Log in

No account? Create an account
StephenT [userpic]

The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 211 - Dulce et decorum est

11th May 2015 (14:45)

Some might consider that there's a spoiler in today's cartoon - you know, where it says "the first of the great battles between elves and orcs"...

Part 211: Dulce et decorum est

Next time: Part 212: Pro patria mori

Chibis by the now-dead website formerly known as 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: L'Ignota (lignota)
Posted at: 11th May 2015 14:05 (UTC)

I think the reason I always forget the First Battle of Beleriand is that it doesn't have a cool name. Maybe the Sindar just aren't into giving flowery names to their battles. Or maybe you don't need to name something when there's only one of it (so far) . . .

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th May 2015 15:00 (UTC)

Or maybe it had a cool name, but the Noldor didn't bother to ask so it wasn't recorded in the Silmarillion. :)

Though I was actually thinking about this recently - that psychologically there's going to be a big difference.

The Sindar were living peacefully and happily, wandering far and wide through their starlit woods singing "Tra-ala-la-lally", when suddenly their idyll was interrupted by slaughter and bloodshed. That would have a traumatic effect on them, leaving permanent scars.

The Noldor, on the other hand, were psyched up for war and adventure. They were coming to Middle-earth to avenge themselves on Morgoth, and explore strange new worlds and conquer kingdoms for themselves. They were ready for anything.

So it fits that the Sindarin reaction to the First Battle was to run away and hide behind Melian's girdle, while the Noldorin reaction to battles 2 through 5 was to write poems about them and give them flowery names.

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 11th May 2015 16:24 (UTC)

Seems reasonable to me!

Posted by: L'Ignota (lignota)
Posted at: 12th May 2015 02:55 (UTC)

(Note: This comment contains Silmarillion spoilers, for anyone reading along who cares about that.)

Or maybe it had a cool name, but the Noldor didn't bother to ask so it wasn't recorded in the Silmarillion. :)

Ha, good point!

I think you have a point for the rest also. I can believe that the Noldor were more psychologically prepared than the Sindar, but I think not as much as they thought they were. There's the thing where the Elves who actually experienced Cuivienen and lightless Middle-earth weren't the ones rhapsodizing about how great it was and eager to go back. I feel like their first experience of war must have been a shock to some extent, and that they were almost naively unprepared for how vicious and treacherous Morgoth was. Maedhros going to treat with Morgoth and thinking to trick him -- that doesn't seem like the sort of thing that could have happened later.

This is more of a minor quibble, but doesn't it say somewhere that no songs were sung of Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth or Nirnaeth Arnoediad?

(I think CAPCHA must be using keywords, because it keeps giving me jewelry ads, and I find this hilarious. Current slogan: "It's more than a ring." *backs away slowly*)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th May 2015 08:39 (UTC)

I agree that the Noldor were naive - but still, it seems to me that Maedhros was still partly in the mode of thinking "this is all an exciting game" when he tried to trick Morgoth. But even afterwards, my personal impression is that only a few of the Noldor - Maedhros, Finrod being the main ones - really appreciated what they'd got themselves into.

The other thing I was considering is that presumably the Sindar outnumbered the Noldor in Beleriand - I'm assuming that because time moves faster in Middle-earth, so they'd have many more generations being born there compared to the elves in Aman - but they take much less part in all the wars. I'd like to think there's more behind that than just Thingol being a jerk...

doesn't it say somewhere that no songs were sung of Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth or Nirnaeth Arnoediad?

Fingolfin's death, yes - it says they don't sing of it, but they do tell the story. But that's just the duel; it doesn't say they don't sing of the battle preceding it!

I couldn't find a reference to them not singing of the Fifth Battle, but I may have just missed it.

Also, Manwë himself pronounced that the deeds of the Noldor should live in 'dear-bought' songs forever. :)

Edited at 2015-05-12 08:40 (UTC)

5 Read Comments