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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 197 - And it feels so good

19th March 2015 (20:35)

Oh the complexities you get yourself into when you try and reconcile the existence of an immortal race of beings with strict Roman Catholic doctrines on divorce...

Obviously when Tolkien wrote that Nerdanel went to live with Indis after leaving Fëanor he didn't mean it that way. Probably not, anyway. :)

As a reminder, Vairë is the wife of Námo, and thus the Lady of Mandos. She's also a lot more approachable than her husband.

Part 197: And it feels so good

Next time: Part 198: And it's understood

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: 22nd March 2015 16:49 (UTC)

'Morgoth's Ring' - 'Later Quenta Silmarillion'. The whole story of Finwë, Míriel and Indis was something Tolkien only thought up in the 1950s, and he wrote several versions of it. This is from the most detailed of them.

Posted by: L'Ignota (lignota)
Posted at: 22nd March 2015 17:43 (UTC)

Ah, thanks -- I haven't read that volume. Some of Míriel's dialogue here is relevant to something I've been working on.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2015 18:53 (UTC)

The actual words:

Then Míriel and Finwë met again in Mandos, and lo! Míriel was glad of the meeting, and her sadness was lightened; and the will in which she had been set was released.

And when she learned of Finwë all that had befallen since her departure (for she had given no heed to it, nor asked tidings, until then) she was greatly moved; and she said to Finwë in her thought, "I erred in leaving thee and our son, or at the least in not soon returning after brief repose; for had I done so he might have grown wiser. But the children of Indis shall redress his errors and therefore I am glad that they should have being, and Indis hath my love. How should I bear grudge against one who received what I rejected and cherished what I abandoned. Would that I might set all the tale of our people and of thee and thy children in a tapestry of many colours, as a memorial brighter than memory! For though I am cut off now from the world, and I accept that Doom as just, I would still watch and record all that befalls those dear to me, and their offspring also. I feel again the call of my body and its skills."

And Finwë said to Vairë: "Dost thou hear the prayer and desire of Míriel? Why will Mandos refuse this redress of her griefs, that her being may not be void and without avail? Behold! I instead will abide with Mandos for ever, and so make amends. For surely if I remain unhoused, and forego life in Arda, then his Doom will be inviolate."

"So thou may deem," answered Vairë: "Yet Mandos is stern, and he will not readily permit a vow to be revoked. Also he will consider not only Míriel and thee, but Indis and thy children, whom thou seemest to forget, pitying now Míriel only."

"Thou art unjust to me in thy thought," said Finwë. "It is unlawful to have two wives, but one may love two women, each differently, and without diminishing one love by another. Love of Indis did not drive out love of Míriel: so now pity for Míriel doth not lessen my heart's care for Indis. But Indis parted from me without death. I had not seen her for many years, and when the Marrer smote me I was alone. She hath dear children to comfort her, and her love, I deem, is now most for Ingoldo [Fingolfin]. His father she may miss; but not the father of Fëanáro! But above all her heart now yearns for the halls of Ingwë and the peace of the Vanyar, far from the strife of the Noldor. Little comfort should I bring her, if I returned; and the lordship of the Noldor hath passed to my sons."

Edited at 2015-03-22 18:56 (UTC)

Posted by: L'Ignota (lignota)
Posted at: 22nd March 2015 21:56 (UTC)

Thank you! I was going to make a note and go look for it in a library later (and I probably will eventually on general principles), but it's convenient to have it here.

Is it stated that Míriel returns to life?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 00:48 (UTC)

You'll see that tomorrow. :)

Spoiler: Yes she does, but she can't face the idea of rejoining the Noldor given what's going on - so she goes and knocks on Vairë's door and asks if she can serve her. Vairë gives her a job as her Chief Handmaid (which I presume makes her equal in rank, if not seniority, to Ilmarë - she's the only non-Ainu in Vairë's household). Míriel then spends her time weaving tapestries to decorate the Halls of Mandos. Finwë enjoys looking at them.

Also, she changes her name to Fíriel, which is a pun on the Quenya word for 'to sigh' or 'to die' (The Noldor didn't even have a word for 'to die' before Míriel did it) translated as 'she who died'.

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