Oiolossë, the uttermost tower of Taniquetil, tallest of all the mountains upon Earth
After The Storm by Peter_From
Far he journeyed in that ship, even into the starless voids; but most often was he seen at morning or at evening, glimmering in sunrise or sunset, as he came back to Valinor from voyages beyond the confines of the world.
– The Silmarillion, The Quenta Silmarillion. XXIV Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
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.
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!
Reader deep thought: The Elven definition of a jolly good story is far out. This is the tale of Beren and Lúthien, which has been set into the fairest of Elven song: the Lay of Leithian, Release from Bondage. Just as the chapter on her folks’ courting was the shortest, Lúthien’s romance went the other direction; but it’s not the longest, having been edged out by that angsty tale of a guy related to her Man.
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?
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.
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Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.
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