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Middle-earth Reflections

Essays on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien

«Alone of the Valar he knew fear»

for though his might was greatest

of all things in this world,

alone of the Valar he knew fear.

(Silmarillion, p.178)

Quite often throughout The Silmarillion we can read of Morgoth’s being afraid at those especially tense moments when his safety was in peril. While fear is a common reaction in mortals as a means of self-preservation, it does not seem to be a very typical emotion for immortal divine beings, even in their physical forms. Morgoth was the only exception: he could feel fear. But how come the mightiest of the Ainur was frightened of anything at all? Continue reading “«Alone of the Valar he knew fear»”

Marriage divine.

The Valar – the Powers of the World – were the Ainur that descended into Arda upon its coming into being. They were so enamoured of the beauty of the world that wished to abide there and prepare the place for the Children of Ilúvatar. While some of the Valar dwelt alone, most of them were in spousal relationship.  Continue reading “Marriage divine.”

Elvish poetry in the The Lord of the Rings.

Elvish poetry occupies a special place in Tolkien’s Legendarium. It is always instantly recognisable and different from the verse of other peoples in Middle-earth. Varied in style and tone, focus and subject matter, Elvish songs and poems always give a lot of food for thought. Their poems in The Lord of the Rings present a story of their own.

Continue reading “Elvish poetry in the The Lord of the Rings.”

Elvish poetry in The Hobbit.

In my essay dedicated to poetry in Tolkien’s books I have spoken about the importance of verse in Arda. Spanning a significant period in the Third Age, The Hobbit is no exception, and its many poems and songs scattered all over the book are very representative of the peoples who sing them. In the present essay I will look into the Elvish poetry in The Hobbit and see what it tells us about the fair folk.

Continue reading “Elvish poetry in The Hobbit.”

Great tales never end.

Don’t the great tales never end?

(Two Towers, p.400)

Readers of Tolkien are very well aware of how many songs and poems the Professor included into his books. Varying in length and tone, form and function, these verse pieces play a very important role in the general world-building.

Continue reading “Great tales never end.”

Under the cover of darkness.

Our Enemy’s devices oft serve us in his despite.

(Return of the King, p.120)

Dark Lords of Middle-earth had a full arsenal of means to wield wars against enemies. Their weapons were not limited to physical objects, like swords, spears or hammers, but also included other, less tangible, means of instilling dread and despair into the hearts of their opponents. One of such means was darkness. Continue reading “Under the cover of darkness.”

Sea the majestic (Part II).

Being places to traverse rather than to inhabit, seas separate continents and nations. They serve as a natural border and by dividing lands they also do so with cultures: traditions and customs may vary significantly on different coasts of one and the same sea. In the past travelling overseas was a thing necessary for the exchange of cultures and traditions, enriching a people’s background and, eventually, contributing to their evolution. Continue reading “Sea the majestic (Part II).”

Language notes /// On Morgoth. 

As many major characters in Tolkien’s work, the greatest villain of Middle-earth Morgoth had a lot of different names and titles among Elves and Men that reflected his character and personality.  Continue reading “Language notes /// On Morgoth. “

Melkor’s secret vice.

Tolkien stated in The Silmarillion that Melkor was the mightiest of the Ainur and surpassed his brethren in many ways. He had a share in everything others knew, but how he chose to apply his unique gifts is a matter for another discussion. While very often Melkor comes across as a pure machinery adept and keen on technology, he had a talent which could make even Fëanor twitch with envy: the First Dark Lord was a gifted linguist.

Continue reading “Melkor’s secret vice.”

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