Reader deep thought: Tuor and Túrin. Two peas in a pod when they started. But their life stories could not be more different. What would have happened if Tuor had spoken to that tall, dark stranger he encountered at Irvin? Probably something bad (even were it no fault of the stranger), and somebody would behave badly. Whatever might have transpired, chances were it would have driven a trident in Ulmo’s plans and given him a litter of shark pups. So sometimes it does pay to heed the elders: Don’t speak to strangers!
Reader deep thought: When even the sons of Fëanor were less inclined to march on Angband than Fingolfin, the time the Noldor were having in Middle-earth must be fantastic. But the bigger wonder was the notion of futilty in their struggle against Morgoth did not cross the Elves’ minds. Nor did the Edain understand the magnitude, longevity of his grudge bearing. Escalation was a horrible thing to behold: Dagor Bragollach, number four in the Beleriand War Collection was more terrible, expansive, and devastating in its reach than the preceding three.
Reader deep thought: What an eventful time! The Noldor sure started their careers as Exiles with a bang, or three. And the Sun and the Moon sprung up in time to bear witness to the stuff of legends. Gothmog debuted, Fëanor passed, the Noldor-lords reunited willy-nilly, Noldor meets Sindar, and Thingol unhappy. But still, the Noldor prospered and there was diaspora, much thanks in part to Maedhros’ mellowing out, Finrod’s loyalty to their friendship, and the even-tempered EQ of Fingolfin. Everything happened. Even LOVE, blooming in Galadriel and Celeborn’s companionship in Menegroth (interestingly, both were Thingol’s kin). And yet, already two Wars of Beleriand before the end of the chapter, in the brief span of time right before the Sun first rose to her 60th anniversary, and the Silmarils were still in Morgoth’s ever scheming hands. Bummer. And what did the Noldor do? Siege Angband of course! Four hundred fifty years. Longevity hath its privileges.
Reader deep thought: How bitter the cup Melkor brewed. And yet it would not have burnt as terribly if not for Fëanor’s self-righteous hard-heartedness, and obsession with the Silmarils.
Reader deep thought: Seriously, must there always be a catch to Ilúvatar’s gifts? The Elves got everything mortals could want. But out there in the wild wild east, the terror of Melkor consumed some of them. And once and for all: the Eldar are the westward-ho pioneers who followed Oromë, not every Legolas or Galdor.