Newsletter: March 2017
Table of Contents
- SWG News. Like every month of March, we have launched a new Back to Middle-earth Month. This year the theme for B2MeM 2017 is Night and Day, which presents prompts and challenges on a gameboard format. In this section we also remind you about our current challenge "Revolution!" and provide links to the new rules for our challenges. Last but not least, we welcome this month's joiners to our SWG community.
- New at the Archive. Stories and poems added, updated, and finished during the month of February.
- Character of the Month Biography: Silmariën, by Oshun. Silmariën was the eldest child of the fourth king of Númenor. Born before women could hold the scepter, Silmariën receives little attention from Tolkien, but she links the Númenórean royal house back into the First Age and prior and forward even as far as the reign of Aragorn in the Fourth Age.
- Around the World and Web. Announcements, events, and interesting reads from beyond the SWG.
Back to Middle-earth Month 2017: Night and Day
Back to Middle-earth Month is a month-long holiday of the Tolkien fandom, during which participants are encouraged to celebrate Middle-earth by creating fanworks about it. This year's B2MeM will present prompts for fanworks on a gameboard. Participants can choose any path on the board that appeals to them and use the prompts to make fanworks with the goal of reaching the center of the board before the end of the month. This is a self-challenge, not a competition. There are paths available for participants who want to work on a fanwork every day, as well as those who want to spend March crafting just one or a few pieces. As always, all creators of Tolkien-based fanworks are welcome, and fanworks from all Ages, about all characters, and of all ratings and genres, both fiction and non-fiction, are welcome on the B2MeM community.
B2MeM will begin on March 1 and run through March 31. The gameboard will be available on February 28. Watch our LJ B2MeM community, the Dreamwidth community, or the B2MeM Tumblr for further announcements.
There is a huge – and growing - collection of beautiful icons and banners which participants can choose from. They can be found at this LJ post.
This year's B2MeM will present prompts and challenges on a gameboard format and there will be multiple paths you may choose from to follow. You can find the rules for progressing along the gameboard and FAQs here.
And finally, you can find the posting and tagging rules here.
If you have a question you do not see answered here or any doubt that may come up as regards any part of the event, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first challenge under this new format, Taboo, was a huge success and many fascinating stories were written. The topic of the current challenge is Revolution: participants receive a quotation, artwork, speech or song concerned with protest and revolution. If you want to take part, you can comment on our LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, send our Tumble an ask or email us to receive a prompt. Participation stamps are available for both creators and reviewers. To be eligible for this month's stamp as a creator, you must post your response to the SWG archive no later than March 10, 2017. Review challenges never expire; however, we ask that you email us if you need a reviewer stamp for a challenge that is more than two months old.
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 email@example.com and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!
Welcome to Our New Members!
We give a warm welcome to Ar-Feiniel, Grundy, Wealdwalker, MVillarreal, ElberethTheStarkindler and Wizard Doofius who joined the Silmarillion Writers' Guild during the month of January.
We hope you have already found your way around our site and begun reading, reviewing or posting at the archive, but if you are still exploring or unsure about how things work around the site, you may wish to browse our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, we would love you to tell us a little bit about your fandom persona by updating your bio. Anytime you need help, please contact the SWG mods at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New at the Archive
100 Days of Silence by just_jenni [Adult] (3586 words)
Summary: Amras, realizing that he cannot bear to continue fighting, ostracizes himself from his family. Choosing to retreat into the forests of Beleriand, he meets someone unexpected.
A Heady Drink by Fernstrike [Teens] (3579 words)
Summary: Thranduil passes his 100th begetting day with some help from Galion, meets an elf-maid, and contemplates where he has come from, and where he will go from here, as he leaves his days of a Doriathrin childhood behind.
After Winter, There Comes Spring by Ysilme [Teens] (6087 words)
Summary: Glorfindel wants to fulfil his vow to protect Elrond’s line, but this is not as easy as it seems when Elrond struggles with adapting to the changes after the War of the Last Alliance.
Aftermath by Lyra [Adult] (8710 words)
Summary: After the Darkening, Nerdanel struggles to pick up the pieces of her life - a difficult job with the legacy her husband has left her.
Aftermath by The Wavesinger [Teens] (3046 words)
Summary: Immediately after the Darkening, Findis and Elemmírë attempt to adjust. Written for IdleLeaves for Sultry in September 2016.
An Act of Faith by Himring [Teens] (513 words)
Summary: Finarfin, recently crowned king of the Noldor remaining in Valinor, summons Curufin's wife, because a certain rumour has reached his ears.
Assignation by Dawn Felagund [Adult] (7189 words)
Summary: When Turgon discovers a forbidden affair between his sister Aredhel and cousin Curufin, he has all intentions of telling his father. But Aredhel and his cousins devise a way to keep safe the secrecy of an affair that will span ages. Aredhel/Curufin/Celegorm
By Any Other Name by Tyelca [General] (666 words)
Summary: After Fëanor’s death, Curufin writes a letter to his father and ponders with which name to sign.
Decisions by Silver Trails [Teens] (2231 words)
Summary: Caranthir tries to understand his feelings.
Dreaming by Silver Trails [General] (600 words)
Summary: While in the Halls, Feanor has a strange dream.
Fire and Worms by Tyelca [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (1814 words)
Summary: The ground is wet and rotten and the fire is wasteful, and madness slowly turns vices into virtues. Or is it the other way around?
Flowers of Vardarianna by Zdenka [Adult] (1679 words)
Summary: Míriel finds a source of loyalty in dark times. (Míriel/Original Female Character)
In Between by Himring [Teens] (527 words)
Summary: Thengel of Rohan and Morwen of Lossarnach had two daughters that were born in Gondor, before Thengel's father died and he returned to Rohan to take up the kingship. Such a daughter might have found it easy to adjust--or she might not...
In the Bleak Midwinter by Zdenka [Teens] (1318 words)
Summary: Aerin, despairing after the losses of Nirnaeth Arnoediad and her forced marriage to Brodda, receives a moment of comfort.
In the Heart of the Storm by IgnobleBard [Teens] (4848 words)
Summary: Ossë shows Círdan the passion at the heart of the storm.
Long Pork by Fernstrike [Teens] (1241 words)
Summary: Galadriel attends the wedding of Beren and Luthien, newly returned from their journey to Angband. There, a roast boar is cause for the resurgence of old, bad memories - and consideration of what truly makes one an outsider in Doriath.
Love Me Now by Grundy [General] (2701 words)
Summary: Elves, mortals, peredhil, and love.
Mirror Image by Tyelca [General] (1570 words)
Summary: Curufin is troubled, and Fëanor decides to talk to him. Fluff!
No Small Dreams by just_jenni [Adult] (1936 words)
Summary: After the Noldor are victorious in the Dagor-Nuin-Giliath Finrod and Turgon fall asleep beside the River Sirion while on a camping trip. Ulmo, having come up the river to find them, lays a deep sleep complete with heavy dreams upon them. Each elf will remember that his dream involved building new cities or realms which are places of refuge or retreats for their people during a peaceful time; for at any moment this peace could be broken by Morgoth and his evil army waging war on them once more. This fic deals with the fact that despite being best friends (perhaps even closer than that) since childhood, neither Finrod nor Turgon will disclose each other's dream to one another. I tried to understand why they would not and describe the reasons they might have for not doing so.
One Star in the Sky, Book 1: Rebirth by VCalien2015 [Teens] (131265 words)
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. Canon-divergent in spots.
ostracism and exile by hennethgalad [Teens] (979 words)
Summary: the first meeting of Voronwë and Tuor
religious taboos by hennethgalad [General] (814 words)
Summary: Tuor tells his son that he will sail with Idril to Valinor.
Scenes From A Childhood In Doriath by Fernstrike [General] (6545 words)
Summary: One day in the life of young Thranduil - from a quiet moment with his mother, to time spent with his friend Galion, to an uncomfortable talk with his father, and an eavesdropped conversation hinting at the resurgence of darker days.
sexual deviance by hennethgalad [Adult] (2273 words)
Summary: Tuor seeks the aid of Voronwë in preparing for his wedding
Solitude by Erulisse [General] (788 words)
Summary: It is written that Melkor was imprisoned in the depths of Mandos for Three Aeons after his capture in Middle Earth. Studies in modern times have proven that true solitary confinement leads to madness and that interaction with others is essential to mental stability and healing. Yet, Melkor sat isolated and alone - was he already insane, or did his extreme solitude tip the balance and plunge him into deeper madness. I present a conversation between Melkor and Namo written for the Taboo challenge categories of Murder, Cannibalism, Ostracism and Exile and Consequences.
Something Un-Feanorian by Himring [Teens] (6956 words)
Summary: Elrond has a posthumous conversation with Maedhros at the time of the Fall of Eregion. With glimpses of Elros and of the Third Kinslaying. Now added: The Decision (gapfiller for the main story, Elrond's POV)
stigma by hennethgalad [General] (2693 words)
Summary: Tuor is helped to fit in in Gondolin
table manners by hennethgalad [General] (1923 words)
Summary: Maeglin is envious of the beauty of Tuor
The Council by Silver Trails [General] (1127 words)
Summary: The three Elven Kings and their heirs discuss the best way to organize the reurn to Middle-earth.
The End of All Things by Tyelca [General] (1683 words)
Summary: An Orc dies; what happens when he wakes up again in the Halls of Mandos and is forced to remember that he too belonged to the race of the Eldar?
The Vala, the Hound and the Elfling by Tyelca [General] (4197 words)
Summary: Of how Huan came to be in Celegorm's care. Features a Vala without a sense of time, a puppy that does not yet know how to behave, and a curious little Elfling wanting to speak with birds and foxes.
We Weren’t Born to Follow by oshun [General] (1422 words)
Summary: In response to the SWG Challenge "Revolution." Prompt: Bon Jovi, “We Weren’t Born To Follow”? video | lyrics The Noldor were always a contentious people. Finwë and Míriel before they leave on the great Trek across the mountains to the sea.
Works In Progress
And The Days Darken by Fernstrike [Teens] (6721 words)
Summary: The great halls of Menegroth have long remained unharassed by the servants of darkness. That watchful peace is coming to an end. A young Thranduil, keeping watch on Doriath's borders, witnesses an event that heralds the beginning of the end for the Elven kingdom. As Doriath faces tumult after tumult, he, his family, and their host, struggle to maintain a foothold in a terrifying, changing world - one that seems poised to bring ruination upon them.
Dancing In The Dark by Grundy [Teens] (9854 words)
Summary: History remembers Curufin as the villain. There are a few who think better of him. Written for the Taboo challenge. First chapter hits 'consequences' and 'ostracization and exile'. Upcoming chapters will mark off other squares. Will give warnings on chapters as appropriate.
Drabbles: The Silmarillion, part 2 by Zdenka [Teens] (1097 words)
Summary: Tolkien drabbles set in the First and Second Ages of Middle-earth. (Exactly 100 words as counted by MS Word.) Please see table of contents for individual summaries and warnings.
Morning Hath Broken by Kaylee Arafinwiel [General] (580 words)
Summary: One fair morning in Harlindon, Oropher tells the story of the Iathrim's first sunrise to the most precious light of his life - his only remaining son. Chapter Two is up! (And silly me, Oropher had to include the first moonrise first!)
Not Wholly Fruitless by maeglin [General] (7935 words)
Summary: More about Erestor.
Of Masters Fëanor and Galadriel and the Flight of the Ñoldor by The Wavesinger [General] (1652 words)
Summary: A collection of documents and sources for a research paper, and a glimpse of an event three hundred years before the fall of the Jedi Order. (Or, yet another Star Wars AU.) Written for amyfortuna for Crossovering 2016.
The Embalmer's Apprentice by Lyra [Teens] (122519 words)
Summary: Faced with the choice between execution or working on the preservation of dead people, young Azruhâr finds himself drawn into the increasingly political struggle between progress and tradition, science and superstition.
The Exiles by Silver Trails [Teens] (5139 words)
Summary: The knowledge of the Elves who stayed in Middle-earth is needed to prepare the new coming of the Elves.
The Fall Of Doriath by gamil-zirak [General] (125548 words)
Summary: This is an attempt at writing an account of the destruction of Doriath by the Sons of Feanor. It shall include the battle and aftermath. Hope you enjoy it.
Escaping Tirion by Silver Trails [General] (135 words)
Summary: Galadriel and Aredhel speak of escaping Tirion together.
Lullaby For The Dior Twins by Fernstrike [General] (187 words)
Summary: A poem about Eluréd and Elurín's tragic fate.
Pariahs by LadyBrooke [General] (384 words)
Summary: The Sindar will not conform, in names, trust, or Kings. Elu, Nimloth, and Oropher are reborn rulers in a society that sees them as primatives.
The Straight Road by Silver Trails [General] (414 words)
Summary: Eru orders Manwë to open the Straight Road.
Utúlie’n aurë by Ar-Feiniel [General] (543 words)
Summary: A poem in tribute of Fingon, High King of the Noldor, he who deserved everything and got nothing.
Character of the Month Biography
Silmariën was the oldest child of Tar-Elendil, the fourth ruler of the island kingdom of Númenor. Tar-Elendil's two oldest children were daughters. We know less of Tar-Elendil's second daughter Isilmë than we know of Silmariën, which is not a lot. Silmariën's father passed the throne to his only son Írimon, who would rule Númenor as Tar-Meneldur.
Although the first born, Silmariën was unable to become one of the ruling Queens of Númenor because she was born too soon.1 At the time of her birth, the succession to the throne of Númenor passed from eldest son to eldest son by means of agnatic primogeniture or patrilineal primogeniture, which dictates that the inheritance of the scepter of Númenor passed to the king's eldest son. In cases when there was no male heir, then it would follow the male line, "tracing shared descent from the nearest common ancestor through male ancestors."2 This tracing of the patrilineal line becomes important later in relationship to the throne of Númenor.
Through the time of the birth of Silmariën, and for some years thereafter, there was no actual discussion relating to this use of patrilineal primogeniture. The texts imply that practice depended more upon accepted traditions than actual law. There is a fuller and interesting discussion of the customs and/or laws relating to lines of descent in Númenor near the end of Aldarion and Erendis in Unfinished Tales.3
The Line of Elros
Elros, brother of Elrond, having made the choice to live the life of a mortal Man, was sent to Númenor by Eönwë to be its first ruler4: "Thereafter he was known in the Scroll of the Kings by the name of Tar-Minyatur."5 Often called the "Land of Gift,"6 Númenor had been prepared by the Valar as a reward and a place of safety from the troubles of Middle-earth for the Edain.7 "In the Great Battle when at last Morgoth was overthrown and Thangorodrim was broken, the Edain alone of the kindreds of Men fought for the Valar, whereas many others fought for Morgoth."8 The Akallabêth further describes that the suffering endured by the Edain and their loyalty to the Elves during the Wars of Beleriand caused Eönwë to desire to protect and reward them.9 Númenor was, for all practical purposes, intended by the Valar to be a virtual paradise, isolated and protected from strife and the reach of evil forces.
A land was made for the Edain to dwell in, neither part of Middle-earth nor of Valinor, for it was sundered from either by a wide sea; yet it was nearer to Valinor. It was raised by Ossë out of the depths of the Great Water, and it was established by Aulë and enriched by Yavanna; and the Eldar brought thither flowers and fountains out of Tol Eressëa.10
Interestingly enough, the Valar did not learn from their experience in Valinor with the Noldor, but that is another story. Or believed they could try and again and perhaps the tactic would work better the second time.
Meanwhile, the Númenor into which Silmariën was born was still basking in the full sun of peaceful expansion and extension of its population throughout the star-shaped island. It was only during the reign of her father Tar-Elendil, six hundred years after the beginning of the Second Age and the settlement of Númenor, that Vëantur, serving as Captain of the King's Ships, made the first return voyage to Middle-earth.11
The Lords of Andúnië
Silmariën married a nobleman named Elatan of the city of Andúnië. We know nothing about his background, except for his origins in that city located on the Bay of Andúnië in the Andustar region of the western part of the island of Númenor (". . . their son was Valandil, Lord of Andúnië, from whom came long after the lines of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor in Middle-earth"12 ). Subsequently, Elatan's importance lies not in his history, but in the part he played in the future of Númenor through his marriage to Silmariën and the birth of their son Valandil.
Valandil was Tar-Aldarion's cousin, for he was the son of Silmariën daughter of Tar-Elendil and sister of Tar-Meneldur. Valandil, first of the Lords of Andúnië, was the ancestor of Elendil the Tall father of Isildur and Anárion.13
Tar-Elendil created the title of the Lords of Andúnië in favor of Valandil. From the foundation of that house, Silmariën became the mother to one of the most important dynasties on the island and later in the history of Middle-earth.
Highest in honour after the house of the kings were the Lords of Andúnië; for they were of the line of Elros, being descended from Silmariën, daughter of Tar-Elendil the fourth king of Númenor. And these lords were loyal to the kings, and revered them; and the Lord of Andúnië was ever among the chief councillors of the Sceptre. Yet also from the beginning they bore especial love to the Eldar and reverence for the Valar; and as the Shadow grew they aided the Faithful as they could. But for long they did not declare themselves openly, and sought rather to amend the hearts of the lords of the Sceptre with wiser counsels.14
Much of the history of the Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth would depend upon the actions and intervention of the "line of great kings of long life, directly descended from Elros, Eärendil's son, brother of Elrond,"15 but most especially among those of the line of Elros, the direct descendants of Silmariën, the Lords of the Andúnië, would go down in the history of Middle-earth. The line of the Lords of the Andúnië continued to particularly embody the line of Elros, not simply in blood ties, but by preserving its connection to the history and heritage of the ideals and perspectives of both the original settlers and the creators of Númenor.
Most significantly for the future of Middle-earth, the Lords of the Andúnië were to become known as "the Faithful" and "elf-friends" retaining those early traditions of Númenor, including the use of the Sindarin language, while resisting under the most dangerous of circumstances the forces of Sauron.
When Sauron came as a prisoner to Númenor, he looked upon the land and its inhabitants and was overcome more with envy than with hate. He was clever and bided his time, hoping to deceive and win over the hearts of the men of Númenor.
Yet such was the cunning of his mind and mouth, and the strength of his hidden will, that ere three years had passed he had become closest to the secret counsels of the King; for flattery sweet as honey was ever on his tongue, and knowledge he had of many things yet unrevealed to Men. And seeing the favour that he had of their lord all the councillors began to fawn upon him, save one alone, Amandil lord of Andúnië. Then slowly a change came over the land, and the hearts of the Elf-friends were sorely troubled, and many fell away out of fear; and although those that remained still called themselves the Faithful, their enemies named them rebels.16
Silmariën's descendants and those who followed them, led by Elendil and Isildur, would eventually guide a significant proportion of the Faithful to escape the cataclysmic destruction of Númenor and found and develop the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.
The Faithful put aboard their wives and their children, and their heirlooms, and great store of goods. Many things there were of beauty and power, such as the Númenóreans had contrived in the days of their wisdom, vessels and jewels, and scrolls of lore written in scarlet and black.17
The line of the Kings of Númenor had held legendary treasures from the First Age of Beleriand and before, which Elros had brought with him to the Land of Gift as part of his patrimony. But not all of those were in the keeping of the Lord of the Andúnië. The official sword of the Kings of Númenor had belonged to none other than Elu Thingol.
The King's sword was indeed Aranrúth, the sword of Elu Thingol of Doriath in Beleriand, that had descended to Elros from Elwing his mother. Other heirlooms there were beside: the Ring of Barahir; the great Axe of Tuor, father of Eärendil; and the Bow of Bregor of the House of Bëor.18
Ring of Barahir
But there were historic and key heirlooms dating all the way back to Silmariën herself and before which they did save. The chief among those was the Ring of Barahir. In Unfinished Tales one reads that
Only the Ring of Barahir father of Beren One-hand survived the Downfall; for it was given by Tar-Elendil to his daughter Silmarien and was preserved in the House of the Lords of Andúnië, of whom the last was Elendil the Faithful who fled from the wrack of Númenor to Middle-earth.19
The Ring of Barahir, which Aragon wears in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie series (facsimiles of which are still available for purchase by movie fans online), is the famous ring given by Finrod Felagund to Barahir father of Beren when he saved the life of the illustrious Elf-lord in the fourth battle of the Wars of Beleriand the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame). There is no definitive history of the Ring of Barahir prior to the First Age save that it was brought by Finrod from Valinor:
Barahir the brother of Bregolas was in the fighting further westward, near to the Pass of Sirion. There King Finrod Felagund, hastening from the south, was cut off from his people and surrounded with small company in the Fen of Serech; and he would have been slain or taken, but Barahir came up with the bravest of his men and rescued him, and made a wall of spears about him; and they cut their way out of the battle with great loss. Thus Felagund escaped, and returned to his deep fortress of Nargothrond; but he swore an oath of abiding friendship and aid in every need to Barahir and all his kin, and in token of his vow he gave to Barahir his ring.20
Beren, indeed, brought the ring to Finrod in Nargothrond and sought aid in his seemingly suicidal quest to redeem a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth in payment of a bride price for Lúthien demanded by Elu Thingol. Finrod, of course, repaid his oath at the cost of his life.21
The provenance of the Ring of Barahir is a little cloudy at times, but as nearly as one can reconstruct it, the ring was passed from Beren to his son Dior, and from Dior to Elwing, the mother of Elrond and Elros. Elros apparently took the ring to Númenor, where it remained as an heirloom of the Kings of Númenor, until the fourth King of Númenor and the father of Silmariën, passed it not to the next King, but to his eldest daughter. From Silmariën it entered into the patrimony of the house of the Lords of the Andúnië, until it was brought to Middle-earth by Elendil and was held by the Northern Dúnedain, belong first to the Kings of Arnor and then the Kings of Arthedain.22
When Arvedui the last of the Kings of Arthedain was forced out of Fornost by the Witch King, he and his forces hid for a time in the tunnels of old Dwarven mines at Ered Luin. Near starvation, they finally sought help from the Lossoth, also called the Snowmen of Forochel. When they left their rescuers Arvedui presented the Ring of Barahir to the Snowmen in return for their succor.23
He thanked him, and at parting gave him his ring, saying: "This is a thing of worth beyond your reckoning. For its ancientry alone. It has no power, save the esteem in which those hold it who love my house. It will not help you, but if ever you are in need, my kin will ransom it with great store of all that you desire."24
But King Arvedui perished in the ship that had been sent to rescue him and he went down with all of his other salvaged artifacts. Only the Ring of Barahir survived. It was in time ransomed by the Rangers of the North and left for safekeeping with Elrond at Rivendell, along with other heirlooms of the Northern Kingdom.
But when Estel was only twenty years of age, it chanced that he returned to Rivendell after great deeds in the company of the sons of Elrond; and Elrond looked at him and was pleased, for he saw that he was fair and noble and was early come to manhood, though he would yet become greater in body and in mind. That day therefore Elrond called him by his true name, and told him who he was and whose son; and he delivered to him the heirlooms of his house.
"Here is the ring of Barahir," he said, "the token of our kinship from afar; and here also are the shards of Narsil. With these you may yet do great deeds; for I foretell that the span of your life shall be greater than the measure of Men, unless evil befalls you or you fail at the test. But the test will be hard and long. The Sceptre of Annúminas I withhold, for you have yet to earn it."25
When Aragorn and Arwen pledged their troth in Lothlórien on the mound of Cerin Amroth, he gave her the Ring of Barahir.26 The texts do not tell us what became of the Ring of Barahir in the Fourth Age, whether Arwen took it with her when she returned to Lothlórien to die or whether it remained with her descendants.
Star of Elendil or the Elendilmir
The other named artifact which is specifically tracked to Númenor and Silmariën is the jewel called the Star of Elendil or the Elendilmir. This name was given to a star-shaped white jewel set in a mithril fillet (a type of headband or crown-like piece of jewelry worn on the forehead; examples date to classical antiquity). It was associated, as its name indicates, with Elendil and became the version of a crown for the Northern Kingdom of the Dúnedain also sometimes referred to as the Star of the North. Until it is recovered, after Aragorn reunites the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of the Dúnedain, Isildur last wore the original. It was lost when he was killed. A copy of the Elendilmir was then crafted in Rivendell for Valandil, heir of Isildur, and remained as part of the legacy of Northern Kingdom.27 After the Ring War, Aragorn entered the Tower of Orthanc at Isengard seeking what artifacts might remain there. And he discovered
. . . a treasure without price, long mourned as lost forever: the Elendilmir itself, the white star of Elvish crystal upon a fillet of mithril that had descended from Silmariën to Elendil, and had been taken by him as the token of royalty in the North Kingdom. Every king and the chieftains that followed them in Arnor had borne the Elendilmir down even to Elessar himself; but though it was a jewel of great beauty, made by Elven-smiths in Imladris for Valandil Isildur's son, it had not the ancientry nor potency of the one that had been lost when Isildur fled into the dark and came back no more.
Elessar took it up with reverence, and when he returned to the North and took up again the full kingship of Arnor Arwen bound it upon his brow, and men were silent in amaze to see its splendour.28
After that time he did not regularly wear it, but saved it for only "high days in the North Kingdom."29 At all other times when in his "kingly raiment he bore the Elendilmir which had descended to him [the second one, the replica]. 'And this also is a thing of reverence,' he said, 'and above my worth; forty heads have worn it before.'"30
The account of the legacy of Silmariën reaches both back into the events in First Age Beleriand and forward to find resonance and significance within the tales of the latter days of the history of Middle-earth as recounted in The Lord of the Rings.
- "The sixth King [Tar-Aldarion] left only one child, a daughter. She became the first Queen [i.e. Ruling Queen]; for it was then made a law of the royal house that the eldest child of the King, whether man or woman, should receive the sceptre." The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Appendix A.
- Murphy, Michael Dean, "A Kinship Glossary: Symbols, Terms, and Concepts," University of Alabama Department of Anthropology, Fall 2001, accessed 1 March 2017.
- Unfinished Tales. Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariners Wife.
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- Unfinished Tales. The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor.
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- In the long essay, Quendi and Eldar, the Edain are referred to among Men or the Second-Born of Eru as "the Elf-friends of old . . . born in the land of Eriador east of the mountains: Beor the Vassal, Haleth the Hunter, and Hador the Goldenhaired." The War of the Jewels. Quendi and Eldar.
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- Unfinished Tales. Aldarion and Erendis.
- Ibid, Note 15.
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. "131 To Milton Waldman."
- The Silmarillion. Akallabêth.
- Unfinished Tales. Description of the Island of Númenor, Note 2.
- The Silmarillion. "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin."
- The Silmarillion. "Of Beren and Lúthien."
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Appendix A, "The Númenórean Kings," "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur," and "The North Kingdom and the Dúnedain."
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Appendix A, "Here Follows a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen."
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Appendix B, "The Tale of the Years," and "The Third Age."
- Unfinished Tales. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
Around the World and Web
Articles of Interest
Each month, the SWG newsletter features links to articles that our members might find interesting. Do you have something you'd like to suggest? An interesting essay or discussion going on in your journal or blog? Drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll add your article, essay, or post to our next newsletter!
It should go without saying, but just in case it bears repeating, any opinions expressed in these links are not necessarily that of the SWG and its moderators.
Beren and Lúthien Publication Delayed
The Tolkien Society reports a one-month delay in the publication of Beren and Lúthien: "The publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien has been pushed back one month to Thursday 1 June 2017. Edited by Christopher Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee, the book had been due to be published on 4 May.
Many fans will be reminded of the facsimile first edition of The Hobbit, which was finally published in September 2016, four years later than initially announced. HarperCollins has not yet commented on the delay."
Aubusson weaves Tolkien
"The Cité internationale de la Tapisserie in Aubusson, France, has just signed an agreement with the Tolkien Estate for the creation over the course of four years of a series of 13 tapestries and one carpet based on original graphic works by J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), who started painting and drawing as a child, and continued to do so throughout his entire life."
Among the 14 works chosen to be rendered into tapestries are motives from all parts of the Middle-earth Legendarium as well as the The Father Christmas Letters. A particular highlight, as the creation of what is essentially a story-internal artifact, is going to be one of Tolkien's Númenorean carpets.
Tolkien the modernist: a glimpse of a unique creative process
Thomas Van at Catholic Culture highlights Tolkien's modernist creation process, breaking with established literary forms especially through his use of language. He explains how Tolkien did not merely use it as a creative tool (e.g. as the article showcases, in Tolkien's deliberate use of archaisms in The Lord of the Rings), but as a source of creativity. Van presents ent as a case-study that may well extend beyond the word's origin in Old English into motives from world mythology. Given that Tolkien worked as an assistant on the Oxford English Dictionary, some of his etymological sleuthing, both in real languages and Tolkien's own fictional ones, may be understood to have its source in this early nonfiction work.
A little Elvish love story in The Lord of the Rings
Dimitra Fimi revisits the Lord of the Rings love story of the Lothlórien Elf Nimrodel and her tragic relationship with Lothlórien's ruler Amroth, who was lost at sea after a storm tore his waiting ship loose and he tried to swim back ashore to seek her. What makes this summary especially worth reading is the note it takes of parallels in classical mythology. Nimrodel and her river are not merely reminiscent of ancient Greek Naiads, but of a particular story that Tolkien may well have been familiar with. Find out which one here.
Ardaholics Anonymous Podcast: Episode Two Available
The second episode of Ardaholics Anonymous podcast is now available. This time they're trying to convince people who haven't already to expand their reading beyond The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by easing into the Legendarium slowly by way of more accessible stories like The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and The Unfinished Tales.
Fractality in Tolkien
Fractals occur widely in nature and art, presenting repeating patterns regardless of scale. Promin-blog on tumblr presents the idea that Tolkien's works operate on the same function by way of the Ainulindalë and the intervention of various actors into it. It also becomes apparent looking at certain repetitive structures that diminish in scale, e.g. the romances of Thingol and Melian, Beren and Lúthien and Aragorn and Arwen or the fixation of Morgoth, Sauron, Saruman and even Gollum on their respective means of power. Find more specific examples here.
On Númenor and the Shire
Beginning with Erendis' famous observations on Númenor to Ancalimë, tumblr user vardasvapors identifies important characteristics of Early Númenor as "a prosperous, peaceful, isolated society", as well as the darker implications that would become visible in the island's later history. Perhaps in a further example of Tolkienian fractality, she also draws connections to a similar society in later Middle-earth that luckily avoided its downfall under the onslaught of evil: the Shire. Find the whole essay here.
I Am Femslash: Tolkien Fans' Responses
For their Femslash February event, Femslash Revolution on tumblr called for essays on creators' relationships to femslash and femslash fanworks. A number of Tolkien fans responded with their own unique stories. In order of appearance, you can find essays by RamainenElvie, Starspray, Montpahrnah, an anonymous author, SathInfection, AmyFortuna, Dawn Felagund and LiveOakWithMoss. You can also find the entire multifandom essay collection for you perusal under the #I Am Femslash tag.
Fictional characters make 'experiential crossings' into real life, study finds
It may be a phenomenon that many Tolkien readers and fanfiction writers are familiar with, but now it has scientific backing. According to The Guardian, a 2014 study by Durham University has found that more than half of the study's respondents experienced hearing fictional characters' voices or imagined their reactions to matters in real life. The phenomenon, called 'experiential crossing' by researchers, is believed to derive from novels' insights into the minds of characters that resonate with readers, citing examples like Holden Caulfield or characters from the works of Virginia Woolf. What was that, Fëanor? Unfairly excluded? Yeah... ;)
Tolkien Reading Day 2017:
The Tolkien Society reports: "The theme for Tolkien Reading Day 2017 is Poetry and Songs in Tolkien’s Fiction. What will you be reading?
Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year. It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages."
Preliminary Mythmoot Program Now Available!
"Are you excited for Mythmoot? Have you been waiting to see what what all is going to happen? If so, then wait your wait is now over! The Signum University Events Team has been hard at work to craft a fun-filled weekend to make Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder… the one Mythmoot conference to rule them all! Err…something like that."
Mythmoot takes place from June 1-4 in Leesburg, Virginia. Find the preliminary schedule here.
Oxonmoot is an annual event hosted by The Tolkien Society which brings together around 200 Tolkien fans, scholars, students and Society members from across the world. It has been held annually in Oxford since 1974 on a weekend close to Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday (22nd September) and is the key event in the Society’s annual calendar – if you want to come to any Tolkien event, come to Oxonmoot.
Oxonmoot is a three- or four-day event and since 1991 it has always been in a picturesque college of the University of Oxford. The college supply meals and accommodation for the weekend, so we effectively “take over” the college and enjoy an exclusively Tolkien weekend!
Oxonmoot 2017 is being held over 4 days from the afternoon of Thursday 21st September until lunch time on Sunday 24th September, at St Antony’s College.
Omentielva Otsea: The Seventh International Conference on Tolkien's Invented Languages
Registration has opened for Omentielva Otsea; the deadline is May 25. The conference takes place from 10 – 13 August 2017 at California State University, East Bay, Hayward Campus. More information will soon be issued on the website.
Shire Kitchen Revival
The community Shire Kitchen on LJ is looking to revive itself. If you are interested in cooking, especially if it's relevant to Middle-earth, or have Hobbity recipes of your own to share, give them a visit!
Fandom Loves Female Characters: Call for Responses
Historically, female characters have often been maligned in fandoms, if not outright excluded. This attitude gradually began changing, but in order to celebrate inclusivity and positivity toward your favourite female characters instead of justifying exclusion, Fandom Loves Female Characters is calling for responses. Why don't you let them know about your favourites and your relationships to them?
Calls for Papers
Tolkien Society Seminar 2017: Poetry and Song
The Tolkien Society Seminar 2017 will be held on Sunday 2 July in Leeds at the Hilton Leeds City. We are now calling for papers on the theme of Poetry and Song in Tolkien’s works.
This year the Seminar turns to the exploration of Tolkien’s verse creations and invites submissions on the topic of Poetry and Song. The Seminar comes in the wake of the publication of the Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and Beren and Lúthien, both having a poetic aspect to them.
If you would like to submit a paper, send your proposal to Anna Milon before 1 April 2017.
Tumblr and Fandom - Call for Papers
The online, open-access journal, Transformative Works and Cultures, which is part of the OTW’s academic outreach, has a call out for essays on Tumblr fandom.
Over the past five years, more and more English language transformative fandoms have gravitated to the social networking site Tumblr, moving from online communities such as LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and Yahoo! Groups. Thus many fan communities have shifted organization structures to adapt to Tumblr’s multiple points of entry and seemingly anti-hierarchical framework. Some fans describe Tumblr as a fandom free-for-all without clear rules for engagement. Others describe this uncertain multiplicity as one of the platform’s strengths. Still others have pointed to Tumblr’s comparatively more visual interface as enabling greater global participation in heretofore monolingual fandom spaces. All of which is to say, Tumblr means many things to many people, encompassing a diversity of fandom experiences.
This special issue of TWC seeks to explore Tumblr as a (not infrequently contested) fandom platform, in which cultures of age, gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability, class, nationality, religion, language, and so on connect and sometimes clash in the contact zones of fandoms. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Tumblr’s influence on the production and consumption of fan fiction
- Transcultural and/or transnational fan practices and interactions on Tumblr
- Convergence of fandom and social justice concerns on Tumblr
- Tumblr fandom as a site for media literacy
- Tumblr fandom and non-normative/socially marginalized identity and community
- Marketing, media producers, and Tumblr fans
- Media discourse surrounding Tumblr fandom
- Developing aesthetics of fan work on Tumblr
- Tumblr’s role within transmedia fandom flow across platforms
- Tumblr’s cultural/discursive positioning as a youth/millennial fandom platform
- History and politics of transitioning from fandom communities (e.g. LiveJournal) to Tumblr
- How Tumblr’s interface has impacted and/or driven inter-fandom interactions and transfandom (e.g. Superwholock)
Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.
Please visit TWC’s Web site for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT transformativeworks.org).
Contact —Contact guest editors Lori Morimoto, Louisa Stein, and Allison McCracken with any questions or inquiries (tumblrfandomtwc AT gmail.com).
Due date — May 1, 2017, for estimated June 2018 publication.
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