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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 198 - And it's understood

23rd March 2015 (11:02)

She's back! (And next cartoon will be back to the main Silmarillion storyline).

I'm going to add a few author's notes to this as a comment, since it's a less well known story. Also, an unofficial and non-canonical spoilery sequel. :)

Part 198: And it's understood

Next time: Part 199: Getaway

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: 23rd March 2015 11:27 (UTC)

Author's notes

1. Námo hates changing his mind about anything! In the book Nienna had a rather larger role urging him (on more than one occasion) to show compassion instead of sticking to the letter of the rules. Eventually, impressed by Finwë's self-sacrifice, he agreed.

2. Back in #121-122 it was shown that Námo has the authority to decide whether the soul of an elf is worthy of rebirth, and then Manwë and Varda authorise the actual rehousing process.

3. It's not explicit in the text that Míriel was the first elf to return from Mandos, but it seems (to me) to be the implication.

4. Estë's handmaidens had been tending Míriel's body in the Gardens of Lórien all this time, so it was still intact and undecayed. That doesn't normally happen - and it's implied it was an effect of the light of the Two Trees, since after their destruction dead bodies (such as Finwë's) would wither even in the Undying Lands.

(That's also indirect proof that this all happens immediately after Finwë's death, so not much time has elapsed.)

5. Míriel never returned to normal life with the Noldor, but went to live in Vairë's household in Mandos. The Noldor do eventually discover she's been resurrected, because the tapestries she weaves for the walls of Mandos become proverbial for their beauty - but it's not clear when that happened.

6. Finwë admires Míriel's tapestries when he sees them put up on the walls.

7. Míriel is appointed Vairë's chief handmaid, which I think is interesting because it illustrates that to the Dark Ages/mediaeval mindset that Tolkien was drawing on in his writing, being the personal servant to someone powerful and important was considered a position of honour and status, not a demeaning role. It was all about proximity to power, plus the assumption that everybody was in service to someone else (except the King, who served God).

8. Míriel ('jewel-woman' in Quenya) subsequently changed her name to Fíriel ('woman who died').

9. I think it would have been a disaster if she'd shown up in Tirion right now. Fëanor in his rage and grief would probably blame her for everything, up to and including Finwë's death and non-resurrection. It's not even like he knows Míriel beyond a few childhood memories which are now over 3000 years old.

10. This cartoon is entirely non-canonical and spoilery: :)

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 13:39 (UTC)
Don't want to know!

Works for me... :)

Posted by: Garth St.Claire (Garth St.Claire)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 19:43 (UTC)

Hahahahahahahaha! ^-^ Awesome. Though I can see Tolkien getting a mental breakdown from something like that even being suggested in relation to his Eldar and then writing an essay how a marriage between Indis and Miriel would certainly not be possible.

EDIT: Uh, you use that dream avatar site to make your chibis, right? Just visited there, apparently it's closing down tomorrow due to a cease and desist order.
I hope you will be able to continue with this despite that.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 21:16 (UTC)

Well, that sucks. :( Thanks for telling me. I've been looking around to see what happened, and there's a whole complex legal dispute going on... Hopefully the site in some form or another might re-appear.

If not, well, I've got chibis already for all the main characters I can think of; if anyone else crops up later, they might have to end up being a cut-and-paste amalgam of existing characters with some re-colouring. :/ (I don't think using a different chibi-maker would work; they'd be too different in style.)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 24th March 2015 18:41 (UTC)
Royal servants

The notion that proximity to power is equivalent to power lasted at least through the 1839 Crisis of the Bedchamber in Britain. They don’t call ’em “ladies-in-waiting” for nothing.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th March 2015 11:02 (UTC)
Re: Royal servants

Good point - though back in the days when kings had actual executive power, as opposed to being constitutional monarchs like Victoria, it was even more important.

Posted by: skgbanga (skgbanga)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 13:57 (UTC)

I haven't read all Tolkien's canon but how does Tolkien reconciles with the fact that any Elf killed by Morgoth later in the series has the power to come back and continue his fight against him?

Posted by: (bumbleball)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 14:41 (UTC)

If you were killed violently, then your old body's gonna be too badly damaged to be reused. You'll need to get a new one, and that's only available from Manwë and Varda back in Valinor, a long way from where the action is.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 23rd March 2015 15:22 (UTC)

That, and also that the Valar made it clear that any of the Kinslayers who disobeyed orders and headed into Exile behind Fëanor shouldn't expect to be given a new body any time soon.

"For though Eru appointed you to die not in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you."

We do have one example of an elf who was killed fighting Morgoth's forces, was given a new body and returned to Middle-earth to take up the fight again - Glorfindel. But even he spent a few thousands years in Mandos before being re-embodied, by which time it wasn't Morgoth but Sauron who was the main enemy...

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