New Episodes Weekly!
Sept. 21, 2022

Everything You Need To Know About The Silmarillion But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Everything You Need To Know About The Silmarillion But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Best place to go into exile

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Amazon Music podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
JioSaavn podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge

This autumn/fall we are going to tackle The Silmarillion in our next readathon (visit for info!). Many readers who come to it from The Lord of the Rings find it a daunting book to get through. Julia Golding and Jacob Rennaker take you through what you can find in The Silmarillion, signposting those parts which link to the stories you might be following, such as LotR and The Rings of Power. They suggest which parts might appeal most to a first-time reader and give tips on how to read it. In part one they discuss creation and the First Age.

Visit for great gift items, event information, and sign up for our newsletter for super surprises!

Hello, and welcome to myth makers. Myth makers is the podcast for fantasy fans and fantasy creatives brought to you by the Oxford center for fantasy. My name is Julia Golding. I'm an author, but also director of the center. And I'm joined today by a friend of, uh, our endeavors here, Jacob Renker. Uh, so Jacob, tell us where you are speaking to us from I'm coming to you now from Seattle, uh, Seattle Washington, uh, in the United States. And, uh, just moved here, relocated from Los Angeles area. So change the change of scenery it's from what I can tell, uh, so far it's a little bit closer to, uh, to Tokis, uh, environ than, uh, kind of the more desert, like at times, uh, and quite congested Los Angeles area. So you basically moved from hared and you're now somewhere a bit more like Bree or the Shireright. Or even a bit further north. Um, so Jacob, you've also shifted role a bit. You were telling me that you are now working in, um, fantasy in a different way. Yes, yes. Yes. So, um, from, you know, an academic kind of examination of, of fantasy, uh, still continuing that on the side, but now in my primary, uh, role is, uh, helping to develop, uh, and produce fantasy, uh, games, board games, uh, et cetera. So That's very exciting, fantastic job. Um, both of us are keen to fans and readers, uh, a little bit of expertise and the subject of today's podcast is the Sian. Now there's a number of reasons for that. The most important of which is that we're about to start a reader on where we invite all of you out there who, um, have read it before and want to talk about it with others, or would like to try it for a first time to take on a chapter and share your thoughts on that chapter with everybody who's following the journey. We did a successful reader on the Lord of the rings in the spring, put this out to public vote. I think the choices were the Hoit, the Sian or one of the Narnia books and the silver Meridian picked the Hobbit at the post. And I'm actually very proud of the choice, cuz it means we are really kind of gonna tackle the hardest stuff. So if you have thought of reading the Cillian or tried it and failed, hopefully, um, the conversation that Jacob and I will be having will ease you into reading it again. So first of all, here's an easy ball, Jacob, what is Theil, you know, what's it all about if you just put the rings, what happens when you pick up Theil There's yeah, it depends. If you, if you've just finished Lord of the ring, you pick up the silver early and expecting it to be a lot more of the same. It's it's really, it's, it's, it's quite different. Um, there's, there's similarities. There's a lot of intersection there. Um, but I guess, yeah, the place to probably start in before you cracking open the sun, if you haven't before, um, one of the most important things to understand is kinda contextually what, what the Cillian is, and that is a series of stories. Um, not a series of stories, it's a collection really, of stories, uh, that kind of flesh out tos secondary world. Um, but you might hear referred to as the legendary or, you know, middle earth sometimes is, uh, but that's technically, doesn't quite cover everything that's in the silver, um, cause there's a lot more, uh, outside of that, but essentially if, if you, if you're just coming from Lord of the rings, this is essentially you all the, the stories, uh, from which the Lord of the rings emerged. Um, and they weren't created in kind of a chronological systematic way. This was really kind of an organic kind of springing forth of ideas that Toki had started in the, you know, starting in about the 1910s or so where he started kind of putting these down to, you know, pen to paper until his death in 1973. He's continuing to kind of, I, I, I, I like to think of the silver, his, his work that becomes kind of codified, uh, in the Cillian as kind of a garden, right, where he has all these different ideas and he's pruning and he's going back and sometimes he's pulling them out and putting in something new, that's kind of close to it, but it's just kinda ever evolving. He was never completely finished with it. He was tinkering up till the very end. Um, and so you have all of these different stories. Some of them are well developed. Um, other others are just kind of simple sketches. Um, some are kind of philosophical essays on different ideas within there. Um, but, uh, what, what happened was how we have the book, uh, as it is right now is, um, it, it was something that Toki tried publishing earlier before Lord of the rings, right? So this is things that he was working on, um, after he pub, after the Hoit was published and, you know, to, to, uh, great, um, enthusiasm from the audience, uh, his publisher asked for for more. And so he had all of these stories that he'd been tending to, uh, that were kind of these, these background stories of, uh, uh, right of his legendary, this, this world that he's created secondary world. And he handed the publishers a few chapters, uh, of this. And they said, Nope, like that's, this is not the Hobbit more Hobbit. And so what he ended up doing was kind of striking what I feel is kind of a middle ground between this kind of like larger, more epic history of an entire, of, of an entire world universe, uh, in essence. And, uh, and the, the adventure fast paced story, um, with a lot of dialogue in the Hobbit and that's where Lord of the rings, uh, kind of grows, grows out of there. Um, but so Lord, the ring gets published and then, you know, people are clamoring for more Toki, Toki passes away. And so his son, Christopher is left with, you know, the publisher saying like, Hey, we know that he was working on things, get us some more of that. We want more, everyone wants more. And so Christopher has to file through all of these different stories in different stages of completion, put 'em together, create some sort of, kind of coherent narrative, uh, arc from them, uh, and flesh them out really. And so he does so, um, pouring through the materials himself, he has help from, uh, fantasy author guy, Gabrielle K, um, who helps kind of create some kind of connective narrative threads between these stories that weren't, that Toki hadn't, you know, sat down and kind of put everything out in one in one go. Um, and so it, it ends up and, and apparently Christopher was under a lot of pressure, uh, to get this done quickly. So he puts it together, gets it good enough and then ships it off. And that's what you have in your hands is this kind of Postmus collection of larger stories in varying degrees of completion that talking had about this, you know, this, this world, uh, that he, that he created. Yes. And it, as people are probably aware, there are other follow on papers that Christopher talking edited. Um, I think I it's fair to say that the silver Meridian feels more polished and more complete than some of them. So, um, it's, you know, you would be getting a satisfying read if you read the film Bian. It's not, uh, it's not quite as unfinished as the unfinished jails, for example, um, as the, as the name suggests. So that's the sort of the history of how it came to be written. It was definitely really what to loved. I think this is what thing to understand is it's the fertile material, as you said, it's the soil out of which his garden grew. So, um, here, I've got actually, it's the first edition of the silver Meridian, um, and looking at the app, uh, the table of contents here, you see that it's basically in, um, well it's in four bits, really forgive me for my pronunciation, but the first one is the Aon Lin, which is a sort of creation setting up story, the Valla Quinter, which, um, is the story of the Valla who are the sort of gods and goddesses of this world. And that goes into the Quinter SI Meridian, which is like the, what gives the book, its name. So that's all takes part in the first age of tol King's world. It's the one which we probably spend most time talking about. I think today, then I'd say the last half, well, last third is split into two bits. Um, the next thing is called the Abe. Don't get scared off by these titles. Basically, that's the subtitle of that is the downfall of Newman that takes place in the second age. And we'll spend some time talking about that because this is rings of power territory. And then the last section is called hopefully of the rings of power and the third age. And that is partly in the second age and obviously partly in the third age. So that's the table of content, but do you want to sketch out in a little bit more detail? Um, let's start with the, the form of creation that we read about what's going on there. Um, we all know the biblical versions of creation. What is talking's, um, sort of myth of creation that he uses. Yeah. And this is fascinating. So my, what really hooked me was this beginning was the very beginning part because of my, uh, you know, academic, uh, area of expertise in kind of world historical mythologies, um, you know, belief, traditions, uh, you know, stories, tales that connect with God'smonsters, et cetera. Uh, so the, yeah, so the first section this, uh, I Lindale, uh, lit literally means you Are that, that's how you say I Lindale. Thank you. Ilin uh, so literally means the music of the iner. Uh, so whereas you have, for those, uh, readers familiar with the Hebrew Bible or Christian old Testament, um, Genesis, uh, first chapter, you have kind of God speaking, uh, kind of commanding the world into, into existence in different stages, um, and, uh, you know, different worlds, you know, different world, uh, areas, cultures have different myths, you know, Cosmo go myths, which means like the creation of the cosmos or the ordered world around us. Um, so Toki is the, the name of this, you know, inlay, the music of the ironer, his kind of overriding metaphor for creation is music is song, right? So you have fewer characters. You have, um, uh, Iluvatar who is the, this kind of primary, large DET. This that's kind of could be equated with the kind of day of Christian God, um, in some, in some ways, but again, making equivalence is something that wanna get to when we get to the Val, LaQuinta talking about a little bit and, and Tokis Pantheon, but it's, it's this kind of the, the primary main, all powerful all-knowing, um, D T that's behind it and this, uh, Iluvatar and again, like Julia said, the names don't let the names throw you off. So that's one of the things that might trip readers up is running into these names that are so foreign, and you're not used to seeing in Lord of the rings or Hobbit or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Um, so these worlds, you, the more that you hear them, it's good to, you know, reference charts., there's plenty online that people have kind of helpfully put together lists of God's lists of genealogies relationships between these different characters. So, absolutely don't feel there's one thing that I would like to get to, to new readers is you, you're not alone in reading this. There's a number of people who are also reading this and people who provided helps and different things. So toward the end of our conversation, I think we'll go through some of the resources that would be helpful, but this is just, you know, kind of try to put your appetite, give you a kind of 30,000 foot view of what we're looking at. So, so again, I, I know Linda all powerful God, um, then commands, you know, brings forth these kind of minor dets, uh, beings of, of power, uh, who are themselves. He brings it, this, this all powerful God brings into create with him and they do so through song. Um, and each of them sings something, he, the, this Iluvatar this God kind of, he, he proposes a theme, uh, a musical theme and the different individual, uh, uh, you know, powerful beings that he created kind of each riff on that in their own way. It's kind of jazz, jazz, jazz. Yeah. Right, right, right. Well, it's by jazz. It's really is. Yeah. And so, and, and that's, that's what happens and they, and they're kind of working together, figuring out how to work together and play off of one another. And then, uh, one, one of these, uh, beings of power, uh, kind of wants a solo all the time. And so just kind of goes louder and louder and kind of throws off the others, um, and kind of throws everything into chaos. And then the, I, Linda a is a story of, you know, how the group and this God deal with this commotion, uh, that's kind of destructive, chaotic, um, participation of one of these in, in different rounds. And then ultimately what they sing, uh, the God put, you know, has them create into being. So that's kind of like the initial, like blueprint outline of everything that's happening. And then they go in and the world is created and they kind of recapitulate this song, uh, into reality. Is this something, So there's some wonderful things I just wanna pick out of that. So, um, Mel, who also gets known later, he's renamed Mor goth by one of the elves, but he's the yeah. Banor who will get to a lot. Yeah. Um, he is the one who wants to sing his own song. And we were reference, we were having a chat before we started talking about how this is described as him ending up sounding just like brows instruments. So if those of you who wanting to find connections to Lord the rings films that they love, please note that Howard shore has read thes Meridian because, um, or intuitive it because all of his ways of, um, characterizing the evil side is to use a lot of brass, which is entirely appropriate. The other thing about it is how beautifully it reads. Now it is got a wonderful poetry to it, but it's also got lots of surprises. It's like, um, there's waves of creation. Uh, imagine it like waves on the shore, sort of again and again, um, with, Iluvatar saying I'm sort of paraphrasing here, but he says to Mera and the others, anything you've done here, can't be outside my plan. And which is very interesting philosophically about the nature of evil. Uh, that, I mean, this is really, if you're interested in philosophy, this is a fascinating book for you. And then the final thing is actually when they, he then shows them the world, he actually says it's not happened yet. Creation hasn't happened. So they decide some of those have been in part of the scene, decide to go into the world, to create the world. They've already sung about fascinating perspective on time. And we could mention BEUs and other people here if we wanted, but the idea of where does eternal time fit within a sort of temporal world anyway, maybe that's another podcast. Um, so they have to go in and create it. And there's a little bit that says how many eons pass before the elves arrive of the waves of creation by the good guys and then milk coming and spoiling it, which is a way of talking and accounting. I think for the very long history of our world before there's any, any, any of us here to see it. Um, he does give us sort of scientifically if you're putting along science, it kind of fits quite well. Cuz he suggests this is a much longer period, but we're only gonna concentrate on the bit where there are elves and men and walls and so on to see it. So I think it's rather beautifully written. It's a wonderful myth, a wonderful metaphor for creation. Yeah. I I've certainly canonized it myself in my own.yeah. Devotional. It's just, it is, it is like you said, it's poetic, it's beautiful. It's moving. Um, it's inspiring. Uh, and I, I return to it fairly often, probably more often than I do the rest of the, of the Silverman to be quite Frank again, because of my just like love for myth and kind of like creation stories. Yeah. But that's one that just, I keep, I keep finding myself coming back to and it's not terribly long. No, no, no, no, exactly. I was, you took the words outta my mouth. I was about to say, um, I wouldn't advise sitting down and trying to read thes really and like a story I'd read it in bits and if you just felt, oh, I feel like it's like mythic today, go to the beginning and read that chapter. And just to sort of, you know, if you're, if you're a student out there you might want to compare it to the beginning of paradise lost the, because Sarah very strong parallels between um, the way Milton sets up his world in paradise lost and this, so you can Chuck it into your essayor just for a general interest. Cuz of course, um, Toki would've been fully aware of what Milton was up to and his philosophical underpinning. So he he's also as well as the Bible, he's definitely in conversation with, um, Milton and of course moving slightly on, he's also in conversation with the north Pantheon. So let's have a look at the next section, which is we don't need to spend very long on it's a little description of the valor and the Maya. Now, if you've wondered who Gand APH is and what a Bero is and where does SA fit in the grand scheme of things, this is a wonderful short section for you to read. So Jacob, do you wanna tell us about, um, you don't need to recap everything in there, but just yeah. Outline, this is one of the more summary version, you know, we move from the myth beautifully told to a more summary set of, right, Right. So this is just, you know, talking's kinda brief overview of kind of the ruling powers, uh, of this, this world, uh, that he's created so AA and there's different. Yeah. So you get into the, the universe itself is created and then within the universe, there's this world, um, which is referred to as AA, which, you know, this is, is equivalent to earth, you know, what, what we're on right now. Um, and then, so there's, uh, a number of these powers that we mentioned at the beginning, several of them choose to come down and be tied to this world. Um, and that they're kind of, you know, fats, their fortunessorrows and everything are all tied up in what's happening in this, in this, in this world, in this particular world, within the larger universe. Um, and so this is talking kind of outlining who the, you know, what is the Pantheon? And so you have, uh, pairs of God's often male and female, uh, pairs, uh, and some of which are also Brothers, also brothers. It's not just, you know, that's where I think where it feels quite Norse. Um, so Meko is paired like co evil, I think, is the word used with man Mank who's like the Odin or Zu or, you know, the sort of top good guy, right. Not that Odin's good, but you know what I mean? He's like the top of that side. Yeah, Yeah, yeah. Some, yeah, some of 'em have like specific or said, you know, their brothers to this one, some are, you know, wedded to other gods. So you have, you know, the hints of the like Norris Greek, um, uh, pantheons there. And then, uh, there's so 14 that are kind of functioning. There were 15 with Mel Corps, um, who is the, the, the, our trumpeter, our, our trumpeter soloist, um, extraordinary. He yeah. Is kind of, you know, falls outside kind of takes things over and there's a separation between the two. So yeah, so this, uh, there are different kind of categories, different areas of the world that they're, that they kind of have responsibility for. Um, um, so, right. So you mentioned manway, who's kind of the head, you know, chief, uh, of this that has, this seems to have a particularly special relationship with Iluvatar the primary overarching God. Um, but it's largely this overarching, God kind of leaves everything up to these powers. These kind of lower orders of beings can compared to, uh, the, the God Iluvatar and each of them is responsible for developing some, you know, some part of, of creation itself. So for instance, yeah, so you have, um, right, so you have, uh,, who's, uh, respond, you know, kind of the crafts, craftsman, God, um, construction, who's tied to, you know, like rock, um, you have Omo who's the God of the water, uh, and song as well. So there's, so there's, it's one of the things that, that I think is, uh, a mistake to really do, to, is to try to identify directly this God of, of Toki is equivalent to Poseidon. So Omo has some similarities with Poseidon or Neptune. Um, but there are differences in that say, so Omo is really is, is a solitary figure, right? So beside so well, yeah, so, so Omo is, is, is solitary. Doesn't take a wife and oftentimes functions outside of the rest of the Pantheon kind of does his own thing, has a special relationship with, uh, elves, uh, and, and, and humans. And, uh, he also is really enamored with song. And so you see that, uh, the song of the iron that said is the analogy that you used, uh, Julia about waves, about creation kind of happening in waves. Um, talking says in this, that the, the music of the iner kind of is echoed in the music of the sea, right? The sound of the sea. I wrote that down cause I thought it was so beautiful. I wrote it down today. Let me read it to you. And it is said by the elder that the water, that in water there lives yet the echo of the music of the Aner, more than in any substance else that is in the earth. And many of the children of Iluvatar hear and still unsated to the voices of the sea and yet, no, not for what they listen, which is why, uh, there's a link here. Of course, if you are looking for your Lord of the rings links to why it's so dangerous for, um, legless to hear the sea and he doesn't know why, but he's listening to the music of the Anor mm-hmmso, um, that's, you know, I love those little moments where you think, oh, right. That's what that's all about. Yeah. And that's, and that's right. The, the reading, one of the big things, I think, uh, a reason for encouraging you audience members to pick up the Soole is it enhances, if you liked Lord of the rings, this will only enhance your reread of Lord of the rings. Mm. So it, it, yeah, you, you, you pick up on different things that are laying behind this, that to doesn't spell out specifically, but this is like we mentioned the soil from which Lord of the rings is, is growing. So E everything you read here is going to only heighten your appreciation for understanding of what's happening in Lord of the rings. Absolutely. So belief beneath the Valara is like a, none of these words quite work, but AR angels or something angelic beings or beings of power, um, who were called the Mayer. Um, and here we got another wonderful little clue. Do you want to just run through who the Valar are? Um, the Maya are Mayer. Yeah. So there, yeah. So, so within these, so the, the IOR we said, right, the, the, I know Linda Le the music of the Inor IOR are all of these beings of power that God, that, that Luvata creates. Um, and within that group, there's higher and lower, um, beings, the higher ones or the Valara these that we kind of were saying are function similar and somewhat similar ways to like, you know, pantheons, you know, no Greco, Roman pantheons, but then the MYR are being of lesser power sometimes, but they, they all have specific, a lot of 'em have specific purposes, um, in different ways and often align themselves with some of the Valar. So they might be, you know, apprentices too. So for instance, one of the, the Valar, uh, that I find most pan fascinating that you don't really have an equivalent for in other world pantheons is Nenna, who's the goddess of, uh, sorrow of pity. Yeah. Sorrow and wisdom. And so talking about these Mayer, so it said that, uh, a Lauren who is one of these, uh, Mayer, these less Things, not the quote I've written down, let's have it. So wine, this of the Mayer was Alor he toot in Lauren that's Lauren over in the west, not the one in east, but his ways took him often to the house of Nenna and of her, he learned pity and patience. So are you gonna do the big reveal? Who is a LaurenLauren we're told later that that's, uh, Gandolph right. So that's a Mayer who, who Amaya, who chose to put on flesh, uh, and, and to have, uh, his fate tied directly and among the people of middle earth from the, you know, elves, humans, DS, uh, yeah. So that, so every time, so those, again, so like reading this one, that's one of the biggest things that it did for me was opened up this different avenue that then I saw what Gandolph is doing in Lord of the rings in a completely different way. So he's an apprentice to this goddess of weeping and wisdom. And so she's, and her music is also featured in the, uh, Elay, the creation where th there's this kind of overarching sorrow. Yeah. That kind of weaves its way in creation, but it's, it's a sorrow that is generative. It's not kind of a depressing sorrow, but it's a sorrow that is leading ultimately to wisdom and good, uh, in, in the end. And so that's what Gandolph is doing here is kind of aary if you will, for this goddess Nenna, um, uh, a disciple of Nenna. And that's why, when he talks about pity, Toro, right. About, about Gollum that's coming from his experience and training with this goddess of, of, of pity and sorrow and wisdom. And because, you know, sorrow and wisdom kind of come hand in hand from the perspective of that goddess, that's kind of her thing is how sorrow can be generative of wisdom. And so you'll see. So if you read this, if you haven't to this point, and if, if you don't get anything else, but just, you know, looking at these gods and following, you know, this goddess of weeping, and she does a number of other things with, with the gods, um, that, that are really interesting and important for the world itself and the lights that's tied to the, you know, the SI reels and the SI Maril and proper that we'll talk about. But if you get nothing else like that, just following that thread with the, uh, the MYR, this lesser being of power allure, who then takes on flesh and becomes Gandolph and understanding that, that, that alone, I think can help change, uh, and deepen your reading of Lord of the rings, um, all the way through and Hobbit for that matter. Yeah. And there's, um, three more, I mean, cuz we could spend It's a book. Yeah. So there's three more Maya to highlight. One is sour is also a Maya. So he is, um, that's where a lot of his power comes from. Um, and, and so other bow rocks. So when Gander says, you know, he is really shocked when he finds a barrel, they're supposed of all, most of them are supposed to have been destroyed at the end of the first stage. Um, he knows it's he says something about, it's not a photo that you can match. You know, he knows it's on his level rather than on their level. And then the last one is a Maya called million who is very, very important in the first stage. Um, so let's move now to the Quinta Elian. Now we obviously can't cover this, but just reading it, you are find when you look at the table of content that it breaks down into, um, quite readable sections, it's very well divided up. The first part of it is the story of, um, how it's basically the story of how the world is lit if I sound strange, but uh, it starts with the trees. So if you've been watching the rings of power, um, they mention the trees briefly. And if you were confused by that, you can find the explanation in the Somalian and these beautiful trees are destroyed. This is me really rapidly going forward. Really. Um, they're destroyed by Mekel who has with him an enormous spider. What's the name of the spider? Forget her name. Olian there you are. Who Sheila is a descendant of. Um, and so she has this voracious appetite and so she sort of chomps down all the light. And the only light that is left is with is captured in some jewels, which were made by an Elvin Smith called fi F where where'd you put fair? No. Yeah. I'm never quite sure about the emphasis there. It's over the, yeah,fair. No. Um, and, but he has a sickness of craftmanship really, which is a recurrent problem in this world. Um, he doesn't wanna let go. And so, uh, when these jewels are taken, um, by Mor Goff who runs off with them, um, he decides he won't share the light. He wants to go and get them back for himself, but he sets it up like a crusade and this divides the elves I've, I've skipped over the fact that the elves have been created. I'm really sorry, but we haven't got time.the ELs were created, invited to go and live over in the west. I should have said that. Um, anyway, so Fior and his supporters set off to regain the silver reels and that's the big, big, big driver of the first age now. I think it's helpful just to point out the family trees here. So we've got Fior who the parent of, um, Fior is somebody called fin we and his wife, I think Muriel, um, they have three sons. Am I getting correct me if I get this wrong? Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah. Three sons, Uh, Fior Turtle. Yeah. Yeah. He has a whole range of sons under him who are like his sort of, um, supporters like his clan and then his brothers. This is where it gets interesting. Cuz we all meet lots of characters, um, that you recognize his, in fact there's a helpful family tree in the back of the, um, if I can show that if you're watching, um, his brothers are ol half brothers in fact, and fin and in the fin family line is Gil Gallard, who is the king that you see in rings of power, um, and ending up at Elron and El Ross. So that's that bit. And then fin one of his children is G and her brother, she has a number of brothers, but um, her brother FINRA is the one I think you saw at the beginning of the rings of power. So it's quite a tight family group. And just to point out here, collateral is very old. She is one of these, Noor's the name of that group. And she's one of the elves who goes on the crusade, but importantly, she isn't, um, responsible for the next big thing that happens, which perhaps you could take over Jacob and tell us about the, the evil amongst the elves. Yeah, so right. So, so Fay or, um, is kind of driving this he's the one that created, uh, the silver reels, these gems that captured the light of the, the trees of valor that were now destroyed. So this is the last of those. They're supposed to be the most beautiful things ever created, um, within, you know, this, this worth within Arta. Um, and, uh, so when they're stolen by milk or he makes an oath and his children make an oath, uh, to that they will not rest until, you know, they retrieve those. And so they, so, and, and anyone that they will slay anyone who, you know, holds, you know, touches, holds, keeps, uh, these, um, that doesn't return it directly to them. Um, and so the, you have them, you know, again, this is by the, the they're willing to do this by any means necessary, uh, even at the cost of the lives of their kindred. So there's, uh, this, this one, you know, tragic event where they go to get ships to try to sail across the ocean, to go back into the east, which again, like Julie said, they're in the west, um, with the gods to sail east, um, they don't have ships. They come to their kindred who do, who do have ships and end up, you know, asking them to say like, Hey, we need your ships to go do this. And they didn't want to part with their ships. And so they slaughtered, uh, uh, their kin took the ships sailed over, um, and then also burned the shipsand kinda had insult the injury. Uh, so this, so that, that's kind of where you have this idea of, of, of Suning. So this is kind of almost again, to make loose connections, uh, kind of cane and able moment where you have the kindreds separating themselves and kind of the first schisms between the Elvis as a whole, whereas before they see they were kind of functioning more or less in harmony, or kind of doing their own things or finding their own places, here's where they start to really come into conflict. And, and it just continues as long as the sills are around, which is through the rest ofthis, you know, first age, uh, on, yeah. So that's this kinda series of stories about essentially this, this, this, this is what drives the conflict within the Quintas is the, the, the children of Fay or FA or, and the children of Fay, or trying to get the sills back among all, and which are part of this history of all these elves and then men come into the picture eventually, and which brings them into conflict with this kind of oath of Fay or, and his children to get the SILS back. Yeah. So, um, in case you are worried that collateral is, um, guilty of kins laying, uh, it's only the sons of Fiona and fi himself who are part of the slaying, um, and they don't even have enough boats. And so is an nasty bit of work.this guy, right, right in the boat in sales off leaving his allies have also sworn this oath. Um, some people turn back at that point, but the rest of the Nole, including gala and including, um, Gil Gall's father and all sorts of people, they all carry on. Um, yeah. Right, right. But they have to go across the Northern, like the ice passage across the north. So, you know, the equivalent of Alaska, they have to go over that bit., um, There's a beautiful name that the, the hell Xa, it's the, the, the land of grinding ice. So this is just, yeah. And many people, many of the L's die at that time. So they obviously arrive in middle earth, still bound by this oath. Um, but not very pleased, obviously horrified by the actions of Fiona and, and children. And they're also under a doom. So a curse, the Valar say that you've chosen that you can't come back. So one of the, um, just to do a link forward to the rings of power series, um, one of the things they've not followed through is that Gela, as one of the NDO is under a particular doom that she can't go back to the west. Other elves could. So all that stuff about you've been given a special ticket back that that's not right in terms of the talking story. Um, and in fact, her journey isn't completed until she resists the power of the ring later on. It's like, um, one moment where finally she can go into the west. Um, so that story arc is beautifully described. You can pick it out of the silver really. So you wanna might wanna delete that bit from your memory of the rings of power. It doesn't quite work with collateral story. It's a better story that the tos come up with. Um, okay. So we can't go into every single story here, but what we do get is a collection of quite often pairs. Um, so brothers and sisters, there's a lot of tragic stories, brothers and sisters, uh, love story. And of course, one of the stories that we can't overlook is the marvelous love story of Baron and Lu. Jacob, do you want to tell us a little bit about the importance of this story in the sort of talking mytho? Right. So Beon and Luan, right. Story of a human who falls in love with, uh, and ends up marrying and elf, uh, maiden. Uh, and this is, uh, a story. This, this is probably the most, I, I think the closest perhaps in kind of tone and pacing to what you see in Lord of the rings. Uh, so you can read just you, you can pick up the story of Barron and Lithian and read it through. And I think it's very readable, uh, and engaging. And it's this wild adventure with, uh, a hero and heroin. The heroin saves the hero.several at different times. There's, you know, there's, there's battles. Uh, Talking Dog is a talking dog. Yeah. There's a talking, there's a dog who can only talk three times. Uh, and so he has to use his uses his words carefully. Um, and then they fight, uh, sour. Um, so you have a confrontation with the just, uh, Lu fight and it's Orth goth. Uh, she puts Morga, I think she fights SAR on she's. She puts Mor goth to sleep. So, oh, anyway, so there's kind of a, you have kind of a, almost reverse Orpheus and UY. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. Story happening here. Uh, and so yeah, there, there, ultimately, so there's something to do with, again, which said, Mel chorus stole the SI Murs right. And has them in a crown. And so these two brave Ang band and the hosts of, uh, of, of magath, uh, to go take one of these back to, um, Li's father so that he can have her hand in marriage. Uhso quite a task anyway, so this is, it's this story of, and there's, there's sorrow there's and I don't, I don't wanna spoil anything for people who haven't read it yet, but there's, there's changing of sorrows there's yeah. There's, there's real, there's, uh, you catastrophes, right. These moments of unexpected, uh, joy and surprise in the face of defeat and sorrow. Um, and ultimately, so this kind of becomes a paradigm for the uniting of different peoples, right. Humans, elves, um, of, you know, the worldly with the kind of like higher or artistic beautiful. And this story of elves and men kind of uniting gets re recapitulated time and again, even unto, right. So we have, uh, in Lord of the rings AOR, and Arwin their love. We, we see, um, AOR singing parts of this song, of this story in Lord of the ring. So if you want, like kind of the full, uh, story of what happens here and why AOR would be singing this and identify so much with Baron and Lithian, so we have that Lord of the rings, but then even Toki carrying over into his own life. Um, this is kind of inspired by his relationship with his wife. And so this story is re recapitulated. Uh, he's seeing, you know, echoes, we either, we're seeing echoes of Tolkien's life in Lord of the rings or, and Tolkin sees echoes of Lord of the, of, of, of this, you know, in, in the silver, the story Barron of Lithian sees echoes of this in his own life, um, going the opposite direction so much so that when his wife dies, he has, uh, Luth carved on her, uh, on her headstone. And then after he dies, then Baron is inscribed in, on his tombstone. So he saw himself as in essence, kind of part of this recapitulating story of, uh, of the bringing together of two people, one person who seems to be like an ordinary ordinary Joe, uh, ordinary guy then like marrying up, finding some, you know, finding a woman who is clearly beyond him and, uh, who enriches his life, um, in, in, in myriad ways. And so that story you see kind of popping up in, in again, in waves, kind of coming up over and over, uh, with the withins, uh, broader, uh, veterinarian. Yeah. So it's told, uh, in, well, it's not, it's told in, in quite quite a length in this, um, book, but also there's a separate volume of even longer version of this spar and Lu story, which you can get separately, but this is a good place to start if you want to read that story. So, um, perhaps the, the last place in the first age we should pay attention to is a fabulous section, which I think, um, I just reread it for doing this podcast podcast and realized how brilliant it is. It's actually one of my favorite bits in the silver Meridian now, and that's the voyage of air end. Now we won't go into all the family backgrounds, but perhaps listeners will want to know that air end is the father of your favorite El Lord Elrond. So he's, um, and he is absolutely key to how the first age ends. So I think if I was looking for a, a place to someone said, I want to read something in the Somar really that, um, has, has sort of a big battle in it. And lots of sort of scope. I think this is a fantastic story, cuz it also includes the sort of myth element of a VO to the west and becoming a star and all sorts of wonderful things. Plus his wife is, you know, very active and you know, it is all great stuff. So, um, the voy JIR end ends the first stage because he successfully crosses the sea. Um, with one of the, has he got one of the, uh, silver reels with him, she brings him a simil. His wife brings him a simil, doesn't she? Yes, I think that's right. And so they get to the other side where they're not supposed to go. Um, but they appeal to the Valard to come and save middle earth from the evil, uh, me and there's a big battle. I'm not gonna spoil the, just read it cause it's fantastic. It's, you know, everybody comes and helps. And this is when the geography changes because as a result of locking down literally or locking down this, um, original, bad guy, this power, there's huge sort of geological upheaval. And that's when the old map transforms into the more familiar map of middle earth. And so that's the end of the first stage and that's the, the point where we're gonna stop for this podcast. And we're gonna pick up at the second age and the Ann Cali Beth in our next episode. Thanks for listening to mythmakers podcast, brought to you by the Oxford center for fantasy visit Oxford center for to join in the fun. Find out about our online courses in person stays in Oxford plus visit our shop for great gifts. Tell a friend and subscribe wherever you find your favorite podcasts worldwide.