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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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 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 – 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 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

‘Ungoliant’ Post: Follow-up

Spider (follow up)Impressed by the sheer amount of comments and personal theories in reply to this post (Ungoliant: a Fragment of Melkor’s Discord?), instead of commenting back to each and every one of you, I’ve decided to post your feedback here and discuss them one by one: constructing a follow-up article with a collection of your ideas on the subject.

Hopefully, this will create further discussion… 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