Silmarillion Book Club (Week Ten)

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Chapter 22: Of the Ruin of Doriath

In this chapter...

  • Húrin is released from Angband after being tormented 28 years
  • Húrin calls to Turgon, unwittingly revealing to Morgoth's servants where Gondolin is
  • Húrin searches for his wife, Morwen; he finds her at the tomb of Turin and Nienor, she dies and he buries her
  • Húrin goes to Nargothrond where he kills Mîm the dwarf and takes the Nauglamír
  • Húrin goes to Doriath and gives the Nauglamír to Thingol
  • Húrin throws himself into the sea
  • Thingol has the Nauglamír remade to hold the Silmaril; after remaking it, they will not return it to Thingol
  • Thingol lashes out against the dwarves and they kill him
  • The Nauglamír is returned to Melian 
  • Melian's power is diminished and Doriath lay open to its enemies
  • Melian returned to Lórien
  • The dwarves passed into Menegroth where they met the elves in battle; the dwarves were victorious and reclaim the Nauglamír
  • Dior is wed to Nimloth and has three children: Eluréd, Elurîn, and Elwing
  • Beren killed Nogrod and returns the Nauglamír to Lúthien
  • Dior brings his family to Doriath
  • Beren and Lúthien die and the Nauglamír is brought to Dior in Doriath
  • Dior will not give the Silmaril to the sons of Feanor, re-awakening their oath
  • Elwing escapes to Sirion with the Silmaril 

Important Quotes

  • "Then the lust of the Dwarves was kindled to rage by the words of the King; and they rose up about him, and laid hands on him, and slew him as he stood. So died in the deep places of Menegroth Elwë Singollo, King of Doriath, who alone of all the Children of Ilúvatar was joined with one of the Ainur; and he who, alone of the Forsaken Elves, had seen the light of the Trees of Valinor, with his last sight gazed upon the Silmaril."
  • "But in that coffer lay the Necklace of the Dwarves, wherein was set the Silmaril; and Dior looking upon it knew it for a sign that Beren Erchamion and Lúthien Tinúviel had died indeed, and gone where go the race of Men to a fate beyond the world."
  • "But now the rumour ran among the scattered Elves of Beleriand that Dior Thingol’s heir wore the Nauglamír, and they said: ‘A Silmaril of Fëanor burns again in the woods of Doriath’; and the oath of the sons of Fëanor was waked again from sleep."

Discussion Questions

  • Why is Húrin released from Angband?
  • What is the Nauglamír?
  • What happens when Húrin comes to Doriath?
  • What does Thingol do with the Nauglamír? What is the result?
  • What is the fate of Melian?
  • Who holds the Silmaril at the end of this chapter?

 


Chapter 23: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

In this chapter...

  • Ulmo bade Tuor to seek Gondolin; Tuor and Voronwë come to Gondolin
  • They are taken prisoner in Gondolin
  • Tuor urged Turgon to leave Gondolin because the end of the Noldor was near
  • Turgon rejected this council and put Gondolin on lock down
  • Turgon pondered the council of Ulmo
  • Tuor and Idril fell in love and were married; Maeglin hated Tuor because he loved Idril
  • Tuor and Idril bore a son, Eärendil 
  • Maeglin was traveled outside the realm of Gondolin and was taken prisoner to Angband
  • Maeglin purchased his life and freedom by telling Morgoth the location of Gondolin
  • Morgoth promised Maeglin Gondolin and Idril
  • When Eärendil was 7, Morgoth attacked Gondolin
  • Tuor fought Maeglin and he was cast down
  • They escaped through the secret passages Idril had made
  • Thorondoe came to their aid
  • Glorfindel dueled with the Balrog but died
  • Glordindel was buried
  • Tuor led the remnant of Gondolin through the mountains 
  • Ulmo came to Valinor and spoke to the Valar on behalf of the elves and men
  • Tuor built a ship and set sail into the sunset in the West 

Important Quotes

  • "At last, in the year when Eärendil was seven years old, Morgoth was ready, and he loosed upon Gondolin his Balrogs, and his Orcs, and his wolves; and with them came dragons of the brood of Glaurung, and they were become now many and terrible."

  • "And it is said that in that time Ulmo came to Valinor out of the deep waters, and spoke there to the Valar of the need of the Elves; and he called on them to forgive them, and rescue them from the overmastering might of Morgoth, and win back the Silmarils, wherein alone now bloomed the light of the Days of Bliss when the Two Trees still shone in Valinor. But Manwë moved not; and of the counsels of his heart what tale shall tell? The wise have said that the hour was not yet come, and that only one speaking in person for the cause of both Elves and Men, pleading for pardon on their mis-deeds and pity on their woes, might move the counsels of the Powers; and the oath of Fëanor perhaps even Manwë could not loose, until it found its end, and the sons of Fëanor relinquished the Silmarils, upon which they had laid their ruthless claim. For the light which lit the Silmarils the Valar themselves had made."

Discussion Questions

  • Why did Ulmo choose Tuor?
  • Why did Maeglin betray Gondolin?
  • When did Morgoth choose to attack Gondolin? 
  • What is significance of the sea? What role does Ulmo play in this chapter?

Chapter 24: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

In this chapter...

  • Eärendil and Elwing had two children, Elrond and Elros
  • Eärendil grows restless and longs for the sea
  • Eärendil built a ship called Vingilot with the help of Círdan 
  • War breaks out over desire for the Silmaril
  • Elwing, along with the Silmaril, on her breast cast herself into the sea
  • Ulmo bore her up in the form of a bird
  • Eärendil and Elwing sail to Valinor where they plead with the Valar
  • Eärendil and Elwing must remain in Valinor; Eärendil appears as a star
  • The Valar come back and there is great battle
  • Morgoth flees and is bound
  • The two Silmarils are taken
  • The oath of Feanor is debated
  • The light of the Silmarils should go to the west
  • Maedhros and Maglor teach take a Silmaril but are wounded greatly by them
  • The Silmaril burned Maedhros unbearably, he cast himself into a chasm filled with fire
  • The other Silmaril hurt Maglor and he cast it into the sea
  • The Elves are pardoned; the doom of Mandos laid to rest
  • Elrond remained in Middle-earth as an elf, Elros chose to be counted as a man
  • Morgoth is sent to the Timeless Void

Important Quotes

  • "Hail Eärendil, of mariners most renowned, the looked for that cometh at unawares, the longed for that cometh beyond hope! Hail Eärendil, bearer of light before the Sun and Moon! Splendour of the Children of Earth, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the morning!"

  • "For Ulmo bore up Elwing out of the waves, and he gave her the likeness of a great white bird, and upon her breast there shone as a star the Silmaril, as she flew over the water to seek Eärendil her beloved."

  • "The lies that Melkor, the mighty and accursed, Morgoth Bauglir, the Power of Terror and of Hate, sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men are a seed that does not die and cannot be destroyed; and ever and anon it sprouts anew, and will bear dark fruit even unto the latest days."

  • "Here ends the Silmarillion; and if it has passed from the high and the beautiful to darkness and ruin, that was of old the fate of Arda Marred; and If any change shall come and the Marring be amended, Manwë and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos."

Discussion Questions

  • What is the significance of the star which gives hope to the Elves? What do they call it?
  • What becomes of the two Silmarils which had been on Morgoth's crown? 
  • What becomes of the oath made by the sons of Feanor? 
  • Where do the Silmarils lie at the end of Quenta Silmarillion? 
  • How does the Quenta Silmarillion End?
  • HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE FINISHED THE SILMARILLION?!?! GIVE YOURSELF A HIGH-FIVE!