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Archive for the ‘1 – Many Meetings’ Category

Just by that first line, you can tell that this page is more and more history.

Before we start, I have to fix an error. Yesterday I said that Anárion, Isildur’s brother, founded Arnor. Nope. He didn’t. He jointly ruled Gondor with Isildur. My bad. I’ll edit that post later.

Shame. SHAAAME!

So, Elrond keeps telling the tale of the ring. He was present at the last battle with Sauron, when Elendil and Gil-galad fell, and Isildur cut the ring from Sauron’s hand. This shocks Frodo, who inappropriately forgets about elven immortality. This is awkward. Unfortunately, Elrond also remembers how Isildur kept the ring as a repayment for his father’s and brother’s deaths. (Oh yeah, Anárion dies too. That’s why we never hear about him.) Boromir did not know this part of the tale, and is surprised. Elrond continues to say that few actually knew of Isildur’s betrayal and death at the hands of the ring. When he was killed in the Gladden Fields, only three men escaped, and after wandering the mountains for a long time.

First Mentions:

-Beleriand: Northern region of Middle-earth. Once proud, but widely destroyed in the battle against Morgorth at the end of the First Age.

-Thangorodrim: Group of three volcanos, raised by Morgoth. His fortress of Angband in the north was below them.

-Gondolin: Hidden elven city in Beleriand. Destroyed…of course.

-Doriath: Another elven land in Beleriand. Also gone.

-the Battle of Dagorlad: Battle in which Sauron was defeated by the Last Alliance, with Isildur cutting the ring from his hand.

-Aiglos: Spear of Gil-galad. Nine feet tall. Clearly awesome.

-Narsil: Elendil’s sword, broken, which Isildur used to cut the ring from Sauron’s hand. Aragorn carries it around.

-Ohtar: Esquire of Isildur. Survived the ambush which killed Isildur. Brought with him the shards of Narsil to Rivendell.

History, history, history! So many new things!

Frodo forgetting that Elrond has been around for a long time certainly feels uncomfortable in this formal setting of the Council. Elrond has to go back and remind Frodo that he’s Eärendil’s son. DUH. Obvi.

Wait...Elrond is an ELF!?

Boromir’s outburst, though also uninformed, is more acceptable. Gondor’s been slowly falling out of grace, so I don’t doubt that he doesn’t know about the fate of Isildur. Education is lax in the south there…

Anywho, I’m going to withhold trying to figure out where things are going in this story, because we’re just going to move forward through it as we go day by day.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Beleriand

-Thangorodrim

-Gondolin

-Doriath

-Dagorlad

-Aiglos

-Narsil

-Ohtar

Oh look, the same list. Ho hum

“‘One of these was Ohtar, the esquire of Isildur, who bore the shards of the…'”

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And so we end one of the longer chapters so far!

As Frodo and Bilbo leave, an elvish song rises from the crowd. Bilbo remarks that it is in praise of Varda, Elbereth Gilthoniel, etc. (she’s got a lot of names, remember). Frodo sees Aragorn standing close with Arwen. He looks radiant, and she seems to be looking towards Frodo himself.

Third wheelin', like a boss.

Frodo and Bilbo retire to Bilbo’s room, and talk of good in the world. Sam arrives, calling for Frodo to come to bed. The Council of Elrond is to begin tomorrow, and he needs his sleep.

Oh, no! It’s time for the Council of Elrond! I’ve been warned about this for a long time. And you thought the earlier chapters filled with talking dragged on…

To be fair, this was a long chapter. We did, however, learn a lot. Don’t forget the reunion with Gandalf, dinner with Glóin, and song from Bilbo were all in this chapter. I didn’t complain, so we’re gonna be just fine.

Don't you worry, guy who looks eerily like Elijah Wood!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

Oh yeah, there’s a song today. Take a look at this one:

“A Elbereth Gilthoniel,

silivren penna míriel

o menel aglar elenath!

Na-chaered palan-díriel

o galadhremmin ennorath,

Fanuilos, le linnathon

nef aear, sí nef aearon!”

In freakin’ Elvish, I present:

Elrocks

(Clocks – Coldplay)

That’s right, it’s in another language! Please, if you know how much of this I’m mispronouncing, just call me on it. I try, but I’m more likely to fail than do it right.

It’s a song to Varda, who we’ve learned already the elves idolize. According to Bibo, the elves are going to spend most of the night singing songs like this. I have no idea what it’s saying exactly, but you can assume it’s probably similar to a lot of religious songs that you would hear in any place of worship.

Elves can coexist too.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

silivren

míriel

menel

aglar

elenath

Na-chaered

palan-díriel

galadhremmin

ennorath

Fanuilos

linnathon

nef

aear

aearon

Yeah, I saw that coming a mile away.

“‘I’ll take a walk, I think, and look at the stars of Elbereth in the garden. Sleep well!'”

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I’m not sure what to make of this page… I think there’s elven racism going on.

We all know how elves ruthlessly kicked Buddy out.

After finishing the song, Bilbo is congratulated by the elves listening to him. They want to hear it again, and apparently Bilbo has asked if they could figure out which verses were written by Aragorn, and which by him. One elf remarks how they cannot tell the difference between the two. Two mortals, even of different races, appear the same to elves.

Bilbo, satisfied, and too tired to sing again, walks over to Frodo. He admits that the entire song was his doing, and that he doesn’t often get much praise for his writing. Both are tired, and Bilbo suggests slipping away from the company to have a more private talk.

First Mentions:

-Lindir: Elf listening to Bilbo sing. Totally a racist.

Allow me to explain…

I don’t throw this around lightly, but Lindir, as well as the elves around him, are kind of racist against mortal races. Take a look at what they say:

-“It is not easy for us to tell the difference between two mortals.”

-“To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different. Or to shepherds. But Mortals are not our study. We have other business.”

If that doesn’t sound like the “I’m so ignorant that all people of a different race look the same” argument, I don’t know what it is. Generally, we like elves, but this Lindir fellow is seeming a bit off. I don’t like him, not one bit.

This little piggy is not like the others.

Ultimately, Bilbo shrugs it off, so I guess he accepts their ignorance? He has better things to do anyway.

Apparently Aragorn joked about Bilbo singing about Eärendil in the house of Elrond. When you think about it, it is kind of strange. Bilbo sang an epic tale about Elrond’s dad. How often does that happen? Would you want someone to sing about your dad all the time? That might get awkward.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Lindir

See! My computer didn’t like him either. I’m not alone.

“In spite of his delight in Bilbo’s company Frodo felt a tug…”

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And so it ends.

NO THAT'S LATER.

I mean the song. The song ends today.

The Valar build a new boat for Eärendil, and send him on his merry way back home. However, he’s cursed with doom, and that hangs over his head. He is forced to bear this burden back to Middle-earth.

After the song ends, Frodo opens his eyes to see Bilbo finish up to applause.

On a side note, Eärendil is forced to choose between having the mortality of a man or the immortal life of an elf. He chooses, to be with Elwing, the elven path.

First Mentions:

Evereven: I don’t know. Someplace in Valinor. It sounds nice.

the Mountain Wall: The Pelóri Mountains, which separate Valinor from the rest of Aman. You have to travel through the Calacirian to get there, remember?

Norland: A place with water. I think it may be back in Middle-earth. I DON’T KNOW, OKAY?! All of these things are never mentioned anywhere else!

the Flammifer of Westernesse: I think this is another name for Eärendil. Or maybe the Silmaril he carries. It sounds a bit like “flame”.

And that’s it! Hopefully no more random names of places that are hard to understand for a while!

Let's not go there...

Let’s finish the song!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

I give you, the (still almost a full page) conclusion:

“beyond the world were visions showed

forbid to those that dwell therein.

A ship then new they built for him

of mithril and of elven-glass

with shining prow; no shaven oar

nor sail she bore on silver mast:

the Silmaril as lantern light

and banner bright with living flame

to gleam thereon by Elbereth

herself was set, who thither came

and wings immortal made for him,

and laid on him undying doom,

to sail the shoreless skies and come

behind the Sun and light of Moon.

From Evereven’s lofty hills

where softly silver fountains fall

his wings him bore, a wandering light,

beyond the mighty Mountain Wall.

From World’s End then he turned away,

and yearned again to find afar

his home through shadows journeying,

and burning as an island star

on high above the mists he came,

a distant flame before the Sun,

a wonder ere the waking dawn

where grey the Norland waters run.

And over Middle-earth he passed

and heard at last the weeping sore

of women and of elven-maids

in Elder Days, in years of yore.

But on him mighty doom was laid,

till Moon should fade, an orbéd star

to pass, and tarry never more

on Hither Shores where mortals are;

for ever still a herald on

an errand that should never rest

to bear his shining lamp afar,

the Flammifer of Westernesse.”

Finally, I present:

Eäris pt.4

(Iris – Goo Goo Dolls)

And there we have it. I still can’t really make heads or tails of this for sure, but it’s pretty. It’s an interesting tale, nonetheless, and very important in the grand scheme of things. It’s just hard to place it in our story, because it has such little direct effect.

In the end, it goes to show the storytelling power of Bilbo. We are to believe that he thought this up recently, perhaps even this very night. Those are some beastly writing/improvisational skills.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

mithril

Evereven’s

Norland

orbéd

Flammifer

Oh yeah, mithril comes up for the first time on this page. I didn’t feel like throwing it a First Mention, because it’s kind of a normal thing. Like how we already know what elves and dwarves and such are. Mithril is a pretty typical fantasy-genre thing. You should know what it is.

You do, right?

And it's floating in a most peculiar way.

“Frodo opened his eyes and saw that Bilbo was seated on his stool in a circle of listeners, who were smiling and applauding.”

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I’m going to be honest, this song doesn’t really make a ton of sense.

Hey look, a ton of cents!

Eärendil’s ship is steered west, and he comes to Aman. There he finds the glory of Valinor, and is brought to places where the fate of the peoples of Middle-earth is discussed.

And that’s what I get from today…

First Mentions:

Tarmenel: Also called Over-heaven. It’s like, above the stars. A wind came from here to drive Eärendil westward…or something like that.

Evernight: Some sort of blackness that Eärendil goes through. Where it’s ever night. GET IT?

Valinor: Yes, it’s the first time it comes up! Home of the Valar in Aman. Highly sacred place.

Eldamar: Home of elves in Aman. I assume that’s where the elves head when they travel west from Middle-earth.

the Hill of Ilmarin: Mountain in Valinor.

Ilmarin: Watchtower on top of the Hill of Ilmarin. Makes sense, right? Manwë and Varda (Elbereth), two of the Valar, live there.

Tirion: Elven city in Valinor.

the Shadowmere: Not sure… It mirrors Tirion, so is it water? A lake, perhaps?

the Calacirian: Mountain pass into Valinor. Apparently the only actual way to get there.

the Elder King: Title of Manwë, lord of the Valar. Big deal, that one.

And now let’s do the song again.

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

“there strong a free a storm arose,

a wind of power in Tarmenel;

by paths that seldom mortal goes

his boat it bore with biting breath

as might of death across the grey

and long-forsaken seas distressed:

from east to west he passed away.

Through Evernight he back was borne

on black and roaring waves that ran

o’er leagues unlit and foundered shores

that drowned before the Days began,

until he heard on strands of pearl

where ends the world the music long,

where ever-foaming billows roll

the yellow gold and jewels wan.

He saw the Mountain silent rise

where twilight lies upon the knees

of Valinor, and Eldamar

beheld afar beyond the seas.

A wanderer escaped from night

to haven white he came at last,

to Elvenhome the green and fair

where keen the air, where pale as glass

beneath the Hill of Ilmarin

a-glimmer in a valley sheer

the lamplit towers of Tirion

are mirrored on the Shadowmere.

He tarried there from errantry,

and melodies they taught to him,

and sages old him marvels told,

and harps of gold they brought to him.

They clothed him then in elven-white,

and seven lights before him sent,

as through the Calacirian

to hidden land forlorn he went.

He came unto the timeless halls

where shining fall the countless years,

and endless reigns the Elder King

in Ilmarin on Mountain sheer;

and words unheard were spoken then

of folk of Men and Elven-kin,”

Nearly there, I present:

Eäris pt.3

(Iris – Goo Goo Dolls)

Wait, it sounds like Eärendil kind of takes a break here. So he gets to Aman, hangs out with the elves for a while, and leaves to go to Valinor and meet with the Valar. But in the meantime he gets dressed all nice, learns some music, gets pampered, the whole royal treatment, really. And then, in traveling through the pass to Valinor, he’s “forlorn”. Okay, sure, you’ve had a long seafaring journey, you deserve a break. But don’t be all pouty when you have to move on and finish what you came for!

But it's harrrrd!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

Tarmenel

Evernight

Valinor

Eldamar

Ilmarin

Tirion

Shadowmere

Calacirian

When I have to do all this song stuff, I run out of other things to say…

OH. Check out the rhyme scheme. Not only does every other line rhyme, but the middle of a line often rhymes with the line before it. It’s there, and really well done.

He came unto the timeless halls where shining fall the countless years, and endless reigns the Elder King in Ilmarin on Mountain sheer; and words unheard were spoken then of folk of Men and Elven-kin,…”

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If you couldn’t tell from the beginning yesterday, this song is about Eärendil’s journey across the sea. The text calls him a “mariner”.

Eärichiro!

Eärendil has a lot of cool equipment. That’s what the beginning is about. He sails far and long, through ice and fire, only to be beaten back time and time again. His wife, Elwing, is transported (by magic) to him, and brings a Silmaril. They bear for Valinor.

That’s where we are now, at least.

First Mentions:

the Narrow Ice: Another thing that is hard to find a reference to. Probably in the northern part of the sea, where an ice bridge once existed between Middle-earth and Aman.

Night of Naught: What is it? I’m not sure. It sounds like a night when Eärendil hopelessly felt he would never find Aman.

Otherworld: Someplace bad. That’s my best guess, folks.

Let’s get some quick background-refreshing here. Eärendeil was a half-elf, and Elwing, his wife, the granddaughter of Beren and Lúthien, making her…mostly elf. Elwing gives Eärendil the Silmaril that Beren won from Morgorth long ago. Eventually, Eärendil and Elwing have two sons, Elros and Elrond. We know Elrond.

Anyway, Eärendil is a very important character in the history of Middle-earth, and I’m sure we’re going to learn a lot more about him.

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

It’s so long…

“her sails he wove of silver fair,

of silver were her lanterns made,

her prow he fashioned like a swan,

and light upon her banners laid.

In panoply of ancient kings,

in chainéd rings he armoured him;

his shining shield was scored with runes

to ward all wounds and harm from him;

his bow was made of dragon-horn,

his arrows shorn of ebony,

of silver was his habergeon,

his scabbard of chalcedony;

his sword of steel was valiant,

of adamant his helmet tall,

an eagle-plume upon his crest,

upon his breast an emerald.

Beneath the Moon and under star

he wandered far from northern strands,

bewildered on enchanted ways

beyond the days of mortal lands.

From gnashing of the Narrow Ice

where shadow lies on frozen hills,

from nether heats and burning waste

he turned in haste, and roving still

on starless waters far astray

at last he came to Night of Naught,

and passed, and never sight he saw

of shining shore nor light he sought.

The winds of wrath came driving him,

and blindly in the foam he fled

from west to east, and errandless,

unheralded he homeward sped.

There flying Elwing came to him,

and flame was in the darkness lit;

more bright than light of diamond

the fire upon her carcanet.

The Silmaril she bound on him

and crowned him with the living light,

and dauntless then with burning brow

he turned his prow; and in the night

from Otherworld beyond the Sea”

Not even halfway there, I present:

Eäris pt.2

(Iris – Goo Goo Dolls)

That’s right, we’re still going to be with this song for a while. Get comfy.

Gladly.

I can really just sum up the beginning by saying that Eärendil has all the swag. Really. ALL THE SWAG. Dragon-horn bow? Check. Ebony arrows? Check. Silver…thing? Check. Scabbard made with a thing that I’m pretty sure I mispronounced? Check. You see how this goes.

And then he sails a lot. In the history, Elwing’s home is destroyed while Eärendil is away, and she brings the Silmaril to him magically. He’s searching for Aman, and now needs the help of the Valar to reclaim his home. No pressure.

More on this all tomorrow.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

chainéd

-armoured

errandless

It’s nice to see that the names like Eärendil and Elwing have already been brought up and spellchecked. It makes this step easier.

The Silmaril she bound on him and crowned him with the living light, and dauntless then with burning brow he turned his prow; and in the night from Otherworld beyond the Sea…”

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Because…he’s the hero Middle-earth deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Vroom.

No, silly! Because he’s from the west! Aragorn is a man of Númenor. That is what “Dúnadan” implies. When asked about not attending the feast, Aragorn responds that Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond’s twin sons, have unexpectedly returned to Rivendell with news. He had to see them. He and Bilbo laugh a bit, then scurry off to work on their song.

Frodo is left with a sleeping Sam, and begins to hear the music and merriment around him. He falls into a sort of trance, with the music swirling him away into a dream like being swept down a river. In the back of his mind, he hears Bilbo singing.

First Mentions:

-Arvernien: Region of the northern lands of Beleriand. Um…this took me forever to verify. Moving along.

Nimbrethil: A forest, I would assume. Not much info on that one. It’s probably in Arvernien.

Oh, good gracious me. This song looks like it’s going to contain a lot of places and names that are going to be hard to place. More fodder for the argument that Tolkien fleshed out this world as much as humanly possible, right? Actually, is that even an argument? I think it’s just fact.

Right, song!

Tolkien Songs In Real Life:

It’s a real short beginning today, but oh boy are we going to spend some good quality time with this one.

“Eärendil was a mariner

that tarried in Arvernien;

he built a boat of timber felled

in Nimbrethil to journey in;”

Only a snippet, I present:

Eäris pt.1

(Iris – Goo Goo Dolls)

Ah, ’90s rock. Refreshingly angsty, isn’t it? It’s all the angst of every teenager, but without today’s screaming.

Something seems...off.

So wait, what’s happening to Frodo during all of this? He’s floating down the river of song! The description is pretty trippy if you ask me. My favorite line is: “the firelit hall became like a golden mist above seas of foam that sighed upon the margins of the world.” Say what? What exactly are the “margins of the world”? Didn’t Columbus discover that we don’t have those?

Anyway, you get the picture. He’s tired, and probably still recovering from his wound a bit. Let’s cut him some slack and let him sail off wherever he wants to.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

dún-adan

-Númenórean

-firelit

Arvernien

Nimbrethil

Firelit? What? Okay, spellcheck, I’ll give you everything else, but give me “firelit”. Pretty please with lembas on top?

Eärendil was a mariner that tarried in Arvernien; he built a boat of timber felled in Nimbrethil to journey in;…”

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