"Broken Star" by pandemonium_213

For “betrayal,” I have selected “Broken Star.” Betrayal is a common theme throughout The Silmarillion. One might wonder which is more painful for Celebrimbor – physical torture or the terrible betrayal by the friend and colleague whom he trusted?


aked and vulnerable, a broken star of the House of Fëanáro bound at four points, he was stretched out before me. I did not require chthonian dungeons filled with the instruments of my darkest craft for the task at hand. Here in the courtyard before the House of the Mírëtanor, I would apply the crudest of my persuasive skills.

I leaned down, gently pushed his dark hair away from his ear and whispered to him.

“Tyelpo, I ask this one last time: where are the Three Rings? It does not have to be like this. Just tell me.”

His eyes blazed in defiance and agony – not only the agony of physical pain but also the agony of betrayal and self-loathing. He locked his gaze with mine and hissed through bruised, broken lips:

“I will never tell you…Sauron.”

That vestige of myself who had been this man’s mentor, colleague, and friend momentarily recoiled at the ancient and reviled anessë that he spat at me, but I did not waver. I smoothed back his hair and kissed his brow, tasting the blood smeared across his skin.

“So be it, brother-of-my-heart,” I said as I reached for the glowing hot iron rod.

"Fire" by Tárion Anaróre

Usually, one of my favorite cheap tricks is to leave the character unnamed and then wait for readers to offer their guesses as to the speaker’s identity. This time I will say that the speaker is Maglor. Being a music-lover since age three, I was first drawn to Maglor, who among the various names one is inundated with upon first reading The Silmarillion had a vocation that stuck in my memory more than the historical events or the deeds of other characters. Consequently, he was my first favorite character.

I wrote this piece in an effort to reconcile the popular image of Maglor as the “nice one” and the fact that The Silmarillion states that Maedhros alone - not Maglor - stood aside at the burning of the ships. I was intrigued by the disconnect between his portrayal in fanfiction and this particular scene in the book, and wanted to provide myself with a possible link between the two descriptions.


he torch in his hand flickered fiercely in front of his dark eyes. He watched, watched the fire dance before him, staring hard into the harsh, orange flames. Unforgiving. Ruthless. Cruel. Burning brighter and brighter, filling the sky and making his eyes sting from the smoke. (Or was it tears?) He heard a voice, one he had always trusted, and for a third time did not question, did not think. Instead, he angrily flung the torch toward the sea, already glowing with an eerie red light. The fire leapt eagerly at the white wood, but the snapping and splintering sound it made did not assuage the hurt. Nor did it burn away the memory of that fateful night and everything it thereafter caused: blood and tears and endless night. No, it burned those memories into his mind, so that ever he might see them clearly when he closed his eyes.

Excerpt from "Conflicted Radiance – chapter 5 Betrayal" by Ellie

One betrayal that comes to mind from the Silmarillion was when the Sindar discovered that the Noldor, who had seemingly come in might out of the West to help out, turned out to have slain the Telerin kin of the Sindar. The repercussions of this were felt throughout Beleriand on a grand scale with the decree that Quenya was the language of kinslayers and its speakers were to be shunned. However, for some like Celeborn and Galadriel, this betrayal was very personal for the Teleri are the kin of both of them. In my story Conflicted Radiance, I explore some of Celeborn’s musings on love, including the excerpt below where he ponders what this betrayal has done to his relationship with his beloved Galadriel.


y days are full of duties and chores for the king. But my nights, my cold lonely nights…

The mirth is gone from me. I seldom smile. I wanted to hate her and blame her for what her people had done. But she swore she had no part in it and neither did her brothers. She begged me to forgive them, to forgive her. It was love and loyalty to one side of their family that kept them from revealing the sins of those kin to the other side of their family.

I still cannot believe that the so-called “wise” Noldor murdered the Teleri -- my own kin across the sea -- in cold blood over a few ships floating in a harbor. How could the children of Finarfin and Eärwen come to the board of their kinsmen red-handed from the slaying of their own kin, of our own kin?

The daughter of Finarfin has been sent away with her brothers. Do I even still love her?

"Untitled" by Elleth

Dark and dangerous though Tolkien's world may be, within it few things - if any - happen without a reason. There is always a note in the Music that is changed... without Maeglin's betrayal and the Fall of Gondolin, Eärendil might not have sailed West, and the dominion of Morgoth might have endured. Even death and betrayal serve a purpose that in the end turns out greater than it might have been - and that is, I believe, a comforting thought. Not only that - it shows the completion of Tolkien's subcreation.


he city has too many lights. It has lights, and white walls, and smiles - the very smiles that I endure each day. I return them with teeth bared, so that mine might as well be the snarling of a wolf. Yet they say "Maeglin is softened," blind fools that they are. It is a comfort to know that soon their walls shall stand blackened and crumbling, and their smiles and lights will trouble me no more. A softer radiance shall be mine instead, that could be mithril or silver for its beauty. The Dark One (for he, though fallen, is an artisan as well) - he understands.

I will have you, Celebrindal. He promised.

"Fires" by Ranger1

Many times Elves, particularly the leading Elves, are portrayed as stoic. But in The Lord of the Rings Legolas is emotional and even gives a girly scream when the Balrog appears in Moria. How much the leaders of the host of Fingolfin would react to Feanor’s abandoning them.


inarfin, Finrod, Fingolfin, and Fingon looked at the red glow in the sky, and knew. Aredhel, Finvain, and Artanis unconsciously clung to each other as they felt the truth. Turgon, Angrod, Aegnor, and Argon slumped to the ground.

Feanor burned the Swanships.

The Valar held them in Valinor. Melkor lied to them and killed the Trees. Now Feanor also betrayed them, left them to the vengeance of the Valar.

No one knew if the Royal families or the host of Fingolfin started it, but the keening of mourning rose from the sands and reached even the host of Feanor.

"Perspective" by Dawn Felagund

Betrayal is often a matter of perspective.

Between Fëanor and Fingolfin, who betrayed whom? The Silmarillion places guilt squarely on the shoulders of Fëanor and his people, but I suspect that his loremasters would look at it differently.

Did the Valar betray the Eldar?

Bringing them forth from their homes under a guise of protection, fencing them in a realm fraught with the illusion of safety to be killed where they rested ... this might be the perspective of some. But like so many of the conflicts in The Silmarillion, the answers aren't simple. In the double drabble I've chosen to share here, Fëanor questions the intentions of the Valar in his madness ... or maybe it is foresight?


here is something to be said, Father, for distance and perspective, the way you sometimes have to stand away from an object to see its flaws. You fault me for not having awakened beside Cuiviénen. But neither have you lived forever. Neither have the Valar. Even Manwë. Even Melkor. So back and back we go through time, till we reach Eru … and maybe something preceded Eru too. And we are all unwise, before the end.

I see by your eyes that you fear what I have just said. "Shaken the earth beneath your feet," we say, "to the very foundations."

And that is why we require perspective. If I cannot live forever and bear the wisdom of all the ages of existence, then let me retain wisdom enough to back away and trust my heart and senses to know when I am being made a fool. And strength enough to fight that, no matter how great the enemy I face.

Enemy? Yes, I say it, and you know of whom I speak. For they have betrayed the Elves before; they have denied protection to those far less dangerous than me, and their folly shall be both of our undoings.