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

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

  1. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    So, I'm partially caught up, and just finished chapter 10 (Of The Sindar), and I've really liked it so far. I think that your analysis/summaries are spot on. I really enjoyed the stuff with Melkor and Ungoliant, and the Noldor stuff, especially from their interaction with the Teleri to the destruction of the ships.

    I completely agree, there are some great movies waiting to be made from The Simlarillion. Hopefully I'll get through chapter 15 this weekend.
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    SA 3319

    *The Akallabeth is the fourth section of The Silmarillion. At around thirty pages, it is longer than the Ainulindale and the Valaquenta, but far shorter than the Quenta Silmarillion. It carries a subtitle that explains what it is: The Downfall of Numenor.

    *And the Akallabeth starts with a recap of the events of the Second Age up to the Downfall. It is finally explained, as it wasn?t for quite a while reading the works on this timeline in order, exactly about the Edain and the gift of Numenor and the fact that it, along with the extended lifespan, was a reward for the Edain fighting on the side of the Valar against Morgoth.

    *So, the Eldar that want to leave Middle Earth are allowed to live on the Isle of Eressea, close to Valinor. And for the Edain, the following Astonishing Prose Alert: ?A land was made for the Edain to dwell in, neither part of Middle-earth nor of Valinor, for it was sundered from either by a wide sea; yet it was nearer to Valinor. It was raised by Osse out of the depths of the Great Water, and it was established by Aule and enriched by Yavanna; and the Eldar brought thither flowers and fountains out of Tol Eressea. That land the Valar called Andor, the Land of Gift; and the Star of Earendil shone bright in the West as a token that all was made ready, and as a guide over the sea; and Men marveled to see that silver flame in the paths of the Sun.?

    *So, in another Biblical call-back, the Edain leave Middle Earth and follow a star to the promised land.

    *Also, this makes the split between Elros and Elrond somewhat more understandable. Elros and Elrond are both half-breeds, due to being the descendents of Tuor, Turin?s cousin and a mortal man, and Idril of Gondolin, daughter of Turgon and a high elf.

    *Now in one of the things I read previously it mentioned that Elros and Elrond were allowed to choose their people and that Elros chose to live among Men and Elrond among Elves. But here it is said that the Valar are not allowed to remove the gift of Iluvatar from men, meaning death. But Iluvatar has given the ability for the Valar to manipulate things more for those that are half-men, half-elf.

    *And so, as reward for their work in the War of Wrath, Elros and Elrond are allowed to essentially choose their race. Elros, then, in choosing men, is choosing death, albeit after a much lengthened span of years, while Elrond in choosing the Elves has the gift of death removed from his life.

    *It strikes me that this makes Elrond a much more poignant character for the rest of his arc. Much of his time in The Lord of the Rings is given over to his symbolism as a character of autumn, standing in for the waning of the Elves. And so it?s very interesting to me that Elrond had the chance to live as a Numenorean and to essentially live out a mortal span of years and then die, but he purposely chose to eschew that path.

    *So that?s a character detail that legitimately enriches what is more or less a side character in LotR.

    *So, the Valar set up the Numenoreans, the Kings among Men, on their island and over time, as we are well aware, the Numenoreans become good at ship building and sailing. The Valar place only one small restriction on the Numenoreans efforts; they cannot sail West past the point where they can still see Numenor.

    *Over time, all the forays to Middle Earth can?t satisfy and the Numenoreans begin to murmur against the Ban of the Valar, desiring to sail into the West freely.

    *Shades, after all, of the Fall. Tolkien rejected explicating the original fall of man in Middle Earth because it would make his story a ?parody of Christianity.? We?ve seen his versions in draft form, talked about them back during the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth and I, at least, agreed with him.

    *But what he?s really done is just delay the Fall narrative to the Second Age. This story obviously has numorous resonances with the story of the one tree in the Garden that Adam and Eve were not to eat of and the murmuring against it by the serpent.

  3. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Tolkien has a magnificent insistence on avoiding either straight happy or sad endings. He gravitates to the emotionally powerful bittersweet spectrum. Success is tempered by lurking pride or the passing of greatness, while tragedy still clings to hope or some measure of justice.

    In the middle of this incredibly powerful fall of mankind, Tolkien inserts this triumphantly ironic punishment of evil, and . . . good god . . . that absolutely haunting ode to the unexpected capture of pure beauty and grace. The things Tolkien does with emotion are just astonishing.
  4. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 31, 2005
    I don't have the time to read the full Silmarillion, but think I'll do a reread of Akallabeth now that you've whetted my appetite. Great job as always.
  5. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 31, 2005
    So I pulled out my tattered old copy last night to sit down to read Akallabeth, immediatly got pulled back into the whole First Age, especially flipping around in the glossary. Two things struck me:

    1. Ingwe is the king of all elves, yet I don't know if he has a line in the whole Silamrillion.
    2. I think my favorite scene in all of Tolkien-dom is now the scene between Hurin and Morwen at their children's grave. Incredible emotion.
  6. darth_frared

    darth_frared Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 24, 2005
    can i just check in to say that i loved that word 'akallabeth'. thank you :D
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    To this point on the timeline, I think I would have to agree with you. I mean, when I finished that scene in Children of Hurin, I just sat there in stunned silence for several minutes. It's just . . . God, that is strong stuff. Morgoth's finest hour, orchestrating that horrible scene.
  8. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    So I'm all caught up with The Silmarillion now...what a fantastic book. I really enjoyed the parts with Maeglin, Huan, and Tuor. I think I'm going to take Tolkein-break (That's the only fiction I've read since about May), but I'll read The Children of Hurin and Unfinished Tales soon.
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Numenor ? J.R.R. Tolkien

    *Okay, so now we close the Second Age. You may remember I told you when we started the Second Age that it would be a fast sprint through three thousand years.

    *And something of great interest here. I mentioned all this last time in my preview of this one, but I?ll say it again. We have reached the Ur-text of Middle Earth now. We have picked up The Lord of the Rings, if only to look for now at the Appendices.

    *Also, I got a cool little volume from the library that is just the Appendices. It?s part of a seven volume set in which each of the books is it?s own volume, so Fellowship, Two Towers and Return of the King are all split into two small volumes and then the Appendices makes the seventh volume. This is actually incredibly cool; it?s essentially a pocket book, very small, but bound in hard cover, arresting black binding with the Eye of Sauron on the front.

    *So, this is our last entry in the Second Age, but it?s undated for the simple reason that it is a quick overview of the Second Age, and in fact almost the entire Silmarillion. This was the first glimpse, published as part of Return of the King, just the barest hint of the stories Tolkien had yet to tell in the Second Age. Of course, on most of those, he didn?t get the chance to deliver. But something makes this feel very special and I think it?s the fact that this alone, so far, of all that we?ve read was actually published in its current form during Tolkien?s own lifetime.

    *So, anyway, in six and a half pages, this section of the Appendices, which comes in Part A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers, retells parts of the story we?ve heard before. It begins by briefly sketching the conflict between Feanor and the Valar over the Silmarils, Morgoth?s theft, the exodus of the Elves from Valinor, etc.

    *I mean, it tells all of that. IN ONE PARAGRAPH! That?s what I mean by brief sketching.

    *So, this is essentially the very, very Cliff notes. Beren & Luthien are mentioned as stealing a Silmaril and marrying; Turgon founds Gondolin, we?re told, without being told why that?s important; Earendil and his wife travel to the West and the Valar return and overthrow Morgoth and the Silmarils, except for Earendil?s, ?perish? as the First Age ends. This is the first page and a half.

    *We?re told that this story is told completely in the Silmarillion, which, of course, we know that now.

    *The story of Elros choosing to be a man, but an incredibly long lived one, and the establishment of Numenor and its downfall after Sauron enters is told in just a single page. And we?re told that this can be found in more detail in the Akallabeth.

    *So, then the rest of this passage sort of mostly tells about the Akallabeth in incredibly vague detail. We?re walked through a list of all the kings and queens of Numenor and told a couple of things about a couple of them, like Tar-Ministar and Tar-Atanamir. All this, of course, we?ve covered.

    *So, we get a few new details after the Downfall. Elendil and his two sons, Isildur and Anarion, wash up on Middle Earth, along with a great multitude of the Faithful, as we know. We?re told that Elendil establishes two realms for Numenoreans in exile. These two realms are Arnor and Gondor.

    *And we?re told of the founding of Osgiliath which you may remember from the movies. We?re told that it is founded so close to Mordor because Elendil and his people think that Sauron perished in the Downfall. They don?t know that he?s already back and working on his new form.

    *So Sauron rises up against Elendil, but he, the text tells us, moves too soon, before his power is full. The New Alliance withstands him and Sauron is overthrown and the One Ring (first timeline mention!) is taken from him. Thus, we are told, ends the Second Age. Thus, also, though the text doesn?t mention it, started the First Movie.

    *And thus, indeed, ends the Second Age.

    *This is very much the helicopter view and The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales and such have made these Appendices s
  10. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    Cliff notes, indeed.
  11. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000

    The Disaster of the Gladden Fields ? J.R.R. Tolkien
    TA 1 ? 2

    *So, it?s back to the Unfinished Tales. This story, which is five pages in length, opens the section of the book dedicated to the Third Age.

    *So, one thing that is rather odd about this timeline is that it sort of pulls the same trick here that it pulled in the Second Age, which is that it drops us into the Third Age without the setup that I think we need.

    *In the Second Age, we started with the Unfinished Tales, Aldarion & Erendis and such, and we only slowly figured out some very pertinent details about the Numenoreans, such as their long life, the ban of the Valar, the fact that Numenor was a reward from the Valar, etc. Looking back on the Second Age, I think we should have started the Second Age by reading at least a little of the Akallabeth, so as to give us the set up we needed of Numenor being established and Elros receiving the gift of long life.

    *So, it happens again here. This story starts ?after the fall of Sauron,? which means that we have skipped entirely the Alliance between men and elves and the defeat of Sauron. We were told of it incredibly briefly at the end of the Numenor section of the Appendices and we are fed a few details of it here, but frankly, if I hadn?t seen the movies, I would have been totally lost as to what?s going on here.

    *Surely, the tale of Sauron?s defeat is told somewhere and we could have read it as we started the Third Age.

    *So, anyway, this one starts with Isildur, the son and heir of Elendil. He?s stuck around in Gondor for a while after Sauron?s defeat, but he?s finally ready to go home. We?re told that the second year of the Third Age was on the wane as Isildur leaves Osgiliath to head to Imladris to talk to Elrond.

    *So, Isildur?s three sons, Elendur, Aratan and Ciryon, are travelling with him, along with a small honor guard. As they pass, on the thirtieth day of their journey, the Gladden Fields, they are beset by a host of Orcs.

    *Isildur?s group is outnumbered ten to one. Isildur gives to his squire the shards of Narsil (this would be one of the things I wouldn?t have a clue about, if I hadn?t seen the movies) and tells him to flee and not to worry when people later call him a coward for deserting Isildur. The squire, and one companion, take Narsil and do as Isildur tells them, escaping the Orcs.

    *So, we?re told that the Orcs have been called to Isildur because he is carrying Sauron?s One Ring. Which is another thing I wouldn?t have a clue about if I hadn?t seen the movies.

    *The battle goes hard; Ciryon and Aratan are slain, along with many others. And then comes a chilling moment; Elendur says to his father, ?What of the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of no avail??

    *Isildur replies, ?I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen.?

    *But as the battle continues to go badly, Isildur gives in.

    *ASTONISHING PROSE ALERT: ?Isildur turned west, and drawing up the Ring that hung in a wallet from a fine chain about his neck, he set it upon his finger with a cry of pain, and was never seen again by any eye upon Middle Earth. But the Elendilmir of the West could not be quenched, and suddenly it blazed forth red and wrathful as a burning star. Men and Orcs gave way in fear; and Isildur, drawing a hood over his head, vanished into the night.?

    *So, in his flight to escape, Isildur plunges into a river and is swept by the current. As he finally reaches the other side, he realizes that the Ring is gone from his hand, ?by chance or chance well used.?

    *ASTONISHING PROSE ALERT: ?There suddenly he knew that the Ring had gone. By chance, or chance well used, it had left his hand and gone where he could never hope to find it again. At first so overwhelming was his sense of loss that he struggled no more, and would have sunk and drowned. But
  12. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 31, 2005
    Great job, R1.5, especially trying to fuse together the various texts. But there's a fairly key event from the near beginning of the Second Age that I don't think you've covered: Sauron and the forging of the rings of power. Not sure if it's dealt witzh anywhere else, but I think there's a bit of a summary, at least, at the start of the War of the Rings part of The Silmarillion.
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    I did notice that in a footnote the other day . . . about the forging of the Rings taking place early in the Second Age or whatever. I guess I'll find it eventually. :p
  14. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 31, 2005
    Hope you didn't take that as criticism in any way, it wasn't meant as such. More that I find it odd that such a key event is only dealt with in summary fashion in the final section of Silmarillion, and gets no mention in Unfinished Tales or The History of Middle-earth. The whole story of Celebrimbor and Sauron, and what happened to Eregion is a pretty big deal, and the Rings have a central role in both the 2nd and 3rd Ages.
  15. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    In the Service of the King ? Marci Helms Knisley
    TA 1974 ? 1975

    *So, this is a four page story from an odd book published back in 1978. Now the name of the book is A Tolkien Treasury and it is apparently a sort of prestige book intended to memorialize Tolkien after his death.

    *It?s a portfolio sized hardcover with a ton of black and white drawings. The paper stock is thick. And we?re not talking about a dude typing something in his basement while wearing Frodo feet. Contributors include W. H. Auden, Edmund Wilson and then some less famous writers.

    *So, it contains, for instance, a forty page biography of Tolkien with lots of pictures, an attempt at putting The Lord of the Rings in chronological order (how bizarre!), an essay on Christopher Tolkien and his role in the Tolkien estate, etc. These are all in the first section, called Tolkien and Middle Earth.

    *In the second section, called A Look at Tolkien Fandom, things get crazy. Some personal essays about how various people came to Tolkien and fell in love with his style. A bunch of poems about Middle Earth, including one to be sung to the tune of Penny Lane and another, about Smaug, to be sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. A few pages of haikus, rendered in both English and Elvish. A two page ?parody of Tolkien,? which narrates a picnic in Tolkien?s verbose style. A couple of Tolkien centered crossword puzzles. A batch of recipes inspired by Middle Earth, like Shire Pudding, Mushroom Soup from the Inn at Bree, Baked Bluefish for Gollum, etc.

    *This is a weird book, no question.

    *It also contains, and this is why we are looking at it today, some Lord of the Rings EU, a few brief stories set in Tolkien?s Middle Earth, told by others. Quite soon, Christopher Tolkien would decide to shut the door on this stuff. But in the late seventies, it was still possible and we have a few examples here.

    *So, In the Service of the King.

    *So, this is a four page story told from the perspective of a small Hobbit of the Shire, making this a fairly significant story from the perspective of this timeline, as it is the first time we?ve seen the Shire or, for that matter, even heard about the Hobbits.

    *So, this fellow is named Folo and he receives news that Angmar the Witch-King is on the move again and that the King, who is never named in this story, has called for help from all quarters as he flees before the advance of the Orcs and the Nazgul.

    *So, Folo bids farewell to his wife, Lilly, and with his friend, Olo, sets out to help the King. They are part of a whole detachment of Hobbit archers.

    *Anyway, they are harried by marauding Orcs; in the first clash, a third of the Hobbits are killed. ?Only Drolo, eldest of our company, had thought to bring bandages and healing herbs. How confident, or innocent, we?d been.?

    *So, yes, the Hobbits in this story have names ranging from Folo to Olo to Drolo.

    *The story closes with Folo thinking of his wife and his home; the small group of Hobbits, growing smaller every day, have been unable to find the King and his force. Folo wonders if anyone in the Shire will remember him when he is gone.

    *And then the story closes with a tie to Tolkien: ?It is said in Appendix A, part iii of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien that ?to the help of the King they (the Shire) sent some archers who never returned.??

    *So, this is essentially a little fan-fiction, an attempt to sort of tell the story behind a throwaway line from Tolkien?s writing.

    *As I knew it would, this suffers because the writing isn?t anywhere near the level of Tolkien, even at his most unpolished and incomplete. But it?s of some interest, I suppose, as our first glimpse of the Shire and the surprising courage and heroism of the smallest of the people of Middle Earth.

    *Next time, a more established writer tries her hand at imitating Tolkien. Marion Zimmer Bradley tells us about The Jewel of Arwen, next time.
  16. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 31, 2005
    There must be more on Celebrimbor somewhere other than the Silmarillion, because I found several details about him that weren't there.
  17. InklingStar

    InklingStar Jedi Youngling

    May 1, 2003
    There's a ton about Celebrimbor, the Gwaith-i-Mírdain, and the forging of the Rings of Power not only in the Appendices but also in Unfinished Tales. I guess the list we're going from here skips that part. :(
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    The Jewel of Arwen ? Marion Zimmer Bradley
    TA 2475 ? 2510

    *So, this one was written in 1975 and published as a small book, which would have really been more of a pamphlet given how short it is. It?s been reprinted in a couple of books. I found it in a book called Jamie and Other Stories, a collection of Bradley?s short stories.

    *It?s about ten pages in this book. As to the rest of the stories in the book or any of Bradley?s other more famous fantasy works, I couldn?t say as I?ve never read any of them.

    *So, this one begins about 5,000 years after poor Folo from our last story died in the rain, far from home. And, as it begins, Orcs are once again sallying out of Mordor under the command of Angmar the Witch-King. We are told that the story begins in the year of the fall of Osgiliath.

    *So, we?re introduced to the Eleventh Steward of Gondor, a fellow named Boromir. A footnote informs us that this is an ancestor of LotR?s Boromir by fourteen generations. This Boromir faces off with Angmar on the field of battle, kills his steed and eventually drives Angmar away.

    *However, during this fight, Angmar manages to wound Boromir with his blade. Boromir slowly falls into a wasting sickness and none of the healers of Minas Tirith are able to help him. But then . . .

    *Then arrives at Minas Tirith someone named Mithrandir, the Grey Pilgrim!

    *Wow! Epic!

    *So, Mithrandir recommends that Boromir be sent up river to Lothorion where he might be able to be healed.

    *So, I had a really hard time with this section of the story because Boromir meets with this character named the White Elf-Lord and he?s never actually named in this story and then he also meets with Elrond and they also call Elrond the White Elf-Lord. So, this was really confusing to me.

    *So, Boromir ends up staying in Rivendell and there recovering his strength. Elrond warns him that if he leaves Rivendell, he will surely fall into sickness again, but Boromir says that as Steward of Gondor, he must return to his people.

    *This is sort of a striking idea. The Steward of Gondor is supposed to keep things in order for the King to eventually return. What happens when the Steward leaves and fails to return? Who keeps things in order for him to return?

    *So, sure enough, Boromir falls into sickness once he returns to Gondor, but he spends the remaining years of his life helping his son Cirion become ready to be the Steward of Gondor. And, due to some comments of Elrond, Boromir finds relief from his pains with one of the Seven Stars, the jewels of light.

    *Boromir eventually passes, even the jewel unable to stop the progress of his illness. On his deathbed, he gives the Stone to his son and urges him to send it to Elrond at Rivendell in return for Elrond?s kindess to him. Cirion sends the stone to Lorien where the Lady Galadriel takes possession of it in order to eventually send it to Rivendell.

    *Then, there?s a passage that talks about how the narrative breaks off at this point and then picks up again in a long Lay that concludes the story. Bradley states that she can?t translate the Lay for us, but she will summarize it.

    *It?s interesting. She?s probably trying to mimic here the style of someone translating an ancient text. But, in hindsight, she seems to actually be presaging the style of the Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle Earth. Christopher Tolkien does essentially exactly these kinds of notes all through those books.

    *So, anyway, Elrond?s wife is here and her name is Celebriand. I don?t recall ever knowing much about her. Regardless, the two eldest sons of Elrond and Celebriand, by the names of Elrohir and Elladan, visit Lorien for a while. Celebriand stays behind in Rivendell, but then sets out to journey to Lorien; when she fails to appear, her sons grow concerned and, accompanied by the White Elf-Lord, they set out to find her.

    *They discover that she?s been captured by the Orcs and so Elrohir does this incredibly brave thing to make the Orcs pursue him and then Elladan g
  19. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Ehhh . . . I find it way too longwinded. It's overcomplex and run-on for the sake of feeling archaic without any of the genuine grace of Tolkien's prose.
  20. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    Sounds like a nice story. I do like the thematic connections with Tolkien's works that you pointed out. Keep up the great work!
  21. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cirion & Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor & Rohan ? J.R.R. Tolkien
    TA 2489 ? 2510

    *So, the first section of this story is called The Northmen and the Wainriders. It briefly sketches for us the relationship between the Gondorians, who, as you recall, are the survivors of the Downfall of Numenor. Gondor was established by either Isildur or Anarian. I forget which one.

    *Now the Northmen are not of the Numenoreans. The Northmen are the descendents of those Men who assisted the Valar in the War of Wrath but did not go to Numenor. So, these two fairly large groups of men live here in Middle Earth in fairly close proximity to each other: the descendents of the Numenoreans in Gondor and the descendents of the non-Numenorean Men who were on the side of the Valar. These Northmen live in a place called Rhovanian.

    *Then both Gondor and the Northmen are rocked by, in quick succession, a massive plague and an invasion by the Wainriders, a group of rapacious, ferocious Easterlings. The Northmen are forced to flee away from Gondor during a hundred year war between Gondor and the Wainriders.

    *By the way . . . Wainrider? It may have an obscure grace on the page, but try saying it five times fast.

    *Anyway, eventually, the Northmen regroup and there?s this huge battle that, toward the end, Christopher Tolkien summarizes as his father left on the sketchiest of notes. The gist of it seems to be that the Wainriders sort of trample all over everybody, but then Earnil, a Gondorian captain, ends up turning the tide and anyway, this battle takes place at least partially in the Dead Marshes, which I?m sure we all remember from LotR.

    *But this is all well before the tale of Cirion and Eorl. In the second section of the story, The Ride of Eorl, we?re told about Cirion, the Steward of Gondor, during a time when the enemy was hard pressing him and it seemed that Gondor would fall to Sauron.

    *So, Cirion, in desperation, sends a message to Eorl, who he knows to lead the Northmen, now called the Eotheod. It has been, at this point, quite a long time since the allegiance between Gondor and the Northmen allowed for the defeat of the Wainriders, but Cirion calls on Eorl to rise to their defence again.

    *Eorl does so, of course, and leads a great host of horsemen, for the Eotheod are greatly reknowed for their breeding and riding of horses, to Gondor?s aid. There?s this weird thing where some weird magic transports them into a weird tunnel that allows them to reach Gondor in a fraction of the time it should have taken and then Eorl and his force arrives at Gondor.

    *The story, as Tolkien wrote it, ends here. Christopher Tolkien quotes from the Appendices to LotR where Tolkien wrote about the battle very briefly. Long story short, Eorl?s great ride succeeds and Gondor is saved.

    *So, then the third section is called Cirion & Eorl. It tells of the allegiance forged between Gondor and the Eotheod in the aftermath of this battle. Cirion and Eorl pledge to defend each other to the death in a solemn ceremony at the memorial raised up for Elendil. It is instituted that Gondor and the Eotheod will always come to each other?s aid and in order to facilitate this, a system of massive beacons is arranged.


    *Obviously, we all remember the fantastic lighting of the beacons in RotK.

    *Then, in the fourth and final part, The Tradition of Isildur, Tolkien takes us back in time to show us Isildur raising the memorial to Elendil and how it was intended to be a place where solemn oaths were sworn. We?re also given some detail about the last King of Gondor, the way he fell in battle and the institution of the Stewards.

    *We?re also told here, for whatever idiots hadn?t figured it out yet, that the Eotheod eventually became known as the Rohirrim.

    *This whole section, including all four parts of the story, is about twenty-three pages. By far the longest section is the section given over to the ceremony where Cirion
  22. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Tales Told by the Lonely Mountain ? Margaret Howes
    TA 2590 ? 2770

    *Okay, so this tiny omnibus comes out of the same book out of which we previously read In the Service of the King, which would be A Tolkien Treasury from 1978.

    *Margaret Howes, I know nothing about.

    *So, when I call it a tiny omnibus, here?s what I mean. It?s three stories, and I?ll give a brief summary of each of them below, but the whole thing is not even twelve pages. So, the stories are very brief and very sort of helicoptered over, if you know what I mean.

    *So, there?s a half page introduction here where Howes tells us that these three stories are legends from the time of the Northmen; they were eventually written down in the time of King Elassar, who is Aragorn if I have all my names in order. The introduction also says that it is doubtful that any of these stories can be accepted as historical, but they do give a picture of life around Erebor before the coming of Smaug. So, this is before Smaug moved in and all of the stuff with The Hobbit happened.

    *The first story is called The Fall of Bladorthin. Bladorthin, the text says, is a true historical figure, mentioned in There and Back Again, but any other details from this story cannot be confirmed.

    *So, Bladorthin is the highest king of all the Northmen and he rules from Erannan. Bladorthin hears through the grapevine that one of his underkings, Ruand, is going to try to overthrow him. So he contracts with the Dwarf King Under the Mountain to make up a bunch of weapons.

    *Before he can get the weapons though, Ruand does indeed rebel. Bladorthin and his adult sons are slain in the fighting in Erannan, but one of his soldiers, Atan, manages to save Bladorthin?s infant daughter, Muirne, and her nurse.

    *So, Atan, along with six other survivors of Bladorthin?s guard sneak Muire out of Erannan and to the town of Dale where they find safe haven under King Ornin. Meanwhile, under Ruand, Erannan plunges into constant chaos as the men serving under Ruand are constantly trying to overthrow him.

    *Muire grows up, marries King Ornin?s son, Girion; Girion becomes king and the son is named Bladorn in memory of his fallen grandfather. The end.

    *Oh, well, there is a note at the end of the story that says that all was well, until the dragon came to Erebor.

    *The second story is called The Story of Brega, the Son of Nar. So, Brega is the leader of a band of outlaws. He and his men are captured by King Madan, the king of Erannan.

    *The king says he will spare their lives if they will do one task for him: steal the crown of the king of Dorwinion, one of the other fortified cities in the area. Having nothing to lose, Brega and his men accept.

    *So, Brega and his men arrange to be hired by the king of Dorwinion as part of his guards.

    *Once there, however, they discover the fly in the ointment: the king of Dorwinion wears his crown, because it is so valuable, only one day a year and only then when surrounded by all two hundred of his guards with drawn swords. Also, the king is forever flanked by two ferocious goblins which, once they have the scent of a man, will not stop until they have run him to ground.

    *Brega and his men know they can?t just stay in Dorwinion, however; the Easterlings are forever attacking it and Brega?s life in Dorwinion is a constant battle.

    *So, comes the day when the king brings out the crown and Brega and his men grab it and make for the boats. Then follows a hair raising chase with the men of Dorwinion pursuing them down the river and the goblins on their heels as well.

    *Finally, after a never ending sprint down the river, battling on and off the water, all the men of Dorwinion have been slain, but so too have all but two of Brega?s men and Brega himself. And the two goblins are still following them.

    *Ultimately, comes the face off. The goblins dispatch Brega?s men, but Brega, in pure desperation, kills them.

    *And then we cut to King Madan having a big party. A wild-eyed, naked, bloody man bursts in and
  23. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    Sounds like it's not a big deal to skip it, then. If you get to play in the LOTR universe, you want to take full advantage of it, for sure.

    I may have missed it earlier, but did you include a link to [link=]The Jewel of Arwen[/link] when we discussed it before?
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Wow. That's just stunningly bad storytelling. Wasted opportunity indeed.
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    I don't think I did think to throw up a link to The Jewel of Arwen. Thanks, McClain!

    Concerning Gandalf, Saruman & the Shire ? J.R.R. Tolkien
    TA 2851

    *So, this very brief little section of the Unfinished Tales (less than four pages) comes at the end of the section titled The Hunt for the Ring. It gives us some details, in Tolkien?s writing, about the relationship between Gandalf and Saruman prior to Lord of the Rings.

    *So, anyway, Saruman dislikes Gandalf because he knows that Gandalf is really more powerful than he is. Saruman notices Gandalf spending a lot of time in the Shire so he actually goes to the Shire himself a few times, trying to figure out what Gandalf is up to there.

    *We aren?t given any details about these journies of Saruman to the Shire. Now see, this is what I would write about, not the frigging vengeance of Andor or whatever.

    *Wonderful detail that perfectly captures Saruman?s character: ?Now, truth to tell, observing Gandalf?s love of the herb that he called ?pipe-weed? (for which, he said, if for nothing else, the Little People should be honoured), Saruman had affected to scoff at it, but in private he made trial of it, and soon began to use it; and for this reason the Shire remained important to him. Yet he dreaded lest this should be discovered, and his own mockery turned against him, so that he would be laughed at for imitating Gandalf and scorned for doing so by stealth.?

    *Tolkien then goes on to tell us that Gandalf knows that Saruman visits the Shire and that he smokes pipe-weed and Gandalf finds this amusing, but tells no one because he doesn?t want to humiliate Saruman.

    *So, then, in 2851, when this story is put on the timeline, the wizards meet in Rivendell for a council. Saruman is making a big speech and when he sees Gandalf calmly smoking, he takes him to task for not paying attention. Gandalf replies that Saruman might want to pay more attention to the small things in life. Saruman says that he is interested in the big picture. Gandalf blows a smoke ring and then reaches for it, only to have it dissolve.

    *Gandalf, Tolkien says, was making the point that he felt that Saruman was getting a little too obsessive in his quest for the One Ring. Christopher says that Tolkien probably ended up deleting this little story because he wanted Gandalf to be unaware of Saruman?s treachery until Saruman captured him and probably felt that this little story might muddy the waters.

    *So, after this meeting, Saruman dislikes Gandalf even more because he thinks that Gandalf has some inkling of just how much he wants the One Ring. Then, after it turns out that the Ring is tied to the Hobbits, Saruman thinks that Gandalf has known that all along and that this is why he was interested in the Shire. Tolkien assures us that Gandalf did not know this from the beginning, when he began visiting the Shire.

    *So, it?s a very short little passage just a couple of pages of notes from Tolkien on the relationship between these two wizards and the way they needle each other. But it plays like pure gold. I would love to have seen Lee and McKellen play this scene at the council. And it certainly rings true to the characters of each of them.

    *Next time, we move from a seemingly inconsequential argument over smoking habits to the most pivotal confrontation of the Third Age: next time, at last, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien!