Newsletter: December 2015

Table of Contents

SWG News

Welcome to Our New Members!

We give our warm welcome to the Silmarillion fans who have joined the SWG during November: ralucam, Harnatano, Ysmira, Artaxastra, Ruffruff18 and serenityabrin.

We hope you have already made yourself comfortable and begun to read our story archive and reference section, to listen to our podcasts, and perhaps to post your own material. However, if you are stuck and need help, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. This page contains information about the archive, challenges, reviews, ratings, our definition of "Silmfic", and much more, but if you can't find what you are after or if you need assistance for any other reason, do not hesitate to contact the SWG mods at

We would love to know what awakened your interest in the Silmarillion, or other details about your fandom persona that you are happy to share in your bio.

During November we also had a most unwelcome (and short-lived!) new member. Intrigued? Read more in our next news byte!

Plagiarists among us!

As most of you are already aware, we recently had a major incident of plagiarized work posted to the Silmarillion Writers' Guild.

A brief summary of what has been going on:

If you want full information about Dawn’s investigation into the actions of this unsavoury character, you can find it at Dawn's Live Journal.

As this doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident on our site alone, nor is this person confining their activities to the Tolkien fandom, Dawn has been in contact with admins of several archives, including AO3, FFnet, MPTT, Faerie, SoA and OSA who were also affected by this plagiarist.

What to do now? If you see a story on an archive that looks familiar but isn't by the author you recall writing it, please say something to an admin. Within SWG, please email our mod team at

These are the usernames, email addresses and IPs involved so far:

king_arthur (kingarthur on OSA)


IP addresses

Many thanks to everyone who has spread the word and helped us detect and get rid of this character as fast as we did.

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Minor Act of Reparation by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (3188 words)
Summary: Maedhros unexpectedly is offered a chance to make up to the Teleri for the loss and destruction of the swan ships, but what precisely is it they want of him?

Almarë Eruo by The Wavesinger [Adult] (1236 words)
Summary: Elros and his wife, and the making of a queen. A legend of Meneltarma.

Gone with the Wind by Sleepless_Malice [Adult] (41678 words)
Summary: Glorfindel’s violent death has left incurable mental wounds behind and his memory only consists of very small fragments. Thoughts of how he had failed to protect the White City and its inhabitants trouble him to such an extent that Námo seems incapable to cure him. He is released from the Halls of Waiting to reside in Irmo’s gardens to aid his recovery, because: sooner or later, he has to return to Middle-Earth. However, his state remains unchanged and in his desperation, Irmo consults Manwë for guidance how to proceed with the grieving elf in his care, without being aware of their own fateful history. This story tells their very own and special history and touches Glorfindel’s motives to leave the Blessed Realm behind, and explains what troubles him to such an extent that he fights against the help of the Valar. Can they reconcile and finally forget what had happened between them millennia ago?

Kingfisher in a Cage by heget [Teens] (2650 words)
Summary: The story of the fifth companion of Finrod and Beren to die in the dungeons of Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

Kinslayer by Artaxastra [Teens] (1123 words)
Summary: Artanis had a part in the First Kinslaying. Warning for violence. (This is the First Kinslaying. There's violence.)

Last Tango in Nargothrond by Agelast [Adult] (2196 words)
Summary: It takes (at least) two to utterly destroy a city.

Like a Moth to a Flame by oshun [Adult] (14458 words)
Summary: This is a coming-of-age romance featuring Finrod and Caranthir. It contains two boys, Finwëan family dynamics, and cultural differences. It is a character-centered story, including a cross-country trip, a village fair with local color, and a tarot card reading. These two young men explore a mysterious and powerful gift that they share. Written for the Tarot challenge as part the Library of Moria celebration of the International Day of Slash 2015, the story is months late now—but better late than never. Thank you, Ignoble Bard, for being so patient of a Beta for me and reading this so many times.

The Forsaken by Artaxastra (4456 words)
Summary: No one speaks of the Forsaken, the elves first taken by Morgoth before the Sun and Moon first rose. Not even Maglor.

The heart of a father is a masterpiece of nature by Harnatano [General] (1590 words)
Summary: A short piece about young Celebrimbor and his father, being happy in Aman.

The Last Rose of Summer by Sleepless_Malice [Adult] (6801 words)
Summary: "It was customary for the noble Lords of Gondolin to celebrate – every week, beginning the week after Tarnin Austa, one of the great houses of Gondolin held an impressive celebration in honor of the labor it took to build the hidden city and of their king, who was dearly loved by all. The House of the Heavenly Arch marked the beginning of the special season, followed by the Houses of the Fountain and Swallow and their respective lords until the feast of the King marked the end of the endless celebrations. Today, however, it was the night of the Golden Flower, and it would most likely become a night to remember." ..and it indeed became a night to remember - but not as expected!

Works in Progress

At the sign of the drunken goose by Chiara Cadrich [Teens]
Summary: The Landlord of the Drunken Goose welcomes you in his common hall to hear horror tales gleaned along the greenway, or gentle saucy rhymes from the Shire.
Chapters added this month: Samhain’s damned soul – Part 1: Birth, Samhain’s damned soul – Part 2 : Trees , The hammer and the star and The embalmer.

Burning Bright: Answers in the Dark by Keiliss [Adult]
Summary: In which Galadriel goes to Lórien, Erestor visits Númenor, Elrond is under siege in a valley somewhere in the Misty Mountains, and Glorfindel doesn't get to go anywhere.
Chapters added this month: The Leaving and Burdens Shared.

Many Journeys by Elleth [Teens]
Summary:A gathering place for ficlets of varying length written in response to prompts, prods and as gift ficlets..
Chapters added this month: Out With Lanterns and A Show of Mastery.

Morning Mist and Silver Sun by StarSpray [Teens]
Summary: A place to store drabbles and drabble-series; most written for tolkien_weekly prompts.
Chapter added this month: Horse of a Different Color.

Not Wholly Fruitless by maeglin [General]
Summary: More about Erestor.
Chapters added this month: In Remembrance of The Lost, Stones, Kings, and Brothers, Cousinage and It Comes When Called.

Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax by The Wavesinger [General]
Summary: (Also cabbages, and kings.) Ficlets which are, even by my standards, too short to stand alone (and aren't part of a series). #1: Elros wanders off, and meets a stranger.
Chapter added this month: First Meetings.

Release from Bondage by heget [Teens]
Summary: The story of two elves from Nargothrond, neither important enough to be mentioned in the family trees of kings or heroic songs, who lost their names in Angband's slavery. The childhood companion of Finduilas Faelivrin must take the princess's identity to survive in the enemy's hands. Another prisoner, regretting he did not join Beren's quest, tries his best to save her. or The later half of The Silmarillion from the POV of prisoners in Angband, as inspired by A Dance with Dragons.
Chapter added this month: "We flew."

Shadows and Flames by Silver Trails [Teens]
Summary: Caranthir and Aegnor love each other. Can their love survive the burning of the ships in Losgar and the crossing if the Helcaraxë?
Chapters added this month: Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.

The Hammer Does Not Fall by Makalaure [Teens]
Summary: Maedhros, reincarnated, brings back to Valinor a shattered Maglor.
Chapter added this month: Chapter Two.

Trinkets by Independence1776 [Teens]
Summary: A collection of drabbles and ficlets too short to post on their own. Each story has a separate rating.
Chapter added this month: Failure.

Young Bucks of Cuiviénen by heget [General]
Summary: Side Stories from Of Ingwë Ingwerion - anything that did not fit into the main tale but worked as supplemential material. More world-building and character studies or a switch in point of view or timeline. Most are set during the period between the Awakening of the Elves and the Great Journey.
Chapters added this month: Laughing Maiden and Erikwa.

Short Works

Edge of Love by Agelast [Teens] (171 words)
Summary: Húrin and Morwen undergo an important courtship ritual.

my hero bares his nerves by Agelast [Teens] (122 words)
Summary: Written for the prompt - the Turin pairing of your choice having disastrous sex. But it's always a disaster, when Túrin's around!

One Last Song by Harnatano † [Teens] (897 words)
Summary: Maglor in the moments that precede and follow Maedhros' death.

Relief Mapping by swampdiamonds [General] (896 words)
Summary: Gwindor and Celebrimbor have a chat.

Seven Sons by Artaxastra [General] (356 words)
Summary: Nerdanel also had seven sons.


Dragon's Journeys by DrummerWench [General] (266 words)
Summary: An addition to the Fairy Tales series that also fits on SWG.

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Character of the Month Biography


Silver Trails

Arien was the Maia who guided the vessel that contained Laurelin’s last fruit. Her story evolves along with the tale of the Sun and the Moon, and not only her name changes, but also her role in the story. In the first versions of the mythology, Arien was called Urwen or Urwendi (Sun-maiden), and she was a maiden of Vána; Urwen was in charge of watering the roots of Laurelin along with other maidens.

So, back in the first versions of the story, Laurelin (and the early version of Telperion -- Silpion) needed to be watered. In the case of Laurelin, it was done with the tree’s own golden rain, kept in a cauldron named Kulullin. Another important difference with the later versions is that Laurelin was the elder Tree:

Urien – Arien – was a maiden who had tended the golden flowers in the gardens of Vána, while still joy was in the Blissful Realm, and Nessa daughter of Vána danced on the lawns of never-fading green.1

There is yet another version of the story, which adds three changes to the previous one: there is no longer need to water the Trees; Tilion is in love with Arien; and she has now her definitive name:

In the days of the Trees Arien had tended the golden flowers in the gardens of Vána and watered them with the radiant dew of Laurelin. Tilion was a young hunter of the company of Oromë, and he had a silver bow. He loved Arien, but she was a holier spirit of greater power, and wished to be ever virgin and alone; and Tilion pursued her in vain.2

The last two versions of the tale are almost the same:

In the days of the Trees Arien had tended the golden flowers in the gardens of Vána, and refreshed them with the bright dews of Laurelin…3

As we already know, when the Trees were destroyed by Melkor and Ungoliant, the Valar failed to revive them, but the Trees gave their last fruits. The description of the birth of these fruits is quite detailed in the first versions of the story. This is the description of the birth of the last fruit of Laurelin, due to the power of Vána’s song:

Loud then was the murmur about the streets of Valmar, and folk sped thronging over the plain, and when they beheld Vána beneath the Tree and the new shoot of gold then suddenly did a song of very mighty praise and joy burst forth on every tongue… Then did all the folk gaze on Laurelin, and behold, those buds opened and put forth leaves, and these were of finest gold and of other kind to those of old, and even as they watched the branch bore golden blossom, and it was thronged with flowers… One flower there was however greater than the others, more shining, and more richly golden, and it swayed to the winds but fell not; and it grew, and as it grew of its own radiant warmth it fructified. Then as its petals fell and were treasured a fruit them was of great beauty hanging from that bough of Laurelin, but the leaves of the bough grew sere and they shrivelled and shone no more. Even as they dropped to earth the fruit waxed wonderfully, for all the sap and radiance of the dying Tree were in it, and the juices of that fruit were like quivering flames of amber and of red and its pips like shining gold, but its rind was of a perfect lucency smooth as a glass whose nature is transfused with gold and therethrough the moving of its juices could be seen within like throbbing furnace-fires.4

In this version, after the Trees die, the Valar made a basin to contain what remained of Laurelin’s liquid light:

Its floor they made of gold and its walls of polished bronze, and an arcade of golden pillars topped with fire engirdled it, save only from the East; but Yavanna set a great and nameless spell around it, so that therein as poured the most of the waters of the fruit of noon and it became a bath of fire. 5

The liquid fire was so powerful that Manwë thought it might destroy even the Valar’s bodies, but Urwendi (Arien) knew that it would not hurt her, so she and her maidens bathed in that fire without fear, and their bodies changed into spirits of fire:

Then did she (Urwendi) bade as many of her maidens to follow her, even those who had aforetime watered the roots of Laurelin with light, and casting aside their raiment they went down into that pool Faskalan as bathers into the sea, and its golden foams went over their bodies… But after a while they came again to the brazen shores and were not as before, for their bodies were grown lucent and shone as with an ardour within, and light flashed from their limbs as they moved… Like air were they…6

This version then implies that there are many maidens, turned into spirits of fire, who guide the Sun’s vessel while in the later versions Arien (Urwendi) is one of the Valaráukar in nature, and the only guide of the car of the Sun:

Arien the maiden was mightier than he (Tilion), and she was chosen because she had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them, being from the beginning a spirit of fire, whom nonetheless Melkor had not deceived nor drawn to his service. Fair indeed was Arien to behold, but too bright were her eyes for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor he forsook the form and raiment which, like the Valar, she had there worn, and she was a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendour.7

So in the oldest legends, the Sun rises in the sky before the Moon, and Arda is filled with its golden light. After a few turns of the Sun’s path, Irmo (Lórien) realizes that nobody can rest because of the perpetual heat and brightness. It is he who, seeking a respite, sits under the dead Silpion and sings to it until the Rose of Silpion is born to be carried by Ilinsor (Tilion), a Maia of Varda, as the Moon.

In the later versions of the legendarium, it is the Moon that comes forth first, and its light welcomes Fingolfin’s host to Middle-earth. The Sun rises soon after, and because of its brilliant light everything "smoked and glowed like gold". Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners then, and the flowers awoke from the Sleep of Yavanna. Melkor hid his realm with the darkest shadows:

Therefore Fingolfin marched from the North unopposed through the fastness of the realm of Morgoth, and he passed over Dor-Daedeloth, and his foes hid beneath the earth; but the Elves smote upon the gates of Angband, and the challenges of their trumpets shook the towers of Thangorodrim. And Maidros heard them amid his torment and cried aloud, but his voice was lost in the echoes of the stone.8

This is the version published in The Silmarillion:

Isil was first wrought and made ready, and first rose into the realm of the stars and was the elder of the new lights, as was Telperion of the Trees… Tilion had traversed the heavens seven times, and was thus in the furthest East when the vessel of Arien was made ready. Then Anar rose in glory, and the snow upon the mountains glowed as with fire, and there as heard the sound of many waterfalls; but the servants of Morgoth fled to Angband and cowered in fear, and Fingolfin unfurled his banners.9

The ships of the Sun and the Moon rise from the West and travel eastwards until their courses are corrected on the journey from East to West. At the end of her journey, Urwendi (Arien) goes under the earth and passes through Ulmo’s realm, where sometimes she gets lost. After Fionwë finds her and brings her back to the Blessed Lands, the Valar decide to make two doors, the Door of Night in the West, which can only be opened by a magic word that Manwë has spoken to Urwendi (Arien):

Thus came it that the Gods dared a very great deed, the most mighty of all their works; for making a fleet of magic rafts and boats with Ulmo's aid -- and otherwise had none of these endured to sail upon the waters of Vai -- they drew to the Wall of Things, and there they made the Door of Night (Moritarnon or Tarn Fui as the Eldar name it in their tongues).10

And the Gates of Morn are built in the East and they open only before Urwendi (Arien):

In the East however was the work of the Gods of other sort, for there was a great arch made, and, 'tis said, 'tis all of shining gold and barred with silver gates, yet few have beheld it even of the Gods for the wealth of glowing vapours that are often swathed about it. Now the Gates of Morn open also before Urwendi only, and the word she speaks is the same that she utters at the Door of Night, but it is reversed.11

Arien’s final fate is tied to the Dagor Dagorath in the first versions of the legendarium. The following paragraph is about how the vessel of the Sun (that came forth first in the older stories) was called back by Manwë so the vessel of the Moon could sail the sky:

So saying Manwë sent Fionwë his son, swiftest of all to move about the airs, and bade him say to Urwendi that the bark of the Sun come back awhile to Valinor, for the Gods have counsels for her ear; and Fionwë fled most readily, for he had conceived a great love for that bright maiden long ago, and her loveliness now, when bathed in fire she sate as the radiant mistress of the Sun, set him aflame with the eagerness of the Gods.12

Fionwë was Manwë’s and Varda’s son; he evolved into Eonwë, Manwë’s herald, when Tolkien decided that the Valar didn’t have children. While he was still Fionwë, and the last exiled Elves have already come to Tol Eressëa, Melkor manages to break his bonds with Tevildo’s (Sauron’s) help:

Melko again breaks away, by the aid of Tevildo (who in long ages gnaws his bonds); the Gods are in dissension about Men and Elves, some favouring the one and some the other. Melko goes to Tol Eressëa and tries to stir up dissension among the Elves (between Gnomes and Solosimpi), who are in consternation and send to Valinor. No help comes, but Tulkas sends privily Teliméktar (Taimonto) his son.13

Ingil (Ingwë’s son) and Teliméktar (Tulkas' son) wound Melkor, who runs away and climbs the great Pine of Tavrobel that reaches to Ilwë and the stars. Ingil and Teliméktar pursue Melkor and stay in the sky to keep watch. In spite of this, Melkor manages to upset the ship of the Sun, and Urwendi (Arien) falls into the sea. She dies, and her fallen ship scorches the Earth:

The clarity of the Sun's radiance has not been so great since, and something of magic has gone from it. Hence it is, and long has been, that the fairies dance and sing more sweetly and can the better be seen by the light of the Moon -- because of the death of Urwendi.14

The Valar cut down the Pine of Tavrobel and Melkor is at last out of the world. As we can see, this is supposed to happen before the Dagor Dagorath, the death of Urwendi and the fall of her ship on earth. It is also said that Melkor can still do evil in the world because he has planted its seeds in the minds of the Secondborn.

There is another version of the fates of Urwendi (Arien) and Ilinsor (Tilion), recounted to Gilfanon by Vairë (in The Book of Lost Tales, the Elven storyteller of Tol Eressëa, not the Valië) in Tol Eressëa:

'But as for the Ships of Light themselves, behold! O Gilfanon and all that hearken, I will end the tale of Lindo and Vairë concerning the building of the Sun and Moon with that great foreboding that was spoken among the Gods when first the Door of Night was opened. For 'tis said that ere the Great End come Melko shall in some wise contrive a quarrel between Moon and Sun, and Ilinsor shall seek to follow Urwendi through the Gates, and when they are gone the Gates of both East and West will be destroyed, and Urwendi and Ilinsor shall be lost. So shall it be that Fionwë Urion, son of Manwë, of love for Urwendi shall in the end be Melko's bane, and shall destroy the world to destroy his foe, and so shall all things then be rolled away.'15

As we can see these earlier versions always imply that the Sun is lost because of Melkor. In this version Fionwë Urion is the one to slay Melkor, while in the later versions it is Túrin Turambar who does it. The last version of the Dagor Dagorath and Arien’s and Tilion’s fates can be read in The Lost Road:

Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor, and the rumour of his words was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and Moon. But Eärendel shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Fionwë, and on his left Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, coming from the halls of Mandos; and the black sword of Túrin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the children of Húrin and all Men be avenged.16

So in every version of Tolkien’s legendarium Arien dies in the end, in most of them along with Tilion. Therefore, Arien’s role in the story is to bring light to a darkened world, only to be destroyed when Melkor comes back from the Void. So again we can see how the gift of Light given by Ilúvatar is diminished once again and will only be rekindled when Fëanor comes out of the halls of Mandos and breaks the Silmarils.

Works Cited

  1. The History of Middle-earth: The Shaping of Middle-earth, "The Quenta," §6.
  2. The History of Middle-earth: The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Of the Sun, the Moon, and the Hiding of Valinor."
  3. I am transcribing here the quote from The Silmarillion, "Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor." An almost identical quote can be found in The History of Middle-earth: Morgoth’s Ring, "Of the Moon and the Sun."
  4. The History of Middle-earth, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "The Tale of Sun and Moon."
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. The Silmarillion, "Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor."
  8. The History of Middle-earth: The War of the Jewels, Commentary to "Of the Coming of the Noldor."
  9. The Silmarillion, "Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor." Again, an almost identical quote can be found in The History of Middle-earth: Morgoth’s Ring, "Of the Moon and the Sun."
  10. The History of Middle-earth: The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "The Hiding of Valinor."
  11. Ibid.
  12. The History of Middle-earth: The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "The Tale of Sun and Moon."
  13. The History of Middle-earth: The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "The Story of Eriol."
  14. Ibid.
  15. The History of Middle-earth, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "The Hiding of Valinor."
  16. The History of Middle-earth: The Lost Road, "The Conclusion of the Quenta Silmarillion."

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Current Challenge

New beginnings

In the Silmarillion many people migrate from one part of Middle-earth to another. It almost seems that there is always a group on the move, from Elves to even Hobbits and they all migrate to start a better life or to follow a promise or a dream. What would their journey have been like? How would they have been welcomed by the natives of the lands where they settled? How would these folk have coped with the influx of different people?

We challenge you to explore these big events, from whatever angle you wish to approach them: from the adventurous perspective to a social economical perspective. Just see where this journey takes you.

Challenges Revisited: A Gift of a Story

As the year draws to a close, many of our members have or are preparing to celebrate winter holidays of celebration and thanksgiving. 2007 is less than a month away, and we look back at another year of new experiences, new friends, and new stories. If you are at a loss for a new project for the month of December, then why not gift a story to a person who has helped and inspired you in the past year, based on his or her interests? Whether a beta-reader, reviewer, or just a good friend, drabbles, stories, and poems are a great way to show thanks and appreciation!

Quote of the Month

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

― Langston Hughes

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 and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!

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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 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.

The Annotated Map Transcribed

The annotated Tolkien map in possession in of Pauline Baynes' that was found in a copy of The Lord of the Rings has been transcribed by Susan Theobald at Blackwell's Rare Books. Read the transcript here.

Scientist Simulates the Climate of Middle-earth

Palaeoclimatologist Dan Lunt of the University of Bristol explains the process of adapting Tolkien's descriptions and maps into a scientifically sound climate model of Middle-earth in a series of interviews for a course against climate change denial. The resulting paper is available on the University of Bristol website.

Tolkien's Hidden Realms and Their Meaning: Part Two

In a continuation of last month's series on Tolkien's Hidden Realms, C.E. High continues to explore the secret places of the Second and Third Ages, among them Eregion, Lothlórien, Rivendell and the Woodland Realm. Read the essay on

Responses to Norbert Schürer's Tolkien Criticism Today

Norbert Schürer's deplorable assessment of the state of critical Tolkien scholarship has provoked responses and rebuttals by Tolkien scholars. Robin Anne Reid strongly disagrees and presents a comprehensive bibliography, while Luke Baugher, Tom Hillman and Dominic J. Nardi, Jr. at Mythgard take into account the wealth and range of material that Tolkien left to be studied.

In Search of a National Epic: The use of Old Norse myths in Tolkien’s vision of Middle-earth

Tommy Kuusela explores the use of Old Norse myths as building blocks of Tolkien's "mythology for England" and his role as a compiler of folkloristic source material for a culture whose body of legends had largely been lost.

Constructive Mythopoetics in J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium

This doctoral dissertation discusses constructive mythopoetics in J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium, the mythopoetic logics and elements on which Tolkien’s texts and his fantasy world are constructed. Read Jyrki Korpua's work here.

Constructions of Childhood in Tolkien's Legendarium

The 2015 Oxonmoot featured a lecture on the construction of childhood in Tolkien's works by Dr. Dimitra Fimi. The lecture and subsequent discussion have been made available by the Tolkien Society.

Margaret Atwood: In Tolkien, there are Hardly Any Women at All

Using Tolkien as a trend-setting example, Margaret Atwood and N.K. Jemisin elaborated on the poor state of diversity in fiction and their own creative processes as a counterbalance at the recent Book Riot Live Convention. Read the interview here.

When Transformative Media Isn't So Transformative

At Becoming the Villainess, longtime fandom and SWG member Elise Ringo tackles the question of the role biases play in transformative culture.

The OTW Elections

After the 2015 Board Elections at the Organization for Transformative Works and the board's subsequent resignation, rumors and concerns for OTW-run institutions like the Archive of Our Own abounded. Read about the context of the elections and follow the unoffical OTW Elections tumblr for commentary, roundups and more details.


Odyssey Writing Workshop: Online Writing Classes Winter 2016

Odyssey Workshop is offering three intensive online writing classes this winter: Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction, Getting the Big Picture: The Key to Revising Your Novel, and Point of View: The Intersection of Character and Plot. Classes are held through web conferencing software. Application deadlines are in December, and more information can be found at Odyssey Online or by emailing

Mythgard Spring 2016 Courses

The Mythgard Institute has announced its courses for Spring 2016: The Inklings and Science Fiction, Language Invention through Tolkien, Modern Fantasy II and Latin I. They are available to both MA Students and Auditors. Looking for a New Owner

Keith Mander at LotR Fanfiction is looking for a new owner or admin for the site to help foster the community and devote their time to the website.

LotR Secret Santa: Allowing Treats

Following its recent move to AO3, the LotR Secret Santa is now allowing the writing of treats for its participants (treat-writers to not have to be exchange participants). A list of the requests can be found on AO3.

Arda Advent

Arda Advent on tumblr provides a list of seasonal daily prompt words aimed at the Tolkien fandom. Any piece of fannish media is welcome; read the guidelines and review the prompt list if you are interested in participating.

Tolkien's Dirty December

Similar to Arda Advent, Tolkien's Dirty December offers a variety of prompts throughout December, but this time of the decidedly Not Safe for Work variety. The prompts for Week One have been posted.

Fandom Stocking

Every year during the month of December (and into early January), Fandom Stocking is run on Dreamwidth. It's a low-stress, holiday inspired community where the fannish sort can get together and celebrate. This year's introductory post gives details on the fest. Stocking submissions are open until December 14, and the deadline to fill them is January 6.

Femslash Review Fest

Beginning on December 14, the second annual Femslash Review Fest aims to show support to the creators of femslash and recommend their work more widely to interested parties, using themed prompts for each day.


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