Newsletter: October 2014

Table of Contents

SWG News

HASA Story Rescue Project

The Henneth-Annûn Story Archive was the place where many of us first read Tolkien fanfiction and remained a respected site to archive stories, to look up references, or to interact with fellow Middle-earth lovers. As probably most of you already know, it will close down at the end of the year. If you want to find out why, or further information provided by the HASA admins you can go to

HASA News: All Good Things Come to an End
HASA Closure Discussion thread
HASA News: Migrating Your Stories

There are authors who have left the fandom years ago and are not aware that their stories are about to vanish. Other authors are encouraged to archive their stories in other sites. But time is running out so the SWG, together with Many Paths to Tread and Faerie, have undertaken a project to try to save as many HASA stories as possible on the belief that every story, every poem, every drabble is a part of our shared history and losing them is a loss for all of us as members of a vital and active fandom. A call for volunteers has been made to lend a hand in the process of manually saving the approximately 6,500 stories in HASA. If you’re willing to lend a hand, please check out the HASA rescue project post for more information or contact us at

Every manner of help, participating actively in the rescue project, spreading the news, informing authors who may be unaware of the situation, is most welcome.

HASA authors: If you need help archiving your stories on another site before HASA closes, the following archives have extended assistance to HASA authors: the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, Many Paths to Tread, Faerie, and the Faramir Fiction Archive. All you need to do is to contact the site administrator(s) of the site(s) where you'd like to archive with permission to move your work, and they will archive your stories for you.

Silmarillion Re-Reading

Our Silmarillion (re)reading is going strong over on LiveJournal and will continue through the end of 2014. All are welcome, so whether you've read the book twenty times or this is your first time through, feel free to jump in with a comment. Each chapter also includes a post for recs of fanworks that touch on the chapter in a meaningful way, so do stop by to make a recommendation or check out some of the links posted there. There are no deadlines to participate and you do not need a LiveJournal account. September was the month when we read two crucial chapters in development of the First Age:

Of Beren and Luthien (fanworks rec post)
Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad (fanworks rec post)

In October we’ll be dealing with

October 5: "Of Túrin Turambar"
October 19: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
See the full Silmarillion (re)reading schedule here.

To catch up with the previous discussions, visit the "silmarillion reread" tag on our LiveJournal.

Volunteer Needed: Tumblr Community Moderator

We are looking for a volunteer to assist us with moderating the Silmarillion Writers' Guild blog on Tumblr. This job would include:

The ideal candidate would

You would not serve as a moderator on the SWG archive or any other satellite groups. You would not be expected to resolve user conflicts or interact negatively with other users. (Dawn maintains a "no bad guy" policy for all SWG volunteers and will handle any conflicts or negativity that arise surrounding the group.) You would join a team of SWG moderators who help and support each other in order to maintain one of the Tolkien fandom's most respected archives!

We will give preference to those who have successfully volunteered for us before, but prior membership in the SWG is not required, and preference will not otherwise be given based on membership or activity level in the SWG.

If you are interested, please email us at Please describe your level of familiarity and experience with Tumblr, the Silmarillion fandom (on Tumblr and generally), and the SWG. If you have volunteered in the past for us or another fandom project, please include that information as well.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Signal-boosting is also very much appreciated.

Welcome to Our New Members!

This month we welcome ten new members: VCalien2015, Samwise Gamgee, Hadius, cathy, La Prime, Shadowkitten, alex131, dreamingallby, Raccoon, and thegreatpumpkin. From the SWG mod team, a very warm welcome to you all!

We hope you’ve already started to browse and review the stories, poems and reference material held in our archive. Also, have you updated your bio, to tell us a little about your fandom interests?

If you have queries at any time, you can refer to our Frequently Asked Questions, and do not hesitate to contact the SWG mods at

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New at the Archive

Completed Works

Colors of the Sky by Astris [Teens] (7041 words)
Summary: Eilinel knows how to spin color into cloth, and she knows who she loves. (It might take her some time to admit it, though.) Written at the I Need My Fics 2014 exchange for Elleth.

Nerdanel and the doll by Valentis [General] (2536 words)
Summary: A very old Nerdanel looks back on her life from childhood to the present and reflects on her art and personal life while remembering her first work.

Running by Elleth [Teens] (1186 words)
Summary: A collection of scenes about Mithrellas and Nimrodel that did not make it into Searching and Searching, from their life in Lothlorien and their separation to finding each other again.

Searching and Searching by Elleth [Teens] (6726 words)
Summary: Both Nimrodel and Mithrellas are said in myth to have vanished without a trace, but that is not all there is to their story. Written for Astris at I Need My Fics 2014.

The Untrodden Path by Makalaure [General] (8338 words)
Summary: In the Years of the Trees, an adolescent Finrod feels an inexplicable pull towards his singular cousin, Maglor, and learns a bit more about himself.

Time After Time by Agelast † [Teens] ( 2502 words)
Summary: Maedhros takes in the newly re-embodied Fingon, and some old ghosts refused to be laid to rest.

Up from the Ocean's Cup by StarSpray [General] (1922 words)
Summary: “Are you going to tell me what’s bothering you, or are we just never going to talk again?” he asked finally, as they crested the Calacirya, and sprawling Alqualondë came into view, rainbow beaches glittering in the noonday sun. Even from there they could hear singing rising from the docks. Elwing took a breath. “I don’t know,” she said finally. “Am I ever going to see you again?”

Works in Progress

Bits of Elven Glass by Himring [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: This is an attempt to weave the different accounts of the making and the history of the Elessar into a coherent narrative.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 3 [incomplete], Chapter 4, and Chapter 5

Maudits bonus by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: Bonus nawak à "Maudits silmarils". Chapitre 3 : Toy Story 2. Quand Maedhros découvre qu'il existe une figurine à son effigie...
Chapter added this month: Toy Story 2.

Maudits silmarils, livre 1 by Dilly [Teens]
Summary: A Gondolin, Turgon déprime... Une parodie crack du Silmarillion façon Kaamelott.
Chapters added this month: Le pain, Le philtre, Sword and sorcery and L'acculturation II.

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

The Birds of the Temple Garden by Huinare [Author Chooses Not to Rate]
Summary: Mairon kickstarts the new Cult of Melkor in Armenelos. What does one do with inept acolytes, heretics, and abandoned gardens?
Chapter added this month: The Heretic.

The Writhen Pool by pandemonium_213 [Adult]
Summary: When the Istyari of Second Age Ost-in-Edhil deny her a place in an important new initiative to be taken up by the Gwaith-i-Mírdain, a young master smith struggles to make her mark in the man's realm of the forges. An opportunity arrives when the smith is offered a commission that will present challenges of both mind and heart. Pandë!verse-centric. Rated Adult as a precautionary measure. Specific advisories will be posted per chapter as needed.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 10: In the Bright Light of Morning and Chapter 11: The Path's Heart.

Short Works

Getting to Know Him by oshun [General] (736 words)
Summary: Request from Winterwitch: " . . . something about Maedhros and Elrond would be lovely, perhaps of the time when one of the two discovers his respect, admiration, or even fondness of the other. Or Maglor and Elrond in the same situation." This is young Elrond's POV in the first hours after Maedhros and Maglor take him and his brother with them from the Havens of Sirion.

La statue by Dilly [General] (608words)
Summary: Il était une fois, à Gondolin... (ficlet)

Leaving by Silver Trails [General] ( 264 words)
Summary: Glorfindel meets Maglor before on his way to the Havens.

Living in Tirion by Silver Trails [General] (255 words)
Summary: Elladan and Glorfindel in Tirion.

Lovers by Silver Trails [Teens] (954 words)
Summary:Aegnor looks for Caranthir outside Tirion

The Sea Is Calling by Lingwiloke [General] (955 words)
Summary: A reborn Telerin mariner contemplates sea-longing.

The Sindar Encampment by Silver Trails [General] (263 words)
Summary: Oropher and his captains discuss the Siege of Mordor


La mélancolie des Eldar in Les poèmes d'Imladris by Dilly [General] (119 words)
Summary: Traductions de poèmes elfiques, humains, nains et hobbits.

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Character of the Month Biography



Arvedui is the last king of Arthedain and a link to the surviving line of the heirs of Isildur preserved within the Dúnedain of the North.1 A significant if minor character, Arvedui falls into the interstices between the back story to The Lord of the Rings and the published Silmarillion edited and compiled by Christopher Tolkien. References to Arvedui are found in The Peoples of Middle-earth and, in more detail, in the Appendices to The Return of the King. Aragorn traces his uninterrupted link to Isildur and Elendil through Arvedui. And he is a descendant of the House of Anárion also through his many times great-grandmother Fíriel the wife of Arvedui and the only daughter of King Ondoher of Gondor.2

By the time that Arvedui is born, in 18643 of the Third Age, the northern realm of Arnor has long been divided into three parts. The heirs of Isildur control only the kingdom of Arthedain.

After Eärendur, owing to dissensions among his sons their realm was divided into three: Arthedain, Rhudaur, and Cardolan. Arthedain was in the North-west and included the land between Brandywine and Lune, and also the land north of the Great Road as far as the Weather Hills.4

This last remaining stronghold of the heirs to the kings of the undivided kingdom of Arnor, governed from Fornost, has long been under siege from the Witch-king of Angmar. It is within this troubled period when Arvedui grows into manhood and into political consciousness. His life’s work is dominated by his defense of his people’s tenuous survival against the determined attempts by the Witch-king of Angmar to annihilate the heirs of Elendil and Isildur.

During this period, the late-1800s through the late-1900s of the Third Age, both the northern and the southern realms of the Dúnedain face the threat of destruction or domination by forces that in time will be clearly revealed to be linked to Sauron. The northern and southern realms have been long divided. But, there is one brief interlude during the kingship of Arvedui’s father, King Araphant, when the long-standing disaffection between the two dominions temporarily softens.

It was in the reign of Araphant in the North and of Ondoher son of Calimehtar in the South that the two kingdoms again took counsel together after long silence and estrangement. For at last they perceived that some single power and will was directing the assault from many quarters upon the survivors of Númenor. It was at that time that Arvedui heir of Araphant wedded Fíriel daughter of Ondoher (1940). But neither kingdom was able to send help to the other; for Angmar renewed its attack upon Arthedain at the same time as the Wainriders reappeared in great force.5

Arvedui takes upon himself the leadership of a people in their decline, harried by the infamous Witch-king of Angmar. Both the heirs of Isildur in the remnant of the kingdom of Arnor, which they are hanging onto by their fingernails, as well as the House of Anárion in Gondor, headed by King Ondoher, face mortal threats. In Gondor, Ondoher is defending his country against invasions by the Wainriders.6 During one of the recurring attacks upon Gondor, King Ondoher is killed, leaving no surviving sons.

At that point, on behalf of himself and his Queen Fíriel, the daughter of Ondoher, Arvedui asserts a claim to the throne of Gondor.

On the death of Ondoher and his sons, Arvedui of the North-kingdom claimed the crown of Gondor, as the direct descendant of Isildur, and as the husband of Fíriel, only surviving child of Ondoher. The claim was rejected.7

The dispute over the throne of Gondor by the House of Anárion versus the House of Isildur (Arvedui) combined with a direct heir to the House of Anárion (Fíriel), albeit through the distaff line, could be seen as reminiscent of the disputes in the real world over the kingship of England which resulted in the prolonged and bloody War of the Roses in the 15th century. The principle difference is that Arvedui states his claim, but when it is rejected, he is unable to pursue it. Nevertheless, as Tolkien notes, the claim is never forgotten in the south (see later point about Denethor, Steward of Gondor) and never abandoned in the north.

Arvedui claimed the crown of Gondor, on behalf of Fíriel and himself as representing 'the elder line of Isildur', since no close male claimant to the throne in Gondor could at first be found. The claim was rejected by Gondor, but Arvedui and his descendants continued to consider themselves as the true heirs of Anárion as well as of Isildur.8

It is not possible for Arvedui to rally support for the claim in his lifetime, because he and his father are still engaged in a fight for their continued existence against the Witch-king of Angmar. But he does assert and defend his logic behind the claim.

'To this Arvedui replied: "Elendil had two sons, of whom Isildur was the elder and the heir of his father. We have heard that the name of Elendil stands to this day at the head of the line of the Kings of Gondor, since he was accounted the high king of all the lands of the Dúnedain. While Elendil still lived, the conjoint rule in the South was committed to his sons; but when Elendil fell, Isildur departed to take up the high kingship of his father, and committed the rule in the South in like manner to the son of his brother. He did not relinquish his royalty in Gondor, nor intend that the realm of Elendil should be divided forever.

'"Moreover, in Númenor of old the sceptre descended to the eldest child of the king, whether man or woman. It is true that the law has not been observed in the lands of exile ever troubled by war; but such was the law of our people, to which we now refer, seeing that the sons of Ondoher died childless."

To this Gondor made no answer.9

Arvedui is never, however, a passive politician or desk jockey in this tale. Hard times bred tough men in the epoch of the Third Age of Middle-earth. Arvedui becomes a warrior king, as are his counterparts in the south. Despite his skills and sense of purpose, at the death of his father, Arvedui assumes the kingship of a realm in its death throes. This thankless task has been foreshadowed with his naming.

‘Arvedui was indeed the last king, as his name signifies. It is said that this name was given to him at his birth by Malbeth the Seer, who said to his father: “Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again.” 10

The first part of the prophecy turns out to be true. (Although, one might wonder why any ruler would accept such a name for a son and heir, but that’s modern thinking raising its Philistine head. We are dealing with heroic tragedy here.)

He was the last king at Fornost. In [added: the winter of] 1974 the Witch-king destroyed Fornost, laid Arthedain waste, and scattered the remnants of the Dúnedain. Arvedui escaped from Fornost and fled north, taking the palantíri of Annúminas and Emyn Beraid. He attempted to go by ship from Forochel to Gondor but was wrecked and the Stones were lost.11

The second part of the prophecy is less obvious. There follows a lengthy and comparatively more detailed account in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, explaining how Arvedui is forced out of Fornost and flees farther north with some of his men.

Most of the surviving Dúnedain, including the king’s sons, have been driven over the Lune. Arvedui and his closest men hold out longer on the North Downs but are finally forced to flee northward. They hide for a while in tunnels of old Dwarven mines at Ered Luin. Eventually, however, cold and near starvation, they seek help from the Lossoth. Also called the Snowmen of Forochel, the Lossoth are survivors of the ancient people of Forodwaith.12 They also know and fear the Witch-king, but despite a fear of his dark magic, the Snowmen take pity on Arvedui and his men and help them. They feed them and build them huts of snow. Arvedui intends to remain there with the Snowmen throughout the winter, awaiting help from the South.

In March, an unexpected and what sounds like a far easier solution presents itself. This might be interpreted as the fulfillment of the second part of the prophecy made at Arvedui’s birth—the one where it is predicted that he will succeed if he takes the “less hopeful choice.” Círdan sends a great ship to rescue him. Why would he turn down that offer of rescue and choose instead to stay in the frozen Forochel area after a long, hard winter that lingers still? He is not thinking of the rather obscure words of the prophecy (prophecies are always obscure), when he gladly accepts the help Círdan has sent him.

‘When Círdan heard from Aranarth son of Arvedui of the king’s flight to the north, he at once sent a ship to Forochel to seek for him. The ship came there at last after many days, because of contrary winds, and the mariners saw from afar the little fire of drift-wood which the lost men contrived to keep alight. But the winter was long in loosing its grip that year; and though it was then March, the ice was only beginning to break, and lay far out from the shore.13

The Snowmen are amazed at Círdan’s great ship, but react with fear for its safety. It appears by their reckoning to be in grave danger in those waters at that time of year. But they, nonetheless, help the exiled king and his men to reach and board the ship (apparently pulling them over the ice in sleds) but do not bid farewell to their guess without giving the king dire warnings.14

‘But the Snowmen were uneasy: for they said that they smelled danger in the wind. And the chief of the Lossoth said to Arvedui: “Do not mount on this sea-monster! If they have them, let the seamen bring us food and other things that we need, and you may stay here till the Witch-king goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly, and his cold arm is long.” 15

Arvedui should have taken the advice of the Snowman and waited until summer. Perhaps this is the choice to which the prophecy of his name pointed? It’s not explicit, but neither is there any other reference that will fit. Ice crushes the ship during a great storm. Arvedui is lost, along with the two palantíri he carried. (See footnote below for more about Arvedui’s palantíri.16)

‘Yet the counsel of the Lossoth was good, by chance or by foresight; for the ship had not reached the open sea when a great storm of wind arose, and came with blinding snow out of the North; and it drove the ship back upon the ice and piled ice up against it. Even the mariners of Círdan were helpless, and in the night the ice crushed the hull, and the ship foundered. So perished Arvedui Last-king, and with him the palantíri were buried in the sea.17

One important heirloom which was not lost with Arvedui was the famous Ring of Barahir,18 held by Finrod Felagund. (That ring deserves a character biography of its own due to its long, complicated, and exciting history in the First and Second Ages and which continues throughout the Third Age.) When thanking the Snowmen for their help, Arvedui offers them the ring. He warns them it has greater value than appears on the surface.

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.” 19

It was indeed ransomed by the Rangers of the North and ended up in the possession of Aragorn, half an age later, as the heir to Arvedui.

After reading of Arvedui and his ancestors and descendants in the texts of The Histories of Middle-earth and the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, the reader has discovered once again that backstory matters to Tolkien above all else. It is the bones and sinew of the body of every narrative. It is interesting to see the connections of Arvedui’s story to the history which plays out in The Lord of the Rings.

In The Return of the King, we learn that Denethor the ruling Steward of Gondor clearly thinks of the Dúnedain of the Angle as those would-be usurpers from the north, thankfully scattered and ineffective. But one assumes from the information in the text, or lack thereof, that it has never occurred to him to be overly alarmed that those diminished northern heirs of Isildur could ever present a serious threat to the Stewards of Gondor. They bear watching perhaps. And readers may speculate, and they do, about Denethor’s attitude toward Aragorn when he served his father in Gondor under the alias of Thorongil. But, in any case, Denethor has not forgotten the Northern Dúnedain or their history either. Meanwhile, in the north, the Dúnedain persevere in their belief that they maintain against extinction the line of the heir to a reunited kingdom of Gondor and Arnor.

In his final hours, the last ruling Steward Denethor says to Gandalf in reference to Aragorn:

‘I am Steward of the House of Anárion. I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. Even were his claim proved to me, still he comes but of the line of Isildur. I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.’ 20

Tom Shippey makes a salient point when he contrasts the attitudes of the Stewards of Gondor, through references to remarks by both Denethor and Boromir, with those of the descendants of the line of Aranarth the first Chieftain of the Northern Dúnedain and the son of Arvedui and Fíriel.

Denethor’s humility masks an evident pride, as he shows in his rebuke of Gandalf, ‘the rule of Gondor, my lord, is mine and no other man’s, unless the king should come again’. His exchange with Gandalf in a way repeats in its tone the near-clash between Aragorn and Boromir in ‘The Council of Elrond’, the Gondorian striving for superior dignity, the other party asserting superior status, but feeling no need to mark this formally.21

The encounter he references between Aragorn and Boromir includes within it references to the Sword of Elendil and to Aragorn himself. It reflects this same ingrained superiority with which the Stewards of Gondor look down upon the surviving Dúnedain of the north. First, at the council of Elrond, Aragorn simply and appropriately describes himself and the legacy of his people (the descendants of Arvedui and Fíriel).

‘But my home, such as I have, is in the North. For here the heirs of Valandil have ever dwelt in long line unbroken from father unto son for many generations. Our days have darkened, and we have dwindled; but ever the Sword has passed to a new keeper. And this I will say to you, Boromir, ere I end. Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only.’ 22

A short while later in the discussion, Boromir ventures a ¿Quién-es-más-macho? type of provocation of Aragorn.

Mayhap the Sword-that-was-Broken may still stem the tide – if the hand that wields it has inherited not an heirloom only, but the sinews of the Kings of Men.’ 23

And Aragorn deflects him with quiet precision—masterfully understated.

‘Who can tell?’ said Aragorn. ‘But we will put it to the test one day.’ 24

One is unwise to make the argument, as Denethor attempts, that the Northern Dúnedain comprise followers of a “ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.” With stalwart determination in the face of hardship and isolation, they protect and nourish the line of Isildur and Elendil, represented for them by the heirs of Arvedui and Fíriel, throughout long and difficult centuries. They maintain themselves as an entity, through the education of their people in the language, principles, and the history of their antecedents, long beyond what Denethor is able to imagine.

The proof of the lordliness and dignity of their ruling House and its long line of chieftains is embodied in Aragorn when, after centuries of tenacity on the part of forbearers (with some not insignificant help from Elrond and Imladris), he is able at last to reunite the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. Arvedui’s claim to the crown of a united Arnor and Gondor triumphs in the end.

Works Cited

  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenórean Kings," "The Realms in Exile," "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur.”
  2. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion.”
  3. Ibid.
  4. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings," "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur."
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid. “. . . The Wainriders were a people, or a confederacy of many peoples, that came from the East; but they were stronger and better armed than any that had appeared before. They journeyed in great wains, and their chieftains fought in chariots. Stirred up, as was afterwards seen, by the emissaries of Sauron, they made a sudden assault upon Gondor . . .. ”
  7. Ibid.
  8. The Peoples of Middle-earth, “The Heirs of Elendil.”
  9. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion.”
  10. Ibid.
  11. The Peoples of Middle-earth, “The Heirs of Elendil.”
  12. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings," "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur," “The North Kingdom and the Dúnedain.”
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. There are a couple of interesting footnotes about Arvedui’s palantíri in Unfinished Tales, “The Palantíri”:
    1. Doubtless they were used in the consultations between Arnor and Gondor in the year 1944 concerning the succession to the Crown. The ‘messages’ received in Gondor in 1973, telling of the dire straits of the Northern Kingdom, was possibly their last use until the approach of the War of the Ring. [Author’s note.]
    2. With Arvedui were lost the Stones of Annúminas and Amon Sûl (Weathertop).
  17. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings," "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur," “The North Kingdom and the Dúnedain.”
  18. The entry which describes the ring of Barahir in The Silmarillion, “Index of Names,” reads:
    “Barahir Father of Beren; rescued Finrod Felagund in the Dagor Bragollach, and received from him his ring; slain on Dorthonion. For the later history of the ring of Barahir, which became an heirloom of the House of Isildur, see The Lord of the Rings Appendix A (I, iii).”
  19. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings," "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur," “The North Kingdom and the Dúnedain.”
  20. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, “The Pyre of Denethor.”
  21. Tom Shippey, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, 2000, p. 100. Kindle Edition.
  22. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, “The Council of Elrond.”
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.

Many thanks to Suzelle for looking over the very rough draft of this for me and sharing her love for the Dúnedain. Of course, my usual thanks to Dawn Felagund for copy-checking.

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Current Challenge


Part of what makes Tolkien's legendarium feel so real is his expertise in alluding to and sometimes even creating the mythic and historical materials that form the basis of his Ardaverse. These materials include the songs, poems, and stories of an oral tradition. For this challenge, we ask our writers to show the oral tradition in their story. Perhaps a character is telling a folktale, cautioning a child with an urban legend, or scaring a sibling with a ghost story. Perhaps a character is reciting a bardic poem or singing a popular song. How might the traditional spoken word have been used and impacted the cultures of Arda?

Challenges Revisited: Season of Change

As fall--or spring for those on the Southern Hemisphere--approaches and heralds another change in the season, this challenge is all about the seasons and how Tolkien’s world responds to them. As the writer, you can approach this from many angles. Here are some examples:

Quote of the Month

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.
- Samuel Johnson

Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!

Have an idea for a challenge? Some of our most popular challenges have been created by you, the members of SWG! If you have a plotbunny gnawing at your ankle, a favorite quote, or a favorite character that you think might inspire others as well, please send an email to and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!

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Around the World and Web

Articles of Interest

Each month, the SWG newsletter features links to articles that our members might find interesting. Do you have something you'd like to suggest? An interesting essay or discussion going on in your journal or blog? Drop us a line at and we'll add your article, essay, or post to our next newsletter!

It should go without saying, but just in case it bears repeating, any opinions expressed in these links are not necessarily that of the SWG and its moderators.

100 Years of Middle-earth

24th September 2014 marks the 100th year anniversary of Tolkien’s first poem featuring "Éarendel", who later appears as Ëarendil the Mariner in the Quenta Silmarillion and in Bilbo’s song in Elrond’s Hall of Fire in The Lord of the Rings. Read more in a href="">John Garth’s blog and at the Guardian John Garth is a journalist, and the author of Tolkien and the Great War.

Who Is "The Fandom"? The AO3 Census

Who are "we", the readers and writers of fanfiction? A user survey performed by centreoftheselights on AO3 users, combined with a statistical analysis of the AO3 archive data, yields some interesting results overall regarding gender, age, sexuality, and other attributes of a significant sample of the population of fanfiction readers and writers. As the author of the analysis herself points out, the data cannot be used to draw conclusions of the fandom at large, but the results are interesting, nevertheless. Find out more at the AO3 Census Masterpost.

Racism in Middle-earth

A series of six Tumblr posts about racism in Middle-earth starts off with descriptions of the different races found in Tolkien’s imaginary world, focusing on their physical appearance, and considers whether traditional illustrations, fanfiction, and movies have been painting an accurate picture of Middle-earth. Later posts explore the division of society into the High Men (Númenóreans), Middle Men, and the Men of Darkness who served evil, the treatment of Dwarves in Tolkein’s stories, and parallels to racism in our real world. Read the whole Racism and Middle-earth series.

Mordor: He Wrote

The Guardian provides yet another article on Tolkien this month of September, this time about the influence of the steelworks and furnaces on the Black Country in the West Midlands in Tolkien’s vision of the Land of Shadows. Here’s the article.


Many Paths to Tread: Congratulations to the Winners of the 2014 Tree and Flower Awards!

The winners have been announced for this year's Tree and Flower Awards! Congratulations to all of this year's nominees and winners. Tree and Flower Award banners can be found here.

Call for Papers: Forgotten Leaves Anthology

This book seeks to publish selected essays from Parma Nole: Journal of the Northeast Tolkien Society that are being brushed up and republished alongside new solicited essays. Additionally, this collection will contain previously unpublished lectures, critical (and non-critical) essays, interviews & reviews. The publishers are also seeking well written new articles to cover several topics, including critical papers, fan essays, film topics, fandom, interviews, and reviews. See the Forgotten Leaves call for papers for full details.

Registration Is Open for Mythmoot III!

Mythmoot III: Ever On will take place at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum, Maryland, on Saturday and Sunday, January 10 and 11, 2015. Details are being worked out and will be announced as they are confirmed, but we can tell you now that there will be familiar and new features, all geared to encourage participants to laugh while they learn. Visit the Mythmoot III page to learn more and make your reservations.

Call for Papers: Popular Culture Association 2015

The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference, to be held in New Orleans, April 1-4, 2015, is now accepting submissions for papers. There are several subject areas that might be of interest to Tolkien fans, including Tolkien Studies, Fairy Tales, Children’s/YA Literature, Gothic, Horror, Medievalism in Popular Culture, and Science Fiction & Fantasy, and more. Paper submissions are due by 1 November 2014. For more information see the Popular Culture Association conference website.

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