My edit: Favorite Female Characters in Tolkien’s Legendarium:Tar-Ancalimë the Princess Shepherdess, First Ruling Queen of
We also are daughters of the great, and we have wills and courage of our own. Therefore do not bend, Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down. Sink your roots into the rock, and face the wind, though it blow away all your leaves. (J.R.R. Tolkien, Unfinished Tales, Part II, The Mariner’s Wife)
Can you do “Look at me. Just look at me and nowhere else.” with Maglor after the first kinslaying assuming that his s/o is a Noldorin too and it is their first time seeing someone die? o/
The screams of your fellow elves
echoed in your ears and you looked around, completely horrified. The
ships were ablaze, dead flesh attacked your nostrils. Only it wasn’t
animal flesh. It was elven flesh. You watched as your kin slaughtered
left and right. One man had his throat cut open right in front of
you, blood spilling on your face.
The tears leaked out of your eyes as your sword dangled by your side. This was utter madness. The
grunting and screaming stunned you out of using your sword on anyone.
The Teleri did not attack you. They had some kind of humanity. It was
completely scarring to witness this. You didn’t even want to go to
the New Land in the first place. It wasn’t your idea. Kanafinwe
seemed to think it was a good idea, and so you went. For him.
He was right next to you, shouting at
you to fight but you stared at him with tears in your eyes. The Teleri
weren’t as merciful as you thought at first as Maglor defended you
from them. He was desperately calling for you to fight. He captured
your face in his hands.
“Look at me!” He yelled,
staring at your soul from behind those crystal eyes. He shook your
face causing you to focus your gaze on him as you cried, “Just look
at me and no where else!”
You shook your head, sobbing even more, feeling helpless to stop this carnage.
How could he be okay with this?
“Now is not the time to think of what
is right and what is wrong. We are beyond the art of reasoning. It is
time for you to fight!” He grunted and pulled away, attacking
another Teleri as you shrieked in fear.
You had never killed anyone before. You
had never raised your sword to another living being outside of
practice. You never intended to…
‘Now is not the time to think of
what is right and what is wrong.’ His words rang out in your memory forever. Little did you know that sentence would define your life from this point forward.
I would love to know, what do you think is the most underdeveloped or most glossed over part of the Legendarium? I mean things like certain, realms, concepts, how did people react to something big, and things like that. Things that you think really should have had more details. Or alternatively, things that are treated thoughtfully in the Legendarium but which you think fandom ignores too much?
anon I’ve been sitting on this for a few days because it’s a great question and I hope my answers do some justice to it!
underdeveloped parts of the legendarium I would love to have more of: the Second Age
outside Numenor and in particular, predictably, Eregion; the East and the
Easterlings (although given the not-insignificant chance Tolkien’s portrayals
would be terrible maybe I shouldn’t complain too hard about that); all those
implied-by-inference textual-ghost wives and mothers and the
barely-more-than-a-name women like Findis and Lalwen.
there’s probably more but - I think a lot of the “how did people react” and so on I’m happy to fill in with headcanon and fanfic? that’s part of what makes Silm fandom so interesting for me (and why I write more about the Silmarillion than LotR) - those unfilled spaces and the suggestions left by incompleteness?
things fandom gives surprisingly little weight to compared to the canon material: this gave me a guilty twinge because I agree with @vardasvapors that fandom undersells the Edain, but when you get down to it I’m not personally all that into Children of Hurin, you know? I’m lucky that fandom’s interests track to mine relatively well, because I too am here for elves, ainur, and as anyone who has been following my tumblr may have noticed, not infrequently elves/ainur.
the actions and motivations of the Ainur, as well, though - fandom can be pretty hard on Manwe for not intervening more to help in Beleriand or thereafter, and I totally see where people are coming from! that whole exchange in the Akallabeth about why humans can’t visit Valinor is really tone-deaf, for example. but it’s pretty clear, both implicitly and explicitly if you get into the HoME materials like LACE and the Notes on Motives essay, that they were facing some really difficult choices, their abilities were limited, and a lot of the criticism I see feels kind of shallow in how it addresses that.
I was thinking the other day that I’d love more really interesting fic about Valinor pre-Darkening that isn’t just, like, Maedhros/Fingon pining. No offense to people who are into that! But I’m here for the awful family drama and also Melkor wandering around pretending to be helpful. I try not to shade too much into “why are people spending time on things they enjoy, rather than, as would be correct and good, on things I enjoy,” though :)
Did/do the humans of middle earth worship the Valar like the elves do/did? If they did...why? I can't really see why they would. They never really did anything for them outside make their life harder. When it comes to humans it just seems like the gods have Percy Jackson levels of not caring.
Love that present tense. Um, depends on the humans! Depends on the elves, too, I guess. Oromë seems to be present in a bunch of different low-contact traditions in what I honestly think is tacit support for my men are ex-orcs theory. …as for the Edain, you get all kinds of variance, from the late-First-Age Haladin who invoke Manwë before legal proceedings to Beren’s oath of vegetarianism to Yavanna (which did actually pay dividends, tbf) to Tuor and Ulmo to plentiful shades of kneejerk skepticism, from Bereg to Andreth. Even for the most agreeable, I don’t think it really makes sense to describe them as worshipping the Valar in the same way the elves did, because at least in Valinor that was communal, interactive, celebratory worship: riding with Oromë, dancing in Nessa’s train, studying under Aulë. Umlauts skittering everywhere. For humans in Middle-earth, there’s no worship available, which is part and parcel of the Valar’s withdrawal—just, like, not hanging out with those guys, not loving them and forming personal, proprietary relationships with them.
So they’re described as practicing elf religion mostly through reverence for Eru, who everyone is equally confused by.
Though I mean, as far as I know, real life human cults don’t start with gods ‘doing things’ ‘in an unambiguous and well-labeled way’ ‘for humans’… I think it’s more surprising that some humans don’t end up praying to versions of the Valar that bear no close resemblance to the Valar-at-home. But I guess maybe the presence of actual giant aliens on a neighboring continent makes it harder to dodge copyright claims, or something.
ok i see you also asked for silly, as in intentionally silly and not ‘my most truehearted hurin analysis ever,’ which, if i had just paid attention to it at the beginning, would have simplified matters very much. here