August 2017
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Calendar

Log in

Share
View previous topicGo downView next topic
avatar
HanakoHime
Admin
Admin
Posts : 1200
Join date : 2016-03-16
Age : 27
Location : United States
http://tfos.forumotion.com

Middle Earth

on Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:52 pm


Setting
Middle-earth, or Endor in Quenya or Ennor in Sindarin, and in The Book of Lost Tales known as the Great Lands, is the name used for the habitable parts of Arda after the final ruin of Beleriand, and is east across the Belegaer from Aman. It is north of the Hither Lands, shown in the Ambarkanta, and west of the East Sea; and throughout the First and Second Ages it went through many colossal geographical changes, caused by Iluvatar.

The World
Tolkien stated that the geography of Middle-earth was intended to align with that of our real Earth in several particulars. (Letters #294) Expanding upon this idea some suggest that if the map of Middle-earth is projected on our real Earth, and some of the most obvious climatological, botanical, and zoological similarities are aligned, the Hobbits' Shire might lie in the temperate climate of England, Gondor might lie in the Mediterranean Italy and Greece, Mordor in Sicily, South Gondor and Near Harad in the deserts of Northern Africa, Rhovanion in the forests of Germany and the steppes of Western and Southern Russia, and the Ice Bay of Forochel in the fjords of Norway. Far Harad may have corresponded with Southern Africa, and Rhûn corresponded with the whole of Asia. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are presented as Tolkien's retelling of events depicted in the Red Book of Westmarch, which was written by Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, and other Hobbits, and corrected and annotated by one or more Gondorian scholars. Years after publication, Tolkien 'postulated' in a letter that the action of the books takes place roughly 6,000 years ago, though he was not certain.
Tolkien wrote extensively about the linguistics, mythology and history of the world, which provide back-story for these stories. Many of these writings were edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher.

Notable among them is The Silmarillion, which provides a creation story and description of the cosmology which includes Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the primary source of information about Valinor, Númenor, and other lands. Also notable are Unfinished Tales and the multiple volumes of The History of Middle-earth, which includes many incomplete stories and essays as well as numerous drafts of Tolkien's Middle-earth mythology, from the earliest forms down through the last writings of his life.

Cosmology
The supreme deity is called Eru Ilúvatar. In the beginning, Ilúvatar created spirits named the Ainur and he taught them to make music. After the Ainur had become proficient in their skills, Ilúvatar commanded them to make a great music based on a theme of his own design. The most powerful Ainu, Melkor (later called Morgoth or "Dark Enemy" by the elves), Tolkien's equivalent of Satan, disrupted the theme, and in response Ilúvatar introduced new themes that enhanced the music beyond the comprehension of the Ainur. The movements of their song laid the seeds of much of the history of the as yet unmade universe and the people who were to dwell therein.
Then Ilúvatar stopped the music and he revealed its meaning to the Ainur through a Vision. Moved by the Vision, many of the Ainur felt a compelling urge to experience its events directly. Ilúvatar therefore created Eä, the universe itself, and some of the Ainur went down into the universe to share in its experience. But upon arriving in Eä, the Ainur found it was shapeless because they had entered at the beginning of Time. The Ainur undertook great labours in these unnamed "ages of the stars", in which they shaped the universe and filled it with many things far beyond the reach of Men. In time, however, the Ainur formed Arda, the abiding place of the Children of Ilúvatar, Elves and Men. The fifteen most powerful Ainur are called the Valar, of whom Melkor was the most powerful, but Manwë was the leader. The Valar settled in Arda to watch over it and help prepare it for the awakening of the Children.

Arda began as a single flat world, which the Valar gave light to through two immense lamps. Melkor destroyed the lamps and brought darkness to the world. The Valar retreated to the extreme western regions of Arda, where they created the Two Trees to give light to their new homeland. After many ages, the Valar imprisoned Melkor to punish and rehabilitate him, and to protect the awakening Children. But when Melkor was released he poisoned the Two Trees. The Valar took the last two living fruit of the Two Trees and used them to create the Moon and Sun, which remained a part of Arda but were separate from Ambar (the world).

Before the end of the Second Age, when the Men of Númenor rebelled against the Valar, Ilúvatar destroyed Númenor, separated Valinor from the rest of Arda, and formed new lands, making the world round. Only Endor remained of the original world, and Endor had now become Eurasia.

Languages
Elven languages which would later become known to us as Quenya, spoken by the Vanyar, Noldor, and some Teleri, and Sindarin, spoken by the Elves who stayed in Beleriand (see below). These languages were related, and a Common Eldarin form ancestral to them both is postulated.
Other languages of the world include

Adûnaic – spoken by the Númenóreans
Black Speech – devised by Sauron for his slaves to speak
Khuzdûl – spoken by the Dwarves
Rohirric – spoken by the Rohirrim – represented in the Lord of the Rings by Old English
Westron – the 'Common Speech' – represented by English
Valarin – the language of the Ainur.
avatar
HanakoHime
Admin
Admin
Posts : 1200
Join date : 2016-03-16
Age : 27
Location : United States
http://tfos.forumotion.com

The History of Middle Earth

on Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:56 pm
The history of Middle-earth is divided into three time periods, known as the Years of the Lamps, Years of the Trees and Years of the Sun; the latter is typically sub-divided further into four Ages, of which three are relevant to the printed works of the legendarium.
The Years of the Lamps began shortly after the Valar finished their labours in shaping Arda. The Valar created two lamps to illuminate the world, and the Vala Aulë forged great towers, one in the furthest north, Helcar with the lamp Illuin, and another in the deepest south, Ringol with the lamp Ormal. The Valar lived in the middle, at the island of Almaren. Melkor's destruction of the two Lamps marked the end of the Years of the Lamps.

Then Yavanna made the Two Trees named Telperion and Laurelin in the land of Aman. The Trees illuminated Aman, leaving the rest of Arda in darkness, illuminated only by the stars. At the start of the First Age the Elves awoke beside Lake Cuiviénen in the east of Endor, and were soon approached by the Valar. Many of the elves were persuaded to undertake the Great Journey westwards towards Aman, but not all of them completed the journey (see Sundering of the Elves). The Valar had imprisoned Melkor but he appeared to repent and was released on parole. He sowed great discord among the Elves and stirred up rivalry between the Elven princes Fëanor and Fingolfin. He then slew their father, king Finwë and stole the Silmarils, three gems crafted by Fëanor that contained light of the Two Trees, from his vault, and destroyed the Trees themselves.
Fëanor persuaded most of his people, the Noldor, to leave Aman in pursuit of Melkor to Beleriand, cursing him with the name Morgoth. Fëanor led the first of two groups of Noldor. The larger group was led by Fingolfin. The Noldor stopped at the Teleri's port-city, Alqualondë, but the Teleri refused to give them ships to get to Middle-earth. The first Kinslaying thus ensued; Fëanor and many of his followers attacked the Teleri and stole their ships. Fëanor's host sailed on the stolen ships, leaving Fingolfin's behind to cross over to Middle-earth through the deadly Helcaraxë (or Grinding Ice) in the far north. Subsequently Fëanor was slain, but most of his sons survived and founded realms, as did Fingolfin and his heirs.

The Years of the Sun began when the Valar made the Sun and it rose over the world, Imbar. After several great battles, a Long Peace ensued for four hundred years, during which time the first Men entered Beleriand by crossing over the Blue Mountains. When Morgoth broke the siege of Angband, one by one the Elven kingdoms fell, even the hidden city of Gondolin. The only measurable success achieved by Elves and Men came when Beren of the Edain and Luthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian, retrieved a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. Afterward, Beren and Luthien died, and were restored to life by the Valar with the understanding that Luthien was to become mortal and Beren should never be seen by Men again.

Thingol quarrelled with the Dwarves of Nogrod and they slew him, stealing the Silmaril. With the help of Ents, Beren waylaid the Dwarves and recovered the Silmaril, which he gave to Luthien. Soon afterwards, both Beren and Luthien died again. The Silmaril was given to their son Dior Half-Elven, who had restored the Kingdom of Doriath. The sons of Fëanor demanded that Dior surrender the Silmaril to them, and he refused. The Fëanorians destroyed Doriath and killed Dior in the second Kinslaying, but Dior's young daughter Elwing escaped with the jewel. Three sons of Fëanor – Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir – died trying to retake the jewel.

By the end of the age, all that remained of the free Elves and Men in Beleriand was a settlement at the mouth of the River Sirion. Among them was Eärendil, who married Elwing. But the Fëanorians again demanded the Silmaril be returned to them, and after their demand was rejected they resolved to take the jewel by force, leading to the third Kinslaying. Eärendil and Elwing took the Silmaril across the Great Sea, to beg the Valar for pardon and aid. The Valar responded. Melkor was captured, most of his works were destroyed, and he was banished beyond the confines of the world into the Door of Night.

The Silmarils were recovered at a terrible cost, as Beleriand itself was broken and began to sink under the sea. Feanor's last remaining sons, Maedhros and Maglor, were ordered to return to Valinor. They proceeded to steal the Silmarils from the victorious Valar. But, as with Melkor, the Silmarils burned their hands and they then realized they were not meant to possess them and that the oath was null. Each of the brothers met his fate: Maedhros threw himself with the Silmaril into a chasm of fire, and Maglor threw his Silmaril into the sea. Thus the three Silmarils ended in the sky with Eärendil, in the earth, and in the sea respectively.

Thus began the Second Age. The Edain were given the island of Númenor toward the west of the Great Sea as their home, while many elves were welcomed into the West. The Númenóreans became great seafarers, but also became increasingly jealous of the elves for their immortality. But after a few centuries, Sauron, Morgoth's chief servant, began to organize evil creatures in the eastern lands. He persuaded Elven smiths in Eregion to create Rings of Power, and secretly forged the One Ring to control the other rings. But the elves became aware of Sauron's plan as soon as he put the One Ring on his hand, and they removed their own Rings before he could master their wills.

The last Númenórean king Ar-Pharazôn, by the strength of his army, humbled even Sauron and brought him to Númenor as a hostage. But with the help of the One Ring, Sauron deceived Ar-Pharazôn and convinced the king to invade Aman, promising immortality for all those who set foot on the Undying Lands. Amandil, chief of those still faithful to the Valar, tried to sail west to seek their aid. His son Elendil and grandsons Isildur and Anárion prepared to flee east to Middle-earth. When the King's forces landed on Aman, the Valar called for Ilúvatar to intervene. The world was changed, and Aman was removed from Imbar. From that time onward, Men could no longer find Aman, but Elves seeking passage in specially hallowed ships received the grace of using the Straight Road, which led from Middle-earth's seas to the seas of Aman. Númenor was utterly destroyed, and with it the fair body of Sauron, but his spirit endured and fled back to Middle-earth. Elendil and his sons escaped to Endor and founded the realms of Gondor and Arnor. Sauron soon rose again, but the elves allied with the men to form the Last Alliance and defeated him. His One Ring was taken from him by Isildur, but not destroyed.

The Third Age saw the rise in power of the realms of Arnor and Gondor, and their decline. By the time of The Lord of the Rings, Sauron had recovered much of his former strength, and was seeking the One Ring. He discovered that it was in the possession of a Hobbit and sent out the nine Ringwraiths to retrieve it. The Ring-bearer, Frodo Baggins, travelled to Rivendell, where it was decided that the Ring had to be destroyed in the only way possible: casting it into the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo set out on the quest with eight companions—the Fellowship of the Ring. At the last moment he failed, but with the intervention of the creature Gollum—who was saved by the pity of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins—the Ring was nevertheless destroyed. Frodo with his companion Sam Gamgee were hailed as heroes. Sauron was destroyed forever and his spirit dissipated.

The end of the Third Age marked the end of the dominion of the elves and the beginning of the dominion of men. As the Fourth Age began, many of the elves who had lingered in Middle-earth left for Valinor, never to return; those who remained behind would "fade" and diminish. The dwarves eventually dwindled away as well. The dwarves eventually returned in large numbers and resettled Moria. Peace was restored between Gondor and the lands to the south and east. Eventually, the tales of the earlier Ages became legends, the truth behind them forgotten.
View previous topicBack to topView next topic
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum