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Elrohir Elanesse
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Post A Few Questions on the Silmarillion and Other Books
on: July 27, 2016 09:28
1. Whatever happened to the Avari?
2. Are the origins of goblins or hobbits ever expained in canon anywhere?
3. Are the Noldor who returned to Endor/the descendants of the Noldor who returned to Endor still considered calaquendi? If not, what are they?
4. Should I read Akallabêth? I've read Ainulindalë, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, and the Hobbit.
5. Does Eru ever do anything in any of the books that are considered canon?
6. When I finish reading Lord of the Rings, should I read "The Return of the Shadow," "The Treason of Isengard," and "The War of the Ring"? Are they even different?
7. Should I read "The War of the Jewels"?
8. Should I read "The Children of Húrin," since the story of Túrin and Níniel is covered in Quenta Silmarillion.
~Elrohir Elrond Elanesse
Gandolorin
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on: July 28, 2016 05:51
YIKES! "Almost "Life, The Universe And Everything", to borrow a book title from another fantasy (science fiction) saga originating about a quarter f a century after LoTR!

1. Whatever happened to the Avari?
Good question, and it depends on whom you mean, kind of how far away from the awakening place of the Elves at lake Cuiviénen they managed to get and why. Rumor has it that some were somehow converted to Orcs.

2. Are the origins of goblins or Hobbits ever explained in canon anywhere?
Goblins (Orcs) see rumor above. For Hobbits, anything earlier than their appearance at Bree about 1300 of the Third Age is shrouded in thick fogs.

3. Are the Noldor who returned to Endor/the descendants of the Noldor who returned to Endor still considered Calaquendi? If not, what are they?
As all Noldor went to Aman and saw the Two Trees, those returning would certainly be Calaquendi. Those Noldor born in M-e after the return ... ?

4. Should I read Akallabêth? I've read Ainulindalë, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, and the Hobbit.
I would say yes. The Akallabêth is JRRT's Atlantis legend, and the background story for the Dunedain returning to M-e, who founded Gondor and Arnor, fought Sauron together with Gil-galad's Elves in the Last Alliance at the end of the Second age, thus defeating Sauron, but by a seemingly small but in the end disastrous decision by Isildur (Aragorn's long ancestor) set up the whole business described in LoTR.

5. Does Eru ever do anything in any of the books that are considered canon?
Yep. In the Akallabêth. The Valar lay down their governance of M-e when the last Númenorean King, instigated by Sauron, sets foot in Aman in the then flat Earth. Eru is decidedly not amused, removes Aman and Tol Eressëa from the "circles of the world", which he then changes into the globe we now know, utterly destroying Númenor (Atlantis) in the process.

6. When I finish reading Lord of the Rings, should I read "The Return of the Shadow," "The Treason of Isengard," and "The War of the Ring"? Are they even different?
The fourth part is "Sauron Defeated". I own and have read all of them (not every part of every book, I can't follow discussions going into graduate studies levels of philology). Spontaneously, if you a trivia hound, then read them, yes. But beware, as in all parts of the History of Middle-earth, you must slog your way through voluminous foot-, unfortunately far more often the more difficult end-notes.

7. Should I read "The War of the Jewels"?
Just in case you do not know, it is preceded by "Morgoth's Ring", and "The Peoples of Middle-earth" follows it as twelfth and final volume of HoMe. It has been a while since I read them, so again your being a trivia hound or not might be relevant.

8. Should I read "The Children of Húrin," since the story of Túrin and Níniel is covered in Quenta Silmarillion.
There is a version in one of the HoMe books that comes very close to it - just don't remember in which volume. If you mean CT's published (1977) version of the "Silmarillion", do read it.

[Edited on 07/28/2016 by Gandolorin]
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Elthir
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on: July 31, 2016 01:59
1. Whatever happened to the Avari?


A somewhat complicated question since accounts differ a bit in the posthumously published corpus. One text (called Quendi And Eldar) has some Avari ultimately migrating west into the Anduin Vale (one clan of Avari who seemed to be found in the Anduin Vale being known as the Penni, for example), and some even as far as Beleriand.

Yet a later text (called Of Dwarves And Men) appears to say that no Avari passed into Beleriand. And this later text is silent (if I recall correctly) about other possible migrations into Eriador or the Anduin Vale. Hmm.

As a side note, Quendi And Eldar states that there were no Avari from the First Clan, but there were Avari from the Second and Third clans... which means that some of the Elves who became the Noldor and the Lindar also became Avarin due to their choice.

It's more complicated than that! But moving on for now...

2. Are the origins of goblins or hobbits ever explained in canon anywhere?


That might depend upon what is meant by canon. For example, canon for me are texts published by JRR Tolkien himself (and one map he helped with, knowing it was going to be published). So in that light...

goblins: not explained in full (and even the posthumously published texts are a bit confusing here). Treebeard does say that the Orcs first appeared in the Great Darkness and that they were made in mockery of Elves... which does not necessarily mean made from Elves of course.

I'm inclined to trust Treebeard on these two counts, even if he doesn't know, for a fact, how Orcs came to be. For this post I'll disregard the possibly confusing scenario according to the posthumously published accounts.

Hobbits: the Prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring explains it well I think, but from there we have the information that: it is "plain indeed" that Hobbits are relatives of Men, but "of their original home the hobbits in Bilbo's time preserved no knowledge."

That's a very simplified version with respect to the Prologue.

3. Are the Noldor who returned to Endor/the descendants of the Noldor who returned to Endor still considered calaquendi? If not, what are they?


Quendi And Eldar states:

"The lineal descendants of these terms [*kala-kwendí, *mori-kwendí] survived only in the languages of Aman. The Quenya forms were Kalaquendi and Moriquendi. The Kalaquendi in Quenya applied only to the Elves who actually lived or had lived in Aman..."

This was never published by JRRT himself, so some might have questions regarding canon here. And at the moment I can't recall if there is something that contradicts this (something even posthumously published).

4. Should I read Akallabêth? I've read Ainulindalë, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, and the Hobbit.


I think you would like it. And it's not that long, relatively speaking anyway. It's also not strictly canon to my mind, but that's another matter.

5. Does Eru ever do anything in any of the books that are considered canon?


Right now I recall that in Appendix A, The Return of the King, there's a reference to the Valar calling upon the One "and the world was changed"

In my opinion this does not necessarily mean that the world was flat and made round at this point. But this question is also complicated.

6. When I finish reading Lord of the Rings, should I read "The Return of the Shadow," "The Treason of Isengard," and "The War of the Ring"? Are they even different?


These books (and Sauron Defeated) contain the draft versions (with commentary) and notes, of The Lord of the Rings. So there will by many differences, but it's more of a look behind the scenes, so to speak, regarding how Tolkien arrived at the final version of his story published in the 1950s.

7. Should I read "The War of the Jewels"?


Morgoth's Ring and The War of the Jewels contain Tolkien's version of "Silmarillion texts" as imagined in the early 1950s and later... thus after The Lord of the Rings was finished but not yet published (early 1950s)...

... and "later"

Hard to describe in brief! Very generally speaking, Silmarillion related stuff that was written before The Lord of the Rings appears in other, earlier volumes of The History of Middle-Earth series.

8. Should I read "The Children of Húrin," since the story of Túrin and Níniel is covered in Quenta Silmarillion.


I think you would like it. There's more to find out in the long prose version, although yes anyone who has read the constructed Silmarillion is going to know what happens in general. Tolkien planned short prose versions (chapters in Quenta Silmarillion), and long prose versions of certain of the "Great Tales." This was one of the Great Tales, although JRRT himself never finished the long version either, and so here again we have a constructed version by Christopher Tolkien...

... thus again, not canon as I characterize canon anyway, but still very much based on Tolkien's writings, if not always his latest ideas, and still a great read in my opinion!
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