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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 126: Marriage Laws

19th May 2014 (23:44)

So in today's posting I attempt to condense around ten pages of some of the most densely-written philosophical and theological pondering Tolkien ever wrote, most of it in highly archaic dialect, into a single-page chibi cartoon. I think I deserve a medal. :)

It is however, probably the longest passage of direct-speech conversation between the Valar he ever wrote, so it's interesting from that perspective. Here's a brief extract for those without access to HoME, to give you an idea of the style:

Then Yavanna spoke, and though she was the spouse of Aulë she leaned rather to Ulmo. "My lord Aulë errs," she said, "in that he speaks of Finwë and Míriel as being free in heart and thought from the Shadow, as if that proved that naught that befell them could come from the Shadow or from the marring of Arda. But even as the Children are not as we (who came from beyond Arda wholly and in all our being) but are both spirit and body, and their body is of Arda and by Arda was nourished: so the Shadow worketh not only upon spirits, but has marred the very hrón of Arda, and all Middle-earth is perverted by the evil of Melkor, who has wrought in it as mightily as any one among us here. Therefore none of those who awoke in Middle-earth, and there dwelt before they came hither, have come here wholly free. The failing of the strength of the body of Míriel may then be ascribed, with some reason, to the evil of Arda Marred, and her death be a thing unnatural. And that this should appear in Aman seemeth to me as to Ulmo a sign to be heeded."

Which I summed up as, "I agree. Míriel's body failed her because of the taint of the Shadow."

Part 126: Marriage Laws

Next time: Part 127

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: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th May 2014 17:08 (UTC)

It really doesn't help that Tolkien never, as far as I know, ever wrote a detailed account of Earendil's life - all we have are his condensed notes and a couple of poems. (What appears in the published Silmarillion is Christopher's attempt to edit a chapter together from those notes.)

He had a bad habit of starting to write a new version of the Silmarillion, getting partway through, then abandoning it and starting from the beginning again because he's thought of a better way to do it. Which means that the last chapter - that of Earendil - never actually got written!

As for the Valar's Ban - yeah, it's the kind of fairy-tale prohibition that doesn't actually make much sense if you think about it rationally instead of mythically.

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