Setting: First Age, about 260, during the long Siege of Angband
Glaurung: RAWR! I am a Dragon! Noldor: WTF is a Dragon?! Glaurung: ME! (breathes fire out) Noldor: Oh shit! (runs for cover)
“Glaurung, the first of the Urulóki, the fire-drakes of the North, issued from Angband’s gates by night. He was yet young and scarce half-grown, for long and slow is the life of the dragons, but the Elves fled before him to Ered Wethrin and Dorthonion in dismay; and he defiled the fields of Ard-galen.”
Glaurung: Glaurung the Golden! (breathes fire) Glaurung the Terrible! (smashes things) Glaurung the … ow, what was that?
Poor Glaurung, no wonder he’s insufferable. Alien abduction does things to the head. No surprise Morgoth plagiarized. After all, leopards got spots, Morgoth got megalomania.😜 (relevance: my chapter notes for the Quenta: Chapter XIII Of the Return of the Noldor)
“There was a most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm called Smaug. One day he flew up into the air and came south. The first we heard of it was a noise like a hurricane coming from the North, and the pinetrees on the Mountain creaking and cracking in the wind. Some of the dwarves who happened to be outside (I was one luckily—a fine adventurous lad in those days, always wandering about, and it saved my life that day)—well, from a good way off we saw the dragon settle on our mountain in a spout of flame. Then he came down the slopes and when he reached the woods they all went up in fire…. “ – Thorin. The Hobbit, Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
Reader deep thought: It had to take a man of uncommon heritage to take up, and succeed, where Turgon’s thirteen expeditions have failed. Still, Ulmo was definitely the unsung hero, working quietly (as ever), and sometimes on his own accord, able to see where sometimes even his higher brethren remained blithe. Blasphemy is not condonable, but does no one else breath a sigh of relief the Silmarils were finally beyond temptation’s reach? First Age=done! Continue reading →
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: No wonder this chapter trumped the one on Beren and Lúthien; the Lay of Leithian was also the shorter compared to the Narn i Hîn Húrin. After reading this chapter, it’s beginning to feel like proper measures and superb fortifications against depression are needed to attempt the actual book. Unsurprisingly, the Silmarils again asserted their glittering allure. Still, buried under all the melodrama must be the great wonder of Thingol’s about-face on a core tenant of his belief system. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.