Newsletter: April 2014
Table of Contents
- SWG News. Back to Middle-earth Month: Seasons of Middle-earth was a big success, and we have some final news and announcements as we wrap up this year's event. The Silmarillion reread continues on our LiveJournal, and we have finally squashed a pesky bug plaguing our archive.
- New at the Archive. Stories added, updated, and finished during the month of March.
- Character of the Month Biography: Núneth, by Oshun. Núneth, the mother of Erendis, plays a memorable role in one of Tolkien's great unfinished stories, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife.
- Current Challenges. With April comes Earth Day, and in honor of this holiday, April's challenges emphasize how characters interact with nature. Our new challenge, "The Living Land," asks writers to choose a place on Arda and bring that location to life as a character, as Tolkien himself often did. We also revisit the "Back to Nature Challenge," which asks writers to consider overt and symbolic conflicts with nature.
- Around the World and Web. Announcements, events, and interesting reads from beyond the SWG.
Back to Middle-earth Month: Seasons of Middle-earth
The consensus at the closing of this year's Back to Middle-earth Month seems to be that this year's event was awesome. The quality and diversity of the writing and art offered was excellent, and the generosity of this year's readers in showing much love to those writers and artists through comments was wonderful to see! Many, many thanks to all--writers, artists, and volunteers--who helped make this year's B2MeM happen.
Review challenge. Earlier this week, the last stories and art of this year’s event were posted, and we’re thrilled with the great productions that our authors and artists gave us. But we would like to remind everybody that, although the postings are over, the review challenge is not: You can keep commenting on the this year's stories and art as long as you want to and collecting prizes for those comments. Reviewers who have been reporting their challenge for stamps will be contacted mid-April in case they want to have their stamps consolidated into a single graphic, but there is no deadline. If you would like to keep reviewing, contact us at email@example.com when you're ready for your graphic, and we will put your stamps together into a single graphic. If you want your graphic put together before mid-April, either leave a comment on the reporting post that you're finished or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The grand prize banners for the review challenge have been posted but, again, this is not the end of the challenge: You can continue commenting and claim what you earned when you're finished.
AO3. A B2MeM 2014 collection has been set up on an Archive of Our Own. If you post a story inspired by a B2MeM 2014 prompt on AO3, please feel free to add it to the collection, even if you didn't post it to the community at LJ. (Look for "b2mem2014" on the collections list.)
Ebook. One of the goals of this year’s event was to make an eBook of the stories and art posted. Compilation authors and artists should look for an email during the first week of April, explaining the project and what you'll need to do if you want your writing or art included.
The Silmarillion (Re)read
April will be devoted to Chapter 8, "Of the Darkening of Valinor" (April 6), and Chapter 9, "Of the Flight of the Noldor" (April 20). If you’ve missed any of the previous discussions, don’t worry! They’re always open and new views and perspectives are most welcome. You can find them on our LiveJournal community.
Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
Of Thingol and Melian
Of the Coming of the Elves
Of Aulë and Yavanna
Of the Beginning of Days
Story Preview Bug Fixed
For several years now, we have been plagued by an essentially harmless but distressing-if-you-don't-know-what's-happening bug that caused a story to show as being placed in a series when that story was previewed. We mods regularly field emails from authors who, because of this bug, are sure they're doing something wrong and are afraid to post, which means that we've probably had other authors just walk away without posting.
Well, this bug is squashed at last! Many, many thanks to Russandol, who figured out what was wrong in the code and corrected it!
Welcome to Our New Members!
This month we welcome six new members joining the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild: Webster D Weaver, FightingIrishman, Naria, Firstborn, Arth, and MisbehavingMaiar.
If you wish to share what awoke your interest in the Silmarillion, or brought you to our site, or any other facts about your fandom persona, why not update your bio? If you can’t find something in our archive or in other sections of the site, or if you need help, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions, but if you can’t find the answer, or if you need assistance at any time, email the SWG mods at email@example.com.
New at the Archive
Back to Middle-earth Month 2014
A Sad Tale's Best for Winter by oshun & Dawn Felagund [Teens] (6386 words)
Summary: Prompt: B2MeM 2014 - Write a story or create art about the midwinter holiday (Yule or another midwinter holiday of your choosing). Elrond looks back on Yuletides past at two distinct periods in his life, nearly an Age and a half apart. "The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness." (In Portugal, by AFG Bell, 1912.) Artwork included is by Dawn Felagund. (Calligraphy and illumination of brief passages from the story. Artist's note: The calligraphy utilizes a script I developed based on Tolkien's own writing in the Tengwar of "Namárië" and "A Elbereth Gilthoniel." The illumination is based on a style used in the 15th-century Bible of Borso d'Este. Ink, acrylic, and gold leaf on Bristol vellum.)
Children's Game by Elleth [Teens] (2637 words)
Summary: First tidings of the ruin of the Union of Maedhros come to Eglarest. Written for B2MeM 2014.
Crowns of Holly by Kitt Otter [General] (3415 words)
Summary: Gil-galad and Círdan attend mid-summer festivities in Eregion. An unwelcome guest crashes the party.
Evergreen by Fadesintothewest [General] (1296 words)
Summary: Findekáno explores the new lands of Middle Earth, coming to terms with what it means to call this place home. Written for B2MeM 2014.
Indy's B2MeM Stories: 2014 by Independence1776 [Teens] (2067 words)
Summary: A Change in the Wind: A slice-of-life of Maglor on market day in an Avarin community. Rated General. (Written for the prompt Under the High Sky by MirachRavaia.) Many thanks to Elleth for both the Avarin names and the idea that Maglor has Avarin relatives on Mahtan’s side of the family. My thanks also to LadyLunas for looking this over.
More about Maglor by Himring [Teens] (1160 words, incomplete)
Summary: Tales about Maglor: I. Maglor Tunes a Guitar, II. Forging Gold
Nightingale by Agelast [Adult] (2771 words)
Summary: Lúthien and Beren, their first springtime. Written for B2MeM 2014.
Noise of Thunder by Astris [Teens](3205 words)
Summary: During the Dagor Bragollach, a captain of the Fëanorian soldiers in Lothlann finds herself caught in the flames.
Prayers about Rain by Dawn Felagund [Adult] (8546 words)
Summary: Finwë has left his people and chosen exile alongside his son Fëanor. Indis, left behind as his regent, must determine the best course of action for his forsaken people, but her choice to pass the regency to her son Fingolfin seems fraught with peril amidst the divided Noldor.
Snowed In by Keiliss [Teens] (4369 words)
Summary: Gil-galad, his Herald and his SO (Senior Organiser?) are separated from their hunting party by a blizzard and are forced to spend the night in a cave.
The Constant Gardener by Tehta [Teens] (3898 words)
Summary: Running Yavanna’s errands in First Age Middle-earth is a tough job, but someone has to do it. (Written for the B2MeM prompt, "Write or create art in which a character plants something." Not a light-hearted humour fic. At all. A little quirky, though.)
The Old Eagle by Agelast [Teens] (4954 words)
Summary: In Númenor, Elros tells his children a tale from his long-ago childhood. Written for B2MeM 2014.
Winter's Drums by pandemonium_213 & Huinare † [Adult] (6167 words)
Summary: Story by pandemonium_213: The grisly banner having served its purpose, Sauron enlists the assistance of his soldiers and bodyguard to bear Celebrimbor's corpse to its final resting place in the foothills of the Misty Mountains while a snowstorm approaches from the southwest. Note: Descriptions of torture and a deteriorating corpse may be too intense for some readers (roughly equivalent to MPAA R-rating or TV Ratings Mature Audience); some expletive language. Pandë!versecentric. Illustrations by Huinárë: Title: 1. "Examining His Work" / 2. "Thundersnow" Pencil illustration / Construction paper collage. Rating: G
Air and Water by Silver Trails [General] (1309 words)
Summary: Estë helps Varda to understand Manwë's and Ulmo's friendship
Ambarussa by Silver Trails [Adult] (26684 words)
Summary: Amras didn't really die when Fëanor and his other sons burned the ships n Losgar. This is the same story I posted years ago, but I have changed many things and the ending is different.
Another Leader by Ilye [Teens] (1946 words)
Summary: In the aftermath of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Maedhros visits Gil-galad in the Havens and brings him the news of Fingon's death.
As Time Unrolls by Lyra [General] (4423 words)
Summary: Chronicling history is never an easy job. It is even harder when you don't always agree with the management - and cannot quit...
Brothers by Keiliss [General] (4134 words)
Summary: Near the end of the First Age, Maglor faces a decision that will change the future of the world.
Carmina Brethilia by Robinka [Adult] (18835 words)
Summary: Or an account of the battle in the forest of Brethil as seen by Beleg Cúthalion, told in two parts.
Like Butterflies on the Wind by Elisif [Teens] (3300 words)
Summary: Celegorm reflects on his life on the night before the assault on Doriath
Racing Towards the Start by Agelast [Teens] (32954 words)
Summary: Fingon and Maedhros in the bliss of Valinor.
String of Pearls by Innin [Teens] (1364 words)
Summary: Anairë comes to Alqualondë to visit Eärwen, and things are not quite as they seem.
The Commander by Maglor Makalaure [General] (1407 words)
Summary: Fëanor names his second son.
The Talisman by Keiliss [Teens] (4353 words)
Summary: Gil-galad rides to Forlond on an important errand which may not turn out quite as he, Elrond or Erestor expect.
Vana's Day by Tehta [General] (2582 words)
Summary: Some people are naturally good at romance. Others struggle with it, even when surrounded by flowers, love songs, and heart-shaped cakes. Guess which group is featured in this story? (The usual caveat applies: these are my versions of these characters, and my version of Gondolin, and so might not be to everyone's taste.)
Visitation by Haeron [Adult] (36559 words)
Summary: Erestor - an underworked antiques store employee - receives a visit from a (golden haired) customer completely out of the ordinary. Controlled chaos ensues as a murky mystery starts to evolve in an eletric city.
Warfare by Innin [Adult] † (2232 words)
Summary: Maedhros' encounter with Elwing at the Havens takes an unplanned turn.
Weapon of Choice by Ilye [Teens] (3795 words)
Summary:The wedding night of Fingon the Valiant. It's all a bit queer for someone who prefers the sword.
Works in Progress
Bloody Silmarils, book 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: In Gondolin, Turgon is depressed... A Silmarillion parodic story in the way of the tv-show Kaamelott and the Monty Python's Holy Grail. This is the translation of the french fanfiction "Maudits Silmarils".
Chapters added this month: The miller of Gondolin and Blasé.
Conversations Fingon Had In The Dark by Ilye [Teens]
Summary: A series of short character studies in the form of dialogue without narrative. This is a mini-series from my Flawless 'verse featuring Fingon and the important people in his life.
Chapters added this month: Finrod, Spelunking, Maedhros and Finrod, Good At Bad Ideas, Maedhros, Whose Head Is A Funny Shape and Aeglariel, On Watch.
Many Journeys by Elleth [Teens]
Summary: A gathering place for ficlets of varying length centered around the House of Fëanor (and lately, the House of Finwë in general), based on the word of the day from dictionary.com and various other prompts..
Chapter added this month: That Kind of Grateful.
Maudits silmarils, livre 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: A Gondolin, Turgon déprime... Une parodie crack du Silmarillion façon Kaamelott.
Chapters added this month: La poésie épique, II, La peur, L'acculturation, Le Chat Botté de Gondolin and Feu la vache de Robert.
Strange Fates by PerpetuaLilium [Teens]
Summary: Eregriel and Síreth are two young elves of Lothlórien in the later years of the Watchful Peace. They are in love and in fact betrothed, yet they have chosen to put their ceremonies off for many years, until they can come to some conclusion about what implications the unusual features of their union may have for its validity, in accordance with the local application of the Laws and Customs. Then, during a sudden spate of instability, Síreth, with Eregriel, is chosen to take part in Lórien's first extensive diplomatic interaction with the realms of Men in centuries. They must manage their relationship and cultural expectations across the years and leagues that follow.
Chapter added this month: Soto.
Time's Arrow by Russandol [Adult]
Summary: Two elves of the Greenwood, a troubled warrior and a prince, confront the shadows from their past in the less than perfect paradise of Valinor. There, a tradition that has been kept every four long-years since the ancient days of the Great Journey is about to take place once more.
Chapters added this month: Chapter VII, Chapter VIII and Chapter IX.
A Foretelling of Blood by Kaylee Arafinwiel [General] (300 words)
Summary: A brief conversation between Lord Oropher of Doriath and Aran Thingol's sixteen-year-old adopted human son causes Oropher a few moments of unease. Triple drabble.
Confusion by Silver Trails [Teens] (918 words)
Summary: Manwë realizes that he can love two Valar at the same time
Cousins by Silver Trails [Teens] (968 words)
Summary: Aegnor is of age, and he wants his cousin to acknowledge it
Fallen Twilight by Kaylee Arafinwiel [Teens] (350 words)
Summary: (No, not *that* kind of Twilight! xD) A mother and son do their best to escape from an abusive household and run to a place of safety. But will they be quick enough to escape their vengeful father and husband? Triple drabble and a half.
Lost? by Rhapsody [General] (100 words)
Summary: Thoughts of Arda's most famous bard on present day.
Mother of the Flame by Kaylee Arafinwiel [General] (410 words)
Summary: As the rebellious Noldor begin to destroy themselves, one fëa in Mandos is forced to watch the destruction, and to know its source.
Night-time Encounters by Maglor Makalaure [General] (98 words)
Summary: Finwë does not want Míriel's company. Drabble.
When the Song Ends by Viorthel [Teens] (300 words)
Summary: Fingon attempts to rescue Maedhros, but is taken captive when his singing draws orcs to investigate. An AU in three drabbles.
Les poèmes d'Imladris by Dilly [General] (591 words)
Summary: Traductions de poèmes elfiques, humains, nains et hobbits. Chapitre 2 : Maedhros.
Heart-stung by Agelast. Read by: abbyforth [Teens]
Heart-stung was originally published in March 2013 and was the Featured Podfic in the March 2014 newsletter. Time: 19:58. File Size: 18.2 MB.
Summary: The thought of their ancient friendship stung his heart.
Character of the Month Biography
Núneth, a Númenórean woman best known as the mother of Erendis, is a complex and realistic character who figures in the tale of Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.1 Tolkien does not tell us where Núneth is born nor of her heritage in this tale, which is the only place in the legendarium where her story appears. It is a fair assumption that she shares a background with her husband, but there are no statements within the texts explicitly supporting that fact.
Roots in the North
Núneth and her husband Beregar lived in the northwestern part of the island in the area of the Andustar, also called the West-lands.2 This region is rocky and remote "with high fir-woods looking out upon the sea."3 It also contains important great woodlands. But neither is it completely cut off from the rest of Arda since it has its own ports as well. (This will become more important in future years in the history of Númenor than it is during the lifetimes of Núneth and her immediate family.) The Andustar, geographically distant, is a far cry from the bustling sites of governance and courtly functions in the south, such as "the haven of Rómenna, the Meneltarma, and Armenelos, the City of the Kings . . . [which were] at all times the most populous region[s] of Númenor."4 In the northernmost part of the Andustar is
. . . the Bay of Andúnië, for there was the great haven of Andúnië (Sunset), with its town beside the shore and many other dwellings climbing up the steep slopes behind. But much of the southerly part of the Andustar was fertile, and there also were great woods, of birch and beech upon the upper ground, and in the lower vales of oaks and elms. Between the promontories of the Andustar and the Hyarnustar was the great Bay that was called Eldanna, because it faced towards Eressëa; and the lands about it, being sheltered from the north and open to the western seas, were warm, and the most rain fell there. At the centre of the Bay of Eldanna was the most beautiful of all the havens of Númenor, Eldalondë the Green; and hither in the earlier days the swift white ships of the Eldar of Eressëa came most often.5
It says in the Akallabêth that, "Of old the chief city and haven of Númenor was in the midst of its western coasts, and it was called Andúnië because it faced the sunset."6 Far from the administrative center and courtly circle of the Kings of Númenor in Armenelos, one found both rocky land and steep slopes but also fertile fields and timberland.
Perhaps, most importantly for its history, one finds in the north a unique connection to the easternmost lands of the West. Eldarin ships sail out of Tol Eressëa into the northern ports. There will remain in that area, throughout the history of Númenor, the legacy of a particular friendship with the Eldar and loyalty to the Lords of the West. (It is in the context of this background the future differences are framed between the so-called Faithful or Elf-friends of the north and the King’s Men partisans operating under the influence of Sauron in the south.)
In this distinct northern region, Núneth gives birth to her daughter Erendis, her only child, who will in time marry an heir to throne of Númenor. Aldarion will be renowned among the kings as Tar-Aldarion, a famous shipbuilder, seafarer, explorer, adventurer, and the king who also solidly reestablishes a connection between the Kings of Númenor and the High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth.7 Núneth further claims a mention in the history of Númenor through the person of her only grandchild Tar-Ancalimë, the first Ruling Queen of Númenor.8
As noted above, while Tolkien does not say where Núneth is born or anything explicitly unique about her personal heritage, we do know where she lived and raised her daughter. It is a fair assumption that she shares a background with her husband. Beregar is said to be "from the Westlands of Númenor, descended from the House of Bëor."9 It would not be unreasonable to assume that Núneth hails originally from that same part of the country and is of the same ethnicity. If she had different origins, they might have been mentioned. Tolkien does take care to compare and contrast Erendis’ genealogy, cultural differences, and appearance to those of the royal family of Númenor at the time and its descent from the line of Elros. One thing we do know for certain is that Erendis learned Sindarin as her mother tongue from Núneth and passed this along to her illustrious daughter Tar-Ancalimë.
All Ancalimë’s teaching was from her mother; and she learned well to write and to read, and to speak the Elven-tongue with Erendis, after the manner in which high men of Númenor used it. For in the Westlands it was a daily speech in such houses as Beregar’s, and Erendis seldom used the Númenórean tongue, which Aldarion loved the better.10
Núneth Fancies Herself the Mother-in-Law of a King
Núneth would have identified with the famous line from Jane Austen, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."11 And she might have desired to extrapolate that nowhere is this principle more obvious than in the case of the heir to the throne of Númenor and, further, that no young woman could be more suited to that role than her own beautiful daughter.
It is refreshing in the tale of Aldarion and Erendis that, in addition to the usual details one receives relating to a supporting character who is a named female in Tolkien’s legendarium--a place in a genealogical table or index, and the names of her husband and sons—Núneth receives notable character development. She has a voice, which she uses, for good or ill, and strong opinions, at times different from those of her equally hard-headed daughter. One cannot but smile when Núneth reads her daughter the riot act for being stubborn and unmovable because it is not difficult to see where Erendis got those traits.
After Núneth becomes aware that her daughter loves Aldarion and that he returns her love, she eventually loses patience with her. Erendis has delayed a betrothal for years, running the risk of losing him. Núneth takes it upon herself to complain to her daughter about her personal character and also to lecture her about the compromises that she believes a woman must make for her husband and the support she owes him.
‘All or nothing, Erendis,’ said Núneth. ‘So you were as a child. But you love this man, and he is a great man, not to speak of his rank; and you will not cast out your love from your heart so easily, nor without great hurt to yourself. A woman must share her husband’s love with his work and the fire of his spirit, or make him a thing not loveable. But I doubt that you will ever understand such counsel.12
Erendis clearly does not want to hear this advice. But eventually, after a rocky and lengthy courtship, replete with partings and reconciliations, Erendis and Aldarion finally wed. The north of Númenor shows great interest in the marriage of a native daughter to the heir to the throne of Númenor and throws an impressive party for them.
In the eight hundred and seventieth year of the Second Age Aldarion and Erendis were wedded in Armenelos, and in every house there was music, and in all the streets men and women sang. And afterwards the King's Heir and his bride rode at their leisure through all the Isle, until at midsummer they came to Andúnië, where the last feast was prepared by Valandil its lord; and all the people of the Westlands were gathered there, for love of Erendis and pride that a Queen of Númenor should come from among them.13
Not least among the honored guests are the Elves.
. . . Erendis looked forth, and she saw a tall white ship, with white birds turning in the sunlight all about it; and its sails glimmered with silver as with foam at the stem it rode towards the harbour. Thus the Eldar graced the wedding of Erendis, for love of the people of the Westlands, who were closest in their friendship.14
The Matter of the Eldarin Song Birds
One might presume that Núneth must have felt that finally her fondest dreams for her daughter had been realized. But this was not to be the case, and Núneth is anything but a woman who lacks in perception.
For as Núneth had said to Erendis long before: ‘Ships he may love, my daughter, for those are made by men’s minds and hands; but I think that it is not the winds or the great waters that so burn his heart, nor yet the sight of strange lands, but some heat in his mind, or some dream that pursues him.’15
After what appears to have been an interlude of a peaceful few years in a relationship blighted at its roots, Aldarion and Erendis have a child before his wanderlust strikes him with vengeance again.
Backtracking a little to the wedding, at that time, the Elves from Eressëa had gifted Erendis with an unusual and magical wedding gift.
To Erendis they gave a pair of birds, grey, with golden beaks and feet. They sang sweetly one to another with many cadences never repeated through a long thrill of song; but if one were separated from the other, at once they flew together, and they would not sing apart.
‘How shall I keep them?’ said Erendis. ‘Let them fly and be free,’ answered the Eldar.
‘For we have spoken to them and named you; and they will stay wherever you dwell. They mate for their life, and that is long. Maybe there will be many such birds to sing in the gardens of your children.’16
When their daughter is still very young, Aldarion decides to venture forth again upon a long voyage of at least two years. Erendis objects. After he leaves, Erendis grieves that she has been unable to convince him to stay and "deeper in her heart she felt a new pain of cold anger, and her love of Aldarion was wounded to the quick."17 She takes their daughter, leaving their home in Armenelos, and "settles with the child in Emerië in the midst of the Isle, where ever, far and near, the bleating of sleep was borne upon the wind."18
Erendis sends no word to Núneth and Beregar, dismissing also, with great bitterness, the Eldarin love birds who follow her. The birds return to the north, where Núneth sees them.
But when Núneth held out her hands to them they flew steeply up and fled away, and she watched them until they were specks in the sunlight, speeding to the sea, back to the land whence they came.
‘He has gone again, then, and left her,’ said Núneth.
‘Then why has she not sent news?’ said Beregar. ‘Or why has she not come home?’
‘She has sent news enough,’ said Núneth. ‘For she has dismissed the Elven-birds, and that was ill done. It bodes no good. Why, why, my daughter? Surely you knew what you must face? But let her alone, Beregar, wherever she may be. This is her home no longer, and she will not be healed here. He will come back. And then may the Valar send her wisdom – or guile, at the least!’19
The reader is shown that Erendis has neither the pragmatic cynicism, which perhaps would have been viewed as wisdom in this case by Núneth, nor the guile to pretend she feels nothing or can endure a situation that she believes is beyond what should be expected of her.
The bitterness and resentment of Erendis calcifies. In her possessiveness of Ancalimë, she even prevents her from visiting and learning to know her maternal grandparents in the north. Instead, she nurtures Ancalimë in the isolation of the Emerië, in the company of only a few women attendants--and, of course, the sheep--until Aldarion returns from his voyage. Far from becoming reconciled, the couple is absolutely unable to regain their previous intimacy and affection. Aldarion comes to Emerië angry that Erendis has withdrawn from their marital home with their daughter. He leaves in cold anger as well.
She [Erendis] had looked for some penitence, that she might extend after rebuke pardon if prayed for; but he had dealt with her as if she were the offender, and ignored her before her daughter. Too late she remembered the words of Núneth long before, and she saw Aldarion now as something large and not to be tamed, driven by a fierce will, more perilous when chill. She rose, and turned from the window, thinking of her wrongs. ‘Perilous!’ she said. ‘I am steel hard to break. So he would find even were he the King of Númenor.’20
This is the last reference to Núneth written into the Aldarion and Erendis narrative.
A short while later, Aldarion’s father abdicates in his favor. One of his first acts as king is to order Erendis to come to Armenelos with their daughter, but Erendis refuses to leave her seclusion in the north and sends Ancalimë to her father, where he may mentor her as his heir.
Tolkien never finishes this tale, although he does leave notes from which may be constructed a relatively coherent view of the ends of the days of Aldarion and Erendis. But we learn nothing more of Núneth or Beregar. One thing which is quite clear is that Núneth’s attempts at matchmaking do not result in a happy ending, nor is it written that, after the estrangement of Aldarion and Erendis, she had any further opportunity to care for and support either her daughter or her granddaughter.
- The Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.
- The Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor."
- The Silmarillion, Akallabêth .
- The Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.
- The Unfinished Tales, "The Lines of Elros: Kings of Númenor."
- The Unfinished Tales, "Index."
- The Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 1.
- The Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife.
The Living Land
"Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake ..."
~Treebeard, The Two Towers
One of the most attractive aspects of Tolkien's Middle-earth is its realistic geography, with its descriptions that bring names on a map to vivid life for readers. Many of the memorable places in Middle-earth literally or figuratively come to life, becoming almost characters themselves. This challenge asks writers to choose a place in Middle-earth that is particularly evocative and write a story where that location itself acts as a character, interacting with and shaping the lives of the people who live in or pass through its boundaries.
Challenges Revisited: Back to Nature
Nature is ever-present in Tolkien's works, from the obvious interventions of Yavanna and Oromë to the untold struggles of a tribe of mortal Men journeying into Beleriand. Few are the characters who are not asked to interact with nature at some point over the course of The Silmarillion. This month's challenge asks you to consider conflicts with nature--both overt and symbolic--and characters' relationships with that which is natural in their world.
What are some struggles individuals and groups have with nature, with plants, animals, geography, or weather? What about those with a special relationship with natural forces? Consider the various locations upon Arda--for example, Valinor, Himring, Doriath: What symbols are present in the natural environments of these places that highlight the conflicts that take place there?
Quote of the Month
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."
Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!
Have an idea for a challenge? Some of our most popular challenges have been created by you, the members of SWG! If you have a plotbunny gnawing at your ankle, a favorite quote, or a favorite character that you think might inspire others as well, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!
Around the World and Web
Articles of Interest
Each month, the SWG newsletter features links to articles that our members might find interesting. Do you have something you'd like to suggest? An interesting essay or discussion going on in your journal or blog? Drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll add your article, essay, or post to our next newsletter!
It should go without saying, but just in case it bears repeating, any opinions expressed in these links are not necessarily that of the SWG and its moderators.
Why Is the Mor in Voldemort (and Mordor and Dr. Moreau) So Evil-Sounding?
Mordor, Moria, Morgoth. Moving on to other fandoms, Moriarty, Mordred, Morbius. So what’s with the syllable "mor" that makes it so sinister? "Mor" may be what is called a "phonestheme", that is, a part of a word that carries certain connotations. Read more in this article by James Harbeck.
An Interview with Douglas Charles Kane
In his blog, Michael Martinez interviews Douglas Charles Kane, author of Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion, a book that traces the published Silmarillion to its original source texts and analyses Christopher Tolkien’s editorial choices.
Mordor Travel Guide
Despite being maligned and given a bad press in Tolkien’s work, Mordor is a fascinating travel destination where all the family can enjoy a well-deserved holiday. For your travel brochure, including must-sees, shopping opportunities and even some safety tips, visit the Mordor WikiTravel page!
How Would The Silmarillion Fare as a Film Trilogy?
First came The Lord of The Rings trilogy of movies; now we are two-thirds into Peter Jackson’s vision of The Hobbit. Tolkien fans have mixed feelings about The Silmarillion being taken to the big screen. This article at TheOneRing.Net builds a possible movie trilogy out key story threads of our beloved book.
Tolkien’s Heathen Feminist
Tolkien’s works are often criticised because of their lack of strong female characters and their focus instead on the struggle of heroic men performing great deeds. This article in two parts delves into the roots in the pre-Christian Northern mythology which influenced the character of Éowyn, a woman in a patriarchal society who refuses to accept the role dictated to her because of her gender.
J.R.R. Tolkien Translation of Beowulf to be Published
A translation of the Old English poem Beowulf by author J.R.R. Tolkien is to be published for the first time by HarperCollins, nearly nine decades after it was completed. Beowulf: A Translation And Commentary has been edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and will be released in May. Read more in this article in The Guardian.
Legendarium Ladies April: An Appreciation Month for Tolkien's Female Characters
Did you know that only 18% of characters in Tolkien’s world are female? And that out of these 18%, only two(!) show up in the top-ten lists of AO3’s various Tolkien-based categories? Tolkien’s women are strong, brave, beautiful ... and seldom in the spotlight. Starting on April 2, Legendarium Ladies April is a Tumblr-based month-long, prompt-based fanworks fest/challenge to celebrate female characters from all parts of the Legendarium, including movieverse. All sorts of fanworks (fic, art, fanmixes, edits, etc.) are welcome. Even if you're not a creator yourself, you can play along by enjoying, reading and reviewing.
Silmarillion Kink Meme
The Silmarillion Kink Meme has started a community on Dreamwidth and is open for both prompts and fills. Although kink memes are mainly for smutty prompts, this community is open to other prompts as well: gen, fluffy, or cracky, or angsty, or some sort of AU, or even something with a super complex plot. Likewise, art prompts and fills are encouraged. The Silmarillion Kink Meme sticky post includes links to all you need to get involved.
Mythgard Institute Summer 2014 Courses
For its summer session, the Mythgard Institute is offering a course entitled The Lord of the Rings: A Cultural Studies and Audience Reception Approach. This class will investigate the extent to which this initially obscure, lengthy, and extremely complicated fictional work rooted in early medieval European mythology became so firmly entrenched in modern American and European cultures. We will consider how, from 1965, when the first American paperback edition appeared, to the present, The Lord of the Rings has been engaged in complex ways with the development and circulation of modern discourses such as romantic nationalism, fascism and individualism as well as how it has been differently received in the United States, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia. The course begins the week of May 5. Mythgard is also offering summer courses on Harry Potter and Chaucer; see the the Mythgard Institute summer course listing for more information.
Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.