:

    *"Therefore Morgoth took Maedhros and hung him from the face of a precipice upon Thangorodrim, and he was caught to the rock by the wrist of his right hand in a band of steel."

    *Fingolfin's group of the Noldor show up, but they "have little
  16. Havac Former Moderator

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    You could make about twenty movies out of the Silmarillion, and I'd watch all of them. The overview chapters have this wonderfully sweeping sense of history that invites you to just lean back from the book a moment and play out these epic scenes in your head.

    Probably the most interesting element here is that Feanor dies almost immediately after setting foot in Middle-earth. He initiates the story, but once it settles into place, he's completely out of it. He's the driving force behind all Middle-earth's long, sad history without ever really taking part in it. It's a really bold move on Tolkien's part to essentially take Feanor out of what was his own story right as it's taking off. A great illustration of how doomed the whole effort ultimately is.
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  17. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Yeah, as I progress, I sort of break things up into the movies as I think they could or should be done. I'd watch them.

    And, yes, Feanor's death really shocked me. Though once it happened it felt really right; given that the Silmarillion is essentially the story of repeated failures to act. If Feanor had survived a little longer, it strikes me, he probably would taken the war to Morgoth and we would have essentially had a zero sum game wherein there's one massive battle wherein essentially everyone dies very quickly.

    His sons swore the oath, but once Feanor's gone, it becomes obvious that they don't really care that much about the Silmarils or the oath and the story becomes a meditation on malaise and apathy where they seem to think the best they can do is guard their own borders. So, in some sense, it's a story about the failure of the second generation to live up to the first, which is a theme you find all over art: the Bible, Wuthering Heights, King Arthur.

    I was sort of stunned reading the Silmarillion to discover that it is essentially an anti-heroic epic. There really are no heroes here, or at least no successful ones. In that way, Feanor paves the way for much failure to come.
  18. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    Oh, they care, believe me, they care. You'll see.

    Good point about it being anti-heroic, though. I think it's one of the big problems people have when they move from the happiness of the Hobbit, to the dark but happy ending LOTR to the thousands upon thousands of years of anguish that is the Silmarillion.
  19. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    They seem to care at the worst possible moments, right? And never when it would be productive to care. :p

    But, yeah, it was a shock to find it so utterly, unremittingly bleak and continue to get more and more so. I dig it though; probably I'll gag when I try to read The Hobbit again after this. :p I think, well, I think even Christopher Tolkien didn't originally understand the bleakness of his father's vision with the War of the Jewels. But more on that later.
  20. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    I don't know that it would ever be productive to care, but they always manage to do so at precisely that moment where they can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Over and over.

    And over.
  21. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    Another impact of the oath (and really Feanor's legacy as a whole) is that his sons are outsiders in the leadership structure of the Noldor in Beleriand. It's clear no one really trusts them, and they set themselves apart throughout.
  22. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    FA 52 ? FA 70

    Quenta Silmarillion XIV - XV

    *Okay, so first of all, I?ve been revamping my movie timeline and I think you?ll like it, though I admit all the titles kind of suck. Here, for your pleasure, are the first two movies in the series; I?ll unveil the rest as we go.

    *MOVIE #1: The Silmarillion: The Father of All ? from the Creation of Ea to the Long Journey of the Elves to Valinor

    *MOVIE #2: The Silmarillion: The Making of the Jewels ? from Feanor?s creation of the Silmarils to Fingon?s rescue of Maedhros from Morgoth?s tower

    *Okay, so the next two chapters of the Silmarillion. According to the timeline I'm using these two chapters take place during a span of years from FA 52 - FA 70. This would place them during that time of peace after the Mending of the Noldor and after Turgon and Finrod have their visions, but before the Second Great Battle.

    *Also, the Mending of the Noldor? I've copyrighted that.

    *Chapter 14, Of Beleriand and Its Realms is . . . well . . . if you're a surveyor or something you might enjoy this chapter.

    *Three pages into this chapter, we get our first map. With determination in my eyes, I skip right over it.

    *Not-Quite-Astonishing Prose Alert:

    *"Upon the left hand of Sirion lay East Beleriand, at its widest a hundred leagues from Sirion to Gelion and Ossiriand; and first, between Sirion and Mindeb, lay the empty land of Dimbar under the peaks of the Crissaegrim, abode of eagles. Between Mindeb and the upper waters of Esgalduin lay the no-land of Nan Dungortheb; and that region was filled with fear, for upon its one side the power of Melian fenced the north march of Doriath, but upon the other side the sheer precipices of Ered Gorgoroth, Mountains of Terror, fell down from high Dorthonion."

    *Gee, you don't say?

    *"Gelion was a great river; and he rose in two sources and had at first two branches; Little Gelion that came from the Hill of Himring, and Greater Gelion that came from Mount Rerir. From the meeting of his arms he flowed south for forty leagues before he found his tributaries; and before he found the sea he was twice as long as Sioron, though less wide and full, for more rain fell in Hithlum and Dorthonian, whence Sirion drew his waters, than in the east. From Ered Luin flowed the six tributaries of Gelion: Ascar (that was after named Rathloriel), Thalos, Legolin, Brilthor, Duilwen, and Adurant, swift and turbulent streams, falling steeply from the mountains; and between Ascar in the north and Adurant in the south, and between Gelion and Ered Luin, lay the far green country of Ossiriand, the Land of Seven Rivers."

    *Whatever you do, don't forget: more rainfall in Hithlum than in the east. This will be of great significance later when Frodo is deciding whether or not to take his poncho with him on his journey.

    *Yeah, this chapter is only nine pages. And I've read worse. And it is a part of the format Tolkien's using. The Mabinogion had one section that was seventy pages of just descriptions of people's clothes and weapons. But still, yeah, this is not scintillating or anything.

    *Chapter 15, Of the Noldor in Beleriand, is better. After Turgon finishes Gondolin, Ulmo visits him one more time and tells him that Gondolin will be the last stronghold of the Noldor to fall, but, due to Mandos' curse on the Noldor for their arrogance in leaving Valinor, it will eventually fall. A visitor will come to warn of great peril and from that visitor, Ulmo says, hope will once again rise for the Noldor. Turgon makes a sword and a suit of armor at Ulmo's directions for this visitor and lays it in store.

    *Turgon takes his people from Nevrast where they had been living and removes them to Gondolin. For 350 years, they'll be hidden in Gondolin; they will not venture forth until, well . . . until.

    *So, while Galadriel is staying with Thingol and Melian, Melian pesters her about why the Noldor left Valinor until finally Galadrial spills all the beans, the Silmarils, the Kinslaying, the Burning of the Boats, the Curse
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Of Maeglin
    FA 304 - FA 340

    *Okay, so chapter 16, Of Maeglin, has a nice little story that would make a good plot, sub-plot or running gag in my fourth movie.

    *This story takes place from FA 304 - FA 340. It thus begins nearly a hundred years after Glaurung's defeat. We would be about halfway through the Long Peace at this time, if I have my dates correct.

    *So, Turgon's sister, Aredhel Ar-Feiniel, the White Lady, decides she's tired of hanging out in Gondolin, so she asks him if she can leave and he says he'd rather she didn't, but if she really must, why doesn't she go see Fingon, her other brother. And then she says, seriously, that she ain't his servant, so bye and she'll go wherever she wants.

    *If Turgon disappeared into Gondolin about FA 60 or 70, then Aredhel's probably been hanging out there for almost 250 years. So, I guess, yeah, you'd get a little stir crazy. After having been essentially tied to my house by a bum knee for three weeks (at the time of this writing), I'm about ready to say I ain't no servant myself.

    *"Turn now south and not north, for I will not ride to Hithlum."

    *I guess she's been hearing the weather reports too. Rain. Hithlum. Rain. Hear Hithlum, think rain. Lots of rain in Hithlum. Cats and dogs. Buckets and buckets. Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall. I mean, cloudburst. Maybe even a little Purple Rain. We're talkin' downpour. I mean, drenching, soaking rain. I mean, like Seattle except even worse. Can't even sing in that Hithlum rain. I say Hithlum, you say Rain. Hell, no, she ain't ridin' to no Hithlum. You think she gonna ride out in the rain or sumthin? Hell, no.

    *I say Hithlum, you say . . .

    *Oh, that was pathetic. I'll test you again later.

    *It's almost obscene how much fun I just had with that. I hope you think it's funny because I'm cracking up right now.

    *So, anyway, she and her escorts run into some 'shadows' and get seperated. Her escorts return to Gondolin and tell Turgon she's dead, because, you know, she was in the shadows and they totally couldn't see her there.

    *So, she stumbles into the woods where a Dark Elf named Eol lives. He's one of the Elves who stayed in Middle Earth and didn't go to Valinor. He's long ago gone native with the Dwarves; after Melian put up her magic fence, he left Thingol's realm and has since lived with the Dwarves, learning metal work.

    *So, Aredhel shows up lost at his doorstep and the two end up getting married. They have a son that Eol names Maeglin and Aredhel is actually pretty happy for a while.

    *Eventually, Aredhel decides she'd like to go back to Gondolin and Maeglin decides he'd like to go too, since Turgon's wife died during the long Ice Crossing after the Burning of the Boats and so Turgon has no heir. Maeglin, of course, thinks he might get a little kingship for himself, being Turgon's nephew.

    *So, because Eol is actually pretty possessive and won't let his wife or son leave the woods, they wait until Eol has gone to a party with the Dwarves and then they run off.

    *Unlike every lifetime movie you've ever seen, Aredhel doesn't fake her own death in order to throw Eol off the scent.

    *Eol gets back early though and follows them. He's stealthy enough that they actually lead him to the secret pass that leads to Gondolin.

    *Eol has never really liked the Noldor, since that whole 'leaving to go to Valinor' thing and now when Turgon tells him that they'll all have to stay in Gondolin because the law states that once you've found your way there, you can't leave, Eol gets really mad, since he loves the wood and the night.

    *Turgon tells Eol that he can either live in Gondolin or die there.

    *Eol says that he choose the latter for himself and his son. He draws a poisoned javelin from his cloak and flings it at Maeglin, but Arendhel leaps in front of it and is killed. Turgon has Eol executed by being flung off a precipice.

    *That whole javelin scene reminded me of Saul and Jonathan in the Bible. In that instance, Saul, the king, believed that his son Jonathan was covering for David, who
  24. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    It's a short chapter, that's a little out of place compared to the epics around it, but it has a good payoff down the track. It also gives us an initial insight into the relationship between the elves and the dwarves, which will also have repurcussions down the track.
  25. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    Very interesting stuff, Rogue! I really need to get The Silmarillion when I get home.