Newsletter: March 2014

Table of Contents

SWG News

Back to Middle-earth Month: Season of Middle-earth Has Begun!

Our yearly event, aimed at encouraging creativity based on J.R.R. Tolkien's works, is just getting started: As of March 1st new stories, poetry, and art will be unlocked every day as part of a compilaton based on the theme Seasons of Middle-earth. The first productions can be found and enjoyed at the B2MeM LiveJournal community.

But this is not all there is to B2MeM2014! If you weren’t able to claim any of the prompts, remember we also take non-compilation writing and art inspired by them. These pieces will be unlocked on a weekly basis every Sunday during March except for the final week when they will be unlocked on Saturday. For further information and details, please go to the guidelines for non-compilation writing and art.

Additionally, there will also be a review challenge in order to encourage reviewing and show our love to the writers and artists who participate in the event. See our review challenge page for more information!

The Silmarillion (Re)read

Our Silmarillion re-read continued this February, and whether this is your first or fiftieth time through the book, all are welcome! Three new chapters were posted this past month, but feel free to jump into the discussion at any time, as discussions do not close.

"Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor" summary and discussion
"Of Thingol and Melian" summary and discussion
"Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië" summary and discussion

If you have stories, art, or other fanworks about the chapters under discussion--whether your own or someone else's--there are also fanworks posts where you can share a link.

"Of the Coming of the Elves" and "Of Thingol and Melian"
"Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"

Find the posting schedule here. The following chapters are scheduled for discussion during March:

March 9: "Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"
March 23: "Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor"

The Fate of SWG Challenges

In September 2005, the SWG ran its very first writing challenge, "Strong Women." Challenges have, therefore, always been a part of our group and were part of the original vision when the SWG was founded. We intended to not only offer regular challenges but to keep them open forever, to encourage writers to delve deeper into topics, feel able to conduct more in-depth research, or to write longer works. We currently have more than seventy challenges and present a new challenge every three months.

However, our challenges are not a popular part of what we do. When we ran the numbers, we found that each challenge received an average of two responses, and quite a few challenges had no responses at all. The hard reality of running a group of this size is that we have only a limited amount of volunteer resources, and it serves all SWG members best if we direct that energy toward programs and activities that our members find useful. Given this, the SWG moderators have been discussing what to do with the challenges on our group. Should we continue running them? Should we change the format or how they are presented in order to make them more popular? Or should we recognize that we've reached an end of an era and cease developing new challenges but leave the old challenges available for anyone looking for a plotrabbit or two to get their muses going?

We are very interested in hearing from our members about where they'd like to see our challenges go in the future. Would you be interested in writing stories for challenges on the SWG? Or this not a group that you find conducive to that kind of activity? If you think we should keep the challenges, what do you think we can do to make them more widely used? Would it help to have a way for people to report completing a challenge and spotlight the stories they create in the newsletter? Would it be more motivating to sign up for challenges? Would people like to see customizable challenge elements offered to each writer who wants to participate? Would banners or other rewards be motivating? Something else entirely?

We are very open to any and all ideas. We are not making any decisions at this point but just want to get an idea of what our members are thinking. Please comment on this post or email us at to share your thoughts.

Welcome to Our New Members!

Let’s give a warm welcome to new members who registered at the SWG this month: shizou, Suzelle, Viorthel, BlackDragonfly, Carolbrimbor, and Kumo the WHITE CLOUD.

What awoke your interest in The Silmarillion? What age, setting or characters you enjoy the most when reading Silmfic? If you feel comfortable to share these or other details about your fandom persona, why not update your bio?

And if you can’t find something, or our Frequently Asked Questions section hasn’t given you the answers you seek, please contact the SWG mods at

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Ache by Agelast † [General](2092 words)
Summary: On the eve of (what will soon be called) the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Fingon and Maedhros go through battle-plans and relieve a few aches and pains. Written for Porn Battle XV. Prompts: closed doors, hiding, ache, headstrong, politics.

Ambassador by Kaz [General] (2958 words)
Summary: At Cuiviénen, Ingwë discusses his reasons for accepting Oromë's invitation to visit Aman and what he thinks the outcome will be with his sister. In Valinor, he learns how accurate those expectations were. (Or: in which Ingwë knowingly walks into a trap and what comes of it.)

An Amethyst Remembrance by IgnobleBard [Adult] (4269 words)
Summary: Edrahil is Finrod's Captain and lover but they must hide their relationship. What will happen when Galadriel comes to visit?

City Crumbling, Salt-Sorrow Waves by Viorthel [General] (1123 words)
Summary: Faramir goes down to the shores to escape his father. He finds there a musician who, after thousands of years, is still trying to escape his own. (Maglor in the Third Age, from Faramir's perspective.)

Copper and Cinders by Elisif [General] (1435 words)
Summary: In the aftermath of the Dagor Bragollach, Lady Maedhris attempts to console her next-to-youngest sister over the loss of her musical compositions in the dragon-fire.

Ere the Nightingales cry by Rhapsody [Teens] (4812 words)
Summary: After her husband is slain, Melian returns to Valinor and finds that even her home of old has been marred...

FA 005: Liar's Dice by Ilye [Teens] (2819 words)
Summary: Two years after Maedhros’s rescue from Thangorodrim, Fingon finds himself playing drinking games with the sons of Feanor. What could possibly go wrong? Featuring Fingon’s poor mathematical skills and an abdication.

Go Upon Your Knee by Agelast [Teens] (1414 words)
Summary: "Heaven-gates are not so highly arched / As princes' palaces; they that enter there / Must go upon their knees."Porn Battle fill for the prompt - Curufin/Eöl, hate!sex, sordid.

Healing by Astris [General] (7223 words)
Summary: Gildor rides out with the others from Nargothrond and is wounded in the Nirnaeth. A certain son of Fëanor finds him. Written for Keiliss at the My Slashy Valentine exchange 2014.

Lighter than Vanity by Agelast [Adult] (8971 words)
Summary: From the birth of Annatar to the seduction of Celebrimbor.`Written for Red Lasbelin for My Slashy Valentine, 2014.

Remarkable by Friendsheyho [General] (3950 words)
Summary: Maglor is the musician and Maedhros is the artist with words. Events lead them to visit a simple homestead, and what they find there is harder to face than expected.

Single Combat by Uvatha the Horseman [General] (1575 words)
Summary: Sauron accepts Gil-galad's challenge of single combat to end the siege of Barad-dur.

Something Like Being a Consort by Ilye [Teens] (1406 words)
Summary: Glorfindel, Gil-galad and a reflective moment on the beach. Irrepressibly fluffy, and slightly damp.

Songs of Power by zopyrus [General] (6623 words)
Summary: A year into the crossing of the Helcaraxë, Finrod speculates about seal poets, Fingon inventively replaces his worn-out harp strings, and Aredhel gets drunk. In the meantime, Galadriel makes out with her new boyfriend, bonds with her favorite brother, and does battle with the Queen of the Ice Bears.

The Kite by Agelast [Teens] (1588 words)
Summary: Glorfindel and Ecthelion have a day out on the shores of Nevrast.

The Stricken Anvil by Adlanth [Adult] (7189 words)
Summary: Maeglin's first year in Gondolin. Written for MSV 2014.

The Wrath of Dragon fire by Winterwitch [Adult] (9474 words)
Summary: Thranduil meets a dragon, Gildor meets a Wood sprite, they meet each other, and battle sets things into motion.

Visitation by Haeron [General] (3874 words)
Summary: Inspired by this post, Erestor - an underworked antiques store employee - receives a visit from a (golden haired) customer completely out of the ordinary. controlled chaos ensues.

Weathering by Elleth [Teens] (3673 words)
Summary: Under siege from the Orcs, Haleth tries to hold on to hope for herself and her people - but she is neither alone, nor entirely without counsel. Written for Rhapsody for the 2014 edition of My Slashy Valentine.

Works in Progress

A Quiet Life by rawr_balrog [General]
Summary: Long after the final ship has come to harbor, the Valar have mercy, and release some of the longest dead from the Halls of Mandos. Maedhros is among the last.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 1.

As Time Unrolls by Lyra
Summary: Chronicling history is never an easy job. It is even harder when you don't always agree with the management - and cannot quit...
Chapters added this month: Sun VI and Sun VII.

Drabbles for Tolkien Weekly by Winterwitch [General]
Summary: Small drabble sets about three pairs of brothers, inspired by the prompts of tolkien weekly, the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales.
Chapters added this month: Creature Comforts I, Creature Comforts II, Creature Comforts III, Creature Comforts IV, Balance and Reflection.

Le trône de papier by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: Extrait des "Vies des Noldor Illustres", de l’historien controversé Amilcar de Númenor. Un passage du chapitre consacré à Fingon, cinquième roi des Noldor.
Chapter added this month: Le trône de papier

Maudits silmarils, livre 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: A Gondolin, Turgon déprime... Une parodie crack du Silmarillion façon Kaamelott.
Chapters added this month: Le duel, Prison break, Riche comme Egalmoth, Game of thrones, La garçonnière and Les liaisons dangereuses

Middle-earth by Silver Trails [Teens]
Summary: The Elves arrive at Middle-earth.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.

Nothing in the World is Single by StarSpray [General]
Summary: Befriending Elwing is not an easy task. Neither is trying to kiss her.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 4.

Pictures at an Exhibition by Robinka [Adult]
Summary: A series of drabbles, some humorous, other not so much, centered on the Sindar (because they deserve all the praise).
Chapter added this month: Homecoming.

The Lords that Fell by Taylor17387 †[Adult]
Summary: Tells the story of the rise and fall of the two dark lords, from the collapse of the fortress in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, to the collapse of Barad-dûr, and what came next. Mainly told from Melkor and Sauron's perspective. Continuation of my other fic: "The Burnt God", though it may be read separately. Occasional slash.
Chapter added this month: The Watcher on the Pinnacle.

The Third Finwë by jesatria [Adult]
Summary: An account of the reign of King Nelyafinwë Maitimo, 3rd High King of the Noldor. AU, WIP
Chapter added this month: The King is Dead.

Time's Arrow by Russandol [Adult]
Summary: Two elves of the Greenwood, a troubled warrior and a prince, confront the shadows from their past in the less than perfect paradise of Valinor. There, a tradition that has been kept every four long-years since the ancient days of the Great Journey is about to take place once more.
Chapters added this month: Chapter IV, Chapter V and Chapter VI.

"Two Epitaphs" and "A Merry Feast" by Himring [Teens]
Summary: Short Pieces about Morwen and Rian.
Chapters added this month: Rian and A Merry Feast.

Short Works

Aspects of Nerdanel 1 - Fractures in the Dark by Erulisse [General] (530 words)
Summary: A series of short drabbles exploring the life of Nerdanel after she moved away from Feanor.

Phantom limb by Dilly [General] (173 words)
Summary: Maedhros, phantom limb. (drabble)

Salmar by Silver Trails [Teens] (847 words)
Summary: Ulmo takes the flesh for the first time

Sandcastles by Elisif [Teens](917 words)
Summary: Throughout his life, Maglor refines the ability to shape sand with the power of his voice.

Tapestry of Pain by Viorthel † [Teens] (275 words)
Summary: In the darkness of Angband, the senses blur. Maedhros develops pain-color synesthesia as he fights the loss of light during his early captivity.

What We Have Lost by Silver Trails [General] (938 words)
Summary: Glorfindel and Ecthelion speak with Ambarussa after Fingolfin's host arrives to Lake Mithrim.


Fingon's Wife by Ugly Duchess [General] (87 words)
Summary: Feelings of Fingon's wife. He leaves for his last battle.

Lost Home by Ugly Duchess [General] (71 words)
Summary: This poor Elf is crying about his home which disappeared forever for the lands covered with water after the War of Wrath.

The Beast by Ugly Duchess [General] (61 words)
Summary: A nightmare of an Elf, one of Finrod’s companions, in his new life.


Gentlemen's Night Out by Oshun. Read by: Tanis [Teens]
Gentlemen's Night Out was originally published in April 2009 and was the Featured Podfic in the February 2014 newsletter. Time: 22:14. File Size: 33,0 MB.
Summary: The Hangover Redux set at the victory celebration at the Fields of Cormallen following the Battle of the Morannon, starring Legolas, Elladan, Elrohir, and Prince Erchirion of Dol Amroth. No, seriously, it is a consideration of Laws and Customs of the Eldar, Morgoth’s Ring, Volume 12, History of Middle-earth,with particular attention given to Noldorin, Sindarin, Silvan and Gondorian interpretations of that essay. (Actually, it is really not very serious.)

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Character of the Month Biography

Elendur of Númenor


Elendur of Númenor is the eldest son and heir of Isildur and the grandson of Elendil. He is not to be confused with another Elendur who assumes the kingship of Arnor much later in the Third Age, a descendant of his youngest brother Valandil.

Elendur the son of Isildur is one of the last, if not the last, man to have been born in Númenor. Most secondary sources (online glossaries) refer to Meneldil, the son of Anárion, as the last man born in Númenor. In a confusing set of draft documents collected in The Peoples of Middle-earth, each with numerous alterations and emendations, there is a reference also to Elendur as the last-born of the line of Elendil in Númenor.

In the chronological outline that follows in B as in C, the birth-date of Anarion is 3209 and of Isildur 3219; Meneldil was born in 3299, and it was Kiryandil son of Isildur who was the last man to be born in Numenor (3318)."1

Kiryandil, above, is an earlier name given to Elendur. The importance of whether Elendur or his cousin was the last man born in Númenor becomes less than vital information, given that Elendur does not survive his father Isildur. Of Isildur's four sons, Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon, and Valandil, only the youngest son, Valandil, is mentioned in The Lord of the Rings. "He [Valandil] was the fourth son of Isildur, born in Imladris. His brothers were slain in the Gladden Fields."2

Christopher Tolkien notes in The Peoples of Middle-earth that

[o]nly Isildur's youngest son, Valandil, is named in The Lord of the Rings. In the very late work The Disaster of the Gladden Fields the three elder are named Elendur, Aratan, and Ciryon (Unfinished Tales p. 271 and note 11); on one of the copies of the typescript D (p. 190) my father pencilled a note remarking on this, and saying that the names found in 'Gladdenfields' were to be accepted.3

In one of the notes [footnote 26] to the section The Disaster of the Gladden Fields in the Unfinished Tales, Tolkien writes of a strong resemblance of Elendur not only to his grandfather Elendil but also to Aragorn.

It is said that in later days those (such as Elrond) whose memories recalled were struck by the great likeness to him, in body and mind, of King Elessar, the victor in the War of the Ring, in which both the Ring and Sauron were ended forever. Elessar was according to the records of the Dúnedain the descendant in the thirty eighth degree of Elendur's brother Valandil. So long was it before he was avenged. [Author's note.]4

The name Elendur is probably a variation on the name of his grandfather Elendil, which means 'Elf-friend' (eled+ndil), formed similarly (eled+ndur) but with a subtly different meaning. Tolkien's Letters provide a detailed explanation:5

This provides the key to a large number of other Elvish Q. names, such as Elendil 'Elf-friend' (eled+ndil), Valandil, Mardil the Good Steward (devoted to the House, sc. of the Kings) Meneldil 'astronomer' etc. Of similar significance in names is -(n)dur, though properly this means 'to serve', as one serves a legitimate master: cf. Q. arandil king's friend, royalist, beside arandur 'king's servant, minister'. But these often coincide: e.g. Sam's relation to Frodo can be viewed either as in status -ndur, in spirit -ndil. Compare among the variant names: Eärendur '(professional) mariner'.6

While not mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, Elendur is named in The Silmarillion, but he does not play an active role.7 In the version in Unfinished Tales, he is not simply a name but an actor. In order to properly describe the significance of the role of Elendur in the tale's end, one must first examine the evolution of Tolkien's thinking on the acquisition of the Ring by Isildur and his disposition of it.

In the Mythgard Academy's class series on the Unfinished Tales, the lecturer Corey Olsen points out that the Disaster of the Gladden Fields chapter of Unfinished Tales is not one that we can look at and think, "Now finally I am learning what really happened," for this, in fact, is not the case. This is not the full story that was in Tolkien's head while he was writing The Lord of the Rings but that he did not have time or space to include. In actuality, the Unfinished Tales version is far more than a fleshing out of details of The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion accounts of Isildur and the Ring. Instead, it is actually a newer and much-altered conception of Isildur's role in those events.

The "Disaster of the Gladden Fields" as presented in the Unfinished Tales is neither contemporary to the initial writing and revising of The Lord of the Rings, nor was it created shortly thereafter, as was Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age that is included in the published Silmarillion. It is among Tolkien's very latest works and contains some dramatic changes in emphasis relating to the character of Isildur and the death of his sons and the loss of the Ring.8 Christopher Tolkien says,

This is a 'late' narrative – by which I mean no more, in the absence of any indication of precise date, than that it belongs in the final period of my father's writing on Middle-earth, together with 'Cirion and Eorl', 'The Battles of the Fords of Isen', 'the Drúedain', and the philological essays excerpted in 'The History of Galadriel and Celeborn', rather than to the time of the publication of The Lord of the Rings and the years following it.9

One of the substantial changes, although one might not immediately notice without comparing the two sets of texts, is that Isildur is treated with greater understanding and sympathy. He is no longer the irrational person transformed beyond redemption by having grasped the Ring whom we read about in The Lord of the Rings. Elrond, in his account of Isildur and the Ring at the Council of Elrond, does not leave Isildur much dignity. Isildur rejects the advice of Elrond and rushes off to his fate, betraying his friends and allies and endangering his sons and heirs.

'But Isildur would not listen to our counsel.

'This I will have as weregild for my father, and my brother," he said; and therefore whether we would or no, he took it to treasure it. But soon he was betrayed by it to his death; and so it is named in the North Isildur's Bane. Yet death maybe was better than what else might have befallen him.'10

While Elrond's frustration and anger at Isildur's action are implicit in his words and manner in the Council of Elrond scene, the tale as told in The Silmarillion11 is even more negative in its assessment of Isildur's motivations and actions.

When Isildur refuses initially to destroy the Ring, he sounds, in The Silmarillion account, more like Gollum than a courageous leader of his people and worthy heir to his father.

And the Ring that he held seemed to him exceedingly fair to look on [shades of "my precious!" here]; and he would not suffer it to be destroyed. Taking it therefore he returned at first to Minas Anor, and there planted the White Tree in memory of his brother Anárion. But soon he departed, and after he had given counsel to Meneldil, his brother's son, and had committed to him the realm of the south, he bore away the Ring, to be an heirloom of his house . . . .12

On his journey to the north with a company of men, including the three oldest of his sons, Isildur runs into difficulty when he neglects to set a watch and they are overrun by Orcs who have been tracking them. The entire company is wiped out, including all of his sons, with the only exception being his squire who was sent off to Imladris with the shards of Narsil.

Isildur himself escaped by means of the Ring, for when he wore it he was invisible to all eyes; but the Orcs hunted him by scent and slot, until he came to the River and plunged in. There the Ring betrayed him and avenged its maker, for it slipped from his finger as he swam, and it was lost in the water. Then the Orcs saw him as he laboured in the stream, and they shot him with many arrows, and that was his end. Only three of his people came ever back over the mountains after long wandering; and of these one was Ohtar his esquire, to whose keeping he had given the shards of the sword of Elendil.13

This is a painful and ignominious end to the life of a formerly heroic figure: inept captain, uncaring father, slave to the greed and malice wrought upon him by the Ring. The picture is one of a deserter rather than a leader, hiding behind the invisibility granted him by the Ring until he loses it and, finally, meeting a humiliating death riddled with arrows in the muddy shallows and reeds of a river while he struggles to escape. This is also the version, in its essentials, which is incorporated into Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. It is difficult to reconcile this view of Isildur with the bold man of cunning and tireless loyalty who retrieved the fruit of the White Tree in Númenor, thus preserving it from destruction.

In dramatic contrast, the engagement between Isildur's company and the Orcs at Gladden Fields as described in Unfinished Tales is a description of a man of strength tested and nearly overcome by the malice of the Ring, but who, in the end, tries to do the right thing.

In Unfinished Tales, Isildur decides to take the Ring to Rivendell and trust in Elrond to know how to dispose of it. Exhausted and marching on foot, Isildur and his company of some two hundred men, including all three of his older sons, discover they are being tracked by Orcs.

Elendur takes a major role in the tale

This, finally, is where Elendur enters into the narrative as an active participant in the tale, the beloved eldest son and heir and a trusted councilor to his father.

Notable in the Unfinished Tales version is the manner in which Tolkien uses Isildur's last words with Elendur to express concern and fair intentions, not least of which are his love and affection for Elendur and his sorrow at his initial failure to destroy the Ring when he might have done so. In those final moments, we see Isildur as a fallible but noble and courageous man--not a Ring-ruled monster. He is written as someone who seeks to mitigate the damage he has done by holding onto the Ring until he may deliver it safely into wiser hands. He says to Elendur,

'The vengeance of Sauron lives on, though he may be dead,' he said to Elendur, who stood beside him. 'There is cunning and design here! We have no hope of help: Moria and Lórien are now far behind, and Thranduil four days' march ahead.'14

Elendur seeks to offer practical counsel to offset his father's desperate assessment of their situation.

'And we bear burdens of worth beyond all reckoning,' said Elendur; for he was in his father's confidence. The Orcs were now drawing near.15

Elendur's words have a positive effect of turning Isildur's mind from ruminations of regret and past errors in judgment to important useful considerations.

Isildur turned to his esquire: 'Ohtar,' he said, 'I give this now into your keeping'; and he delivered to him the great sheath and the shards of Narsil, Elendil's sword. 'Save it from capture by all means that you can find, and at all costs; even at the cost of being held a coward who deserted me. Take your companion with you and flee! Go! I command you!'16

Later, while they are conscious of being tracked by Orcs but there has as yet not been any engagement, Elendur reaches out again to his father.

Elendur went to his father, who was standing dark and alone, as if lost in thought. 'Atarinya,' he said, 'what of the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of no avail?'17

One may shudder to read this question, having read much of the power of the Ring to corrupt, but Elendur does not have this knowledge. Isildur, however, has learned the hard way that this power is not one which he can ever desire to wield.

'Alas, it is not, senya. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen. It should go to the Keepers of the Three.' At that moment there came a sudden blast of horns, and the Orcs closed in on all sides, flinging themselves against the Dúnedain with reckless ferocity. Night had come, and hope faded.18

The number and ferocity of the Orcs is beyond the capacity of the Dúnedain to withstand. One by one, the men are falling. They may slay five Orcs to every man who dies, but it is not enough.

Ciryon was slain in this way and Aratan mortally wounded in an attempt to rescue him. Elendur, not yet harmed, sought Isildur. He was rallying the men on the east side where the assault was heaviest, for the Orcs still feared the Elendilmir that he bore on his brow and avoided him. Elendur touched him on the shoulder and he turned fiercely, thinking an Orc had crept behind. 'My King,' said Elendur, 'Ciryon is dead and Aratan is dying.

Your last counsellor must advise, nay command you, as you commanded Ohtar. [Emphasis added. Here Elendur takes responsibility for insisting that Isildur must prevent the Ring from being taken by the Orcs at any cost.] Go! Take your burden, and at all costs bring it to the Keepers: even at the cost of abandoning your men and me!'19

The Isildur of this passage, is not the Isildur of The Silmarillion version who, after failing to set a guard, leaves his sons and company to their fate, taking the Ring and running, hoping to save the Ring for his own purposes.

Isildur was overwhelmed by a host of Orcs that lay in wait in the Misty Mountains; and they descended upon him at unawares in his camp . . . for he was heedless and set no guard, deeming that all his foes were overthrown. There well nigh all his people were slain, and among them were his three elder sons, Elendur, Aratan, and Ciryon; but his wife and his youngest son, Valandil, he had left in Imladris when he went to the war. Isildur himself escaped by means of the Ring, for when he wore it he was invisible to all eyes . . .20

Instead, in contrast, the Unfinished Tales version paints the picture of one who leaves with great reluctance and only at the insistence of Elendur, in an attempt to take the Ring to Elrond in order to achieve help in safely disposing of it.

'King's son,' said Isildur, 'I knew that I must do so; but I feared the pain. Nor could I go without your leave. Forgive me, and my pride that has brought you to this doom.' Elendur kissed him. 'Go! Go now!' he said.21

Of course, Isildur is unable to escape the Orcs pursuit of him. He plunges into the Anduin when he reaches it, first casting away his armour and weapons, with little hope even thus unburdened that he will reach the other side of the river.

There suddenly he knew that the Ring had gone . . . first so overwhelming was his sense of loss that he struggled no more, and would have sunk and drowned. . . A great burden had been taken away. . . There he rose up out of the water: only a mortal man, a small creature lost and abandoned in the wilds of Middle-earth. But to the night-eyed Orcs that lurked there on the watch he loomed up, a monstrous shadow of fear, with a piercing eye like a star. They loosed their poisoned arrows at it, and fled. . . So passed the first victim of the malice of the masterless Ring: Isildur, second King of all the Dúnedain, lord of Arnor and Gondor, and in that age of the World the last.22

And what of Elendur? He has shown himself a loyal and capable son who takes the responsibility of confronting his father, offering honest and worthy advice, not knowing if it will be welcome or unwelcome. Elendur falls in order to allow his father to escape and fulfill his mission of keeping the Ring out of the hands of the Enemy.

So perished Elendur, who should afterwards have been King, and as all foretold who knew him, in his strength and wisdom, and his majesty without pride, one of the greatest, the fairest of the seed of Elendil, most like to his grandsire.23

I would like to thank IgnobleBard again this month for reading the draft of this bio and offering reactions, suggestions, and corrections.

Works Cited

  1. The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil."
  2. The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings, Appendices, Appendix A, (ii) The Realms in Exile, "The Northern Line, Heirs of Isildur."
  3. The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil."
  4. Unfinished Tales, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
  5. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter. #297, Drafts for a letter to 'Mr Rang'. August 1967.
  6. Ibid.
  7. The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
  8. Corey Olsen, Mythgard Academy, Unfinished Tales, "Isildur and Eorl – Part Three, Chapters 1-2," February 11, 2014.
  9. Unfinished Tales, "Introduction."
  10. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond."
  11. The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Unfinished Tales, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.
  21. Unfinished Tales, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.

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Featured Podfic


Agelast (Read by abbyforth)

The thought of their ancient friendship stung his heart. File size: 18.2 MB Time: 19:58.

Listen to or download "Heart-stung."

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Current Challenge

Beyond the Circles of Middle-earth

Many of Tolkien's characters in The Silmarillion are immortal, and a favorite approach to Silmarillion-based writing has been to imagine how those characters might have perceived different historical eras or events. This challenge takes a similar approach but asks you to imagine one of Tolkien's Silmarillion characters in one of the many fictional settings from our real-world literature. For example,

Challenges Revisited: Heroes

In all of fiction but especially the fantasy genre, heroes are of the utmost importance. Our stories are filled with them: from those who take noble stands in great battles to those who make a quieter difference at home. Those with the strength to change the world for the better fill the greatest tales of truth and fantasy alike.

So, in honor of these people and characters, we dedicate this month's challenge to the study of heroes. And not just the sort to stand up to the Dark Lord alone--though Fingolfin is more than welcome too!--but all sorts of heroes: the unlikely, unsung, and accidental, those who have been forgotten or perhaps were never noticed at all, who made their worlds a better place.

Quote of the Month

"All things are connected like the blood that unites us. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."
– Chief Seattle

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.

Tolkien's Army Records at the National Archives

Tolkien’s work was heavily influenced by his time as an army officer during World War II. An excerpt of his army records can be found at the National Archives in the UK, including his application to Lancashire Fusiliers and the record of his return to England from France, when he fell sick with trench fever.

New Edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil Coming in October

A new edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book is scheduled for release on October 4, 2014. The book, originally published in 1962, is a collection of poems illustrated by artist Pauline Baynes. Read more about this edition in the full article by

"Beleriand and the Realms to the North" by Sirielle

Sirielle, one of our SWG members, has produced a gorgeous illustrated map map of Beleriand, based on Tolkien’s maps, including detailed inserts for Ethel Sirion, Minas Tirith, Gondolin, Vinyamar, Brithombar, and other locations. Feast your eyes on the map at Sirielle's DeviantArt site.

Astronomy and The Hobbit

A collection of links to help children (and adults!) explore the astronomical references in Tolkien's tale, from moon phases, to Dwarvish holidays, including Durin’s Day.

New Eagle-eye (Warg-eye) Views of Middle-earth

The Middle-Earth DEM Project is an on-going initiative to build an interactive 3D view of Middle-earth, so that it can be virtually explored from the air and on foot. See their demo video at website.

What Is the History of Dol Guldur?

Another blog post from Michael Martinez, this time covering the history of the Hill of Sorcery, more commonly known by its Sindarin name, Dol Guldur, from the time Oropher, father of Thranduil, established his kingdom around Amon Lanc.


Teitho: March Challenge--Mmmmmmmm...

This month’s Teitho’s topic is exactly that. It's free to your interpretation. Is it a sound of pleasure? It can be a delicious food, a warm, scented bath after a long day, or a massage. It can be also a sound of someone trying to speak behind a gag. Maybe instead of luxury, we have a hostage situation here! Or is it just an inarticulated answer to an annoying question?

And maybe it is something entirely else! It's only up to you what you will come with, and how you will interpret the sound.

The deadline for this challenge is March 25th. The Teitho website contains the full rules and more information about this challenge.

Mythgard Academy: Course on Unfinished Tales Underway

The Mythgard Academy, part of the Mythgard Institute, offers regular free (yes, really, FREE!) noncredit courses on works of fantasy and science fiction. Currently, they are offering a free 10-week online course on Unfinished Tales, given by the Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen. Lectures run live each Tuesday beginning at 9:30 PM EST, but video and audio downloads are available if you cannot attend the live session. Visit this page to view old lectures or to join an upcoming session.

Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.

Would you like to see your group or event featured on Around the World and Web? See our Promotions Page for more details or email us at

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