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380 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

629 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

852 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

863 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

135 Notes

There were originally seven Dwarf kingdoms, founded by each of the seven Dwarf “Fathers.”  The most common to show up in stories were “Durin’s Folk” (also called “Longbeards”) which consisted of guys like Thorin and Gimli. Durin’s Folk were the friendliest with Elves & Men, and were also the ones who founded kingdoms like Moria. Dwarves are largely very secretive and reclusive, so it’s mostly Durin’s Folk, given their relative openness, who appear in Tolkien’s stories.
There are others like the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, who hail from the Blue Mountains and have a large role in the First Age.  The other Dwarf kingdoms are place further East, and I don’t believe they have significant appearances in any stories.
I think most of the Dwarves in The Hobbit are part of Durin’s Folk, but by the time of the 3rd Age that ethnic group expanded into several kingdoms, like the Grey Mountains, Iron Mountains, Blue Mountains, Iron Hills and Erebor.  
I have a theory that Durin’s Folk are really just the Dwarf race that looks more like what humans would call “Dwarves,” while the others had different appearances.

There were originally seven Dwarf kingdoms, founded by each of the seven Dwarf “Fathers.”  The most common to show up in stories were “Durin’s Folk” (also called “Longbeards”) which consisted of guys like Thorin and Gimli. Durin’s Folk were the friendliest with Elves & Men, and were also the ones who founded kingdoms like Moria. Dwarves are largely very secretive and reclusive, so it’s mostly Durin’s Folk, given their relative openness, who appear in Tolkien’s stories.

There are others like the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, who hail from the Blue Mountains and have a large role in the First Age.  The other Dwarf kingdoms are place further East, and I don’t believe they have significant appearances in any stories.

I think most of the Dwarves in The Hobbit are part of Durin’s Folk, but by the time of the 3rd Age that ethnic group expanded into several kingdoms, like the Grey Mountains, Iron Mountains, Blue Mountains, Iron Hills and Erebor.  

I have a theory that Durin’s Folk are really just the Dwarf race that looks more like what humans would call “Dwarves,” while the others had different appearances.

272 Notes

I sketched some Elf soliders from the Silmarillion in the Livestream today!  These are the three armies/peoples to first fight Morgoth around the beginning of the First Age.
The one on the left is a soldier from Doriath, a Middle-Earth Sindar Kingdom that’s largely hidden within a great forest, its capital consisting of a massive cave system.  While Doriath Elves aren’t “High Elves” who have travelled to the West before, they’re a force to be reckoned with during the war against Morgoth.  They’re of Teleri descent, so they are very tall and thin, and those of Doriath are adept at fighting in dense woods.
The second is an Elf soldier of the Noldor, who comprise many of the most famous Elves in the Silmarillion.  They are proud and daring, and above all else are master craftspeople and blacksmiths, which their armor reflects.  Noldor are shorter than their Teleri cousins, but notably more muscular. This soldier here is wearing dark paint across her eyes to mark her dedication toward defeating Morgoth and recovering the Silmarils, which the Noldor Fëanor had crafted. 
The third is a member of the Laiquendi, or Green-Elves. They were a woods-dwelling people who allied themselves with the Elves of Doriath when Morgoth first returned to Middle-Earth.  Unlike more familiar Elves, the Laiquendi were not technologically advanced, using no metal and clothing themselves in leaves and grass.  They were highly secretive, and only participated in a handful of conflicts during the First Age before disappearing from history.
For more info, here’s my previous post on Elves in the Silmarillion.

I sketched some Elf soliders from the Silmarillion in the Livestream today!  These are the three armies/peoples to first fight Morgoth around the beginning of the First Age.

  1. The one on the left is a soldier from Doriath, a Middle-Earth Sindar Kingdom that’s largely hidden within a great forest, its capital consisting of a massive cave system.  While Doriath Elves aren’t “High Elves” who have travelled to the West before, they’re a force to be reckoned with during the war against Morgoth.  They’re of Teleri descent, so they are very tall and thin, and those of Doriath are adept at fighting in dense woods.
  2. The second is an Elf soldier of the Noldor, who comprise many of the most famous Elves in the Silmarillion.  They are proud and daring, and above all else are master craftspeople and blacksmiths, which their armor reflects.  Noldor are shorter than their Teleri cousins, but notably more muscular. This soldier here is wearing dark paint across her eyes to mark her dedication toward defeating Morgoth and recovering the Silmarils, which the Noldor Fëanor had crafted. 
  3. The third is a member of the Laiquendi, or Green-Elves. They were a woods-dwelling people who allied themselves with the Elves of Doriath when Morgoth first returned to Middle-Earth.  Unlike more familiar Elves, the Laiquendi were not technologically advanced, using no metal and clothing themselves in leaves and grass.  They were highly secretive, and only participated in a handful of conflicts during the First Age before disappearing from history.

For more info, here’s my previous post on Elves in the Silmarillion.

2463 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

2994 Notes

Tolkien Dark Lord Chart (Revised)
A little personal guide I use for the various incarnations of Dark Lords when I’m illustrating the Silmarillion Project.  While Sauron and Morgoth are the only *official* Dark Lords, I included the Witch-King of Angmar, because 1000+ years of being the chief antagonist in Middle-Earth deserves an honorable mention.
Left to Right:
Morgoth in the First Age- essentially a rogue god, I wanted him to come off as an imposing demon, indestructible and primal.
Sauron (as Gorthaur the Cruel)- Morgoth’s number two, ruling over an island fortress of werewolves. He needs to look like the sort of guy who can turn into a bat.
Sauron (as Annatar, Giver of Gifts)- this is the “fair” form he took to give out his Rings of Power. I have him in a more nordic style, as to better mingle with the Elves, Men and Dwarves of the West. He’s also the only one here of normal Elf/Man stature, as his goal wasn’t to intimidate.
Sauron after the Fall of Numenor- at this point he ruled through “terror and might,” so his stature is greatly emphasized. Given that he spent much of his time dominating eastern and unknown realms, I went with more exotic stylings, bordering on Frazetta.
The Necromancer of Dol Guldur- a dark sorcerer, hiding in the shadows until he could regain his strength and openly declare himself as Sauron once more. I decided to make him almost the visual foil of Gandalf, who was also wandering the wilderness at this time.
The Witch-King of Angmar - while also a sorcerer like Sauron, the Witch-King is much more hands-on, and is a seasoned military commander. He’s also a Numenorean king, so I put him in traditional Numenorean battle armor.
Sauron during the War of the Ring- although Sauron did indeed have a corporeal form during Lord of the Rings (don’t believe the movies), I went with something more visually abstract, as only Pippin really ever sees him (through the Palantir) and was too shocked to describe what he saw.
Anyway, I hope you like them!

Tolkien Dark Lord Chart (Revised)

A little personal guide I use for the various incarnations of Dark Lords when I’m illustrating the Silmarillion Project.  While Sauron and Morgoth are the only *official* Dark Lords, I included the Witch-King of Angmar, because 1000+ years of being the chief antagonist in Middle-Earth deserves an honorable mention.

Left to Right:

  1. Morgoth in the First Age- essentially a rogue god, I wanted him to come off as an imposing demon, indestructible and primal.
  2. Sauron (as Gorthaur the Cruel)- Morgoth’s number two, ruling over an island fortress of werewolves. He needs to look like the sort of guy who can turn into a bat.
  3. Sauron (as Annatar, Giver of Gifts)- this is the “fair” form he took to give out his Rings of Power. I have him in a more nordic style, as to better mingle with the Elves, Men and Dwarves of the West. He’s also the only one here of normal Elf/Man stature, as his goal wasn’t to intimidate.
  4. Sauron after the Fall of Numenor- at this point he ruled through “terror and might,” so his stature is greatly emphasized. Given that he spent much of his time dominating eastern and unknown realms, I went with more exotic stylings, bordering on Frazetta.
  5. The Necromancer of Dol Guldur- a dark sorcerer, hiding in the shadows until he could regain his strength and openly declare himself as Sauron once more. I decided to make him almost the visual foil of Gandalf, who was also wandering the wilderness at this time.
  6. The Witch-King of Angmar - while also a sorcerer like Sauron, the Witch-King is much more hands-on, and is a seasoned military commander. He’s also a Numenorean king, so I put him in traditional Numenorean battle armor.
  7. Sauron during the War of the Ring- although Sauron did indeed have a corporeal form during Lord of the Rings (don’t believe the movies), I went with something more visually abstract, as only Pippin really ever sees him (through the Palantir) and was too shocked to describe what he saw.

Anyway, I hope you like them!

600 Notes

This is a Dark Lord size chart I sketched a while back, for personal reference in the Silmarillion Project. You really don’t realize how many forms Sauron has taken in his time (and these don’t even count the monsters!)
Left to Right:
Morgoth in the First Age - essentially a rogue god, he’s a bit too big for the picture
Sauron (as Gorthaur the Cruel) - Morgoth’s #2 guy, ruling over an island fortress of werewolves
Sauron (as Annatar, Giver of Gifts) - this is the “fair” form he took to give out his Rings of Power
Sauron after the Fall of Numenor - his “fair” form destroyed, Sauron could only take on horrifying appearances after this.
The Necromancer of Dol Guldur - a dark wizard, hiding in the shadows until he could regain his strength
Sauron during the War of the Ring - terrible to behold, ever searching for his Ring

This is a Dark Lord size chart I sketched a while back, for personal reference in the Silmarillion Project. You really don’t realize how many forms Sauron has taken in his time (and these don’t even count the monsters!)

Left to Right:

  1. Morgoth in the First Age - essentially a rogue god, he’s a bit too big for the picture
  2. Sauron (as Gorthaur the Cruel) - Morgoth’s #2 guy, ruling over an island fortress of werewolves
  3. Sauron (as Annatar, Giver of Gifts) - this is the “fair” form he took to give out his Rings of Power
  4. Sauron after the Fall of Numenor - his “fair” form destroyed, Sauron could only take on horrifying appearances after this.
  5. The Necromancer of Dol Guldur - a dark wizard, hiding in the shadows until he could regain his strength
  6. Sauron during the War of the Ring - terrible to behold, ever searching for his Ring

553 Notes

A very quick speed painting of The Necromancer of Dol Guldur!

A very quick speed painting of The Necromancer of Dol Guldur!

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