TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Ten, Eleven and Twelve!

First Battle of Beleriand (header)

Something Wicked this Way Comes

This week we’ll be dealing with the next three chapters.

As is the style of The Silmarillion, even short sentences pack a punch. A phrase can suddenly take a reader a thousand years forward into the narrative.

So whilst these chapters are short of pages, there’s much going on …

Chapter 10 – Of the Sindar

Before the turmoils of Valinor and the exile of the Noldor, the power of Thingol and Melian grows in Middle-earth. All the Elves in Beleriand pledge their allegiance to Thingol: who effectively becomes Lord of Beleriand. These Elves, the Moriquendi, become known as the Sindar (the Grey Elves) – who grow great under the wisdom of Melian and the power of their king. It is at this time that Lúthien, the most beautiful elf to ever live, is born in the world.

During Melkor’s captivity in Aman, the Dwarves – created long ago by Aulë – awake from their sleep and pour into the east of Beleriand: establishing the two great cities of Belegost and Nogrod.

Beleriand Map (First Battle)

Getting things into perspective (it’ll become slightly more complicated soon)  …

Meanwhile, a contingent of the Teleri (under the leadership of Lenwë) who had also remained behind in Beleriand during the Great Journey, establishes a permanent dwelling in Ossiriand (the Land of Seven Rivers). These people become known as the Laiquendi (the Green Elves), forming an allegiance with both Dwarves and Sindar.

For a time, things begin to prosper; but Melian foresees the return of Melkor and, with the aid of the Dwarves, Thingol builds the fair dwelling of Menegroth. A strong trading business thrives between Thingol and the Dwarves, and the forging of weapons takes place to help fight off Melkor’s evil creatures: who start returning back from the shadows to harass both races.

Ages pass by and Melkor (now known as Morgoth), returns to Beleriand with the stolen Silmarils. Orcs multiply under his command and a major attack is launched against the Elves and Dwarves: signalling the first battle in the Wars of Beleriand. The two races are hard-pressed, but thanks to their allegiance together they manage to fight off the Orcs.

First Battle of Beleriand

Elves and Dwarves battle the Orcs

The victory of the first battle also signals the arrival of Fëanor and the Noldor from Valinor, who lands at the Firth of Drengist.

Favourite Quote:

In Beleriand still at times rode Oromë the great, passing like a wind over the mountains, and the sound of his horn came down the leagues of the starlight, and the Elves feared him for the splendour of his countenance and the great noise of the onrush of Nahar; but when the Valaróma echoed in the hills, they knew well that all evil things were fled far away.

Chapter 11 – Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor

As the power of Thingol grows and the exiled Noldor make their way towards Middle-earth, the Valar attempt to heal the evils wrought by Melkor. The tears of the Vala Niënor wash away the poison from the Two Trees; and although forever destroyed, both Trees produce a single fruit of silver and gold.

Hallowed by the Valar, these fruits are crafted into the Sun and the Moon. Arien, a Maia, is instructed to guide the Sun among the heavens; whilst Tilion steers the island of the Moon.

The Sun

The Sun

At the same time, the Valar raise the Enchanted Isles: a long line of islands running from the North to the South seas of Aman, set with enchantments to ward off mariners and hide Valinor from mortals seeking the Undying Lands.

The Moon

The Moon

Favourite Quote:

But neither the Sun nor the Moon can recall the light that was of old, that came from the Trees before they were touched by the poison of Ungoliant That light lives now in the Silmarils alone.

Chapter 12 – Of Men

As the sun rises for the first time upon the world, the Younger Children of Ilúvatar (Men) awake from their sleep in the eastern regions of Middle-earth. They become known as the Atani by the Elves, the Second People.

Elves and Men form an Alliance

The Alliance between Elves and Men

Eventually, Men make their way into Beleriand. Although significantly weaker, easily slain and mortal, a great alliance is formed with the Elves: an alliance that will bring much hardships and foiled attempts for Morgoth and his plans for dominion.

Serves him right too!

Favourite Quote:

At the first rising of the Sun the Younger Children of Ilúvatar awoke in the land of Hildórien in the eastward regions of Middle-earth; but the first Sun arose in the West, and the opening eyes of Men were turned towards it, and their feet as they wandered over the Earth for the most part strayed that way.

Next week we’ll be talking about one chapter – it’s a pretty long read …

Have fun and as always, comment and share opinions to your heart’s content 🙂

5 thoughts on “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Ten, Eleven and Twelve!

  1. Here the sun and moon are different in size…!!! I mean are they different from actual sun and moon?

    1. Shree, the Sun and Moon in The Silmarillion are supposed to be the same sun and moon from our times. Illustrations are somewhat inaccurate 😉

      1. Your illustrations are great! The one thing which was pinching my mind was, that, in Sir Toikien’s world, he only had a sun, a moon and a planet earth in the huge space; not like the real solar system, galaxy, or some thing like that, but anyways my doubts are clear. Thank you.

      2. Well Tolkien doesn’t specifically mention other planets, but I believe there is a reference somewhere that when Earendil takes to the sky with the Silmaril to traverse the heavens, that is actually our modern day Juptier 😉 So it’s really fascinating to see how he transformed elements from our real world into his own fantasy (a fantasy that ultimately becomes the world we know today)

  2. Once again, thank you for your enlightening synopses! You are making this book make so much sense for me. This time around, particularly in regard to the islands that are supposed to keep mortals from seeking the undying lands — somehow, I missed the reasoning there in the book, and was left wondering why they were building islands. (I should probably not read this just before bedtime — I’m sure sleepiness is a factor here.)

    My favorite line from this chunk:

    “But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and onderful, while still they endure for eyes to see, are their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song” (p. 95).

    Kind of reminded me of how the hobbits take their peaceful Shire life for granted, and only cherish it once it’s imperiled.

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