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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 199 - Getaway

26th March 2015 (19:21)

Back to the main storyline!

In the Silmarillion itself the Helcaraxë is just described as an ice-filled sea, so what Morgoth and Ungoliant are doing here is basically the equivalent of walking over the Arctic icecap from Canada to Russia. But the original description in the Ambarkanta in HoMe is much more badass: it's the equivalent of hopping from icefloe to icefloe across the top of a partially-frozen Niagara Falls, if the Falls were hundreds of miles wide and emptied into the endless void of space, and the ice was actually a crust of frozen spray projecting unsupported over the edge of the Falls...

Also, as some of you may know, the website tektek.org where I made the chibis for these cartoons has shut down as of earlier this week. Luckily I'd already made them in advance for many of the important characters in the story who are yet to appear, but there will doubtless be some gaps where I'll have to improvise. Maybe a replacement site will pop up somewhere using the same artwork files, which are copyright to Gaia Online, a social networking site. I'f prefer to keep the figures in the same style rather than use a different chibi-maker, though doubtless some things can be done with cutting and pasting.

Part 199: Getaway

Next time: Part 200: Thieves' quarrel

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: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 26th March 2015 21:48 (UTC)

the website tektek.org where I made the chibis for these cartoons has shut down as of earlier this week

That's a bit of a bugger - I hope you are not too badly affected by it.

As for one man vala and his dog spider, imagine if she'd pushed him off the edge... or even vice versa!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 26th March 2015 23:15 (UTC)

I'm hoping it won't affect things too badly. At worst you might see a few more recycled chibis, or heads cut-and-pasted onto different bodies to represent someone else... :/

Ungoliant would be fine if she was pushed over the edge; she'd just attach her silk to something and climb back up. Morgoth would have more of a problem... (That would also be the point at which he discovers he can't change out of his physical body anymore... hmm.) But Ungoliant wouldn't want to push him over, she'd want to eat him.

Posted by: samtyr (samtyr)
Posted at: 26th March 2015 23:41 (UTC)

the original description in the Ambarkanta in HoMe is much more badass

--Yeah, definitely. I'm going to use that description whenever I write Helcaraxë in fic from now on.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 27th March 2015 13:54 (UTC)

"Oops... I said that out loud, didn't I?"

Does it specifically say in the books that Melkor lost his ability to become a fluffy cloud? I always assumed the reason he didn't become incorporeal in Lammoth to escape from [spoiler] was because he couldn't carry physical things in that form, and he wasn't willing to leave the silmarils behind.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th March 2015 16:30 (UTC)

I'm using ( brackets ) to indicate what people are thinking as opposed to saying. :)

The Silmarillion itself just says that "He put on again the form that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: a dark Lord, tall and terrible. In that form he remained ever after".

But it also says a little later, "His hands were burned black by the touch of those hallowed jewels, and black they remained ever after; nor was he ever free from the pain of the burning". The simplest interpetation of that is that he could never again shed or shift his form; though you could also interpret it as that he could still take on different forms: but whatever he did, the hands of that shape would always be blackened and burned.

In the more detailed version in HoMe, Melkor is described thus before his first meeting with Ungoliant:

"For Melkor was yet as one of the Valar, and he could still (though with pain) change his form, or walk unclad, as could his brethren: though that power he was soon to lose forever."

It's left open whether it was empowering Ungoliant, being burned by the Silmarils, or just generally devoting himself entirely and irrevocably to Evil that made him lose the power at this point.

Posted by: skgbanga (skgbanga)
Posted at: 27th March 2015 17:57 (UTC)

I wish Tolkien had included a Magellan like character (Does Earendil count?) whose sole objective was to find limits of Arda, and his memoirs were included somewhere in History of Middle Earth. (visualize sea monsters)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th March 2015 21:22 (UTC)

Ëarendil certainly sailed all around the confines of the world (which of course was still flat in his day) before his penultimate voyage to Valinor. Tolkien always planned to write the story of his adventures, but other than Bilbo's song in LotR (and several earlier versions) he only ever wrote fragments and scraps.

The Dúnedain circumnavigated the globe after the downfall of Númenor - that's mentioned in the Silm.

Posted by: Garth St.Claire (Garth St.Claire)
Posted at: 28th March 2015 17:11 (UTC)

In the notes for the "Book of Lost Tales" (the first, primitive version of the Silmarillion) Christopher Tolkien writes that his father intended for the Voyages of Earendil (back then Earendel) to be a tale just as long as the rest of the Lost Tales put together including stuff like the "Burning Palaces of the Sun", a trip beyond the walls of the world into the outer seas, what might have been a primitive version of the Ents and a reappearance by Ungoliant. Also mermaids. It was going to be a regular Odyssey, but sadly Tolkien never even started it.

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