TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: March 2015

Table of Contents


SWG News

Back to Middle-earth Month 2015: Middle-earth Marketplace

March is our annual holiday to have fun and rediscover the wonders of Tolkien's world. This year we visit Tharbad's Greenway Spring Faire where creators of fanworks can sell and purchase prompts to inspire the stories, art, podfics, poetry, videos, meta, and any other fanworks you can dream up! Each participant starts with 15 farthings, which can be spent to offer prompts and claim prompts. Farthings can be earned for leaving comments on B2MeM15 stories or offering other services to the faire. All creators of Tolkien-based fanworks are invited to participate! Fanworks are welcome on the B2MeM community on LiveJournal, and as always, we encourage participants to cross-post their Silmarillion-based writing and podfics here on our archive! The following links will get you started.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, you can reach the B2MeM mod team at b2mem.mod@gmail.com.

We invite everybody to come and do some shopping. The offers are irresistible!

International Day of Fanworks

February 15th has been declared International Fanworks Day by the Organization of Transformative Works. We at the SWG joined in the celebration and hosted an event to acknowledge and celebrate how hard we've worked to improve as writers, artists, and as deep thinkers about Tolkien's world and to recognize that fanworks aren't new at all but a tradition that goes as deep as the roots of literature (and one which Tolkien himself practiced as well), and we perpetuate that tradition.

A collection of beautiful stories was posted for our International Fanworks Day challenge. If you haven't read them yet, you can find them on the International Fanworks Day round-up on our LiveJournal or under the International Fanworks Day challenge on our archive. Don't miss them!

Welcome to Our New Members!

Has it been the excitement of a market about to open its gates to all visitors at our Back to Middle-earth Month that brought us so many new members during February? Whether you entered the Silmarillion Writers' Guild to join a community of Silmarillion lovers, or to browse the B2MeM stalls and trade in fabulous Silmfic wares, we're very pleased to welcome you all: Maure, sunlitany, ruscenedhir, ladysherlockian, rabbitwriter30, esquitor, Amy Fortuna, Melardhoniel, hawkeye, Arel, spaceastro, Mr Patronus, Helliepie, Crendulas, My blue rose, Preda, perfectworry, Pufferfish123, CanonRed and StevieG1892.

What awoke your interest in The Silmarillion? What age, setting or characters you enjoy the most when reading Silmfic? If you wish to share any facts 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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Reunion in Dor Dínen by Broadbeam [Teens] (4090 words)
Summary: As the host of Noldor make their way to Middle-earth, a reunion takes place in Dor Dínen.

a thousand years above her by Agelast [Teens] (2743 words)
Summary: Írimë lives again. This was written for International Fanworks Day 2015, for the prompts: The Circle of Life, New Beginnings, and Traditions.

As Through a Lit Window by Elleth [Teens] (4202 words)
Summary: The story of Galadriel, Nimrodel, and the land that would become Lothlórien.

By the Iris Mere by Elleth [Teens] (4093 words)
Summary: Escaping her death in the rapids of Teiglin, Niënor has followed Nellas to the Havens of Sirion to begin a new life, but fate still has more in store for them.

Fallen through the Cracks by Himring [Teens] (1050 words)
Summary: On the Ice, Lalwen makes a disturbing observation...

Fate is Yours to Choose by StarSpray [General] (2528 words)
Summary: With all the geological upheavel caused by the War of Wrath, the Blue Mountains are not, perhaps, the safest place to be.

More Than Are Dreamt Of by Samtyr [Teens] (1119 words)
Summary: They also serve who only stand and wait.

Mountains High Above by Independence1776 [General] (1025 words)
Summary: Maglor, mountains, and ruling in Valinor during the First Age.

Nerdanel by Silver Trails [General] (1446 words)
Summary: Nerdanel thinks of her lost family.

Stargazing by Fadesinthewest [General] (1418 words)
Summary: Posted for the International Day of Fanswork Challenge for prompt 39: A lesson learned. Fingon teaches his son about the stars.

The End is the Beginning by Fadesintothewest [General] (2628 words)
Summary: Death is only another beginning for Fingon.

The Gig in the Sky by Makalaure [General] (2110 words)
Summary: Maglor learns something new about his musical instruments from a rather unusual creature.

The Shackle by Elisif † [Adult] (3074 words)
Summary: Fingon rescues Maedhros from Thangorodrim.

whatever we lose by Astris [General] (2329 words)
Summary: The Havens of Sirion are a home for the refugees of two great slaughters, and the broken find a home by the sea. The queens-in-exile of Gondolin and Doriath meet there, and find something new from what they have lost. (MSV 2014 for Calima.)

Works in Progress

and one man, in his time, plays many parts by Duilwen [General]
Summary: Lake Mithrim, in five acts. Maglor-centric.
Chapters added this month: i and ii.

Bringing Trouble to Barad-dur by Aiwen [Teens]
Summary: In the Halls of Mandos, Celebrimbor and Gil-galad receive a unique assignment: go as ghosts to Barad-dur and distract Sauron from his war against the free peoples of Middle-earth. MEFA 2010 Humor Incomplete 3rd place winner.
Chapters added this month: Derailing Diplomacy, Through the Palantir and The Writing on the Wall.

Even More About Maedhros by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Collection for slightly longer pieces featuring Maedhros as a protagonist. First story: Maedhros and the Palantir.
Chapter added this month: Sapphires.

Harry Potter and the Noble Order of the Lion by ElrondsScribe [General]
Summary: Do not let the title of this story mislead you. This is just as much a Silmarillion story as anything else, or I wouldn't post it here.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.

Jewels by Silver Trails [Teens]
Summary: This is a series of short stories about the making of the Silmarils and the effect this had on the members of the House of Finwë.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Many Journeys by Elleth [Teens]
Summary:A gathering place for ficlets of varying length written in response to prompts, prods and as gift ficlets..
Chapter added this month: Kindled.

Maudits bonus by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: Bonus nawak à "Maudits silmarils".
Chapter2 added this month: Le canon and Divers drabbles (Belin/Ecthelion).

Motionless in Time by The Wavesinger [Teens]
Summary: A collection of fixed-length stories of less than 1000 words, each based on a line (or lines) of a poem/play.
Chapter added this month: The Land of the Dead That Live.

Numenor That Was by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: A new anthology for stories set in Numenor or involving Numenoreans
Chapters added this month: Vanimelde Dances and The Queen as a Young Girl (drabble).

One Star in the Sky by VCalien2015 [Teens]
Summary: The Dagor Dagorath approaches, and nearly all of those slain in the wars of the past Ages have been reborn to prepare themselves for the Last Battle. Among them is Curufinwë Fëanáro, last to leave the Halls of Mandos and tasked with earning his redemption. Fëanáro and his kin begin together the days which will lead them to the End, the guilt of the past mingling with joy long-lost, recalling at last what it is to truly live.
Chapter added this month: Formenos - Part II.

Our Share of Night to Bear by Elleth [Teens]
Summary: Aman lies in Darkness and the Noldor have been banished. The Rebellion has torn families apart and left children to fend for themselves in a darkened world with no one to rely on, while the leaders of the Noldor struggle to overcome their grief and rebuild order out of turmoil.
Chapters added this month: Chapter V: In the Streets, Chapter VI: Storm and Chapter VII: Heart-to-Heart.

The Golden and the Black by Amarie Vanyarin [Teens]
Summary: Glorfindel is not the only one of the rebodied to be sent by the Valar back to Middle Earth. After being mired in the Halls of Mandos for six millenia, Maeglin is sent back as well, though it is uncertain how much he welcomes the move. Especially as Iluvatar has decreed that the dark soul of the traitor of Gondolin be rebodied as an elfmaid. A story of redemption and of love.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 22: The Quest, Chapter 23: The Sword Laid Down, Chapter 24: Sunrise over Minas Tirith, Chapter 25: Birth and Chapter 26: Meetings Beyond the Sea.

The Greenbook of Tuckborough by Chiara Cadrich [Teens]
Summary: A tribute to Tolkien, with most of the exercices in style we owe him, but contradicting none of his writings: an adventure starting on a porch in the Shire, hobbits, giants, dunedain, goblins, elves, ents, trolls, eagles…, a visite to Imladris, an epic story about duty and fate, riddles,… and a ring!
Chapters added this month: The vanished valley, Mother Graft and An introduction to wizards.

The Maia and the Aulendili by Huinare [General]
Summary: It seems likely that a Maia of Aulë would have been on friendly terms with Mahtan's household. Most of the time. Curumo and four generations of one family.
Chapters added this month: The Shovel and The Marble.

Short Works

A Silver Night by Amy Fortuna [Teens] (852 words)
Summary: Galadriel remembers a long-ago night and an old lost love.

Finding Voice by avanti_90 [General] ( words)
Summary: The origin of Huan.

Harvester of Sorrow by Robinka [Adult] (506 words)
Summary: For the International Day of Fanworks: an orc and his grim job.

Maker by Agelast [Teens] (357 words)
Summary: Of Nerdanel and her sons.

Moonlit Dance by Amy Fortuna [Teens] (993 words)
Summary: Luthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian, teaches Artanis of the Noldor a new dance.

The Kindler Explains Space to the Children by Elleth [General] (291 words)
Summary: The Starkindler reminisces on the Beyond - and hopes.

What if Lúthen had Fallen for Celegorm? by Silver Trails [General] (338 words)
Summary: Just a what if fic written for Jaiden_s

What You Mean To Me by The Wavesinger [Teens] (115 words)
Summary: Four seasons, four times Fingon loves Maedhros, and three times the rest of the Noldor love them.

Where Our Hearts are not so Frail by StarSpray [Teens] (934 words)
Summary: Nellas returns to the Withywindle valley after seeking news in Lindon.


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Character of the Month Biography

Huor

Robinka


Among the ancient heroes of Men, who lived fast, loved hard and died young,1 Huor2 son of Galdor stands out not only because of his height.3 Even though he indeed died young, his line continued throughout the ages, extending into many generations up to Aragorn and Arwen and their children. In the texts, Huor is most often mentioned in the context of being Húrin's younger brother or the father of Tuor, and he does not seem a popular character in fan fiction. The SWG's search engine returns three stories in which he can be found; the one over at Fanfiction.net returns five results; the one at Open Scrolls Archive two results.

Did he really do so little that he seems hardly mentioned, let alone inspiring? Let us find out.

Live fast

In the "Index of Names" in The Silmarillion, Huor is described as follows: son of Galdor of Dor-lómin, husband of Rían and father of Tuor; went to Gondolin with Húrin his brother; slain in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.4

Huor was a scion of the two noble houses of the Edain.

Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edain and well-beloved by the Eldar. He dwelt while his days lasted under the lordship of Fingolfin, who gave to him wide lands in that region of Hithlum which was called Dor-lómin. His daughter Glóredhel wedded Haldir son of Halmir, lord of the Men of Brethil; and at the same feast his son Galdor the Tall wedded Hareth, the daughter of Halmir.5

As The Silmarillion says about the event above, it was a great feast, so one can easily conclude that in spite of the peril in that time, the Edain could find joy in their life.

In the days before the Dagor Bragollach those two houses of the Edain were joined at a great feast, when Galdor and Glóredhel the children of Hador Goldenhead were wedded to Hareth and Haldir the children of Halmir lord of the Haladin.1

Galdor and Hareth had two sons, Húrin and Huor (born in 444, died in 472 of the First Age).7

Huor was three years younger than Húrin and, as mentioned above, he was the tallest of his kin, save only for his own son Tuor. He was also a swift runner, though he was more of a sprinter than a marathon runner, as stated in Narn I Hîn Hurín.8 The brothers were very close to each other in their younger years. According to the custom of Men of the North in that time, they lived as foster-sons of their uncle Haldir of the Haladin in his household in the forest of Brethil.

Both The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin underline that the two brothers went to battle with the men of Brethil against the orcs that spilled out of the north, even though Húrin and Huor were merely teenagers in that time. And it was again a time of war with the Dark Lord.

...for Húrin, though only seventeen years of age, was strong, and Huor the younger was already as tall as most full-grown men of that people.9

As we can find out in "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin" in The Silmarillion, "few men of the Three Houses of the Edain would give ear to him [Morgoth], not even were they brought to the torment of Angband. Therefore Morgoth pursued them with hatred."10

This chapter recounts the tale of the battle in the woods of Brethil that is remembered as a great victory:

The People of Haleth were at first untouched by the northern war, for they dwelt to the southward in the Forest of Brethil; but now there was battle between them and the invading Orcs, for they were stout-hearted men and would not lightly forsake the woods that they loved. And amid the tale of defeats of that time the deeds of the Haladin are remembered with honour: for after the taking of Minas Tirith the Orcs came through the western pass, and maybe would have ravaged even to the mouths of Sirion; but Halmir lord of the Haladin sent swift word to Thingol, for he had friendship with the Elves that guarded the borders of Doriath. Then Beleg Strongbow, chief of the march-wardens of Thingol, brought great strength of the Sindar armed with axes into Brethil; and issuing from the deeps of the forest Halmir and Beleg took an Orc-legion at unawares and destroyed it. Thereafter the black tide out of the North was stemmed in that region, and the Orcs dared not cross the Teiglin for many years after. The People of Haleth dwelt yet in watchful peace in the Forest of Brethil, and behind their guard the Kingdom of Nargothrond had respite, and mustered its strength.11

The above fragment says a lot about the relationship between the Folk of Haleth and the Sindar of Doriath. Not only King Thingol agreed to help them, and we know well that he was not so quick and eager when it came to aid anyone outside the borders of Doriath, not to mention that he had no warm feelings toward Men and he had begrudged the Folk of Haleth their settling down in Brethil to begin with. Also, the allied forces routed the orcs from the woods efficiently, keeping them from going further and threatening other realms. To that battle, the young Húrin and Huor, who would not be restrained, though he was but thirteen years old,12 went alongside the adult warriors.

Allow me a more personal note here. We can easily believe, reading this part of The Silmarillion, that the battle of Brethil was a successful confrontation with the orcs in the times of the Dagor Bragollach. The elves and the Haladin stopped the orcs from invading the south of Beleriand. Therefore, I am very disappointed on behalf of Beleg Cúthalion and his allies that the story told in The Children of Húrin disregards that portentous fact and states that Húrin and Huor merely went with a company of scouts. They were ambushed by the orcs and scattered, and the brothers were pursued to the ford of Brithiach.13 This has little significance in comparison to the destruction of a legion of orcs that necessarily had to be a great, well-planned effort. And who ambushed whom, I dare ask?

Either way, those scouts, or combatants – whatever the choice might be – did not perform the best of jobs since Haldir's nephews would have been killed, or lost, had not Ulmo come to aid them.

Let us return to The Silmarillion:

But being with a company that was cut off from the rest they were pursued to the Ford of Brithiach, and there they would have been taken or slain but for the power of Ulmo, that was still strong in Sirion. A mist arose from the river and hid them from their enemies, and they escaped over the Brithiach into Dimbar, and wandered among the hills beneath the sheer walls of the Crissaegrim, until they were bewildered in the deceits of that land and knew not the way to go on or to return.14

Before Tuor came into the secret vale of Tumladen, Ulmo had eased his father's way there by leading the two young warriors out of danger. The ever-helpful Thorondor sent two of his eagles to carry Húrin and Huor to the hidden city of Gondolin, which no Man yet had seen.15 Turgon, advised by Ulmo himself that he should treat them kindly – knowing that the help from the sons of the House of Hador should come to him in need – accepted Húrin and Huor into his kingdom.

They were Turgon's guests and learned a lot from the Gondolindrim, and Turgon would have liked to keep them there, not because of his own law (that no one who saw Gondolin should be let out) but simply out of affection. The two brothers missed their kin, though, and they wanted to live the life of their people, sharing in wars and griefs.16 That is why they asked Turgon to let them leave in the same way they had come to Gondolin and with their eyes veiled so that they would not know where the city was. Turgon granted them their wish, and the two brothers left, though not before they swore to Maeglin, Turgon's sister-son, that they would never reveal the truth about Gondolin's location.

Turgon's decision seems significant on many levels: in his hospitality, he welcomed the brothers into his secret city and liked to spend his time in their company. He allowed them to leave, not without restrictions, but here, we must remember what happened with Eöl the Dark Elf of Nan Elmoth. Their stay was undoubtedly a huge benefit to them and an opportunity to learn things that otherwise might have been out of their reach. I cannot help but wonder how much of their learning came from the Vala Ulmo's influence and how much from Turgon's wisdom, and I incline to favor the latter. Also, there is an interesting idea one might want to explore further: to think how Idril, Turgon's daughter, received her future father-in-law during her only chance to meet him.

Húrin and Huor returned to Dor-lómin via airway, carried by the eagles once again. Their kinsfolk were happy to have them back, and yet the brothers refused to reveal where they had come from, even to their father.

'Did you then dwell a year in the wild? Or did the eagles house you in their eyries? But you found food and fine raiment, and return as young princes, not as waifs of the wood.'17

Galdor did not receive an answer, but he guessed the truth.

Let us view the situation in Beleriand from a broader perspective. After the victory in the Dagor Bragollach, Morgoth continued sending out spies to Beleriand to learn tidings of Turgon and Finrod Felagund because he knew little to nothing about their kingdoms, Gondolin and Nargothrond. He feared them, but he kept his hosts of orcs away from Beleriand, preparing an ultimate invasion.

...he [Morgoth] had not measured rightly the valour of the Noldor nor the might in arms of the Men that fought beside them. Great though his victory had been in the Bragollach and in the years after, and grievous the harm that he had done to his enemies, his own loss had been no less; and though he held Dorthonion and the Pass of Sirion, the Eldar recovering from their first dismay began now to regain what they had lost. Thus Beleriand in the south had a semblance of peace again for a few brief years; but the forges of Angband were full of labour. [Emphasis mine]18

Can we count that orc-legion destroyed during the battle in the forest of Brethil into that – emphasized in the above text – loss? I am certain we can. The Haladin, sure as hell – let me go colloquial here – did step onto Morgoth's toe. Painfully.

Love hard

There was great love between the brothers, and they were seldom apart in their youth.19

In this outlined portrayal, so far Huor has seemed a kind of shadow of his older brother. That is not surprising because younger siblings often follow their older brothers or sisters. I know that from experience – I have a younger brother. Our protagonist does not seem to have his own voice either, being a boy under the wings of Húrin and his other family members: Haldir, Halmir, etc. We can assume that everyone cared for him, especially Húrin, otherwise a thirteen year-old boy would not have survived such a risky adventure as wandering around the wastelands until Thorondor intervened. In the text, it is Húrin who spoke on behalf of the two of them, which still does not seem surprising – he was older after all.

My overall impression is that Huor was raised in a friendly, loving environment – despite the outside world full of dangers and tough times – that gave him care and heart and taught him to love his land and his people. In return, he cared for them; otherwise he would not have gone to battle as a teenager. He must have been stubborn, in a good way, and had a fiery spirit, just as his name suggests, from a very young age.

We do not know much for certain about Huor's later years as a young man, before the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. We can presume that he lived with or close to his brother, who had become the Lord of Dor-lómin. Very probably, Huor became a seasoned warrior, refining his skills alongside his brother in the battles with enemies in Hithlum.

When seven years had passed since the Fourth Battle, Morgoth renewed his assault, and he sent a great force against Hithlum. The attack on the passes of the Shadowy Mountains was bitter, and in the siege of Eithel Sirion Galdor the tall, Lord of Dor-lómin, was slain by an arrow. That fortress he held on behalf of Fingon the High King; and in that same place his father Hador Lórindol died but a little time before. Húrin his son was then newly come to manhood, but he was great in strength both of mind and body; and he drove the Orcs with heavy slaughter from Ered Wethrin, and pursued them far across the sands of Anfauglith. (…) Thereafter Húrin son of Galdor ruled the house of Hador in Dor-lómin, and served Fingon.20

It is very probable that Huor accompanied his older brother in that pursuit, as they seem to have been inseparable since their early youth.

Aside from Huor's brotherly love and everything he held dear, there was also room for a more romantic affection in his life. He wedded Rían,21 daughter of Belegund son of Bregolas, from the House of Bëor. She was the cousin of Morwen Eledhwen, Húrin's wife.

By hard fate was she born into such days, for she was gentle of heart and loved neither hunting nor war. Her love was given to trees and to the flowers of the wild, and she was a singer and a maker of songs. Two months only had she been wedded to Huor when he went with his brother to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and she never saw him again.22

Do opposites attract? It certainly seems as though, because a delicate and peace-loving young woman married a robust and soldierly man who had been slaying orcs since he was but a boy. But their love story is not of the 'happily ever after' sort.

Die young

And he [Maedhros] gathered together again all his brothers and all the people who would follow them. (...) Moreover in the west Fingon, ever the friend of Maedhros, took counsel with Himring, and in Hithlum the Noldor and the Men of the house of Hador prepared for war. In the forest of Brethil Halmir, lord of the People of Haleth, gathered his men, and they whetted their axes; but Halmir died ere the war came, and Haldir his son ruled that people. (…) All the Noldor of Hithlum were assembled, together with Elves of the Falas and Gwindor's company from Nargothrond, and he [Fingon] had great strength of Men: upon the right were the host of Dor-lómin and all the valour of Húrin and Huor his brother, and to them had come Haldir of Brethil with many men of the woods.23

Barely out of his honeymoon, Huor left his pregnant wife and accompanied his older brother to battle alongside the Noldor.

Let us look at the scene of war on the side where the armies under the banner of Fingon were stationed. Gwindor of Nargothrond had already rushed in pure wrath to avenge his brother Gelmir and barreled through the gates of Angband. The host of Fingon, which had followed him, was forced to turn back and, during that retreat, Haldir and his men perished in the rearguard. On the plus side, Turgon marched onto the scene to aid his brother, bringing his shiny host from Gondolin.

Turgon hewed his way to the side of his brother; and it is told that the meeting of Turgon with Húrin, who stood beside Fingon, was glad in the midst of battle.24

We can suppose that Turgon met Huor as well.

Unfortunately, treachery ripped the forces of Maedhros apart. Fingon's army was surrounded by the enemies, and the High King of the Noldor was challenged by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. Gothmog had broken into the Elvenhosts, pushing Turgon's army aside. Turgon's soldiers were only able to watch as Fingon died in combat. Beside Turgon, there were Húrin and Huor with the remnants of the House of Hador. Húrin urged Turgon to further retreat, pointing that Gondolin still stood and there was hope for the Eldar. When Turgon refused at first, Huor spoke up for the first time, and this is probably the most significant line in what is written about our protagonist in the material. In the advent of certain death, Huor, in a prophetic moment, spoke about his and Turgon's grandson Eärendil:

'Yet if it stands but a little while, then out of your house shall come the hope of Elves and Men. This I say to you, lord, with the eyes of death: though we part here for ever, and I shall not look on your white walls again, from you and from me a new star shall arise. Farewell!'25

By allowing Turgon's forces to escape toward the Pass of Sirion and holding the rearguard, the Men of Dor-lómin paid back dearly for the other men's treachery, and they stood against the overwhelming forces of Morgoth, until almost all of the warriors were slain.

There as the sun westered on the sixth day, and the shadow of Ered Wethrin grew dark, Huor fell pierced with a venomed arrow in his eye, and all the valiant Men of Hador were slain about him in a heap.26

Húrin was taken captive and dragged to Angband. Huor's wife, Rían met her sad fate soon.

When no tidings came of her lord she fled into the wild; but she was aided by the Grey-elves of Mithrim, and when her son Tuor was born they fostered him. Then Rían departed from Hithlum, and going to the Haudh-en-Ndengin [the Hill of Slain27] she laid herself down upon it and died.28

Reception

Having read and thought about Huor, I can see a lot of parallels between him and his long-distant descendant Arathorn II. Even though Huor did not happen to be a leader of his people, and Arathorn was a chieftain of the Dúnedain, they seem to have a lot in common. They were warriors. They died in their prime to leave a young widow and a son behind. Their sons were fostered by the elves: Tuor by the Grey Elf Annael, Aragorn by Elrond. Their sons married elven women – Idril Celebrindal and Arwen Undómiel respectively – and of those two unions, the hope for both kindreds, Elves and Men, was born. Both Huor and Arathorn were killed by an arrow in the eye. Finally, both of them were loyal and courageous.

When I typed Arathorn into a search engine at Open Scrolls Archive, it returned nine results. The one at Fanfiction.net – two results. Not too many. But at least at the Naice a Nilme story archive, there are fifteen stories in which he features, and the winner is the Stories of Arda archive: forty results. In the latter, Huor is not even listed in the collection of characters we can choose from.

So why does he seem a neglected hero? I have no simple answer to this question, except maybe that he might seem boring to those readers and interpreters of Tolkien's legendarium who favor bad boys – those complicated souls whom we both love and despise at times.

I imagine him as a tall, golden-haired, blue-eyed and fierce warrior ("the people of Hador were of yet greater strength and stature, mighty among the Children of Eru, ready in mind, bold and steadfast. Yellowhaired they were for the most part and blue-eyed"29). He loved his people, his land, and his family; was a caring brother; a loyal ally to the Noldor and the Sindar alike, and pure bravery in the guise of a Secondborn. He should, in my opinion, inspire more artistic ventures because, I suspect, he would have liked to be a fully developed character, not only somebody else's brother or father, and a mere mention in passing.




Author's note: Thank-yous go to Dawn Felagund for her beta help and to Oshun because the bios of Turgon and Tuor she has written were very helpful.




Works Cited

  1. Lyrics by American country music singer and song writer Faron Young (1932-1996).
  2. Compound Sindarin Names in Middle-earth at Tolkiendil.com decipher his name as follows: heart-vigour, courage; hûr ("vigour, fiery spirit") + gor (from primitive *gore "violence, impetus, haste").
  3. Tolkien often used this trait and made a few specific characters the tallest among their kind, vide: Maedhros, Thingol, Galadriel, Huor, Tuor, etc. I, however, am not sure I buy this 'height' fetish, because when almost everyone is to be freakishly tall, how it can be significant?
  4. The Silmarillion, "The Index of Names," p. 404.
  5. Unfinished Tales, Narn I Hîn Hurín, p. 60.
  6. The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin", p. 184.
  7. The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals, pp. 51, 71.
  8. Unfinished Tales, Narn I Hîn Hurín, p. 60.
  9. The Children of Húrin, "The Childhood of Túrin", p. 35.
  10. The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin", p. 183.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid., p. 184.
  13. The Children of Húrin, "The Childhood of Túrin", p. 35.
  14. The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin", p. 184.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid., p. 185.
  17. Ibid., p. 186.
  18. Ibid., p. 187.
  19. The Children of Húrin, "The Childhood of Túrin", p. 34.
  20. The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin", p. 187.
  21. In The Grey Annals, there are two dates of their wedding: year 471 F.A. and in the next paragraph 472 F.A.
  22. The Children of Húrin, "The Childhood of Túrin", p. 35.
  23. The Silmarillion, "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad", pp. 224-225.
  24. Ibid., p. 227.
  25. Ibid., p. 230.
  26. Ibid.
  27. A great hill raised by orcs after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad to bury the Elves and Edain fallen in the battle.
  28. The Silmarillion, "Of Túrin Turambar", p. 235.
  29. The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals, p. 50.



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Current Challenge

First Lines

The first line of a story can be very important. It usually sets the tone or introduces you into a scene. With this challenge, we have made a list of story openers for you to use and to expand upon. If you take part in this challenge, your story must be written with one of the first lines provided below.

Can't find a first line that inspires you? Try these first line generators for some more inspiration: First line Generator at Writingexercises.co.uk or Story Starters at Writingfix.com. If you make use of one of these generators, mention it in the story!

Challenges Revisited: Trinkets and Treasures

The Silmarillion is full of stories pertaining to or involving items that are magical or valuable in some way to their owners. Write a piece in any form--short story, drabble, poem--about how one of these items influenced history or its possesor, how the item was acquired or created, or how the item was lost.

The Silmarillion canon is full of items that could be used for this challenge, but also, there are items that must have existed by receive no special mention and items that exist only in the imaginations of fanfic writers. Any item--canon or not--is suitable for this challenge. Here are some examples to get you started:

Quote of the Month

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."

~Joseph Campbell

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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org 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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org 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.

JRR Tolkien: 'Film my books? It's easier to film The Odyssey.'

An interview with the Silmarillion author, including a visit to his file-cluttered garage in his Oxford house, was originally published in The Telegraph magazine on March 22, 1968, and now posted on their website. During the interview Tolkien speaks of female spiders, the inception of The Hobbit, the creation of languages, and more.

Fanfic Resource: Tolkien Fanfic Archives

SWG member Independence1776 shares a great resource: a compilation of Tolkien archive websites, which can be found at her Tumblr.

A Companion to JRR Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers

Author Bruce G Charlton explores Tolkien's personality and his motivations behind his unfinished time-travel story, which started with the flipping of a coin at a meeting of the Inklings, and evolved into the exploration of a mechanism to justify the "finding" of records of The Silmarillion in our world. Read the essay on The Notion Club Papers here.

Fifty Shades of Fair Use

Fair use is to blame--or thank--for the existence of the Fifty Shades franchise out of its origin in Twilight fan fiction into a worldwide blockbuster movie and kinky teddy bears. Read more on fair use, "fair dealing" (its UK equivalent), and more at the Disruptive Competition Project website. Fair Use Week ran from February 23-27, and the Fair Use Week tumblr has more articles from experts on this important topic. In honor of Fair Use Week, the Organization for Transformative Works also has an article on the the ten biggest misconceptions about fair use in fanworks.

A Brief History of Slash

Not really a history or a chronology, except for the obligatory mention of "Kirk SLASH Spock" from which the genre got its name, but an analysis of some of the reasons for the popularity of slash in fan fiction. Read the post (and the comments it generated) at The Toast. On the subject of slash, AC's classic essay In Defense of Slash considers why slash isn't "a violation of the primary text" any more than other genres of fan fiction.

Wheaton College: Tolkien Database

Doing research? Working on a paper? Writing meta? The Wheaton College English Department maintains a searchable database of books and articles related to Tolkien studies!

"Let Us Dispute about Noises" by Ed Powell

This guest post by Ed Powell on The Oddest Inkling blog undertakes a case study on how to pronounce the name Thrain. Ed's findings are fascinating and point to the challenge, relevant to all Tolkien fans, of pronouncing languages that Tolkien wasn't himself always certain of or consistent with. Read Ed's findings in "Let Us Dispute about Noises."

Announcements

RarelyWritten Fic Exchange--Sign-Ups Extended until March 3!

RarelyWritten is a fic exchange promoting characters of rarely-represented genders. Gift fics of 1,000 words minimum are due in late April. There are tag sets featuring ladies from The Silmarillion as well as LotR and The Hobbit, and of course characters from many other fandoms. See the RarelyWritten profile for a schedule, full guidelines, FAQ, and to sign up. The sign-up deadline for this ficswap has been extended to March 3 at midnight CST so if you're interested, don't hesitate!

Never Seen Before: Art Contest on DeviantArt's Silmarillion Club

There are many scenes and characters from Tolkien's works that have never been tackled by an artist. This contest encourages artists to seek out these never-seen-before people, places, and events and illustrate them. Winners will receive prizes. The deadline for entry is March 31. See the Never Seen Before contest rules for full information and how to submit your entry.

My Slashy Valentine 2015: Stories Posted!

The stories for the 2015 My Slashy Valentine challenge have been posted over on the My Slashy Valentine 2015 collection on AO3. With 43 works submitted this year, there's sure to be something for everyone!

Mythgard Academy: Free Course on The Book of Lost Tales 2

The Mythgard Academy is offering another free, ten-week online course, this time about The Book of Lost Tales 2. Taught by Corey "the Tolkien Professor" Olsen, the course meets weekly on Wednesdays at 9:30 PM EST for live lectures, which can be attended by the first 100 participants to sign up. Three lectures have been conducted so far, and you can view the video, listen to the audio, and access the lecture notes for these.

Tale of Tinúviel, Part 1: video | audio | lecture notes
Tale of Tinúviel, Part 2: video | audio | lecture notes
Tale of Turambar, Part 1: video | audio | lecture notes

To attend a class live, access past lectures, and check out other course resources, visit the Book of Lost Tales 2 course page.

Hobbit Story 2.0 Big Bang

The Hobbit Story 2.0 Big Bang is now accepting signups for authors, podficcers, betas, and artists who want to create fanworks based on The Hobbit. See the Hobbit Story rules and FAQ for full details on how to participate.

Surveys Galore!

Want to help some academic researchers better understand Tolkien fandom in the 21st century? Two big survey projects are ongoing in an effort to collect data and learn more about our fandom. Dawn's Tolkien fan fiction survey collects data on the habits, beliefs, and preferences of Tolkien fans who participate in reading and/or writing fan fiction. The World Hobbit Project is run by a team of media studies researchers who hope to glean more information on how audiences perceived the recent Hobbit films. Each survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Odyssey Writers' Workshop: Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Session

Each summer, writers of the fantastic come from all over the world to attend the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Odyssey is one of the most highly respected programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Only fifteen are admitted. Fifty-nine percent of graduates go on to professional publication.

Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. The six-week program combines an advanced curriculum with extensive writing and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Jeff VanderMeer, Holly Black, Catherynne M. Valente, and Dan Simmons. This summer's workshop runs from June 8 to July 17, 2015 on Saint Anselm College's beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Application deadline is April 8. See the Odyssey Workshop website for full information.

Calls for Papers

Mythopoeic Society. The 46th Annual Mythopoeic Conference will be held this year in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from July 31 through August 3, 2015. Paper proposals are being accepted through 15 April. Topics can range from Tolkien studies, Arthuriana, and fantasy studies. Papers by undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. See the full call for papers at the Myth-Con website.

Silver Leaves. Silver Leaves welcomes artwork submissions, and all academic, journalistic, reflective, and creative submissions pertaining to music in Middle-earth and fantasy music in general. There is also limited room for creative and non-fiction submissions relating to Tolkien's works, or to other fantasy works, which may fall outside of the theme of Issue 6. The deadline for all submissions is May 15, 2015. See the full Silver Leaves submission guidelines here.

The New York Tolkien Conference. The conference will be held on Saturday 13 June, 2015 at Baruch College, New York. The conference's theme is centered on Tolkien and they are open to discussions of Tolkien from the author's life to his works to his influences to the fandom surrounding his work. Accepted presentations range from 15 to 30 minutes in length. Deadline for Submissions April 7, 2015. See the New York Tolkien Conference website for full details.




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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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