Tag Archives: read-along

Men, Hobbits, and Framing, Or How Tolkien Still Couldn’t Start the Silmarillion (Part 2)

STM-Silm-20150130Men, Hobbits, and Framing, Or How Tolkien Still Couldn’t Start the Silmarillion (Part 2).

The follow-up to The Wandering Elf-friend, Or How Tolkien Couldn’t Start the Silmarillion (Part 1).

Continuing on details about the gestation of the Silmarillion. It’s fascinating, the changes, and unchanges, the manuscript got through the years.

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The Wandering Elf-friend, Or How Tolkien Couldn’t Start the Silmarillion (Part 1)

STM-Silm-20150128The Wandering Elf-friend, Or How Tolkien Couldn’t Start the Silmarillion (Part 1).

So it began, the return of the Silmarillion read, slow-cook style.

This is cuisine vastly different from the read-along on the tumblr group. I think of the tumblr read-along as hors d’oeuvre, and this slow-cook as the entrée. Because the Silm does need several passes to “get”.

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PSA: The Silmarillion page-read, aka “Loitering in those times of bad behaviour”

Silmarillion Book Cover Once more into the drama. If there was any thought of the Silm being done with, this sweatingtomordor announcement put paid to the notion.  28th January, Wedsneday, is the date!
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Done with the Silm notes. Or are we?

old-forest-road-ben-zweifelWhen I started on the Silm notations, I mentioned that I was following the schedule of the read-along happening on tumblr to help keep me on track. But, unlike the read-along’s exclusive focus on the main text, I had intended to go book cover to book cover, starting with the foreword and preface, and concluding with my own map of the story flow in the Silm. I expected to have a notation post, and at least one content discussion post every week of the read-along. And it seemed like I had all the time in the world to make the schedule, and keep to my plan. But if there’s one thing to learn from the book, it’s that things do not go according to plan, no matter one’s station. Universal entropy is the greatest existential equilizer.

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Reader: The Silmarillion. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Reader deep thought: The wrap-up! The end of the First Age saw the beginning of the Elven exodus, the Second marked the Downfall of Númenór. And here unveiled are the aftermath the Downfall, interwoven with the tale of how and why Sauron kept it up in Middle-earth after Morgoth’s done for, geology shakeup, and cliff-notes for the Third Age galore. Yes, including the entirety for Gollum’s being, Precious. Though, what is it with crafty Noldor and objects of great allure that must involve W.A.R. at some point?
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Reader: The Silmarillion. Akallabêth

Reader deep thought: From the aftermath of the War of Wrath emerged a new landscape in Middle-earth, both literally and socio-geo-politically. The Second Age, the Age of Men had begun. Morgoth may be gone, but this was not a happily ever after tale about the Edain, the three Houses of Elf-friends who fought on the side of the Eldar and the Valar: this was about Men behaving badly, aka the Downfall of Númenor, which began when the Valar took it into mind to “put things in place”, featuring a brand new pad for the scions of the Edain, or as they called themselves after the fancy new pad: Númenoreans, aka Dúnedain.

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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 24 “Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath”

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!
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Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 23 “Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin”

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!

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