Not gonna lie, I definitely forgot how fun this book was. Like, I knew, but I’ve been reading a lot of very meta Tolkien books lately, and so, I forgot that this is an actually comprehensive story, and I’ve been having a damn good time. Here’s last week’s post ICYMI, which I’d definitely recommend checking out before we dive into this week’s reading. Also, because we’re getting into the meat of everything now, I’m linking my elf primer again, which I wrote last year, but which is going to help with any confusion in the massive amount of characters we’re about to meet.

Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

Ah, yes, we finally come to it, the great battles of Middle-earth. Say what you want about LOTR & Sauron’s evil, but the heart of all the bloody horrors of Arda take place between Fëanor & Morgoth. There is perhaps no one more hated by either, and you can call Fëanor a hero all you want and Morgoth a villain, but they are each the other in their own individual stories. Fëanor is, truly, responsible for half of all the terrible things that happen in the coming days because he is a stubborn, hot-headed, way too conceited jackass that thinks he’s better than everyone and deserves all the glory, him and him alone, so he’s pretty villainous when you think about it. And yes, Morgoth is definitely the villain of this story, but if you look at it from his perspective, he’s also been outcast by his family and subsequently put in chains by that very same family, essentially replaced by the Noldor, and then told to be quiet and shut up when he tries to voice any of his issues. He’s not a good guy, but neither is Fëanor. All that said, I also love both of them a lot.

image
Fëanor by silmaspens

However, this may be my last art of Fëanor because my fave, Fingolfin, was just mentioned, and I’m undoubtedly going to scream into the abyss about him very shortly. Is it shortly? I have no idea, I can’t remember. Anyway, this whole chapter is literally just a “Fëanor is the best” tirade, and it’s part of the reason he’s such a jerk! If you tell someone constantly that they’re all that and a bag of chips, they’re going to be pretty pissed when someone tries to take away their bag of chips, but also, like, Fëanor reacts in the literal worst possible way when Morgoth steals the Silmarils. It’s frankly embarrassing.

Am I not really talking about Finarfin? Correct, he’s the only one with sense and says peace out when all the shit hits the fan. Anyway, welcome to the sons of Finwë! If you thought elves were beautiful & majestic creatures of grace, buckle up!

Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

As three great jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sit snow in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystals of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda. Yet that crystal was to the Silmarils but as is the body to the Children of Ilúvatar: the house of its inner fire, that is within it and yet in all parts of it, and is its life. And the inner fire of the Silmarils Fëanor made of the blended light of the Trees of Valinor, which lives in them yet, though the Trees have long withered and shine no more. Therefore even int he darkness of the deepest treasury the Silmarils of their own radiance shone like the stars of Varda; and yet, as were they indeed living things, they rejoiced in light and received it and gave it back in hues more marvellous than before.

All who dwelt in Aman were filled with wonder and delight at the work of Fëanor. And Varda hallowed the Slmarils, so that thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them, but it was scorched and withered; and Mandos foretold that the fates of Arda, earth, sea, and air, lay locked within them. The heart of Fëanor was fast bound to these things that he himself had made.

There’s just so much packed into the Silmarils. Beyond the fact that several centuries of war is fought over damn jewels, these jewels, in particular, are pretty intense. It’s not just that they’re beautiful, but that they contain so much life in them. They’re not only embodied by the light of the Trees, which were the replacement of the moon & sun originally, but they’ve also got the weight of all of Arda threaded through them, and that’s a hell of a lot of magic. Of course Morgoth wants to steal them. Of course Fëanor is crazed when he does. Of course literally thousands of people die in the war that results in this strife between these two idiots. But also, like, guys. They’re rocks, chill.

One of my favorite things that Tolkien does in this chapter is lays equal blame. Something that bothers to me to no end about how we treat Lucifer in Christian mythology is that he is always the bad guy. No one else is ever at fault. No one ever takes responsibility for their bad behavior. If something terrible occurs, it’s all Lucifer and no one else, and that’s–well, that’s a discussion for another time. But Tolkien very clearly states in this chapter that, although Morgoth was the one to spread the lies between the sons of Finwë, though he is, truly, at the root of all that comes after, it’s Fëanor who draws his sword on his brother and threatens his life. It’s Fëanor that’s responsible for why he’s sent into banishment. Yes, Morgoth was the cause, but Fëanor chose to take that root and spread its darkness on his own. Even Mandos accepts guilt over this, saying that he should have seen it coming and done something more to prevent Morgoth from going down this path. Tolkien doesn’t just throw all his blame at the villain, and that is why, as you continue to read these weekly posts, you’ll see more and more of my Morgoth love come out. He is such a well-developed character with so much pain & sorrow that’s actually broken open and explored. He’s not just evil for the sake of being evil. He’s full of darkness & anger for so many different reasons, and because Tolkien doesn’t just shift all blame ever onto him, we get to see him as human and broken, and his darkness & anger becomes something to understand.

Another concept sketch for future Melkor cosplay. No, gosh, no, I’m not going to be Melkor %) I am Sauron and I make costume for my precious Evil :3
So, the crown concept already accepted by this sassy.
Morgoth by alef-art

Also, he’s hilarious and dramatic af, so I can’t help myself.

But the Valar sought in vain for tidings of their enemy; and as a cloud far off that looms ever higher, borne upon a slow cold wind, a doubt now marred the joy of all the dwellers in Aman, dreading they knew not what evil that yet might come.

Damn, I’ve got to write a villain this good. The sheer fear & horror that Morgoth invokes simply by existing is everything I want in my own writing. And a lot of why I love Morgoth is how well Tolkien has described him with passages like this, that just show how deep his treachery runs. It makes him look powerful and daunting and impossible, and all of that has always been intoxicating for readers. Tolkien knew what he was doing, and you can’t convince me for a second that he wasn’t intending for us to find Morgoth a formidable foe to perhaps even be admired.

Of the Darkening of Valinor

Art by Phobs

We come at last to one of my favorite chapters of Morgoth’s treachery. There’s so much in this chapter to love, too. The descriptions of the festival that the Noldor are partaking in are just beautiful, and there’s so much wonder and light everywhere. It’s such a glorious time for them, to have the Valar showering them with celebration, and to see not just the coming together of the Valar & the Noldor, but the return of Fëanor! It’s such a big moment, too, to have Fëanor kneeling again before Manwë, Fingolfin stretching out his hand and asking to set aside their history, to be half-brothers in body, yes, but full brothers in heart. They pledge their lives to each other, to always follow one another, and there’s Morgoth, hanging out on one of the highest mountains with a giant ass spider, Ungoliant, prepared to just destroy everything.

And he does it in the sneakiest way, too. He hasn’t yet stolen the Silmarils, but he does the next best thing. The Silmarils embody the light of the Trees, so Morgoth decides, heck I’ll steal the jewels in a second, but first let’s ruin the trees and flood Valinor in darkness. Not only does he steal the light trapped inside the jewels, he just gives Ungoliant free reign to eat all the light inherent in the Trees. It’s brilliant, and it’s awful, and I’m a little bit impressed.

Also, I just find it fascinating that this type of story has transcended time. Think about any festival in a high fantasy book and tell me it doesn’t end in chaos.

Of the Flight of the Noldor

Alright, so Morgoth has officially stolen the Silmarils, nearly been killed by Ungoliant, and Fëanor is pissed. This is about to get wild, and it’s the reason behind all those memes that are like:

Also love that all the Valar are begging Fëanor to just be reasonable, before they even discover that Morgoth has stolen the Silmarils, and Fëanor’s just all nahhhhhh, I’m gonna fuck shit up.

Look, Fëanor is about to swear The Oath, but I’ve been watching a lot of New Girl lately, and I cannot read his speech in anything but Schmidt’s voice, and it is freaking amazing, so I need you to come on this journey with me. And if you haven’t watched New Girl, first, do yourself the favor, and second, this is the voice I’m hearing right now:

I’m aware this has reached a level of insane that even my Tolkien reviews haven’t gotten to yet, but I cannot because if you have watched New Girl, then you know exactly why this speech is happening in Schmidt’s voice in my head:

‘Fair shall the end be,’ he cried, ‘though long and hard shall be the road! Say farewell to bondage! But say farewell also to ease! Say farewell to the weak! Say farewell to your treasures! More still shall we make. Journey light: but bring with you yours words!’

I CAN’T FËANOR IS SCHMIDT

Holy shit, I am never going to be able to unhear this now.

Image result for schmidt youths gif

The Oath has now been sworn, and, suddenly, Tolkien’s like ALL THE CHARACTERS! I can totally see why some people get aggravated with this book and set it down, too, because he just throws about twenty names at you and then walks away and doesn’t really explain them at all. I mean, there’s a whole slew of born of this father and brother of these two and whatnot, but then there’s just a big departure and we’re back to Finarfin being mad about all of this and Fingolfin sighing a lot and Fëanor being like

Image result for thor yes gif

I am going through something with Fëanor right now, and it’s very strange, but also very true because Schmidt + Thor? Just add a smidge of anger, and you’re dead on. He’s full of righteous retribution and the desire to fuck shit up at all costs, and that’s just the kind of energy no one has time for, but also secretly thinks is delightful.

Except for, you know, the entire rest of this chapter, which is the crux of why Fëanor is The Worst.

Of all the things Morgoth does, at least he doesn’t:

  • steal an entire fleet of ships from his brethren
  • kill said brethren when they try to take back the ships that they rightfully refused so Fëanor wouldn’t go on a killing spree
  • sail those ships into a treacherous wasteland of ice so that he can abandon his brother and all their kin
  • burn the entire fleet of ships so no one can be rescued and no one can come after them!

The logic here is flawless. Your family says they won’t help you murder everyone? Kill them all! Your brother is mad at you for killing your whole family? Abandon him! Afraid your poor actions are going to come back to bite you in the ass? Burn the fleet of ships you stole! Fëanor is a hot mess, and he is dragging everyone down with him just because he can.

Of the Sindar

Wow, elves suckkkkkkk. We don’t ever learn a lot about dwarves, which is a real tragedy, and I think if Tolkien had more time, he definitely would have gotten around to developing their lore even more, but what little we do have is just so amazing. There’s already so much wealth there, and not even of the material kind, but of just all the potential for so much knowledge. And they’re so sweet in the beginning, whereas the elves are like “ew your language is gross and your halls are weird, no thanks” even as the dwarves readily learn their language and are just mesmerized by how beautiful their creations are. They even help the elves of Beleriand build Menegroth, the Thousand Caves, which is known far and wide for its great majesty.

What I wouldn’t give to see something like Menegroth realized on the big screen, but I’m also terrified of anyone ever touching The Silmarillion, so I’m just going to keep loving it in my head.

I love the way Tolkien puts together The Silmarillion. It reminds me a lot of those big books of Norse or Greek mythology, these little snippets of stories all threaded together into a larger picture of lore. There’s no cloak and dagger like there are in some high fantasies these days with huge casts. He just does a whole chapter on the Noldor, gives you all the info and tells you what’s up, and then we switch over to the Sindar and check in with their history until everyone is aligned in the same place & time, we know who’s who and what they’re each doing and how they each effect one another, and only then do we move forward together. It’s a neat way of doing it, and though I am a fan of the cloak and dagger slow reveal that comes through today, I appreciate this version, too.

Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor

This is your basic “okay we need lore for the sun and the moon, bam they’re actually people” except Tolkien is obsessed with seafaring adventures, so he does all that, but adds “AND THERE WERE SHIPS!” He’s a dork, and I love him. He also flips the script and makes the sun a woman & the moon a man, which, while I’m always going to see the moon as a being of divine feminine energy, we need a balance with masculine energy, so I dig this.

I also really appreciate that there’s just not a single instant of unnecessary harm toward women in any of Tolkien’s myths, either. I want to say about 95% of sun & moon lore contains the sun chasing the moon because he’s “in love” with her, but that always ends in some kind of sexual assault, and Tolkien’s doesn’t. The moon is, first of all, a man in this case, and though there’s still a bit of a chase, there’s never once an implication that it goes beyond that. The sun is way more of a badass than the moon in this, so she just kind of tells him to fuck off and goes about her way. And, really, it’s more of “well the moon’s a dude so he gets distracted and likes to do his own thing a lot, and the sun is a woman, so she’s better at everything and actually orbits appropriately” and like? Tolkien was a feminist, fight me.

WOW THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH TEXT AND NO ART I’M SORRY

Thus it was that as Mandos foretold to them in Araman the Blessed Realm was shut against the Noldor; and of the many messengers that in after days sailed into the West none came ever to Valinor–save one only: the mightiest mariner of song.

WOW WHAT A WAY TO INTRODUCE YA BOY

Of Men

This chapter is dumb. It’s literally just Tolkien trying to round all the races and going, “There are also humans, but they’re not really part of this story, so much so that I’m going to talk about elves for two of the three pages here, and then I’m only going to quickly tell you that there was a great descendant of a man & a woman named Eärendil, but I won’t tell you that’s who I’m talking about in the last chapter, the mightiest mariner of song, oh and there was this dude Beren, MOVING ON.”

Don’t worry, we’ll get to Eärendil later, as well as Beren, and we’ll all weep over them together.

Of the Return of the Noldor

I just love that Tolkien’s “and there was a battle that lasted ten days, but let’s move on and talk about Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs!!!!!! who, by the way, gets killed by Ecthelion in Gondolin” like bro do you understand suspense at all? I was going to say that there was no setup for the battle, but I guess the whole first hundred pages is a setup because it’s finally Fëanor vs Morgoth even if they’re nowhere even near Angband yet, and Morgoth’s mostly just cackling at Fëanor from afar. But they have the battle, Fëanor gets all pissed and marches on, Morgoth’s like “AH HA YOU FOOL I SHALL SEND GOTHMOG AFTER YOU”, and then there’s another battle.

Feanor VS Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs
Fëanor vs Gothmog by bobgreyvenstein

WAIT WAIT WAIT

WHAT

ALREADY????

Then he died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke; and his likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the halls of Mandos. Thus ended the mightiest of the Noldor, of whose deeds came both their greatest renown and their most grievous woe.

I have SO MANY bones to pick with this. First of all, I meant it when I said that 50% of all the bad things in Middle-earth as Fëanor’s fault because they are, but the fool dies this soon?? I so did not remember that, and I’m even more pissed off at him than I normally am now. Right before this passage, he makes his sons swear the Oath of Fëanor, which is that they’ll never rest until the Silmarils are returned to his line, and which just starts all sorts of wars for the rest of eternity since they’re all too stubborn to just let it go. And, of course, he dies, never having to reap the repercussions of what he’s done while his whole family just dissolves into chaos for him. UGH FËANOR IS THE WORST!

Lowkey always going to love how he dies, though–he’s such a Grade A Drama Queen that he must burst into flame and drift away in ash rather than let himself be buried. OKAY THEN.

I am, however, picking a specific bone with Tolkien over the “mightiest of the Noldor”. Um, excuse me, but who, exactly, delivered a mortal wound upon Morgoth that haunted him until the end of his days?

IT WASN’T FËANOR I’LL TELL YOU THAT MUCH

Therefore Morgoth took Maedhros and hung him from the face of a precipice upon Thangorodrim, and he was caught to the rock by the wrist of his right hand in a band of steel.

SO MUCH IS HAPPENING IN SO LITTLE PAGES

I honestly wish that this chapter was just fifty solid pages long because it’s where all the badass Silmarillion stuff really happens, even if the Silmarils are not actually retaken in this chapter. A quick recap, though, because a lot is happening very fast, so I don’t want anyone to get lost:

  • Fëanor has arrived in the North, kind of near Angband, but not really
  • Fingolfin is still far behind because Fëanor is an asshole
  • Fëanor & Co fight a ten-day battle that Morgoth loses, but then he pulls a fast one and releases his balrogs, and Fëanor dies fighting Gothmog
  • the remaining Noldor cross into Beleriand (where Thingol lives, I don’t like him, remember, but I’m trying not to sway your opinion yet HA YET), and they all get together to fight
  • Morgoth pretends he’s going to treaty with them lolllllllll and instead manages to kidnap Maedhros, one of Fëanor’s sons
  • ALL, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE of Maedhros’ brothers abandon him because of the Oath because they “need to keep fighting the war for their father”
  • and now we’re about to see the actual mightiest of the Noldor in action

Now rumour came to the camp in Hithlum of the march of Fingolfin and those that followed him, who had crossed the Grinding Ice; and all the world lay then in wonder at the coming of the Moon. But as the host of Fingolfin marched into Mithrim the Sun rose flaming in the West; and Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners, and blew his horns, and flowers sprang beneath his marching feet, and the ages of the stars were ended.

THAT’S RIGHT YA BOY HAS ARRIVED

Photo by we'll all meet tolkien one day on April 13, 2020.
Fingolfin challenges Morgoth by Max Beech

I want to go back to bulleted summarizing because Tolkien is writing at warp speed right now:

  • Fingolfin arrives to find everything in ruins, so he marches upon Dor Daedeloth, which is just war-strewn and terrible, and is where much of the battle has been fought thus far
  • the clouds part, the sun comes out, flowers blossom, Fingolfin is my fave, and I will cry about him for many reasons
  • But Fingolfin, being of the other temper than Fëanor is hella smarter than his brother, so he retreats after they’ve issued an official challenge to Morgoth (it’s great, lots of trumpets, smashing on the doors of Angband, basically the ultimate flex)
  • Fingolfin basically brings the whole family back together–the sons of Fëanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin are ready to wage war together again
  • Morgoth gets all emo and shadows the sun
Art by Phobs

And now it’s time for the gayest part of the whole book!

High upon the shoulders of Thangorodrim he climbed, and looked in despair upon the desolation of the land; but no passage or crevice could he find through which he might come within Morgoth’s stronghold. Then in defiance of the Orcs, who cowered still in the dark vaults beneath the earth, he took his harp and sang a song of Valinor that the Noldor made of old, before strife was born among the sons of Finwë; and his voice rang in the mournful hollows that had never heard before aught save cries of fear and woe.

Y’ALL DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND GO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PIECE! I’ll even help you, here’s chapter two, three, four, and five. Trigger warning for lots of blood & amputation in chapter three. Also, yes, I understand that Maedhros & Fingon are cousins, you’re going to have to let this one go, I literally ship Morgoth & Sauron, there is no stopping me.

Fingon is so upset about the feud between the family that he decides he is going to single-handedly solve everything. This is one of my favorite parts of the entire book, my goodness, what a psycho. So Fingon decides that the way to solve everything–alone, and without the counsel of any–is obviously to sneak into Angbang, SCALE THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD, and then, when that still doesn’t help him find Maedhros, he whips out his harp and plays the saddest song to ever be heard, and all of Angband quakes under its sorrow, the likes of which has never been, and will never be again, heard there. And somehow that works??

Maedhros hears Fingon’s song and starts singing like some kind of bizarre elven Marco Polo, and Fingon finally finds Maedhros. It seems impossible to get Maedhros down, and Maedhros begs Fingon to just put him out of his misery, so Fingon strings his bow, prepares to shoot, and calls out a plea to Manwë to please make this as painless as possible. Manwë is so moved by the beautiful love between these two that he sends the literal king of eagles to carry Fingon even higher up Thangorodrim so that he can rescue Maedhros. The chains that have been wrapped around his wrist are unbreakable, though, so Maedhros gets all emo again and is like just leave me here to die, so of course Fingon does the next best thing and cuts his hand off. They then fly off into the sunset, k-i-s-s-i-n-g on a damn eagle in the freaking evilest place on Middle-earth, which Fingon snuck into so he could save his best friend.

Maedhros & Fingon by alef-art

Also, not done being salty, check yourself before you wreck yourself, Tolkien.

For Maedhros begged forgiveness for the desertion in Araman; and he waived his claim to kingship over all the Noldor, saying to Fingolfin: ‘If there lay no grievance between us, lord, still the kingship would rightly come to you, the eldest here of the house of Finwë, and not the least wise.’

YEAH BUT FËANOR IS THE MIGHTIEST SUUUUUUUURE

Okay, also, now I think I’m allowed to tell you that I hate Thingol because he just denied almost everyone passage into Doriath, the bastard.

  • so Fingon saves Maedhros from Thangorodrim and it’s Hella Gay
  • Thingol refuses all but a few of the war-stricken elves to enter his lands, so they end up wandering far afield
  • Caranthir is a dick
Image result for twenty years later spongebob

I wish I was joking, but Tolkien literally only pauses to say that Fingolfin held a great feast, in which many friendships were made, and then he legit goes THIRTY YEARS LATER whaaaaaat

We seem to take a strange sidestep here into Finrod & Turgon’s adventures, but it’s important, take notes! Finrod & Turgon are in the beginning stages of some of the greatest cities of Middle-earth ever. Finrod is responsible for Nargothrond & Turgon for Gondolin, which will become a huge sticking point for Sauron later on, though Finrod is the one to actually go up against Sauron. They’re beautiful and majestic, and what I wouldn’t give to be able to see them on a big screen.

I was going to chirp at Morgoth because he gets all oh we should probably be doing something after fifty gods damn years, but the Siege of Angband literally lasts four hundred years, so. Take your time, I guess?

Also just love that Glaurung is like “dad I’m too wittle I gotta come back hoooooome!” Morgoth & his dragons will forever be something I flail over, and yes, the artwork I’m about to post is 100% predictable.

Image result for morgoth and dragons art
Morgoth & his babies (Glaurung, Ancalagon, and some fire-drakes) by Phobs

Wow, shit, this chapter was intense, I can’t believe I tacked three more on after it. For good reason, though! This is our longest week, in terms of pages, and it’s got some hard-hitting material, but there are two huge stories left, and they’re better left split up.

Of Beleriand and its Realms

This chapter could literally be summarized by the included map:

Map of Beleriand during the First Age - J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m including it here, too, because I’m not sure if all the editions have it. But Tolkien literally just wanders through Beleriand and tells us who is lord of what and what each bit of land looks like. You know what, though, I understand why Tolkien has this chapter. I know that I, personally, often go “ooh pretty map”, stare at it for a few seconds, and then carry on. And I can totally get in the head of wanting to explain all the nooks & crannies of your beautiful world that you’ve created, especially when you’re Tolkien and there’s so much lore packed into each bit of land. Even though this chapter can seem boring on the surface, there’s a lot of interesting information in it, and I hope anyone reading along (or reading at any time!) doesn’t skim through this, if only to pay homage to the genius that was John Ronald Reuel.

Damn, Finrod built Minas Tirith, too? This dude is an architectural wonder.

Of the Noldor in Beleriand

So Turgon has finally built Gondolin, which is one of the greatest cities of Middle-earth ever. Like, this dude also built Minas Tirith, and it’s more massive and incredibly built than that. Tolkien loved it so much that he wrote a separate story for the fall of Gondolin just so he could talk about it more. It’s truly a stunning city, and it’ll come into play in big ways before long.

Most of this chapter is honestly just Thingol being a punk, though. He finds out that Finrod & Fingolfin were left behind when Fëanor burned the ships of the Teleri, and thus forced to traverse the arctic northern wastes, so of course that means that every wrong Fëanor committed in the kinslaying should be placed on Finrod & Fingolfin. Thingol refuses that they should ever speak their language again, banishes them from Beleriand for a time, and tells them he only kind of blames them after they tell their tale.

Image result for eye roll gif

Of Maeglin

I’m always surprised that more people aren’t clamoring over the soft Goth boy that is Maeglin. His mother, Aredhel, is literally stolen while she’s traversing the far green country after she leaves Gondolin seeking her kin that she hasn’t seen in ages. Tolkien makes a point to say that her marriage to Eöl was to her liking for the most part, and that though he ensorcelled her in the first place, she was more than happy to wed him and adventure with him. It was, after all, what she was looking for when she first left. She was restless in Gondolin, and, in Eöl, she finds adventure. I’m not at all condoning what Eöl does, and I don’t like him either, just saying that Aredhel has Maeglin of her volition.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that Maeglin is a literal black sheep. He’s dark-haired, mostly lives in the shadows, is very quiet, and comes from an unexpected and unblessed marriage. When he finally comes to Gondolin with his mother, he’s received warmly, but he mostly sticks to himself. And, while there, Eöl finds them, demands entrance, and then literally tries to kill Maeglin with a poisoned javelin rather than let him live apart from his darkened halls. He’s so furious that Maeglin might prefer the sunlit halls of Gondolin that he tries to kill his son, which Aredhel, of course, intercepts, and she dies instead. It’s the basic foundation of any good morally grey YA high fantasy MC. He’s also got a crush on his cousin, Idril, who considers him strange & wrong for that crush, despite the fact that he never speaks it aloud. And so, he mostly wastes away in quiet grief, bereft of his parents, hating himself for desiring his cousin, and feeling displaced even if he does love the beauty and grandeur of Gondolin.

Thus it was in Gondolin; and amid all the bliss of that realm, while its glory lasted, a dark seed of evil was sown.

And, because I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t seeking out the most bizarre corners of the Tolkien internet:

night sketch ;_;
Maeglin & Earendil
Maeglin & baby Eärendil (Idril’s son) by Phobs

YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE UNWANTED SORROW, SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

We’re getting into things now,
so who is your favorite character so far?

Posted by:Mary Drover

she/her | yoga teacher | Tibetan Buddhism | part-time witch | full-time author | astronaut in a previous life

4 replies on “It’s the Great Silmarillion Readalong! (Week Two)

  1. March has flown by me, so I’m not participating in this readalong but this was great fun to read (always appreciate your inclusion of fanart that I wouldn’t come across on my own). I will be bookmarking these posts to come back to next time I read The Silmarillion!

    Liked by 1 person

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