[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

*All who dwelt in Aman were filled with wonder and delight at the work of
Fëanor. And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so that thereafter no mortal
flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them, but it
was scorched and withered; and Mandos foretold that the fates of Arda,
earth, sea, and air, lay locked within them. The heart of Fëanor was fast
bound to these things that he himself had made.*
The Silmarillion, *Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor*

Over the last month, we have compassed fully the Circles of the World, from
beginnings to endings. Today--the final day of Back to Middle-earth
Month--we consider one final theme that links them all: Fate.

Fate underlies all of the events of *The Silmarillion. * It gives purpose to
the pointless and makes sense of the inscrutable. Each birth and each death,
each wonder discovered then lost in downfall, each love plighted and parted,
each war weathered and creation revealed, each allegiance forged and blade
raised in betrayal, and each petty rivalry and profound friendship occur for
a reason.

Today's stories are about Fate.

Noliel's excerpt from "Where the Heart Is" brings the fate of the Noldor
full circle through Maglor: from Cuiviénen to Cuiviénen. Ranger1's aptly
titled "Fate" ponders Finwë's fate, while Oshun's excerpt from "A New Day"
describes the enmeshed fates of Maedhros and Fingon. Dawn Felagund considers
the purpose behind the senseless loss of Amandil from Númenor in "This
Place." Finally, Robinka's drabble "Suicide Is Painless" looks at the fate
of Maedhros, as well as the fate of each of us who has made Tolkien's works
a part of his or her life. "I guess it is likely to say that my fate is to
read and love Tolkien's works," she says. "I do not mind at all."

Today's stories about Fate can be found at
http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ fate.php.

That concludes our Back to Middle-earth Month project The Circles of the
World. We hope that you have enjoyed the contributions of the participating
authors, poets, and artists and thank our readers, volunteers, and
contributors alike for their support of the project. We'll see you next
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Today's selections conclude this week's theme on endings. And what ending is more poignant than the parting of loved ones? Whether the parting of beloveds, friends, or kin, these stories capture our imaginations like no other.

The Exile of the Noldor is one of the most dramatic partings in The Silmarillion, and today's post opens with two selections from this era. Hrymfaxe's "Helcaraxë" illustrates the estrangement of a whole people, and Ellie's excerpt from "Raven Hair and Silver Eyes" shows the parting of a family after the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. Robinka writes of the separation of friends--Beleg and Túrin--and Ranger1 considers why Melian departed from Doriath.

As one of the most enduring of the exiled Noldor, Celebrimbor experienced his share of separations. Oshun's "A Mother's Lament" tells of when he was parted from his mother in Aman, while Noliel's excerpt from "Thicker Than Water" looks at his estrangement from his father many centuries later. Rhapsody the Bard's "Torn asunder" portrays the pain of an Elf-Man union that was not specially privileged by Ilúvatar and the Valar. In Isil Elensar's "Final Parting," Amrod's wife remembers him after his death in Doriath. And Dawn Felagund's excerpt from "Droplets" considers one of the many partings faced by Elrond: his final goodbye to his brother Elros.

Today's selections may be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ parting.php .

This concludes this week's focus on endings. Next week, on Monday, we will wrap up Back to Middle-earth Month: The Circles of the World with writing and artwork about fate.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

The Silmarillion is a tragic story, and few are the characters who do not experience some measurable downfall. Often marking "the beginning of the end," these falls can be moral, political, and often literal. And so, as we look at endings this week, today we consider Downfall.

Today's entry opens with the illustration "Kinslayer" by Tarion Anaroe. "Love not too well the work of thy hands!" she warns; it often portends a downfall. Ranger1 writes of Feanor's death and how, at his death, his insistence on renewing the oath prolonged the downfall of the Noldor. Isil Elensar's excerpt from "The Consuming Darkness" is a chilling reminder of the downfall of a whole people: the Numenoreans.

"But what about those who loved the so-called guilty," asks Ellie. "How guilty are they?" Her excerpt asks how the wives of Finwe's sons shouldered their share of the guilt over the ruin of the Noldor. Among the Noldor, few characters embody downfall like Maeglin, and Rhapsody the Bard's "Shattered Twilight" looks at his last moments, his literal fall to his death and the acknowledgement of the cause of his downfall. Dawn Felagund's "The House of Unexpected Light" considers how the mighty Feanorians fall; yet how even their darkest deeds end up doing good in the world. Finally, Elleth gives us a poem "Batina" about the downfall of Numenor, written in Adunaic (kindly translated as well!), and the various paths taken by the Numenoreans.

Today's stories, poetry, and artwork about Downfall can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ downfall. php

On Friday, we look at Partings to end of this week's theme on Endings.

(Apologies for the lack of special characters...)
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

For the last full week of The Circles of the World, we look at writing and artwork about various endings common to The Silmarillion. Today's topic--Death- -is considered in Tolkien's writings to be both a curse and a gift, and creative work surrounding it is just as intriguing.

Today's selections open with an excerpt from Ellie's "The Understanding of a Father" that looks at the reactions to the re-embodiment of departed kin by those Eldar who remained in Valinor. Ranger1 writes of the Elves' first experience with the deaths of their mortal friends, and Robinka's drawing "And there will be no comfort for you" portrays one too familiar with death: Túrin Turambar. Finally, Dawn Felagund's excerpt from "Return to Me" takes us where Tolkien never did, to the re-embodiment of an Elf in Mandos.

Today's stories about Death can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ death.php . On Wednesday, we continue our series on endings with Downfall.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

While the passionate affairs of lovers and foes are often reflected in our fascinations with The Silmarillion, the story would be bereft without the more practical--but just as complex--relationsh ip of Allegiance. Today's stories all focus on Allegiance in its myriad forms.

Oshun's novella "A New Day" is all about allegiance-- Maedhros's decision to hand over the Kingship of the Noldor to Fingolfin--so an excerpt from this work seems a suitable start to a feature on allegiance. "Honoring allegiances seems to get people into all kinds of trouble in The Silmarillion," says Ellie to introduce her excerpt from "Crossroads of Time," a scene showing an argument about allegiance between a Sindarin woman and a Noldorin loremaster. In Ranger1's "Allegiance Chosen," Celeborn is forced to debate between allegiance to his king and to his true love. Rhapsody and Robinka's "Written in the Starlight" considers the frail allegiances between various kindreds in The Silmarillion and how Morgoth might have been defeated had they actually managed a strong allegiance. Finally, Dawn Felagund's "Election Farce of Nargothrond" takes a humorous look at how Celegorm and Curufin allied themselves to Finrod's people upon arriving in Nargothrond.

Today's stories about Allegiance may be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ allegiance. php .

This concludes this week's look at Relationships. Next week, we begin to wrap up this year's B2MeM by considering Endings, beginning with Death.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Maedhros and Fingon, Manwë and Ulmo, Beleg and Túrin, Haleth and Caranthir ... numerous are the friendships in The Silmarillion and, perhaps for that reason, friendship remains a favorite theme of Tolkien writers and artists.

Robinka opens today's entry with her thoughts and a drabble about friendship. Of course, no discussion of friendship would be complete without mention of Maedhros and Fingon, and Ranger1 provides the first of several looks at this favored twosome. Hrymfaxe's "Captains of Doriath" illustrates another popular friendship between Beleg and Mablung.

Pandemonium_ 213's writings largely look at the friendship between Celebrimbor and Annatar--and its eventual betrayal. This excerpt from "Cat's Paws" looks at the lighter days of their friendship. "Of all the glorious tales that make up this epic history of the Elves," writes Oshun, "the one that has moved me most is the story of the friendship of Fingon and Maedhros." Her excerpt from "A New Day" tells of the Fëanorions' oath from Fingon's perspective. Robinka and Rhapsody share an excerpt of their story "Written in the Starlight" that has helped the friendship grow between them as surely as between their characters. Noliel's "Auld Lang Syne" also features Fingon and Maedhros and what their friendship means to her. And Dawn Felagund's excerpt from "In the Town Called Acceptance" looks at how friendship blossoms between two brothers--Celegorm and Maglor--who seem to have nothing in common.

Today's stories and artworks can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ friendship. php .

On Friday, we conclude the Relationships theme with another common relationship in The Silmarillion: Allegiance.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Today's post opens with Rianna's double drabble, "Gwindor's Love." "Love has many shades," she writes. "It can mean happiness, family, friendship, but also madness and obsession." Ellie's excerpt from "Anticipation" shows a father's love for long-parted daughter at her homecoming. Rhapsody the Bard asks how a father can forsake his wife and children for the sea and answers that question in her drabble "A Mariner's Heart."

"The smutty-muse really never goes away," admits Isil Elensar, and her excerpt from "Thirty-five Years" gives us a glimpse of the passion between Glorfindel and his wife. Ranger1's "Royal Love" takes a light-hearted look at love and how even High Kings and their wives need to be playful. Rhapsody and Robinka offer an excerpt from their "Written in the Starlight" about one of the most magical of loves in The Silmarillion: that between Thingol and Melian. Finally, Dawn Felagund writes of one of the most popular romantic pairings--Fëanor and Nerdanel--and the early days of love between them.

Today's selections about Love can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ love.php . On Wednesday, we will look at another favorite relationship among our writers and artists: Friendship.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

At the root of many conflicts in The Silmarillion is Rivalry, and today's B2MeM selections focus on this seed of conflict.

Ranger1's "Love of the Elven Kind" introduces two sorts of rivalry: the rivalry between equals in a royal court and perhaps the most infamous rivalry of the Tolkien fandom concerning the interpretation of Elven laws. Ellie's excerpt from "The Dark of the Night" presents a playful form of an age-old rivalry between Elven kindreds. Noliel considers, in verse, on of the most infamous rivalries of The Silmarillion: that between Fëanor and Fingolfin.

In their own words, Robinka's and Rhapsody's "Written in the Starlight" considers "rivalry amongst kin, rivalry between races" as the sons of Fëanor and the Sindar of Doriath try to overcome ancient rivalries to join forces against Morgoth. Elleth writes of a rivalry that might well have existed between the wives of Fëanor and Fingolfin, and Dawn Felagund tells of a childish rivalry between Celegorm and Fingon that gives way to reluctant friendship. And Rhapsody the Bard's excerpted "The last words" considers a rivalry as bitter as any: that of Nerdanel and the Silmarils.

Today's selections may be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ rivalry.php .

This wraps up our second week of Back to Middle-earth Month: The Circles of the World. Next week, we ponder the myriad and complex relationships that exist between the characters of The Silmarillion, beginning with perhaps the most enchanting of all: Love.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

As quickly as friendships are forged on Arda, they are broken. Betrayal is common throughout The Silmarillion, and today's writings illustrate this, coming from across the ages and Arda.

We open today's post with pandemonium_ 213's chilling double drabble "Broken Star" about Sauron's betrayal of his friend Celebrimbor. Tárion Anaróre writes of one of the most notorious betrayals in the pages of The Silmarillion--the burning of the swan ships by the Fëanorians--from the perspective of a musician turned traitor. Ellie's "Conflicted Radiance" considers the betrayal the Sindar felt after discovering that their Noldorin "saviors" were in fact murderers of their kin.

"Dark and dangerous though Tolkien's world may be," writes Elleth, "within it few things - if any - happen without a reason." So she tells of Maeglin's betrayal of his people ... and how this shaped the history of Arda. Ranger1 portrays the burning of the ships from the opposite shore: the final act in a series of betrayals committed against Fingolfin's people. And in Dawn Felagund's double drabble "Perspective," Fëanor questions whether the Valar deserve the reverence they've been granted by the Eldar ... or are they in fact traitors?

Today's theme of Betrayal can be found here:

http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ betrayal. php

Having now considered War and Betrayal, on Friday, we turn to a lighter, more frivolous form of conflict: Rivalry.
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Within the Circles of the World, upon Arda Marred, conflict seems an inevitability. This week's posts will look at the myriad ways that conflict has shaped both Tolkien's stories and our impressions and creative interpretations of them.

This Monday, we feature stories and artwork about war. Rhapsody the Bard opens today's post with the question, "Can a bard become a warrior?" Her story "Duty, Country, Honour" considers this question, how one driven to create--whether Maglor or Tolkien himself--can also take up arms in a time of war. Hrymfaxe illustrates the death of Denethor of the Green Elves during the first of the wars of Beleriand. Moreth's "War" brutally and poignantly describes the Kinslaying at Alqualondë from both the Telerin and Noldorin perspectives.

Ranger1 and Ellie consider two differing versions of the departure of the Vanyar for the War of Wrath: when Ingwë goes and when Ingwë chooses to stay behind. Both consider the pressures of war on a peaceful people. Rhapsody and Robinka have collaborated for an excerpt of their story "Written in Starlight" that captures courage and cooperation in battle with Orcs. Dawn Felagund's excerpt from "The Conscript" looks at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad from the perspective of an ordinary young man drafted into Maedhros's army. Finally, Sirielle's stunning "Let the havens burn" portrays Maedhros's fiery pursuit of the Silmarils as far as Sirion.

Today's stories and artwork on War can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008/ war.php . Check out the other themes posted so far at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008. php .

On Wednesday, we continue our study of conflict with stories and artwork about Betrayal.

[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Discover: to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight
or knowledge of something previously unseen or unknown. Few subjects
captivate authors like discovery, as evidenced by the wealth and variety of
responses we received for today's theme, and, at times, the act of writing
is itself an act of discovery.

Elleth's aptly titled story "Discovery" opens today's theme with a question:
What is that light under the door? Ranger1 writes of the love of Galadriel
and Celeborn, a discovery that will span, and change, the history of
Middle-earth across the ages. Moving into the Second Age, Rhapsody the Bard
considers discovery--and hope--after the fall of Númenor. Wrapping up three
ages of discovery is Ellie's excerpt from "Glistening Part V" about Elrond's
discovery of his purpose in Middle-earth going into the Third Age.

Isil Elensar cannot resist a happy ending, and her story "Similitude"
presents Maglor with two startling discoveries that will change his tragic
fate. In Dawn Felagund's "Stars of the Lesser," Pengolodh discovers that
every story has two sides. Taking a darker turn is ford_of_bruinen' s third
in the "Glimpses" series, where Fëanor discovers death in the most unlikely
of places. Today's theme is wrapped up by an excerpt from pandemonium_ 213's
novella "The Apprentice." Here, we join Annatar and his apprentice as they
catch fireflies and discover new knowledge and light.

Today's stories about creation can be found at

This concludes the first week of B2MeM postings for the Beginnings theme.
Next week, we consider Conflict, beginning with War on Monday.

The full Back to Middle-earth Month 2008 project can be found at
[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com

Every artist is a creator in his or her own right, and so it should not come as a surprise that today's topic of Creation generated an overwhelming response from our authors and artists. From the creation of life to the creation of objects, creation as a gift and a burden, today we celebrate the myriad forms of one of humankind's greatest virtues: creation.

At the core of The Silmarillion is a story of creation: the story of the Silmarils. It should come as no surprise, then, that many of today's stories and artworks look at Fëanor's creation of the Silmarils. Noliel likens this experience to something that we all know as artists. pandemonium_ 213 writes of how Fëanor and Sauron embraced "the technical sweetness of their own elegant and terrible inventions, consequences be damned." Standing as almost a foil to that is Ranger1's drabble of the innocent beauty of the Silmarils' beginnings. Finally, Isil Elensar traces Fëanor's slow descent into pride and obsession with the work of his own hands.

Other authors looked at different aspects of creation. Tárion Anaróre considers the emotional attachment of a musician to his music. ford_of_bruinen writes of creativity used in making of a gift that--no matter how awkward--is forever beautiful in its recipient's eyes. Dawn Felagund also considers the creation of gifts, and Elleth describes creation of a different sort: the creation of life, which the making of mere objects will never rival.

Today's stories about creation can be found at http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/b2mem2008/creation.php.

On Friday, we will conclude our Beginnings theme with stories and artwork about discovery.

The full Back to Middle-earth Month 2008 project can be found at http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/b2mem2008.php.

[identity profile] tarion-anarore.livejournal.com
The first part of our Back to Middle-Earth Month project - Birth - is available!


Every story has a beginning, and many of the finest stories begin with birth. Whether the birth of the world, of a hero--or a villain--or of an idea, both literal and symbolic births fill our stories.

Today, we look at our stories about birth. Isil Elensar contributes an excerpt from her short story "A Precious Gift" about the birth of Fingolfin. It was written, appropriately, as a baby gift for one of her dearest friends. Ford_of_bruinen writes about Fingolfin's birth too, from a different point of view: Fëanor's. She also writes of the beginnings of her love for the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien.

"The stories in The Silmarillion are not in The Silmarillion; they are in the minds of the readers," writes Ranger1, and "Birth of Birth" looks at one such episode: the first births among the Elves of Cuiviénen. And, finally, an excerpt from Dawn Felagund's "Lament the Morning" considers the mingling of birth, death, and beginnings when Fëanor was born.

Today's stories can be found at http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/b2mem2008/birth.php.

On Wednesday, we will look at another beginning--creation--and the stories and artwork inspired by it.


The full B2MeM 2008 project can be found at http://www.silmaril lionwritersguild .org/b2mem2008. php
dawn_felagund: (b2mem08)
[personal profile] dawn_felagund
Back to Middle-earth Month--or B2MeM--was started a few years ago as a way for Tolkien fans to relive the first heady days of their fandom involvement. While it was aimed at fans who had become involved because of the movies, at SWG, we've always broadened it to include all fans, regardless or when or why they fell in love with the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. B2MeM is observed in March, so why am I bringing it up now?

Those of you who have been in SWG for a while know that we've done something special for B2MeM for the past two years. The first year, we asked people to share their stories of how they found Tolkien's works; last year, we put together a "quote tour" of Arda. But, this year, we need your help!

This year, my comoderators and I have put together a Back to Middle-earth Month event that everyone can be a part of. Like Seven in '07, we are asking people to contribute ficlets, poems, artwork, and excerpts of longer stories that illustrate this year's B2MeM themes, but we are also asking everyone who sends in a piece to offer a few words about why their piece, or The Silmarillion as a whole, or all of Tolkien's works, or fandom is meaningful to them.

Following beneath the cut is the full guidelines for the project. The project's homepage is available on our website here.

B2MeM 2008 )


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