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A Guide to The Silmarillion Pt. 2

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The Silmarillion’s Beginning, Melkor’s Defeat

Melkor continued to grow in strength and so did the darkness within Arda. The Valar remained in their stronghold within Aman and waited out the darkness with patience. This gave Melkor free reign over most of the lands. He went into the cold north and built a new, grander stronghold called Angband. There he twisted more beings to his cause, and Sauron was made commander of this stronghold.

The Valar knew the Elves would awake and they decided to fill the sky with light to guide them. Varda formed the first stars of Arda. She did so with duel purpose, one to guide the Elves, the other to show Melkor that the Valar were still a threat. The Elves awoke after the creation of the stars on the banks of the Cuivienen.

Melkor was the first to hear of the Elves coming and he began to enslave them. It is said that the Elves he enslaved were twisted and from them the first Orcs were born. Melkor also spread lies to all the lands about the Valar. Orome was the first of the Valar to see the Elves and he noticed they were scared of him; though he gave the news to the other Valar in Valinor; the Valar were excited about the Elves and it was this that pushed them to war with Melkor because they were to be the Elve’s guides. Armed with new purpose, the Valar stormed Melkor’s stronghold in Angband and defeated him; the siege lasted many days and deformed Arda. The Elves of the time said that they could feel the world shake and the fires in the north.

 The Migration:

With the darkness of Melkor subdued the Valar then turned to the Elves. They wished to repair the hurtof Arda and the Elves so they called upon all to join them in Valinor. The Elves, however, were suspect. All they knew was the lies of Melkor and the great battle they heard; fear took them.

Orome invited three Elves as ambassadors for their race – Ingwe, Finwe, and Elwe – to come to Valinor. These three saw Valinor and the light and returned to their home lands with great stories; this convinced many to travel to Valinor, however, many stayed behind as well. The ones who travelled to Valinor were to be called the Eldar, the Calaquendi, the Elves of Light; those who remained were to be called the Moriquendi, the Elves of Darkness. Three groups in the Eldar emerged with Ingwe, Finwe, and Elwe as their Kings. They were the called the Vanyar, Noldar, and Teleri.

The migration to Valinor was long and tedious even though Orome led the way. Orome also had many matters that he had to attend to so he would leave the Elves often to continue his whims. The Elves would not continue on unless Orome showed the way. When they reached the Anduin and the Misty mountains some of the Elvish group got split up and abandoned the trek to Valinor. They became known as the Nandor; the rest of the Elves travelled on into Beleriand.

Birth of the Sindar:

Elwe made it to Beleriand with his people, along with the Noldor and Teleri. They made homes within the forests of that great land. Elwe was friends with Finwe, leader of the Teleri, so he visited him often. One day he traveled the forests on his way to meet Finwe and found a Maiar by the name of Melian. Melian was one of the Ainur who had one of the most beautiful voices among them; he found her singing and became dazed by her powerful voice.

The spell was so strong he never left her side. Melian and Elwe became the king and queen of Doriath, and the Elves of that forest became the Sindar – the Grey Elves. Elwe never made it to Valinor, but he did see the light of the trees which begot a new name for him – Elu Thingol, by his people. Olwe took kingship over the Teleri.

The Elves that kept to the road finally came upon Belegar, the Great Sea. They were the Noldor and the Vanyar and Ulmo taught them the love of the sea, and helped them make their way across. Most of the Teleri stayed in the forests searching for their lost king with no avail, but some ventured after the Noldor and Eldar to the sea; they befriended Osse and Uinen, lovers of the sea, and, by association, they too fell for the sea.

When Ulmo returned to the Teleri he helped them gain passage to Valinor. The Elves who had stayed to search for Elwe were left behind and they became known as the Eglath – The Forsaken People – and were assimilated into the lands of Elwe when he awoke. Osse followed the path of the Teleri to an island and he asked Ulmo to keep them from continuing because he believed the Elves should remain in Middle Earth. He did this for the benefit of the Teleri who had a love for the sea and Ulmo accepted the request. He re anchored the island close to the shores of Valinor and became know as Tol Eressea or the Lonely Isle.

With the coming of the Elves the Valar began to make Beleriand more accessible. They created a gap within the large mountains they created called Calacirya – the Pass of Light – this light of the two trees of Valinor was able to shine upon the Lonely Isle and reached the shores of Aman. They then created a hill called Tuna and the Noldor and Vanyar built the city Tirion upon it. They lived there together in peace.

The Valar began to feel strongly for specific groups. Manwe and Varda grew to love the Vanyar, the Eldar, the most; while Aule was found of the Noldor due to their love of crafts and gem work. It was the Noldor who found the first gems of Arda and began to spread the riches to all of Valinor.

Many years went by until the Teleri wished to see the light that came from Valinor and asked Osse for help. He disliked the idea but gave them the knowledge to build ships and swans to help move them across. The ships they created were made in the likeness of the swans that carried them, and when they arrived they scattered the shore with fine gems, and it was them who found the first pearls of Arda. The Vanyar yearned to be closer to the light as well so they migrated closer to Valinor. And so it was, each group of the Eldar made it to Valinor. There was Finwe, king of the Noldor in Tirion; there was Olwe, king of the Teleri in the city on the shore or Alqualonde; and last there was Ingwe, king of all the Eldar.

Originally published April 16, 2015.

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