Silmarillion Book Club (Week Seven)

The Silmarillion Week Seven.png

For key terms, major events, and takeaways, I've found the posts on TrueMyths.org to be the most helpful. Click here to read them! And I'm including some of the key quotes below as well as discussion questions. This guide to the Silmarillion is also helpful, although not broken up into chapters; and The Silmarillion Writers' Guild also offers a chapter-by-chapter summary, which is incredibly helpful! 

 

Chapter Thirteen: Of the Return of the Noldor

In this chapter...

  • Fëanor leads his people to Mithrim
  • The Noldor fight the Second Battle in the Wars of Beleriand (Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the Battle-under-Stars); the Noldor are victorious
  • Fëanor is consumed with wrath and rushes towards Morgoth; Fëanor is attacked and mortally wounded by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs
  • Fëanor dies.
  • Maedhros (oldest son of Fëanor) is captured by Morgoth
  • Fingon goes alone to find Maedhros; He is aided by Thorondor, King of Eagles and frees Maedhros by cutting off his hand at the wrist.
  • Thingol does not allow the Noldor into Doriath
  • Finrod hosts a Feast of Reuniting (Mereth Aderthad)
  • Thirty years later, Turgon (son of Fingolfin) and Finrod are given dreams from Ulmo
  • **Mention of Galadriel! and Celeborn!! (Am I the only one who gets super excited everytime I read familiar LOTR names??)
  • Finrod builds a stronghold called Nargothrond; Turgon discovers the hidden vale of Tumladen
  • Morgoth attacks again and is defeated once more; this is the third great battle of the Wars of Beleriand, called Dagor Aglareb, the Glorious Battle
  • After 100 years, Morgoth tries again and is successful; then 100 years later, he tried again and failed again. 
  • At the end of this chapter, the Noldor and Sindar are mostly united

Key Quotes:

  • "Yet cause he had for great joy, though it was hidden from him for a while. For Fëanor, in his wrath against the Enemy, would not halt... and he laughed aloud as he wielded his sword, rejoicing that he had dared the wrath of the Valar and the evils of the road, that he might see the hour of his vengeance." 
  • "Thus ended the mightiest of the Noldor, of whose deeds came both their greatest renown and their most grievest woe."
  • "But the Noldor had as little thought of faith as had he. Wherefore each embassy came with greater force than was agreed; but Morgoth sent the more, and there were Balrogs."
  • "Therefore Morgoth took Maedhros and hung him from the face of a precipice upon Thangorodrim, and he was caught to the rock by the wrist of his right hand in a band of steel."
  • "No love was there in the hearts of those that followed Fingolfin for the House of Feanor, for the agony of those that endured the crossing of the Ice had been great, and Fingolfin held the sons the accomplices of their father."
  • "Thus because of the curse that lay upon them the Noldor achieved nothing, while Morgoth hesitated, and the dread of light was new and strong upon the Orcs. But Morgoth arose from thought, and seeing the division of his foes he laughed.
  • "Then Fingon the valiant, son of Fingolfin, resolved to heal the feud that divided the Noldor, before their Enemy should be ready for war..."
  • "Now, even as Fingon bent his bow, there flew down from the high airs Thorondor, King of Eagles, mightiest of all birds... and staying Fingon's hand he took him up, and bore him to the face of the rock where Maedhros hung."
  • "In those days there was joy beneath the new Sun and Moon, and all the land was glad; but still the Shadow brooded in the north."
  • "Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them."
  • "In many parts of the land the Noldor and the Sindar became welded into one people, and spoke the same tongue..."

Discussion Questions:

  • What becomes of Fëanor's obsession with vengeance?
  • Reflect on Fëanor's vulnerability in riding ahead of everyone else. How was that his downfall? Do you see yourself making this same mistake?
  • What happens to Fëanor's body when he dies?
  • How was Maedhros held by Morgoth?
  • Why did the sons of Fëanor do nothing for Maedhros?
  • Who ultimately goes off alone to rescue Maedhros?
  • How does Fingon cry to Manwe when he sees Maedhros? How does Manwe respond?
  • What does Ulmo influence Turgon and Finrod to do? 
  • How do the Noldor and Sindar become as united as they are at the end of the chapter?

So many elves with 'F' names are mentioned in this chapter so here's a handy chart I found (it's probably also in your book depending on the edition!): 

bc596969396308106c994219051a6b06.jpg

Chapter Fourteen: Of Beleriand and its Realms

In this chapter... (nothing happens! it's all about the map!) 

Key Quotes:

  • "This is the fashion of the lands into which the Noldor came, in the north of the western regions of Middle-earth, in the ancient days..."
  • "But after the coming of the Sun rich grass arose there, and while Angband was besieged and its gates shut there were green things even among the pits and broken rocks before the doors of hell." 
  • "All that people took Turgon for their lord, and the mingling of the Noldor and the Sindar came to pass soonest there; and Turgon dwelt long in those halls that he named Vinyamar, under Mount Taras beside the sea." 
  • "...and the island that its waters enclosed was named Tol Galen, the Green Isle. There Beren and Lúthiendwelt after their return." 

Discussion Questions:

  • I thought it was so interesting that Tolkien took the time to point out that green things were even able to grow once in Angband... let's reflect on that quote for a while, it's so beautiful.
  • This chapter is just peak Tolkien writing. SO MUCH DESCRIPTION. How do you feel about it? Love it or hate it? It's very hard for me to follow these descriptions so I'm so thankful for the maps! 

Chapter Fifteen: Of the Noldor in Beleriand

In this chapter...

  • Turgon builds Gondolin
  • Ulmo reminds Turgon that he lay under the Doom of Mandos
  • Turgon and his people, along with some of Fingolfin's people and many Sindar, dissappear into Gondolin
  • In Nargothrond, Galadriel tells Melian about the Silmarils but she does not tell of the Oath, the Kinslaying, or the burning of the ships at Losgar; Melian brings news of the Silmarils to Thingol
  • Morgoth began to spread rumors; Círdan hears them and is troubled and sends messengers to Thingol concerning them
  • Thingol speaks with anger to Finrod about them; Angrod tells the truth
  • Thingol commands that the tongue of the Noldor (Quenya) may never be spoken in his realm algain 
  • The sons of Finarfin leave with a heavy heart, knowing they'll never escape the consequences of the deeds of Fëanor. 

Key Quotes:

  • "And [Ulmo] said: "Now thou shalt go at last to Gondolin, Turgon; and I will maintain my power in the Vale of Sirion, and in all the waters therein, so that none shall mark thy going, nor shall any find there the hidden entrance against thy will. Longest of all the realms of the Eldalië shall Gondolin stand against Melkor. But love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West and cometh from the Sea." 
  • "Then Angrod spoke bitterly against the sons of Fëanor, telling of the blood at Alqualondë, and the Doom of Mandos, and the burning of the ships at Losgar. And he cried: ‘Where-fore should we that endured the Grinding Ice bear the name of kinslayers and traitors?’"

Discussion Questions:

  • Reflect on Ulmo's advice to Turgon... what do you make of it? Can any of it be applied to your own life?
  • What is the Doom of Mandos? 
  • How does Thingol come to learn of the Kinslaying? What is his reaction?
  • Why does Finrod refuse to be married, despite loving Amarië?
  • How does this chapter end?

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Six)

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Six)

This week, we witness some pretty exciting changes to Middle-earth including the creation of the Sun and Moon and the awakening of Men! We also see the Valar drawing back from the Children of Iluvatar and leaving them mostly to take care of themselves. Lúthien is also born, and we hear a few familiar names (Eärendiland Elrond!) at the very end of the last chapter. 

Read More

Our Hobbit Party (2017)

IMG_6713.JPG

I realize this post is nearly a whole year overdue, but I wanted to share as many photos as I could from our 2017 Hobbit Party! It was so fun looking back on all of these and thinking about my plans for this year...! You can read more about Hobbit parties and click through more of our Hobbit Party posts here

Food pictured:

Activities:

The Photo Gallery

You can click through the photos to see them in a larger size. I hope you get some fun ideas for hosting your own Hobbit Party this year! 

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Five)

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Five)

This week is a huge week for the Noldor. We begin in chapter seven with the making of the Silmarils and Melkor being released from his prison. Almost immediately, Melkor is scheming to get revenge and obtain the Silmarils. He stirs up dissention between the Noldor, pitting them against he Valar, eventually leading Fëanor to rebel against his own family. Melkor gets a little too eager and Fëanor realizes he's scheming to get the Silmarils, so he runs off and hides for a while…

Read More

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Four)

The Silmarillion Week Four.png

 

For key terms, major events, and takeaways, I've found the posts on TrueMyths.org to be the most helpful. Click here to read them! And I'm including some of the key quotes below as well as discussion questions. 

Chapter Four: Of Thingol and Melian

Key Quotes:

  • “She spoke no word; but being filled with love Elwë came to her and took her hand, and straightway a spell was laid on him, so that they stood thus while long years were measured by the wheeling stars above them; and the trees of Nan Elmoth grew tall and dark before they spoke any word.”
  • "Elwë Singollo came never again across the sea to Valinor so long as he lived, and Melian returned not thither while their realm together lasted; but of her there came among both Elves and Men a strain of the Ainur who were with Iluvatar before Ea."
  • "And of the love of Thingol and Melian there came into the world the fairest of all the Children of Iluvatar that was or ever shall be." 

Discussion Questions:

  • What characteristics stand out in Tolkien's description of Melian?
  • How does Elwë come to meet Melian and what comes from it?
  • Who replaces Elwë as king of the Teleri?
  • What comes of Elwë after he stays with Melian? What is he called? 
  • What is the result of the love between Thingol and Melian?

Chapter Five: Of Eldamar and the Princes of Eldalië 

This chapter contains a ton of background information on the different groups of Elves and how they came to dwell in Aman. If you've read The Lord of the Rings, you'll notice a familiar name in this chapter, too! 

Key Quotes:

  • "Therefore Ulmo uprooted an island which long had stood alone amid the sea, far from either shore, since the tumults of the fall of Illuin; and with the aid of his servants he moved it, as it were a mighty ship, and anchored it in the Bay of Balar, into which Sirion poured his water. Then the Vanyar and the Noldor embarked upon that isle, and were drawn over the sea, and came at last to the long shores beneath the Mountains of Aman; and they entered Valinor and were welcomed to its bliss."

  • ‘And it came to pass that the masons of the house of Finwë, quarrying in the hills after stone (for they delighted in the building of high towers), first discovered the earth-gems… they hoarded them not, but gave them freely, and by their labour enriched all Valinor.”

  • “Fëanor was the mightiest in skill of word and of hand, more learned than his brothers; his spirit burned as a flame.”

  • “A sister they had, Galadriel, most beautiful of all the house of Finwë; her hair was lit with gold as though it had caught in a mesh the radiance of Laurelin.”

  • “For all living things that are or have been in the Kingdom of Arda, save only the fell and evil creatures of Melkor, lived then in the land of Aman; and there also were many other creatures that have not been seen upon Middle-earth, and perhaps never now shall be, since the fashion of the world was changed.”

Discussion Questions:

  • Discuss and compare the journeys the different groups of Elves make throughout this chapter... 
  • Which of the Elves were most loved by Manwë and Varda? Which were loved by Aule?
  • Which Elves were the first to discover the gems of the earth and what did they do with them? 
  • Here we first meet Fëanor, who will soon become a major character. What do you notice about his personality thus far? 

Chapter Six: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

In this chapter, we learn about the birth of Fëanor and his upbringing, as well as the pardoning of Melkor by the Valar. 

Key Quotes:

  • “Now the Three Kindreds of the Eldar were gathered at last in Valinor, and Melkor was chained.”
  • "But in the bearing of her son Míriel was consumed in spirit and body; and after his birth she yearned for release from the labour of living." 
  • “Fëanor grew swiftly, as if a secret fire were kindled within him… Few ever changed his courses by counsel, none by force. He became of all the Noldor, then or after, the most subtle in mind and the most skilled in hand… and he it was who, first of the Noldor, discovered how gems greater and brighter than those of the Earth might be made with skill.”
  • “Nerdanel was also firm of will, but more patient than Fëanor, desiring to understand minds rather than to master them, and at first she restrained him when the fire of his heart grew too hot; but his later deeds grieved her, and they became estranged.”
  • "For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he saw not to the depths of Melkor’s heart, and did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever."
  • "Now in his heart Melkor most hated the Eldar, both because they were fair and joyful and because in them he saw the reason for the arising of the Valar, and his own downfall. Therefore all the more did he feign love for them and seek their friendship..."

Discussion Questions:

  • Was it a good idea for Manwë to bring Míriel to Lórien? Should he have consulted Eru first?
  • Discuss the family dynamics of Finwe's house after his second marriage to Indis. 
  • “In those unhappy things which later came to pass, and in which Fëanor was the leader, many saw the effect of this breach within the house of Finwe, judging that if Finwe had endured his loss and been content with the fathering of his mighty son, the courses of Feanor would have been otherwise, and great evil might have been prevented.” -- What do you think about this quote? Is it fair to say? 
  • Why did Manwë pardon Melkor? Was this a good move? What would you have done?
  • What did Melkor do after being pardoned? 
  • How are Melkor and Fëanor similar? 

 

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Three)

Silmarillion Book Club (Week Three)

This week, we began The Quenta Silmarillion, or The Silmarillion proper. This is where we finally get into the actual story, you might say. This week, we experience the beginning of the war between the Valar and Melkor, the creation of the Dwarves and Ents, and the awakening of the Elves! It's a very busy couple of chapters so you might want to take notes. 

Read More

The Best Planners for 2018-2019 (Tea with Tolkien Edition)

The Best Planners for 2018-2019 (Tea with Tolkien Edition)

I know so many of you are looking into purchasing a planner for the upcoming academic year, so I thought I'd share a bit about some of the planners I tested out for you! Here's a list of the planners that I'm comparing: The Blessed is She Planner (Big & Mini), The Recollections Brand from Michaels, The Living Well Planner, and the Day Designer (Mini).  

Read More