FA 304 – FA 425
*This chapter of the Silmarillion, chapter 17, to be exact, begins at around FA 304 and goes through FA 425. The beginning of the chapter tells us that actually, so the timeline is prett well nailed down. It says explicitly that it's been 300 years since the Noldor returned to Middle Earth and that we're well into the 200 year Long Peace.
*So, it's Finrod who discovers men and in a perfect echo, just as the Valar did when they found the Elves, Finrod runs across them accidentally while hunting.
*Finrod, taking a break from hewing caves, hears singing and sees firelight on a hunting trip. He spies on the men, hears their songs and, during the night, enters the camp and sings to them.
*These are the first men to cross the mountains from the East where they have been living and enter the realms of the Elves. Their leader is Beor, so named because he becomes a servant to Finrod.
*There's an interesting bit here where the Men admit that they don't really know their history. But apparently, Men, sometime in their early days had some dealings with Morgoth, dealings that they do not want to remember. Now, because of those dealings, Men also dwell under a curse much like the Curse of Mandos on the Elves.
*A tree? An apple? Original sin? I wonder.
*A lot of the names here have connections to Biblical names, but I wasn't taking time to mention them, but this one I think bears mention.
*Balan is the leader of this group of Men, but when he becomes Finrod's servant he takes the name Beor.
*Of course one of the most fascinating stories in the Pentateuch is of the prophet Balaam, son of Beor. Tolkien placing those two names Balan and Beor so closely in this story, when they are equally close in the Bible, seems a bit of an Easter Egg for the Biblical scholar.
*Also, reread the story of Balaam; it's a tragic tale. The talking donkey is what everyone remembers, but there's more to it than that, believe me. It's the story of a man who sells his principles.
*All is well for a while between Elves and Men, but Thingol wants to keep Men out of his kingdom. Melian prophecies that one day a man will come that will breach her magic fence and bring doom on them all.
*I keep calling it a magic fence because I frigging refuse to call it The Girdle of Melian. I frigging refuse.
*Morgoth sows lies and whispers to try to turn Men and Elves against each other but when he can't he finally moves again and attacks a group of Men known as the Haladin and slaughters most of them, but the Elves under Caranthir come to their aid.
*Some of the Men leave the country, but others make allegiances with the Elves against Morgoth.
*A lot of familiar names pop up in this chapter. We get a Boromir, though he's obviously not the one from LotR, being a mortal man. And Hurin and his son Turin both get brief introductions here. As we move out of the Quenta in a couple of chapters, we'll be picking up a book dedicated to these folk, The Children of Hurin. And then looking at the original texts both in the Quenta and the Unfinished Tales. We'll be spending a lot of time with Turin in a bit.
*There's a great bit that tells of Beor's death and of the moment when the Elves realize that Men die:
*"But at last Beor the Old died, when he had lived three and ninety years, for four and forty of which he had served King Felagund. And when he lay dead, of no wound or grief, but stricken by age, the Eldar saw for the first time the swift waning of the life of Men, and the death of weariness which they know not in themselves; and they grieved greatly for the loss of their friends. But Beor at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them."
*And Chapter Seventeen closes, oddly, on an upnote, as the Men and Elves grow ever closer and friendlier, forming a stronger and stronger united front against Morgoth.
*Movie #4: The Silmarillion: The Dark Elf – from Aredhel’s departure from Gondolin to the alliance between Men and Elves.
*So, the fourth movie would be chapters 16 and 17 of the Quenta interwoven. The story of Aredhel leaving Gondolin, marrying Eol, taking Maeglin back to Gondolin, her death, Eol's death, Maeglin's slow falling in love with Idril - plot A; Finrod's finding of men, his leading them back to the other elves, the distrust between men and elves, the attack of Morgoth on the Haladin, the subsequent allegiance being formed between men and elves - plot B. Interweave those as needed. Movie number four.
*God, these would be so awesome. And at last, I'd let the movie end on an upnote, though we'd have to end the A plot on a downer as Maeglin's love turns ever more and more sour.
*Still, I'd love to see these.
*Next time, it's a strong contender for best thing Tolkien ever wrote as we jump into the body of work published after Tolkien's death! Join me next time for Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth!