Tolkien Week: Day 2

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Questions Time!

I love Tolkien-related questionnaires. They’re always so difficult to respond and to pinpoint a specific character of text to like; but they’re fun and a great way to learn about yourself and your love for Middle-earth.

So, in honour of the second day of Tolkien Week, here’s a nice little set of questions put forward by fellow blogger, Hamlette on her blog.

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TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Twenty

Nirnaeth Arnoediad (header)

The Near-Annihilation of Elves, Men and Dwarves

With a chapter whose Elvish title can be translated as “Unnumbered Tears”, a reader can only expect one outcome from the battle that unfolds.

The pages recounting the Nirnaeth Arnoediad have always been special to me. Finally, after the conflicts and bickering among Elves, Dwarves and Men, the three races join forces to repel Morgoth once and for all.

It’s undoubtedly a major moment in the history of the First Age, and a highlight in The Silmarillion. It also marks Tolkien’s acute sense of geography, scale and mayhem. Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Eighteen

Fingolfin fights Morgoth (header)

Tolkien demonstrates his gentle trolling skills

I don’t mean it disrespectfully, but what we commonly today refer to as a “troll”, Tolkien seems to have had his cheeky way at spoiling the fun in his narratives.

Case in point is this chapter’s title. Its outcome is pretty much given away.

Then again, one could easily argue the cleverness behind such revelatory titles: the need to keep on reading and find out what this “ruin” is and how the “fall” occurs.

As it happens, all the answers are given in the following … Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Sixteen and Seventeen

Eol lures Ardhel in Nan Elmoth (header)

Not all Elves are Nice…

From this point onward, the narrative of The Silmarillion shifts into personal stories and specific events: of which their outcomes will somehow or other affect the whole balance of the story.

This is one of the alluring beauties of the book: Tolkien’s ability to shift between the grand-scale cosmological narratives to the intricate human (and elf) stories – weaved together as one interlocking tapestry. Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

Fingolfin consulting a map (header)

I Love Maps!

The next two chapters in The Silmarillion – strategically placed in the middle of the book – offer a descriptive glimpse into the lands of Beleriand and the establishment of the Noldor and the other races.

They are not complex chapters to deal with, but the intricate details with which Tolkien describes every waterfall, shrub, lowland and grain of earth, might feel slightly overwhelming.

That’s where the maps come in …

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TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapter Nine

Kinslaying at Alqualonde (header)

The Fall of Elvenkind

Since this chapter is quite long I decided to tackle it on its own for this week. As always, stick-figures make a persistent return.

Chapter 9 – Of The Flight of the Noldor

Melkor has wreaked havoc in Valinor. The Two Trees lie dead in the darkness of the world. As the Valar convene in Máhanaxar (“the Ring of Doom”), they mourn the staggering loss they have suffered and decide on what to do next. Continue reading

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters Seven and Eight

Ungoliath Destroys the Two Trees of Valinor (header)

Melkor’s Relentless Destruction Continues …

Chatper 7: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

Free from captivity, Melkor wanders Valinor among Elves and Ainur. His contributions of hidden knowledge help the Noldor to increase their skill in craftsmanship; and for a time Valinor is made more beautiful. Continue reading