The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 38 (Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age)


Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.’ (301)


This is the final post in my beginner’s guide to The SilmarillionThe Silmarillion proper (Quenta Silmarillion) comes to an end with the downfall of Morgoth which ends the First Age of Middle-earth. Following that, “Akallabêth” deals with the downfall of the great island kingdom of Númenor at the hands of Sauron. In the book’s final section, “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”, we hear a very familiar tale told in a vastly different way.

the wizards ©2013-2015 breathing2004

Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 38 (Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age)”

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The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 37 (Akallabêth pt 4)


Then Ar-Pharazôn, being besotted, and walking under the shadow of death, for his span was drawing towards its end, hearkened to Sauron; and he began to ponder in his heart how he might make war upon the Valar. (275)


This is my final post on “Akallabêth”, the chronicle of Númenor and the Second Age. The Silmarillion proper comes to an end with the downfall of Morgoth which ends the First Age of Middle-earth. The Second Age immediately follows, the age of that great civilization of men, Númenor. It is also the age in which Sauron assumes the mantle of “chief bad guy” and in which the stage is set for much of the backstory of The Lord of the Rings.

Akallabeth ©2010-2015 Grrrod

Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 37 (Akallabêth pt 4)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 36 (Akallabêth pt 3)


{Sauron] perceived that the power and majesty of the Kings of the Sea surpassed all rumour of them, so that he could not trust even the greatest of his servants to withstand them; and he saw not his time yet to work his will with the Dúnedain. . .Therefore he humbled himself before Ar-Pharazôn and smoothed his tongue; and men wondered, for all that he said seemed fair and wise. (270-271)


This is my 3rd post on “Akallabêth”, the chronicle of Númenor and the Second Age. The Silmarillion proper comes to an end with the downfall of Morgoth which ends the First Age of Middle-earth. The Second Age immediately follows, the age of that great civilization of men, Númenor. It is also the age in which Sauron assumes the mantle of “chief bad guy” and in which the stage is set for much of the backstory of The Lord of the Rings.

Numenor ©2014-2015 RobleskaZeppelin

Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 36 (Akallabêth pt 3)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 35 (Akallabêth pt 2)


This was the beginning of that people that in the Grey-elven speech are called the Dúnedain: the Númenóreans, Kings among Men. (261)


The Silmarillion proper comes to an end with the downfall of Morgoth which ends the First Age of Middle-earth. The Second Age immediately follows, the age of that great civilization of men, Númenor. It is also the age in which Sauron assumes the mantle of “chief bad guy” and in which the stage is set for much of the backstory of The Lord of the Rings.

glory and fallen of Numenor ©2014-2015 breathing2004

“Akallabêth” is sub-titled “The Downfall of Númenor.” In my first post on “Akallabêth” I examined Tolkien’s thoughts on this story in the Waldman letter. In this and the following posts, I’ll examine the Rise, Decline, and Fall of Númenor.

Key Events

  • Morgoth’s Minions: Morgoth is gone from Middle-earth for good, but he sowed plenty of evil seed throughout the world, and it will continue coming to fruition for ages to come.
  • Elrond & Elros: The sons of Eärendil, being halfelven, have a choice with respect to their mortality; they may join with the lot of Elves or they may join with the lot of Men. Elrond chooses Elves; Elros chooses Men, and becomes the first king of Númenor.
  • The Establishment of Númenor: To the Edain – the Men who fought against Morgoth – the Valar give a great island kingdom as close to the Blessed Realm as mortal Man may venture. This becomes known as Númenor.

Key Themes

  • The Ban: Manwë imposes a ban upon the Númenoreans, that they may not enter the Blessed Realm and so become enamored of it and lust for immortality, which they may not attain.
  • Death Despised: Though the Númenoreans live much longer than normal Men, they still despise death, and perhaps even more greatly as a result. “For of us is required a blind trust, and a hope with assurance, knowing not what lies before us in a little while. And yet we also love the Earth and would not lose it.” (265)
  • King’s Men vs. Elf-friends: A divide begins to grow in Númenor between the Elf-friends – a sort of faithful remnant – and the prideful King’s Men, who grow ever further from love for the Valar and the worship of Ilúvatar.

Key Quotes

  • The Plight of Men: and Men dwelt in darkness and were troubled by many evil things that Morgoth had devised in the days of his dominion: demons, and dragons, and misshapen beasts, and the unclean Orcs that are mockeries of the Children of Ilúvatar. And the lot of Men was unhappy. (260)
  • The Might of the Dúnedain: For the Dúnedain became mighty in crafts, so that if they had had the mind they could easily have surpassed the evil kings of Middle-earth in the making of war and the forging of weapons; but they were become men of peace. Above all arts they nourished ship-building and sea-craft, and they became mariners whose like shall never be again since the world was diminished; and voyaging upon the wide seas was the chief feat and adventure of their hardy men in the gallant days of their youth. (262)
  • Religion on the Decline: But the fear of death grew ever darker upon them, and they delayed it by all means that they could; and they began to build great houses for their dead, while their wise men laboured unceasingly to discover if they might the secret of recalling life, or at the least the prolonging of Men’s days. . . But those that lived turned the more eagerly to pleasure and revelry, desiring ever more goods and more riches; and after the days of Tar-Ancalimon the offering of the first fruits to Eru was neglected, and men went seldom any more to the Hallow upon the heights of Meneltarma in the midst of the land. (266)

Come back for more on Akallabêth in the next few weeks. Feel free to leave your thoughts and questions on this chapter in the comments below!

 

 

The Tolkien Road Podcast – Ep. 19 – The Silmarillion – Ch. 9 – Of the Flight of the Noldor – pt 2


“They swore an oath which none shall break, and none should take, by the name even of Ilúvatar, calling the Everlasting Dark upon them if they kept it not…” (83)


©2013-2015 rfcunha (new artwork coming soon!)

Concerning the second part of Chapter 9 of The Silmarillion, “Of the Flight of the Noldor.”

Continue reading “The Tolkien Road Podcast – Ep. 19 – The Silmarillion – Ch. 9 – Of the Flight of the Noldor – pt 2”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 34 (Akallabêth pt 1)


“The Men of the Three Houses were rewarded for their valour and faithful alliance, by being allowed to dwell ‘westernmost of all mortals’, in the great ‘Atlantis’ isle of Númenóre. The doom or gift of God, of mortality, the gods of course cannot abrogate, but the Númenóreans have a great span of life.” (xviii)


The Silmarillion proper comes to an end with the downfall of Morgoth which ends the First Age of Middle-earth. The Second Age immediately follows, the age of that great civilization of men, Númenor. It is also the age in which Sauron assumes the mantle of “chief bad guy” and in which the stage is set for much of the backstory of The Lord of the Rings.

Numenor ©2013-2015 Feliche

I am going to do a 3-part series on the story of “Akallabêth”, corresponding with the founding, fall, and end of Númenor, but to begin I’d like revisit what Tolkien himself had to say about the Second Age in his letter to Milton Waldman, which as you’ll recall serves as the introduction to the book we know as The Silmarillion. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 34 (Akallabêth pt 1)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 33 (Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath)


‘Hail Eärendil, of mariners most renowned, the looked for that cometh at unawares, the longed for that cometh beyond hope! Hail Eärendil, bearer of light before the Sun and Moon! Splendour of the Children of Earth, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the morning!’ (248-249)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 24th and final chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath.” You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

light of Eärendil ©2014-2015 breathing2004

So here we are. Morgoth has effectively crushed the great kingdoms of Beleriand, and those of the Eldar that remain have been pushed to furthest edges of the sea. If you think things were epic before this, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 33 (Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 32 (Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin)


At last, in the year when Eärendil was seven years old, Morgoth was ready, and he loosed upon Gondolin his Balrogs, and his Orcs, and his wolves; and with them came dragons of the brood of Glaurung, and they were become now many and terrible. (242)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 23rd chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.” You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

Ruins of Gondolin ©2010-2015 Grrrod

You’ll recall from Chapter 20, during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, Huor (brother of Húrin) says to King Turgon of Gondolin that “from you and from me a new star shall arise.” With Chapter 23, we pick up that story.

Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 32 (Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 31 (Of the Ruin of Doriath)

But now the rumour ran among the scattered Elves of Beleriand that Dior Thingol’s heir wore the Nauglamír, and they said: ‘A Silmaril of Fëanor burns again in the woods of Doriath’; and the oath of the sons of Fëanor was waked again from sleep. (236)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 22nd chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of the Ruin of Doriath”. You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

“Of the Ruin of Doriath” is not one of the longest chapters in The Silmarillion, but it is perhaps the most packed with hugely significant events. There’s a ton of stuff that I could speak about, but I’ve tried to boil it down to the bare essentials. It all picks up after the death of Túrin and Nienor, Húrin’s children. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 31 (Of the Ruin of Doriath)”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 30 (Of Túrin Turambar 2/2)


Then Glaurung died, and the veil of his malice was taken from her, and she remembered all the days of her life. Looking down upon Túrin she cried: ‘Farewell, O twice beloved! A Túrin Turambar turun ambartanen: master of doom by doom mastered! O happy to be dead!’ (223)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 2nd part of the 21st chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of Túrin Turambar”. You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here. The first part of this chapter is covered here.

©2013-2015 DonatoArts

In this post, we continue examining the tragic tale of Túrin Turambar. After losing his sister at a young age and accidentally killing a devoted comrade, Túrin is now residing at Nargothrond, just as it receives a message from Ulmo.
Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 30 (Of Túrin Turambar 2/2)”