Week Eleven: Akallabêth
Now that we've finished the Silmarillion proper, we are onto the last two sections of The Silmarillion! Up first is Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor. In this 'chapter', the Númenóreans rebel against the Valar and Eldar and are ultimately defeated by Sauron.
"...Yet it seems that you desire now to have the good of both kindreds, to sail to Valinor when you will, and to return when you please to your homes. That cannot be. Nor can the Valar take away the gifts of Ilúvatar. The Eldar, you say, are unpunished, and even those who rebelled do not die. Yet that is to them neither reward nor punishment, but the fulfilment of their being. They cannot escape, and are bound to this world, never to leave it so long as it lasts, for its life is theirs. And you are punished for the rebellion of Men, you say, in which you had small part, and so it is that you die. But that was not at first appointed for a punishment. Thus you escape, and leave the world, and are not bound to it, in hope or in weariness. Which of us therefore should envy the others?"
- How has the will of Morgoth survived in Middle-earth?
- What is the importance of the Sea and the Stars to Men?
- What were the choices of Elrond and Elros?
- What gift have men been given by Ilúvatar? How do the Elves perceive it? How do Men perceive it?
- What role do the Valar play in the age of Men, if any?
- Is Ilúvatar present in this chapter? Ilúvatar is often compared to the Christian God; after reading this chapter, do you agree or disagree with this comparison?