"and above it all, the Light" by Noliel

There are many things people can say about Feanor, some not so pleasant. A genius, a madman, passionate and fierce in both love and hate; a husband, a father, a son; a killer. But no matter what, there has been one thing which has always attracted me to this brilliant character--and one thing that has stayed consistent throughout Tolkien's writings about him as well. From the first, Feanor was a creator. (Or a sub-creator, which might be more accurate in Tolkien-context.) An inventor. A man whose hands, although responsible for the deaths of many, were nonetheless the same ones which brought into being the greatest creations within the Circles of the World.

And so, when I saw the sub-topic "Creation", this was the first image that came to me: Feanor holding the Silmarils in his arms in a bundle of cloth, after he'd made them.Yet aside from the grandeur and the poetry of it, why does this pull me to him, draw me? Maybe because I love the feeling of making things, love the feeling of seeing what was once in my head in front of me, a solid form. This is true of all artists, I suppose, all writers, all craftsmen--of any one who has ever dreamt...and then brought that dream to life.




"To Write A Song" by Tárion Anaróre

It took me a few readings of The Silmarillion to like it. Once I managed to make heads-and-tails of the various F names, I found that I really enjoyed the book. One of the things I like most is that there are a lot of holes to fill. There are names and events, but not a lot of characterization, detail, or personal interaction. A lot of information (ages worth!) is compacted in a relatively small amount of space, and there is a lot of wiggle room as a writer. I like that freedom.

T

hey thought I ought to write a song.

They asked if I would, told me I should, wondered why I did not.

At first, for a fleeting moment, I thought that I should write a song too. And as soon as the thought formed, I shook my head and thought, No, I cannot write a song. It would be too much, not enough to justify the hurt. I knew then with certainty that I would not write a song.

They did not realize being emotionally attached to such a song made writing the song unthinkable. And I was more than attached. I was in love with it, I was dependent upon it. Yes, writing that song would be unbearable. The simple thought of it stung my heart. No, I wanted as much distance from it as I could get.

It’s easy to write about emotion – with emotion – when it is an emotion you do not currently feel. The distance makes the lyrics seem lovely, the romantic phrases inducing faint sentiments that wrap gently around you. But if you get too close, they consume you, trap you, confine you.

There would be no song. No explanation.

And they always wondered why.



Excerpt from "Trinity" by pandemonium_213

For creation, I offer an excerpt from Trinity, a decidedly AU account of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atom bomb,” in converse with Fëanor and Sauron. Having re-read American Prometheus and The Silmarillion within months of each other, I was struck by the parallels among the fictional icons and the famous physicist of our primary world. Although Tolkien eschewed allegory, he did allow that his writings had associations not only to mythic themes, but contemporary ones as well. Tolkien’s ambivalence toward science and technology, and those who practice these, is especially clear in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. The fact that his views provoke a such strong response in me - a scientist almost a century removed from their original writing - speaks to the power of his “elvish drama.”

Oppenheimer said: “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

It’s easy for me to imagine that Fëanor and Sauron, both master technologists – and to my mind, two sides of the same coin – embracing the technical sweetness of their own elegant and terrible inventions, consequences be damned. In Trinity, they acknowledge the price of such creations.

O

ppenheimer took a final drag on the cigarette. “Before you go, you say you are scientists…inventors. What did you make?”

Fionn and Saunders looked at one another for a long moment. Fionn reached deep into his pockets and pulled out three jewels, which he held in his cupped hands. The jewels blazed with internal fire, their gold, silver and white light scintillating together in a bizarre, rhythmic pattern. Oppenheimer squinted at their nearly blinding light. What were the materials used to construct these? What was the nature of the reactions that produced the emission of the light? Fionn smiled knowingly as if he had guessed his thoughts.

“I can’t tell you how much I’d like to discuss that with you, Oppie, but I’m afraid it is not allowed.”

Saunders slowly reached into the left pocket of his khakis and pulled out a simple gold ring. He closed his hand around it briefly and then opened his fingers, the space of his missing digit all the more jarring against the beauty of the artefact. The ring shone with a golden light that glowed from graceful foreign script engraved in the metal.

Saunders and Fionn held the jewels and the ring close to one another, each man engrossed in the sight of their creations. Then both men raised their eyes to meet his stare. Oppenheimer realized that if the ethereal light was taken away, Fionn and Saunders' eyes resembled his own with their clarity, their intensity, and their immense sorrow.

“Good-bye, Oppie,” Fionn said, his lilting voice etched with sadness and regret.

“Good-bye, Fionn, Saunders.”

“Farewell, Robert," said Saunders. "The three of us...now we’re all sons of bitches."



"Glimpses: Creation" by Uli / ford_of_bruinen

It took many years from when I first read Tolkien’s books before the idea of fanfiction returned to me and I once again started writing in the universe that I had loved since I was a child, starting, as with the books, with Lord of the Rings before making the transition to the Silmarillion. My love for research made me dive into the, to me, previously unknown Histories of Middle-earth and I loved every nuance and variation of the stories I by now knew by heart...

I

t was nothing but a clumsily braided string of garishly coloured ribbons, tied together at the end to make a crude necklace. Yet to me there had been no necklace more exquisite, more beautiful ever created. All the silver and jewels in the world could not make anything as equally beautiful as the now-long-faded string around my neck.

I remember how hard he worked on it, my firstborn. So many hours patiently working while I pretended not to see his work, the way his little fingers twisted the ribbons together with his tongue stuck to the corner of his mouth in concentration, how his small face shone with pride when he finally finished the cord and Nerdanel tied it together and declared it finished. He was so anxious when he gave it to me, so afraid that I, master smith, jewel-maker, would belittle his gift. I had not. To me no other gift I had ever been given had been as perfect.

I finally understand my father, his pride in the small ugly things his bastards had brought him through the years. It was the love that went into the creation that mattered; it is all that have ever mattered.



"Creation" by Ranger1

When Feanor speaks in The Silmarillion, it is at the end of the process of his going mad from them. At the beginning of this process, he must have had all the good qualities of his greatness, not just the bad ones. How would the Elf of Elves have felt about his creations and in what order would he rank them? Here Feanor sane knows the answer.

F

eanor placed each jewel on the table in his chamber and looked at them. ‘Silmaril’, yes the name fit, as did the joy he felt at creating them. The light from the Trees was so accurately captured. Seeing it was so soothing. He closed his eyes for a moment.

He opened them and saw his greatest creations. The perfection of their beauty, the passion of their forming all rushed back to him. Yes, these are unmatched. He reached across the table and moved each of Nerdanel’s small statues of his sons into the light of the Silmirls and smiled.



Excerpt from "How to Paint a Star" by Dawn Felagund

One of the lessons of The Silmarillion is that creation is a good thing when what comes of one's hands is freely shared. This is what distinguishes Melkor from Aulë; a failure to share is why the Silmarils cause such tragedy and despair.

One of the most wonderful things about fandom is how freely we share the gifts that come of our hands and minds. Each year, I write dozens of stories for friends; each year, I receive a dozen stories as gifts. When a friend is feeling down, we give stories. When we celebrate, we give stories. When we are thankful, we express our gratitude with stories. These gifts come not from the passing of coin from one hand to another but from hours of labor and thought, consideration of each person's particular affinities. Nothing is more delightful than receiving a story written just for me. My friend Pandemonium put it best when she said that a gift story was "just like a pair of warm mittens that fit me perfectly, knitted by someone who knows the shape of my hands and length of my fingers."

We hear a lot of bad things about fandom: drama and wank, feelings hurt and friends betrayed. We bear the scorn of a "real world" that doesn't understand why grown-ups want to hang out online with other grown-ups, writing stories they never have a chance to profit from. Sometimes I do wonder: Why do I bother? But then I consider how I see the fandom I have come to love: a group of people brought together by the urge to create and, beyond that, to share. To share their lives and laughter but, more important than that even, to share their stories.

M

y father says that Varda made the light, just as she'd made the stars. Upon the shadow-side of Tirion, the stars burn so brightly in the sky that even when I close my eyes, I see their shapes, red-gold against the insides of my eyelids. I can't sleep on that side of the city, not knowing that stars are overhead. As soon as the door snicks shut behind my father, I am out of bed and leaning from the window to memorize their shapes in the sky.

But if the Mindon is but another star, then what does that mean? Are not the stars supposed to be unattainable, destined to be strung between my fingers as I stretch my hand against the night? But the Mindon--I put a slippered toe between the bricks. For a breathless moment, it holds me. Then my foot slips away, and I fall back to the roof. My heart is beating fast, as though I'd climbed higher, risked more. My fingers curl between the bricks. If I kept practicing, climbing, stretching--

Could I touch a star?

Would the light cling to my fingertips like the glow from fireflies? Could I paint my own stars then, across my bedroom ceiling or upon the stone in my father's circlet?

And if I captured the secret of the stars, what gifts could I give to the Eldar?

My arm stretched, pretending that my hand cups the lamp at the top of the Mindon, I can almost imagine it.



"Bibelot" by Elleth

Initially, this piece was written as a daily drabble for the keyword “bibelot” – reading the etymological explanation for that word (it is derived from Latin bellus, pretty/handsome) made the outcome clear. Maedhros’s mother name certainly does not mean ‘well-formed one’ for no reason – still, like Mahtan says, he is certainly no mere worthless trinket, and the same holds true for the rest of the Fëanorians. So I suppose this drabble is dedicated to the family that shaped the history of Arda like few others did through both creation and destruction, and who keep me reading and re-reading canon material as well as fanfiction. What Tolkien created is, simply put, impressive, and the achievements of fan authors often display insights that some people wouldn’t expect in ‘amateur’ writing. So, here's to everyone who is contributing to Tolkien's idea of subcreation and of other hands and minds forming the full circle of legends and ideas that he dreamt of.

I

F

ëanáro challenged Aulë to a contest of skills.”

“So I have heard. He demanded a year's time, no earlier could his work be accomplished, he said, and then he disappeared. I think it is out of fear.”

“You underestimate him. He will not flee, nor seek help from any save perhaps his wife, young Nerdanel.”

“Then he really is as obstinate and proud as everyone says, at the risk of his honor.”

“There is little risk to that. There is no shame in being bested by a Vala.”

“But why speak up in the first place if he cannot win?”

“I did not say that. He is proud for one so young, but learned much, nor shared every secret he discovered. I think they will come to a truce.”

“We shall see.”

II
“A maker of bibelots and trinkets has he become, and dares attempt to teach me!”

“What angers you so, Fëanáro? The Lord Aulë has not lost his powers for his choice to put them to different uses now. Small things need not all be flawed or without worth. Grant me but a year to prove it.”

“I know, Nerdanel. You shall have your year.”

III
“I have come before you today, Lord, to present to you my work. A sphere of stone that, governed by one's thought, may see far-off and even speak with those who wield its brother-stones.

“Indeed an accomplishment worthy of great wonder and honor. Behold now my work, a mirror that shows not merely what is, but that which was and may yet be as history unfolds. - Now where is Lady Nerdanel?”

“Forgive my interruption, Lords. My daughter sent me to say that what she has brought into being mere hours ago is small, yet certainly no trinket. His name is Maitimo.”



"Of the Silmarils" by Isil Elensar

Perhaps this is a rather tame look at the creation of the Silmarils, but nonetheless, I think that Feanor was perhaps awed by his creations before he became obsessed with them. Although, his pride does shine through that he was the only one to create such beauty in the form of jewels. Perhaps this is just my thinking that even Feanor had somewhat "happier" moments in his life before he, well, in my opinion, went mad.

Creation in Secret

T

hey were all before him, three rough jewels yet unfashioned, but of a quality that out-matched any others. All were clear and unmarred, sparkling with brilliance in the fire light of his forge. He touched each one with light, reverent, fingers, daring to think that these jewels, once fashioned beautifully, could shine even brighter with the light of the Trees. He would be the creator of the jewels, and even the Valar would marvel at their glory. The thought took hold, becoming more than a distinct possibility. Grabbing familiar tools, Feanor took the first gem aside and began to work.

The Silmarils
"They shine like the stars," the awed voice said beside him. Feanor nodded and acknowledged the statement.

Indeed, his creation did shine like Varda's stars, but perhaps a little brighter. Pride filled his heart that he alone had made these glorious jewels, now called Silmarils. And the Valar did marvel, the people were awed, and Melkor was jealous of their magnificence. The Trees' glowing light radiated from within the jewels, reminding one and all of what now lay withered and dead.

"They live," Feanor finally replied. "Nothing shall ever rival their hue and beauty. No other creation shall match them."

Sacred Jewels
They were almost holy, the Silmarils, and the Valar decreed that nothing should ever mar their beauty. No evil shall touch them, nor hands unclean. No mortal flesh shall touch these sacred jewels, lest it become withered and burned, as Varda herself did charge. Mandos, dark and forbidding, came forth to proclaim that the fates of Arda were locked within the heart of the jewels; of earth, sea, and wind, the course was set. Hallowed were the Silmarils.

And Feanor's heart was fast bound to the Silmarils, created by his own hands. They were his, and he was theirs. Forever.