~Tolkien Tuesday~ The Silmarillion Ch. 9/10

“We renounce no friendship, But it may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.”

Olwe

Isn’t this a timely quote? The strength it takes to stand up to those you love when they say or do something foolish is a great strength and takes courage. Those who receive the rebuke often get defensive. It is natural. But we also need to start listening and take responsibility for our actions. Feanor could have learned a thing or two there. As strong as he is and brilliant, he could use some wisdom–or at least think through his actions. But he let his grief manifest into unrelenting anger, full of vengeance. The Silmarils are the only light left of the Two Trees. The Valar ask for the Silmarils and the words of Melkor come to Feanor. He does not trust the Valar. But then Melkor returns to Middle-Earth. In this return, he kills Finwe, Feanor’s father. And in this moment, Melkor is officially named Morgoth.

“Then Feanor ran from the Ring of Doom, and fled into the night; for his father was dearer to him than that Light of Valinor or the peerless works of his hands…”

The Silmarillion

I feel Feanor’s grief here. The darkness losing one’s father brings. Everyone grieves in different ways. Tolkien does a good job at showing different stages of grief. But at some point, the grief manifests in anger and he takes an Oath. He vows vengeance on those who keep the Silmarils from him. His sons take the Oath as well. Many of the Noldor choose to leave. One of those being Galadriel. But she does not take the oath. She leaves because she wants to explore Middle-Earth. As the Noldor venture out, soon they become desperate and they turn to their friends, the Teleri. However, the Teleri cannot support them in their oath and refuse to give them ships. So the Teleri are slain and their ships were taken.

We need to make sure we work through our grief in a healthy manner or else it can consume us. In Feanor’s case, it is the words of Morgoth and his grief that build-up to the slaughter.

Of the Sindar is an entirely different chapter altogether. This chapter introduces Luthien, the only child of Thingol and Melian. It is just an introduction, but the Elves have their first meeting with the Dwarves–which results in the building of Menegroth. However, another heartbreaking moment occurs. The Laiquendi help Thingol against the armies of Morgoth and suffer so many losses, including their king…Denethor. In their grief, they retreat and become secretive and never name another king again.

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