This ficlet (and the whole series) are absolutely wonderful, GA! Such perfect weaving of older tales into Tolkien's universe. You're astoundingly good at making it all plausible. Glorfindel, Legolas, and Aragorn's reactions are all perfect! And lol at Faramir's thought "no lessons for new husbands were to be had there," only to find one of the greatest of such lessons in the next chapter. Great stuff!
*bend double in laughter* A convincing small essay with some of the most hilarious names in all of Arda and the modern earth! *thumbs up*
Well, I do wonder what is the relation between Maglor tuning his harp and the red-haireds twins away in a hunt... But that was all, and finally I saw some things I had overlooked when reading... LOL I had thought the story with the Great Mother original. *look betrayed* Hee...
You were rather sarcastic here, but it provided some of the humor in this last piece. :) Good job overall, GA. ^_^
My intent was deliberate borrowings from myths of the world, in particular Greek but also Arthurian and some Hawaiian. Much more could be done!
Hahahahahaha!!! Oh my... But I thought he was a Rohirrim. It turned out he was a Gondorian. Hmm.
I did not get the idea about the king ordering Elfwine to do something... What did he ordered the scholar (or so I presume) to do? Pardon me, my English is not so excellant and I am not a native speaker of it anyway.
The chapter was short, but it was a good conclution for the whole story. I had thought that there would be some peak into the Blue Book, though, before I finished reading this piece... :) Did you name the poor apprentice boy, by the way? I am curious.
When Elfwine said "the usual," I got a sneaking suspicion that he had done it before... Naughty Elfwine. ;D
The king is here ordering Elfwine to "clean up" the shocking and bawdy tales he discovered in the (uncensored) Silmarillion. The idea is that the Sil as Tolkien gives it to us is a bowdlerized version of ancient down and dirty mythology.
Hmm. You did not mention the name Glorfindel in the tale of the Great Mother. :) Was it intentional? The readers would not relate the name to the Great Mother this way...
The story was original, although I do not particularly like this piece. You created the reason for the earthquakes and the mountain eruptions in a very inventive way, and how the men and women came into being too. Good job! :)
And so the men usurped the women? ;) Mmm. If it is true that Bilbo got the tale from the Silvan Elves, than probably they were matrilineal. Hahaha!
Author's Response: Part of my sly intent here is to hint that the "proper" Silmarillion censored older tales of a matriarchal culture.
*groan* Firstly, I would like to apologise for what I am about to say...
I do not like this piece, although it was humorous on its own right. The Valar could not beget children, Tolkien stated at last (after tweaking here and there with the idea), and I stick myself to it. However, since this is an AU, I am not going to dispute it.
By the way, why did the Lord of the Winds never know peace afterwards? Was he harassed by Varda or the other Valar or Glorfindel? :)
If you did not warn that the Glorfindel (either of the two) there was not the hero we know, I would have still believed that he was the Lord of the Golden Flower (and I would be more displeased).
If seen from an objective point of view, this piece was amusing. But I wonder why the solemn tone of the first chapter degraded towards more and more humorous ones in later chapters...
You've rightly caught that the tales "degrade" from high-toned to bawdy. That was deliberate on my part. I wanted to get more and more outrageous as the tales progress.
These tales are deliberately NOT strict canon. That is the idea of the story. In part I am trying to point out what I regard as limp and dull in Tolkien's legendarium, particularly the hung-up attitude about sex. As in, there is none. Most "real" mythologies are certainly not like that.
So the lesson was that a husband should give way to his wife in all wishes, eh? ;D LOL
Great piece! Although, I am still wondering why there were two different pieces about Luthien here... Hmm. Is somehow this piece not connected to the last? But then how is it possible, given the supposed fact that they are in a single book?
I could see from which fairytale you took this piece from. It was not an original idea, or at least in terms of the troll-hag being a beautiful lady (Luthien no less!); however, I applaud the details in here, which looked as original as ever. (Well, to me, making Luthien cursed by the wolf was original too. It was Carcharoth who had cursed her, was it not?)
Elu's depictions were impressive here. But that reminds me... I think there are two pictures - one here and one in the last chapter. Would you please describe them also? Or are they already described - with no detail left - in the respective chapters? (I forgot to state the latter possibility. :))
Still, good job in this! And it indeed seems like Bilbo's knack to collect hilarious stories told in a no-less humorous point of view. ;D
The Blue Book is imagined as a haphazard compilation of tales of all sorts. Someday I mean to add more tales.....if I live that long.
Ha! So that was why Bilbo go
t the tale from Beorn... I was wondering why. Great job, again! Your ideas were so original and therefore pleasantly unexpected. The scenes here were so amusing too! *fall out of the bed laughing* (LOL Yes, I am reading on the bed. :P)
There was some semblence to the Silmarillion, but that was all. Your AU rendering was much appreciated here. ;D I love the depiction of her plot (it was more vivid than in the Silmarillion, and again you chose a good spot to emphasise). But, actually the things I love the most are the scenes when Luthien was a cat, especially when she neatened up herself in a catlike manner (Hahaha!), her encounter with Tevildo (Poor prince, forsaken by his lord...), Luthien's statement that she would hunt the mice under Morgoth's throne and how she carried the promise out (Wee hee hee... I thought Morgoth did not pay attention to the cleanliness of his visinity... ;)), and how she interacted with Morgoth (sweet, somehow). I totally love this chapter! Although I do not particularly like the ending of this... Dunno why.
Author's Response: The ending is a borrowing from beast fable. More of my mix-up mythology.
Ahahahaha! AU! LOL But that was hilarious! By the way, would you please describe the image to me? I am sight-impaired and the screen reader does not read picture except to tell (sometimes) that they are pictures by way of saying "graphic (insert title of the picture here)."
I wondered why Aragorn thought about Tuor that way about Tuor... but then I found out why. Hahaha! That came as quite a surprise, though. That was so original! I wonder what Varda would do should her spouse choose Nienna or Yavannah... By the way, though, I never saw Yavannah as related to love.
The offers of the Valier somehow reminded me of the three temptations of Evil to Jesus in the desert in the Bible... Mmm. You encompassed the points that people often relate to men's weaknesses: power, love and treasure. LOL But I have never seen one categorise pursuit of wisdom as one of men's weaknesses... :)
Hmm. Here Idril was Maeglin's rightful wife? So who was Maeglin here - still her cousin from her aunt Aredhal? Uh-oh... I thought Turgon would not allow such marriage between close kins, especially which happened to his beloved daughter...
I like the ending of this chapter. Such an anticlimax! Hee... Dunno. It somehow showed that Yavannah was not that kind on him...
This story is a blatant takeoff on the Judgment of Paris from Greek mythology. In that story, Paris chooses Love in the form of Helen as his reward.
Regarding cousin marriage--I'm turning Tolkien on his head deliberately in these tales.
The picture shows a rather scared Tuor surrounded by three beautiful ladies.
Beautiful! The words were picked quite well and the story flowed smoothly. I love your depiction of Uinen here; her thoughts, her emotions, her actions, her secrets... There was only one mention of her husband here in a direct relation to her, but I thought it sweet anyway. My favourite parts are the first paragraph, where Bilbo talked about Aragorn's achievements and how the hobbit could not be there for the latter, and Uinen favourite place in Numenor - yes, and also that one line about her husband.
Her changing the children of the doomed island into sea creatures was totally unexpected and quite original. I love it too! That was sweet, sad and bitter at once... I felt like wanting to cry myself. Your interpretation hitted home truer than the one in the Silmarillion; perhaps because of its explicitness. Here you managed to portray the reason why Uinen was called the Gentle.
However, one thing nagged at me: Ulmo sort of condemned her - in a way - to be the guardian of those of the exiled and forsaken... It was ironic, seeing that he was the only Vala that was most ready to succor the exiled Noldor and the Men and the Sindar in Middle Earth... Ah yeah, and why did you say "the false Noldor"? They were like traitors to their kindred, yes, but they were not... fake.
"False" can mean treacherous, in fact. It's an old-fashioned use of the word, and therefore appropriate for this story.
Oh, this is wonderful! We all knew the Silmarillion had some inaccuracies (as any historical test does), but this many? ;-)
(And the Appendix with the Shibboleth of Doriath is hysterical!)
Thank you, Ithilwen. I don't write many tales in the Silmarillion world, rather I tend to write about Aragorn and those around him. If you're interested, you can find all my stories at HASA.
Yet another excellent take on an Arthurian tale (?).
A nice take on the Judgment of Paris. Loved the painting too! I'm glad I found this.
My review is re-posted from the 2007 Middle-earth Fan Fiction Awards site just because I think it should be here, too. :^)
Gandalf’s Apprentice (GA) wields her sharpened spear of splendid prose and wit to take deadly aim at Tolkienian canon in [The Blue Book of Bilbo Baggins or Tales of the Forbidden Silmarillion] (The Blue Book). The author deftly turns canonical characters and notions on their heads in a hilarious fashion that has the added feature of wicked insight. While the tales of The Blue Book may be anathema to the more orthodox devotees of Tolkien canon, GA’s clever digs at the latter – and in particular at the Laws and Customs of the Eldar - are sheer, unadulterated pleasure for this often irreverent and always skeptical reader. The Silmarillion – and the Lord of the Rings for that matter - are written as histories and as such are subject to interpretation by various scholars. GA’s interpretation in the guise of Bilbo Baggins is an excellent one.
GA adroitly uses the device of often hilarious prologues to tie the chapters from the 4th Age into First Age (and earlier) mythology. Bilbo is believable as the good-humored, donnish scholar with a discerning eye for the ribald.
GA stirs a lusty mélange of Greek and other Western European mythologies into the chaste entrees of Tolkien’s high-fantasy secondary world. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the whole of the collection and the many wink-and-a-nod references to my favorite myths contained therein, I’ll note a few of my favorite bits.
As a one time aspiring marine botanist, I loved the tale of "Uinen and the Children of Numenor" and the vivid description of the marine-Maia’s gardens beneath the sea. But even more than that, I appreciated the telling exchange between Ulmo and Uinen when the Vala questioned the Maia’s action to transform the children of Numenor to sea mammals and birds. Her retort reflected a blinkered view that was limited to “her people.” Ulmo’s pointed response reflects moral complexity and speaks to the paralysis, er, I mean *actions* of the hideously ineffectual and capricious - no, no, strike that - *angelic* Valar and Maiar. In this tale and the rest, Bilbo/GA tells us that the Valar and Maiar - and the Children of Iluvatar for that matter - are appropriately viewed in shades of grey, and not with the binary starkness of “Good and Evil.”
"How Luthien Stole the Silmaril," e.g. “the tale of Luthien as Bilbo heard it from Beorn” is a perfect and perfectly amusing example of how tales are told from different perspectives and thus change according to cultural context. GA imparts a wonderful infusion of sexuality into the tale. Hat’s off to the master (JRRT) for the love story, but one does think that he “sanitized” it. GA/Bilbo’s version gives it much-needed juice.
"Beren and the Troll Hag" is a toothsome (literally – ha!) and lusty northern European fairy tale taken into the court of King Thingol. GA’s description of the troll hag dining during the wedding feast, and her new husband's fortitude as he observes such, and then the wedding night caused my computer monitor to be decorated with coffee spray.
My mythology fanatic was thrilled by the "Passions of Manwë, "*cough* Zeus-and-Leto *cough*, Dionaisë was a hootworthy “Quenyanisation.” GA weaves in more myths through Loqë and Thuriel,: the archetypal trickster and the faces of the White Goddess, respectively. The tale of Glorfindel (he of the dubious identity as GA/Bilbo notes cheekily), first as cupbearer to the randy Manwë, then as Irildë's version of Tithonus, illustrates the hard life and times of the object of fangods' and fangoddess’ affections. "Great Mother" examines Gaia (and various other flavors of the female earth-deity) in Middle-earth and taps into the ancient theme of the generative power of the female and the male’s fear of it. It's no wonder the Noldor tried to suppress it.
Greek and Roman myths and indeed many Northern European fairy tales were scrubbed clean of their naughty bits by prudish latter day scholars and reduced to children’s tales or at least tales for grown-up prigs. GA perfectly casts Master Aelfwine as repressed Victorian scholar who “tidies up” the Blue Book by his disposal and subsequent reformulation of it.
Then there is the crowning glory of the collection: "Notes from the Translator." Thanks to the citations (*especially* the citations), the learned post-modern analyses of the text, and greywing’s thornish shibboleth of an appendix, I couldn’t breathe from laughing.
I will not dwell on the technicalities of GA’s writing because I do not have the expertise to do so. That said, I subjectively know what I like and GA’s style has all that: good pacing and detailed but not overwrought descriptions. She has a deft touch with anachronistic language and uses the latter to good effect so that the tales truly read as well, faerie tales. GA’s talents and experience as a writer are more than evident to me. She consistently tells a darned fine story whether it addresses an uncertain young Aragorn (cf. Sword of Elendil) or a squirming naked Glorfindel in the clutches of a horny (but gloriously white) eagle.
Taken as a whole, the Blue Book is a hilarious and pointed examination of Tolkienian canon, GA’s collection of tales is also a sub-textual (good grief, did I actually write that word? I blame Chapter 8) excursion into the broader mythologies of Northern Europe that fueled JRRT’s imagination, much of which he evidently overlooked in his quest to craft a mythological substrate for England. The Blue Book is a must-read for not only for skeptically irreverent types such as myself but also for the dogmatic canonist who may need a good-humored reminder that histories are subject to cultural influence and interpretation. Hat’s off to Professor Baggins, er, I mean - Gandalf’s Apprentice - for sharing this scholarly collection.
A final note: Greywing’s fine illustrations of the Blue Book are wonderful additions to the story. The expression on Tuor’s face (“Judgment of Tuor”) is priceless as is the much put-upon Dior “Where’s my analgesic, dude?” of Doriath.