The Gates of Morning and the Door of Night, Eä and the Void

Banner (Cosmology Arda)

[Highly complex illustration follows below]

The Silmarillion contains two obscure references to places or “structures” that seem to be the opposite of each other. Both are fascinating concepts but difficult to grasp given how little information we have access to. Continue reading

Advertisements

Wind on the Withered Heath

withered heath (map)

Whence come the dragons …

Within Tolkien’s works there are only two instances in which the Withered Heath is mentioned, and both come from The Hobbit.

The first (and only) time we get to know about this place is from a comment made by Thorin during the ‘Unexpected Party’.

“And I know where Mirkwood is, and the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred.”

The Hobbit, ‘An Unexpected Party’

Whilst my curious reader-appetite has been satisfied, I’ve always wanted to know more about this particular location in Middle-earth. Continue reading

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.

***

Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Akallabêth

Numenor Map (header)

The Downfall of Númenor

As already stated at the beginning of the TTRT series, although the Akallabêth is a separate account from the History of the Silmarils, it is nonetheless part of The Silmarillion as a book: presenting us with the continuation of events at the end of the First Age, with a perspective on the island of Númenor.

It is a fact that from all the works related to Middle-earth, the Second Age is perhaps the least accessible due to the lack of any substantial information.

Our primary sources as to what happens during this 3000-year period consist of a timeline in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, a brief account and story in Unfinished Tales, and the ‘Akallabêth’.

My view is that the ‘Akallabêth’ is our most comprehensive account we have available of the Second Age, and is the key to filling up the gap between the events at the end of the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’ and the earliest histories of the Third Age as recounted in The Lord of the Rings. 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

The Dark Land … (not Mordor, the other one)

dark land banner

– Something else lies “dark” within Arda …

In the early part of the 20th century, Tolkien wrote a short treatise entitled ‘Ambarkanta’ (found in ‘The Shaping of Middle-earth’), relating the shape and layout of the world (Arda) –  sketching a map (amongst several) with all the continents within – namely: Aman, Middle-earth, Harad and the Great Sea.
Continue reading

The Men of the Sea: Part I

The first of an article in two parts I had written a while back …

The Númenórean fleet and the voyages throughout Arda

1.0 Introduction

The Númenóreans were, without any doubt, not only the greatest mortal beings, but also the finest mariners in the Second Age. Their skills in the building of ships and Seatheir voyages across the vast seas of the world were unsurpassed by any other race. This article will give a glimpse into the workings of their fleet and how it was organized. Also, it will look into the innumerable navigations that the men of Númenor undertook throughout the wide oceans. I shall be looking mainly at a span of 1523 years: from the first Númenórean ships to arrive in Middle-Earth, until the death of Tar-Minastir, when they began “failing” as a race.
Continue reading