“and there was still hope in that time and the memory of mirth, and for long the white tree of the Eldar flowered in the courts of the Kings of Men…”Silmarillion
This is it. The final section of The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age. This section does a great job at switching gears from The Silmarillion and giving some background leading into The Lord of the Rings. These events are mentioned in Lord of the Rings but this section provides more information and it is just as dense as the last section.
We all know how the Rings were created and how Sauron forged the Ring of Power. We know that the Elves could sense the power of The Ring as soon as he put it on. The Dwarves also received rings but they are tough and hard to tame. But the nine rings who went to the men became corrupted and became the Nazgul: The Ringwraiths.
“men he found the easiest to sway of all the peoples of the Earth.”The Silmarillion
Mortal men are doomed to die and live shorter lives, besides the Numenoreans. This is key when going into the Lord of the Rings because if men weren’t easily swayed the events of Lord of the Rings would not have taken place. In fact, the main struggle in the Lord of the Rings is the weight of the Ring. It slowly poisons Frodo and the burden that is placed on his shoulders is mentioned often. But it was Isildur’s decision that resulted in the avalanche of events:
Isildur and Anarion establish the Kingdom of Gondor and they bring with them 7 stones and the White Tree. We know that the White Tree is a descendant of one of the trees of Valinor called Telperion. Those stones? Well, they are given another name: The Palantiri and they could call to each other—which we know because it is a tool used by Saruman in the Lord of the Rings.
Now, we jump into the events of The Last Alliance. Men and Elves ally together to take down Sauron. The Elves called Sauron’s mountain, Orodruin. The Numenoreans named is Amon Amarth which means Mount Doom. The Last Alliance is able to hold a 7-year siege. In that time, Elendil is slaughtered but Isildur is able to use Narsil to cut the Ring from the hand of Sauron and takes the Ring for himself. He is no longer able to take shape. But we know that he flees to regain his strength. The first we see of that is in the introduction to Mirkwood, one called, Greenwood the Great. But a slow darkness creeps in…which leads us into the events of The Hobbit. Then we are introduced to Rivendale, established by Elrond.
“House of Elrond was a refuge for the weary and oppressed, and a treasury of good counsel and wise lore.
One of the most important introductions in this final chapter is the mention of the arrival of the Istari. They are sent to combat the evils of Sauron should he arise again. The Istari as we know them are the Wizards:
Radagast-we only meet briefly, but we know as a friend to the birds and beasts.
There are two others but their names are lost to time as they travel far East.
I love this transitional chapter. The other subjects of the Silmarillion are concluded but it gives a wonderful bridge to the events of the Lord of the Rings! And that is it, we are done! I am now currently reading: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and then I will journey into The Unfinished Tales. A lot of the subjects in The Unfinished Tales mirror The Silmarillion but it also provides more information and history.