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: If Túrin’s story was epic in its melodrama and bitterness, a thousand thousandfold that must be Húrin’s lot, for not only was he the horrified, helpless spectator of the entire script Morgoth orchestrated, his part was not ended when his children died. Perhaps the only strand of comfort was his reunion with Morwen before the end. Still, again, Thingol figured greatly; his kingdom brought down utterly, thanks in part to his demise and Melian’s departure. Jewel fixation is a dangerous addiction.
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: 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: Maeglin’s story seemed pitiable: grounded just for wanting to visit the (doing-better) relatives. And yet it also is disturbing he kept so much to himself so well. He was the crafty one, noting the enticing combo of Turgon’s lack of sons and one hot daughter so keenly from the get go. His impatience and need to have others bend to his will didn’t help his budding privileged entitlement complex. Turgon helped nurture it in fact. Prophetic plot development indeed.
Reader deep thought: Of all the construction the Noldor had going on in Beleriand after they got back to stomping around Middle-earth, nothing trumped the deconstruction of perception Galadriel was forced to engage with Melian. The bigger question: were half-truths better than outright lies? Or avoidance for that matter? Surely Galadriel, with her lifetime of experience in Valinor, knew what Melian was and the futility of being less than truthful. And yet, she was selectively sharing information, affecting an almost nose-thumb. Was it because Melian was cut-off from Valinor and therefore not as omnipotent as the run-of-mill Maiar? Or was Galadriel just experienced with managing the Powers?
- After Rivendell, the journey across the Misties to get to the Wilderland on the side was a difficult itinerary to handle unless one has a deeply experienced guide in tow. It was full of winding twists and and deceptive pathways.
- The encounter with the trolls put a definite damper on the Company’s spirits. No song or tale-weaving since.