The Silmarillion

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Which of Tolkien's works is best?

Lord of the Rings
8
62%
The Silmarillion
4
31%
The Unfinished Tales
0
No votes
The Hobbit
1
8%
The Lost Tales
0
No votes
The Lays of Beleriand
0
No votes
Roverandom
0
No votes
Famer Giles of Ham/The Smith of Woodton Major
0
No votes
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:16 am

now that it's summer and i've had time to read, i finished the Lays of Beleriand... wow... i read the Lay of Luthien pretty much in one sitting, and it was really good. Steve, you have to read it. you'll love it. And I was so happy when Tolkien went back and retold the story of Fingolfin! It was so beautiful! here... I'll post it..

In that vast shadow once of yore
Fingolfin stood: his shield he bore
with field of heaven's blue and star
of crystal shining pale afar.
in overmastering wrath and hate
desperate he smote upon that gate,
the Gnomish king, there standing lone,
while endless fortresses of stone
engulfed the thin clear ringing keen
of silver horn on baldric green.
his hopeless challenge dauntless cried
Fingolfin there: 'Come, open wide,
dark king, your brazen doors!
Come forth, whom earth and heaven abhors!
Come forth, O monstrous craven lord,
and fight with thine own hand and sword,
thou wielder of hosts of banded thralls,
thou tyrant leaguered with strong walls,
thou foe of Gods, and elvish race!
I wait thee here. Come! Show thy face!'

Then Morgoth came. for the last time
in those great wars he dared to climb
from subterranean throne profound,
the rumor of his feet a sound
of rumbling earthquake underground.
black-armoured, towering, iron-crowned
he issued forth; his mighty shield
a vast unblazoned sable field
with shadow like a thundercloud;
and o'er the gleaming king it bowed,
as huge aloft like mace he hurled
that hammer of the underworld,
Grond. Clanging to the ground it rumbled
the rocks beneath it; smoke up-started,
a pit yawned, and a fire darted.

Fingolfin like a shooting light
beneath a cloud, a stab of white,
sprang then aside, ad Ringil drew
like ice that gleameth cold and blue,
his sword devised of elvish skill
to pierce the flesh with deadly chill.
With seven wounds it rent his foe,
and seven mighty cries of woe
rang in the mountains, and the earth quook,
and Angband's trembling armies shook.
Yet Orcs would after laughing tell
of the duel at the gates of hell;
though elvish song thereof was made
ere this but one - when sad was laid
the mighty king in barrow high,
and Thorndor, eagle of the sky,
and dreadful ridings brought and told
to mourning Elfinesse of old.
Thrice was Fingolfin with great blows
to his knees beaten, thrice he rose
still leaping up beneath the cloud
aloft to hold star-shining, proud
his stricken shield, his sundered helm,
that dark nor might could overwhelm
till all the earth was burst and rent
in pits about him. He was spent.
His feet stumbled. he fell to wreck
upon the ground, and on his neck
a foot like rooted hills was set,
and he was crushed - not conquered yet;
one last despairing stroke he gave
the mighty foot pale Ringil clave
about the heel, and black the blood
gushed as from smoking fount in flood.
Halt goes forever from that stroke
great Morgoth; but the king he broke,
and would have hewed and mangled thrown
that Manwë bade him to build on high,
on peak unscaled beneath the sky,
Morgoth to watch, now doom there swooped
Thorndor King of Eagles, stooped,
and rending beak of gold he smote
in Bauglir's face then up did float
on pinions thirty fathoms wide
bearing away, though loud they cried,
the mighty corse, the elven-king;
and where the mountains make a ring
far to the south about that plain
where after Gondolin did reign
embattled city at great height
upon a dizzy snowcap white
it mounded cairn the mighty dead
he laid upon the mountain?s head.
Never Orc nor demon after dared
that pass to climb o'er which there stared
Fingolfin's high and holy tomb,
till Gondolin's appointed doom.

(The Lay of Lethian 3538-3631)
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:17 am

Ah, and another faovirte quote from the Lay, the opening lines:

A king there was in days of old:
ere Men yet walked upon the mould
his power was reared in cavern?s shade,
his hand was over glen and glade.
his shields were shining as the moon,
his lances keen of steel were hewn,
of silver grey his crown was wrought,
the starlight in his banners caught;
and silver thrilled his trumpets long
beneath the stars in challenge strong;
enchantment did his realm enfold,
where might and glory, wealth untold
he wielded from his ivory throne
in many-pillared halls of stone.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
and metal wrought like fishes? mail,
buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
and gleaming spears were laid in hoard-
all these he had and loved them less
than a maiden once in Elfinesse;
for fairer than are born to Men
a daughter had he, Lúthien.
(The Lay of Lethian 1-22)
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:18 am

And we can't forget the Lay of the Children of Hurin:

Much lore he learned and loved wisdom,
but fortune followed him in few desires;
oft wrong and awry what he wrought turnéd
what he loved he lost, what he longed for failed
and full friendship he found not with ease,
not was lightly loved, for his looks were sad;
he was gloomy-hearted and glad seldom
for the sundering sorrow that seared his youth.
On manhood's threshold he was mighty-thewed
in the wielding of weapons; in the weaving song
he had a minstrel's master, but mirth was not in it,
for he mourned the misery of the Men of Hithlum.
(The Lay of the Children of Húrin, 706-717)
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:20 am

Isn't it awesome!? it's like beowulf, only tolkien! Yay!

..but guess what? I am now reading a book that (GASP!) isn't written by Tolkien!!!

(someone should call the doctor or something!
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:49 pm

Ok, back to Tolkien again. Lost Tales 2 is so funny! tevildo the evil giant demonic cat plays the role of Sauron int he Beren/Luthien story!! "thus the hatred between cats and elves."
lol
Last edited by Sam Gamgee on Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:50 pm

I Eldar úmer melë mëoir.
I Eldar umer melë mëoir.
Ar i eldar uma melë mëoir.

(i wonder how you do the perfect tense of umë?)

ha ha! Polin quetë Eldalambë! Yé!

(uh... i'm just rejoicing in my newfound use of quenya grammar)

But isn't mëoi the BEST word for cat?
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Post by Theremin » Sun Nov 23, 2003 8:52 pm

Going back a page or two, on the subject of The Worm Oroborous...
As far as I can tell as a result of my own studious studies (prompted by the APP CD Vulture Culture), an Orobouros is a snake eating its own tail. It is supposed to symbolize the cycle of life or something. Its actually all a little hazy, I read it all a couple of months ago. Anyway, I was just getting ready to change my signature when I realized that it had a shred of relevencxe to a topic on the board! Amazing!!! :D Anyway, Its going to be gone in a couple of minutes, so I'll reprint it here for one last glorious time :D .

And I am a snake head eating
The head on the opposite side
I palindrome I

Its the chorus from the They Might Be Giants song I palindrome I. Good song, good band, kind of like Weird Al. Since this rant is kind of getting out of hand, I think I'll go start a new thread about it, but since it is already here, I suggest you all spend a fair amount of time reflecting on that lyrical fragment's relevence to the symbol of an oroborous. :D
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:42 pm

*reflecting reverently*
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The Silmarillion Rocks! (Pun Intended)

Post by idoron » Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:45 pm

It is my favorite of JRRT's works. Few though have read it. And fewer still know that there was quite of a bit of editorializing does by CJRT. The manuscripts were not complete so Chris had to make some executive decisions to get them ready. I have not been able to look into all the changes (still have lots of books to buy) but among them:

The Nauglamir didn't exist until the Silmar was but into it by the Dwarves for Thingol of Doriath after the rescue of the Jewel from the Iron Crown of Morgoth by Beren and Luthien.

My favorite story from the book is the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The battle of unnumbered tears, the First Alliance of elves and men, but against Morgoth and not Sauron. A great, but sad story. The Alliance risked it all to do what even the Valar would not and nearly succeeded; but in failing, lost almost all they had.

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Re: The Silmarillion Rocks! (Pun Intended)

Post by Sam Gamgee » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:45 pm

idoron wrote:The Nauglamir didn't exist until the Silmar was but into it by the Dwarves for Thingol of Doriath after the rescue of the Jewel from the Iron Crown of Morgoth by Beren and Luthien.
Isn't that altered story in Unfinished or Lost Tales or something? I get them all mixed up now... I've read four versions of many of the same stories, all of which are slightly different... good stuff.

I love the Silmarillion. So so much. Tolkien is like the clearest window into heaven I have ever seen. Or onto earth. Or both. In any case, Tolkien is so incredible. (well, ok, i'm not going to choose between the two, since they're both different, but still my heroes, but Pope John Paul II is so incredibly awesome as well. Wow. Wow wow, jaw droppingly amazing. I love that man! and Tolkien too. They have this incredible talent for capturing something so true in just a few words.)

So, ah, what's your SECOND favorite of Tolkien's works?
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Re: The Silmarillion Rocks! (Pun Intended)

Post by idoron » Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:23 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:
idoron wrote:The Nauglamir didn't exist until the Silmar was but into it by the Dwarves for Thingol of Doriath after the rescue of the Jewel from the Iron Crown of Morgoth by Beren and Luthien.
Isn't that altered story in Unfinished or Lost Tales or something? I get them all mixed up now... I've read four versions of many of the same stories, all of which are slightly different... good stuff.

I love the Silmarillion. So so much. Tolkien is like the clearest window into heaven I have ever seen. Or onto earth. Or both. In any case, Tolkien is so incredible. (well, ok, i'm not going to choose between the two, since they're both different, but still my heroes, but Pope John Paul II is so incredibly awesome as well. Wow. Wow wow, jaw droppingly amazing. I love that man! and Tolkien too. They have this incredible talent for capturing something so true in just a few words.)

So, ah, what's your SECOND favorite of Tolkien's works?
If Tolkien and PJ2 had to duke it out, who would win?

Does second favorite mean book or story? I like the story of Huor/Tuor/Hurin/Turin. <i>Interesting</i> Family history.

Book, I would have to choose RotK.

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:55 pm

Tolkien vs. JPII... Uh... Let's not talk about that one. I don't think you really can compare them against each other, because they both do basically the same thing in different ways - Tolkien writes epics, JPII writes encyclicals and gives homilies and writes books, and both show amazing things about God. I refuse to choose. ;)

I love Turin's story too. But want to hear something twilight-zoneishly creepy? I like to make stories, and several years ago I started to make this one elvish character named Morceleb. I knew about four words in elvish at the time, and mor (=black) and celeb (=silver) were two of them, so Morceleb was a natural result. There was no reason behind the name at first. He kind of went into the background as i started writing another story, and then I read the Sil. I forgot most of the details of that book fairly quickly. You just can't appreciate it the first time. Anyway, gradually my little background character of Morceleb started to develop more over the next few years, and I made up a history for him and everything. Then I read the Silmarillion again and was utterly shocked by the similarity to the story of Turin. In that time when I had totally forgotten about Turin, this is what I had concluded about Morceleb: When he was very young, his whole clan had been cursed. This clan of elves had a preciously guarded secret of a kind of black steel that shone silver - they made swords out of it. (that's how i later rationalized choosing such a stupid name) Anyway, Morceleb's whole clan died, killed off one by one from the curse, but somehow he managed to survive for a long time (eventually he manages to break the curse though). Another long story comes in that would take too much time to explain, but Morceleb gets named Agarwaen "bloodstained", (as i learned from my "Ruth S. Noel Languagse of Middle Earth" book which I highly recommend you DON'T buy for all its grammtical errors.) Oh, and also, Morceleb has never smiled all his life, and after something seriously shattering to his young heart happens to him as a child, he is incapable of weeping and is for the most part, emotionally dead. Those are the important points.
So Turin and his family were cursed by Morgoth, and all of them died because of that. He had a black sword and was later named after it, Mormegil - "Black Sword". He was also known as Agarwaen, "bloodstained". After he killed Beleg he could not weep, but was basically emotionally dead (until he came to that one lake that i forgot the name of.)

All that was partially coincidence and perhaps partially subconscious, but isn't that scary???

And actually, I was speaking of books. Behind the Silmarillion, my favorite is a tie, I think. RotK and Lays of Beleriand. (Have you read that book?? good, good stuff!)
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Post by idoron » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:39 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:I love Turin's story too. But want to hear something twilight-zoneishly creepy...
Hmmm. You must be pretty in tune with JRRT's way of thinking. The whole 'curse' idea is interesting. Part of why I brought up the Blame for Boromir thread. Tolkien has lots of tough morality just beneath the surface of his works.

That is one of the reasons I like the story of Unnumbered Tears. Which is probably better left for another thread sometime, I could go on for a while about it.

Aside on elfish translations: have you translated my name yet? Or placed the couplet in my sig? Bonus "JRRT Geek Points" if you can (without a web search)

Sam Gamgee wrote:And actually, I was speaking of books. Behind the Silmarillion, my favorite is a tie, I think. RotK and Lays of Beleriand. (Have you read that book?? good, good stuff!)
Not all the way through. I have read a bit. After all the long form epic poems I had to read in my undergrad studies I have had a hard time getting back into it.

(No, no, not the Faerie Queen! NOOOOOOOOooooooo!)
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:51 pm

*groan* it's Sindarin, isn't it? I know orë=mind in quenya, but I don't think I'm familiar with "oron" or "id". I'm a quenya student, not a sindarin one! :-p or is it "dor" and "on" and "i"? i=the, dor=land, and I don't know "on". Well, "on" is the genitive plural quenya ending, but I know dor is sindarin, so that wouldn't work. Oh well. geek points for trying?

And I know tengwar, viking and dwarf runes, but not cirth. :-p

I know greek and 1337 alphabets, if that counts for anything! ;)
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Post by idoron » Mon Dec 29, 2003 8:53 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:*groan* it's Sindarin, isn't it? I know orë=mind in quenya, but I don't think I'm familiar with "oron" or "id". I'm a quenya student, not a sindarin one! :-p or is it "dor" and "on" and "i"? i=the, dor=land, and I don't know "on". Well, "on" is the genitive plural quenya ending, but I know dor is sindarin, so that wouldn't work. Oh well. geek points for trying?

And I know tengwar, viking and dwarf runes, but not cirth. :-p

I know greek and 1337 alphabets, if that counts for anything! ;)
It is Sindarin. You where close with i=the, but you broke up the word too far. doron=oak. The avatar would have been a hint.

:?:
Cirth=runes, tolkien's dwarf runes were cirth. The Cirth went through a lot of iterations, the string appearing in the avatar are what a sindarin speaking native (or immigrant, too, I guess) of Beleriand would have carved. The dwarves used the same runes, but modified them to their needs to becomes the runes used in Moria (like on Balin's Tomb) and later in Erebor. The runes in the hobbit are different, even though they look the same.

What about the couplet?
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold;
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West

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