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Sept. 28, 2022

Everything You Need To Know About The Silmarillion But Were Too Afraid To Ask (Part 2)

Everything You Need To Know About The Silmarillion But Were Too Afraid To Ask (Part 2)

Best place to go into exile

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In Part Two, Julia Golding and Jacob Rennaker tackle the Second and Third Age, linking it to The Lord of the Rings and The Rings of Power. Jacob also recommends these web resources for readers wanting an even deeper dive.

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So, uh, welcome to part two of our guide to the silver. And Jacob is still with me to talk about what exactly there is in the covers of this book, which you may have on your shelf, but not yet have got all the way through. So the second age is now becoming much more familiar to all of us. Thanks to the Amazon prime series. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what the Ann Cali Beth is about? Cause we've moved completely away from the LS don't we in this it's a real changes, right? Exactly. Yeah. And this and this one really is, is different. And you mentioned this in the, the last episode that it's a kind of a different separate story. So the, the, the Quinta Cillian ends with the end of the, of the first age, really? Right. So the sills are, are, are, are gone or no longer part of it. And it's not the children of fan or kind of driving things. Now you have, uh, men, which aren't just exclusively male, right? So that's the catchall term for humanity. Um, and they become much larger players here. Uh, and the, so this is section this, uh, a CBE, uh, is a, literally, it means the down the downfall. Um, and it's the downfall, the subtitle that, that Julia shared earlier was, uh, the right it's the fall of, of new Manor, right. Um, so it's the downfall in, and it's the, this world this well, this, this land, right? So at the end of the first age, um, there were part of the factions of men were kind of helpers of the elves in their war against Malco, renamed, Mor goth. Um, and they were as kind of a reward. They were given a land of their own, uh, this island, uh, called new Manor. Right. And, uh, it's, it has ties, you know, you see resonances with, uh, Atlantis, um, myths, uh, and actually, you know, the, one of the words for Newum Manor, uh, is related to Atlantis in inhi, but again, different etymology that, that kind of brings in there. Um, so that's, this, it's a gift it's put kind of partway between the shores of middle earth and valor, the lands of the, the Valar, the, the gods. Um, so it's kind of this halfway place. They can, you know, just see how great it is, but they're still tied there. Um, that, because the part of the, this is something that you'll, you'll read, uh, with the I Linda Le Val LaQuinta and when the men are coming onto the scene is that the fate of men are different from the fate of elves. So Theves can live in, you know, this state of like bliss in the presence of the gods until the end of the world. But humans have a different fate. They are not meant to live for ages and ages in happiness. They have a different fate and, and they're kind of a people, a part they're referred to by the ELs kind of as the, the strangers, uh, that, that they've, that, that nobody, even, even the, the Valar don't know exactly what happens to men after they die. They know what happens to elves. They're all tied up with in the same world, but, but men are these kind of strangers on the scene that only the hi God Iluvatar knows what they're all about and what will happen to them afterwards, but they have a, an enormous impact here on the world. Um, and so the CBE is essentially this, following this, this land, this new manure, this kind of Atlantis like land and this kind of rise and then fall, uh, of these people. Um, and of course, and this is the period that the Amazon, uh, rings of power is, is really set in. And you see that, that's what we're gonna be following here is the kind of the, the grandeur of the kingdom of, of men here in new Manor and then how that all goes wrong. Yeah. So, um, I mentioned in my podcast before that the, the, uh, series came out that they're bringing two key events into parallel. So the making of the rings happens in around 1600, which is the equivalent of tu times, uh, in the second age. And the downfall of Lumino is in 3,700 and something, you know, so it's like star Trek, uh, period way into the future from us. Um, but in order to make the sense of a story and have connecting characters, they're bringing them, uh, in parallel. Um, so what they won't have time to do is show the, the succession of Kings of Newman, an occasional queen. Um, and in fact, it is told in quite a summary form in the Somalian as well. There's much more detail. I think in, um, particularly in the unfinished tales, there's, there's much more about Luminor. Um, but it does spend a fair bit of time at the last king. Who's this person called R Faron who is not good news. Um, who's, who's a bit like a sort of, uh, he reminds me a bit like, um, the Pharaoh figure. I mean, his name suggests that to a certainly extent, he's sort of got his pretensions and he wishes to, um, he's, he's the one who falls because Sarah is there as a sort of glamorous tempter and tells him, oh, you can go into the west. You know, why do you, you don't have to stay. And so he he's like biting the tree or the fruit of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. He, he sets sail. And of course that means that there's a kind of slap back, doesn't seem quite the right word. There's a punishment that, that unleashes, and that is why Lumino, um, sinks, belief, the waves. Um, you may remember just to kind of be really geeky about this, that in films, air wind talks about a dream of a TIAL wave coming over the land that is linking to Lumino, um, that image of the, the island that sinks, but outta the wreck comes the ones who remain true and are friends, the ELs. And I'm sure this is gonna feature largely in the, uh, Amazon series. This is Len and his son's, uh ISDU and what's the other one, uh, of M I'll come back to him anyway, ISDU and Len are the two key guys. Um, and they, uh, they set up kingdoms the north and south kingdoms in middle earth, which leads us into the third age. So that in, in brief is what happens to Luminor. So the Anne CBE tells that story. And then the final section of the so Meridian is called, um, of the rings of power and the third age. So this actually involves quite a lot of second age material, the rings of power stuff, as well as how it connects to the third age. So if you are wanting just to understand the material behind Lord of the rings and, uh, the Amazon series, then this is probably a primer for you. If you've read the, uh, appendices of return of the king, this is the next place to go, because you've got the story, which they're not entirely sticking to, but of how the rings of power are forged. Do you wanna say something about the second age and the rings of power and what happens there? Um, yeah, I mean, it's, again, like you said, it's in the, in the appendices Lord of the rings and, you know, they kind of the prologue to the fellowship of the ring film, where you get kind of right, again, like that showing what's happening there. Um, but yeah, you, you see some of these, right. The rings, how they function, um, who gets them, uh, what they do and it's tied and all this chronologically, it's tied to the Acabe where Soran, where we really get him and his involvement. So you see how this actually, you might think, you know, why, why would people willingly choose these rings to this clearly terrible10 foot tall spiky helmeted person. Yeah. But what you find out earlier is that that's, that's not how he looked at the time, right? During new Manor, Soran actually was one of the most beautifulcame across. He appeared as somebody who was really beautiful was really charismatic, uh, and ended up winning people over sweet talking people, getting in with politicians slowly, actually kind of corrupting their kind of sense of worship religious worship from Iluvatar who the humans were worshiping. And the only time you actually get, get mention of an actual reli religion in Lord of the rings, um, explicitly is in the AKA Beth where humans have, you know, kind of a, a, a holy place where they bring the first fruits of the harvest up to kind of offer to AAR. So he, so anyway, so Soran is kind of corrupting changing that from worshiping Lu guitar to Mor goth, which was so's, you know, uh, commander, essentially, he was, he was more goths, you know, Lieutenant left tenant, depending on which side of the ponder. Um, but they, so he is really strategic. And so you show him kind of distributing these, uh, the rings, uh, around. So you get, you get a better idea of how this would've happened, and these weren't just, you know, idiotic, uh, dwarfs or humans. It gives you, I think it, it helps to nuance it a bit and you see exactly how it fits in. So that's something that, again, I think enrich your reading of Lord of the rings to understand what's what's at stake there. The way it's arranged actually is a bit confusing for the timeline, because in the rings of power part, um, Sarah is doing his tutor meddling. If I'm allowed to use a kind of, to imagine timeline, um, and it's described how he is not trusted by goad Gil Gallad or Elron, but K BOR, who is the grandson of our favorite funeral. So he is right. He's got a troubled background. Um, he, and he respects this, uh, Sarah who's under another name for his craftsmanship, cuz he shows kinda Brior how to create rings that capture a sort of essence or power and is described how, and again, this echoes what you get in the prologue to Lord the rings, the film, um, how that when he puts, so he forges the one ring in Mount doom, hoping to sort of do what his master was trying to do that is enmesh everybody in his web. But when he puts on the ring, um, the elves who have their three rings, which they made or Keller BBO made, can understand his desires. And so they hide their rings, which leaves the dwarf rings and the rings for men out there, um, sort of vulnerable. And the seven Wolf rings are the foundation of the seven Wolff hoards like the riches, but they all end horribly eaten by dragons or whatever. It's not good. Um, and their fate is, is kind of slightly, you know, they're not sure what happens to some of them. And then of course the rings, the rings for the men, um, end up with the, um, the black riders. So really not a good trajectory there either. So that comes out of that period there and he's working out that fate. Um, and there's a battle that happens in the rings of power section where, um, afraid the odd, the odds, aren't good for the outcome for Kell BOR, but there is a sort of pushy pushback of SA and then he then takes on the new IANS. And so that bit comes after then, then it weaves back into that section. So in fact this is why it's not quite, it doesn't help you the way it's arranged, um, because you then get the end of the second age, which again, takes us right back to the beginning of Peter Jackson, Floyd, the rings film to tell us about that battle. Who's there, who is the last Alliance. Um, so basically that's where all the story threads enmesh is at that point. So Jacob, you, you can tell us embrace. That's good. I think that's, that's fantastic. And this is another one that I think a good entry point if somebody's daunted by the Simian as a whole to take on, because this is essentially, this is an essay really summarizing it. So it's not really part of the Quin. It's not part of the Quinta Simian, um, proper. And so it's like the AKA Beth, which was kind of a separate story. And this one is essentially an essay that was kind of included at the end. So this one, it, it is, I think it's a fine place to start because you'll be familiar with, with, with kind of what happens there and it's done. So in this kind of higher register of language, you know, it's kind of more epic and tone. So if you finish Lord of the rings, you could even, I think, easily pick up this essay. It's, Notter, it's not terribly long. Um, and just kind of read to get a sense for you could still follow along with what's happening because you have some background information, uh, it could be a way to kind of ease yourself into the way that, uh, Toki is telling these stories Yeah. In the similar area. So the last battle, um, of the last Alliance I should say is where the LS led by Gil Gallard team up with, um, Alen deal and ISDU and others, El Ron's there. Um, and they take on Sarah and defeat him. Uh, this moment comes when ISEL do cuts the ring. Everybody knows where I'm going. Now cuts the ring from the Hara sound, which enables he has foolishly rested, invested so much power in this ring, cuz he was using it as a way of controlling others. And it ends up being the thing that defeats him and he is defeated for a time. And then the story continues in this essay and you get really a summary of the events that run up in advance of, uh, the Lord of the rings and also a summary of Lord of the rings, but seeing, not from the point of view of the ho, but as if a historian was telling it. So it's quite interesting to see it retold, um, at that level. So for example, you get the, uh, the discussions of the council like Gand and his and Sarah man, and Elron you get to see those discussions, um, and you get the it's all very summary. It's like a page. Um, so in fact, you know, the, the end, the return of the king, the end is like this then SA failed and he was utterly vanquished and passed away like a shadow of malice and the towers of Barrao Crum board in ruin and at the rumor of their fall, many lands trembled, thus peace came again and a new spring opened on earth. So it's extremely summary. Um, So right. And even before that, it talks about right. Mentioned. I dunno if you have it they're right with you or it talks about, uh, how it describes F conquering. I think it's just the sentence or two just right before that. Oh yeah. Then it just goes for photo. The halfling, it is said at the bidding of MI Rania took on himself, the burden and alone with his servant. He passed through peril and darkness and came at last in sirens despite even to Mount doom and there into the fire where it was wr, he cast the great ring of power. And so at last it was unmade and it's evil consumed. There you are. That's the clot of Lord, the Ring. That's what rings. You got it. Yeah. It now why read however many hundreds and above pages then when you can just have in a couple sentences there, right? Yeah. But it says, right. So you see, like, I think it is important. You pointed out the perspective, right? So the, the, the Cillian, so this is framed as, um, stories that from El. So this is kind of the epic history of the El from the Elvis perspective. And it's comes translated presumably by Billbo right. When he hands those, you know, volumes, Toro that he's been working on in RDE translating of those from the tales of the ELs, this is kind of presumably what bill Bo's been working on translate and kind of compiling. This is kind of the meta overarching, you know, kind of like narrative story here. And so this is everything is from Elvis point of view with their biases, with what they're paying attention to. And so, you know, they don't mention Sam, right.Soph is not called Gand, he's called myth Rania, which is their name Rania. Exactly. So you names, it'll tell you whose point of view it is. Yeah. Right. And I think that's helpful for understanding thes really as a, as a whole is that this is kind of, whereas Lord of the rings and the ho are kind of told from a hoish point of view, this one is the, the submarine is told from an Elvis point of view. So it's in a different register with different scales of time, scopes of time. So that might be helpful for orienting first time readers. Yeah. So we've reached the end of the text now except for a couple of family trees, but, you know, that's it really? So just to recap, um, you start with the creation story, um, which you've pronounced so beautifully. I'll get you to do that again, music of the Eight Dyna inlay, Thank you. It was worth bringing you onto the podcast just for thatthen you've got the first stage material, which is the silmaril. Uh, and then you've got the, um, the second age material about the down full of Luminor, the Ann CBE. And then you've got the second and third age essay, which is of the rings of power and the third age. Um, you can read all of those separately, um, but we've been sort of signpost you to which ones you might want to start with. So question for you, um, Jacob, which is why is it so difficult to read, do you think? Yeah, I, I think it's the expectations that people have set by Lord of the rings. Right. And how it's, you know, the language, the dialogue, right. So it's, it's, it's closer to kind of what you're used to in contemporary novels. Um, whereas, and, and, and I think it's a helpful parallel for those, uh, familiar with the Christian Bible with the whole Testament and new Testament. Right. So, right. So people, if you're used to the gospel specifically with the stories of Jesus, they're more fast paced, you have, uh, you know, extended episodes sometimes of like interactions, people talking to each other, um, it's focused on relationships and sometimes there's casual references to stories of people from the past or quotes small quotes from stories from the past. Um, that's what Lord of the rings is. And so if somebody, if all you have is those, those kind of fast moving stories, uh, of, of Jesus and the gospels. And you start at the old Testament with the creation of the world and then a series of genealogies and then this, you know, histories of, of Kings and judges and, and this and this, and then the stories that get repeated again. And then, so like that that's jarring. That's why a lot of Christians don't make it through reading the old Testament. They just stick to the new Testament. But in reading through that background material, everything that's happening there in the gospels, uh, is built upon the foundation, these stories, these threads, these themes that are happening to this people for the past, you know, couple, few thousand years before. So there's very similar parallels in how, you know, the, the old Testament, new Testament are functioning to say the SI Morian, uh, how that is framed and then the Lord of the ring. So I think that's for, for, for, for a lot of people that I've spoken with, they stop because I think they're expecting more of Lord of the rings in tone and pacing, and they're not getting that. Um, and so it can be frustrating, which is completely understandable, which completely understandable. So I'm now gonna allow you one pick. So these, so listeners are gonna give us one chance to get us, you know, into it.if you're coming it from the Lord of the rings, um, which is the bit that you think would be most interesting for a Lord of the rings fan to actually have a go at. Yeah, I think so. I think it depends. I have one I'm getting through. It's gonna be Just one. I know. Well, this is what I was gonna say. So I think, I think my answer is it, it would depend on what you like most about Lord of the rings. So if you have, like, if you like romance and adventure, like the adventure part of Lord of the rings, if that's what captured you most then Barry Barron and Lithian story. I think that one would probably most give you the, you know, the, the same kind of feel of adventure quest, you know, um, unimaginable odds, uh, you know, failure, unexpected successes, I think Baron and Lithian for people who, for, for whom the adventure pull from Lord of the rings was there. But if you like the right, what happens if you like Elish songs and Elish prayers, if that, if like the elf culture is what, what really like fascinates you most, then, you know, then reading say the Elay and the Quinta, those shorter sections at the beginning that I think will, will feed you in the way that you need to be fed that you liked from Lord of the rings. If you wa if you wish that there was more elves in Lord of the rings and you just kind of wanna sit there and listen to their songs andand culture, then I think, yeah, I think the anal and would do that. But again, if you just like, if you like the dynamics between men and elves, uh, and, and their dynamic and like the struggle between those people, then I think yeah. Of men figuring out where they came from the section, uh, of men and the Abe would be great to Start. Yeah. You're breaking the rules cause you basically have said, so I gave Everything. I think if I had to boil it down, I think, I think most, I think most people love like the rich world of Lord of the rings, the adventure, as well as the sense of like mythology that likes it. And so I would Lithian would be Andre. It, um, is the voyage of air end deal. Cause I think that has some really brilliant. Yeah. I mean, you you'll find out how awful El Ron's childhood was. He gets basically kidnapped. Um, there's a whole kind of I've, I've forgotten about that. He and his brother. So for me, that was, um, and there's also a real sense of bravery and sacrifice, which foreshadows, what Fredo does in what air end does. So that's my, that's my recommendation. Okay. So the, the other sort of poser here just as we draw things to a close is, um, if you want to understand the Amazon series, where would you go the rings of power? I think that's fairly obvious, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. And if you want, and then, then I would just, if, and if you're ambitious, uh, then the, a Beth kind of gives you the immediate background there. Cause I think there're gonna be, I think there's gonna be significant overlap there. Yeah. Cause there was with the what's happening in the appendices and there, so yeah. So again, that, that essay of the rings of power and the third age, that's an easy place to go to. And if you, if yeah, again, if you're feeling ambitious and you want just like a little bit more, just go to the previous chapterthat should give you more than enough information to fill in the gaps. And uh, yeah. So, um, thank you. That's been hopefully helpful to the people, um, who are picking up the so and thinking what an earth is going on or what in ADA is going on. Um, I think it's something I definitely have learned to appreciate the more, you know, about something, the more you appreciate the texture and the depth. And so it may take people a while, but you get there and, um, um, let us know what you are. Yeah. And I think I, if, if it's okay, I'd like to, so some something that helped me and some of my rereads through and getting through it for the first time, because again, it is. And as much I haven't found it, helpful people to say like, well, just be patient and read through it or read through it five times and then you'll understand it. Like that's not really hopeful. Like I'm not getting it the first time I can see that's that's really discouraging. So I mentioned, um, last episode that like the biggest thing I think that that was helpful for me is that I wasn't alone. Um, there are other people who have read this material who have talked about it. So the two resources that I've found a few resources, if you just wanna go in on your own and read it. Um, something that I think is helpful is to listen along as you're reading to the audio book by Martin Shaw. Oh, oh, it's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Yeah. So that, I think that's helpful cuz like if you were just cuz sometimes, you know, you're just sitting there and reading words, like, you know, there's some people that if they're, they're reading a phone book and it's captivating, like Martin Shaw can do that. Right. So his, his voice and he's helping and he's pronouncing it and his pronunciation sometimes doesn't align well with token's pronunciation, but he's, you're hearing the words. So I think that can be helpful for people who, who feel that they're struggling, just listening to that while you're reading it, I think can be a way to like make it more engaged. That's one, one thing, if you just wanna do it solo, if you really do want to help somebody kind of have, have somebody who can guide you through there's two, I think for like very, very beginning, um, uh, Dr. Corey Olson who's, you know, nicknamed the, the, the Toki professor, um, he has a, he podcast, he did a survey course, uh, at, uh, his university on, uh, Toki on Tokis writings and has nine different class periods, uh, that are under an hour each on the SI Morian. And so this is for an undergraduate audience, so it's very, and he says, you know, says like, here's, here's what you're gonna be reading. And so you can read those sections and then listen to the class discussion to get some of the high level talking about some of those, um, topics, uh, through that. So night nine episodes. So that's, you know, less, less than nine hours that you can stop. That was helpful for me was stopping after I'd read a section and then reading something about it kind of refamiliarizing myself, recontextualizing myself with somebody else to kind of help refresh it and make sure that I understood what was happening, cuz it's a lot of information it's and it can, it can be overwhelming for first time readers for those first time reader who are more ambitious, um, or we're going through for a second time for some of the audience will be, will be rereading the summer. Really. I highly recommend the Pring ponies, uh, podcast. Um, and they have almost 50 episodes where they're looking, you know, chapter by chapter having hour and a half, uh, kind of conversations where they're bringing in. They, they're not just not only kind of situating it in context of Lord of the rings, but also they're bringing in some additional material from unfinished tales, uh, and from the history of middle earth. So they're really doing some really, really important I think, um, and thorough discussion. So first time readers, I think wet your feet. I think going along with this undergraduate class over nine periods that it's, that that's manageable and would be helpful to just kind of give you encouragement and help you understand keep you, keep you on track to, to finish. But then for those people, either who want more, uh, and for people who are rereading the summer and then the Pring podium, uh, podcast going along through stopping after you read those sections, listen to those. I did that for my second to last read through and found it really, really helpful, um, and entertaining as well. And of course what we're doing here in our Reon is just doing the encouragement of reading with others. Um, cause I think one of the, you don't obviously have to listen to any of these extra materials to, to give your first thoughts on right, the film Meridian. We're not about, um, we're about creativity and what it, what it inspires you to imagine and think. So these are, don't feel that you have to have a PhD in the silver before youto read a chapter. We just wanted to give you access to these resources, which have helped us. Right? So before we finish, um, Jacob, we always have a where in all the fantasy worlds is the best place for something. And I was humming and hiring about themes in so Meridian and I decided one, which I hadn't touched on before is exile because in fact the elves are in exile. Uh, the ones that we meet in middle earth, uh, well, the GLA type elves. And I was thinking where in all the fancy worlds is the best place to be in exile because you get that hunkering from the country you came from, but that may not be quite what you want, um, because you are also in love with the place you have arrived at. So have you got any fantasy worlds where you've thought about the theme of exile? Yeah. Looking and that's and it was, it was a diff difficult question, uh, trying to think of good. Uh, I mean, I don't know if, uh, the, the world of, you know, pre Renaissance, uh, Italy is considered a fantasy location, but right. Dante was famously in exile when he had the space to, to write and create, uh, right. The divine comedy, uh, essentially. So B barring an actual real world location and exile, um, like that, this and this, this, I, I, I recognize how this might sound, but I think, um, I think earth, I think the Marvel cinematic universe earth, uh, is the best place to go into exile, like Thor, right? Thinking of what a good exiled from Asgard. And then he, like you said, like, you know, he's longing for home, but then like learns more about himself, uh, as, as he comes to love the, the world of, of, of humans and, uh, ultimately makes him better and has all sorts of rollicking adventures, uh, with other, with other heroes, uh, at the time. So, and it doesn't seem like you have whole scale, it seems like there'd be a lot more people dying there. Um, but I think because it's owned by Disney, you don't have the wholesale, like carnage and slaughter, that would probably actually happen in our world.if you had these powers. So, because of that, because it's a little bit safer for pedestrians, uh, in, in that, in, in the world, the Marvel cinematic universe. And I think that's, that's where I would choose to go into exile, especially if I was a son of, uh, Yeah, good pick. That's a good pick. I hadn't thought of that one. Um, it's actually the whole theme of, of exile. If you are a creative and thinking about fantasy is a really fascinating one. It's a bit different from a theme we tend to associate with fantasy. And I was thinking it's very common in fairy tales and actually, um, particularly the heroines journey is very often an exile from a home. Um, so picking on a fairy tale character, when, when I've said that you can now think, oh yeah, the little mermaid and beauty and the beast and, uh, Cinderella, and, you know, you see all these people who are being sort of made homeless or not welcoming their own home, that, that form of exile. So of all of those fairytale versions, I think probably the best place to go into exile is to join the walls in their house. Bella's quite jolly and, uh, lots of company. So she has one of the better exiles, um, does, um, snow white. So that's my going into exile anyway. Uh, thank you so much for talking and spending so much time talking about this. And I hope that, um, those are listening will find this helpful. We all put the link to the resources that Jake had mentioned in our show notes and, uh, do join in our Reon. Thank you very much for listening. Goodbye. 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