TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: October 2012

Table of Contents


SWG News

The Library of Tirion (redux)

We were fortunately able to add another story to the Library of Tirion this past month (Elithien's For Him I Cry) and we would like to keep this section of our Archive growing. We've been trying to contact these authors for a long time, but they remain unreachable to us:

Nol
Le Chat Noir
Philospher at Large
Lady Peredhel
Losseniaiel
Shauna
Waterchild
Mirien/Celebdil
Vorondis
Werecat

If you are in any way in contact with any of them, we would appreciate it if you asked them to contact us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Additionally, if you have remembered any story published prior to 2007 that you enjoyed when you read it back then or a favourite author who has left the fandom, email you suggestions to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org or make your request via the Library of Tirion page on our site.

For more information, see the Library of Tirion page. To enjoy the 47 stories we've collected so far, visit the Library of Tirion on our archive.

Welcome to Our New Members!

Another month gone, and September has brought us a few new members: simondit, Firerose, Myaru, Elithien, and Richard_Inglorion. Let’s welcome them all to the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild!

To make yourselves comfortable, you can start by browsing our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, why not tell us a little about your interest in The Silmarillion and maybe other facts on yourself by updating your bio? And if at any time you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

A message to our older members, too: why not welcome our newly-joined authors by browsing through their stories and leaving a review?


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Homecoming at the End of Time by Himring [General] (1365 words)
Summary: In the far distant future, Maglor returns to Valinor.

Eastward by Idle Leaves [General] (1298 words)
Summary: Glorfindel is still looking eastward.

Galadriel: There and Back Again by Himring [Teens] (1587 words)
Summary: A series of three vignettes from the life of Galadriel. Home is behind, the world ahead (First Age): Shortly after her arrival in Middle-earth, Galadriel visits the beach of Losgar. Does not apply (First Age): Galadriel in conversation with her eldest brother Finrod Felagund.The world behind and home ahead (Third Age): Galadriel leaves Middle-earth, boarding ship at the Grey Havens.

Hostile Nations by Agelast [Adult] (1904 words)
Summary: We touch as though attacking.

Swift music like an enchantment by Kimberleighe [General](2822 words)
Summary: A brief moment between cousins and friends at one of Tirion's many festivals.

The Noon-tide Night by Agelast [Teens] (14760 words)
Summary: Fingon and Maedhros, in space and what they did there.

Works in Progress

Like a Shadow of Shifting Silver by Kimberleighe [Teens]
Summary: The backstory to Waiting for the Thunder. A story of Anairë and Fingolfin.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 8: Lazy Day Customs.

The Lost Boys by Lady MSM [General]
Summary:Scenes from the lives of the lads of Gondolin..
Chapters added this month: The Lost Boys, Feast of Dreams, Reputation is Everything, Friends in High Places, Her Highness, Sleep Deprivation , Get Rich Quick, Cold Feet, and Unfortunate Timing.

Mereth Aderthadby Oshun [Adult]
Summary:The story of the events of the Feast of Reuniting. A continuation of my interpretation of the tales of the Noldor in the First Age, focusing principally, but not solely upon Fingon and Maedhros.
Chapter added this month: Promises and Negotiations.

The Line of Kings by Michiru [Teens]
Summary: Exploring the lives of the Noldorin princes who would eventually produce the final king of the Noldor in Middle-earth.
Chapters added this month: In A Name and That Which Is Valued Greatly.

The Prisoner and the Hobbit by Dreamflower and pandemonium_213 [Teens]
Summary: A prisoner in the Halls of Mandos, although grateful to be alive, nonetheless finds his days to be monotonous, that is, until a most unusual person, and one whose life was affected greatly by the prisoner's masterwork, accepts an offer to begin a correspondence.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 9: Lord of Gifts.

Short Works

The Critic by oshun [General] (435 words)
Summary: In the bliss of Valinor in the Years of the Trees, Maglor plays a new song for Aredhel and Celegorm. It is mainly about the suffering of the artist unappreciated by the Philistines closest to him. Oh, yes, I like these two cousins together also. Tolkien hooked me when he said of Aredhel, "There she was often in the company of the sons of Fëanor, her kin; but to none was her heart's love given." Ah, I see. But it could have been. Then he sends her later on to leave Gondolin, set upon visiting Celegorm. Obviously, they were wildly infatuated with one another in their youth. The story is still Gen Fic at its heart.

The Malleable Metal of His Mind by Firerose [General] (357 words)
Summary: No-one starts out evil. Two linked snippets based in Unfinished Tales

The Sorrow of the Wise by avanti_90 [General] (586 words)
Summary: While Finrod is imprisoned in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Galadriel remains in Doriath.

Library of Tirion

For Him I Cry by Elithien [General] (6578 words)
Summary: A farewell between Finrod and Amarie at Aman.
First published: March 22, 2003


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Character of the Month Biography

Vëantur

Oshun


Vëantur is the first and foremost among the early mariners and shipbuilders of Númenor and the first to renew contact between the island of Númenor and the peoples of Middle-earth. He is crucial in leading to the Númenóreans' self-definition as a seafaring people and masters of the vast seas of Arda to the east of its island kingdom.

When six hundred years had passed from the beginning of the Second Age Vëantur, Captain of the King’s Ships under Tar-Elendil, first achieved the voyage to Middle-earth. He brought his ship Entulessë (which signifies ‘Return’) into Mithlond on the spring winds blowing from the west; and he returned in the autumn of the following year. Thereafter seafaring became the chief enterprise for daring and hardihood among the men of Númenor . . . ."1

Aside from being the first Númenórean to accomplish the return trip to Middle-earth, Vëantur‘s further claim to fame is that his daughter Almarian marries Tar-Elendar’s son and successor Tar-Meneldur. It is said of Almarian that "though she herself loved ships and the sea no more than most women of the land her son [Aldarion Tar-Mendeldur’s heir] followed after Vëantur her father, rather than after Meneldur."2

The fabled island of Númenor was created by the Valar as a refuge from the dangers and perils of Middle-earth. The Valar sought, much as they had tried with the Eldar, to remove the Second-born--as mortal Men or the Edain are called--to a land apart. They attempted to enclose and protect their mortal charges from the greatest of the evils within the boundaries of Arda Marred by isolating and closing off its peoples from the rest of their world.

And setting their course towards it the Edain came at last over leagues of sea and saw afar the land that was prepared for them, Andor, the Land of Gift, shimmering in a golden haze. Then they went up out of the sea and found a country fair and fruitful, and they were glad. And they called that land Elenna, which is Starwards; but also Anadûnê, which is Westernesse, Númenórë in the High Eldarin tongue.3

From the earliest days in their new home, the Edain looked to the sea with joy and interest: "Beyond all other pursuits the strong men of Númenor took delight in the Sea, in swimming, in diving, or in small craft for contests of speed in rowing or sailing."4

Like all island kingdoms of any size in real history it seems inevitable that Númenor will in time become the home of a seafaring people.

Vëantur serves as the grandsire of Tar-Aldarion, the first and greatest of the mythic Sea Kings of Númenor, whom he trains and mentors as a shipbuilder, explorer, and developer of the great fleets of his kingdom.

It happened on a time that Vëantur said to his grandson: ‘Anardilya, the spring is drawing nigh, and also the day of your full age’ (for in that April Aldarion would be twenty-five years old). ‘I have in mind a way to mark it fittingly. My own years are far greater, and I do not think that I shall often again have the heart to leave my fair house and the blest shores of Númenor; but once more at least I would ride the Great Sea and face the North wind and the East. This year you shall come with me, and we will go to Mithlond and see the tall blue mountains of Middle-earth and the green land of the Eldar at their feet. Good welcome you will find from Círdan the Shipwright and from King Gil-galad. Speak of this to your father.’5

Vëantur’s tutelage and encouragement ensures his grandson’s concern for sea voyages and the craft of shipbuilding. Tolkien tells the reader that

. . . for many natural histories and geographies were composed by learned men in Númenor; but these, like nearly all else of the arts and sciences of Númenor at its high tide, disappeared in the Downfall. Even such documents as were preserved in Gondor, or in Imladris (where in the care of Elrond were deposited the surviving treasures of the Northern Númenórean kings) suffered from loss and destruction by neglect. . ."6

Thus, unfortunately, one does not learn in any precise detail of the contributions of Vëantur to the maritime arts and sciences. One can safely compare this fictional character to many of the great shipbuilders and explorers in real world history. However, one is not told of the exact level of technological development the Númenóreans retained from Middle-earth. We do know that "the Edain brought with them to Númenor the knowledge of many crafts, and many craftsmen who had learned from the Eldar, besides preserving lore and traditions of their own."7 So the Edain who accompany Elros to the Land of Gift are not without technology, but nothing is written to indicate that they have many in their ranks who are brilliant shipbuilders. One presumes, as well, that there are no sailors with the skill to captain a ship, but they have some at least moderately skilled shipwrights among them.

It is said that when the Edain first set sail upon the Great Sea, following the Star to Númenor, the Elvish ships that bore them were each steered and captained by one of the Eldar deputed by Círdan; and after the Elvish steersmen departed and took with them the most part of their ships it was long before the Númenóreans themselves ventured far to sea. But there were shipwrights among them who had been instructed by the Eldar; and by their own study and devices they improved their art until they dared to sail ever further into the deep waters.8

Six hundred years into their stay on the island, Vëantur’s predecessors have cultivated the maritime industry to the point that, when he reaches his full professional capacity, he is given an official position as master of seafaring under his title of Captain of the King’s Ships. The golden age of sail of the island of Númenor, which is ushered in by the prodigious fervor of Vëantur to foster its development through his nurturing of the same appetites in his grandson Tar-Aldarion, begins with trips of exploration and scientific curiosity, a longing to see the home of their ancestors, and a desire to meet Círdan the great Elven shipwright and King Gil-galad of the Eldar. Seeing the peoples of Middle-age, who are suffering at that time under a period of extreme darkness, they seek to share their knowledge and gifts with them.

And coming among them the Númenóreans taught them many things. Corn and wine they brought, and they instructed Men in the sowing of seed and the grinding of grain, in the hewing of wood and the shaping of stone, and in the ordering of their life, such as it might be in the lands of swift death and little bliss. Then the Men of Middle-earth were comforted, and here and there upon the western shores the houseless woods drew back, and Men shook off the yoke of the offspring of Morgoth, and unlearned their terror of the dark. And they revered the memory of the tall Sea-kings, and when they had departed they called them gods, hoping for their return; for at that time the Númenóreans dwelt never long in Middle-earth, nor made there as yet any habitation of their own.9

Before the fall of Númenor, the trips of the Men of Númenor to Middle-earth increase and are followed by a period of both settlement and international trade, as well an exchange of expertise. Finally, under the growing influence of Sauron, which clouds their enlightened isle, the imperialistic appetites of the Númenóreans grow to such an extent that they begin to exploit rather than aid the peoples of Middle-earth, after which they became "proud men, eager for wealth, and they laid the men of Middle-earth under tribute, taking now rather than giving."10

But in the end, the closeness of the Númenóreans to the sea also allows the good men of Númenor, the Elf-friends represented by the Lords of Andúnië, to take to the sea, to barely save themselves and those closest to them. The spiritual father of those last great mariners of Númenor is Vëantur, the grandsire of Tar-Aldarion.

For further information about the life and times of Vëantur, please consult the biographies on this site of Tar-Aldarion and Erendis, the Mariner's Wife.




Works Cited

  1. Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor."
  2. Ibid.
  3. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth.
  4. Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor."
  5. Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis."
  6. Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor."
  7. Ibid.
  8. Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor."
  9. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth.
  10. Ibid.



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Funnies

Gothmog and Draugluin

Pandemonium_213

"Gothmog and Draugluin" follows the antics of two Tolkienian icons who were not all about smiting and devouring but had fun, too. Little Gothmog lives in Thangorodrim with his mom (Ulbandi Fluithuin) and dad (Melkor, Black Foe of the World). Melkor’s right-hand man and Gothmog’s babysitter -- Professor Thû ("I'm not a babysitter. I'm an observer!") -- makes appearances, too.

Gothmog and Draugluin also share this space with "Stinky Pete" Mêshûgganâscar, Maia of Mandos, and his pals.

Pandemonium_213 issues the standard disclaimer that Gothmog, Draugluin, Melkor, Ulbandi, Professor Thû, all the Elf dudes, Stinky Pete and his Maiarin pals, their Valarin bosses and whoever else shows up are the property of the Tolkien estate, and that this irreverent comic strip is drawn (badly) for fun and games but not for profit.

Gothmog and Draugluin by Pandemonium_213

Click to view full-sized.




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Current Challenge

The Circle of Life

Although the circle of life is something that we all witness and experience, in Tolkien's world, the life spans of several races run a different course. From conception to death, the peoples of Middle-earth all take different courses. The elves are bound to Arda and will only perish once Arda ends. Men, on the other hand, are gifted with death and go beyond Arda. The fate of Dwarves is a fascinating one:

The Dwarves add that at that time Aulë gained them also this privilege that distinguished them from Elves and Men: that the spirit of each of the Fathers (such as Durin) should, at the end of the long span of life allotted to Dwarves, fall asleep, but then lie in a tomb of his own body, at rest, and there its weariness and any hurts that had befallen it should be amended. Then after long years he should arise and take up his kingship again.
-Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle-earth, page 383

We would like to challenge you to write a story that addresses the question of life, (im)mortality and reincarnation, or re-embodiment.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Challenges Revisited: A History of Tradition

This month, many around the world will celebrate Halloween, and groups throughout the Tolkien community will encourage writers to come up with something spooky in honor of it. Halloween--like many modern festivals and observances with roots in ancient celebrations--began in Ireland as the Celtic festival Samhain. Tolkien wrote his stories in hopes that they would represent a mythological history of our world, so, within his mythological framework, one can imagine that modern festivals stretch back even deeper into time than the Samhain festival that evolved into Halloween.

For this month's challenge, authors should choose a festival or tradition observed in the modern world and write a story that includes that festival or tradition as it might have been celebrated in Tolkien's mythological world. The holiday you choose may be as specific as Samhain or as general as a birthday celebration; it may be as serious as certain Christmas traditions or as silly as National One Hit Wonder Day (September 25). The holiday you write about may be part of Tolkien's canon--such as the Gates of Summer--or may be of your own invention.

Do you need to find a holiday? A complete listing of daily holidays can be found on Holidays on the Net. The Thain's Book includes a referenced list of Middle-earth holidays if you'd like to explore some of the canonical festivities Tolkien imagined.

Quote of the Month

"He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !

--From the poem "Outwitted" by Edwin Markham

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!

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.

Fifteen Places Tolkien Fans Should Visit Before They Die

Do you wish to see with your eyes what many believe was the inspiration for Isengard? Or for Barad-dûr itself? In that case, read this article in TolkienLibrary, which lists fifteen places that either played a significant part in Tolkien’s life or have shaped the image we have of Middle-earth.

Outlaws, Elvish Swords, Divine Right, and Other Articles by Michael Martinez

What do Melkor, Túrin, the Easterlings and Beren have in common? Michael Martinez’s view on outlawry as a journey in Tolkien’s work can be found in his article The Good, the Bad, and the Outlawed. Other interesting articles he has written on a variety of topics about Tolkien’s creation can be found in his site, amongst them the questions of whether Thorin Oakenshield would have been tall enough to wield a sword from Gondolin, or whether Tolkien gave his Middle-earth monarchs the divine right to rule.

"Beyond the circles of the world..."

For many years Tolkien has been considered a universal writer, and his most famous works have been translated to many languages of the world. But now, the words from The Return of the King acquire a new meaning, as the name "Tolkien" is given to a crater near Mercury’s North Pole, along with those of other eight artists.

To Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit ...

Corey Olsen, a well known Tolkien scholar, explains what makes The Hobbit more than a children’s story, including its characters and the use of song and poetry throughout the story. Also, Thomas Shippey considers why The Hobbit is such an enduring success, 75 years later, considering oddities like its lack of female characters. Finally, a few more original Tolkien drawings are unveiled.

Tolkien on Video

Watch this fascinating video In Their Own Words: British Novelists. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (BBC 1968), around 26 minutes long, featuring J.R.R Tolkien and several of his students. As a bonus, around minute 20:55 you can hear Tolkien reading the inscription on the One Ring, in the Black Speech.

Additionally, in this second video you can hear Tolkien reading his poem "Namárië"," or Galadriel’s lament, written in Quenya. Other versions are also linked from the article, including Donald Swann’s, the only one Tolkien ever authorised.

"Gil-galad was an Elven-king" by Marta

SWG member Marta has posted a collection of images, videos, and links related to Gil-galad.

Announcements

Tales of Middle-Earth (ToME) Awards

"I think I'm... quite ready for another adventure."
Bilbo Baggins: Return of the King

As you may or may not have heard, the Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards have come to a close. Whereas the MEFA archives will remain active for general perusal, the awards themselves will no longer take place. However, a group of former MEFA participants have begun the process of building a new readers' choice awards for the Tolkien fandom.

The Tales of Middle Earth Awards (ToMEs) present the entire Tolkien fan community an opportunity to help build an award system from the ground up, and be a part of this evolution of our collective pastime.

Those of you that would like to see how the new awards are developing may join us at the ToME Awards Planning community on LiveJournal.

You do NOT have to sign up for a (free) LiveJournal account to view and comment; anonymous posting is allowed in the group, though we like to know your fannish name if you enter discussion.

Additionally, Open ID will allow you to leave signed comments on our LJ community just as if you had a LiveJournal account. If you use Gmail, Yahoo!, Blogger, Myspace, Flickr, AOL, or WordPress, you likely already have an Open ID! More information on Open ID can be found at http://openid.net/

Sound like a fun way to celebrate our fandom? We’d love your help!

To volunteer, please visit the Welcome Post to see where your individual talents could be of best use.

The Volunteer Pool at ToME is looking forward to your participation and questions.

Silmarillion Meme on deviantART

Take out your paints and brushes and dare join in this fun art meme, organised by Sirielle on deviantART. A blank form can be found here, and existing submissions have been gathered in this collection.

Tree and Flower Awards at Many Paths to Tread: And the winners are ...

In celebration of their third anniversary, Many Paths to Tread Tolkien gen fanfiction archive is running the "Tree and Flower Awards". Voting for the first round is now closed, and the results have been posted at their community on LiveJournal. Another round of voting will reveal the overall winner. Now, choosing a favourite story, poem or essay is tough, but click here to cast your vote! (Voting closes at midnight Central Daylight Savings Time/5AM GMT on Wednesday, Oct.3.)

LotR Genfic Community: October Challenge--Harvest

The October Challenge will have the theme "Harvest". Stories should deal with a harvest of some kind, whether literally or metaphorically. Your prompt for the challenge will be three random words to be included in the story. The October challenge stories will be due Sunday, October 14th. The lotr_community LiveJournal community has full details on how to participate.

Teitho: October Challenge--Around the Fireside

The weather is already getting cold, Halloween just around the corner, and so we chose "Around the Fireside" as our theme for this month. In Middle-earth, fire was the only source of light and warmth during the long winter evenings, and so the fireside became a gathering place, where people told stories and sang. The most famous of such places would be the Hall of Fire in Rivendell, where the fire never went out. Not that magnificent, maybe, but many fires could serve the same purpose - the hearth in Bag End or in the Prancing Pony, a campfire during the Fellowship's journey, maybe even a crudely built fireplace in an Orc den ... What stories and songs were told and sung around these fires? Maybe someone even danced around, or leaped over them. Who did look into the mesmerizing flames? Your story can be take place around the fireside, or you can use this setting as an introduction to a story that is told there.

I look forward to the artwork in this challenge more than I have in any other. Remember, while the stories must at least mention Aragorn or Legolas, that isn't required for the art part of the challenge.

The deadline for this challenge is October 25th. The Teitho website has more information.

Planning a Tolkien Fan Get Together in Spring 2013

Ever wished to meet other members of the Tolkien Fandom in person? This may be your chance! Dawn Felagund is planning a get-together, possibly during Spring 2013, in New York City. This post has more details. Comment there if you're interested in being kept updated as the planning process begins, or email Dawn at DawnFelagund@gmail.com.




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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