TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Five and Six

Melkor bows before the Valar (header)

The Great Journey and the Return of Melkor

Chapter 5 – “Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië”

As the Eldalië’s (Elves) colossal march towards the western shores of Beleriand continues, the so-called Sundering of the Elves spreads throughout the Hither Lands.

The Teleri fall behind, whilst the Vanyar and Noldor proceed forward until they finally arrive on the coasts. Ulmo utilises an island in the sea to ferry the Elves across the Great Sea and onto Aman.

The Elves who finally arrive at the Valar’s abode are welcomed with open arms. There, the Elves build the city of Tirion and, embraced by the radiance of the Two Trees, help the Valar to increase the beauty and bliss of Aman.

Eventually, the Teleri arrive on the coasts of Beleriand; but by the time Ulmo comes to ferry them across, many have fallen in love with the lands and the coastal areas. Due to their pleadings Ulmo – whilst carrying the Teleri – secures the foundations of the island just within sight the coasts of Aman: thereby pleasing their two affinities for the sea and the Light of Valinor.

Teleri on Tol Eressea

The Teleri on Tol Eressëa, overlooking Aman

This island-dwelling of the Teleri becomes known as Tol Eressëa (The Lonely Isle); but in time, the Elves who lived there decided to move closer to their kin, the Noldor, and therefore sailed on towards the coasts of Aman – establishing the haven of Alqualondë.

They sailed on might ships they had built themselves, due to the teaching of Ossë – a maia under the servituted of Ulmo; and thus the Teleri were reputed as the finest ship-builders in the world.

The rules of the three factions are as follows:

  • Finwë, King of the Noldor – whose 7 sons will become part of the major narrative in The Silmarillion
  • Olwë, Lord of the Teleri – who lived in the haven of Alqualondë on the shores of Aman
  • Ingwë, High King of the Elves; his people were the Vanyar, but since they remained upon the Mountain of Taniquetil under Manwë’s protection, they are no longer involved in the forthcoming narrative of The Silmarillion

Favourite Quote:

“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.”

***

Chapter 6 – Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

During the days of bliss in Aman, Finwë’s wife, Miriel, bore a son whose spirit burned with a fierce fire. He was the most skilled craftsman of the Elves (and the world would ever see) and devised many fair and beautiful things; but his temper brought about many woes.

Soon after giving birth to her son, Miriel died and Finwë eventually took as his second wife Indis. From her was born Fingolfin, whom Fëanor never gave his due love.

During this period of peace and prosperity came to an end Melkor’s captivity. The fallen Vala is brought forward before the other Valar for judgement. Pleading for mercy and feigning redemption, he secretly lusts for the beautiful gems that fill the land of Aman, crafted by the Noldor; and his hatred for the Children of Ilúvatar grows ever more strong.

Melkor bows before the Valar

An unchained Melkor bows before the Valar

Favourite Quote:

… and it seemed to Manwë that the evil of Melkor was cured. For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he saw not to the depths of Melkor’s heart, and did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever.

As always, share opinions, comments, thoughts ideas …

Next week it’s chapters 7 & 8, so get busy reading (or re-reading)! 😉

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7 thoughts on “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Five and Six

  1. I’ve always wondered if Manwe just plain didn’t notice Melkor’s inner darkness, or if Eru Iluvatar temporarily blinded him because he knew Melkor’s future plans were inevitable. It was always a bit of stickler to me.

    • That’s an interesting point Harrison. From the quote it seems as if it was Manwe’s own perception; but then again, I think your idea that Iluvatar was somehow involved is a particularly intriguing aspect which is probably true.

    • Read the book Gabriel! Believe me, no summary – no matter how explanatory and elaborate – can replace the words of Tolkien himself 🙂

  2. Although I found the Silmarillion intriguing from cover to cover, the rise of Feanor and Melkor in these chapters are the best in my opinion. It still sometimes baffles me that Manwe didn’t see right through Melkor though. Perhaps Iluvatar moves in mysterious ways?

    • Hey Eomer, indeed Feanor’s involvement is the central narrative that moves the whole Silmarillion. The primary “mover of things” is Fate, which in this case is all attributed to Iluvatar. So he certainly moves in mysterious ways, no doubt about it 🙂

  3. These have definitely been my favorite chapters so far — starting to get into interesting characters with emotions, not just loads and loads of description. I did underline one bit in chapter 5:

    They were changeful in speech, for they had great love of words, and sought ever to find names more fit for all things that they knew or imagined (p. 60).

    That made me think of writers and how the act of writing is really just trying to find the right names for all the things you imagine, so I liked it 🙂

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