TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: November 2016

Table of Contents


SWG News

Mereth Aderthad 2017 Updates

In the spirit of the Mereth Aderthad in The Silmarillion, we are hoping to hold an event of our own next summer, in Vermont's beautiful and rugged Northeast Kingdom. Based on the results of our survey, we have announced that the dates of this event will be Friday, 14 July through Saturday, 22 July 2017. Mark your calendars and we hope you can be there!

If you're interested in learning more about the Mereth Aderthad, check out and follow the Mereth Aderthad LiveJournal community.

Welcome to Our New Members!

We give a warm welcome to the new members who joined us at the Silmarillion Writers' Guild during the month of October. They are Aldalome, Morcondil, Vanimoriel, Area51Fugitive, and Tony6Whiskies.

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 moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Beloved by Silver Trails [Teens] (1100 words)
Summary: Arakáno waits for Ecthelion to come out of the Halls

Give me a moment for pity's sake by Sleepless_Malice † [Adult] (2296 words)
Summary: Finding a few quiet moments to jerk off isn’t the easiest thing in the Fëanorian household. Caranthir + incestuous desires feat. the most annoying (shithead) brothers one could ever wish for.

Love? by ford_of_bruinen [General] (1562 words)
Summary: A question from Beren makes Finrod consider the nature of love.

Metamorphoses by Sleepless_Malice [Adult] (18785 words)
Summary: "Too deep Ingwion was caught in his thoughts to realize that his fears and dreams almost were identical; only the width of a blade separated them." The story of Eönwë, the Maia, and Ingwion, son of Ingwë, told from both perspectives; a tale of crushed dreams and betrayal, unhealthy obsessions and desires as old as the world itself.

No enemy but self by Morcondil [General] (2703 words)
Summary: Lost on the Helcaraxë, Aredhel begins to doubt herself. An unwelcome conversation with her least-favorite cousin brings fear and feeling into perspective.

Our Love is Great by Huinare † [Teens] (2031 words)
Summary: It was said that Gorlim greatly loved his wife, Eilinel. Other things went unsaid, though the result was the same either way.

Poor Aim by StarSpray [General] (2099 words)
Summary: Her contented peace that afternoon, however, was abruptly shattered when a spear shot through the branches scant inches from her head, narrowly missing a squirrel, which shot down the trunk with an angry chatter, to lodge in the trunk of the next tree over. Nellas shrieked and jerked back out of the way, arms flailing—and fell out of the tree. She landed roughly on the ground below, knocking her head against a root hard enough to make her see stars.

Sacrifice me for my Sins by Sleepless_Malice [Adult] (7241 words)
Summary: After the War of Wrath Mairon is brought back to the Blessed Realm together with Melkor who is cast into the Void shortly after. feat. the requested h/c from the prompter, rebellious Mairon, and mention of past Angbang.

The Silver Vine by Zdenka [General] (1503 words)
Summary: Newly released from Mandos, Maeglin is reluctant to rejoin society. A cousin he has never met comes to look for him. (Celebrimbor/Maeglin, pre-relationship.)

The Tatyar by Silver Trails [Teens] (2320 words)
Summary: The first days at Cuivénen

Thou Art the Spring by Zdenka [Teens] (1328 words)
Summary: Haleth and her people are newly settled in Brethil. Lúthien is drawn to learn more about mortals, and Haleth in particular. (Haleth/Lúthien.)

Under the Evening Star by Himring [Teens] (1251 words)
Summary: The first sighting of Gil-Estel by the Sons of Feanor. Slightly canon-divergent.

Your tongue upon my scars by Sleepless_Malice † [Adult] (3413 words)
Summary: Fingolfin wants to make Fëanor pay for the burning of the ships in his very own way. Canon divergence AU for Fëanor being still alive when Fingolfin and his followers reach Beleriand.

Works in Progress

A lasting anathema by Harnatano [General]
Summary: {Title changed because I have never been happy with the former one} After their flight from Himlad, until their flight from Nargothrond, Celegorm and Curufin will have to face the abyss of their defeat, the bitterness of their broken pride, and the tempting shadows of greed. Through envy, frustration, pain and resentment, they will have to choose which path to follow, unaware that their choices will affect all the people of Beleriand. Curufin's pov. Canon based, more like a personal combination between the different versions given in HoME and the Silmarillion.
Chapter added this month: All hope must be saved.

Abandoned Places by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: a ship arrives in the newly deserted Vinyamar.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Beast With A Human Face by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: concerning The Shadow, and the battle between Sauron and Elendil and Gil-galad.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Bitter Dregs by Aiwen [Teens]
Summary: Diplomacy is generally a poor source for exciting stories… except when it goes horribly wrong, leaving Gil-galad and the ambassadors of Gondor and Arnor at death's door, and an assassin on the loose. If any of them dies, can the alliance between the Elves and the Numenorean Exiles survive?
Chapter added this month: To Solve a Mystery.

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.
Chapter added this month: The Dark Lord Goes Mad.

Circus by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Sauron's early recruits and trainees head to Mordor.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Companies,clubs, and cliques by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: postcards from Mereth Aderthad
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Creepy Basement by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Annatar gets a guided tour of Amon Lanc from Thranduil.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Deadly Doctor by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Maeglin after his father's death
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Dol Guldur by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Mithrandir brings news of grim findings at the fall of Dol Guldur
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Eöl by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Aredhel meets Eöl
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Gollum by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Thranduil is disturbed by an unseen watcher while bathing
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Grima Wormtongue by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Grima meets Saruman
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Laying the Foundation by Lotrfan [General]
Summary: Elrond and Erestor lead the survivors of the defeat at Eregion to a new home, which will eventually become Rivendell.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Lorgan by hennethgalad † [General]
Summary: Lorgan goes to Angband
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Love Over Gold by Keiliss [Adult]
Summary: Glorfindel meets a strange being beside the sea at Mithlond and is amazed months later when Erestor makes his way to Imladris to find him. But for everything, there is a price.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Mirkwood by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: deciding to leave Amon Lanc
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Mordor by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Elrond tries to improve the morale of Gil-galad.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Sauron by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Sauron tries to enter Lindon
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Shelob by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Isildur discovers the stairs to Cirith Ungol
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Spiders by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: letter from Turgon to Fingolfin re spiders
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Spirit of Fire by Lotrfan [General]
Summary: I recently did a series of 100-word drabbles about Maedhros (No Flame Burns Forever). It was a good exercise so I thought I would try a similar idea with Fëanor as the central character. I have been reluctant to utilize him as a character in my works, as I am somewhat intimidated when I think about writing him. These short glimpses into his life gave me a better sense of how I think of him in my head canon and made me more comfortable with his character in general. So here is a series of 100-word (occasionally more than 100 words!) drabbles from the point of view of Fëanor.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 26, Chapter 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34, Chapter 35, Chapter 36, Chapter 37, Chapter 38, Chapter 39, Chapter 40 and Chapter 41.

Taking Readings by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Very short pieces set in Beleriand or Valinor, some of which are slightly experimental.
Chapter added this month: Fugitives at the Gate.

The Temple of Melkor by hennethgalad † [General]
Summary: a cleaner at the Temple makes a badly-timed remark.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Thuringwethil by hennethgalad † [General]
Summary: Thuringwethil feeds.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Under A Spell by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: First Contact ! Finrod meets mortals.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Wargs by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Radagast takes Thranduil warg-hunting.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Warbler by maeglin [General]
Summary: Tinfang in Menegroth.
Chapters added this month: Spiders.

Witch-King of Angmar by hennethgalad † [General]
Summary: Angmar is given a ring by Annatar...
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Written In Blood by hennethgalad [General]
Summary: Glorfindel shares an untold story with Aragorn concerning Húrin.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 1.

Short Works

"Because my Land is Fair" and other drabbles by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate] (975 words)
Summary: Drabbles about Annael, Grey Elf of Hithlum: I. "Because my Land is Fair": Annael refuses to leave Hithlum. II. "Inspiration": A first meeting between Rian and Annael, just after she has arrived in Hithlum as refugee III. "Elvish Reminiscences": Annael tells Tuor about his great-grandparents. IV.: "The Escape Route": Fingon shows Annael the entrance to the Gate of the Noldor. V. "Under the Stars, in Sunlight": Annael and Tuor talk about the Sun and about elves and men. VI. "Defeat": Annael in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. VII. "Leaf Loss": Annael, after all, ends up leaving Hithlum.

Caught in the maelstrom by ford_of_bruinen [General] (644 words)
Summary: Written for Around the fire challenge: I would like a story of Maedhros and Nerdanel before he leaves for Middle-earth or Formenos. Does she demand an explanation or might he offer one?

Look Outward by Independence1776 [General] (641 words)
Summary: Nienna approaches Námo about releasing Eluréd and Elurín from the Halls.

Loss by Silver Trails [General] (294 words)
Summary: Glorfindel tries to cope with Arakáno's death

Two Trees and Unnumbered Stars by DrummerWench [General] (712 words)
Summary: “While I lay drowsing on the earth, there came to me the voices of the growing things of Arda, mourning the loss of the light of the Lamps. Now the living things of Aman indeed rejoice in the light of the Trees, yet Middle-earth remains in darkness. And the time of the coming of the Firstborn of the Children of Ilúvatar draws near."

When the Stone Awoke by Zdenka [General] (958 words)
Summary: How the stone giants came to be, and how they settled in the Misty Mountains.

Where have they gone? by ford_of_bruinen [General] (619 words)
Summary: Caranthir has been reembodied and is thinking of, and missing, his brothers.

Poetry

Imladris lost by ford_of_bruinen [General] (101 words)
Summary: Maglor (or someone else but in my head it was maglor) walking through what is left of what was once Imladris.

Luthien Tinuviel by ford_of_bruinen [General] (85 words)
Summary: Thingol bonds with his newborn daughter.

The doom of Elwe by ford_of_bruinen [General] (78 words)
Summary: Elwe/ Thingol enters a magical wood on his journey to the west, nightingales sing and you know the rest ;)


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Character of the Month Biography

Morwë

Oshun


Morwë, along with another Elf called Nurwë , whose names always and only appear together, is briefly referred in The Annals of Aman as one of the leaders of two kindreds of the Elves that became known as the Avari.

But the kindreds of Morwë and Nurwë were unwilling and refused the summons, preferring the starlight and the wide spaces of the Earth to the rumour of the Trees. Now these dwelt furthest from the waters of Kuiviénen, and wandered in the hills, and they had not seen Oromë at his first coming, and of the Valar they knew no more than shapes and rumours of wrath and power as they marched to war. And mayhap the lies of Melkor concerning Oromë and Nahar (that above were recalled) lived still among them . . . .1

The idea that the Avari came not out of "refusers"--apart from the three kindreds who are best known as the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri--but from two other distinct clans led by Nurwë and Morwë was added very late and abandoned shortly thereafter, according to Christopher Tolkien.2 In a footnote to the Quendi and the Eldar, he notes, in reference to how many of the Quendi departed for Aman in comparison to how many stayed behind (interestingly the majority), that "[t]he story found in the Annals of Aman of the kindreds of Morwë and Nurwë, who refused the summons of the Valar and became the Avari, had been abandoned."3

The Annals of Aman comprise two typescripts, the first of which Christopher Tolkien surmises was composed around 1958 and is said to be the work of the Noldorin loremaster Rúmil of Tirion (the same whose alphabet Fëanor lifted and refined/expanded).4 According to the second typescript, The Annals of Aman were described as the work of the Noldorin Exiles in Middle-earth, who later transmitted their version of this history to the Men of Númenor, and from Númenor this account was eventually incorporated into history as it was written in Arnor and Gondor.

The details of Tolkien’s invented history of his world and the biographies of those who populated it are transmitted to the reader from a collection of various narratives. Some are presented as fact and others as legends, while others are transparently evident as made-up tales. The awakening of the Elves at Cuiviénen on the banks of a large inland lake, under starlight, although consistent in large part in the traditions of both the Amanyaran Elves and the Sindar, is described by Tolkien himself to be a children’s tale.

The Awakening of the Elves is recounted in part in Quendi and the Eldar:

According to the legend, preserved in almost identical form among both the Elves of Aman and the Sindar, the Three Clans were in the beginning derived from the three Elf-fathers: Imin, Tata, and Enel (sc. One, Two, Three), and those whom each chose to join his following. So they had at first simply the names Minyar 'Firsts', Tatyar 'Seconds', and Nelyar 'Thirds'. These numbered, out of the original 144 Elves that first awoke, 14, 56, and 74; and these proportions were approximately maintained until the Separation.5

As Dawn Walls-Thumma points out that, when examining narrative bias in these texts, "Tolkien carefully constructed his legendarium as a tradition passed down by in-universe loremasters and narrators, [and] those loremasters and narrators possessed their own biases, and those biases shaped the narratives."6 The various segments of pieced-together texts that survived into Christopher Tolkien’s version of The Silmarillion, or which are contained in the Histories of Middle-earth, are written with different purposes and from the points of view of distinct characters, each with their own particular experiences and prejudices.

Christopher Tolkien explains, in relation to the story of the awakening of the Elves, that

[a] form of this legend is found in a single typescript with carbon copy. On one copy my father wrote (and similarly but more briefly on the other): 'Actually written (in style and simple notions) to be a surviving Elvish "fairytale" or child’s tale, mingled with counting-lore.’7

Therefore, even for the canon literalist, this tale of the awakening at Cuiviénen should not be considered as in-world historic fact. Unlike American Christians of various fundamentalist tendencies, Catholic scholars do not consider the Bible to be free of error in matters of history and science but only the stuff which is presumably needed for salvation (and this is left to Rome--canonical law and the Pope--to determine).8 One might deduce a similar logic is likely to have influenced Tolkien’s created world and its mythology. It seems highly unlikely that Eldarin scholars and scientists would have considered the early retelling of the awakening at Cuiviénen to have presented them with an exact number of the original Elves or the precise circumstances of their early separations into different peoples.

But the numbers themselves may have been influenced by other myths and legends. The mythical 144, divisible by 3, 12, and 9, has obvious historical precedents. There are numerous works exploring the use of numbers in Norse mythology, for example. In a recent thesis, Norse scholar Li Tang discusses those mythic numbers:

It is generally agreed that some numbers such as three and nine which appear frequently in the two Eddas hold special significances in Norse mythology. Furthermore, numbers appearing in sagas not only denote factual quantity, but also stand for specific symbolic meanings. This tradition of number symbolism could be traced to Pythagorean thought and to St. Augustine’s writing.9

The number twelve is familiar within the texts sacred to the both Jewish and Christian faiths. In the New Testament there are the twelve apostles of Christ, and much earlier, one encounters the tale of the twelve tribes of Israel. Novelist Howard Fast, in his recently published work on the history of the Jewish people, notes that, relating to account of twelve tribes of Israel, "12 was a magic number, a symbol-number, and even if we do a simple count out of the Bible, we come up with fourteen [tribes]," showing an emphasis on symbolism rather than precise quantification.10 These symbolic numbers are more common than uncommon in our primary world’s myth and legend, so similar characteristics are not surprisingly found in Tolkien’s invented world.

So where does the story of Morwë and Nurwë fit within all of this speculation about accuracy, or lack thereof, in the tale of the awakening of the Quendi and their participation in the march to the sea? Perhaps there could have been any number of different tribal groupings from which the last and greatest of the Elven kindred spilt and realigned over time to eventually form the ones that are familiar to the reader of The Silmarillion. Out of any grouping or groupings, the Avari, or those who stayed behind, might have arisen. It would be logical to assume that the Avari could have found their central core among those settlements that developed farthest east of Cuiviénen, as is described in Christopher Tolkien’s "Commentary on the Third Section of the Annals of Aman":

Only ‘the most part’ of the kindreds of Finwë and Olwë were willing to depart. [This writer as a cynic might tend to believe that at least some small minority of even the sainted Vanyar might have been "unwilling" as well.] The Avari were the kindreds of Morwë and Nurwë (and presumably those of the other kindreds who would not go); and an explanation is given of their not going: they dwelt furthest from Kuiviénen and had not seen Oromë at his first coming.11

It perhaps makes more sense to leave out additional characters as Morwë and Nurwë. From a storytelling perspective and considering the nature of the evolution of folktales and myth, it might have felt better to Tolkien to leave the tale of the three-only original kindreds "as is" and the mystical number of 144 in place. (Not to mention what a charming idea it is that the children of the Quendi learned basic arithmetic from this legend.)

Finally, I would like to close with two recommendations of literature which I reread in writing this account. First, Verlyn Flieger has a plethora of outstanding passages in her Splintered Light where she considers how Tolkien plays with the concepts of light and darkness in his account of the history of the Elves.

The Avari are those Elves who reject the light and choose to remain in Middle-earth, "preferring the starlight … to the rumour of the Trees" (Silm. 52). The word "rumour" is important. The Avari are unwilling to predicate action on the basis of a rumour, of something they have not themselves experienced. They have no faith. The difference that separates the skeptic from the believer thus divides the Avari from the High Elves. It will ultimately become the dividing line between light and dark. Fragmentation is underway.12

Angelica Ramses of the Silmarillion Writers' Guild wrote a wonderful article, Name Calling: Group Identity and the Other among First Age Elves, which examines in fascinating detail the stratification among Elven society, which manifests prejudices and divisions strongly reminiscent of our real world divisions and conflict . One of my favorite points in her article is that there are two sides to the question of who are true to their roots and which kindreds do the abandoning:

The Avari, of course, had a radically different perception of the situation: rather than renegades they viewed themselves as the only true Elves. This is shown clearly by their languages: the word Kwendi, the People, and its derivations in the different Avarin dialects always referred to those who had stayed in Middle-earth, but never to Elves in general. In this way, the Avari also marked a clear distinction between themselves, those who had always held true to their origins, and the Eldar, the deserters.13

Here’s a toast to Morwë and Nurwë the true Quendi!




Works Cited

  1. Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman, "The Chaining of Melkor."
  2. The War of the Jewels, Quendi and the Eldar.
  3. Ibid, footnote 12.
  4. Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman. "Here begin the Annals of Aman which Rúmil made. . ." is to be found following Christopher Tolkien’s initial introductory notes.
  5. The War of the Jewels, Quendi and the Eldar.
  6. Walls-Thumma, Dawn M. The Loremasters of Fëanor: Historical Bias in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Transformative Works. New York Tolkien Conference, 13 June 2015, Baruch College.
  7. The War of the Jewels, Quendi and the Eldar.
  8. The Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Accessed 3 November 2016.
  9. Tang, Li. Number Symbolism in Old Norse Literature: A Brief Study. Master's Thesis, University of Iceland: Háskóli Íslands, 2015. Accessed 3 November 2016.
  10. Fast, Howard. The Jews: Story of a People. "Part 1, The Desert." Open Road Media, 2011. Kindle Edition.
  11. Morgoth’s Ring, The Annals of Aman, "Commentary on the Third Section of the Annals of Aman."
  12. Flieger, Verlyn. Splintered Light: Tolkien's World, Revised Edition. Kent State University Press, 2002. Kindle Edition.
  13. Ramses, Angelica. Name Calling: Group Identity and the Other among First Age Elves. The Silmarillion Writers' Guild. Accessed 3 November 2016.



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Current Challenge

Companies, Clubs, and Cliques

Tolkien's canon gives us many formal divisions among his characters: groups such as the Naugrim, Sindarin, and the Edain or family groups such as the Fëanorians. Through the Lambengolmor and the Gwaith i Mirdain, we also know that there were formal societies established around a shared interest in study and trade, while groups like the Aulendur suggest alliances existed along quasi-religious lines.

This challenge asks you to imagine what other character groupings might have existed beyond those we are provided in the texts. What other guilds and trade groups might have existed? Were there specialized or elite military companies? What about political, philosophical, and religious societies? Did characters join together in social clubs, or how did informal but powerful alliances in cliques shape the events of The Silmarillion? Your story can look at any aspect of a group--formal or informal--in Arda that Tolkien didn't identify or describe in his own writings.

Challenges Revisited: Back to Nature

Nature is ever-present in Tolkien's works, from the obvious interventions of Yavanna and Oromë to the untold struggles of a tribe of mortal Men journeying into Beleriand. Few are the characters who are not asked to interact with nature at some point over the course of The Silmarillion. This month's challenge asks you to consider conflicts with nature--both overt and symbolic--and characters' relationships with that which is natural in their world.

What are some struggles individuals and groups have with nature, with plants, animals, geography, or weather? What about those with a special relationship with natural forces? Consider the various locations upon Arda--for example, Valinor, Himring, Doriath: What symbols are present in the natural environments of these places that highlight the conflicts that take place there?

Unleash your imagination by looking at fairy tales of old and mix them with Tolkien's own Mythopoeia. Or make up your own fairy tales featuring your own characters or such stories told by your characters! There is a multitude of possibilities to explore and we challenge you to find one. No holds barred regarding your imagination, that this challenge about!

Quote of the Month

"So now that you know my truth, let's talk about yours."
― J.D. Cunegan, Blood Ties.

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.

New Book Beren and Lúthien Will Be Published in May 2017

On 4 May 2017, HarperCollins will publish a new book, Beren and Lúthien, that they describe as the myriad pieces of the tale "presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story". TheOneRing.net has Christopher Tolkien's description of the forthcoming Beren and Lúthien project and The Guardian has a lovely summary and context accessible to fans and non-fans alike. Also, how has it been ten years since The Children of Húrin came out?

"'Perilous and Fair, Ancient and Modern, Luminous and Powerful' : Critical Directions for the Study of Tolkien's Women in the 21st Century" by Janet Brennan Croft

Mythlore editor Janet Brennan Croft laments how often she received articles "covering the same ground as some classic article dating back decades" where the subject of Tolkien and women is concerned. In a talk about the book Perilous and Fair that she edited, Croft summarizes the history of Tolkien scholarship concerning women in his books and his life. If you want to read some of those classic essays Croft alludes to, be sure to check out the book Perilous and Fair as well.

Oxford Tolkien Podcast Library

Long flight? Long commute? Want something Tolkien-related to listen to at the gym or while winding down at night? The University of Oxford Tolkien podcast archive includes more than twenty recordings on topics ranging from Tolkien's work on the OED to his languages to the influence of medieval texts on his work.

On Textual History and Undead Elves: An Unexpected Link between Maedhros and Glorfindel?

Blogger Tom Hillman notes a passage in The Lost Road, familiar also (with minor changes in wording) to Silmarillion readers, that describes Maedhros "as one that returneth from the dead." Looking at the textual history of the Silmarillion drafts and The Lord of hte Rings, Hillman wonders if this passage about Maedhros gives insight into how Tolkien saw another "undead" Elf: Glorfindel.

TheOneRing.net: Morality and "Túrin among the Outlaws"

TheOneRing.net analyzes the Children of Húrin chapter "Túrin among the Outlaws as part of their ongoing Hall of Fire chat series about the book. Analysis of this chapter focuses on Túrin's willingness to compromise his morality and overlook clearly unethical behavior from his comrades.

"Names as Stories: Language and Meaning in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" by Brooke Boriak

This blog post from the University of St. Andrews Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts considers the connection between names and meaning in Tolkien's work. Although blogger Brooke Boriak only considers LotR, it is possible to extrapolate her observations to other works, including The Silmarillion. Boriak connects this tendency of Tolkien's to his professional interest, as a philologist, in "the development of languages and the relationships between words, their sounds, and their meanings."

"Spotting the White Deer" by Olga Polomoshnova

In this essay, Olga Polomoshnova analyzes the symbol of a white animal in literature and folklore, focusing specifically on Bilbo's encounter with a white deer in Mirkwood in The Hobbit. Polomoshnova notes particularly the connection between white animals and the realm of Faërie or the appearance of such an animal as a harbinger of change or an adventure.

"Happy Birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien's Bilbo and Frodo" by Alya Rehman

When analyzing literature, tone is often difficult to support much less quantify. Tolkien scholar and computer scientist Dave Kale has taken on the challenge of analyzing the tone of The Hobbit using a computer algorithm. Kale's algorithm has uncovered information on plot progression, and he wonders, “What could a serious student of literature do with these types of tools?”

"Resources for Writing Stories Set in Middle-earth" by Becca

Have you ever wondered about languages or historical details while writing Tolkien fanfic? Tumblr user Becca has compiled an exhaustive document of links to resources useful to Tolkien fanfic writers.

Queer Sci Fi: "Talk About Tolkien" Chat

Queer Sci Fi opens a discussion about Tolkien's books. Join the chat here!

Fansplaining Fic Preferences Survey Posted

The Fansplaining survey that we linked in our October Newsletter has been completed, and results are now available.

Announcements

Of Elves and Men Archive Opened

Our friends over at OEAM have recently opened their first automated archive! While OEAM is a venerable Tolkien group, they accept multifandom works as well. Check out the OEAM LiveJournal for activities celebrating the archive opening and be sure to stop by their new site to share a story or brighten an author's day with a comment. Congrats, OEAM!

LotRGenfic Yule Exchange

LotGenfic/Many Paths to Tread are once again hosting their annual Yule fic exchange! Request a story and write a story to brighten the holiday season for a fellow Tolkien fanficcer. Sign-ups are open until 18 November, so if you want to participate, stop by the LotRGen LiveJournal community to make your request.

November Comment Challenge

Tumblr user theactualcluegirl poses the following challenge the fanfic-reading public this month: "I double dog dare you, Tumblr, to leave some kind of comment on every story you read on AO3 this November." Only why limit ourselves to Tumblr users and AO3? NaNoWriMonth (also known as November) is the month of attempting unreasonable literary feats, so why not try to comment on all of the fanfic we read this month?

Ages of Arda Anthology

The Ages of Arda anthology is now available for sale at $37 plus shipping. According to the project's tumblr, "This art book will be composed of artwork with different interpretations of the world and inhabitants of Middle Earth throughout the ages," and all proceeds benefit Book Aid International. Check out some of the art being posted at these tags.

Innumerable Stars Exchange Archive Open

The AO3 archive for the Innumerable Stars Exchange is live! Innumerable Stars is a Tolkien giftfic exchange based on character.

Ladies Bingo Round 4 Open

Ladies Bingo is a bingo challenge for creative works about the relationships between women. Round 4 is open (you can sign up here) and runs through 31 March 2017.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

With its many gaps, partially sketched characters, and unanswered questions, The Silmarillion practically begs for epic-length fiction about it. November is National Novel Writing Month, an event when people all over the world make the heroic attempt of writing a 50,000-word novel in one month. Are you up for it? Check out the NaNoWriMo website for more information and to sign up.

Not Oxonmoot-moot

On November 5, the Tolkien Society is planning an event for attendees (and non-attendees) of Oxonmoot: "To help those who both were and weren’t at Oxonmoot, we’re giving everyone a chance to get together in Oxford on the 5th November to meet friends old and new. You do not have to be a Society member, so feel free to come to any part of the day. Friends and family are more than welcome." The program includes a visit to the Ashmolean Museum, a pub visit, and fireworks in the evening. Read about the event on the Tolkien Society website.

Liverpool Hope University Tolkien Day

Liverpool Hope University has announced a Tolkien Day on November 11. They write: "Tolkien lovers are in for a treat as Liverpool Hope University dedicates a day to The Lord of the Rings author and his lesser known links to Liverpool. Alan Lee, Academy Award winning Concept Artist for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films will headline Tolkien Day at Liverpool Hope University on Friday 11th November. He will also judge the finalists of a Tolkien inspired art competition for 16-19 year olds. As well as discussing the films, fans and literature lovers will have the chance to learn about Tolkien’s early manuscripts, his experience of World War 1, his faith - and his hidden links to Liverpool."




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