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Concerning Hidden Realities and Human Destiny

The Silmarillion - A Beginner's Guide (Redux) - Part 17 - Of the Return of the Noldor (2 of 2)

John Carswell | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Yet the Noldor could not capture Angband, nor could they regain the Silmarils; and war never wholly ceased in all that time of the Siege, for Morgoth devised new evils, and ever and anon he would make trial of his enemies.
(The Silmarillion, 115-116)

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This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walk through of The Silmarillion. This time, I examine the second part of the thirteenth chapter of The Silmarillion, "Of the Return of the Noldor." You can see all the posts in this series by clicking here. You can also find other Silmarillion resources here.

Glaurung by Scatha-the-Worm

"Glaurung" by Scatha-the-Worm © 2007 - 2017

Last time around, I looked at the first half of this chapter, ending with the rising tensions between Thingol and the Noldor. In the second half, the action continues! You can find the first part here.

download Getting Started on The Silmarillion

Key Events

  • Founding of Nargothrond: Finrod, son of Finarfin, establishes a great Noldor stronghold and kingdom after the fashion of Thingol’s Menegroth.
  • Third Battle of Beleriand: AKA The Glorious Battle. Morgoth, hoping to catch the Noldor off-guard, floods Beleriand with orcs, but the hordes are turned back to the gates of Angband.
  • Dragon!: Morgoth senses that the Elves are becoming too battle-wise for orcs alone, and thus creates Glaurung the dragon. Glaurung isn’t quite at his full might yet, and Morgoth must recall him…for a time.
Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien

Key Takeaways

  • Peace Among the Elves: Fingolfin brings the Elves of Beleriand together in the Feast of Reuniniting, and much of their previous strife is put to rest.
  • Siege of Angband: After the Glorious Battle, a siege is set at the gates of Angband in order to hold Morgoth at bay and leave the majority of Beleriand in peace. This siege last for hundreds of years.
  • Ulmo’s Influence: Though they are cutoff from Valinor, Ulmo brings troubling dreams to Turgon and Finrod which eventually lead to them establishing great kingdoms.

Key Quotes

  • But Ulmo coming up the river laid a deep sleep upon them and heavy dreams; and the trouble of the dreams remained after they awoke, but neither said aught to the other, for their memory was not clear, and each believed that Ulmo had sent a message to him alone. - 114
  • Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them. Therefore she remained in the Hidden Kingdom, and abode with Melian, and of her learned great lore and wisdom concerning Middle-earth. - 115
  • Again after a hundred years Glaurung, the first of the Urulóki, the fire-drakes of the North, issued from Angband’s gates by night. He was yet young and scarce half-grown, for long and slow is the life of the dragons, but the Elves fled before him to Ered Wethrin and Dorthonion in dismay; and he defiled the fields of Ard-galen. - 116

download Getting Started on The Silmarillion

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this chapter in the comments below.

Tolkien's Requiem Concerning Beren and Lúthien by John CarswellWant to learn more about The Silmarillion? My book Tolkien's Requiem explores the stories of Middle-earth's First Age through the prism of Tolkien's most personal tale: Beren and Lúthien. It's designed to work as a "back door" approach for those who struggle to get a start on The Silmarillion. Click here to learn more!

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