Excerpt from "Where the Heart Is" by Noliel

This final sub-topic is titled Fate, and while fitting into the previous themes, it also stands alone.

I’ve always thought fate had something to do with my love of Tolkien. In fact, I’m sure there was some underlying quality of destiny present when I, overjoyed at finally finding a copy of the Silmarillion in a library, took that brilliant book home.

All right, I’m fatalistic. But I do know one thing--no matter which book I was interested in, no matter what caught my attention throughout my childhood, I’ve always had a background appreciation of Tolkien. It was strangely muted, however, as if it was a dormant dragon waiting to be poked in the eye. Then one dull morning, I found a worn edition of the Silmarillion, and it was as if someone had not only poked the dragon’s eye, but stole a precious cup from him and caused him to set fire to the entire region of my imagination.

I recall a quote by Christopher Morley: “There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.” That was true for me, to the last letter. I do not know how else to put it, but this book, this lovely history with its characters, its places, its meaning changed my life three years ago, and the love shows no sign of diminishing.

Now, out of all the vast cast of the Sil, one group has become especially dear to me. Feanor, and his sons. I’ve read many opinions framed around the wish that they, or at least Feanor, had never existed. With respect, that is a stupid wish. Had it not been for them, there would be no Silmarillion. Also, their story has a huge connection to Fate, none the least because of the Silmarils, in which were locked “the fates of Arda”.

So how does my submission tie in with Fate? Well. I'm sure it is common to wonder, after finishing the Silmarillion, what happened to Maglor son of Feanor. Was he taken by the Sea, as once was a concept by Tolkien? Did he simply wander, as we are told, and then fade into a spirit unseen by the eyes of Men? Or did he go into our history, as many writers have explored, and even now is wandering the beaches of our world? This mystery adds a certain tint to his tale that attracts so many. It definitely attracts me, and it is a theme that I love, often seen in Tolkien’s works: the room for readers to add their own thoughts in.

But I don't think Maglor was alone, regardless of whatever happened to him; some of his people must have survived and stayed with him. And then one day I had a vision. A darkened lake, a man staring up at the starry sky. A whole people searching for what they’d once left behind, an abandoned home waiting to be found.

Maglor. Cuivienen.



nly a dim recollection of the strange and beautiful beings that once walked the lands remains, a bedside legend.

And now they are in the farthest East--the uttermost, truly--and Maglor cannot believe his eyes at what lies before him. A large body of water, surrounded by areas which were most certainly once part of a lake, but are now dry. Small rivulets feed into the water from the remains of mountains behind them, the whole area looking as though broken by a tumult of the earth.

Over the centuries, his eyes have witnessed both the cruellest and the most beautiful of truths--and yet now… Maglor cannot believe. But he knows.

Like a whisper carried on the wind, the curse of Mandos comes to him out of the vestiges of memory:

“On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also."

They know this. He knows this. And still they follow wherever he may lead, damned and without hope, yet always, unwaveringly loyal.

Two Ages of this world…

Someone walks up to him as he muses, contemplating the ripples in the water.

“Do we set up camp, my lord?”

The speaker is the eldest of their party besides Maglor himself. His face is questioning, almost tranquil- but Maglor can see that it is not hopeful, and there is a worn expectancy in his eyes. He and the others have most probably circled nearly all of the Hither Lands.

They will wander no longer.

"Fate" by Ranger1

For the Valar are not omnipotent.


ngwe and Thingol stood politely before Mandos.

“We do not demand anything of you," said Thingol.

“We only request to know Finwe’s Doom," said Ingwe.

“Though I speak as Doomsman of the Valar, Doom itself I do not create. Finwe sits in my halls that Miriel may be ransomed. What comes to him next, I do not know.

“Does Finwe suffer from something Eru cannot mend?” Ingwe asked.

“There is that below The One and above the Valar. You may call it fate. The Dooms I Deem come from The Valar, your luck, and fate. This last I do not know.

And they all sat and looked at the water and thought.

"Fate and Foreboding," an excerpt from "A New Day," by Oshun

My history with Tolkien’s writing dates back to when I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley (longer ago that I even care to admit). I picked up The Lord of the Rings at a used bookstore, after having heard it discussed avidly among my friends. It was a cult favorite within my circle at the time. I cannot say I was a complete Tolkien fanatic, although I did re-read it no less than every year or two thereafter. I did not particularly look forward to Peter Jackson’s films because I had eagerly awaited the earlier efforts at bringing Tolkien to the screen (the Bakshi and Rankin/Bass films) and had been disappointed.

What the Jackson films did for me, however, was to draw me, eventually and circuitously, to Tolkien fanfiction, which, in turn, led me to The Silmarillion. My current obsession with The Silmarillion is centered upon the fate of the Noldor. In this submission for Back-to-Middle-earth Month, Fingolfin ponders the fate of his elder son Fingon in light of his son’s close friendship with Maedhros.


olofinwë's eyes were drawn to Maitimo and Findekáno, leaning against the fence that separated the open area of the Lake Mithrim enclave from the horse paddock. Under the gleaming torchlight, he saw one head crowned with an unruly shock of blazing red hair tilted toward another covered with sleek, night-dark plaits.

A feeling of sympathy for the two princes overwhelmed Nolofinwë, along with a renewed appreciation at Maitimo's decency and courage in handing over the Kingship of the Noldor to him. He thought as well, with despondence, that if all the Noldor struggled against the doom foretold by Námo, the weight of it lay doubly upon the eldest son of Fëanáro and, linked so closely as Findekáno was to Maitimo, by association upon his own firstborn son. He shook his head, desperate to banish such thoughts from his mind.

Why must I think such morbid thoughts? What can I know of what brought these two together? Nelyafinwë faced the Dark One in his stronghold and survived, and my own Findekáno, as bold and courageous a son as any father could have, went alone into the shadows of Thangorodrim and brought him back. How can I begin to understand what fate may still hold in store for them?

"This Place" by Dawn Felagund

The Silmarillion is not the easiest book to read. For each character one might fall in love with, it seems J.R.R. Tolkien has devised some form of terrible fate. Whether death or exile or misery, The Silmarillion sometimes seems to be nothing but senseless tragedy after senseless tragedy.

Tragic, yes. But senseless? Not hardly.

At the very beginning, before Arda exists, during the Ainulindalë, Ilúvatar says to the Valar, "No theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined." It is small comfort, yes, that even the darkest turns in the story lead to beautiful ends. But it also adds to the beauty of the world, to know bliss only after understanding what it is to grieve. Ilúvatar says also, "[Melko] shall see, and ye all likewise, and even shall those beings, who must now dwell among his evil and endure through Melko misery and sorrow, terror and wickedness, declare in the end that it redoundeth only to my great glory, and doth but make the theme more worth the hearing, Life more worth the living, and the World so much the more wonderful and marvellous, that of all the deeds of Ilúvatar it shall be called his mightiest and his loveliest."

And so even the darkest roads, in The Silmarillion, lead to beautiful places. In a real life, in a world full of senseless darkness, there are no such guarantees. Arda, with its certainties, is comforting in that regard, an escape from tragedy that none of us can begin to understand.

Much of my creative work has come to embody this idea. The drabble that follows is no different. How is it just that Amandil, who possessed not only the wisdom to seek escape for his people but the bravery to ask help of the Valar, never succeeded in his task?

But consider if he did. Would the Númenoreans have made it Endor? Would Sauron have been reduced, as he was by Isildur? Would the One Ring--and Sauron's power--have been lost in order to be found by the most unlikely of heroes? Would the acts of a simple Hobbit have changed the world for the better?

All of these possibilities began when Amandil's journey came to naught. Was Amandil's fate unjust? Undoubtedly. Was what came of his failure "so much more wonderful and marvellous"? Absolutely.

It is said that Amandil set sail in a small ship at night, and steered first eastward, and then went about and passed into the west. And he took with him three servants, dear to his heart, and never again were they heard of by word or sign in this world, nor is there any tale or guess of their fate.

e must be nearing Aman. We must.

The seas have grown tortuous in a way that defies what I know of water. No longer are there tides but paths carved upon the water, and try as we might to escape, the ship twists and cants upon them, and cold mist writhes into our throats.

What is this place?

There is a shadow on the horizon. Land? It stretches, fills our sights, and we press to the rails and stare. Nay, it is the sky. The black sky, indistinguishable from the sea.

But--panic touches my heart--where are the stars?

"Suicide Is Painless" by Robinka

Bored with The Silmarillion?


I consider this book a bottomless source of inspiration. Each time I open it, whichever page I read, a stream of ideas floods my mind and many of them can be forged into stories. If only I had enough time…

It was not different with the drabble “Suicide Is Painless” written as a birthday gift for my friend last year, and my circle of faithful muses has been extended – I happily welcomed Maedhros to it, just as I had done before when Glorfindel, and then Finrod, Maglor and others had arrived. It was not different with many other stories that I wrote having been ‘bitten’ by an unusual bunny. I am sure that by saying the above I do not discover a new America, by any means, because I suppose that every writer feels and experiences the same. To me, this is what constitutes me as a Tolkien fan and a writer – the development without which I would have been nowhere near fan fiction.

Finally, as the last topic has been announced to be Fate, I guess it is likely to say that my fate is to read and love Tolkien’s works. I do not mind at all.


ith my brothers, allies, and desires gone, I embrace the scorching heart of Arda and hold it close to mine, for within its ever-blazing core I seek hope and deliverance. I let it burn away my remorse and the bitter remembrance of my grave and unpardonable deeds. As my exhausted, forever-marred body turns to ashes, I feel the power that rekindles my spirit and raises it to a sublime state of purification and forgiveness.

Have no fear, stranger passing by. Dry your eyes. The hissing flames cannot harm me. Nothing is more elemental for the son of a self-consumed fire.