The Children of Ilúvatar: I

Chapter One ends with several paragraphs speaking of the Valar, Elves, and Men. I shall split it into two sections because I'm annoying for vague reasons of my own. The story itself does not progress. The Silmarillion tells it's story in a sort of back and forth motion, going off into tangents a lot. Tolkien also has a habit of referencing events and details that he hasn't shared with you yet, which is rather confusing. This is why I strongly recommend reading it twice in a row, and not waiting a year or so. You want everything fresh in your mind the second time round, so that you can properly appreciate things you overlooked the first time.    

As events aren't really being discussed, I shall just jump right into some quotes. 
"[A]s the ages drew on to the hour appointed by Ilúvatar for the coming of the Firstborn, Middle-earth lay in a twilight[...]And in the darkness Melkor dwelt, and still often walked abroad, in many shapes of power and fear, and he wielded cold and fire[...]and whatsoever was cruel or violent or deadly in those days is laid to his charge."
The Firstborn being the Elves. Tolkien then goes on to speak of what the Valar were doing, which was mostly sitting in Valinor and not paying terribly much attention to the rest of the world. But some of them were vigilant. 
"From the beauty and bliss of Valinor the Valar came seldom over the mountains to Middle-earth, but gave to the land beyond the Pelóri their care and their love." 

He first speaks of Aulë, Friend of the Noldor, who is the great craftsman. "Of him comes the lore and knowledge of the Earth and of all things that it contains: whether the lore of those that make not, but seek only for the understanding of what is, or the lore of all craftsmen: the weaver, the shaper of wood, and the worker in metals".
The Noldor were his chief pupils, and are the 'most skilled of the Elves'. "The Noldor also it was who first achieved the making of gems; and the fairest of all gems were the Silmarils". 

Manwë "highest and holiest of the Valar' did not forget the "Outer Lands. He stayed in his throne and sent out his servants in the forms of eagles and hawks, to tell him of all that occurred in Arda, "yet some things were hidden even from the eyes of Manwë[...]for where Melkor sat in his dark thought impenetrable shadows lay."
Beloved of Manwë were the Vanyar, "and of him they received song and poetry; for poetry is the delight of Manwe, and the song of words is his music."

And of course, Ulmo, who is one of my favourite Valar. He does not dwell in Valinor, but in the Outer Ocean. "Thence he governs the flower of all waters, and the ebbing, the courses of all rivers and the replenishment of springs, the distilling of all dews and rain in every land beneath the sky.[....]this is was by the power of Ulmo that even under the darkness of Melkor life coursed still through many secret lodes, and the Earth did not die."
Ulmo was a particular friend to the Teleri, but to all 'the ear of Ulmo was ever open; nor has ever forsaken Middle-earth'. He plays a large role in the Silmarillion, as messenger, friend, and counsellor to the elves. 

Yavanna also cared for the outer lands, and at times went forth to heal what she could of the wounds Melkor left upon the earth. 

Oromë, tamer of beasts, often rode out "pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor". 

The Firstborn:
We learn more about the elves later, but I'm going to go ahead and provide a little information, since, as I have mentioned, Tolkien references them before he ever actually explains it all. I will never be able to remember all the different names and divisions of the clans, and which elves are from which groups, but there are a few main ones. 
They all began in Cuiviénen, and first named themselves the Quendi (those that speak). The first sundering took place when Manwë summoned them to Valinor. Most of the elves went, but one group stayed behind: the Avari (the Unwilling).  Those that went on divided into the three most well known clans.

1. Vanyar: The first, firstborn, led by Ingwë. They were a small group, and for the most part, spend the whole book in Valinor. Galadriel's grandmother was one of the Vanyar (her grandfather being the infamous Finwë)

2. Noldor: The second firstborn, led by Finwë. Certainly the most well-known group, and the ones that have the most to do with the story. Most of the famous elves came from the Noldor. They eventually broke into two groups, those that were banished to Middle-earth, and those that were not. 

3. Teleri: The third firstborn, a group large enough to have two lords, Elwë and Olwë (brothers). Elrond is a direct descendant of Elwë. They loved the sea and were known as the "Sea-elves". Known for their ships, which were the cause of dispute behind the Kinslaying. 

And the incredibly useful diagram thing provided in the appendix of the Silmarillion. 
When reading Silmarillion, don't forget the stuff at the back. There are family trees back there, and index of names and certain words and events. And a couple maps. 

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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.
Header image by John Howe.
End by Goldenrod Gardener.)

Chapter by Chapter: The Two Towers Part I

Remember this: Chapter By Chapter Challenge: Well I FINALLY finished re-reading Two Towers. I'm not a very fast reader. By which I mean, while I am reading, I go fast, but I have a lot of things to read so I don't actually get that much time for an individual book. I don't know why I turned it into a challenge. Um. If you want to use this idea, you could do it whether or not it said "challenge" or "tag" on it somewhere. But if you like rules, I put them on the Fellowship ones so check out the link above. 
And yes, I am purposefully picking lesser known quotes. 

Here goes. 

Book Three

Chapter I: The Departure of Boromir
"'They will look for him from the White Tower,' he said, 'but he will not return from mountain or from sea.' Then slowly he began to sing:"
   The way that Viggo Mortensen delivers this line in the movie breaks my heart. I feel like even Tolkien would appreciate that scene. 

Chapter II: The Riders of Rohan
"How shall a man judge what to do in such times?' 'As he has ever judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much n the Golden Wood as in his own house.'"

Chapter III: The Uruk-hai
"Out of the shadows the hobbits peeped, gazing back down the slope: little furtive figures that in that dim light looked like elf-children in the deeps of time peering out of the Wild Wood in wonder at their first Dawn."

Chapter IV: Treebeard
"'One felt as if there was an enormous well behind them, filled up with ages of memory and long, slow, steady thinking; but their surface was sparkling with the present; like sun shimmering on the outer leaves of a vast tree, or on the ripples of a very deep lake.'"
   Pippin describing Treebeard's eyes.

Chapter V: The White Rider
"Well, here is the strangest riddle that we have yet found!' exclaimed Legolas. 'A bound prisoner escapes both from the Orcs and from the surrounding horsemen. He then stops, while still in the open, and cuts his bonds with an orc-knife. [...] Being pleased with his skill, he then sat down and quietly ate some waybread! That at least is enough to show that he was a hobbit".

   The part where the hobbits sit down to eat in sight of a battle is one of the best parts of the whole book.

Chapter VI: The King of the Golden Hall
"Curtains of wind-blown rain were slanting down. The sky above and to the west was still dark with thunder, and lightning far away flickered among the tops of hidden hills. But the wind had shifted to the north, and already the storm that had come out of the East was receding, rolling away southward to the sea. Suddenly through a rent in the clouds behind them a shaft of sun stabbed down. The falling showers gleamed like silver, and far away the river glittered like shimmering glass."

I've experienced rainy days with the sun shining, and it's gorgeous. This is also reminiscent of the grey rain curtain turning to silver glass. You must know your weirdly connected maybe foreshadowing quotes. 

Chapter VII: Helm's Deep
"'Yet dawn is ever the hope of men".

Chapter VIII: The Road to Isengard
"'There are columns of white and saffron and dawn-rose, Legolas, fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces. Still lakes mirror them: a glimmering world looks up from dark pools covered with clear glass".

Gimli gushing after returning from the 'caves' of Helm's Deep.

Chapter IX: Flotsam and Jetsam
"'One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."

Aragorn is a fountain of wise sayings.

Chapter X: The Voice of Saruman
"Ents the earthborn, old as mountains,
the wide-walkers, water drinking;
and hungry as hunters, the Hobbit children,
the laughing-folk, the little people."

Chapter XI: The Palantír
"A most unquenchable hobbit! All Wizards should have a hobbit or two in their care – to teach them the meaning of the word, and to correct them."
Do NOT give Saruman a hobbit. Although, perhaps if he had had one in his care, he would not have turned.

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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.

The Count of Time



After the ending of the Spring of Arda, the Valar retreated, and set up great mountains as fortifications; these mountains were called the Pelóri. Higher than all the Pelóri was Taniquetil, upon which Manwë set his throne. Within the walls of the mountains the Valar established the region called Valinor.
Beyond the mountains they built Valmar, and outside the western gate of that city there was a hill called Ezellohar, on which Yavanna caused to grow the Two Trees of Valinor: Telperion and Laurelin. 
Thus began the Count of Time. 

Quotey Version:

The Valar went to the far west, to the Land of Aman, whose western shores face the Outer Sea. "How  wide is that sea none know but the Valar; and beyond it are the Walls of the Night." On the shore of the sea they built great mountains, highest in Arda, called the Pelóri. Taller than the Pelóri was the mountain on which sat the throne of Manwë. "Taniquetil the Elves name that hole mountain, and Oiolossë  Everlasting Whiteness, and Elerrína Crowned with Stars, and many names beside; but the Sindar spoke of it in their later tongue as Amon Uilos."

Behind the Pelóri, the Valar established Valinor. "In that guarded land the Valar gathered great store of light and all the fairest things that were saved from the ruin; and many others yet fairer they made anew[....]and there naught faded nor withered, neither was there any stain upon flower or leaf in that land, nor any corruption or sickness in anything that lived; for the very stones and waters were hallowed."

When Valinor was established, in a plain beyond the Pelóri, the Valar built Valmar of many bells. "Before its western gate there was a green mound, Ezellohar, that is named also Corollairë"
Yavanna sat there and "sang a song of power, in which was set all her thoughts of things that grow" but Nienna "watered the mould with tears." The rest of the Valar gathered to listen and watch as Yavanna sang. 

At last, there grew on the mound two saplings "and silence was over all the world in that hour, nor was there any other sound save the chanting of Yavanna." Thus began the Two Trees of Valinor. 

"The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver , and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadows of his fluttering leaves." This was Telperion (called also Silpion and Ninqulótë). Laurelin "bore leaves of a young green like the new-opened beech; their edges were of glittering gold. Flowers swung upon her branches in clusters of yellow flame, formed each to a glowing horn that spilled a golden rain upon the ground"

In seven hours, each tree "waxed to full and waned again to naught; and each awoke once more to life an hour before the other ceased to shine." Each day of the Valar in Aman was twelve hours. Telperion came first to full stature "and that first hour in which he shone, the white glimmer of silver dawn, the Valar reckoned not into the tale of hours, but named it the Opening Hour, and counted from it the ages of their reign in Valinor." At the sixth hour of the day, Telperion waned as Laurelin waxed, and at the twelfth hour Laurelin ceased her blossoming. Each day ended with the second mingling of the lights, and a new day began.
random thing that helped me imagine how the light worked

"But the light that was spilled from the trees endured long, ere it was taken up into the airs or sank down into the earth; and the dews of Telperion and the rain that fell from Laurelin Varda hoarded in great vats like shining lakes[...] Thus began the Days of the Bliss of Valinor; and thus began also the Count of Time."

The Shores of Valinor


The only time in Lord of the Rings that I found this word was in the song of Galadriel, in Fellowship of the Ring. The other listed names for Taniquetil aren't mentioned, as far as I can tell. The word itself is Quenya, meaning something like "everlasting snow" or as the Silmarillion suggests "Everlasting Whiteness". 
Oio meaning 'ever' and losse meaning 'snow'. 

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,

Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!

Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier

mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva

Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië
untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Si vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!
~ The Fellowship of the Ring (highlight added)


I found this mentioned briefly in the Return of the King:
"And Gandalf coming looked at it, and said: ‘Verily this is a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair; and that was a seedling of Galathilion, and that a fruit of Telperion of many names, Eldest of Trees."


Reference is not made to the original tree in LOTR, but to Laurelindórenan which is another name for Lothlórien

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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. If you notice any errors in the quotes, please let me know.
Header image is a depiction of Taniquetil by JRR Tolkien. Closing image is by Ted Nasmith.)