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Category Archive: Council Courier


Varda is the Lady of the Stars, and here in the Realm of Varda, we enjoy many things, which include admiring the universe and sky above us.

In Varda, we talk about the stars, though we do not just talk about them, we write fiction about stars as well. We Vardians have had poetry and description contests about individual stars, complete constellations, and entire universes. We do not do every challenge about stars, though. Each contest is about a different subject. Such themes that have been transcribed about are gold, passion, dust, and light. All contests, (there are usually two a month – one being of a description and the other being for poetry), is chosen for each type of challenge by the winner of the previous competition.

The members of the realm of Varda not only have contests, we also have an active rp thread, games, – such as Lord of the Rings I-Spy and 2 Truths and a Lie -, different types of lists that the members add to, a roundrobin story where a person may only add four words at a time, and we have inter-realm activities. Such an activity is to transcribe volumes on different subjects. Right now, in fact, the Vardians and the members of Vána are composing information on the soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If we have any questions concerning anything about astronomy, we can visit the Astronomy & Space Q&A thread where our professional astronomer, Eldirn, may answer them! We also have a thread where you can find links to websites about the universe! If you want to discuss the planets, we have a thread for you! If you want to see breathtaking pictures, stop by and watch your jaw drop!

If you have a favorite constellation and think you can tell a tale on how it came to be, be sure to make up your own myth to tell us about how it came into Arda! Here is one that was sent in by gwendeth:

The Myth of Orion – from Greek Mythology

Orion was in love with Metrope, the daughter of King Oenopion I of Chios. However, King Oenopion was against their marrying. There are various versions, but it is said that in a drunken stupor, Orion raped Metrope, at which Oenopion asked Dionysus’ help for revenge. Dionysus then cast Orion into a deep sleep and Oenopion then blinded Orion.

To recover his sight, Orion travelled East, for the Sun’s rays to strike his eyes. Orion then lived in Crete, where Artemis, goddess of the moon, fell in love with him. But Artemis was tricked by Apollo into killing Orion with an arrow as he (Orion) was swimming in the ocean.

Artemis, in mourning for his death, then placed Orion and his companion hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, in the night sky.

(Reference: and


The Legend of Menelvagor

In days of old, before the days of the Second Children, there lived a forest hunter by the name of Cuveleg (Strongbow). Skilled he was with knife, sword, and bow, as was the way of Elves. Keener of Eye and stronger of Arm than others was Cuveleg, and few could match him in the hunt. But skilled as he was, Cuveleg was still untested in battle, a woe that weighed heavily upon his mind.

For in his heart, Cuveleg loved an Elvenmaid, Aewiel (Starbird) she was named, for she loved to listen to the night-birds’ songs. And Aewiel returned Cuveleg’s love. But Aewiel’s father would not permit her to wed an untested warrior, skilled though Cuveleg might be.

So many a night Cuveleg and Aewiel walked the starlit forest paths, listening to the night-birds and marvelling at the stars that Varda had set above them. For though they were denied marriage, Aewiel’s father looked kindly on Cuveleg, and did not forbid him Aewiel’s company.

But dark days were coming, and a shadow crept into the minds of the Elves. The orcs and minions of Morgoth were gathering strength, and war was approaching. Thence did Cuveleg await the coming of battle in eagerness, for, at last, he would prove himself and win his heart’s dear love.

The day of battle finally came, and the Elven warriors bid their fond farewells. On his quiver, Cuveleg bore a token of Aewiel’s love. And by that token, he swore he would return victorious to claim her.

The march to war went swiftly, as the Elves had planned their way with care; but ere they reached their goal, they were set upon by a host of orcs, and the fighting began in earnest.

Bowstrings sang, arrows flew, and swords flashed in the sunlight. Orc after orc Cuveleg slew, keeping true to his lover’s oath. Then suddenly, he was attacked from behind, and suffered a mortal blow. The Elves themselves had won the day, but heavy was their cost.

In sorrow, Aewiel’s father brought Cuveleg home, and laid the dying warrior at her feet. With many tears she held him close, his head upon her breast. And silently she called to Varda, asking only for his rest.

And Varda in her kindness, recalled their nightly walks. Remembering how Aewiel and Cuveleg had revelled in her stars, Varda spoke to Mandos, who gently gathered Cuveleg’s spirit to his Hall. And knowing the depth of Aewiel’s grief, Varda set Cuveleg in the sky, among the stars they had loved so well. Then, Varda gathered Aewiel’s tears, and set them in the night sky alongside Cuveleg as two hunting dogs, so he would not be alone.

And ever after, as Aewiel wandered the nightpaths alone, she saw Cuveleg, the mighty Menelvagor, guarding her from far above.

(Menelvagor is Sindarin for “Sky-swordsman”)


Orion and Me

Ever since I was a child, the constellation I knew I could always find was Orion. When, for many years, I had to work night and swing shifts, I always searched for Orion whenever I stepped outside. Somehow, I felt that in seeing Orion, I knew that everything would be ‘all right’.

That has carried on through today, when, as I gaze at the night sky, I always look for Orion first.

by Woodlandelfgirl87 and ~Stella~

Brego: Film Profile

Throughout the trilogy, many horses walk across the pages, developing their own character (Shadowfax), their own emotional weight (Bill the Pony) or their own active part in the story (Snowmane). Not so in the movie, of course, where a horse is just the Middle-earth substitute for a car. However, a couple of our four-legged friends stand out from the crowd, and one of them definitely is Brego, the Intelligent & Healing Horse.

We meet Brego, who looks sort of brownish, in the stables of Meduseld, where the animal – still broken with grief over the loss of his former rider, Théodred the king’s son – is nigh untameable. Enter Aragon who, contrary to what one would expect from a people that live and breathe horse, has to help those poor Rohirric stablemaster out with the wild horse. After some first-class horsewhispering in both Elvish and Rohirric, Brego is soothed – and Éowyn, who has been drooling over him throughout the entire scene, sets herself up for major heartbreak. But that, of course, is a side-note.

Next stop for Brego: the banks of the river Whatever (Isen, I suppose) where Aragorn washes ashore after his tumble over the cliff. Man, that must have been some heavy horsewhispering! Brego gives his new master the kiss of life, then allows him to climb onto his back and off they go, a-riding to the horizon. Not only does Brego know where Aragorn wants to go (what a smart horse!), he also possesses healing powers: throughout the entire ride to Helm’s Deep Aragorn just sort of hangs off Brego’s back, but once close to HD, wow – up he goes! He even has the strength to push open those heavy doors inside Théoden’s throne room in a manly fashion!

His moment de gloire, however, is very short; and by the first half of ROTK Brego disappears: scared off by the Paths of the Dead. What a wussy horse! Before the battle outside the Black Gate, Aragorn is riding a horse again – but is Brego really thát intelligent….?

by Figwit

Brego: Book Profile

Brego in the books was not a horse. Not Aragorn’s horse. Not Theódred’s horse. He would probably be quite insulted to be called a horse, in fact.

Brego was the second of the Kings of Rohan, son of Eorl the Young, and father of Baldor, Aldor and Eofor – the ancestor of Éomund and Éomer.

It was he who completed the golden hall of Meduseld. At the feast in Meduseld to celebrate its completion, his son Baldor vowed to tread the Paths of the Dead and did not return. Brego died of grief the next year.

by atalante_star

The new CoE Clubs and alternative blogging sites

With the recent shutting down of Journals on this website, many members have been searching for other journaling alternatives on the web.

As many users will relate, the CoE Journals were used by some as a way to chat, put their thoughts down and connect, while others used the journals as a mode for clubs to be born. After the staff reconsidered the status of the journals on the site, CoE moderators offered CoE members journaling alternatives for those who wished to continue daily journaling and for those wishing to continue club meetings.

For the Clubs, a new section on the website was suggested and created especially for clubs. The clubs here are very active, as well as our daily journaling community on LiveJournal, which was created by Veaglarwen.

*Other ‘Unofficial’ webjournal rings and/or postboards created to bring CoE members together:

My Space: The *Unofficial* Council of Elrond’s Journals ( Public Group – created by longbe4thesun.)

by longbe4thesun

Where ancient history meets fiction (A meeting between Ulmo and his colleagues)

There is a soft wind blowing through the open spaces of the enormous cave. Drops are falling from stalagmites into the dark water in an ongoing rhythm. A strange place for a meeting, you might think, no chairs, no tables, no microphones and no coffee. Yet this place is the only place that would be suitable for a most remarkable gathering in the history of mythology.

It is nearly midnight when creatures start to enter the cave, all of them surrounded by great power. Deities of the water, lords of the seas… all made up by the human mind, which has given them great power. There is Poseidon, or Neptune as he was called by the Romans, Aegis (a Norse God), Amathaunta (Egyptian), Mannann (Celtic), Njörðr (Scandinavian) and the fictional god Ulmo (made up by Tolkien). Most interesting of these gods are Ulmo and Poseidon, because they’ve got a lot in common, though there are also significant differences.

Ulmo and Poseidon are both very thoughtful and methodical. Poseidon is very high of ranking among his other gods, he along with Zeus and Hades are the most important gods of the Greek mythology. In the history of Middle-earth, Ulmo is the third most important of the Ainur, after Manwë and Varda. Ulmo isn’t married to any of the other Ainur and Poseidon isn’t either, though Poseidon has had lots of ‘girlfriends’ where Ulmo’s main interest has always been the water and the people of Arda:

“Ulmo is the Lord of Waters. He is alone. He dwells nowhere long, but moves as he will in all the deep waters about the Earth or under the Earth. His is next in might to Manwë, and before Valinor was made he was closest to him in friendship; but thereafter he went seldom to the councils of the Valar, unless great matters were in debate. For he kept all Arda in thought, and he has no need of any resting-place. Moreover he does not love to walk upon the land, and will seldom clothe himself in a body after the manner of his peers. If the Children of Eru beheld him they were filled with a great dread; for the arising of the King of the Sea was terrible, as a mounting wave that strides the land, with dark helm foam-crested and raiment of mail shimmering from silver down into shadows of green. The trumpets of Manwë are loud, but Ulmo’s voice is deep as the deeps of the ocean which he only has seen.

Nonetheless Ulmo loves both Elves and Men, and never abandoned them, not even when they lay under the wrath of the Valar. At times he will come unseen to the shores of Middle-earth, or pass far inland up firths of the sea, and there make music upon his great horns, the Ulumúri, that are wrought of white shell; and those to whom that music comes hear it ever after in their hearts, and longing for the sea never leaves them. But mostly Ulmo speaks to those who dwell in Middle-earth with voices that are heard only as the music of water. For all seas, lakes, rivers, fountains and springs are in his government; so that the Elves say that the spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world. Thus news comes to Ulmo, even in the deeps, of all the needs and grieves of Arda, which otherwise would be hidden from Manwë.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion)

Poseidon also never left mankind during the ages of this world, even when the other gods lost their faith in humanity, Poseidon always stood up for them.
The Greek sea god however, is very short-tempered and will throw heavy storms over his people to cool down his fury. Ulmo will never do that, he is never angry, and will most certainly not take it out on the inhabitants of Arda.

Another important difference between these two sea gods is that Ulmo has power over the weather as well whereas, in the Greek mythology, Zeus is the lord of the air and therefore also has the power over the rain. Ulmo can control all water and is thus not only the lord of the seas, but also the lord of all waters.

While the other gods play with the waves and enjoy their powers, Ulmo and Poseidon sit together in a corner and talk on a soft, philosophical tone. They seem to be able to become good friends and to share many viewpoints in a world where myth and fiction meet.

by kellymulder


Long we drifted on dark and mighty seas
lonely we swam through clear and cold water
As soft shining pearls, their beauty still covered
lost in the swirl and the vastness of the ocean

But suddenly there was a hand that directed us
a hand with incredible power and gentle love
Ulmo took us in his arms and called us his children
and connected us all together in our love for him

Far away from the real and hectic world
he made us our own little corner of Arda
White shores beneath a velvet sky and
a soothing place near the powerful ocean

Ulmo brought us together, a group so tight
and he haunts for those who are still lost
Spirits of the water, all of us beautiful in heart
yet all different in our dreams and longings

So now we linger here within the reach of
ocean and stars and the love of the water
Never alone, never lost, Ulmo brought us
home in heart, until the end of all things.

by kellymulder


Hearken to me
peoples of Arda.
Sing me your lamentations.
Sing to me of your pain and suffering.

Call out to me Ea;
land whose birth I saw.
Bring me your troubles.
Bring to me your aches and sorrows.

I am Nienna the Weeper.
My tears I shed for you Arda.
I see your pain and it brings such grief
that I must bear both it and your pain.

I am Nienna the Weeper.
My song long since turned to lamentation.
I sing to my father your pain, your loss, your woes,
’till Eru weeps along side me.

I am Nienna the Weeper,
who shares your pain
and weeps for your loss
as if all were my own.

by Nenya_Evenstar

Everything you wanted to know about Rivendell, but were afraid to ask

Elrond’s obsession with dresses, of course. Everybody always brings their best dresses to wear when they’re in company of the Lord of Imladris, but for some reason those always disappear. Some sweet little elf comes to wish you goodnight and then suggests very friendly and politely to wash that beautiful dress you wore during dinner. Strangely enough, she never brings it back to you. Did you never think it was odd that Elrond was wearing the same dress as you had once made for your best friend?

And obviously you never get to hear about how desperately Elrond tries to find another boyfriend for Arwen. Preferably an elf who will follow her to Valinor, but since you can’t have it all, someone unreliable is fine too. You’d better not drink too much of that tasty water, ’cause it definitely contains some love potion which will make you and Arwen fall completely in love with each other. But since you’re such an unreliable person, you’ll cheat on her and she’ll run back to her daddy as fast as possible. Married is fine too, you can first let her forget about Aragorn and then when she’ll find out that you’re already taken, she’ll leave you anyway. But please don’t come complaining that because of Elrond’s love potion both your marriage and your relationship with Arwen are over, ’cause now I’ve warned you and Elrond won’t care anyway.

Arwen is very, very, VERY fond of lap dogs! Name a type of cute fluffy dog and she’s got it. So y’all who are allergic to animal hair, stay out!

You have to pay for your room! Well, of course you have to! Where else do you think Elrond gets the money to buy his purple dresses from? And if you think all the lembas and the miruvor is free too, think again…

They won’t tell you why they have those beautiful designs that they know you will surely ask about. In Rivendell, you don’t see too many elves lurking outside, they’re just barely outside walking around the halls of Rivendell and you’ll notice the great designs of the place. As you know, elves are really elite people. They’re just inside their houses making some designs for their houses and some halls because, there’s a secret, a competition of who is the winner for the month if they’ve been chosen as the most beautiful house by Elrond, they’ll win a grand dress that Elrond may have gotten from the visitors or he bought it. The visitors thought they’re just natural, you know, the designs, but the elves have been redesigning them over and over again for new styles to claim for new dresses that they’re addicted to. That’s why the visitors have to pay money for living there, they’re wasting it on designs and dresses. Whenever they win, that’s the time they’ll lurk outside their houses and let the losers envy to death when they see the dress that has been won.

You have to wash the dishes! And that takes a loooong time, trust me! Every evening, Elrond chooses one visitor who has to do everything alone, and as there are hundreds of elves in Rivendell, it usually takes the victim about four days. Why do you think the Fellowship were so eager to leave the Last Homely House?

You have to sweep the floor in the Halls of Rivendell when you visit, as another form of payment (required). We all know that in Rivendell, there are so many trees that the leaves keep falling in the outdoor, halls and veranda. Ever wondered why do leaves lessen before a visitor leaves? Yes, as this beautiful place is a five-star class, you will have to pay more than money and dresses, you also have to sweep the floors for the other visitors to see the sight perfect and tidy! That’s why before the Fellowship left the place, you could see the Halls, outdoors and verandas leafless!

You have to pay for parking your horse into their place. Of course, when visiting and staying for a while in Rivendell, you have a horse with you to get all your things without you holding the world! As you enter, the ones who have one in the secret design competition that you don’t know will greet you happily and then lead you to your temporary room. As you go into the place where your horse is, you cannot claim it till you pay for the horse too. And it’s the reason why Sam didn’t let Bill the Pony go back to Rivendell!

You have to show all your wardrobes to Elrond! Before you enter, you’ll notice Elrond is not around to greet you. But as the selected merry elves welcome you and lead you to your temporary room, they won’t let you arrange your clothes from your bag before you bring it to Elrond and let him see it! As Elrond criticizes the clothes, you don’t know that he is checking to see if there is something special about the clothes so that he can take it! That’s why when Frodo told Sam that he’s packing, actually he was not, because it hadn’t been moved at all till Elrond requested if he could check it. That’s why Sam needed to redo his arrangements in their bags!

You are required to buy souvenirs that are worth a million! Elrond wants his visitors to leave with a great souvenir made from the hands of the elves for a great memory they had during their stay! (If they have great memories to remember!) The souvenir is made by the greatest craftsman of the elves and has a design of a boat like the ones they have going to Valinor. It is worth millions and if you don’t buy, you’ll have to stay there and work for it!

by Celedë_Anthaas, Ilfa, Divinity, ~Mirilien~Undómiel~

Music Review: The Steward of Gondor

Perhaps one of the most heart-rending moments in the Trilogy is when Faramir leads the doomed cavalry charge from Minas Tirith to Osgiliath, so it was only fitting that the musical accompaniment be similar. The Steward of Gondor seems to fit the atmosphere in the movie at that time: sad, but somehow regal and almost as if it’s a funeral march.

When Faramir and his men are marching through the streets of Minas Tirith on horses, the song is almost processional, conjuring up an image of pride, joy, war, sorrow, of a peace that was won over years of war and bloodshed, of people who have survived only because others haven’t. It’s a bittersweet picture, but something almost integral to the film, the fact that sometimes you just have to pick up a sword and fight, because if you don’t fight for the ones you love and the things you care about, who will?

Once the cavalry charge is on the Pelennor, the music picks up on the horns, the strings filling out the background. The horn seems to be the musical instrument chosen to represent Gondor, as it appears both in the Gondor Theme, and in the background when Boromir speaks of Gondor at the Council of Elrond. Strings also seem to be a part of the Gondorian theme.

When the charge is reaching Osgiliath, the music picks up in tempo, matching the atmosphere of the movie. Just when it reaches a dramatic point, the music fades out, and all that can be heard is Billy Boyd singing. Images change from the cavalry to the throne room, and Pippin’s words at this time fit perfectly with the doomed cavalry charge.

The Steward of Gondor’s rich musical themes and haunting lyrics are a fitting accompaniment to the movie, and the Gondorian horn theme comes through. It’s a piece of music with a bit of sorrow, a bit of pride, a bit of anxiety. It’s a wonderful piece with wonderful harmonies and a haunting melody. All in all, The Steward of Gondor is a song rich in emotions and feeling.

by MarchwardenOfIthilien

An interview with Morwenna

When and why did you join CoE?
I can’t remember exactly how I found the site, probably via Google or another website. I was looking for either the Very Secret Diaries or pictures of Legolas (blush). I looked at a lot of Lord of the Rings sites, but kept on coming back to CoE time and time again and in the end decided that I wanted to be part of this community.

I joined CoE in July 2003, having lurked for a number of months. I was impressed by the friendliness of the site and the huge amount of information on it. I’d never been a member of an online community before and was impressed right from the start at how friendly CoE was and how it encourages its members to contribute in whatever way they can to the site.

How were you introduced to LotR, and when did you first consider yourself a fan?
In the 1970’s the books were really popular amongst teenagers, my older brother had read Lord of the Rings and really enjoyed it, so I asked for a copy for a Christmas present (his copy had all but fallen apart). As soon as I got it I sat and read it all the way through, it took me about 10 days if I remember right. I can still remember some of the feelings I had when I first read the book, my initial suspicions about Strider, the devastation when I thought Gandalf had died and the joy when he re-appeared, the appendix with Arwen and Aragon’s story, such a beautiful poignant tale which made me cry and still does (stops here to blow nose).

I still have my original copy of the book, complete with pressed rose petals in the pages (taken from a bouquet given to me by a long forgotten boyfriend) and a homemade Snoopy bookmark.

So I’ve been a fan since then. I can actually remember when the Silmarillion was first published and being an impoverished student having to wait to get it from the library!

I didn’t watch the movies until December 2002! I had resisted seeing them as I didn’t want them to “spoil” my love of the books. I was given Fellowship of the Ring as a Christmas present and it sat there on the shelf until New Year’s Eve, when, as there was nothing worth watching on TV, I decided to give it a go. I was hooked! Yes, some things are not as I imagined them and certain characters have been left out or altered, but my love of the books (and my own image of them) is as strong as ever and I also love the movies.

What do you like about your job on CoE?
I love searching out LotR and Tolkien news on the net. It’s great to read the news comments, especially when people say thanks for posting a particular item or send me a PM about it. I’ve recently started working in the Last Homely House (with Goldsand) and I really enjoy having an outlet for my “crafty side”. Most of all I love feeling a part of this community.

Which character out of all Tolkien created resembles you the most and why?
Difficult question! When I first read the Lord of the Rings I really wanted to be Galadriel and longed to live in Lothlórien , however, as I look more like a Hobbit (but with small non hairy feet) this was a forlorn hope.

I suppose the person I most identify with and probably resembles me the most, although there’s not much written about her, is Estë. I love the night, tend to wear quite a lot of grey and work in the healing professions.

What is Tolkien’s universe to you? A sacred haven? A place of inspiration
and relaxation?

Somewhere I can escape to if I feel stressed out; I can immerse myself in Middle-earth and forget about any other worries.

If we say Yavanna, what comes to mind?
Trees, specifically the Two Trees.

by Lossendiliel and LadyEowyn_of_Rohan