"Discovery" by Elleth

Discovery - discovery of what? Tolkien's world and source material are so vast that you can quite literally get lost in it, so that you stray from one topic to the other and never cease to find new things. Sometimes that may be frustrating; when you are looking for a specific piece of information, or a passage of text to quote somewhere. And above all, you can only scratch the surface, even after years of study. That, to me, is like the crack of light of light beneath the doorstep that Nerdanel sees in the story--teasing, nearby, and still out of reach. Still, sometimes the door opens and someone or something beautiful emerges to rekindle your interest in the stories and tales, and reward the passion, patience (or stubbornness) you had in searching for it.


here is light, again, from the crack beneath the workshop door. Her knocks have gone unanswered for six days, and that there was no reply to her calling out. Sometimes, her eyes stinging with angry tears, she had stubbornly sat before the heavy door, next to the tray of the last meal not taken, but even that had no effect.

There are few sounds from within: Feanáro's footsteps, the sound of one tool or another, and sometimes the hiss and smell of substances poured together--to what effect, she knows not. And often, there is light. A flicker like the Trees on water, a shimmer like the stars--and sometimes a blaze that makes her wonder if within he has gone blind. And then again, nothing.

This time, though, the light is constant, and she hopes that finally, finally, the door will open. Even Feanáro has limits of endurance, even when he is crafting, even though he claims it gives him strength rather than sapping it. She knows this from countless challenges before, when the frenzy of discovery drove him on, with matted hair and triumphant fever-bright eyes, and so completely exhausted so that he nearly pitched forward into her arms.

When the door opens this time, she is ready to tell him all that, and that she will no longer suffer it. She stands with the last tray of food not taken in her hand, and is caught by surprise by the look in his eyes: How did he become so young again? How is it that he looks so refreshed after a week's ceaseless work?

But then she sees the light behind him and she thinks she knows.

"Three meetings" by Ranger1

‘Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them.’
We are told little more than this of the story of Galadriel and Celeborn, for the rest we invent. What would be on the mind of (then) Artanis and her brother Finrod when they went to Doriath after their brother Angrod led the way? Love, of course not! Diplomacy, learning, perhaps even rule, but not love. But then, Elves do have Foresight.

This is in the style tridribble, three linked dribbles, exactly 300 words, that tell a story.



heir king, my relative, Thingol is every bit as kingly as Finwe or Olwe. Melian is so like her sisters I would think me back in Valimar. Luthien, are you my friend or my rival? Yes, rival, for I see this as where I must start. I would rule a land of mine own, where better to start than with these, the rulers.
Yes, here I will learn of this land and how to rule it well.

But what is this disturbing vision I have of silver hair, piercing eyes, and a spirit to match mine own?

How well matched these two are, how like Thingol’s tales of the Valar! Tall, Golden hair, Fair, yet how dangerous this one, this Finrod. He seems not of the make of what I hear of the Sons of Feanor, he bears his own burden. What is it of him that makes me wonder even more than I wondered of his brother when he came? Does he eye Thingol’s throne? I will watch of him and be cautious!

But what is this disturbing vision I have of a garland of gold, blue-grey eyes, and a spirit to match mine own?

Thingol I will honor for honor is his due. In this land, truly, the King and the People are one, I will speak to him of how I do not wish to be close to the Feanorion and, with his leave, would make a place of mine own.

Melian and Luthien between them are all that is beautiful and caring except for Amarie. My Little Sister is approaching them. She will be well, as will her dreams of rule.

But what is this comforting vision I have of Silver and Gold, eyes with iron determination, and two spirits undefeatable?

"The promised land" by Rhapsody the Bard

Númenor and her downfall, I always loved this particular part of the Silmarillion in the sense that it was so much alike the fate of Atlantis. Both stories have a lot in common, still Tolkien’s version stands out because of the rivalry on this land of Gift and how all parties involved could either make or break their destiny. There cannot simply be enough stories about Akallabêth if you ask me: The hope and despair, love and hate, the rise and fall: this mixture gives a writer so much to work with and to explore. In this piece I tried to capture the aftermath of the downfall of Númenor and the reflection of Isildur as foremost a survivor feeling lost in what is to come. Then there is the sailor discovering land, and his brother reminding him that there is still a lot left to discover and a hope deep down inside the both of them as those two realise that they can start anew. This is a powerful discovery in itself.


he water seemed calm and gently lapped against the bow that cleaved through the waves with a fortunate speed. Isildur’s emotions were completely the opposite compared to the world around him, a maelstrom of emotions raged inside him. He tried to phantom what happened the past days, spending many hours standing on the afterdeck, hoping that more ships survived the destructive storm, which destroyed Númenor.

His eyes scanned the water when a sailor yelled the word “land”, but saw nothing yet. ‘There lays our hope,’ Anárion spoke and joined him, ‘this is a new start, brother, for all of us.’

Excerpt from “Glistening Part V – Elrond” by Ellie

I’ve been a fan of Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion for more than 20 years. Since I discovered them, these stories and characters have served as excellent fodder for my imagination. A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of vignettes about each generation of Thingol’s line from Thingol on down to Elladan and Elrohir - each centering on the catalyst of something glistening. This particular one is about Elrond’s realization and acceptance that not only was it a time for change for the elves, but it was his duty to preserve what he could. In essence, Elrond discovers his purpose in the Third Age.


here simply were not enough of the Noldor left in exile after the war and the departure of so many elves over the sea. They no longer needed a king, they needed strong lords capable of maintaining islands of fortitude and elven bliss amidst the mortality encroaching upon and swallowing up the lands of Middle-earth.

Taking a long pull of his wine, Elrond carefully replaced the glass on his desk beside the small object which was his new responsibility. Gil-Galad may not have been able to force him to take up the crown of the Noldor, but he did thrust a different circlet of power upon him, and it was one Elrond dared not refuse.

Weighing it in his palm, the object did not feel particularly heavy for a jeweled ring. But this ring bore a weight of responsibility that transcended anything he had ever known before. He held it up to a candle, the dark blue sapphire glistening like windblown starlight in a midnight sky. Enamored by its almost whimsical beauty, he turned the ring, admiring each of the many deeply majestic facets. The strength of a thousand storms lay in his hand or was it the subtle power of the breath of life he held? Rivers would rage in torrents yet bleeding wounds would heal. Abundant life and light would flow and the autumn of the world would be turned back into the gentle airy youth of spring.

He knew in his heart beyond all doubt that his calling was not to be regent of an elven nation, but caretaker of a people. With a sigh, he accepted the task with the heavy burdens and responsibilities that would accompany it. Taking a deep steadying breath, he placed Vilya upon his finger, and the renewal began.

Excerpt from “Similitude” by Isil Elensar

This was a short one-shot fic of discovery I wrote a long while ago. In it, I have not just one, but two discoveries, so to speak, as the narrator has discovered his "great-great" uncle (the nephew and narrator of the story is descended from Amrod) truly does still wander the shores of Middle-earth, and that Maglor discovers he is not the last member of his family still remaining and has a chance at redemption. In the end, Maglor takes the chance, and leaves with his nephew, to be welcomed back in the family fold.

See, I have this habit of happy endings and that everyone deserves them. Well, maybe not *everyone*. ;-)


ow that you have found me, nephew, what more do you want?" So, he could see that I had another reason to come here to him. My father said he could read one like a book. Nothing could be hidden from him.

'Will he accept my offer?'

"Come with me, uncle. Leave this lonely shore."

He scrutinizes me closely. "Why?"

"Why not?" His brows furrow and I know he won't accept that answer. "To reintroduce yourself to Middle-earth, uncle. To see the beauties I have. And..."

He stands silently, waiting for me to finish.

"And become part of our family once more."

He is silent, as he looks away, leaving me to wonder if he will come away. For countless ages, he has known nothing else but the sea-shore; nothing more than the pain of loss from his Oath unfulfilled and family who have come and gone. Unnumbered legends have been made of his deeds and his seeming survival. None knew for sure that he still lived. Except my father. He knew.

Excerpt from "Stars of the Lesser" by Dawn Felagund

I think that writers see the world differently from other people.

"You sound like a writer!" my husband teased me once as we floated in a canoe upon a pond barely ruffled by the wind that looked, to me, like tinfoil. I had said as much. As others collect stamps or shot glasses, we writers collect observations and discoveries and we display them in our stories. Every day is a new opportunity to add to the collection.

The following excerpt comes from my short story "Stars of the Lesser." It, too, involves the discovery and collection of new knowledge, though Pengolodh, the hero of our small tale, is left with a choice of what to do with it.


neeling upon the slick black rock, Pengolodh peered into the water. Perhaps Ulmo would speak to him and give him some purpose in this land, as the lore told had happened before. Pengolodh loved working on his books, but there was something missing, to learn the words of others without ever devising words of his own.

Perhaps I will write new lore, on something never written-on before, he thought. But what?--and a thrilling thought came to him then. The Fëanorians!

I will write a tale about the Fëanorians!

Had that thought come from Ulmo? It had arrived in his brain without much deliberation, and Pengolodh was used to careful deliberation. His parents made him work carefully through to a solution to any problem and relying on instinct earned him reproach. He leaned forward toward the sea, his fingers clenching upon the surface of the rock like that might keep him from tumbling into the water if his balance became upset. Or if Ulmo leapt from the water and dragged him down with arms around his neck. (But Ulmo didn't do such things; what a terrible thought! He was ashamed of himself!) The water didn't sparkle like it did on sunny summer days but glistened, black and deep. Pengolodh squinted. He could barely see his reflection writhing inside of the water. Something glinted in the depths like the wink of a star. He leaned closer and one of his braids dropped over his shoulder and dipped into the sea. His reflection was clearer now: black hair, pale flesh, gray eyes wide and staring, his face made a broken mosaic by the churning water and, still, that light in the depths! What was it?

And his reflection broke through the surface of the water with a shrieking gasp.

"Glimpses: Discovery" by Uli / ford_of_bruinen

One of the things I enjoy with Tolkien’s Silmarillion is the duality of so many of his characters, how the greatest Elf ever is also the one leading the Noldor down the path of destruction, how Maeglin’s betrayal of Gondolin was based in his love for Idril and so many other examples. It is that duality of the characters that draws me as a writer, to explore some very interesting three dimensional characters further...


he garden bed was empty. For the first time in my life I was not met by the sight of pale, silver hair spilling over the cream linen. No more did the frail, silent beauty of my mother meet me. She was gone.

The cloying, intoxicating stench of the surrounding orchids made my head ache as I tried to understand why. Had she woken? Was she awaiting me at home, standing smiling beside my father, ready to return to our lives? I wished for nothing more but I knew from the silence of that place – the lack of birdsong or the fake chirping of frogs and insects – that something was wrong.

“Feanaro,” my father’s voice was hoarse from crying.

His hand fell upon my shoulder, turning me around to meet his eyes; darkened with grief. In horror I stared at my strong father, the swollen redness around his eyes and I tasted the bile rising from my stomach. I knew what he could not tell me.

“There is not death here,” I said, my young unbroken voice trembling as I repeated words that I had heard throughout my life, clung to them with desperation.

“There is now,” my father answered.

Excerpt from "The Apprentice: Chapter 5 - Illuminati" by pandemonium_213

For discovery, I have selected an excerpt from Chapter 5 “Illuminati” of The Apprentice. In addition to his primary strengths in linguistics and mythologies, Tolkien’s interests in astronomy, botany, geology and even paleontology created a rich secondary world into which the reader may immerse him- or herself. Re-reading any of Tolkien’s works can bring about new discoveries and interpretations, leading to that “Ah, ha!” moment. Just as Annatar/Aulendil notes here, discovery - whether scientific or literary - never ceases to thrill.


s he speaks, he scans the woods and meadows around us. Suddenly, he ceases his tale in mid-sentence.

"Here they are, Sámaril! Get the specimen jars and let's go!"

He stands abruptly, and grabbing my hand, he yanks me to my feet, nearly dislocating my shoulder in his enthusiasm. We jog to a nearby meadow where fireflies rise from the grass, winking with cold fire.

"Have a seat." He settles himself on a flat boulder, and I sit beside him. "Are you ready?" I nod, and off we go into the flashing insects.

The shimmering, grating language instructs me as we drill down for a closer look. Discrete motes of light, flashing like molecular meteors, fall around me. Photon, triplet state, and slow decay: my master translates these into concepts that I more or less comprehend. Satisfied that I have absorbed the intricacies of the cold light, he carries me back to my own mind.

After taking a few deep breaths, my heart rate slows as I look out over the meadow at the winking stars that drift up from the tall grass. More often than not, these molecular adventures drain me, but this time, rather than being exhausted, I am exhilarated.

"Of course you're worked up!” the Istyar says, his eyes dancing with silver fire. “Bioluminescence is fascinating stuff, boy. There's nothing like the thrill of discovery. Nothing. Even after all this time, I live for that 'Ah, ha!' moment when I make a new discovery. Now take your jars and go collect a few of those bugs."