"A Pledge of Allegiance," an excerpt from "A New Day" by Oshun

Of all of Tolkien’s works the crown jewel for me is The Quenta Silmarillion ("The History of the Silmarils”), which recount the magnificent and tragic history of the Elves immediately preceding and during the First Age. Others may criticize and complain that the editing and choice of content, made after Tolkien’s death, are far from perfect. Despite any flaws or missteps in that process, I have most consistently been moved and inspired by these stories over all others in Tolkien’s legendarium. Within that context, I am most fascinated by the tale of Fëanor and his sons. The following excerpt from my short novel, A New Day, recounts my version of what might have happened in the hours immediately preceding Maedhros handing over the Kingship of the Noldor to his uncle, Fingolfin. I have always assumed that Fëanor inspired great love and loyalty in his sons. I also believe that, after his death, Maedhros sought to fulfill the oath he had taken to avenge his grandfather’s death and regain possession of the Silmarils in large part by holding his younger brothers to their own oaths.


acalaurë dropped to one knee and took his brother’s hand, his handsome face radiant with intent. Then a realization swept over Findekáno. Maitimo was demanding a sworn acknowledgement of his authority over his brothers. Findekáno was stunned, impressed, slightly chilled, and amused that he had not expected it. He thought, for all their horseplay and bickering, the Fëanárians are nothing if not serious.

“Dearest Nelyo, it will be an honor and a privilege for me to go first,” Macalaurë stated in his finest stage voice. “I do sincerely promise and swear that I, Canafinwë Macalaurë Feanárion, will be faithful and bear true allegiance to you, Nelyafinwë Maitimo Feanárion, and to your acknowledged heirs, and recognize you as the sole Head of the House of Fëanáro. I pledge my sword, my honor and my life to your service and to remain alert to defend you against any insult or harm, actual or suspected.”

Maitimo helped Macalaurë to his feet, pulling him into an embrace. “I love you, little brother. You are my anchor.”

Pityafinwë spoke up. “Not to sound like an ignorant clod, but if I am going to do this I should understand what I’m saying. What is the thing about Nelyo’s heirs?” All seven broke into laughter, Pityafinwë included.

Macalaurë grinned. “Unless Nelyo has a son, it goes straight down the line, starting with me.” Then he caught Curufinwë’s eye. “I’m not as good at mathematics as some of you, but as I count it, that would make Curvo number five.”

Curufinwë groaned and shook his head. “Yes. You calculated that right.” Again, all of the brothers laughed. One by one they took their places, bent their knees, made their pledges with appropriate solemnity and no small dose of Fëanárian pride, and were helped up in turn by Maitimo, each receiving a hug and a distinctive expression of endearment.

Excerpt from "Crossroads of Time" by Ellie

Honoring allegiances seems to get people into all kinds of trouble in The Silmarillion. The Noldor stick together and slaughter Telerin mariners because they think the Teleri started the argument against others of the Noldor, Aegnor doesn’t marry Andreth because of loyalty to the cause the Noldor are fighting, Finrod, bereft of kingship and crown gets killed by a werewolf in a dungeon because of an oath he swore, and so on. In my story Crossroads of Time, time and again the conflict between the Noldor and the Sindar rears its ugly head and allegiances are questioned. In the excerpt below, I present a dialogue (okay an argument) between a rather complicated OFC who is believed to be from Doriath (actually she’s a pupil of Elrond’s from the future but no one knows this yet in this part of the tale) and now resides in Gondolin and a Noldorin loremaster in Gondolin.


  must admit I never expected to see one of King Thingol's subjects willingly reading books in Quenya, let alone one of his subjects who knew how to speak Quenya. I have heard from our Sindarin brethren in Gondolin that Quenya is a difficult language for them to learn, far more difficult than it was for us to learn Sindarin."

"I fear I am never going to understand you Noldor and your need to judge and compare races," Ariella baited him.

He took the bait. "OUR need to judge? I believe it was YOUR King Thingol who grouped all of the Noldor together with the kinslayers, and condemned a richly expressive beautiful language to use in books and behind closed doors just because it is the language spoken by a few who transgressed against his kin! OUR need to judge indeed! Considering Thingol's ban on his people speaking Quenya, I am quite surprised that you, so newly come from his realm in Doriath, are so eager to immerse yourself in it. It seems most hypocritical to me."

"When did I ever say that I agreed with Thingol's ban on the use of Quenya in speech or lore?" She countered. "You assume that just because one is the subject of a king that that one agrees with all that he decrees."

"Ah, but if you are loyal to your king, then you should follow his decrees."

"In whose realm do I currently reside? What are his decrees concerning the use of Quenya?"

"Turgon son of Fingolfin is the king of Gondolin and he decrees that we may use either language as we wish. However Quenya is to be the language of our lore."

"Well, since I am in a library in Gondolin, do you think I will offend him if I read a book in Quenya?"

"Allegiance Chosen" by Ranger1

A tridrabble on how conflicting allegiances can reconcile. Celeborn is called the wise in other parts of the Legendarium – the collection of writings on Middle-earth – and that wisdom must have gotten him through the First Age, especially situations like this.



his is how my relatives repay my trust. Melian was right to mistrust them but this exceeds all doubts of them. Slayers-Of-Kin! My people, some I knew done by these Noldor. Yet these also my kin I cannot fully blame. Feanor, thy fire still burns us all. I will preserve my people and my dignity. The Noldor and their tongue are forbid in Doriath! My kin may later return, never their words.

Now I must worry for the others. The Feanorion are distant and the Fingolfinion quiet. Must I fear my own close kin? Ah Celeborn, where is thy heart?

Finrod I doubt not your courage or loyalty but sometimes I doubt your sense. We owe no love to Caranthir and his ilk that makes us save them at our cost. Kin slayers now they know us as, so we are, but truth-sayers also. Thingol will not forgive, he will let us return.

Now I must think of the others. Fingolfin will give no greater love to the Feanorion than we. He will help us an we are needful. Fingon, though Maedhros’ friend, is also mine. I can have his aid. But for inside Doriath itself? Ah Celeborn, where rests your mind?

My head is with my liege-lord Thingol. My heart is with my love Galadriel. How do I choose between? My Lord I serve and protect. My love I protect and desire. I desire my lord to be strong and fair. I serve my love for she is fair and brave. Now she is seen as a Kin-slayer and he is seen as demanding. Who shall I serve?

I choose that I will not choose. Both my Lord and my love have my allegiance, both my love and my Lord must reconcile. This I will achieve.

Excerpt from "Written in the Starlight" by Rhapsody and Robinka

“We come to honor that allegiance,” says Haldir in The Two Towers.

Before the battle of the Hornburg, before this last alliance between the Eldar and the Edain presented by the director Peter Jackson in the film, the Firstborn and Secondborn children of the Allfather had formed alliances against their most hated enemies, Morgoth and Sauron. Yet, the alliances sometimes weren’t based on loyalty; they were sometimes founded on treachery and lead into a catastrophe.

“Yet the oath of Fëanor and the evil deeds that it had wrought did injury to the design of Maidros [Maedhros], and he had less aid than should have been”, as said in the tale of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in The Lost Road and Other Writings. When I was re-reading it recently, it yet again struck me how much divided and conflicted were the houses of the Eldar, and how easily Morgoth could re-forge their very delicate truce and allegiance in his own malicious fashion so that he was, in the end, victorious.

Now after the Nirnaeth, Maedhros and his brothers will have to face the consequences of this fact and it can either make or break them. Our story “Written in the Starlight” explores how the seven despite all odds once more try to forge an alliance; this time Maglor encourages his brother Maedhros once again attempt to do it, but with the most unlikely realm: Doriath. This of course requires the necessary diplomacy, tact and occasionally telling off a rebel brother that makes the writing of such a dysfunctional house more fun all the same. On the other hand we have the inhabitants of Doriath who have their own reasons for not trusting this famed House. These two things combined make it easier for us as writers to explore allegiance and all effort one must put in it to make it work.


aedhros and Maglor exchanged a glance. “It would be foolish of me to deny that our main desire is still to regain the Silmaril,” Maedhros admitted. “But even if we could reclaim this one, there would still be two out of our reach. We need all the Eldar reunited to win the fight against Morgoth.”

“Consider this Beleg,” Maglor continued. “Now we have our brothers constrained and motivated at the thought of revenge; vengeance aimed at him! But we cannot guarantee how long this will last. Do not underestimate our drive to regain all three jewels. It would be destructive enough to leave every kingdom in our path in ruin.”

Gwindor covered his eyes with his hand at the memory of the moment when he had witnessed the carnage of Alqualondë. Once Fingolfin had discovered the betrayal of Fëanor, he had rallied his father and his house, together with the other houses, to follow Finwë’s eldest son to Middle Earth. Aye, Gwindor knew the fierce motivation of Fëanor’s offspring well enough.

“Once was more than enough, Maedhros,” Gwindor replied hoarsely, his fist clenched.

“So what purpose in this folly of yours have you planned for me?” Beleg asked sternly.

“We only request an audience with your king, Beleg,” Maglor said. “Let us face him and plead for our cause.”

Maedhros wanted to reply with a harsh rebuke but was silenced by Maglor’s glare. “State your conditions, if you must, to guarantee the safety of your people.”

“You have obviously gone out of your reasoning, Fëanorion, if you assumed I would allow you to enter the Hidden Kingdom,” Beleg seethed with a warning hiss, trying unsuccessfully to calm down. “If you think... No! You surely must be jesting!”

Excerpt from "The Election Farce of Nargothrond" by Dawn Felagund

For me, one of the most fun--and challenging--relationships to write about is that of political allegiance. Court politics and intrigue and the insidious weaseling of a clever politician into favor ... some of my favorite Silmarillion-based stories rely just as heavily on such relationships as they do more traditional friendship and enmity.

"The Election Farce of Nargothrond" was one of my first Silmarillion stories ... and as it is still not finished, three years later, might well be one of my last. A satire based on my concerns with the American government at the time of writing--concerns that have, unfortunately, only escalated as I slowly work this story towards completion--it has been one of the most fun stories I have written, both for the harmless outlet of frustration as well as the opportunity to use terrible metaphors that I wouldn't dare include in a "serious" story. In the scene excerpted here, Celegorm and Curufin are newly arrived in Nargothrond and attempting to install themselves as lords on Cousin Finrod's court by endearing themselves to the people of Nargothrond.


he streets of Nargothrond glistened like silver ribbons beneath the bluish glow of Fëanorian lamps, and Celegorm and Curufin, sons of Fëanor and Lords of Nargothrond, stepped from their apartments and met in the middle of the street to commence their evening walk.

The brothers walked in silence, with tight smiles on their lips, as though they shared a secret. The air between them sizzled. The people had grown accustomed to their evening walks and waited on the steps of their apartments to greet them. Celegorm and Curufin’s faces fractured into smiles and they sang greetings into the musical evening with all of the intoxicating sweetness of drops of wine. They had only four hands between them, but they seemed to sprout more--as many hands as a hydra had heads--to grasp those of the people that met them, to touch the shoulder of a shy maiden or pinch an impish child’s cheek, while their words rolled into the air with all of the elegance and majesty of a red carpet being unfurled beneath feet of a King.

It was late by the time they climbed the streets to return home. The city lights had dimmed, and most of the citizens had retired to bed, but Celegorm and Curufin showed no weariness. Their chins were lifted and their backs were as straight and unbowed as the ancient trunks of trees. They walked in silence but smiled into the darkness. When they at last reached their apartments, they paused only to grasp hands and collide in a quick embrace. With his lips against the delicate perfection of his brother’s ear, Curufin spoke so softly that it was less a whisper and more a shared thought: “We have done it.”