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

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My decade-old Tolkien book

The Silmarillion_1

Ladies and gentleman. This is the oldest Tolkien book in my collection.

It’s been 10 years since I bought my first book on Middle-earth. No The Lord of the Rings, nor The Hobbit would introduce me to the J.R.R. Tolkien’s storytelling.

I dived straight into the tales of the First Age. Continue reading

On Were-worms

Were-worm

Hunting the elusive creature

You pick up a copy of The Hobbit and start reading the first chapter.

Halfway through you encounter the following statement made by Bilbo Baggins:

“Tell me what you want done, and I will try it, if I have to walk from here to the East of East and fight the wild Were-worms in the Last Desert.”

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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 – 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 – Chapter Twenty-Four

War of Wrath (header)

“We come to it at last … the Great War of our time”

Believe it or not, we’ve come to the end of the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’ account that brings with it the end of the First Age.

Cataclysmic events are about to unfold and one of the greatest characters in Middle-earth will make his introduction. Continue reading

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