Indistinguishable From Magic Avatar

Posts tagged Silmarillion Project

377 Notes

"Silmarillion Chapter 6: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"

"…and therefore in a while he was given leave to go freely about the land, and it seemed to Manwë that the evil of Melkor was cured. For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever."

 Previous Silmarillion entries:
Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
The Monsters of Middle-Earth
The Free Peoples of the First Age
Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
Silmarillion Chapter 4 - Of Thingol and Melian
Silmarillion Chapter 6 - Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

"Silmarillion Chapter 6: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor"

"…and therefore in a while he was given leave to go freely about the land, and it seemed to Manwë that the evil of Melkor was cured. For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever."

 Previous Silmarillion entries:

  1. Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
  2. Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
  3. The Monsters of Middle-Earth
  4. The Free Peoples of the First Age
  5. Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
  6. Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
  7. Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
  8. Silmarillion Chapter 4 - Of Thingol and Melian
  9. Silmarillion Chapter 6 - Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

622 Notes

"Silmarillion Chapter 5: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"

"But the memory of Middle-Earth under the stars remained in the hearts of the Noldor, and the abode in the Calacirya, and in the hills and valleys within the sound of the western sea"

Above is a painting of the Tirion, which became the capital city of the Noldor. It faces the gap of Calacirya, which is the only opening in the mountain range where the light of the Two Trees (a divine source of illumination) can pass through. I’ve also incorporated this image into the clothing and banners of the Noldor Elves. The black eye markings are used to mimic the dirt marks the Noldor get while working their furnaces, as they are very proud of their crafting and metalworking.

The House of Finwë From left to right:

  1. Indis - Finwë’s second wife. She is not actually Noldor, but a Vanyar Elf.
  2. Finwë - High King of the Noldor.
  3. Míriel - Finwë’s first wife who died after giving birth to her only son, Fëanor.
  4. Fingolfin - Indis and Finwë’s son, and a significant hero in the Silmarillion.
  5. Fëanor - Finwë’s eldest son, mightiest of the Noldor and creator of the Silmarils.
Finwë and Indis had another son, Finarfin, who was the father of two particularly noteworthy children:
  1. Finrod - Among the wisest of the Noldor, Finrod was the first High Elf to encounter humans, and was quick to befriend and defend their kind.
  2. Galadriel - Eager and ambitious, Galadriel is one of the leaders of the brewing Noldor rebellion.
Along with the Noldor, there are also the Teleri and Vanyar, who are notably less restless.
  1. Olwë - Younger brother of Thingol and king of the Teleri, Elves more concerned with shipbuilding and the exploring the sea.
  2. Ingwë - King of the Vanyar and High King of all Elves, Ingwë and his people are best known for their art, and since they never cause any trouble, they rarely appear in the Silmarillion.

 Previous Silmarillion entries:

  1. Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
  2. Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
  3. The Monsters of Middle-Earth
  4. The Free Peoples of the First Age
  5. Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
  6. Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
  7. Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
  8. Silmarillion Chapter 4 - Of Thingol and Melian

840 Notes

"Silmarillion Chapter 4: Of Thingol and Melian"

"Then an enchantment fell on him, and he stood still still; and afar off beyond the voices of the lómelindi he heard the voice of Melian, and it filled all his heart with wonder and desire. He forgot utterly all his people and the purposes of his mind, and following the birds under the shadow of the trees he passed deep into Nan Elmoth and was lost. But he came at last to a glade open to the stars, and there Melian stood; and out of the darkness he looked at her, and the light of Aman was in her face."

Thingol and Melian are the High King and Queen of Beleriand, and functionally all of Middle-Earth in their day.  Melian is a Maia, the race of spirits that include Sauron.  Tolkien gives very little description of her, so I decided to keep a slightly otherworldly appearance, with horns like a faun or forest spirit. She’s actually much wiser than her husband and much more joyful, so I wanted to make sure that imagery held.

Thingol is the King of the Sindar, the “Grey Elves” who stayed in Middle-Earth (though Thingol himself made the journey to Aman once).  As the tallest of the Men and Elves and one of the mightiest in battle, I wanted to keep his form larger and imposing.  Older Elves can grow beards, and I’ve decided that any male Elf who was among the first to awaken (this includes Thingol) will be sporting a beard.

 Previous Silmarillion entries:

  1. Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
  2. Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
  3. The Monsters of Middle-Earth
  4. The Free Peoples of the First Age
  5. Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
  6. Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
  7. Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

852 Notes

"Silmarillion Chapter 3: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"

"But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aulë had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age"

 Previous Silmarillion entries:
Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
The Monsters of Middle-Earth
The Free Peoples of the First Age
Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna

"Silmarillion Chapter 3: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"

"But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aulë had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age"

 Previous Silmarillion entries:

  1. Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
  2. Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
  3. The Monsters of Middle-Earth
  4. The Free Peoples of the First Age
  5. Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
  6. Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna

2452 Notes

"Silmarillion Chapter 2: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
Of all the Valar, Aulë and Yavanna are my favorites, the ultimate husband & wife combo. Aulë is functionally the god of craftsman, and is said to be most like the villainous Melkor in personality (his servants Sauron and Saruman both turn evil, plus he trained troublemaking Fëanor) but Aulë himself remains virtuous and humble.  Even when he created the Dwarves in defiance of Eru, it was meant to be a tribute to the Elves & Men (Eru’s personal creations).  As such, the Dwarves were given true life and allowed to be awakened after the Elves.  Aulë represents the creative ambition of Melkor without the jealousy or vanity.
Yavanna, creator of the Ents, is great because she’s one of the only Valar who actively tries to keep Middle-Earth from becoming overrun with evil, as her interest is with the actual plants and animals of the world.  She’s also the one who chose Radagast to be one of the Istari sent to Middle-Earth.  It’s also worth noting that while they got along very well, Aulë’s and Yavanna’s creations or servants did not.  Dwarves and Ents have never had good relations, and Saruman despised Radagast to the end of his days.
 Previous Silmarillion entries:
Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
The Monsters of Middle-Earth
The Free Peoples of the First Age
Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days

"Silmarillion Chapter 2: Of Aulë and Yavanna"

Of all the Valar, Aulë and Yavanna are my favorites, the ultimate husband & wife combo. Aulë is functionally the god of craftsman, and is said to be most like the villainous Melkor in personality (his servants Sauron and Saruman both turn evil, plus he trained troublemaking Fëanor) but Aulë himself remains virtuous and humble.  Even when he created the Dwarves in defiance of Eru, it was meant to be a tribute to the Elves & Men (Eru’s personal creations).  As such, the Dwarves were given true life and allowed to be awakened after the Elves.  Aulë represents the creative ambition of Melkor without the jealousy or vanity.

Yavanna, creator of the Ents, is great because she’s one of the only Valar who actively tries to keep Middle-Earth from becoming overrun with evil, as her interest is with the actual plants and animals of the world.  She’s also the one who chose Radagast to be one of the Istari sent to Middle-Earth.  It’s also worth noting that while they got along very well, Aulë’s and Yavanna’s creations or servants did not.  Dwarves and Ents have never had good relations, and Saruman despised Radagast to the end of his days.

 Previous Silmarillion entries:

  1. Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
  2. Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
  3. The Monsters of Middle-Earth
  4. The Free Peoples of the First Age
  5. Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days

510 Notes

Silmarillion Project Part 5: Chapter 1 - “Of the Beginning of Days”
Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
Part 3: “The Monsters of Middle-Earth”
Part 4: “The Free Peoples of the First Age”
We’re finally into the Silmarillion proper! Chapter 1 deals with the details of the shaping of Arda (Earth). In the beginning, the Valar attempted to assemble Arda, but were constantly at odds with Melkor, who warred against them to a standstill. This persisted until the last of the Valar, Tulkas, descended into Arda as well, and together they managed to scare Melkor off for the time being.
What followed was an era of peace, and to light the world (in addition to the stars), the Valar constructed two titanic lamps at opposite ends of Arda. In the middle, they resided on the Isle of Almaren, which I’ve illustrated above, along with one of the lamps.  In the foreground is Tulkas himself, ever vigilant.
Melkor ultimately returned while Tulkas slept and toppled the lamps. The destruction was so devastating that Arda itself was deformed, and the Valar retreated to the Western continent of Aman, leaving Middle-Earth to the dark powers.
Notes: I find the character of Tulkas pretty fascinating, as he’s initially the only member of the Valar who entered Arda because there was a conflict, not to contribute to the building of the world. He is also one of the only Valar never to be duped by Melkor, as he seems to have at least a moderate understanding of evil (a rare trait among the Valar). Here I’ve depicted him mostly in silhouette, along with some vaguely humanoid Valar in the distance.

Silmarillion Project Part 5: Chapter 1 - “Of the Beginning of Days”

We’re finally into the Silmarillion proper! Chapter 1 deals with the details of the shaping of Arda (Earth). In the beginning, the Valar attempted to assemble Arda, but were constantly at odds with Melkor, who warred against them to a standstill. This persisted until the last of the Valar, Tulkas, descended into Arda as well, and together they managed to scare Melkor off for the time being.

What followed was an era of peace, and to light the world (in addition to the stars), the Valar constructed two titanic lamps at opposite ends of Arda. In the middle, they resided on the Isle of Almaren, which I’ve illustrated above, along with one of the lamps.  In the foreground is Tulkas himself, ever vigilant.

Melkor ultimately returned while Tulkas slept and toppled the lamps. The destruction was so devastating that Arda itself was deformed, and the Valar retreated to the Western continent of Aman, leaving Middle-Earth to the dark powers.

Notes: I find the character of Tulkas pretty fascinating, as he’s initially the only member of the Valar who entered Arda because there was a conflict, not to contribute to the building of the world. He is also one of the only Valar never to be duped by Melkor, as he seems to have at least a moderate understanding of evil (a rare trait among the Valar). Here I’ve depicted him mostly in silhouette, along with some vaguely humanoid Valar in the distance.

551 Notes

Silmarillion Project Part 4: The Free Peoples of the First Age


The Free Peoples of Middle-Earth consist of Men, Elves and Dwarves. Elves were the first to arise, and are virtually immortal. When they awoke, they were called to reside with the Valar in their continent of Aman, though the journey from their birthplace in Middle-Earth was far. Many Elves never completed the journey, but those who did were known as High Elves, and are considered the most powerful of their race.

There are three houses of High Elves:

  1. Teleri - The largest of the houses, Teleri are a diverse group that has often found its home in the sea. They are among the most skilled shipbuilders and navigators of their time. The Teleri usually had brown hair and eyes, though those of royal lineage had silver hair.
  2. Vanyar - The ruling house of Elves, the Vanyar comprise the wisest and most powerful of their race, including the high king of all Elves, Ingwë. The most distinctive element of the Vanyar is that once arriving in Aman, they would virtually never leave it again. As such, their influence in the history of Middle-Earth is brief. Vanyar are exceptionally fair, with bright golden hair.
  3. Noldor - Easily the most famous of the High Elves, the Noldor are the most ambitious and industrious of their kind. They are above all legendary craftsmen; it was the Noldor Fëanor who crafted the Silmarils, for which the Silmarillion is named. As one might expect, the Noldor are extremely proud, becoming the source of much tragedy in Middle-Earth. Noldor have a strong, muscular build, usually bearing very dark hair and grey eyes.

Of the Elves who chose to stay in Middle-Earth, the most notable are the Sindar. They, along with the Dwarves, comprise the rest of the non-human allies during the First Age of the Silmarillion.

  1. Sindar- A large population of Teleri never completed the journey to Aman and stayed in Middle-Earth. These became known as the Sindar, and comprise the Elves most familiar to the human history of MIddle-Earth. They largely prefer natural surroundings, creating cities in harmony with the forests. 
  2. Dwarves - Created by Aluë as a crude imitation/homage to the true Children of Illuvatar (Elves & Men), Dwarves were given true life, though their nature and appearance is notably different from the other races. Dwarves are stubborn, hardy, and resistant to both evil and harsh elements. They prefer mining and crafting, surpassing all others in the skill of smithing. Their relationship with Elves is complicated, though they found good friends amongst the Noldor.

In the First Age, the humans who participated in the wars against Morgoth were known as the Edain, who were divided into three houses: 

  1. Hador - The House of Hador was large and fond of warfare. Many of the greatest warriors of the First Age came from these people, and above all the Edain gained the most renown. They were very tall and usually had blonde or goldenhair.
  2. Haleth - The House of Haleth were the most peaceful and reclusive of the Edain, largely keeping out of the conflicts of the First Age. They were dark-haired, short, and survived well into later times.
  3. Bëor - The smallest house of the Edain, Bëor consisted of patient, steadfast people who were quick to resist the evil temptations of Morgoth. They endured significant menace and tragedy from the Dark Lord and his armies throughout the First Age.

751 Notes

Silmarillion Project Part 3: The Monsters of Middle-Earth - Balrogs, Dragons, Orcs and Trolls!

I thought it appropriate for this spooky time of year to share some Silmarillion monsters. Morgoth bred and recruited many evil things during his time in Middle-Earth. These are a brief list of the best-known creatures to serve the Dark Lords:

  1. Orcs - Created “in mockery” of the Elves, it’s never been clear where Orcs originated. They vary greatly in size and shape, though most are smaller than Men. Most Orcs flee from the Sun, though some later breeds lacked this weakness. While often ferocious, Orcs never exhibit much initiative on their own, and when not commanded by a Dark Lord or other evil power, they tend to keep to themselves.
  2. Trolls - If Orcs were a mockery of Elves, then Trolls were meant to mock the Ents. While there are many types of Trolls, they are usually slow-witted and thuggish. There is some speculation that Trolls were not living things at all, but some sort of stoneish “counterfeits” that required greater powers to give them a will.  This may explain why most Trolls permanently turn to stone when in direct sunlight, undoing the dark magic that created them.
  3. Dragons - Bred from unknown beasts and dark magics, Dragons are amongst the most powerful creatures in Middle-Earth. They are extremely intelligent and greedy, and among Morgoth’s creations the most independently minded. Most could breath fire, and later on some strains were bred with wings. A single Dragon could drive away armies, and those with enough nerve and cunning to slay a Dragon became legends.
  4. Balrogs - Also called Valaraukar, Balrogs were fire spirits seduced into service under Morgoth. While they could take on many forms, they were generally great creatures of shadow, breathing fire and carrying whips made of flames. Balrogs primarily acted as Morgoth’s generals, with Gothmog, their captain, being second in authority only to Sauron. Though shrewd and immensely powerful, the main weapon of Balrogs was their ability to inspire primal terror in both enemy and ally. There is no instance of a mortal killing a Balrog, and it is suggested that only the power of Elves or greater beings is able to overcome them.

Hope you like these!

1392 Notes

Silmarillion Project Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”

Part 1: “Ainulindalë”


The second chapter of The Silmarillion introduces us to the various divine beings (Ainur) who enter Earth (Arda) at its conception: the Valar (a godlike pantheon), the Maiar (lesser spirits) and the Enemy, who at this point is called Melkor.  Although Melkor is mightier than any individual Vala, he is not counted among them, as their mission is to craft and preserve the world, while Melkor is hell-bent on twisting it to his will.

Several Valar are pictured here. They are, from front to back:

  1. Mandos - Judge of the Dead and Master of Doom. He has foreknowledge of everything that will come to pass on Arda until the end times, but will only reveal pieces at Manwë’s order.
  2. Yavanna - Queen of the Earth and Giver of Fruits. She created the Ents to protect the trees from the axes of Orcs and Dwarves.
  3. Aulë - Craftsman of the Earth and husband of Yavanna. He created the Dwarves with Ilúvatar’s (God’s) blessing, who gave them actual life.
  4. Varda - Queen of Stars. Creator of light and the stars (naturally) and also the first to see Melkor for what he truly was.
  5. Manwë - King of the Valar, master of the sky and husband of Varda. He is also the “twin” broth of Melkor, the Enemy.
  6. Ulmo - Lord of Waters and the sole wandering Vala (never taking residence in the the Undying Lands as they do). Ulmo prefers the open oceans and is an eternal friend to Men and Elves, of whose plight he is always keenly aware.

The accompanying illustrations are of the Enemies:

  1. Melkor - First and mightiest of the Ainur. Obsessed with creating life of his own, which he cannot, so he forever strives to corrupt Creation itself and rule over it. The source of all discord and Evil in Arda. Later called Morgoth, “The Great Enemy,” he is the central antagonist of the Silmarillion.
  2. Sauron - A powerful Maia originally in service of Aulë, Sauron was corrupted by Morgoth, ultimately becoming his second-in-command. Master of all shapes and forms, as well as the crafting of objects of power.

Notes: The Valar don’t have permanent incarnations, so I tried to keep many visual details vague and focus on broad themes. Conversely, while Melkor could take on many forms in earlier days, by the time he stole the Silmarils and was known as Morgoth, he was essentially trapped in the form of an imposing Dark Lord, “tall and terrible.” I wanted to emphasize a weary, corporeal form in contrast to the Valar, a form that will become further scarred before the end. Sauron, on the other hand, is less imposing and more of a crafty sorcerer. While he could change into the form of Elves or Men, I doubt that would have been his default in the First Age, when his main job was ruling an island full of werewolves.

Hope you enjoy this one! There are many more to come.

618 Notes

Silmarillion Project Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
This is the beginning of a side project I’ve been working on, where each week I’ll be posting an illustration that corresponds with a different chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion.  
The Music of the Ainur is essentially the beginning of Tolkien’s creation myth, where the Earth is slowly formed into being by ethereal song. Nothing too fancy just yet, but tune in next week as things heat up!

Silmarillion Project Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”


This is the beginning of a side project I’ve been working on, where each week I’ll be posting an illustration that corresponds with a different chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion.  

The Music of the Ainur is essentially the beginning of Tolkien’s creation myth, where the Earth is slowly formed into being by ethereal song. Nothing too fancy just yet, but tune in next week as things heat up!

Likes

Following