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The history of Middle-Earth (chibi version): Part 32: Why the stars are mostly silvery-coloured

17th May 2013 (10:38)

Apologies for not posting yesterday, but LJ wouldn't let me.

A couple of characters introduced here who'll become famous later. You can tell they're Maiar, not Valar, by their smaller wings. Also, the two big vats are called Kulullin and Silindrin, which is perhaps the most obscure piece of Tolkien canon I've posted yet. :)

Part 32: Why the stars are mostly silvery-coloured

Next time: Part 33: Gonna make you a star

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!


Posted by: (bumbleball)
Posted at: 17th May 2013 18:19 (UTC)

Yay, it's Olórin. :) :) :) I've always been annoyed that the best-known maia never actually gets a speaking part in The Silmarillion, so it's great to see you making full use of him here.

(BTW I always thought he didn't grow a beard until he became an Istar in the Third Age. Sorry for nitpicking like that, but if you're going to boast about knowing the names of the vats, you'd better get the other details right too...)

Edited at 2013-05-17 18:29 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th May 2013 19:20 (UTC)

Is Olórin's beard status actually mentioned somewhere? I know he 'took the form of an old man' to go to Middle-earth, which implies he didn't always look like Gandalf; but there's no reason a young and spry Maia couldn't have a beard as well. :)

Also, chibis rarely change their appearance. Vána is always carrying her flower and Aulë has to lug that big hammer everywhere. It's a style thing, :)

Posted by: (bumbleball)
Posted at: 30th May 2013 16:30 (UTC)

I'm sure I posted this before but it doesn't seem to be showing up. Sorry if anyone sees it twice. But...

It says in Valaquenta that Olórin used to look like an Elf when he was visible. I always thought that meant "no beard" (unless maybe the Elf in question was Círdan at the start of the Fourth Age!)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th May 2013 18:02 (UTC)

Good point!

On the other hand, having checked the passage you mention, it does say that Olórin either went invisible or took the form of an Elf when he wanted to walk among the Elves without being noticed.

In other words, the beardless look would be something he adopted as a disguise - not necessarily the physical form he would prefer to assume when he was mingling with the other Maiar and Valar. So I think there's some wiggle room there. :)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 17th May 2013 20:09 (UTC)

With all the trouble that danged light caused throughout the early history of Middle-Earth, it might have been better if everybody just evolved the ability to see in the dark, like Gollum.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th May 2013 22:11 (UTC)

Quite possibly...

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure Tolkien intended light to be a metaphor. A metaphor for what, exactly, I'm not sure, but something like 'enlightenment' or 'the power of good'. Or even 'the power of sheer awesome' given that the Elves who saw the light of the Two Trees in flower became virtual demigods compared to their twilight-dwelling brethren.

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