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Silmarillion, Chapter 14: Much, much more on the geography of Beleriand and its Realms
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telain
Rohan

May 22 2013, 11:54pm

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Silmarillion, Chapter 14: Much, much more on the geography of Beleriand and its Realms Can't Post

This may be a superfluous post, (even super-fluvious if you count how much time spent on Sirion and Gelion) but I thought a few more specific questions about this chapter were in order. And speaking of order, it seems only fitting to proceed geographically!

the Northern Lands:

Hisilome, (Hithlum, Land of Mist). Was anyone else disappointing to learn that the "mist" is composed of clouds issuing forth from Morgoth? In Tolkien's works, I usually think of "mist' as a vaguely positive thing associated with the Elves and concealment, as in In the Twilight Meres (courtesy of Melian). Does/Did it -- to borrow a term from Maciliel -- "squick" you out to think of (Fingolfin et al) breathing in Morgoth-generated mist?

Nevrast, (Hither Shore). What was the appeal of Nevrast for Turgon? Sure, it had a mild climate, but the landscape is described as "hollow" and marshy with a rather large undefined lake (Linaewen) in the centre. In fact, most of his people settled the edge of the land around Mt. Taras and Turgon at Vinyamar. But here is where the "mingling of the Noldor and Sindar came to pass soonest..." Hmmm. I can only ask "Why?" What about this landscape would ... inspire... mingling? Was it really the Come-Hither Shore?

And then there is Dorthonion, (Land of Pines), the choice of Aegnor and Angrod. To me it sounds rather like a mountainous Scandinavian or western Canadian landscape with pine trees, tarns (mountains lakes) and tors (high, craggy hills often lacking vegetation). The gentle slopes are on the northern side, with the precipitous drop of death on the southern. While I understand the military advantage of the higher ground, is there nowhere for Angrod and Aegnor to go if Morgoth should attack? (again, it would be helpful to know exactly where Thangorodrim is in relation to Dorthonion. It must be close, as it is the route that Ungoliant took in her flight from Morgoth...) As a terrified dwarven scribe once wrote: "We cannot get out!"


West Beleriand:

Nargothrond and the Falas. Finrod and Cirdan rebuild the havens of Brithombar and Eglarest, complete with towns and harbours, and I imagine these places were spectacular. However, I am never very clear about sizes and/or numbers in Tolkien -- how many lived in Brithombar and/or Eglarest? Were these fairly large cities, small towns?

They also built the tower of Barad Nimras -- though it seems Morgoth was no sea-farer, since

Quote
Water all his servants shunned, and to the sea none would willingly go nigh, save in dire need

. Would Cirdan and Fingon not have guessed this, or just being extra cautious? Surely in the many skirmishes they noticed that water was a problem for the orcs.
Is the water hazard Ulmo's doing and does it apply everywhere?


And then there is Doriath, a.k.a Eglador, (Land of the Fence). The northern part was Neldoreth (beech trees), which must have been absolutely lovely -- those silver (and copper) trunks! But I found it strange that the "dark river Esgalduin" flows though Doriath, essentially cutting it in two. The very same river that flows from Nan Dungortheb, presumably not potable, since "the thin waters that spilled from Ered Gorgoroth were defiled, and perilous to drink." So, Elves, Edain and Dwarves are not permitted passage, but a dark, defiled river is? Is Melian off her game, or am I misinterpreting something? Does the river become purified by passing though Doriath?

And Melian extended her Girdle around the Nivrim (oak trees of the West March) so that: "...some portion of the Sirion which she loved in reference of Ulmo should be wholly under the power of Thingol." Thingol was self-proclaimed High-king of Beleriand --why not put all of the Sirion under his power? I could go on, but I find with T&M I have too many questions. And quizzical expressions. Or am I missing something important that puts T&M's actions and decisions into better light? What say you?

The Sirion, as described by one "curious' Reading Room Fellow (and several others, I just wanted to write "curious Fellow"), is a character all his own. I found the description of the river as differences in vegetation rather interesting: pine in the north (Orodreth), to the Forest of Brethil (didn't know you had a forest!) which is birch, then Nan-tathren (willows) and finally the reeds of the great delta. He is also fed by many mountain streams, ending in a great flood in the Bay of Balar, but throughout his courses, he is a mountain stream, he is stagnant, he forms several great waterfalls... What does this tell you about his character? Why might he be special to Ulmo, as Melian seems to believe?

and a bridge to East Beleriand...Compare the Sirion to the Gelion which flows swiftly and falls-less through the steady slope of the plain of East Beleriand and at his end he is twice as long (though not as wide) as the Sirion. Does the Gelion ever get jealous that he is Ulmo's second favourite? At least he doesn't seem to take it out on the people who inhabit his banks...

As an aside: the Sirion has (if I understand correctly) several Falls, but the Narog has a deep gorge. In hydrogeographical terms, one might guess that the Narog is then older than the Sirion (i.e., has had more time to erode a gorge through the elevations). Seems odd, eh? The Narog also is associated with the Taur-en-Faroth (Forest of Hunters.) Who were these hunters and what were they hunting?


the Northeast:
Maedhros dwells upon the Hill of Himring (the Ever-cold) and dwelt afterward on Amon Ereb, the place of the Nandor chieftain Denethor's death as he aided Thingol. Well, that does seem to strengthen Maedhros' nobility, doesn't it? Celegorm and Curufin fortified the Pass of Aglon, where a bitter wind always blew, and Caranthir fortified the eastern side of Maglor's Gap. In fact, it seems the Sons of Feanor only rarely rode south to hunt -- but then there is Amrod and Amras, tucked away in the southeast... Do you feel some of Feanor's sons took a slightly softer road than others? Though it was said that the Noldor and SIndar mingled in Nevrast -- was there mingling of the Green-elves of Ossiriand and Amrod and Amras' people?

Ossiriand: What is the significance of the Seven Rivers? These tributaries don't seem to have as much character as the Gelion, so what are they contributing? What does this landscape look like? Can you see several of these rivers at once, or is the land too flat?

And what of the Green-elves of Ossiriand? And the Nandor (Denethor's people)? We've touched on them in a few discussions, but they still seem a mystery. Was it their woodcraft that makes them not only a mystery to us, but to the Noldor as well? sador mentioned that Ossirian might be a "copy" of the original Nandor habitations along the southern (Lebennin) Anduin -- possible?


This is a long post, but I would like to end it with a quote that Maciliel found from Morgoth's Ring, as it may illuminate some aspects of the Elves that we can compare to the landscapes they inhabit.


Quote
"Other names in song and tale are given to these peoples. The Vanyar are the Blessed Elves, and the Spear-elves, the Elves of the Air, the friends of the Gods, the Holy elves and the Immortal, and the Children of Ingwe; they are the Fair Folk and the White.

The Noldor are the Wise, and the Golden, the Valiant, the Sword-elves, the elves of the Earth, the Foes of Melkor, the Skilled of Hand, the Jewel-wrights, the Companions of Men, the Followers of Finwe.

The Teleri are the Foam-riders, the Singers of the Shore, the Free, and the Swift, and the Arrow-elves; they are the Elves of the Sea, the Ship-wrights, the Swanherds, the Gatherers of Pearl, the Blue Elves, the people of Olwe.

The Nandor are the Host of Dan, the Wood-elves, the Wandereres, the Axe-elves, the Green Elves and the Brown, the Hidden People; and those that came at last to Ossiriand are the Elves of the Seven Rivers, the Singers Unseen, the Kingless, the Weaponless, and the Lost Folk, for they are now no more.

The Sindar are the Lemberi, the Lingerers; they are the Friends of Osse, the Elves of the Twilight, the Silvern, the Enchanters, the Wards of Melian, the Kindred of Luthien, the people of Elwe."


and that seems like more than enough from me!


(This post was edited by telain on May 22 2013, 11:57pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 12:46am

Post #2 of 62 (231 views)
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This may be a superfluous post, (even super-fluvious if you count how much time spent on Sirion and Gelion) but I thought a few more specific questions about this chapter were in order. And speaking of order, it seems only fitting to proceed geographically! Just being able to say 'superfluous' and 'super-fluvios' make it quite worthwhile on its own Telain. Cool

the Northern Lands:

Hisilome, (Hithlum, Land of Mist). Was anyone else disappointing to learn that the "mist" is composed of clouds issuing forth from Morgoth? In Tolkien's works, I usually think of "mist' as a vaguely positive thing associated with the Elves and concealment, as in In the Twilight Meres (courtesy of Melian). Does/Did it -- to borrow a term from Maciliel -- "squick" you out to think of (Fingolfin et al) breathing in Morgoth-generated mist? Yes that is rather squicky (good word M-T!) Its said to be fair but cool - do we think the mists were continuous, or just sent out during that first encampment? I wonder if Morgoth, not knowing the Sun was permanent sent them out then, but later gave up when it was everywhere, every day.

Nevrast, (Hither Shore). What was the appeal of Nevrast for Turgon? Sure, it had a mild climate, but the landscape is described as "hollow" and marshy with a rather large undefined lake (Linaewen) in the centre. In fact, most of his people settled the edge of the land around Mt. Taras and Turgon at Vinyamar. But here is where the "mingling of the Noldor and Sindar came to pass soonest..." Hmmm. I can only ask "Why?" What about this landscape would ... inspire... mingling? Was it really the Come-Hither Shore?
"Hither," say the lakeside residents of Nevrast, waving, "hither up that way there be less mosquitos. Or that way. Or that other way. Not here. Lots of mosquitos here." Well it makes one of those nice triangular fortressy-type setups, so that might appeal very much I suppose, in Turgon's case. Vinyamar and the coast might have been lovely, maybe almost like the White Cliffs of Dover, mountains right at the sea. I can see why some of the Grey Elves lived there, to be near the sounds of the shore and the sea-birds, since Osse and Ulmo came there. And even if they don't long for the West the view would have been amazing. So maybe different strokes for different folks brought them into mingling in this place?

And then there is Dorthonion, (Land of Pines), the choice of Aegnor and Angrod. To me it sounds rather like a mountainous Scandinavian or western Canadian landscape with pine trees, tarns (mountains lakes) and tors (high, craggy hills often lacking vegetation). The gentle slopes are on the northern side, with the precipitous drop of death on the southern. While I understand the military advantage of the higher ground, is there nowhere for Angrod and Aegnor to go if Morgoth should attack? (again, it would be helpful to know exactly where Thangorodrim is in relation to Dorthonion. It must be close, as it is the route that Ungoliant took in her flight from Morgoth...) As a terrified dwarven scribe once wrote: "We cannot get out!" Reminds me of a Masada-like last retreat. A tough, craggy place to be, not for the fainthearted.

West Beleriand:
Nargothrond and the Falas. Finrod and Cirdan rebuild the havens of Brithombar and Eglarest, complete with towns and harbours, and I imagine these places were spectacular. However, I am never very clear about sizes and/or numbers in Tolkien -- how many lived in Brithombar and/or Eglarest? Were these fairly large cities, small towns?
I pictured them as small, spread-out towns. But I don't know where I get that picture from. I'm not sure how big they would be per se, because I don't really know how much 'trade' came through the harbors necessarily. And certainly nothing (regularly) came from the West, so unless they were shipping things just up and down the coast they wouldn't have the traditional "harbor' significance as if they bordered from a trade neighbor across the stretch of sea.
They also built the tower of Barad Nimras -- though it seems Morgoth was no sea-farer, since

Quote
Water all his servants shunned, and to the sea none would willingly go nigh, save in dire need

Would Cirdan and Fingon not have guessed this, or just being extra cautious? Surely in the many skirmishes they noticed that water was a problem for the orcs. Is the water hazard Ulmo's doing and does it apply everywhere? Yes it must have been caution, because since Sil is Elf-centric I think its known to them. OR its simply the place they love to be, with a tall white Tower by the sea (ooo, I rhymed.) I do think Ulmo has a hand in that, and I think maybe that may be why Brother Morgoth knows better than to mess with the Sea. Ulmo never liked him.

And then there is Doriath, a.k.a Eglador, (Land of the Fence). The northern part was Neldoreth (beech trees), which must have been absolutely lovely -- those silver (and copper) trunks! But I found it strange that the "dark river Esgalduin" flows though Doriath, essentially cutting it in two. The very same river that flows from Nan Dungortheb, presumably not potable, since "the thin waters that spilled from Ered Gorgoroth were defiled, and perilous to drink." So, Elves, Edain and Dwarves are not permitted passage, but a dark, defiled river is? Is Melian off her game, or am I misinterpreting something? Does the river become purified by passing though Doriath? Do they not mind, if it keeps others away? only thing I can think of, is that Thingol is so insular he doesn't care who keeps the neighbors out, as long as it works. It's just north of Menegroth, so maybe it acts as a border in their minds? Unsure here just postulating based on what we know about them.

And Melian extended her Girdle around the Nivrim (oak trees of the West March) so that: "...some portion of the Sirion which she loved in reference of Ulmo should be wholly under the power of Thingol." Thingol was self-proclaimed High-king of Beleriand --why not put all of the Sirion under his power? I could go on, but I find with T&M I have too many questions. And quizzical expressions. Or am I missing something important that puts T&M's actions and decisions into better light? What say you? Hmmm. That sort of insularity again? Not interested except in that small close segment?

The Sirion, as described by one "curious' Reading Room Fellow (and several others, I just wanted to write "curious Fellow"), is a character all his own. I found the description of the river as differences in vegetation rather interesting: pine in the north (Orodreth), to the Forest of Brethil (didn't know you had a forest!)
...Yes, its all mine. And very lovely.Smile ....which is birch, then Nan-tathren (willows) and finally the reeds of the great delta. He is also fed by many mountain streams, ending in a great flood in the Bay of Balar, but throughout his courses, he is a mountain stream, he is stagnant, he forms several great waterfalls... What does this tell you about his character? Why might he be special to Ulmo, as Melian seems to believe? Maybe because he has so many different facets, so many things in Ulmo's reference that he can love. He can stay in one body of water and experience all these states. Must feel quite spectacular to a water spririt!

and a bridge to East Beleriand...Compare the Sirion to the Gelion which flows swiftly and falls-less through the steady slope of the plain of East Beleriand and at his end he is twice as long (though not as wide) as the Sirion. Does the Gelion ever get jealous that he is Ulmo's second favourite? At least he doesn't seem to take it out on the people who inhabit his banks...
Oh, I hope not we know how sibling rivalry plays out don't we....!

As an aside: the Sirion has (if I understand correctly) several Falls, but the Narog has a deep gorge. In hydrogeographical terms, one might guess that the Narog is then older than the Sirion (i.e., has had more time to erode a gorge through the elevations). Seems odd, eh? The Narog also is associated with the Taur-en-Faroth (Forest of Hunters.) Who were these hunters and what were they hunting? Excellent point. I am *Not* that well versed on the hydrogeography, but of course if we are dealing with a 'created' landscape maybe there is something meaningful in there that I am missing...as for hunting, it sounds like deer country.

the Northeast:
Maedhros dwells upon the Hill of Himring (the Ever-cold) and dwelt afterward on Amon Ereb, the place of the Nandor chieftain Denethor's death as he aided Thingol. Well, that does seem to strengthen Maedhros' nobility, doesn't it? I think it does. Celegorm and Curufin fortified the Pass of Aglon, where a bitter wind always blew, and Caranthir fortified the eastern side of Maglor's Gap. In fact, it seems the Sons of Feanor only rarely rode south to hunt -- but then there is Amrod and Amras, tucked away in the southeast... Do you feel some of Feanor's sons took a slightly softer road than others? Though it was said that the Noldor and SIndar mingled in Nevrast -- was there mingling of the Green-elves of Ossiriand and Amrod and Amras' people? Or did they end up down there to be near each other? Not sure there.

Ossiriand: What is the significance of the Seven Rivers? These tributaries don't seem to have as much character as the Gelion, so what are they contributing? What does this landscape look like? Can you see several of these rivers at once, or is the land too flat?
I *feel* like it would be flat and grassy, plains-like, so yeas maybe like along the Russian steppes you could see from river to river. They are destined to just become tide channels anyway, so (sadly) maybe they can be sort of characterless...
Will look into Green Elves ...WONDERFUL addition Telain!!!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


sador
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:09am

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As a matter of fact, I was planning yestreday to begin preparing the discussion of chapter 17 - but there were so many interesting points in your first thread, I never got around to it!

Was anyone else disappointing to learn that the "mist" is composed of clouds issuing forth from Morgoth?
Not quite. I never considered mist to be especially positive in nature. Interesting that you suggest it.

Does/Did it -- to borrow a term from Maciliel -- "squick" you out to think of (Fingolfin et al) breathing in Morgoth-generated mist?
I didn't know the term. But not quite; I remember Iluvatar's words to Ulmo regarding snow and frost - these mists need not be volcanic ash.

What was the appeal of Nevrast for Turgon?

Like for Tuor. One could feel Ulmo close.

What about this landscape would ... inspire... mingling? Was it really the Come-Hither Shore?
It's probably more about Turgon than about the land.

While I understand the military advantage of the higher ground, is there nowhere for Angrod and Aegnor to go if Morgoth should attack?

Well yes, they are with their back against the wall (in a matter of speaking). But somebody had to man this vantage point, and the fires of the Dagor Bragollach were quite unexpected - climbing up the slopes? Who would have thought of it?
I also suspect that normally, there was room enough to manoeuver around, especially for defenders who know the territory well.

I am never very clear about sizes and/or numbers in Tolkien -- how many lived in Brithombar and/or Eglarest? Were these fairly large cities, small towns?
We can't know, of course. But I can't imagine they were very large.

Would Cirdan and Fingon not have guessed this, or just being extra cautious?
They could watch for messengers from the West, like Elendil did.

Surely in the many skirmishes they noticed that water was a problem for the orcs.
Is the water hazard Ulmo's doing and does it apply everywhere?

I think this is actually mentioned somewhere - but at the moment I can only think of Ulmo telling Tuor that the wells of Sirion were poisoned, and his power is dwindling.
And yes, this power of water is perceived elsewhere - in the Ford of Bruinen, or when Aragorn trusts the River of Gondor to keep Boromir's funeral boat untouched.

So, Elves, Edain and Dwarves are not permitted passage, but a dark, defiled river is? Is Melian off her game, or am I misinterpreting something? Does the river become purified by passing though Doriath?

I expected the river was somehow cleansed by passing through Doriath, like the Anduin was not polluted below the inflow of the Imlad Morgul.
Compare this to the Enchanted River of Mirkwood - also dark, but somehow signified the power of the Elves, and supposedly keeps all strangers at bay. There is also the spiders connection.

Thingol was self-proclaimed High-king of Beleriand --why not put all of the Sirion under his power?
It was too great for Melian to encompass. She has got her own territory, which she cultivates and becomes caretaker of. Like Tom Bombadil.

Or am I missing something important that puts T&M's actions and decisions into better light? What say you?
They don't cut a great figure as overlords of all Beleriand. I guess Maedhros was correct in his summing-up of it.

What does this tell you about his character? Why might he be special to Ulmo, as Melian seems to believe?

I don't quite know. I need to compare this to Treebeard's song (explained, but not copied, here).

Does the Gelion ever get jealous that he is Ulmo's second favourite?
Does he know?

In hydrogeographical terms, one might guess that the Narog is then older than the Sirion. Seems odd, eh?
Yeah - but the story as told here reflects the tumults and turmoils of the Battle of the Powers described in the first chapter, rather than what we know of our world's geology.
But you also have the hidden, underground part of Sirion, which also must have taken some erosion, no? It might also depend on what type of rock they have to pass through - well, I don't know; I give up.

Of course, one might suggest that the gorge arose first in Ulmo's thought in the Music, if you so prefer...

The Narog also is associated with the Taur-en-Faroth (Forest of Hunters.) Who were these hunters and what were they hunting?
All those who might approach Nargothrond. There is a beautiful description of it in The Lay of the Children of Hurin, but we learn of them in Of Beren and Luthien.

Well, that does seem to strengthen Maedhros' nobility, doesn't it?
How? By taking a difficult part? Yes, as we've mentioned before.

Do you feel some of Feanor's sons took a slightly softer road than others?
The babies. I wonder at what age Elvish older brother stop pampering and protecting their helpless younger siblings...

Though it was said that the Noldor and SIndar mingled in Nevrast -- was there mingling of the Green-elves of Ossiriand and Amrod and Amras' people?
I strongly doubt it. The Laiquendi seem like very secretive folk.

What is the significance of the Seven Rivers?

Well, the Styx was said to encircle the underworld seven times. And there are also the Sapta Sindhu of Vedic_myth.

These tributaries don't seem to have as much character as the Gelion, so what are they contributing?
Numbers. The land of seven rivers seems a most appropriate place for the Dead who Live Again (the ressurected Beren and Luthien).

What does this landscape look like?
Probably not the same, but here is the Seven river.

Can you see several of these rivers at once, or is the land too flat?
I think these are woodlands, are they not? So no.

And what of the Green-elves of Ossiriand? And the Nandor (Denethor's people)? We've touched on them in a few discussions, but they still seem a mystery. Was it their woodcraft that makes them not only a mystery to us, but to the Noldor as well?
Yes.

sador mentioned that Ossirian might be a "copy" of the original Nandor habitations along the southern (Lebennin) Anduin -- possible?
Thank you for mentioning it. I'll wait and see what folk here have to say...


And thank you for this discussion, telain!




noWizardme
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 1:02pm

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I can think of one other example: The Black Riders are supposed not to be able to cross water readily (with some loopholes). In The Hunt for the Ring (Unfinished Tales) this is brought up and there's the suggestion that Sauron launches an assault on Osgiliath in order that they can cross the bridge.Somewhere I read that Tolkien later realized that it would be difficult to explain how the Black Riders made the rest of the journey to the Shire without crossing water (I thought this was in a C Tolkien a note to The Hunt for the Ring, but I don't actually see it there now I look again. Maybe someone remembers?).

Nice to imagine JRRT looking at his map of Middle-earth and trying to work out a river-free route! Smile A map is a two-edged sword, it would seem.

I have a vague feeling that "evil things can't cross running water" is an old and/or widespread fantasy plot device. But the only example I can currently think of right now is in Garth Nix's Sabriel books (which are very good b.t.w., and in which running water keeps away undead things) - does anyone know more?

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 1:49pm

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yes, sometimes [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
I have a vague feeling that "evil things can't cross running water" is an old and/or widespread fantasy plot device. But the only example I can currently think of right now is in Garth Nix's Sabriel books (which are very good b.t.w., and in which running water keeps away undead things) - does anyone know more?



yes... sometimes i forget and leave the faucet running, and i notice there are fewer zombies about. i know correlation is not causation, but i think it's worth exploring.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


telain
Rohan

May 23 2013, 3:13pm

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Quote
do we think the mists were continuous, or just sent out during that first encampment?


Good question! I assumed they were continuous. The land as described makes me think of the highlands of Scotland (climatically, not that Scotland is influenced by Morgoth...) But it could just as easily have been one of Morgoth's defenses at the time of the first encampment, to which the Noldor thought: "'Hisilome', it is a good name for this place" and then never thought to change it once the clouds departed.


Quote
Yes it must have been caution, because since Sil is Elf-centric I think its known to them. OR its simply the place they love to be, with a tall white Tower by the sea (ooo, I rhymed.) I do think Ulmo has a hand in that, and I think maybe that may be why Brother Morgoth knows better than to mess with the Sea. Ulmo never liked him.


I like what you are implying here about the relationship between Morgoth and Ulmo. Morgoth doesn't seem concerned about the air (Manwe), though he does modify it with mists from time to time. But he won't tread on Ulmo's turf. Ulmo is the Lone Wolf of the Valar and his actions are unpredictable (whereas Manwe's actions seem all too predictable.) Manwe is forgiving (until the events that shall come later) but I think if given the chance, Ulmo would attempt to take Melkor out. Also, it is interesting to me that Ulmo is avoidable to some extent. It is possible to build bridges over rivers.

And the White Tower overlooking the sea -- yes that is an image that might inspire mingling!


telain
Rohan

May 23 2013, 3:39pm

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...gang aft agley (to modify Robert Burns just a wee bit...) Sorry about that sador! Hopefully the preparations for Ch. 17 will continue uninterrupted...

But first...


Quote
Not quite. I never considered mist to be especially positive in nature. Interesting that you suggest it.


Interesting! And it sort of goes with a running hypothesis I have. I currently live in a very damp, misty, cloudy environment. I used to live in a very warm, semi-arid one, so I am still getting used to the idea of everything being cool and wet all the time. But I have met some people born into this kind of climate who absolutely love it, and are rather dismayed when things get too hot or too dry. So, I think the positivity or negativity of climatic conditions might be somewhat dependant upon the experiences (and also personal preferences) of the individual.

And regarding Nevrast...

Quote
It's probably more about Turgon than about the land.


I hadn't thought of that and I think you are on to something important. Sometimes a charismatic leader and good people (i.e., an attractive cultural environment) make a place so much more interesting and livable.

Regarding Doriath:

Quote
I expected the river was somehow cleansed by passing through Doriath, like the Anduin was not polluted below the inflow of the Imlad Morgul.
Compare this to the Enchanted River of Mirkwood - also dark, but somehow signified the power of the Elves, and supposedly keeps all strangers at bay. There is also the spiders connection.


Great comparisons and I am in agreement. I think the Esgalduin does become purified. Here I think my recollection of past events has become fuzzy. Thingol and Melian decided on the location at Doriath prior to Ungoliant's fleeing, therefore they would have had to completely move or simply purify the water. Water purification seems the more efficient solution. It turns out being a "happy accident", since the northern borders are in effect guarded doubly: by Melian's girdle and by the Ered Gorgoroth.

Spiders! Great connection between Doriath and Mirkwood (Greenwood the Great).

The part about strengthening Maedhros' nobility: I was seeing a connection between him and Denethor -- a figure who also put himself and his people in harms' way to oust evil. That Maedhros dwelt on the same hill as Denethor's fall is rather symbolic, I think.

And speaking of symbolism, thank you for the Styx and Sapta Sindhu connections! Absolutely, I think that is the inspriation (especially the Rigvedic rivers -- basically they are almost identical in formation to the Gelion and its tributaries.)

Also, the number "7" tends to be associated in numerology and in other areas as a magical or mystical number, so the associated with Beren and Luthien is also reinforced.

And thank you for these great responses, sador!


telain
Rohan

May 23 2013, 3:51pm

Post #8 of 62 (197 views)
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as long as it is running water... [In reply to] Can't Post

...stagnant water does not seemingly have the same effect.

And not just a fantasy plot device, but the idea of evil not crossing running water is a rather widespread and old part of many legends/myths/tales.

I may be adding too much of my own interpretation here, (I am interested in folklore, but am no expert) but running water is often potable, therefore "good". (Though, not always. If we were at the foot of the Ered Gorgoroth, I wouldn't hazard a taste-test.) Stagnant water harbours decaying matter, which can make water not potable (hence, evil).

Running water is also a way of purifying something, so, again, not a safe place for impure (evil) things -- much like fire.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 4:03pm

Post #9 of 62 (194 views)
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bear grylls [In reply to] Can't Post

 
bear grylls would +totally+ drink the water of ered gorgoroth, and he'd use severed orc hands for snowshoes as he followed the river down to civilization. via his vblog, we'd find out how to keep warm by stuffing niphredil under our clothes, and learning which trees are not safe to talk to when asking directions.


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on May 23 2013, 4:04pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 4:50pm

Post #10 of 62 (186 views)
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Could JRRT have used the folklore to inspire his depiction of Ulmo? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...stagnant water does not seemingly have the same effect.
And not just a fantasy plot device, but the idea of evil not crossing running water is a rather widespread and old part of many legends/myths/tales.
I may be adding too much of my own interpretation here, (I am interested in folklore, but am no expert) but running water is often potable, therefore "good". (Though, not always. If we were at the foot of the Ered Gorgoroth, I wouldn't hazard a taste-test.) Stagnant water harbours decaying matter, which can make water not potable (hence, evil).
Running water is also a way of purifying something, so, again, not a safe place for impure (evil) things -- much like fire.




My thought upon reading your post here - that stagnant water implies a cut-off aspect as no other water is running through it; so maybe Ulmo doesn't get there. Flowing water means Ulmo could travel easily through it and exist within it. Just *curious* (look at me nick-rustling) as to whether this impacted JRRT's view of how the lord of the waters would function and how it might affect evil in his (JRRT's) universe.

Sort of retrofitting the existing folklore into the legends (?)

In which case the laying out of open waterways may have meaning beyond mapping and topography, and define a sphere of influence for Ulmo (love your Lobe Wolf depiction Telain, BTW!)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 4:52pm

Post #11 of 62 (186 views)
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Zombie-proofing [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote

yes... sometimes i forget and leave the faucet running, and i notice there are fewer zombies about. i know correlation is not causation, but i think it's worth exploring.




Excellent idea Telpemairo! I shall adopt it immediately....! Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 5:15pm

Post #12 of 62 (188 views)
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as you [In reply to] Can't Post

 
as you drive/walk by people's houses, do you evaluate them for being zombie-proof? i do.

for example, front doors with full-length glass panels on either side -- or big glass windows. +not+ zombie-proof. decks are a perennial problem area (those big, sliding glass doors). basement windows -- those are access points.

cdc...
http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm

realtor.com showcases zombie-proof homes (i disagree with some of their choices.)

zombie-proof house


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 5:37pm

Post #13 of 62 (181 views)
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'Ear, what did you say? Brethil's done it again! [In reply to] Can't Post





In which case the laying out of open waterways may have meaning beyond mapping and topography, and define a sphere of influence for Ulmo (love your Lobe Wolf depiction Telain, BTW!)


Conjures up visions of wargs with pierced ears!! We all do typos, but yours sort of make sense in a warped kinda way!!! Sorry, couldn't resist!WinkWink

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:02pm

Post #14 of 62 (175 views)
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The Lobe Wolf...nice catch Elaen! ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


In which case the laying out of open waterways may have meaning beyond mapping and topography, and define a sphere of influence for Ulmo (love your Lobe Wolf depiction Telain, BTW!)

Conjures up visions of wargs with pierced ears!! We all do typos, but yours sort of make sense in a warped kinda way!!! Sorry, couldn't resist!WinkWink




Oh lord. I've been on a roll lately. Cold medicine and no reading glasses...another fun one though, I agree! Sometimes they are a bit of a Freudian slip sometimes. I wonder if the keyboard is arranged on purpose that way....

(Thank goodness I didn't type Love Wolf, or there I would go off on a Thorin tangent again....!)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:07pm

Post #15 of 62 (173 views)
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O-M-G !!!! YES!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
as you drive/walk by people's houses, do you evaluate them for being zombie-proof? i do.

for example, front doors with full-length glass panels on either side -- or big glass windows. +not+ zombie-proof. decks are a perennial problem area (those big, sliding glass doors). basement windows -- those are access points.

cdc...
http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm

realtor.com showcases zombie-proof homes (i disagree with some of their choices.)

zombie-proof house




I already know who's chain link fence is coming down to wrap my house at window-level...! And you have hit all the salient points Telpemairo! SmileAngelic

I too do the street-level prowl. NO sliding glass, bad idea. NO basement access - also bad. I like our flat roof section as both a shooting platform and a potential above-ground rooftop garden and water-collection system....all our windows are high up too...

It feels like important information to me. Great links, BTW!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 8:15pm

Post #16 of 62 (174 views)
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lmdao! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... at your sage use of a flat roof. yes! brilliant uses!

also useful... hanging gardens/small-scale/vertical gardening.

also, if one has the time... a dry moat. lots of zombies seem to have problems with climbing sheer surfaces. wake up in the morning, check the moat. use a thrown harpoon (which are cheap curiosities now) to impale them and drag them out (with a moat, maintenance is essential -- leave it too long, and the zombies can climb on each other and penetrate your defense line).

i figure the zombie apocalypse should be prepared for with part martha stewart, part green living, and part rube goldberg. and things like bows, arrows, spears, slingshots. keep works by jean m. auel on hand for reference re flint-knapping.

you know, zombie preparedness would work very similarly to orc preparedness. maybe we can cross-pollinate some tools and techniques. like... to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, make sure to have a girdle of melian handy. also, read directions before hand, so you know how to deploy it.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 8:50pm

Post #17 of 62 (163 views)
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A word from our sponsors [In reply to] Can't Post

Troubled by zombies and other evil creatures?
Wash them out with Ulmo
Available in biological or non-bio

I think zombies go after brains? So, come the zombie apocalypse, I'll be just fine. I can see you guys needing elaborate defences though.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:56pm

Post #18 of 62 (162 views)
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Those of us who aren't Wizards must take steps...! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink And where can I order my case of Ulmo (biological, please)? For the moat.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Valinor


May 23 2013, 9:06pm

Post #19 of 62 (161 views)
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Martha Stewart vs The Zombies [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm riding the bus home and making the strangers around me wonder what could POSSIBLY be THAT funny! I suppose I should just pass around the screen and show off your post, Mac, once I can reel in my unseemly guffaws to a respectable, Baggins-appropriate mild chuckle.

Hmm, view from the bus ride: hospital with all those inviting windows--goners. Auto repair garage--only safe when you can power the doors down. Hair salon with all those windows--zombie bait (unless hair spray is a zombie repellent--has anyone tried it?). The school that looks like a prison--those poor kids will live forever. The liquor store with bars over the doors and windows--my new best friends come the apocalypse! But I hope Martha will help spruce it up, and show us how to make our own zombie-impalers from tasteful, homegrown ingredients in a variety of holiday colors.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 9:36pm

Post #20 of 62 (155 views)
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"unless hair spray is a zombie repellent--has anyone tried it?"- oddly, no.. [In reply to] Can't Post

"unless hair spray is a zombie repellent--has anyone tried it?"- oddly, no due to shortage of experimental subjects
Have to pick someone else's brains about that one Smile

*sigh* my resolve to staff off surreal subthreads is not going too well. It's all these nutters on the bus... Smile

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

(This post was edited by noWizardme on May 23 2013, 9:38pm)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 9:46pm

Post #21 of 62 (148 views)
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you know, the funniest thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
is that i was perfectly serious.

curious, best to pay close attention. a bus is a just a rolling lunch box to zombies.

i agree with you assessments of municipal structures.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 10:23pm

Post #22 of 62 (143 views)
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i am [In reply to] Can't Post

 
well-stocked with ul-mo. and i love the jingle, "you'll get the ul-most out of ul-mo!" (thanks for that tip, a ways back!)

yes, zombies go for brains. and there's a subgroup that has heightened senses zoned in on punning. fair warning, you.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 23 2013, 10:27pm

Post #23 of 62 (151 views)
Shortcut
apologies to telain [In reply to] Can't Post

 
apologies to telain for all the zombie talk, on her beautiful middle-earth geography thread.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


May 24 2013, 12:28am

Post #24 of 62 (142 views)
Shortcut
Back on topic (tearing ourselves away from zombies...like a dismembered limb) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Great comparisons and I am in agreement. I think the Esgalduin does become purified. Here I think my recollection of past events has become fuzzy. Thingol and Melian decided on the location at Doriath prior to Ungoliant's fleeing, therefore they would have had to completely move or simply purify the water. Water purification seems the more efficient solution. It turns out being a "happy accident", since the northern borders are in effect guarded doubly: by Melian's girdle and by the Ered Gorgoroth.
I wonder if the distance may be key; that the defiling of the water only lasts close to the source? So that maybe the land itself (ie: the riverbed) is defiled, but as the water flows away it doesn't 'carry' the taint, as the water itself can become clear after leaving the contaminated riverbed? In which case some issues last as the water flows past Menegroth but not for long after. And I agree, I think that the northern portion of the Doriath border IS doubly guarded that way. Bit of a questionable fencing option.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 24 2013, 12:34pm

Post #25 of 62 (133 views)
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geography in the context of time [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i came across this snippet on the tolkien estate site. it deals with time spans of the different ages, which i thought was interesting to consider in the context of our discussions of geography:


Quote

How does The Children of Húrin fit into JRR Tolkien's mythology ? When does it take place relative to The Lord of the Rings ?
The Tale takes place during the First Age of Middle-earth. Túrin was born in the year 464 from the first rising of the Sun after Morgoth destroyed the two trees of Valinor, and died in the year 499.
This would have been 5000 years after the awakening of the Elves in Middle-earth, and 978 years after Fëanor completed the forging of the Silmarils. The recorded coming of Men occurred at the first Sunrise, and Beren and Lúthien, who encountered each other the year of Túrin's birth, achieved their quest for the Silmaril when Túrin was a young boy.
Túrin died approximately 100 years before the Drowning of Beleriand which marked the beginning of the Second Age lasting for three and a half millennia. Sauron forged the One Ring around the year 1600 of the Second Age. Bilbo met Gollum in the year 2941 of the Third Age, and the Fellowship met up and formed in Rivendell in the year 3018. The One Ring was destroyed in 3019. Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf and Elrond (who by that time was 6500 years old, and was born 33 years after Túrin's death) departed from Middle-earth in 3021, marking the end of the Third Age.
So, you can probably take it from there, and anyway it's safe to say that the Tale of the Children of Húrin took place "a very long time ago" !
A detailed discussion of the reckoning of time in the First Age can be found in Morgoth's Ring, and The War of the Jewels, Vols X and XI of The History of Middle-earth.



i take from this that some of the geological features might have been created/shaped by morgoth in a relatively short period of time, which, if one was close enough to witness the formations, would have been awe-inspring and terrifying (if one knew that it was morgoth's doing).


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

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