Newsletter: August 2012

Table of Contents

SWG News

Akallabêth in August

Every August, the SWG pays homage to creative works centered on the Second Age and the authors who create them. Most Silmfic focuses on the First Age and earlier, but the Second Age is a tumultuous time rich in intriguing characters and dramatic history. During the month of August, we challenge our members to create a piece of writing or artwork about the Second Age. Need inspiration? Check out one of the many Second Age-based works already on our archive!

In 2009, we put together a special Akallabêth in August collection. Read the 2009 Akallabêth in August collection here.

Each year, we publish a list of Second Age stories, poems, and essays appearing on our archive. If you've archived a Second Age story and it's missing from the list, please let us know at, and we will correct the list. Read the list of Second Age stories in our Akallabêth in August section below.

New Section in "Around the World and Web"!

For a few years now, we have posted announcements from groups outside of the SWG in our Around the World and Web section. We've decided to expand Around the World and Web! We will now be featuring a section on articles of interest, to share news, articles, discussions, and posts from the Tolkien and fandom communities that might be of interest to SWG members.

We encourage our members to help us hunt down articles worth a look. If you find--or write--an article or blog/journal post about a topic relevant to the Tolkien and Tolkien fandom communities, please drop us a line at to let us know. We'll link to your post in our next newsletter! Check out our first month's articles here.

Welcome to Our New Members!

During the month of July we’ve have several new members joining our archive. They are Autumnsdreams, Arnbjorn , GloryBee, just_jenni, Tirlalaith FantasyComedian and Vidar9. To all of you, a warm welcome to the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild!

To make yourselves comfortable, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, why not tell us a little about your interest in The Silmarillion and maybe other facts on yourself by updating your bio? And if at any time you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Leaves before the Wind by Dawn Felagund [Adult] (2438 words)
Summary: Following the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the sons of Fëanor wandered in the woods of Ossiriand. Maglor and Maedhros travel together, recovering from their physical wounds and slowly succumbing to their emotional ones. Maedhros/Fingon. Dark.

Small Eccentricities by Michiru [General] (2021 words)
Summary: A letter from one twin to another is recovered from Beleriand before its destruction.

To Move a Star by Kimberleighe [Teens] (2012 words)
Summary: A brief glimpse into the moments before Gil-galad's combat with Sauron. .

Works in Progress

Bits of Elven Glass by Himring [General]
Summary: This is an attempt to weave the different accounts of the making and the history of the Elessar into a coherent narrative.
Chapters added this month: Prologue and Interlude.

Like a Shadow of Shifting Silver by Kimberleighe [Teens]
Summary: The backstory to Waiting for the Thunder. A story of Anairë and Fingolfin.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 7: Alqualondë and Audacity.

Strands of Gold by Maglor Makalaure [General]
Summary: Fingon's early life in Valinor. Drabbles.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.

Sylvanlight, Book I by slflew [Teens]
Summary: What if Feanor's accusations to the Valar were correct? What if everything you hoped for was a lie? Valinor is not the paradise expected to be; Earendil's star has fallen - is it the beginning of Dagor Dagorath? In Sylvanlight the stories of the Silmarillion are turned over and inside out, mysteries and dark intent surfacing if one simple fact is truth.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 23.

The Line of Kings by Michiru [Teens]
Summary: Exploring the lives of the Noldorin princes who would eventually produce the final king of the Noldor in Middle-earth.
Chapters added this month: One Last Meeting, Fate Decided and Fruition.

Short Works

Nothing To Forgive by oshun [General] (838 words)
Summary: This was inspired by Jenny Dolfen’s lovely painting of Nerdanel and Maedhros called “Forgiveness.” The artist and I interpret the canon slightly differently. I call mine “Nothing To Forgive.”

The First Time by Silver Trails [Teens] (470 words)
Summary: Oropher and Amdir's first time.

The Sleep of Reason by Michiru [General] (797 words)
Summary: After the Prophecy in the North, before the creation of the Sun and Moon, Námo visits Irmo’s gardens. Because sometimes even the wisest turn to the lesser.

Unrequited by Michiru [General] (100 words)
Summary: Ingwë dreams of what he knows he cannot have.


Two Epitaphs by Himring [Teens] (14 words)
Summary: Two short poems--one about the death of Morwen, wife of Hurin, the other about the death of Rian, wife of Huor. The two were cousins; exiles from Dorthonion, they both saw their new life in Dor-lomin destroyed by the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, in different ways, with different consequences.

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Akallabêth in August

Second Age Writing Archived on the SWG

We know that our Second Age writers sometimes fall in the shadow of the more popular First Age and Years of the Trees. Because of that, we like to devote the month of August to stories set in the Second Age. Of course, we encourage our members to try their hands at Second Age stories, even if they've never written about the Second Age before. But we also like to honor the existing Second Age stories on our archive and hope that readers will consider checking out a few of them! All links go to the story's table of contents, where you can learn more details about genre, ratings, and characters.

We try to do our best to assure that all Second Age work makes it onto the list, but in the midst of sorting through more than 1,300 stories, sometimes a few get left off. If you see a story that's missing from the list, please contact us and we'll add it! Stories marked with an asterisk were added or updated within the last year.

*A Plain, Simple Love Story by Keiliss
The king and the archivist. Respect, friendship, misunderstanding, making up - all the good things that build a forever kind of love..

Admission by SurgicalSteel
Zamîn and Nemir (two of my OCs) meet after the Last Alliance and discuss their losses.

Alliance by SurgicalSteel
Míriel considers her options to avert civil war in Númenor as she prepares for her father's funeral.

All Else Lost by Keiliss
In a changed world there was one thing that remained untouched by time or distance.

All Our Yesterdays by Keiliss
The Last Day.

Anadûnai by darthfingon
163 years after their parting in Middle-earth, Elrond travels to Númenor to see his brother again.

The angel that came from the West by ford_of_bruinen
A poem about the elven smiths of Eregion and the making of the Dwarf rings.

The Apprentice by pandemonium_213
An ambitious young Noldorin man of Ost-in-Edhil lands a coveted appointment as an apprentice to the most skilled master smith of the Gwaith-i-Mirdain: Istyar Aulendil. The apprentice's mentor, a prodigy of the Aulënossë, has been sent to Middle-earth by the Valar and has knowledge of exotic and wondrous technology. Istyar Aulendil also has notoriously high standards. The apprentice must meet his mentor's expectations if he is to become a journeyman and work on an important new initiative.

*The Army of the North by darthfingon
The armies of the Last Alliance gather in Rivendell to prepare for their assault on Mordor. Elrond worries, Oropher weasels, and nothing goes according to plan.

The Axes of a Soul by wind rider
The last survivor of the drowning Númenor reflects on herself, her life and her decisions as she struggles to avoid certain death. What will she get in the end? Does she dare to face it like the proud daughter of the Island that she is?

The Ban of the Valar by Fiondil
The Valar meet to discuss how to prevent the Númenóreans from seeking the Undying Lands.

The Beginning by oshun
Extended drabble on the theme of Elrond and Gil-galad.

Bedtime Tales of the Sun by Dawn Felagund
A young daughter in the House of Anárion asks how the world came to be rounded.

*Broken by Keiliss
Maglor has his sources.

Broken Star by pandemonium_213
Sauron's last request of Celebrimbor. A double drabble epilogue of sorts to Cat's Paws.

Brothers by Dawn Felagund
Two brothers face their father's death and the differences that have arisen between them, for one is of the King's Men and the other of the Elf-friends.

*Burning Bright: The Road by Keiliss
The outbreak of war in Eregion and the hiding of the rings of power as experienced by a musician, a lord with an agenda set beyond the sea, an exiled Noldorin princess and an elf with an uneasy conscience. Cameos by Durin the Deathless, Ereinion Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, and Annatar the Giver of not always welcome Gifts...

Cat's Paws by pandemonium_213
Tyelperinquar/Tyelpo (Celebrimbor) and Aulendil (Annatar/Sauron) discuss brotherhood and the secret of the deep arts on an early summer evening in Ost-in-Edhil.

Chasing Mirages by Russandol
A tale of darkness, light, love and betrayal over the Ages of Eä.

"When Thangorodrim was broken and Morgoth overthrown, Sauron put on his fair hue again and did obeisance to Eönwë the herald of Manwë, and abjured all his evil deeds. And some hold that this was not at first falsely done, but that Sauron in truth repented, if only out of fear..." This is the story of Eönwë, Maia of Manwë, and Mairon Aulendil after the War of Wrath.

The Choice by Ithilwen
A conversation between a pair of brothers, reflecting on the choices they've made in their lives. Takes place near the beginning of the Second Age.

Chronicles of the Fifth Voyage of the Númerrámar: The Loremaster Arrives by pandemonium_213
Before he became Tar-Aldarion, Anardil, Tar-Meneldur's heir, sailed far and wide on the great ship, the Númerrámar. Before Captain Anardil embarks on his seven year voyage, a young loremaster writes to him, eager to accompany captain and crew in search of strange flora and fauna. In letters exchanged prior to the voyage, Captain Anardil discovers that the loremaster has some unusual ideas.

Coda by Marta
After the fall of Numenor, Nienna ponders the nature of loss. (Also featuring Pengolodh.)

The Consuming Darkness by Isil Elensar
It is written that Tar-Miriel was too late to reach the supposed safety of the Meneltarma when Numenor sank into the sea. But why was she late? What was so important that she would risk her life, knowing she would not survive?

Cultural Differences by Keiliss
Cultural differences, a young king, an arrogant Maia, and rather too much wine.

The Day the Numenoreans Left by Aiwen
Pharazôn and Amandil's diplomatic mission to Middle-earth may do more harm than good ...

The Death of a Star by Encairion
Isildur got a little too much credit for Sauron's defeat. A look at Dagorlad from Gil-galad's POV.

Defiance by Marta
Of all the Valar, Ulmo arguably knew the Numenoreans best and it was his waves that were used in their destruction. What must he have thought about the Akallabeth?

The Departure by Keiliss
Departure, to be followed by a return.

Downfallen by pandemonium 213
Sauron recounts the first human sacrifice in the temple of Armenelos.

The Eastern Sea (III) by Gadira
Part III of the Númenor Seas series, for the Sea Voyage challenge. Yehimelkor, the last High Priest of Melkor, stares at the sea thar robbed him of a loved one and bears his fate proudly.

*Elegy for Númenor - Volume 1: Journey to Umbar by elfscribe
Chronicles the last days of Númenor from the time Sauron "surrenders" to Ar-Pharazôn to the fall of the empire.

*The Elendilmir by pandemonium_213
A young child of Men befriends Sámaril, the troubled master smith of Imladris. The Noldorin craftsman experiences the joy and pain born of friendships between the Eldar and mortal Men and comes to question his people’s values as his life becomes entwined with Isildur’s youngest son and two powerful women of the Dúnedain. A sequel to The Apprentice.

Elfstone by Gandalfs apprentice
Celebrimbor creates the Elessar.

The Embalmer's Apprentice by Lyra
Faced with the choice between execution or working on the preservation of dead people, young Azruhâr finds himself drawn into the increasingly political struggle between progress and tradition, science and superstition.

Eönwë Among the Edain by Fiondil
Eönwë has been chosen to teach the Edain who will go to Númenor what they need to know to succeed in their new life, but he’s not too happy about the assignment.

Even Quicker Than Doubt by Keiliss
Set in the weeks before Elros departs for Númenor, Doubt explores the reason the twins chose different paths, Elrond’s emotional coming of age, the evolving relationship between Gil-galad and Glorfindel, and the reborn Elf’s adjustment to his new life in Second Age Lindon.

Everlasting Darkness by Cirdan
A depressing tale. Celebrimbor ponders his life just before Sauron begins his attack on Eregion.

Every Wish by Independence1776
Mestië, a Faithful commoner, prepares for her wedding while dealing with Ar-Gimilzôr’s new laws forbidding the speaking of Elvish.

Factions by Marta
Isildur's theft of the fruit of the White Tree, from a different perspective.

Falling Stars by Independence1776
Mestië and Alagos suffer the consequences of breaking Ar-Gimilzôr’s laws. Dark.

*Fall of Sauron by xxxVilda
Sauron the bad guy was good in the end, wasn't he? A take on Sauron's kin's feelings about his fall.

The Far Side of the World by SurgicalSteel
During the reign of Tar-Ancalime, a group of Numenorean mariners find something that surprises and alarms them in their explorations.

Finrod's Rematch by Cirdan
Finrod shows up and challenges Sauron to a very different kind of rematch at the end of the Second Age.

Fire and Smoke by Marta
"Thereafter the fire and smoke went up without ceasing; for the power of Sauron daily increased, and in that temple, with spilling of blood and torment and great wickedness, men made sacrifice to Melkor." (Akallabeth)

Five Things That Never Happened to Sauron by Russandol
Five short scenes with a twist, in five different locations. Each of them harder to write than the previous one!

Folly by SurgicalSteel
Could the downfall of Númenor have been prevented had the Valar acted differently?

Footnote to the Akallabeth by clotho123
The results of the Downfall, from the point of view of the Noldor in Aman. Semi-serious.

*The Forging of the Ring by Uvatha the Horseman
Sauron forges the Ring

Forsaken Knowledge by Rhapsody
In order to finish one of his greatest achievements, Celebrimbor applies a skill he considered forgotten.

A Fragile Chalice by pandemonium_213
In spite of weariness and stress, Tyelperinquar (a.k.a. Celebrimbor) hosts a gathering in his home: a supper followed by what we might call a salon for the elite of Ost-in-Edhil. Musicians, rival poets, and lively conversation among the guests, which includes Erestor, the visiting emissary from Gil-galad's realm, provide the evening's entertainment. An elven poetry slam causes Tyelpo to become immersed in deep memories -- some poignant, some painful, and one dark and strange yet vaguely familiar.

*Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty by Gadira
The History of the Downfall, from Ar-Sakalthôr´s accession to Ar-Pharazôn´s Armada.

*A Game of Chess by Uvatha the Horseman
Sauron went to Umbar wearing the Ring, not expecting to be captured and taken to Númenor. How did the Ring get back to Barad-dûr?

A Game of Risk by Lyra
Isildur said no word, but went out by night and did a deed for which he was afterwards renowned.

Isildur discovers that heroic deeds are not nearly as simple as the poets make it sound.

The Hidden Lady by Rhapsody
Many scribes and bards have claimed that the Valar spared Elendil and his sons, but what is fact and what is myth?

A high-king on his death. by ford_of_bruinen
Gil-Galad after his death...

His Own Dark Designs by Independence1776
Ar-Pharazôn begins to worship Morgoth. Drabble.

*Hospitality by Russandol
A man with a perilous mission arrives at the shores of Númenor, where he meets two strangers. A (most likely AU) crossover between my own Chasing Mirages and elfscribe's novel Elegy for Númenor.

Hostage by SurgicalSteel
Ar-Pharazon takes Sauron as a hostage for the good behavior of his people.

How the East Was Won by pandemonium_213
During the earliest years of the Second Age, Melkor’s great lieutenant puts the destruction of Beleriand behind him and travels to the East...with a plan.

Into Exile by Aiwen
Elendil's arrival in Middle Earth, and his first meeting with the Elves.

Into This Wild Abyss by pandemonium_213
A series of contributions for Akallabêth in August 2009 in response to the following prompts: 1) Sauron fortifies Mordor; 2) Sauron begins to afflict Númenórean settlements to the south; 3) Sauron convinces Ar-Pharazôn to break the Ban of the Valar; 4) storms from the West strike Númenor; and 5) Sauron returns to Middle-earth.

The Jinn by pandemonium_213
While leading his tribe into the deep desert to escape the inevitable war between the Zigûr and the Sea-kings, Sharif finds a woman -- injured and unconscious -- among the rocks. He discovers this is not a mortal woman, but one of the pale-skinned immortal demons of the north. He is ready to kill her, but the tribe's priestess stays his hand, warning him that slaying the jinn would bring terrible misfortune to his tribe. His wives care for the jinn, who recovers and aids the tribe as they journey to the East in search of a mysterious land where they hope to find sanctuary, the jinn no less than Sharif and his tribe as she flees from the Zigûr.

Landfall by Keiliss

The Land of Gift by Gadira
On the final fate of Tuor and Idril, and the roots of certain important events of the Second Age.

Last Alliance by Isil Elensar
For a few moments in time, a soldier in the Last Alliance remembers the woman he left behind.

The last farewell of you and me by ford_of_bruinen
Elrond's and Elros' last meeting.

The Last Queen by Gadira
The cliché setting for the Downfall of Númenor... or maybe not so much?

*The Last Temptation (Rewritten) by Fireworks
Sauron has been taken prisoner by Pharazôn but nurtures an ever-growing influence. In the midst of a Númenor increasingly divided, a young Anárion works quietly after rebellion, discovering both love and betrayal in its midst.

*Lending a Hand - Redux by Erulisse
I wanted this to be sharper and to explain Isildur's feelings towards the elves with greater clarity. So I refined this a bit more. This is what I came up with. What thoughts are passing through Isildur’s mind after his defeat of Sauron? A bit of gallows humor in response to the prompt “lend”.

*Lesion by pandemonium_213
Something is rotten within the heartwood of Nimloth.

A Little More Conversation by Keiliss
A story told through letters of the friendship that grows between Glorfindel, sent to take charge of the newly-discovered valley of Imladris, and Erestor, an assistant to one of Gil-galad's military advisors.

A Lonely Bride by Alquawende
Erendis regrets her actions toward her husband and daughter.

*Lord of Gifts by lindahoyland
Sauron has plans for the future.

The Man Who Grew Tomatoes by pandemonium_213
Navin, a young boy living in a mystical land in the East of Middle-earth, a civilization as rich in lore and magic as any in the West, visits family friends while his mother prepares to give birth to a new sister or brother. There in the hills, Navin helps his elderly friend in his garden and later, his friend -- a man from a distant land now gone -- tells Navin the story of how tomatoes came to Bharat.

Many Hands by Russandol
The story of a mighty weapon and heirloom, spanning the younger ages of the world.

The Mariner's Wife by Odinsbard
The lament of Erendis, after Aldarion Prince of Numenor rideth hence from Erendis' country-home when returning from a long journey; and she realises what hath truly become of life. It is written in 1st person as Erendis speaking and thus neither of their names are actually mentioned.

Written in alliterative verse, after the style of the ancient Anglo-Saxon metres...

Mavoinë by Fiondil
On a lonely hill overlooking Andúnië, an Elf watches his mortal friend build a tower and is filled with grave misgivings as to its purpose.

The Men Who Would Be Kings by SurgicalSteel
In the late Second Age, a merchant from Belfalas comes to an agreement with new arrivals from downfallen Numenor.

Midwinter Sweetness by ford_of_bruinen
These are two different stories, the first one was a Christmas tale for Christmas 2004 and retells the Christmas Story in a Second Age setting.

A Mighty Bridge Invisible by Noliel
A mariner finds himself, alone, on the Old Road to the West.

Moon of the Sea by pandemonium_213
There are any number of unnamed women in Tolkien's canon who surely played important roles behind the scenes. One of these women is Elendil's wife, the mother of Isildur and Anárion. She figures as a supporting character in my WIP, The Elendilmir, but this strong woman is taking on a life of her own. So, to keep the bunnies from gnawing my ankles raw, I have been writing ficlets about Isilmë, some of which may blossom into full-fledged stories in the future.

Never Look Back by Independence1776
Elrond has difficulty coming to terms with Elros' choice and their impending seperation.

*The Night the Sea Came In by Keiliss
After Beleriand is broken and drowned, the elves on Balar have little choice but to set out in search of a safe haven. Prophecy by Galadriel, leadership by Gil-galad and Cirdan, music by Lindir, off-screen lunacy by Erestor and Gildor.

The Northern Sea (I) by Gadira
Vignette based on Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty. Alissha, entombed in her prison, surrenders to desperation.

No title yet. by ladyoflight
Written to cheer up JDav/JDE who is going through a tough time in RL. Pairing: Gil-Galad/Elrond.

*Oath Renewed by Inglor
Narsil was 3000 years old before it came to Elendil, how did he get it?

*Of Anbor And Azruphel by gamil-zirak
A tale of romance between a wild man of Middle earth and a lady of Numenor, told with the epic backdrop of the last 2 years of Numenor. A study in the politics and relations of the time. Hope you enjoy it!

Of Numenor That Was by Marta
The story of the last sacrifice offered to Morgoth by Numenor, told in four true drabbles from the perspectives of four OCs.

Of Sauron and the Lesser Rings by Anlashaq
To an old Friend.

One more minute by ford_of_bruinen
Another poem about Gil-Galad following his death.

Ossë's Gift by elfscribe
Glorfindel and Erestor's sea voyage from Umbar to Lindon is filled with intrigue and suppressed yearnings.

Penance by SurgicalSteel
Written in honor of Pandemonium's birthday - during the siege of Barad-dur, a surgeon deals with illness and injury from the various forces in place.

The People of Akallabeth by Hamfast Gamgee
A tale set at time of the end of Numenor, involving original characters, Amandil, Elendil, some Elves a bit of angst and some of my own ideas thrown in, and a bit of poetry!

Pivot Point by Aiwen
Celebrimbor and Annatar meet for the first time.

The Promised Land by Rhapsody
Isildur and Anárion standing on the bow, hoping what good will come after the destruction of Númenor.

Pyrrhic Wedding by Himring
The future of her ladies-in-waiting becomes a counter in the marital conflict between Tar-Ancalime and her estranged husband Hallacar. Hallacar shames Tar-Ancalime into permitting them to marry. We are allowed to assume that they all were unreservedly grateful for this opportunity. But were they?

Reborn by Gadira
A conversation that will change the fate of Númenor forever. Written for B2MEM Day 14, "Armenelos", on the subject of religion. Based on my Full of Wisdom verse, though it can be read on its own.

Rings of Pride; Rings of Ruin by Aiwen
Celebrimbor discovers that Annatar has betrayed them all, and has to take responsibility for the situation before total disaster can result.

Rising by Dawn Felagund
Tar-Míriel's final ascent to the Meneltarma. A "dribble" poem.

Risk Assessment by pandemonium_213
Noldorin journeymen and masters of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain discuss the secrets of lembas with a Sindarin apprentice to the Yavannildi.

Sacrifice by SurgicalSteel
Not everyone involved with the sacrifices at Armenelos were believers.

The Sea and King Meet in Treachery by Adonnen Estenniel
'Tis treachery, they told Ar-Pharazôn, 'tis foolish pride. Perhaps it was, perhaps. But still he set his course for the West.

Seek the Horizon, Númenor's Sons by Dawn Felagund
"Above all arts they nourished shipbuilding and sea-craft, and they became mariners whose like shall never be again since the world was diminished; and voyaging upon the wide seas was the chief feat and adventure of their hardy men in the gallant days of their youth"--a Númenórean mariners' chant.

Shards of Courage by Alassante
A squire is trusted with an heirloom of the king but at what cost to his honor?

Stars of Heaven's Dome by Cirdan
At the end of the Second Age, Elrond meets this long lost uncles, Elured and Elurin. They accompany him to see Oropher of Greenwood then decide to join in the War against Sauron.

Spaces of the Heart by Keiliss
Glorfindel's first meeting with Idril's grandson.

Small Expectations by Noliel
On the eve of the Numenorean-landing at the shores of Aman, Mahtan comes to see Nerdanel in her home by the coast to persuade her to come with him to Valimar.

Stones of Seeing 1. Vardamir Nólimon by Clotho 123
At the end of his reign Elros receives a visitor. How the palantíri came into Númenor.

Stones of Seeing 2. Tar Míriel by Clotho 123
Second in a trilogy telling the history of the palantiri. In the dying days of Númenor the stones come into the keeping of Elendil's line.

A Struggle with Darkness by Fireworks
Construction has begun on Sauron's temple in Armenelos, but strange, dark afflictions are plaguing those who go near ...

Survivors of the Downfall by SurgicalSteel
Sailors from Umbar realize that Numenor is no more.

*The Temptation of Knowledge by Erulisse
In response to the prompt “borrow”, what did Celebrimbor think about when he was facing Annatar for the first time? Did he think he was borrowing trouble?

Tenn' Ambar-Metta by Fiondil
Elrond receives a final letter from his brother.

This Distant Shore by Rasksha the Demon
When much is lost, there still remains much to do. A Thanksgiving-inspired look at some special immigrants in the late Second Age.

Through Darkness Unescapable by Valiniel
The Alkallabeth was written as a history, but histories rarely reveal the whole truth. What was the truth behind the life of Tar Miriel, last queen of Numenor?

Till Fire Purge All Things New by Pandemonium_213
Sauron has a moment of doubt in the Sammath Naur.

Time of Trial by Lyra
Sauron has become Ar-Pharazôn's most trusted advisor, but it is not an easy job even for a cunning Maia. An unknown intruder in the palace gardens, however, enables him to set some of his more ambitious plans in motion...

A Time to Heal by clotho123
At the beginning of the Second Age Gil-galad must decide what to do about the surviving Feanorian followers. Can the Noldor be reconciled?

Torn asunder by Rhapsody
What were Mithrellas thoughts on the eve when she left her family behind on Middle Earth?

To Stand Fast Against the Night by Fiondil
Tar-Palantir makes a decision upon receiving the Sceptre of Númenor, a decision that does not meet with universal approval.

Touch of a Vanished Hand by elfscribe
When Elendil and his group of Númenóreans wash up on Lindon's shores, Elrond's past comes back to haunt him.

To Ward Winter's Chill by elfscribe
Sometimes it takes more than one night of passion to start a relationship on a sound footing. (Glorfindel/Erestor) Sequel to Osse's Gift.

True Gift by Tarion Anarore
An old, old Celebrimbor drabble, written once upon a time ago for the HASA Word of the Day challenge.

Volcano by SurgicalSteel
Late Second Age. Ar-Zimraphel struggles up the mountain.

Character death.

War Children by Fireworks
While the Númenóreans live in the height of their pride and folly, they leave darkness and ruin in their wake. A young woman in Middle-earth struggles with this legacy.

The Western Sea (II) by Gadira
Second fic in my arc about a certain Númenórean family of notorious traitors. This time I give you Melkorbazer, a character who also gets mentioned in my fic Full of Wisdom.

The Wisdom of Isildur by Marnie
After Gil-Galad's death, Elrond and Celeborn talk power, allegiances and rings.

Woolgathering by pandemonium_213
In the waning years of Tar-Palantír's reign, a young woman of the Númenórean nobility and a shepherdess of Hyarastorni find pleasure in one another's company. They know that they must guard the nature of their relationship, but Elerína recalls what her grandmother told her of a great queen who loved a woman.

The Wrong Way to the Indies by Fireworks
After a world-changing discovery, a young cartographer in Middle-earth struggles with what he has to tell the world.

"Zimraphel" and "I who loved her" by Noliel and Dawn Felagund
Tar-Miriel faces the wave that will drown Númenor while, in the midst of the forbidden realm of Valinor, Ar-Pharazôn is granted sudden awareness of her fate.

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Character of the Month Biography

Erendis, the Mariner's Wife


As part of the annual Akallabêth in August1 celebration of Tolkien’s creation of the mythical realm of Númenor and its shocking demise and destruction, it seems appropriate to write a biography of Erendis a Númenórean woman of great determination.

Erendis was born in Andustar, the northwest province of Númenor, to Beregar and Núneth. Her parents appear to have been common people, descendants of the House of Bëor. Sindarin, the language of Andustar, was “. . . spoken by high and low. In that tongue Erendis was nurtured . . . .”2 The large promontory on the west side of the island where Erendis was born was “largely settled by people of ‘Bëorian’ descent; and the People of Bëor had in Beleriand early abandoned their own speech and adopted Sindarin.”3 It is noteworthy that Andustar is also the home province of the Lords of Andúnië who later in the Second Age became leaders of the Elendili, or Elf-friends, who remained loyal to the Eldar and the Valar under the rush to destruction engendered by Sauron.

Erendis is never mentioned in The Silmarillion proper, although her husband and her only daughter are referred to there. Her tale, told in its entirety in The Mariner’s Wife,4 however, provides important additional details to the account of deeds of the great sea-kings of Númenor. As a woman and the wife of the sixth ruler of Númenor, Tar-Aldarion, Erendis rivals the most significant women in Tolkien’s legendarium in forcefulness of personality and certainly in sheer number of words expended upon her behalf. Her names include Tar-Elestirnë 'Lady of the Star-brow' which refers to the large diamond which Aldarion had gifted her at their betrothal and which she fashioned into a diadem to wear upon her brow. She is also called the White Lady of Emerië, after the inland settlement of grasslands where she retired with her young daughter, when Aldarion left her to return to the sea. The Lady of the Westlands is an honorific and not a formal title that refers to her northwestern origins, far from the court at Armenelos.5

Her husband Aldarion was to become one of the first of the long line of Númenórean nobles and kings who turned to the sea to the east of them to seek adventure and expansion.

[Aldarion] was a great mariner and ship-builder; and himself sailed often to Middle-earth, where he became the friend and counsellor of Gil-galad. Owing to his long absences abroad his wife Erendis became angered, and they separated in the year 882. His only child was a daughter, very beautiful, Ancalimë. In her favour Aldarion altered the law of succession, so that the (eldest) daughter of a King should succeed, if he had no sons.6

Erendis’s daughter Tar-Ancalimë succeeded her father Tar-Aldarion as the first ruling queen of Númenor and played an important role in the history of Middle-earth in her own right. The story of Erendis herself is a tragic romance filled with passion and intensity and yet any fairytale happy ending is threatened from the onset by circumstances and the implacable wills of the lovers. The tale of Aldarion and Erendis, or The Mariner’s Wife,7 remains incomplete despite its length and detail, like so much of Tolkien’s significant work on the history of his world. The main body of the story is well-crafted and has a polished quality to it. The series of notes, collected by Christopher Tolkien and added to that, would indicate that, had his father completed the tale, it would have been at least another third longer.

The Mariner’s Wife as it was first called, however, provides information contained nowhere else concerning, among other things, one the first and arguably the greatest of the sea-kings of Númenor to master the ocean between Númenor and Middle-earth and to thoroughly explore his own coastline. The expression sea-king has a lovely epic quality to it and is used prominently to great effect in the description of Aragorn at his coronation, comparing him in stature and bearing to the those great sailors and explorers of Númenor who returned from the West and played a significant part in the history of the Second Age and well into the Third.

Tall as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him.8

Erendis’ husband Aldarion is presented as the pioneer among those intrepid sailors.

Among Tolkien’s infrequent romances, the story of Erendis is of the marriage a beautiful young woman of lesser status to a highly born prince, in this case, heir of the throne and of the royal line of Elros--a much-used theme in fairytale romance. But this is no fairytale, containing just enough realism, despite the magical setting, to endear the protagonists to the reader. Erendis and Aldarion are both beautiful but too independent and strong-willed to earn themselves classic denouement.

Aldarion, for so he is called in all tales, grew swiftly to a man of great stature, strong and vigorous in mind and body, golden-haired as his mother, ready to mirth and generous, but prouder than his father and ever more bent on his own will. From the first he loved the Sea, and his mind was turned to the craft of ship-building.9

His future wife is exotic and fascinating to him, being darker than the descendants of Elros and apparently different in aspect and manner from the women he is accustomed to seeing around the court in Armenelos.

To the feasting in Armenelos came one Beregar from his dwelling in the west of the Isle, and with him came Erendis his daughter. There Almarian the Queen observed her beauty, of a kind seldom seen in Númenor; for Beregar came of the House of Bëor by ancient descent, though not of the royal line of Elros, and Erendis was dark-haired and of slender grace, with the clear grey eyes of her kin.10

So the son of the King of Númenor, of golden locks and impeccable bloodline, attracts a beautiful, but darker, womanof a lesser house of the Edain. But the House of Bëor is an ancient one and of great historic significance: not only are they said to be the first of the Edain to enter into Beleriand, but they are the people to whom Finrod Felagund first revealed himself.

Felagund dwelt among them and taught them true knowledge, and they loved him, and took him for their lord, and were ever after loyal to the house of Finarfin.11

The attachment and loyalty of the House of Bëor to Elvenkind does not only last through the First Age in Middle-earth, but has an historic effect upon the future politics of the island of Númenor and well beyond its demise.

Direct descent from Elros presumes the presence of Eldarin and Maiarin traits, although greatly diluted over time, and the gift of far greater longevity that was granted to Elros and his descendants when he agreed to accept mortality and act as a king of the Edain in the new land to the West of Middle-earth. But Erendis’ line is illustrious in its own way, although her father is not noble by Númenórean standards.

‘The Men of that House [i.e. of Bëor] were dark or brown of hair, with grey eyes.’ According to a genealogical table of the House of Bëor, Erendis was descended from Bereth,12 who was the sister of Baragund and Belegund, and thus the aunt of Morwen mother of Túrin Turambar and of Rían the mother of Tuor.13

Erendis is famous for her beauty, as is another woman of the House of Bëor in the tale of The Children of Húrin. The beauty of Morwen, the wife of Húrin, is compared to that of the Eldar while Erendis is compared to Morwen: “[n]one were more fair than Erendis, and they said that her eyes were bright as were the eyes of Morwen Eledhwen of old.”14

There are, however, other differences of far greater significance than superficial differences of status or dissimilarity of physical type. Erendis is remarkably strong-willed. Perhaps this demeanor and attitude distinguishes her from many gentle women of higher birth Aldarion might have known in his youth. The implication is that she was not raised to sublimate her desires to those of a man nor is she entirely at ease in a courtly setting.

Aldarion’s duty as his father’s heir is difficult to reconcile with his consuming passion for seafaring before he meets and falls in love with Erendis. His obsession with ships and long-distance voyages becomes a principle point of friction between him and his father. Long before he is first drawn to Erendis, Aldarion’s desire to leave the island on years-long voyages brings dissonance to his relationship with his father. His desire to sail, explore, and concentrate on building a fleet of bigger and better ships, rather than devoting himself to issues of governance within the island and preparing himself to take on the responsibilities of the heir to the Sceptre of Númenor, is to cause repeated breaches with his father.

Erendis is attracted to the handsome prince, despite the fact that her interests and affinities are land-bound. Neither does she have any particular affinity for the courtly life of Armenelos. Thus, the seeds of the differences which would lead to the estrangement of Erendis and her future husband are planted early in the account of their first signs of mutual interest.

No woman will ever be able to compete with Aldarion’s love of the sea. Neither his father’s wishes nor the Scepter of Númenor itself overcomes his sea longing, which is viscerally described as bordering upon illness throughout their story. Tolkien expresses his reaction to remaining upon the land for extended periods of time more gently near the beginning of the tale when he writes of Aldarion’s return from his first voyage to Middle-earth.

For Aldarion had become enamoured of the Great Sea, and of a ship riding there alone without sight of land, borne by the winds with foam at its throat to coasts and havens unguessed; and that love and desire never left him until his life’s end.15

Of course, what is an epic fantasy romance without the element of love at first sight? It is Erendis who first sees and falls in love with Aldarion.

But Erendis looked upon Aldarion as he rode by, and for his beauty and splendour of bearing she had eyes for little else. Thereafter Erendis entered the household of the Queen, and found favour also with the King; but little did she see of Aldarion, who busied himself in the tending of the forests, being concerned that in days to come timber should not lack in Númenor. Ere long the mariners of the Guild of Venturers became restless, for they were ill content to voyage more briefly and more rarely under lesser commanders; and when six years had passed since the proclamation of the King’s Heir Aldarion determined to sail again to Middle-earth. Of the King he got but grudging leave, for he refused his father’s urging that he abide in Númenor and seek a wife; and he set sail in the spring of the year. But coming to bid farewell to his mother he saw Erendis amid the Queen’s company; and looking on her beauty he divined the strength that lay concealed in her.16

And so the actors take to the stage and the scene is set for the unraveling of what is perhaps the most novelistic in detail of Tolkien’s tales of love.

The author achieves in this tale the tonal quality of an age passed already into memory, and yet he still reveals vibrant and believable characters whom the reader perceives as wholly human, fallible but sympathetic. This quality of relatability is one that Tolkien sometimes misses in the earlier tales written in The Silmarillion, which are often composed in a lofty, epic style that perhaps adds grandeur but also distances the reader.

In Aldarion and Erendis, one is treated to long introspective reflections of these lovers one upon the other and their concerns relating to the possible outcome of their relationship. Dialogue between them allows the reader to look further into the hearts and minds of the couple.

Riding one day in the forests of the Westlands he saw a woman, whose dark hair flowed in the wind, and about her was a green cloak clasped at the throat with a bright jewel; and he took her for one of the Eldar, who came at times to those parts of the Island. But she approached, and he knew her for Erendis, and saw that the jewel was the one that he had given her; then suddenly he knew in himself the love that he bore her, and he felt the emptiness of his days.

Erendis seeing him turned pale and would ride off, but he was too quick, and he said: ‘Too well have I deserved that you should flee from me, who have fled so often and so far! But forgive me, and stay now.’

They rode then together to the house of Beregar her father, and there Aldarion made plain his desire for betrothal to Erendis; but now Erendis was reluctant, though according to custom and the life of her people it was now full time for her marriage. Her love for him was not lessened, nor did she retreat out of guile; but she feared now in her heart that in the war between herself and the Sea for the keeping of Aldarion she would not conquer.

Never would Erendis take less, that she might not lose all; and fearing the Sea, and begrudging to all ships the felling of trees which she loved, she determined that she must utterly defeat the Sea and the ships, or else be herself defeated utterly.17

When Aldarion finally asks Erendis to marry him, she finds, after loving and desiring him for so many years, that she has grown uncertain of the wisdom of their union.

‘I will not share my husband with the Lady Uinen,’ said Erendis.

‘That is a twisted saying,’ said Aldarion. ‘As well might I say that I would not share my wife with the Lord Oromë of Forests, because she loves trees that grow wild.’

‘Indeed you would not,’ said Erendis; ‘for you would fell any wood as a gift to Uinen, if you had a mind.’18

She recognizes their depth of their differences: he loves the sea and she loves the land and its forests. She wishes to show him things about the country he will someday rule that he does not know, to instill in him a love of the land and its people which, according to her judgment, he understands but shallowly.

‘I have journeyed with you by ship, lord. Before I give you my answer, will you not journey with me ashore, to the places that I love? You know too little of this land, for one who shall be its King.’

Therefore they departed together, and came to Emerië, where were rolling downs of grass, and it was the chief place of sheep pasturage in Númenor; and they saw the white houses of the farmers and shepherds, and heard the bleating of the flocks.

There Erendis spoke to Aldarion and said: ‘Here could I be at ease!’

‘You shall dwell where you will, as wife of the King’s Heir,’ said Aldarion. ‘And as Queen in many fair houses, such as you desire.’

‘When you are King, I shall be old,’ said Erendis. ‘Where will the King’s Heir dwell meanwhile?’

‘With his wife,’ said Aldarion, ‘when his labours allow, if she cannot share in them.‘19

They appear for a time to have reached a stalemate in their intimate negotiations.

One might see within Aldarion and Erendis a personification of the dichotomy between the striving to mold, create, explore, and change the world versus the desire to preserve and act as guardians, which is a continuing theme in Tolkien’s works from The Silmarillion through The Lord of the Rings. Aldarion sees a forest and thinks of timber for shipbuilding, while Erendis see the same woods and cannot bear the thought of the loss of a single tree.

Aldarion builds a fleet of bigger and stronger ships and explores the wide world, while Erendis wants only to remain grounded and rooted in the solid earth of her homeland, watching over grazing sheep and protecting the native forests. This is much like the conflict of the building, inventing, and exploring Noldor versus the inward-looking forest-dwelling Sindar or Nandor. It is not entirely dissimilar from the worldly and political Men of Gondor, brave warriors and builders of great cities, armies and fleets, versus the simple rustic and home-centered Hobbits of the Shire.

One may or may not read in the tale of Aldarion and Erendis a prejudice for or against one side or the other. Written much later in Tolkien’s life he seems to be better able to look at both sides of the conflict. He presents with a sense of inevitability the seafaring Númenóreans’ desire to look beyond the confines of one island, however pleasant and perfectly designed for their comfort. One cannot but see, however, that if they had not traveled back to Middle-earth and befriended Elf and Men alike in that far land, they all would have been destroyed along with the island of Númenor. The absence of their support in Gil-galad’s fight against Sauron would have called into question the ultimate survival of Men and Elves in Middle-earth. And yet, the striving of Aldarion in this tale is reminiscent of the inability of the Noldor to dwell content in Aman within the gilded cage of Valar, blessed with every gift except the independence to determine their own fate.

It is the mother of Erendis who gives the clearest explanation of the obduracy of her daughter and her refusal to compromise in order to form a partnership with Aldarion, even after she has loved him for years and clearly won his heart.

‘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.20

Marriages, as often as not, do not fare well in Tolkien’s larger legendarium outside of The Lord of the Rings. Therein we have the stories of Faramir and Éowyn, Aragorn and Arwen, and Sam and Rosie, who all marry and remain together in happiness for the rest of their lives. But within the narratives of The Silmarillion and the volumes of The History of Middle-earth, there are several notable failed marriages, beginning with Finwë. His first marriage is dissolved by the Valar at his request when Míriel Serindë lapses into what appears to be a terminal case of post-partum depression.

After the involvement of the Valar in the dissolution of Finwë’s first marriage, the second one ends unhappily as well. Indis refuses to accompany him when he follows Fëanor into exile in Formenos. The highest princes of the Noldor were not successful in persuading their wives to come with them to Middle-earth. Anairë the wife of Fingolfin stays behind in Valinor, as does Finrod’s betrothed Amarië. Of course, Nerdanel was already estranged from Fëanor before the exodus of the Noldor. Most readers presume that Maglor and Curufin left wives behind them as well, since their names are never mentioned in the accounts of the passage out of Aman into Middle-earth.

These separations are interesting in light of the fact that some ninety percent of the Noldor left Valinor within the ranks of Fëanor or Fingolfin. Other failed marriages in The Silmarillion include Túrin with his unfortunate marriage to his sister Nienor. The separation of Aredhel and Eöl could be seen as the first stage of the fall of Gondolin. Even the couples who succeed often endure their own unique tortures in order to stay with the ones they love, as in the case of Lúthien, who renounces her nature and quasi-immortality to stay with Beren, and Elwing and Eärendil, who sacrifice their children and anything approaching a normal existence.

Given the long and complicated introduction to the coming together of Aldarion and Erendis, dragging their seemingly irreconcilable differences along with them, not many readers will expect a happy ending for this pair. Tolkien has only a few examples of those and they look nothing like this. After compromises and misunderstandings, delays and reconciliations, Erendis and Aldarion finally marry.

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.21

Interestingly enough, there is a scene actually set in their bedroom. (How many bedroom scenes have you seen in Tolkien that did not involve multiple Hobbits?) They observe the arrival of Elven emissaries to attend their wedding feast in the Westlands.

In the morning before the feast Aldarion gazed out from the window of the bedchamber, which looked west-over-sea. ‘See, Erendis!’ he cried. ‘There is a ship speeding to haven; and it is no ship of Númenor, but one such as neither you nor I shall ever set foot upon, even if we would.’ Then 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.22

After decades (seventy years!) of courtship, separations, and reunions, for a short time the couple live together at peace. After two years Erendis gives birth to their first and only daughter. Then, when their daughter reaches the age of four, the urgency to return to his voyaging on the high seas seizes Aldarion with a vengeance he cannot shake off. Erendis refuses to accept his decision to leave and argues desperately with him about it. In turn, he tries to convince her that he will return in two short years, but she complains that she feels the difference in their life spans greatly, that the time passes more quickly for her. At last he departs in anger and she watches him leave with bitterness.

All that day Erendis sat in her chamber alone, grieving; but deeper in her heart she felt a new pain of cold anger, and her love of Aldarion was wounded to the quick. She hated the Sea; and now even trees, that once she had loved, she desired to look upon no more, for they recalled to her the masts of great ships. Therefore ere long she left Armenelos, and went to Emerië in the midst of the Isle, where ever, far and near, the bleating of sleep was borne upon the wind.

‘Sweeter it is to my ears than the mewing of gulls,’ she said, as she stood at the doors of her white house, the gift of the King; and that was upon a downside, facing west, with great lawns all about that merged without wall or hedge into the pastures. Thither she took Ancalimë, and they were all the company that either had. For Erendis would have only servants in her household, and they were all women; and she sought ever to mould her daughter to her own mind, and to feed her upon her own bitterness against men.23

Should it appear to the casual reader that Tolkien intends us to believe that Erendis is fighting the wrong fight at the wrong time, the following footnote might prove otherwise. Christopher Tolkien points out that Erendis is well within her rights and expectations that Aldarion should delay his next major sea voyage until Ancalimë is older.

It is stated that the Númenóreans, like the Eldar, avoided the begetting of children if they foresaw any separation likely between husband and wife between the conception of the child and at least its very early years. Aldarion stayed in his house for a very brief time after the birth of his daughter, according to the Númenóreans’ idea of the fitness of things.24

By the time that Aldarion returns, years later than the two he had promised, Erendis’ anger has chilled and hardened. His leaving had broken her. He, on the other hand, is angered that she has clearly ceased to wait for his return. Taking his daughter to Armenelos he raises her as his heir, never seeing Erendis again. The relationship of the estranged parents with their daughter is not a happy one either. She becomes also bitter and manipulative, playing one against the other. Erendis is abandoned in her sheep fields, until the very end of her life, when she finally seeks the company of Aldarion again, who is said to be due to shortly return from what is be his final voyage.25

Of Erendis it is said that when old age came upon her, neglected by Ancalimë and in bitter loneliness, she longed once more for Aldarion; and learning that he was gone from Númenor on what proved to be his last voyage but that he was soon expected to return, she left Emerië at last and journeyed unrecognised and unknown to the haven of Rómenna. There, it seems, she met her fate; but only the words "Erendis perished in water in the year 985" remain to suggest how it came to pass.26

Works Cited

  2. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. The Unfinished Tales, The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor from the Founding of the City of Armenelos to the Downfall.
  7. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  8. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King."
  9. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  10. Ibid.
  11. The Silmarillion, "Of The Coming of Men into The West."
  12. Later corrected to Beleth in The War of the Jewels, Of the Coming of Men into the West.
  13. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis, footnote 10.
  14. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. The Unfinished Tales, The Mariner’s Wife, Aldarion and Erendis, footnote 22.
  25. Unfinished Tales, Aldarion and Erendis: The Further Course of the Narrative.
  26. Ibid.

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Current Challenge

Of All That Remains

Many characters in The Silmarillion leave behind their childhood to face daunting challenges and endless journeys. What is left in them of their childhood innocence? What would they remember? Would they cherish these memories of the past or would they rather forget it? This challenge is to write about a childhood memory of a character. Let him or her relive that memory in their heads, and write about as much as they can recall. Your work can cover the following things:

Challenges Revisited: Akallabêth in August

This month, we focus on one of the most tumultuous times in Arda's history: the Second Age and the rise and fall of Númenor. But even as Númenor was the central player during these times, the whole of Arda was affected by the events that affected the prideful and unfortunates alike of this doomed island.

Any story that is or might conceivably be part of the Akallabêth is acceptable for this challenge. If it's been a while since you've read the tales of the Second Age of Arda, why not crack open this oft-neglected chapter and see if inspiration finds you? Here are a few plotbunnies that might find a home in this challenge:

Quote of the Month

“I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!

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Around the World and Web

Articles of Interest

Starting this month, the SWG newsletter will feature 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 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.

Fall, Mortality and the Machine: Tolkien and Technology. “From the beginnings of modern fantasy, in the work of Tolkien, technology has always been the enemy of the good life. But does it have to be that way?” An article by Alan Jacobs, in The Atlantic.

Christopher Tolkien interviewed by Le Monde. During a recent interview to French newspaper Le Monde, Christopher Tolkien talks about his father’s work and the evolution of his vision of Middle-earth. Original in French.

LoTR Project develops “Timeline of Middle-earth.” From the Awakening of the Elves in Cuiviénen to the Fourth Age, with links to the relevant portion of the map of Middle-earth for events after the sinking of Beleriand.


Goodbye MeFAs! Welcome ToMEs!

As most of you have already heard, after eight years of serving as a meeting point for the Tolkien fandom, the place where Hobbit lovers got to know Maedhros and Fingon and die-hard Silmpeople enjoyed Third Age stories, the Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards is no more. But just as soon as its demise was announced, a group of volunteers got together to try to produce a worthy successor that could pick up on its strengths and work over its limitations. That's how the Tales of Middle Earth Awards was born. A lot has been done but a lot more is still to be achieved.

If you're curious and would like to find out more, the ToMEs have a LiveJournal community for discussion and planning.

And if you are "insufficiently reluctant", why not join as a volunteer?

LotR Genfic Community: August Challenge

The August Challenge will once again have the theme "Nonfiction." You will not receive an element for this challenge; rather, we encourage all members to submit essays, research articles, and other nonfictional works related to Tolkien's legendarium. The August challenge entries will be due Tuesday, August 14. This post has more information on how to participate.

Tree and Flower Awards

The LotRGenfic Community and Many Paths to Tread are sponsoring a ticky-box award, The Tree and Flower Awards, on the MPTT website. They have several Silmarillion categories, so why not go forth and nominate your favorite stories? Stories must be archived on MPTT prior to August 3. Rules and more details can be found here.

Teitho: August Challenge--First Meetings

Teitho's August challenge is First Meetings. “First Meetings” stories are so beloved and popular that you can see a “first meetings” tag in many fanfiction archives. What makes this type of tales so appealing is that it is always interesting to see how a great friendship develops from the very beginning. Many Aragorn and Legolas friendship writers have tried their hands in at least one (and often more) first meeting stories. And even though so many scenarios have been explored, there are still many possibilities left, and many questions remain unanswered. The deadline for this challenge is August 25th. The Teitho website has more information.

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