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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
*Silmarillion Discussion: Chapter 5, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie", Part 1 -- Who Goes and Who Stays*

weaver
Half-elven


Feb 21 2013, 6:03am


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*Silmarillion Discussion: Chapter 5, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie", Part 1 -- Who Goes and Who Stays* Can't Post

Hello and happy to be leading a RR discussion again. It's been awhile, so I'm a little rusty, but here goes -- my style is to boil things down into pretty simple terms, which is the way I can best get what Tolkien is saying, hope it works for you, and please feel free to add as many scholarly insights as you like to dress up the discussion!

This chapter starts with the Vanyar and Noldor being led by Orome to the last western shores of the Hither Lands (Middle Earth), from where they will depart for Aman.

Now, even though in the North of Middle Earth, the shores bend westward and only a narrow sea divides Aman from Middle Earth, this sea is filled with grinding ice as a result of the Battle of the Powers and the violence of the frosts of Melkor.

So, instead Orome takes them to the fair lands about the River Sirion; afterwards this area is called Beleriand.

This is the first place where the Eldar see the ocean and they are afraid of it.

Ulmo, by the Valar’s counsel, comes to the shore and turns their fear into desire by the words and music he makes for them on his horns of shell.

After this, Ulmo uproots an island which had been out in the middle of the sea. With the aid of his servants he moves it, like a “mighty ship”, and anchors it in the Bay of Balar, which is where the River Sirion empties into the sea.

So the Vanyar and Noldor embark onto this island, and are drawn over the sea, to Aman.

The eastern horn of the island breaks off and stays in the Bay, this becomes the Isle of Balar, and Osse (a Maia) visits it often later

The Teleri don’t make this trip. They live in East Beleriand, and didn’t hear the summons of Ulmo until too late, as they were looking for their leader, Elwe, and did not want to leave without him. Some of them move to the Bay area. There, they make Olwe (Elwe’s brother) their king, and they long for the Elves that are gone.

Osse and Uinen (his wife) befriend them and Osse sits on a rock and instructs them in the manner of sea lore and sea music. This is how the Teleri, who always liked water and who were the best singers, become lovers of the sea and their songs become filled with the sound of the waves.

Then, a lot of years go by and apparently not much happens…

Finally, however, Finwe and the rest of the Noldor gang in Valinor convince Ulmo to bring the Teleri to them in Aman. So Ulmo goes to get them, but now Osse is sad, because he hangs out along the shores of Middle Earth and he likes having some company. He persuades some Elves to remain, and these become the Falathrim, the Elves of the Falas, who later move to the havens of Brithombar and Eglarest; they become the first ship makers and mariners, and Cirdan the Shipwright is their lord.

Elwe’s kinfolk and friends also stick around – though they might have gone if Ulmo and Olwe had waited a bit longer with that island ship. These become the Eglath, the Forsaken People, They stay in the woods and hills, rather than move to the water, since it freaks them out, though they still long for Aman in their hearts. Eventually, Thingol and Melian make the woods a great home for them.

Discussion Questions – Pick one or more, or just add your own thoughts as you please!

1. Several new Elvish or geography terms are introduced here – any of them stand out to you for any reason? I rather like the "Battle of the Powers' and the sound of Brithombar, myself!

2. Do you like the imagery of an island being used as a ship? Anyone know if this is original to Tolkien, or if this idea can be found in other mythologies?

3. If it wasn’t for the grinding ice, would everyone have just waded back and forth across the narrow sea from Aman to Middle Earth? What would it be like if you could regularly travel to and from Paradise?

4. Are you a water person? Can you relate to the Teleri and their relationship to the sea? Do you think Tolkien loved and longed for the sea himself?

5. Why are Tolkien’s Elves so filled with longing – for the sea, for the friends and relatives they are separated from, for the site of paradise? How do these kinds of longings affect the way the Elves see themselves and their relationship to where they live?

6. The Noldor and Vanyar traveled by island – what trick did Ulmo use to get the Teleri to Aman? And what was it that Osse said that convinced some of them to stick around and become the Falathrim, even though they longed for Aman and their friends? Does love of kin overpower love of paradise for the Elves?

7. What does this opening section contribute to Tolkien’s legendarium?

Coming in Part 2-- Introducing Feanor, his sons and a bunch of other Elvish names that start with "F".

Weaver


Subject User Time
*Silmarillion Discussion: Chapter 5, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie", Part 1 -- Who Goes and Who Stays* weaver Send a private message to weaver Feb 21 2013, 6:03am
    Weaver! sador Send a private message to sador Feb 21 2013, 12:46pm
    Long journeys on a muddy boat elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 21 2013, 7:40pm
        Sea-longing- a personal Tolkien thing? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 21 2013, 10:58pm
            Maybe an early childhood experience FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 22 2013, 10:48am
                I agree elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Feb 22 2013, 12:22pm
                    About the gulls FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 22 2013, 2:31pm
                    And welcome to the Reading Room! FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 22 2013, 3:15pm
                        Thanks for the welcome elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Feb 22 2013, 6:47pm
    Passage and memory, hope and regret, duty and love. squire Send a private message to squire Feb 22 2013, 3:36pm
        Alas for the wailing of the gulls... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 22 2013, 5:05pm
            'In Eressea, in Elvenhome that no man can discover, Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!' squire Send a private message to squire Feb 22 2013, 8:08pm
    Home sweet home CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 23 2013, 11:29pm
        Mmm, tuna... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 24 2013, 5:12pm
    Quick answers - part II sador Send a private message to sador Feb 26 2013, 2:56pm
    Sorry I'm so late to the party Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Feb 27 2013, 7:38pm
        Good observation CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 27 2013, 7:52pm
            Perhaps even Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Feb 28 2013, 2:17pm
    a few thoughts telain Send a private message to telain Feb 27 2013, 8:03pm

 
 
 

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