Of the Darkening of Valinor
~Silmarillion Chapter 8~

First off, apologies for the VERY late posting. My excuse is as follows: sibling, car crash, hospital. All is well and the aforementioned sibling shall be quite alright, but it has thrown off my regularity. Explanation complete, and now for Spiders and Trees 

Manwë pursued Melkor to the north, not knowing that his enemy had doubled back, and was beyond his reach. Melkor made his way to the distant lair of Ungoliant, a fallen Maiar in spider form. 
She hungered for light, consuming it and turning it to darkness, and Melkor persuaded her to aid him in his revenge against the Valar. 
During a time of festival in Valinor, the enemy arrived, and Ungoliant sucked the light and life out of Telperion and Laurelin. 
Thus were the two trees destroyed, and the world cast into darkness. 

I promise I will try to stop turning every post into a defence of Fëanor (scratch that, I make no promises) but this chapter shows on of the many reasons why anyone might want to strangle Manwë just a little bit. 

Melkor flees to the North, Tulkas and Oromë are sent north. Melkor is not found, nor any signs of him. A watch is set in the North. And with bajillions of Maiar and Valar and whatnot, not a soul is sent in any other direction. Even though Melkor still retains the ability to walk without visible form, it occurs to no one that he might have doubled back. Or snuck around. Or been clever and crafty and secretive. Or any of the things that he is known for. Sigh, I suppose we must all take a deep breath and remember that, while we know of doubling back as the oldest trick in the book, this all happened before sneaky maneuvers were common knowledge.

And now we (and Melkor) come at last to the lair of Ungoliant. If you thought Shelob was bad, meet her ancestor. 

"[S]he had disowned her Master, desiring to be mistress of her own lust, taking all things to herself to feed her emptiness ... In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains. There she sucked up all light that she could find, and spun it forth again in dark nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode; and she was famished." 

There Melkor sought her out, and devised a plan. Promising to give her whatever she wanted when he had power, Melkor convinced Ungoliant to aid him. 

"Lightly he made this voe, as he ever did; and he laughed in his heart. Thus did the great thief set his lure for the lesser." 

Shrouded in a shadow of Ungoliant's making, the two made their way unseen to Valinor, during a time of festival. 

"Yavanna set times for the flowering and ripening of all things that grew in Valinor; and at each first gathering of fruits Manwë made a high feast for the praising of Eru, when all the peoples of Valinor poured forth their joy in music and song upon Taniquetil." 


Fëanor had been commanded to attend the feast, but his father, Finwë and his people at Formenos refused to come so long as Fëanor was banished from Tirion. Fëanor arrived without the Silmarils, having jealously locked them up in Formenos, and did not wear the garb of celebration. 
(We shall remember that Fëanor had drawn sword against Fingolfin). He "reconciled" with his half-brother. And Fingolfin, being the wonderful lovely creature that he was, graciously forgave and offered friendship. 

"For Fingolfin held forth his hand, saying: 'As I promised, I do now. I release thee, and remember no grievance.' 

Then Fëanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: 'Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us.' 
'I hear thee,' said Fëanor. 'So be it.'"

I do not understand how anyone can be so bitter and obnoxious in the face of such a gracious gesture of love and friendship. Just goes to show what happens when you feed your pride and anger. As of only a chapter ago, he was angry at Fingolfin because he thought himself usurped. Now Fingolfin promises to be his follower, and Fëanor is already beyond caring. I think he hates that Fingolfin is, by this gesture, showing himself to be a better king. I can just see the gears turning in Fëanor's mind, as he convinces himself that Fingolfin is only doing this so that everyone will like him more. 

Two things I neglected to mention concerning the previous chapter: When the Silmarils were made, they were hallowed so that no evil thing, or creature with dark intent (or "unclean hands") could touch them without being 'scorched and withered'. It is later said that Fëanor took to only wearing them set in a crown upon his head. think that when Fëanor drew a sword against Fingolfin, his hands became 'unclean' and the Silmarils burned him, so he took to wearing them in a crown so that they would not touch his skin (which is, for the record, exactly what happens with Melkor later on.)*

Now enter our two villains.....

"And in that very hour, Melkor and Ungoliant came hastening over the fields of Valinor, as the shadow of a black cloud upon the wind fleets over the sunlit earth. ... Then the Unlight of ungoliant rose up even to the roots of the trees, and Melkor sprang upon the mound; and with his black spear he smote each Tree to its core, wounded them deep, and their sap poured forth as it were their blood, and was spilled upon the ground. But Ungoliant sucked it up, and going then from Tree to Tree she set her black beak to their wounds, till they were drained; and the poison of Death that was in her went into their tissues and withered them, root, branch, and leaf; and they died."

The light of Telperion and Laurelin thus extinguished, Valinor was shrouded in darkness. 

"Melkor had gone whither he would, and his vengeance was achieved."  


*As far as I know, there is no actual proof of this, and Tolkien does not say as much explicitly. It is mere conjecture (but I still think I am right about it, as with my opinion of Tom Bombadil's origins...but that is a post for another day). 

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For a full list of Silmarillion posts: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/silmarillion-posts
Family Trees and Diagrams (Silmarillion Series): theredbooknews.blogspot.com/sil
A List of the Valar: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/the-valar 
Maps: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/maps
Pronunciation Guide: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/pronunciation 

(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

Morgoth and Ungoliant by Protoguy: https://protoguy.deviantart.com/
Fingolfin by Venlian: https://venlian.deviantart.com/
Fëanor by Venlian: https://venlian.deviantart.com/
Silmarillion: Unlight by Lady Elleth: https://ladyelleth.deviantart.com/

Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
~Silmarillion Chapter 7 ~

Yes, my friends, we have finally arrived at the titular Silmarils. 

Fëanor created the three Silmarils, like gem in form, holding the light of the Trees. As with all things great and wondrous, the Silmarils caught the eye of Melkor. He doubled his efforts to disperse lies and rumours among the Noldor, causing them to distrust the Valar and one another; he then taught them to make weapons. Fëanor became overprotective of the Silmarils, and grew paranoid and jealous of others. 
In an attempt to address the unrest and the lies, Finwë summoned a council. Fëanor encouraged rebellion, Fingolfin spoke against it, and Fëanor took that as proof of Fingolfin's rumoured (though nonexistent) plot to usurp the throne. Fëanor threatened Fingolfin at swordpoint, and the Valar called council. Because of Fëanor's behaviour, he was sentenced to 12 years exile from Tirion. Fingolfin forgives his half brother and is desirous of reconciliation. Finwë departs with Fëanor, and Fingolfin ends up with the crown, by no design of his own. 
As a result of the councils of Finwë and the Valar, it became clear that Melkor was the cause of many problems, but he fled before he could be brought to justice. 

First of all, Fëanor is being a brat. However, despite what I just said, I still hold to my opinion that some of what Fëanor does is justifiable, and most of it is understandable and should not be tossed off lightly as 'naughty naughty'. Some of what he does is, of course, a result of a vindictive nature which we can all self-righteously complain about if we like. 
As a further disclaimer, I am not endorsing Fëanor's actions, I am merely saying that I refuse to have him discounted as a 'bad guy'.  

Anyhow, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Silmarils. 

"But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made."

By some art unknown (save perhaps to Varda) Fëanor filled these 'gems' with the light of the Trees of Valinor. 
As he became obsessed with Arda in its beauty, so Melkor's mind was now filled with lust for the Silmarils. 

"Ever Melkor found some ears that would heed him, and some tongues that would enlarge what they had heard; and his lies passed from friend to friend, as secrets of which the knowledge proves the teller wise. Bitterly did the Noldor atone for the folly of their open ears in the days that followed after."

The main of Melkor's lies concerned the Valar. He filled the heads of the Elve's with thoughts of the power they should and could wield if they were not under the thumb of the Valar. He told them that their freedom was a sham, and that they were only being kept out of Middle-earth so that another race (men) might rule it. 
Melkor also spread rumours that Fingolfin was plotting to take the kingship of the Noldor from Fëanor.

Here we come to two points concerning Fëanor. 
First, it is interesting to note that though Fëanor ever hated Melkor, yet he was greatly influenced by him, and brought many of his schemes to pass. Fëanor never listened to Melkor, but he always heard him, and then his own mind took credit for the poison which filled it. Later, when Fëanor sees what he believes to be Fingolfin trying to undermine him, he says "even as I guessed", when in reality, all those ideas about Fingolfin were put there by Melkor. Fëanor was the perfect soil for the lies of the dark lord; he so refused the idea that he could be in any way influenced by Melkor, that he had to make his unpleasant thoughts come out of his own head, a more reliable source. If he had simply acknowledged that Melkor had tricked him, and that he had to be more careful, things might have gone differently. 

Second, Manwë pretty much does nothing this entire time. Fëanor (though his own talk did as much or more damage than that of Melkor) saw his people divided and confused and angry. What he sees, is that Manwë wrongly freed Melkor, and then did nothing to keep him in check; let him loose among the Noldor to do as he pleased. Manwë's 'perfect' Aman, in which Míriel dies and Melkor walks freely.....is it anything but natural for Fëanor to dislike Manwë. Then later, with the destruction of the trees, it can once more be blamed on the Valar's lack of vigilance. Fëanor, despite everything, really has quite a case against Manwë. 

Moving on. Finwë summons his lords to council. 

"For Fëanor now began openly to speak words of rebellion against the Valar, crying aloud that he would depart from Valinor back to the world without, and would deliver the Noldor from thraldom, if they would follow him." 

Fingolfin asks Finwë to 'talk some sense' into their wayward relation, and Fëanor enters the council, fully armed. He orders Fingolfin to leave, accusing him of trying to turn their father against him, and follows him to the door. 

"...and the point of his bright sword he set against Fingolfin's breast. 'See, half-brother!' he said. 'This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls.'"

This was (finally) a step too far, and Fëanor, as well as others among the Noldor, were summoned before Manwê. 

"Then at last the root was laid bare, and the malice of Melkor revealed ... But Fëanor was not held guiltless, for he it was that had broken the peace of Valinor and drawn his sword upon his kinsman; and Mandos said to him: 'Thou speakest of thraldom. If thraldom it be, thou canst not escape it; for Manwë is King of Arda, and not Aman only. And this deed was unlawful, whether in Aman or not in Aman. Therefore this doom is now made: for twelve years thou shalt leave Tirion ... But after that time this matter shall be set in peace and held redressed, if others will release thee.'
Then Fingolfin said: 'I will release my brother'."

Bear in mind that 12 years is the blink of an eye for elves. This sentence is ridiculously light, but Fëanor, proud as he is, stalks off to Formenos with his family to sulk, hiding the Silmarils with him. 

"Thither also came Finwë the King, because of the love that bore to Fëanor; and Fingolfin ruled the Noldor in Tirion. Thus the lies of Melkor were made true in seeming, though Fëanor by his own deeds had brought this thing to pass". 

Melkor, knowing he was discovered, fled and was not brought to justice (another thing for Fëanor to add to his 'reasons why Manwë is lame' list), he instead went to Fëanor, to offer his "assistance", but the door was quite literally slammed in his face.

So off went Melkor, and off went Fëanor, and off went peace and the days when people weren't constantly being killed.  
Wave goodbye to those wonderful days, and get your handkerchiefs out. From now on, the book is full of sad sad sad things, and the many good things are so beautiful that they are even harder to read.

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For a full list of Silmarillion posts: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/silmarillion-posts
Family Trees and Diagrams (Silmarillion Series): theredbooknews.blogspot.com/sil
A List of the Valar: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/the-valar 
Maps: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/maps
Pronunciation Guide: theredbooknews.blogspot.com/pronunciation 

(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

Fëanor with silmaril by steamey: https://steamey.deviantart.com/

Happy Birthday Dear Bilbo-and-Frodo

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Bilbo-and-Frodo! Happy birthday to you!

(in which I reference a bunch of quotes)

My wonderful hobbits, you are two that I love, the oldest not the least. There at last, dear friends, on the shores of the sea, came our final farewell. Saying goodbye to you at the Grey Havens has always brought tears to my eyes, but not all tears are an evil. 

So much time spent in your great story, only to say goodbye at the end, but that is the beauty of it. I hate saying goodbye, but I wouldn't love you half so much if I didn't have to watch you go, every single time. 

Bilbo, you have had an exciting time of it. First that business with the dragon, then all those little trips with the Dwarves. Then to live in Rivendell, how I envy you that one, for as long as you did, and finally, the greatest journey of them all. It may not seem like much to you, Bilbo, taking a boat to Valinor, but it is really something. And how delighted the elves there will be with you! You're such a loveable chap. You passed the Old Took, and since you are going to Aman, who knows how much older you might get? 

Good-bye, my dear Bilbo – until our next meeting (or my next re-read).

And Frodo. I have no words for you, Frodo. Go, join the ranks of such as Earendil and Beren, in whose company you should not feel ashamed. You deserve it (so does Sam though, you make sure he gets through eventually, you basically promised). I miss you. I always miss you. I miss the innocent you coming in from a party in the unblemished Shire. I miss the stupidly brave you that set out from Rivendell. I miss the compassionate you who tried to help Smeagol. I miss the damaged you who could no longer stay in Middle-earth (but seriously you can't let Sam stay behind forever, that just isn't right I can't bear it). 

Re-reads shall keep me as busy and as happy as anyone can be, as long as my part of the story goes on. 

Farewell! Go in peace!

Chapter I
A Long-Expected Party

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday..........

Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
~ Silmarillion Chapter 6 ~

After Melkor was caught, there was a long peace, during which Fëanor son of Finwë was born. After giving birth, his mother Míriel did not want to live, and lay down in the gardens of Lórien, never to wake. Fëanor married Nerdanel, and together they had seven sons. Finwë, after a long period of grieving, remarried and fathered Fingolfin and Finarfin. 
Melkor was again brought before the Valar. By trickery and groveling, he convinced Manwë to let him out on 'parole'. Melkor was so helpful and friendly to all that he eventually won over many of the Valar and elves (Fëanor, Tulkas, and Ulmo not included).
Oh Fëanor, I love you, but you really messed everything up. This chapter mostly tells of things we have already read about, albeit in more detail. That tends to be Tolkien's way. He doesn't save important plot points until the end, trying to keep you guessing. He just references them off hand leaving you seething because WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME STUFF LIKE THIS AND THEN JUST BRUSH IT OFF AND NOT EXPLAIN FOR A VERY LONG TIME!!!! *ahem* Apologies. Tolkien has done this to me a lot. 

Fëanor is perhaps one of the most famous elves from Silmarillion. Those Tolkien fans who have had no contact with the Silmarillion, have usually still heard the name Fëanor thrown about in both angry and reverent tones by other Tolkienites. Fëanor, the creator of the Silmarils.

Allow me to take you a little deeper into Fëanor's beginning. Born Curufinwë, he was a prince, and everything should have been perfect for him. He came during a golden age of peace, in a beautiful city upon a beautiful hill, in the land of Aman, surrounded by loving elves. 

But things started off wrong from the very beginning. Míriel's death was the beginning of a long line of tragedies and sorrows for Fëanor and all the Firstborn. In a way, it was what set the ball rolling for the corruption of the Children of Ilúvatar. 

"But in the bearing of her son Míriel was consumed in spirit and body; and after his birth she yearned for a release from the labour of living. And when she had named him [Fëanor], she said to Finwë: 'Never again shall I bear child' for strength that would have nourished the life of many has gone forth into Fëanor.' ... She went then to the gardens of Lórien and lay down to sleep; but though she seemed to sleep, her spirit indeed departed from her body, and passed in silence to the halls of Mandos. ... Then Finwë lived in sorrow; and he went often to the gardens of Lórien, and sitting beneath the silver willows beside the body of his wife he called her by her names. But it was unavailing; and alone in all the Blessed Realm he was deprived of joy."

Are you sad yet? Though Finwë was a good and loving father, and never blamed Fëanor for Míriel's 'death', it is likely that Fëanor blamed himself. He never knew her, but her manner of passing would never have been passed over as 'a mother who died in childbirth'. For one of these beautiful, unblemished, immortal elves to die, with no apparent cause save an event which should have been joyous...it would have been an incredible blow to everyone, especially Fëanor.

"Few ever changed [Fëanor's] courses by counsel, none by force. He became of all the Noldor, then or after, the most subtle in mind and the most skilled in hand. .... [H]e it was who, first of the Noldor, discovered how gems greater and brighter than those of the Earth might be made with skill."

He was strong-willed, and desire to master the minds of others, to learn and to create. He was not content to stay in one place, but travelled frequently. He married Nerdanel, daughter of a great smith, and she bore him seven sons. 

"Now it came to pass that Finwë took as his second wife Indis the Fair. She was a Vanya ... golden-haired and tall, and in all ways unlike Míriel. Finwë loved her greatly, and was glad again. But the shadow of Míriel did not depart from the house of Finwë, no from his heart; and of all whom he loved Fëanor had ever the chief share of his thought. The wedding of his father was not pleasing to Fëanor; and he had no great love for Indis, nor for Fingolfin and Finarfin, her sons."

Another blow to Fëanor. He distanced himself from his family, exploring and working. 

"In those unhappy things which later came to pass, and in which Fëanor was the leader, many saw the effect of this breach within the house of Finwë, judging that if Finwë had endured his loss and been content with the fathering of his mighty son, the courses of Fëanor would have been otherwise, and great evil might have been prevented .... But the children of Indis were great and glorious, and their children also; and if they had not lived the history of the Eldar would have been diminished."

Next, Melkor was released.

"Before the gates of Valmar Melkor abased himself at the feet of Manwë and sued for pardon, vowing that if he might be made only the least of the free people of Valinor he would aid the Valar in all their works ... But fair-seeming were all the words and deeds of Melkor in that time, and both the Valar and the Eldar had profit from his aid and counsel, if they sought it; and therefore in a while he was given leave to go freely about the land, and it seemed to Manwë that the evil of Melkor was cured. For Manweë was free from evil and could not comprehend it." 

I do not wish to place upon Tolkien things of my own thought, but in my opinion, he began even then to resent, just a little, the fact that the Valar had summoned the Elves to Aman. He would have heard stories of Middle-earth and, given his personality, no doubt wished he had a way to see the star-lit land. He would have heard stories of Melkor, and Tolkien says that "none of the Eldalië ever hated Melkor more than Fëanor son of Finwë, who first named him Morgoth", so I think it safe to say that Melkor's unchaining would have significantly diminished Fëanor's respect for Manwë. 

The line about comprehending evil is also very important. I think that would have been something that Fëanor would have perceived, and that would have perhaps made him more interested in the workings of evil than is healthy. He likes knowledge and control, the idea that he could make a mistake such as Manwë's because of a lack of comprehension, would have been displeasing to him. Fëanor is certainly not the sort to avoid delving into something because it could have a negative impact on him. It is easy to see how he came to dislike and disagree with Manwë.

My point in all this is, Fëanor wasn't just a stupid elf who caused problems. There was a lot more going on his life to cause his pride and rebellion. Míriel, Finwë, Manwë, Melkor...all of them contributed to him being the way he was. 

"Fëanor was driven by the fire of his own heart only, working ever swiftly and alone; and he asked the aid and sought the counsel of none that dwelt in Aman, great or small, save only and for a little while of Nerdanel the wise, his wife."

Okay, I'm basically done, I just have one more little quote I want to share. 

"[T]hose who will defend authority against rebellion must not themselves rebel." 

"Now the Three Kindreds of the Eldar were gathered at last in Valinor, and Melkor was chained. This was the Noontide of the Blessed Realm, the fullness of its glory and its bliss, long in tale of years, but in memory too brief."

If anyone finds it odd that I am defending Fëanor (not that I approve of most of the things he did, I just hate it when he is brushed off as a 'bad guy'), don't worry, I am also a staunch defender of Saruman (he was strong through SO MUCH before he started down his dark path). 

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For a full list of Silmarillion Posts: https://theredbooknews.blogspot.com/silmarillion-posts

(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

Star of Feanor by Kimberly: https://kimberly80.deviantart.com/
Lamentation for Miriel by Losselen: https://losselen.deviantart.com/
Word of Feanor by Venlian: http://venlian.deviantart.com/

Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

Geography, yet another division of elves, and an introduction to the Noldor with whom the Silmarillion is chiefly concerned. 

At long last, the main of the Teleri host followed their new king, Olwë, to Valinor. Of the Teleri that did NOT follow Olwë, there were two groups. The Falathrim, friends of Ossë, the mariners and shipwrights, of whom Círdan was one; and the Eglath (Forsaken People) who stayed behind seeking their lost lord, Elwë. 

In Valinor, a dwelling place was made for the elves: Tirion upon Túna. In Tirion, Yavanna made a tree like to Telperion, though it did not give light of its own, from this eventually came the White Tree of Númenor. 

The lord of the Noldor was Finwë, his sons were Fëanor (one of the largest characters in the book), Fingolfin, and Finarfin (Galadriel's father).
Now then, we must dig a little deeper and quote Tolkien a whole bunch, but first a map1.

If you will remember, Oromë was to lead all the elves to Valinor.  After the Avari (the Unwilling) broke off, the Vanyar and the Noldor went along and made it without any problem, the Teleri, however, ended up fracturing a couple more times. While they were still travelling in a generally steady fashion (before their REALLY long break in Beleriand) an elf called Lenwë broke off with a bunch of people (the Nandor) and wandered away south. 

All three elven groups made it Beleriand, then Elwë ran into Melian2 in what is called Doriath on the map; as a result, the Teleri did not move on with the Noldor and Vanyar, but stayed behind in East Beleriand. The others moved on to the shores of the sea that lay between them and Aman (where Valinor is situated). At this point, Ulmo uprooted an island, brought it to the Bay of Balar, and then used it to carry the Vanyar and Noldor to Valinor; a part of this island broke off and remained behind, becoming the Isle of Balar. The Teleri did not hear Ulmo's summons, and so remained behind. However, having chosen Olwë, brother of Elwë, for their lord, they eventually came to the Bay of Balar, and were there befriended by Ossë and Uinen3.   
"Thus it came to be that the Teleri, who were from the beginning lovers of water, and the fairest singers of all the Elves, were after enamoured of the seas, and their songs were filled with the sound of waves upon the shore."

More time passed, then Ulmo at last returned to the Teleri to take them to Valinor. Ossë was fond of the Teleri, and persuaded a group of them to stay behind, these were called the Falathrim. Another group remained behind, still seeking for Elwë Singollo, "though they would fain have departed to Valinor and the light of the Trees, if Ulmo and Olwë had been willing to tarry longer." These called themselves the Eglath (the Forsaken People), but eventually Elwë returned to them with Melian at his side, his people became the Sindar, and he himself was known after as Elu Thingol.

Ossë followed the people of Olwë and persuaded them to stop, so Ulmo anchored the island they were riding upon, and it became Tol Eressëa (the Lonely Isle). 

Meanwhile, in Valinor, the Vanyar and the Noldor longed for sight of the stars and so "a gap was made in the great walls of the Pelóri, and there in a deep valley that ran down to the sea the Eldar raised a high green hill: Túna it was called." Upon this hill was raised the white city of Tirion. 
"Then through the Calacirya, the Pass of Light, the radiance of the Blessed Realm streamed forth, kindling the dark waves to silver and gold, and it touched the Lonely Isle, and its western shore grew green and fair. There bloomed the first flowers that ever were east of the Mountains of Aman."

Yavanna gave to the elves in Tirion a replica (though it gave no light) of Telperion. This tree was called Galathilion, from this came Celeborn (planted in Tol Eressëa), and eventually Nimloth (the white tree of Númenor). 

In time, the Noldorin masons dug up the first of the earth gems and "hoarded them not, but gave them freely, and by their labour enriched all Valinor." Yes, we are getting closer to the actual Silmarils. 

At long last, the Teleri once more desired to continue their journey to Aman, and Ossë was sent to teach them to build ships. He did so, and gave them 'strong-winged' swans to draw the ships to the shores of Eldamar in Aman. "[O]f pearl were the mansions of Olwë at Alqualondë, the Haven of Swans, lit with many lamps. For that was their city, and the haven of their ships; and those were made in the likeness of swans, with beaks of gold and eyes of gold and jet.

As ages passed, the Vanyar gradually abandoned Tirion, and took up their dwelling on the mountain of Manwë, behind the Pelóri, and grew sundered from the other elves. But the Noldor liked to travel far and wide, learning of all things, and they grew close to the people of Alqualondë. 

Now then, we have only Finwë's family tree and we shall be done. You'll want to familiarize yourself with this, as these particular familial relationships are referenced a lot. Eärwen is the daughter of Olwë. The wife of Elrond was Elwing, who is the granddaughter of Beren and Luthien


1: I should like to note that I, being the sort of person I am, started trying to find Middle Earth places on the maps in Silmarillion before I got to the part where Beleriand pretty much all sinks. Naturally, I got confused. If you are looking to orient yourself between maps of Beleriand, and those of the Third Age, look to the far north-east corner of the Beleriand map, and you will see the mountains of Ered Luin. These same mountains can be found on the far north-west corner of the Third Age maps from The Lord of the Rings. 

3: See Valaquenta: The Maiar and the Enemies, Uinen and Ossë

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(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

Cuiviénen by Jenny Dolfen: https://goldseven.wordpress.com/

The Return of Goldenrod Gardener

I'm back! 

In case you were wondering what had become of me since my last post on July 2nd, I shall enlighten you. First, I decided to take a break and focus on other things for a bit. Then I got really busy, then I went on vacation for three weeks (ending on August 16th) and now, just over a week later (oh my gosh it hasn't even been two weeks has it? I feel like that vacation was a lifetime ago), I have returned. The time between getting home, and now has been filled with 'figuring out my life'. School, job, drama (as in theater, not sensation), scheduling, etc.

But I am back. 

I shall be resuming on the first Sunday of September. The every-other-week Silmarillion posts are all that I am really planning on at the moment, but I hope to be able to post other stuff in the intervening weeks. However, as the fall semester finds me with less time on my hands for writing blog posts, I imagine it will find everyone else with less time on their hands for reading blog posts, so less is more, or better, or less, or something. Anyhoo. I am alive and kicking. I have not forgotten this blog (although, to be honest, if it were dedicated to any writer save Tolkien, I would have forgotten long ago). 

Do forgive me if I miss a week, or post a few days late (or early). I don't consider the Silmarillion posts particularly helpful, and my main reason for doing them is that I enjoy the process of digging around in Silmarillion and other Tolkien stuff, and writing down my thoughts. Which means that these posts are selfish, and I have a very hard time keeping on track for selfish motives. When I promise someone else something, I am a thousand times more likely to do it than if I promised myself. 

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(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.

Of Thingol and Melian

While the Teleri were resting on their journey to Valinor, Elwë (afterwards called "Elu Thingol") chanced upon the wood of Nan Elmoth, and there found Melian the Maia, singing. He fell in love, and did not return to his people, so they went on without him. He and Melian later became the leaders of the Sindar, and dwelt in Menegroth in Doriath. 

Ah, Thingol and Melian. They play a large role in the story of Arda, and Melian is one of my favourite Silmarillion characters. 

"It is told that the Valar would leave their works, and the birds of Valinor their mirth, that the bells of Valmar were silent and the fountains ceased to flow, when at the mingling of the lights Melian sang in Lórien."

Not Lothlorien, but the gardens of Lórien the Valar, also known as Irmo. Melian is akin to Yavanna, and also has a love for growing things. It is said that she taught the birds to sing. Both she and her daughter have a strange tendency to go be lovely in a forest by themselves. Perhaps it hereditary (I believe Arwen was also caught dancing in a forest at times). 

Elwë was leading his people (the Teleri) to Valinor, and they were taking a very very very long break in Beleriand. When gallivanting about, he chanced upon the wood of Nan Elmoth when he heard the voice of Melian. 

"He forgot then utterly all his people and all the purposes of his mind, and following the birds under the shadow of the trees he passed deep into Nan Elmoth and was lost.  But he came at last to a glade open to the stars, and there Melian stood; and out of the darkness he looked at her, and the light of Aman was in her face."

He took her hand "and straightway a spell was laid on him, so that they stood thus while long years were measured by the wheeling stars above them; and the trees of Nan Elmoth grew tall and dark before they spoke any word."

Failing to find Elwë, Olwë took up kingship of the Teleri and led them on to Valinor (except for the Úmanyar, naturally). Thingol and Melian became the king and queen of the Sindar, and with some help from the Dwarves, built their abode in Menegroth, the Thousand Caves. Speaking of elves living in the caves, the Mirkwood elves are, in fact, Sindarin, so their palace isn't that weird. 

While Elwë, having seen the Two Trees, is counted among the Elves of Light, he did not return to Valinor and became the king of the Sindar. Also known as Elves of Twilight or Grey Elves. Elwë was renamed Elu Thingol (King Greymantle). He and Melian are Luthien's parents, and since Melian was actually one of the Maiar, Beren and Luthien's descendants (whether human or elf) have a special something in their blood. 

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(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. There may be slight errors, misspellings, or alternate punctuation in the quotes, and if you notice such, please inform me so that I can speedily remedy them.)

Summer in Doriath by Elena Kukanova: http://ekukanova.deviantart.com/
Under the Stars by Līga Kļaviņa: http://liigaklavina.deviantart.com/
Thingol and Melian by Antti Autio: http://aautio.deviantart.com/
Thingol by Marya Filatova: http://filat.deviantart.com/