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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 99: Language difficulties

10th February 2014 (11:19)

In today's cartoon we go back to see what Elwë and Melian are up to - picking up their story from #94.

Yes, Elwë is quoting Kennedy from 'Buffy'. :)


Perhaps as we're coming up to the 100th issue it might be a good idea to summarise the story as it currently stands:

The Valar and Maiar have made their home in Valinor ('land of the Valar') in the Uttermost West, also called Aman ('the Blessed Realm') or the Undying Lands.

Most of the Valar and Maiar live in Valinor. However, Ulmo (the Vala of the Sea) and his servants Ossë and Uinen live in the ocean. Melian is a Maia who chose to stay behind in Middle-earth after the Valar army invaded it to fight Melkor.

Melkor was defeated and his fortresses of Utumno and Angband destroyed. He is currently imprisoned by the Valar in the Halls of Mandos, but will be eligible for parole after 3000 years.

Sauron (who was originally called Mairon) and Gothmog the leader of the Balrogs escaped capture, and as far as we know are still hiding in a cellar under the ruins of Angband.

The Elves have, at this point, been in existence for 1020 years. Melkor captured many of them and turned them into Orcs (or to be exact, gave Sauron the job of converting them after he got bored with it).

The Valar decided to invite the Elves to come and live with them in Valinor, because it was safer there (and also because they like Elves and want to have them around). About 60% of the Elves accepted the invitation, the other 40% or so turned it down and stayed behind.

The Elves who set out on the Great Journey west now call themselves the Eldar ('people of the Stars'). They are divided into three groups:


  • Vanyar.  Led by Ingwë. Currently living in the newly-built Elven city of Tirion in Aman.


  • Noldor. Led by Finwë and his wife Míriel. Currently also living in Tirion.


  • Lindar or Teleri - the largest kindred, now split into separate sub-groups:


  1. Many of them broke off from the Great Journey early on, and never reached the Sea. The largest group was led by Lenwë, who broke off and went south.

  2. Elwë, their leader, met Melian, fell in love, and was entranced for 220 years. Most of the other Teleri gave him up as lost, but not all.

  3. Some of the Teleri, led by Círdan, decided to stay behind in Middle-earth. They currently live along the shores of the land of Beleriand.

  4. The rest of the Teleri, led by Olwë (Elwë's younger brother) crossed the sea to Aman. However, rather than join the other Elves they chose to remain on their island (Tol Eressëa, the 'Lonely Island') anchored in the bay within sight of Valinor but not actually connected to it.

Ships haven't been invented yet, for the record. They will be before too long, though. :)

Feel free to ask if you want anything else clarified!



Part 99: Language difficulties



Next time: Part 100: Great expectations.

Chibis by tektek.org
Original story by and copyright to J R R Tolkien, ed. C Tolkien: Primarily based on the Silmarillion, but incorporating ideas from the 12-volume History of Middle Earth series.
Questions and comments welcome!

Comments

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 10th February 2014 14:36 (UTC)

They evolved a new language in only 200 years? That has to be the quickest the elves have done... anything so far.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th February 2014 15:28 (UTC)

Tolkien may have taken liberties with demographics, economics, politics and so forth... but he was deadly serious about linguistics. :)

(And to be fair, I may be slightly exaggerating the speed of things here. The Grey Elves will have several dozen more centuries to develop a new language before the Quenya-speakers come back to Middle-earth.)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 12th February 2014 00:23 (UTC)

just an angel

This could be a problem. She might turn evil if the marriage is TOO happy.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th February 2014 08:48 (UTC)

Heh. Luckily I don't think Melian is brooding enough to be at that sort of risk...

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