~Tolkien Tuesday ~ The Silmarillion Chapters 15/16

It is one of those weeks where the only things that are making me feel better are binge-watching Modern Family and reading Tolkien. I cringe whenever I open my emails, especially when I am at such an important moment in The Silmarillion. In Chapter 15, Of the Noldor in Beleriand begins the building of Gondolin. Turgon is the son of Fingolfin and is inspired by Ulmo to create Gondolin within the Encircling Mountains. The goal was for this city to be hidden away from Morgoth. Now, this is just the beginning. With Tolkien, everything has layers and it feels as if everything is connected. Each moment has a cause and effect. Meanwhile, Galadriel is in Doriath and is learning from Melian, the wife of Thingol and mother of Luthien. During this time, Melian has a prophecy. She prophesizes that the Silmarils will not be recovered by the Elves. Melian and Thingol want to know what happened to the Teleri, Galadriel knows what happened but does not disclose all the details. However, Thingol hears a rumor that the Noldor slaughtered the Teleri and therefore bans the Quenya language in his realm. So the elves all adopted the language, Sindarin. As we all know, Tolkien loved languages. Sindarin is actually inspired by the Welsh language.

The next chapter, Of Maeglin, may seem like the story changes gears a bit. But hang tight, it is all connected. We meet Aredhel Ar-Feinel, The White Lady of the Noldor. She is the daughter of Fingolfin and is raised in Gondolin. She tires of life hidden behind the walls. She wants to find her kin, the sons of Feanor.

“But Aredhel, having sought in vain for her companions, rode on, for she was fearless and hardy of heart…”

The Silmarillion

During her travels, she gets separated from her companions. In the forest, a dark-elf, named Eol sees her wandering and enchants the forest so she has no choice but to come across his home. He then takes her as his wife. They have a son named Maeglin. As Maeglin grows older he realizes that they are pretty much captives, so he and his mother flee to Gondolin with Eol on their trail. They do arrive, Maeglin sees Idril, the daughter of Turgon, and falls in love with her. But Eol comes to reclaim his family. Either he has them…or no one does. So he shoots a poisoned arrow at his son, but Aredhel jumps and takes the arrow instead and dies. Eol is executed for his crimes. While Maeglin loved his mother, he is also part of his father. When he discovers that Idril does not love him in return, his love for her turns to darkness.

“This is was in Gondolin; and amid the bliss of that realm, while it’s glory lasted, a dark seed of evil was sown.”

The Silmarillion

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