Reflection on a Tolkien Quote

sea

And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.
The Silmarillion, ‘Ainulindalë’

What an alluring way to describe the qualities of the Sea. Beautiful and terrifying at the same time, the Sea is essentially the foundation of our world. There is a mystery in the unfathomable depths of the ocean and a musicality to the waves hitting the shores. Continue reading

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TTRT: The Silmarillion – Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Elendil goes against Sauron (header)

In which these tales and this series come to an end

The fourth and final of the short works that make up The Silmarillion, deals primarily with the events taking place in the Third Age, most of which are recounted in The Lord of the Rings.

It’s fascinating to know that Tolkien wanted to include this work along with the others, thereby producing a book that stretched all the way from the beginning of Arda (in the Ainulindalë) right through the end of the Third Age.

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Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters One and Two

Reading stick figure man

How’s the reading going?

Welcome to the second week of the TTRT!

There were some very interesting points raised during last week’s discussion and I urge you to keep sharing your ideas and comments, even of past chapters.

In this week’s post we’ll be going through the first two chapters that make up the Quenta Silmarillion (the History of the Silmarils).

If you’ve done your Foreword and Preface reading, you will have realised that together with the main text of the Quenta Silmarillion, ‘The Silmarillion’ as a whole book also constitutes of 4 shorter works – the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta (already discussed last week), the Akallabêth and Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (to be tackled later on).

Now, once more unto the breach! Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion

Reading stick figure man

Ainulindalë and Valaquenta

So begins the first post from the TTRT series (Tolkien Trio Reading Tradition).

As stated last week, we’ll be going through Tolkien’s works, chapter-by-chapter, starting with The Silmarillion.

(Naturally, stick-figure drawings will help me illustrate the point) 

Today we’ll be looking at both Ainulindalë and Valaquenta. Note, these are not chapters but rather two shorter works that make up the collection known as ‘The Silmarillion’.

Newcomers to this book, and veteran readers who haven’t yet done so, are strongly urged to read through the Foreword, Preface and (most importantly) Tolkien’s letter to Milton Waldman – available in any second edition copy of The Silmarillion.

Said letter is a fantastic piece of writing that offers its readers a fragment of the author’s thoughts and aspirations behind his entire fantasy world.

It’s an honest account that provides a clear framework to the narratives from The Silmarillion, right through The Lord of the Rings.

Suffice to say there are some minor story spoilers but skip this letter at your own risk.

Now, onto the complex stuff … Continue reading

Ungoliant: A Fragment of Melkor’s Discord?

Spider

*Warning! It gets as confusing as reading The Silmarillion in Khuzdul for the very first time … you have been warned!*

A question often arises within the first few chapters of reading The Silmarillion.

After the initial pages, readers get acquainted with Ilúvatar and the Ainur: the divisions between Valar and Maiar, and their entry into the physical world.

Then this being comes along by the name of Ungoliant – assuming the shape of a giant spider who aides the Vala Melkor, and drains the light from the Two Trees of Valinor.

Continue reading

The Tale of the Dagor Dagorath

Constructing the account of the Dagor Dagorath –

the Last Battle of Arda

Introduction

Many mythologies in literature make several references to their own interpretation of events related to the end of the world. No different is the case in J.R.R. Tolkien’s own fantasy world. Clues are to be found sparsely scattered in some of his major works – hinting at the end of the world and the rebuilding of Arda. Continue reading