Welcome Guest 


Author Topic:
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: October 21, 2005 07:01
Hi guys I've been thinking ...

Yes, about Fëanor and how utterly gorgeous Théoden is, but more *gasp* about what we can do going forward with the Books Forum. I'd like your opinions and ideas, if possible!

The main idea I've been having is possibly creating a sub-forum where people around Tolkien could be discussed. People like CS Lewis, the other Inklings, Alan Garner, mythological sources - the Edda, Kalevala etc etc. For themselves, but also how they affect Tolkien and how Tolkien affected them.

You like? Not like? That's a great / good / indifferent / stupid idea?

FAQ section
The other big "thing" ... soon we'll have a FAQ section up in the Library,so we can immediately just refer questions we see 70 times a week to the FAQ section. So far the articles done are the Two Glorfindels, Balrogs, Healing, Magic, The Two Towers, and the Blue Wizards. If anyone wants to volunteer to write some, please do! Or just suggest what topics need covering

Other ideas
- every week for someone to pick a pic from the gallery and base discussions around that
- Quizzes back again - and the best format for them
- Quote of the week back again - though we've probably done most of the favourite quotes by now!

Any ideas / requests etc etc - please post them =D

[Edited on 30/12/2007 by cirdaneth]
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: December 29, 2007 10:10
ED: From "The Silmarils? The Rings?" now deleted.
IMHO, what parallelism that exist is limited between the Silmarils and the Three Rings of the Elves (Vilya, Nenya & Narya). The One Ring, by its very nature, is inherently evil; its purpose and the power it preceeded from is likewise evil, thus it couldn't be more opposite to the Silmarils. While the other rings can be considered as simply appendages to the skill of their craftsmen.

I think this is a better comparison. Sauron's One Ring can't really be compared well to the Silmarils, I think, as the direct comparison is with Middle-earth, i.e. Morgoth's Ring.

Some of the essential differences are brought up in a passage in Flieger's "Splintered Light":
"The likeness between the Silmarils and the One Ring of Sauron, at least in their effects, is striking. Comparison between the two is almost inevitable. Given that, chronologically, the
Silmarils were Tolkien's first creation, and must to some extent
have affected his treatment of the Ring, the likeness between the
two still serves to point up the essential differences, differences which are central to Tolkien's purpose in inventing each. Both the Silmarils and the Ring are artifacts beautiful in themselves and intrinsically desirable. The effect of each is intensified by proximity and possession, and each has an effect proportional to the power and nature of the holder. But there the likenesses end. The Ring is inherently evil, made by evil for evil purposes. It works on the inner darkness of the individual with consistent effect - it can only corrupt. While it appears to confer power on the possessor, in reality the Ring gains power over him. Power, potency, potentia - the Ring is all potential for evil, bringing out that potential in the wearer as it brings out all the greed and covetousness inherent in human nature.

The Silmarils are light, pure and simple (in the literal as well as the rhetorical sense). They are holy jewels, light shining in the darkness. They exert no power over the wearer, they simply bring out whatever qualities are there to begin with. Where the Ring binds (One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them), the Silmarils illuminate. They can show up darkness if it is there, but they can also call forth light. No wearer can escape the evil power of the Ring, but those who touch a Silmaril can be positively affected if their motives are good."


- whether this is significant or not, the Silmarils are works of beauty. The One Ring has little intrinsic beauty, unlike the three elven rings, and [presumably] the dwarven and mannish rings.

- the Silmarils were produced from the love of knowledge and beauty, the One Ring (and the other Rings of Power) were produced through beauty by the elves, but tainted always with the lust for power and control by Sauron.

I think, basically, its a difference between beauty and power.

[Edited on 30/12/2007 by cirdaneth]
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: December 30, 2007 10:44
ED: From "Greatest Elf" now deleted.

OK ... Maiaman wanted to know my opinion on the Feanor / Fingolfin issue. ... as if anyone here doesn't really know what my conclusion is going to be LOL.

Anyway, I've been meaning to write an article on the Noldor for Elrond's Library for weeks, so I went a bit over-the-top on this so I can use it afterwards as a bit of the Noldor essay. And I've added Finarfin into the Feanor / Fingolfin issue.

And I don't pretend that its unbiased. Because it's not. Its blooming obvious to everyone here that I much prefer Feanor to Fingolfin, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise. I've tried to bring out some questions about Fingolfin and Finarfin's characters - not to try and run them down, but really to try and work out my thoughts about their parts in the Rebellion and the initial events on Middle-earth.


Fëanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin


I'm going to write this, but I know already what the conclusion will be. Fëanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin are such utterly different characters that I'm not really sure that they are readily comparable. Who you prefer will depend on the characteristics that you admire. The quote that sums the whole thing up is:

"Fëanor was the mightiest in skill of word and of hand, more learned than his brothers; his spirit burned as a flame. Fingolfin was the strongest, the most steadfast, and the most valiant. Finarfin was the fairest, and the most wise of heart."
(Silmarillion; Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië)

I am not going to go into details about Fëanor here as there is an article already in Elrond's Library about Fëanor - link is here.


Fëanor – the only pure-blooded Noldor of the brothers – lost his mother at an early age, Míriel having been consumed in body and spirit by the birth of her son. Here there is a distinct parallel between Fëanor and Tolkien – who also lost his mother at an early age, and Tolkien considered to have died for her sons. Fëanor's father, Finwë, adored his firstborn son, forever considering him his favourite. All knew, even after Finwë's second marriage, that "of all whom he loved Fëanor had ever the chief share of his heart."

Fëanor disliked his father remarrying, and he didn't like Indis – his new Vanyar wife very much either. The dislike soon spread to his new half-brothers, Fingolfin and Finarfin, and Fëanor spent most of his time apart from them, gaining knowledge and learning crafts.

"many saw the effect of this breach within the house of Finwë, judging that if Finwë had endured his loss and been content with the fathering of his mighty son, the courses of Fëanor would have been otherwise, and great evil might have been prevented" (Silmarillion, Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor).

Fingolfin and Finarfin had their mother present through their younger days, and they also had the constant love of their father. What they did not have was the adoration of their father - that belonged solely to Fëanor.

The split between Fëanor and Fingolfin

The initial split between Fëanor and Fingolfin was, for once, not just caused by Fëanor:

"High princes were Fëanor and Fingolfin, the elder sons of Finwë, honoured by all in Aman; but now they grew proud and jealous each of his rights and his possessions."

Melkor saw this, and started his active meddling in Fëanor's life:

"Then Melkor set new lies abroad in Eldamar, and whispers came to Fëanor that Fingolfin and his sons were plotting to usurp the leadership of Finwë and of the elder line of Fëanor, and to supplant them by the leave of the Valar

Thus with lies and evil whisperings and false counsel Melkor kindled the hearts of the Noldor to strife; and of their quarrels came at length the end of the high days of Valinor and the evening of its ancient glory. For Fëanor now began openly speak words of rebellion

Then there was great unrest in Tirion, and Finwë was troubled; and he summoned all his lords to council."
(Silmarillion, Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor).

Fingolfin came to believe that Fëanor thought himself the leader of the Noldor, and he resented that fact, knowing that there was still only one King - Finwë. He went to his father's Hall, and pleaded with Finwë to restrain Fëanor and to stop his uprising.

But then Fëanor entered the hall, and on seeing Fingolfin try to persuade his father against him, he became enraged and told Fingolfin to leave the Hall.

"Fingolfin bowed before Finwë, and without word or glance to Fëanor he went from the chamber. But Fëanor followed him, and at the door of the king's house he stayed him; and the point of his bright sword he set against Fingolfin's breast. "See half-brother!" he said. "This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls." (Silmarillion, Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor).

Fingolfin then left the King's House, and went in search of Finarfin.

There are a few interesting points that come out of that paragraph.

- It is Fingolfin who first utters words against Fëanor.
- Fingolfin already had the presence of mind to ignore Fëanor's scorn.
- Fingolfin still absolutely saw Finwë as in charge of the Noldor, and would acknowledge only his authority.
- Fëanor's real issue with Fingolfin was to do with his father's love. Sibling rivalry was at the base of the argument as Fëanor was determined that Fingolfin would not replace him in the affections of Finwë. The affections of the Noldor race came second in his mind.
- Fëanor still did not want to consider Fingolfin as a sibling – saying "my father", not "our father".

When the unrest of the Noldor came to the notice of the Valar, they judged Fëanor the main trouble-maker, even though they acknowledged that the entire race had become proud. Was he the main trouble-maker? Yes, of course he was, but I believe that the Valar chose to downplay the role of Fingolfin, who could be said to deliberately aggravate Fëanor about his familial and Noldorin position.

The exile of Fëanor

The Valar then exiled Fëanor from Tirion for 12 years. After that time, they said that the matter would be held redressed, if Fingolfin would release him. Fingolfin immediately said that he would forgive his brother, but Fëanor was silent, and he stalked away from Máhanaxar and left Valmar.

Finwë and Fëanor's seven sons went into banishment at Formenos with him, Finwë simply because of the love he bore Fëanor:

"While the ban lasts upon Fëanor my son, that he may not go to Tirion, I hold myself unkinged, and I will not meet my people." (Silmarillion, Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor).

Fingolfin was left to rule Tirion.

When the twelve years were up, Fëanor travelled down from Formenos to Valmar. The brothers were reconciled, at least superficially, with Fingolfin officially forgiving Fëanor the raising of his sword against kin. (ooooh that’s an interesting choice of words …)

"Then Fëanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: "Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us."
"I hear thee," said Fëanor. "So be it." But they did not know the meaning that their words would bear." (Silmarillion, Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor).

Here again Fingolfin showed his willingness to be subservient to Fëanor. While he was the second son, and therefore nominally under the rank of Fëanor, Fingolfin had led the Noldor for 12 years. I would imagine that both the Noldor and the Valar considered him the equal of the fiery Fëanor who abandoned them and took their King with him.

The death of Finwë

When Finwë died during Morgoth's onslaught on Formenos, Fëanor cursed the summons of Manwë that had brought him to Valmar, thus leaving his father (as he thought) unguarded and left to his fate. Yet again we see the influence of love in Fëanor's life. Never did Fëanor again seem so "human", so unguarded in his emotions:

"Then Fëanor ran from the Ring of Doom, and fled into the night; for his father was dearer to him than the Light of Valinor or the peerless works of his hands; and who among sons, of Elves or of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth?" (Silmarillion, Of the Darkening of Valinor)

The flight of the Noldor

After Finwë's death, Fëanor delivered an impassioned speech to the already fairly fired-up Noldor.

"Fierce and fell were his words, and filled with anger and pride; and hearing them the Noldor were stirred to madness.

he was distraught with grief for the slaying of his father, and with anguish for the rape of the Silmarils. He claimed now the kingship of all the Noldor, since Finwë was dead" (Silmarillion, Of the Flight of the Noldor).

Fëanor and his seven sons then swore the Oath of Fëanor, swearing to regain the Silmarils and to pursue with vengeance and hatred any creature who hid the jewels from their rightful owners.

Fingolfin, Turgon and Finrod spoke to the Noldor against Fëanor's plans, while Finarfin and Orodreth tried to calm the situation down, asking the elves to consider their actions before being hasty and rash. Of Fëanor's brothers and his brothers' children, Galadriel, Fingon, Aegnor, and Angrod stood with Fëanor, eager to be gone to Middle-earth.

However, the host that was to set forth soon became divided into two.

"indeed when Fëanor began the marshalling of the Noldor for their setting-out, then at once dissension arose. For though he had brought the assembly in a mind to depart, by no means all were of a mind to take Fëanor as King. Greater love was given to Fingolfin and his sons, and his household and the most part of the dwellers in Tirion refused to renounce him, if he would go with them; and thus at last as two divided hosts the Noldor set forth upon their bitter road." (Silmarillion, Of the Flight of the Noldor)

It is said that Fingolfin went only because Fingon urged him to go; because he would not be parted from his people; and because he would not leave his people to the rash counsels of Fëanor. Finarfin also went, though he was also loath to depart the Blessed Realm. One must wonder what would have happened if Fingolfin and Finarfin had stayed strong, refusing to leave Middle-earth and refusing to acknowledge Fëanor's leadership.

"the House of Fëanor hastened before them along the coasts of Elendë: not once did they turn their eyes back to Tirion on the green hill of Túna. Slower and less eagerly came the host of Fingolfin after them. Of those Fingon was the foremost; but at the rear went Finarfin and Finrod, and many of the noblest and wisest of the Noldor; and often they looked behind them to see their fair city, until the lamp of the Mindon Eldaliéve was lost in the night." (Silmarillion, Of the Flight of the Noldor)

Fëanor's people reached Alqualondë first, and when the Teleri tried to stop the Noldor from taking their ships, they started to slay the Teleri. Thrice were the Noldor driven back, but eventually were aided in their battle by Fingon and the foremost of the host of Fingolfin. These last rushed into battle before they knew the cause of the fighting, and indeed some thought that the Noldor had been attacked by the Teleri on orders of the Valar.

Finarfin and his people did not taken part in the Kin-slaying, not least because Finarfin's wife was Olwë's daughter.

After the evils of the Kin-slaying, the doom of the Noldor was pronounced on the rebels by Mandos, denying them access to the Blessed Realm, and hinting at the terrible sorrows that would befall them in Middle-earth.

At that, Finarfin and most of his people turned back and returned to Valinor. There the Valar forgave them, and Finarfin became the ruler of the Noldor of the Blessed Realm. However, Finarfin's sons, Fingolfin, and all Fingolfin's people continued onwards with Fëanor. At least some of them feared to go back, as they had taken part in the kin-slaying, and Fingolfin still felt bound by his oath to Fëanor.

So what did that say about Finarfin? There are two very different views on this. One is that he was the only truly upright and moral of the Noldorin princes, choosing to return to possible disgrace rather than take part in the Kin-slaying. It must have taken great courage and strength to admit that he was wrong. He led his people home rather than letting his pride and ego lead his people into terrible hardship. In this argument, Finarfin was in some way, I think, representing the possibility of the Children of Ilúvatar repenting of their sins and coming back to a pure state of Arda before its Fall.

The other is that he was a coward – returning to an easy life when he heard the Doom of the Noldor rather than staying with the Noldor to whatever end. It may have been a wise decision for him and his people to return to Valinor, but what did they actually accomplish there? What deeds of theirs are told in stories? None. Fëanor and Fingolfin, on the other hand, led their people on a crusade that became legendary. They knew full well of the power of their enemy and the danger that they faced and yet it did not stop either from setting out. Finarfin was known for his wisdom, and his ability to stay calm and impassionate. In Middle-earth, he could have done much to heal the rifts that opened among the elven races, and the people that he led back to Aman could have made the Noldor strong enough to consider a direct assault on Angband. Instead, Finarfin abandoned the people who needed him most and returned to safe life of luxury. A quote from Edmund Burke sums up this argument: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

The journey across the Helcaraxë

When they reached the Helcaraxë, Fëanor took those who had deemed loyal, and sneaked out to sea with all the ships. When they had landed on Middle-earth, Maedhros asked how many ships and rowers Fëanor would then send back to Aman to allow the other Noldor to cross. Fëanor laughed as one fey, and he and his sons (save Maedhros) burned the ships on the shore.

"And Fingolfin and his people saw the light afar off, red beneath the clouds; and they knew that they were betrayed. This was the firstfruits of the Kinslaying and the Doom of the Noldor." (Silmarillion, Of the Flight of the Noldor).

Fingolfin and his people were left to cross to Middle-earth across the Helcaraxë. Fingolfin himself was filled with bitterness towards Fëanor, and became more determined to cross the Sea to meet him again.

"led by Fingolfin and his sons, and by Finrod and Galadriel, they dared to pass into the bitterest North; and finding no other way they endured at last the terror of the Helcaraxë and the cruel hills of ice."

The journey that Fingolfin's people undertook must have been horrific. Many people died, including Elenwë, Turgon's wife. The strength of mind that Fingolfin must have had to keep driving his people on and on must have been formidable. As most have been the love for him borne by his people.

The death of Fëanor

Soon after Fëanor and his host arrived in Middle-earth, they were set upon by Morgoth and his troops in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath. After the evil hordes were routed, Fëanor followed Morgoth northwards, in a wild and fey mood, wanting to battle the Vala.

"he laughed as he wielded his sword, rejoicing that he had dared the wrath of the Valar and the evils of the road, that he might see the hour of his vengeance."

On seeing Fëanor draw ahead of his people, the forces of Morgoth turned back to face him, and Balrogs issued from Angband to aid them. The elf was mortally wounded by Gothmog, and was carried from the field of battle by his sons. He died on the slopes of the Ered Wethrin, looking out towards Thangorodrim.

Fingolfin's entrance to Middle-earth

Fingolfin's host eventually arrived in Middle-earth, just as the Sun was arising for the first time. The first description of the second Noldor host in Middle-earth clearly shows that Tolkien intended them to show them as the opposite of Fëanor's people – the light to his dark, the calmness to his chaos.

"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. At the uprising of the great light the servants of Morgoth fled into Angband, and Fingolfin passed unopposed through the fastness of Dor Daedeloth while his foes hid beneath the earth." (Silmarillion, Of the Return of the Noldor)

Fingolfin then camped out by Lake Mithrim, on the other side of the lake from Fëanor's people. By then, many of the first host of the Noldor had repented of the ship-burning at Losgar, and would have welcomed the new arrivals, but dared not, for shame.

The rift between the Houses started to be healed when Fingon, son of Fingolfin, sought out Maedhros, son of Fëanor. The two had been friends in the Blessed Realm and Fingon realised that the two hosts should be reconciled before Morgoth could set forth again from Angband. So Fingon journeyed to Angband to find Maedhros, and came upon him hung by one of his wrists from one of the faces of Thangorodrim. On Fingon's plea to Manwë, Thorondor appeared and took Fingon up to Maedhros, where he had to cut off his friend's wrist to free him from Morgoth's band of steel. The eagle then took them both back to Mithrim.

Maedhros immediately begged forgiveness for his desertion in Araman, and ceded the kingship of the Noldor to Fingolfin.

Fingolfin – High King of the Noldor

"Therefore when the council came to the choosing of one to be overlord of the Exiles and the head of all their princes, the choice of all save few fell on Fingolfin" (The Grey Annals).

Fingolfin became the first High King of the Noldor in Exile, and managed to keep his kingdom and his people well-cared for, safe and secure for many years, until the advent of the Dagor Bragollach. During that war, the sons of Finarfin were overthrown, and the sons of Fëanor driven from their lands. (For more details of the Dagor Bragollach, see our encyclopedia article on the war *here*.) It seemed to Fingolfin that all around him was the ruin of the Noldor, and that they were heading towards an bitter defeat.

"filled with wrath and despair he mounted upon Rochallor his great horse and rode forth alone, and none might restrain him. He passed over Dor-nu-Fauglith like a wind amid the dust, and all that beheld his onset fled in amaze, thinking that Oromë himself was come: for a great madness of rage was upon him, so that his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar." (Silmarillion, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin)

Praise indeed. Tolkien only ever referred to one other person as being like Oromë – and that was Théoden as he rode to his death at the Pelennor Fields. Fingolfin's desperate charge has the same feeling as Théoden and the Rohirrim's 'death and glory' charge – in both cases, both showed evidence of being 'taken over' by some great force (shown through words such as great madness, fey etc), both were sure that they went to their deaths, and both were a willing sacrifice for their people.

What distinguishes Fingolfin from Théoden is that he didn't need to ride to fight Morgoth. In Théoden's case he had to be at the head of the army, giving the Rohirrim behind him courage and strength. Fingolfin's charge was more of a suicidal impulse, which was almost guaranteed to leave his people kingless and wounded by his death. He left his people to face Morgoth without him.

Finally Fingolfin showed some of the Noldorin spark of life that was so prevalent in his half-brother, and he rode forth to challenge Morgoth. He rode to Angband, sounded his horn, and challenged Morgoth to come forth to single combat. Consciously or unconsciously, he was echoing the actions of Fëanor those many years before.

Morgoth came forth, attacking Fingolfin with Grond, the Hammer of the Underworld. Fingolfin managed to injure the Vala seven times before he was borne down by Morgoth's shield. Three times was he brought to his knees, and three times he rose up to fight again. Eventually he fell backwards at the feet of Morgoth, and Morgoth put his foot on Fingolfin's neck. With his last desperate stroke, Fingolfin hewed the foot of the Dark Lord with Ringil, and black blood gushed forth.

"Thus died Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, most proud and valiant of the Elven-kings of old." (Silmarillion, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin)

Fingolfin died a hero's death, the only known of the Children of Ilúvatar to injure one of the Valar. After he died, Thorondor came swooping down to rescue his body from the wolves of Morgoth, and the eagle laid his body on a mountain top that looked north upon Gondolin. Turgon later built a cairn over his father.


One last way to try and judge a person is by the legacy they leave.

The House of Fëanor lasted only two generations. Of his seven sons, only one was married and had a son. That son was Celebrimbor, the ill-fated smith of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain.

In contrast, both Fingolfin and Finarfin started great dynasties of elves, the lineages coinciding eventually with the marriage of Elrond and Celebrían. Fingolfin's heritage included Fingon, Gil-galad, Turgon, Eärendil, Elrond, Elros. The only bad apple of the bunch was Maeglin. Finarfin's descendants included Finrod Felagund, Galadriel, and Celebrían.

Some random concluding thoughts …

- Race - Fingolfin and Finarfin were both half-Noldor, half-Vanyar. Does this mean the Noldorin spark was diluted in them? Yes, I think it does. But this could be seen as both a good and a bad thing …

- Who was the greatest King? Fingolfin without a doubt. I know I've been fairly nasty to him in this – but I was simply trying to find some questions that could be asked about his character. He is an incredible leader. First, he forgives Fëanor for threatening to murder him, then follows him on a journey that is certain to bring terrible suffering and death and then, even after he is betrayed and abandoned, he still decides to cross the horrors of the Grinding Ice. He has a critical role in the early days of the elven realms in Middle-earth, and the early wars with Morgoth. And then when disaster and defeat seemed certain, he rode forth alone to challenge his worst enemy. Though I can't help but still think that this was a fairly foolish thing to do.

- Who was the greatest elf? Fëanor, for me, again without a doubt. Fingolfin was very diligent, very worth-while, very upright and honest, and utterly dependable. People loved him and saw him as the greatest King of the Elves. But Fëanor … was unique. The spark of life was in him like none other before or after. He inspired total devotion or utter hatred. He was brilliant, a spirit of fire, consuming all in his path, but burning with an intensity unparalleled through the history of Middle-earth.

[Edited on 3/3/2004 by Nienna-of-the-Valar]

[Edited on 31/12/2007 by cirdaneth]
Council Member
Posts: 4
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: March 17, 2008 11:30
Lorfinwen asked: I keep reading about the Sylvan elves and the Sindarin elves, but whats the difference?

Atalante explained:17/3/2004
OK .... the Sindar and the Silvan elves were originally part of the Teleri, as you said. But after that, there are 2 answers as to how the groups were related. And both explanations occur in the Silmarillion .... and the two aren't exactly compatible.

Elvish relationships as shown in the index of the Silmarillion

When the Teleri finally got their act together and decided to head off to the Blessed Realm, some of them decided to stay in Middle-earth - for a number of different reasons. These included the Sindar and the Silvan elves.

The Sindar were defined as all those Elves of Telerin origin whom the returning Noldor found in Beleriand, save for the Green-elves of Ossiriand (the Laiquendi). Therefore in this scheme, the Silvan elves were part of the Sindar, and this is the more generally accepted version of relationship.

Elvish relationships as shown in the Silmarillion genealogies

But if we look at the genealogies, there is a slightly different, and more detailed, story. There, the Sindar were those who went to the western shores of Middle-earth but did not pass across the sea. They lived in Beleriand.

The other group of Telerin elves who stayed behind were then the Nandor. These turned aside from the Great Journey before the Sindar, east of the Misty Mountains, and they journeyed down the River Anduin. Some later crossed over the mountains to dwell in Ossiriand. There were two main "groups" of Nandor - the Silvan Elves and the Laiquendi (the Green-elves). The Silvan Elves were those Nandor who never passed west of the Misty Mountains, remaining in the Vale of Anduin and in Greenwood.

In this scheme, the Sindar and the Silvan elves were separate clans, though both with their origins in the Teleri.

[Edited on 26/12/2007 by cirdaneth]
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: March 18, 2008 12:01
"People of Middle-earth" records several versions of the names of the Sons of Fëanor, including their Quenya and Sindarin forms, and their mother-names. These give us quite a good amount of information about their characters and appearance ... including hair colour in some cases

Maedhros - S: Nelyafinwë, "Third Finwë in succession", Q: Maitimo , "Well-shaped one". Maedhros was of beautiful bodily form, with the rare russet-red hair of Nerdanel's kin.

Maglor - S: Kanafinwë, "Strong-voiced Finwë", Q: Makalaurë, Uncertain meaning. Usually interpreted as "forging gold"

Celegorm - S: Turkafinwë, "Powerful Finwë" Q: Tyelkormo, "Hasty-riser". Because of his quick temper and his habit of leaping up when suddenly angered.

Curufin - S: Kurufinwë, Fëanor's own name Q: Atarinkë, "Little father". Refers to his physical likeness to Fëanor.

Caranthir - S: Morifinwë, "Dark Finwë" Q: Carnistir, "Red face". He was brown haired, but had the ruddy complexion of his mother.

Amrod - S: Pityafinwë, "Little Finwë" Q: Ambarto, Either "Fated" or "Exalted"

Amras - S: Telufinwë, "Last Finwë", Q:Ambarussa, "Top Russet". Like Maedhros, he had the rare russet-red hair of Nerdanel's kin.
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: November 10, 2008 06:18
I think it probably went beyond what we could call sound.

Bear with me for a moment through something that sounds completely irrelevant. The main organ of the Royal Albert Hall in London has just been refurbished and brought back up to its original glory. It has 9,990 pipes, the sounds from some of which cannot be heard by the human ear. You just feel them. So I don't really think sound is just sound, it is feeling and intensity as well.

And because I'm me, and I see pretty much everything in terms of colours, I also stick a great big colour component into the Music as well!
Scholar of Imladris and Theodens Lady
Posts: 1365
Send Message
Post RE: Atalante's stuff [keep]
on: February 10, 2010 01:28
In another thread, the conversation came round to something called the Morgoth Element ... which is an idea not found in canon, but which is discussed by Tolkien in a text published in "Morgoth's Ring" (HoME X)

So, I've written a little article on it - see below (I'm also going to chuck it into Elrond's Library somewhere ...)


The Morgoth Element is something not discussed in any canonical book, being found only in some of Tolkien's writings later placed in "Morgoth's Ring". However, the idea of the Morgoth Element fundamentally affects the understanding of the nature of evil in Arda and the creation and workings of the Rings of Power.

The Morgoth Element

When in Middle-earth, Morgoth became fully incarnated in an attempt to be able to control the hroa – the physical matter – of Arda. This was a similar, but much more far-reaching, thing to what Sauron did when investing his power into the One Ring.

Because of this, it came to pass that all matter outside the Blessed Realm contained a portion of Morgoth's physical "essence". This was known as the "Morgoth Element" or the "Morgoth Ingredient", and it meant that Morgoth's power was disseminated throughout Middle-earth – and he became part of everything in the world, both animate or inanimate. There did seem to be certain elements into which Morgoth concentrated his power, and one of these was gold – the main constituent of all Rings of Power except Nenya. There were also elements to which he didn't pay much attention – for example, silver (though mithril seems to have been an exception to this) and water. It has been also suggested that the wills of Morgoth's evil creatures – e.g. balrogs, orcs etc – were part of Morgoth's dispersed power.

The main effect of this dispersal of power was to make all things created from the hroa of Middle-earth have a tendency to lean towards evil and Morgoth – "they were none of them wholly free of him in their incarnate form, and their bodies had an effect upon their spirits". And what that meant was that Morgoth could never be totally dispelled from the world – unless Arda was completely disintegrated.

There was, however, a downside – just as with Sauron and the Ring. From incarnation into the world, Morgoth lost a large amount of his Valarin powers. This was a permanent effect as Morgoth had abandoned his Valar body, with no possibility of return, and he started to exist solely as a desire to possess and dominate matter.

Because Morgoth had taken up a physical form, the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar had to fight him on a physical level. And the problem with this was that any direct confrontation with Morgoth would substantially affect the substance of the world through the Morgoth Element. This seems to be why the Valar did not rush to battle with him in any major way.

"The whole of 'Middle-earth' was Morgoth's Ring, though temporarily his attention was mainly upon the North-west. Unless swiftly successful, War against him might well end in reducing all Middle-earth to chaos, possibly even all Arda. It is easy to say: 'It was the task and function of the Elder King [Manwë] to govern Arda and make it possible for the Children of Eru to live in it unmolested.' But the dilemma of the Valar was this: Arda could only be liberated by a physical battle; but a probable result of such a battle was the irretrievable ruin of Arda."

The Morgoth Element and Sauron

While Sauron could not extract Morgoth's essence from the fabric of the world, he did automatically profit from the fact that Morgoth's ill-will inhabited the Earth and was willing to co-operate with many of Sauron's evil goals.

"Morgoth's Ring" states that the Morgoth Element was a prerequisite for the 'magic' Sauron worked upon matter, particularly the One Ring. However, exactly how the Rings of Power interacted with the Morgoth element is unknown, but it has been suggested that the increases in power seen by ringbearers when wearing a Ring could be associated with the Rings accessing the Morgoth Element – and the more powerful the bearer to start with, the better a Ring could tap into the Morgoth Element. The Morgoth Element could also be the "backdoor" Sauron worked into the Rings of Power, and it could be that Sammath Naur contained a particularly strong concentration of the Morgoth Element, thus aiding the creation of the Ring in some manner.

The Morgoth Element and the Children of Ilúvatar

The presence of the Morgoth Element meant that there was a duality within all life on Middle-earth – a conflict between the Morgoth Element contained within all matter, and that in life which is pure and untainted (represented in "The Silmarillion" by the Flame Imperishable). The evil in men then stemmed from a willingness to give in to the Morgoth Element, which allowed their souls to be tainted by the very materials from which they were composed.

So did Morgoth achieve his goals?

The common wisdom is that Morgoth failed as eventually he was cast out into the Void, not to trouble Arda again in that age, or many ages to come. But did he fail? Yes, his body was defeated, but until the end of Arda, he endured in the Morgoth Element. His essence ran through the veins of Middle-earth, of Arda Fallen, until the end of the world. So actually, I'm not sure he did fail after all.


Morgoth's Ring, Myths Transformed, VI, VII (ii) and (iii), VIII

[Edited on 8/7/2007 by cirdaneth]
Members Online
Print Friendly, PDF & Email