Reader deep thought: With the year it happened was everafter called “Year of Lamentation”, that surely was a mark of the abject horror among wars the Nirnaeth Arnoediad was. Unless one sat it out *cough*Doriath*cough*, everyone who signed up seemed to have died or suffered terrible fates in its aftermath. Even those who betrayed the allies were rewarded with just desserts, served cold and ironically bitter by the deceitful Morgoth. But truly, surviving Nirnaeth Arnoediad was really the raw deal to end all bad deals when you were Húrin.
Reader deep thought: Beleriand, north-west Middle-earth, action central of the First Age. Time to get the lay of the land, and know this land full of Elves, as things were during the Siege of Angband. Or geography!time aka this was the way the lembas crumble when the Elf-lords drew borders. And of course where there were maps, there was politics. Add Mr. Deceit himself and the DOOM of an entire clan of Eldalië, and things could only have gotten interesting. Still, ever hath music sootheth the savage beast. What a pity the Laiquendi were so shy.
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: So the only Calaquendi who saw the Two Trees but never lived in Valinor, ruled over his people, the Sindar (essentially the high-born of the Moriquendi), who also did not cross to the West. The intriguing question remains: was it really happenstance that kept Thingol in Middle-earth? With all that happened further down the road, and the connections that tie back ultimately to the Sindar or even Thingol himself, perhaps the Highest Power of them all agreed more strongly with Ulmo’s opinion than anyone realised, and had a plan that CANNOT.BE.DENIED, regardless of the Valar’s suppositions.
Reader deep thought: So of the three ambassadors to Valinor, their fates went different ways, as did the fates of their peoples. Insular Ingwë, secular Finwë, and sundered Elwë. Through this chapter, the Elves and Eldar were sundered repeatedly. With all the trials and tribulations to get the Eldar settled in Valinor, it’s clear Ulmo remained the only clear-headed one of all involved.