The Folly of Starlight 18. Interlude: If You Love Them Enough by AC
Summary: On the eve of Thranduil's departure from Imladris, Elrond seeks to make peace with the crimes of Mirkwood's past.
Categories: FPS, FPS > Elrond/Gil-galad, FPS > Elrond/Isildur, FPS > Elrond/Legolas, FPS > Gil-galad/Elrond, FPS > Isildur/Elrond, FPS > Legolas/Elrond Characters: Elrond, Gil-galad, Isildur, Legolas
Type: None
Warning: None
Challenges: None
Series: The Folly of Starlight
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 12052 Read: 19331 Published: August 23, 2009 Updated: August 23, 2009
Chapter 6 by AC
[Imladris, the Third Age]

Elrond absently stroked his lover's hand, insatiably needing the simple, innocent contact while his mind replayed the endless sorrows of the close of the Second Age. He had received no succor in learning of the curse of Greenwood's royal line from Cirdan's fireside exposition then, nor did he wish to dwell upon it further now that he found his very heart bound to that ill-fated House. Keeping his fingers firmly in contact with those slender, still digits, he raised his free hand and brushed the back tenderly against one of the blond prince's artistically sculpted cheekbones. "Would that my love could protect you from the errors of your forbearers," he earnestly whispered. He did not hear the approach of soft elven footsteps, so rapt was he in his moonlight study of the prince's loveliness.

"Yet it cannot, I fear," a subtle, solemn voice offered from the doorway.

Elrond stiffly turned to meet the familiar source of that pronouncement, a wary expression guarding his face. "If your words of late be believed, you would fear that I would bring to him more ruin than any curse your family has held."

Thranduil crossed the cool, stone floor, standing at the side of his son's bed even as Elrond rose to meet him face to face. "My family has suffered much, some things no doubt of its own doing. But that is the past, and he and Brethilas are all that remain of my future. I would do anything to spare both my sons the pain I have endured."

Elrond smiled slightly, the knowingness of a father's love binding them in a way it had failed to before. "Perhaps this unfortunate incident will mark the end of their sorrows. Both proved their bravery and their loyalty, to their family and to each other."

The King of Mirkwood exhaled loudly. "I can but hope. My youngest seems to believe he has already found the Lady's grace as well as the true happiness of his heart."

"The former is indeed true - the latter, I can but hope."

Thranduil became noticeably uncomfortable, gently clearing his throat before he spoke.

"I came here hoping to find you, Lord Elrond," he formally spoke. "There is something I wish to clear from my conscience before I leave in the morning."

An eyebrow arched skyward in dubious curiosity. "Indeed?" Elrond glanced back at his slumbering lover and gestured toward the doorway. "Perhaps we should retire to the outer room, lest we unwittingly disturb his dreams."

Thranduil nodded and turned sharply on his heel, striding out to the sitting room with Elrond in interested pursuit. The Lord of Imladris claimed his favorite chair, and watched as the blond elf nervously paced the floor for a few silent moments before beginning his uneasy confession.

"My father and much of his forces fell before the Black Gates because he did not heed the High King's wishes to rest and regroup after the sorrowful loss of Amdir and his faithful. My sword was by his side on that fateful day, yet my heart was not."

Elrond instantly perked up at that totally unexpected admission. "In what manner?"

"I had tried to dissuade him from his hasty attack on the Dark Lord and his lair. I knew he desired to press on in pride and sorrow and revenge, and to spite Gil-galad, whom he felt was an oppressor of our kind."

"He felt the High King was a kinslayer, and a murderer of 'your kind'," Elrond corrected bitterly.

Thranduil nodded and became strangely silent, then began a further diffident divulgence.

"At Dagorlad, when I interrupted the argument between you and my father, you hinted that he had guilty secrets of his own which you thought he had not the courage to admit."

Thranduil raised his eyes to meet Elrond's with the greatest reluctance, an expression of guilt-ridden pain upon his face. "You were mistaken."

"I was mistaken that he had secrets, or that he would willingly admit to them?"

"The latter." Thranduil cleared his throat again, the anguished expression on his face mirrored in the equally disconcerted tone of his voice. "He had often before spoken to me of his escape from the sacking of Arvernien, yet he had never told me of his final sighting of you and your brother." An awkward, shamefaced pause filled the space between them.

"Of his failure to rescue you from the sons of Feanor."

A loud exhaled breath whistled through the night, Elrond raising a hand to his forehead to wipe away the dueling pains of weariness and memory. "He did not 'fail' to rescue us, Thranduil, he made a conscious decision to abandon us to what he thought would be our deaths."

Thranduil brusquely waved him off. "This is most difficult for me to admit, Elrond. I beg of you to not make the pain greater by your words of condemnation, although my family richly deserves them."

Elrond purposefully softened his tone, understanding well the battle which Thranduil must have waged within himself to come to his moment of honest reflection and admission. "Not all of your family, Thranduil, merely he who directly wished harm to befall my brother and me."

"I cannot commend his actions, though I have long strived to understand them," Thranduil painfully pronounced. "I also find it beyond belief that there is love between my family and yours after all that has transpired in this age and those past."

Elrond smiled wistfully, his heart, and his mind, instantly drawn back to the innocent figure slumbering in the room behind them. "How could I hold any bitterness in my heart, after your son has filled it with the purest love I have ever known?"

"'Tis a miracle then. Perhaps you are right, and the curse has been lifted by the Lady's grace." Thranduil paused in contemplation, an anxious expression breaking out upon his face. "You have not told him of my father's dishonorable act?"

"No. I feel nothing would be gained in dredging up old history," Elrond offered, part of him understanding the undeniable deeper meaning of these words.

Thranduil's shoulders buoyed upward in the relief of a palpable weight he had obviously long borne. "So, you will not tell him now?"

"I do not wish to cause him further pain, not now, nor in the future."

Thranduil slowly nodded with pursed lips. "Then I see we have one important aspiration in common, you and I, Earendilion." He watched as Elrond rose from the chair and met him at the center of the room with an open hand.

"We were allies in the last age, though prevented from truly fulfilling that honorable mission due to the blindness of older times. Let us put that behind us now and for the future."

Thranduil hesitated, then reached out a hand of his own and grasped Elrond's arm in a mutual warrior's salute. "The past has brought us both nothing but sorrow. I pray the future brings our children the joy they richly deserve."

"Your son has brought more joy to my home than I thought possible," Elrond said with a smile.

An expression of perceptive pain was painted on the blond king's face as he slowly released Elrond's arm. "He knows, of course, that you are not free to bind to him, yet I fear he is misled as to the true reason why," Thranduil urged.

Elrond bristled uncomfortably, understanding well of what his lover's sire surreptitiously spoke. "We have not spoken of it as such, but he knows the state of my family, as well as the wishes of my heart."

"Your wishes are not enough."

"I know," Elrond sadly whispered.

"So he does not know how you have already cursed one you profess to love to Mandos' care in the name of that family?"

Obvious unease took rein of Elrond's emotions and demeanor, despite his attempt not to allow it to show. "He will be told, when the time is right."

"Take care, Elrond. We both know well that such secrets can be revealed at a time not of our choosing." Thranduil paused, positing a possibility which he had not pondered before. "What will you do if Celebrian accepts the fate of Miriel in the High King's stead? What choice would 'you' make if the High King were to return and claim what is rightly his?"

Elrond turned away, walking several steps back toward the chamber where the prince guilelessly slept in his blissful ignorance, but saying nothing.

"You need not answer 'my' question," Thranduil pressed, "but you cannot avoid answering 'his' when he at last asks the very same. For we both know he will, ere long."

Wringing his hands together, Elrond glanced down at the floor, his stomach knotted and his heart laden with the burden he dreaded bearing. "I know," he whispered, nearly inaudibly above the soft hush of the night.

"Perhaps now you better understand why my heart cannot embrace my son's affection for you. I see naught but pain and disappointment if he remains with you."

"I would sooner go to the Timeless Halls myself than cause him anguish," Elrond offered sorrowfully, his eyes rising to catch the beauteous perfection of the slumbering prince. Thranduil nodded behind him with pursed lips. "That might be a choice you should consider - if you truly loved him enough, enough to let him go, for his own good." With that, the ruler of the great forest turned on his heel and silently left for the deceptive peace of the evening beyond, leaving Elrond to ponder in tortured silence the choices of his past, and of his future.
End Notes:
1) The oath of Feanor and his sons plays such an important role in this story that it should be quoted in full:

Then Feanor swore a terrible oath, Straightway his seven sons
leaped to his side and each took the self same oath; and red
as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches.
'Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean,
brood of Morgoth or bright Vala,
Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
dread nor danger, not Doom itself,
Shall defend him from Feanor, and Feanor's kin,
who so hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
finding keepeth or afar casteth
a Silmaril. This swear we all:
death we will deal him ere Day's ending,
Woe unto World's end! Our word hear thou,
Eru All Father! To the everlasting
Darkness doom us if out deed faileth
On the holy mountain hear in witness
And our vow remember, Manwe and Varda!'

(Morgoth's Ring: 112)

2) Feanor had seven sons. According to the most widely accepted canon, all seven followed him to Middle-earth in search of the Silmarils. The version of the Flight of the Noldor which has one of the twin sons killed before leaving the Blessed Lands is not used in this story, since it clearly contradicts the majority of canon. For the most complete explanation of the sons' various names (Sindarin, Quenyan, and "mother names") as well as physical characteristics, see "The Shibboleth of Feanor" (The Peoples of Middle-earth).

Three of the sons, Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir, died in the second kinslaying (the assault on Doriath). The twins, Amrod and Amras (earlier called Damrod and Diriel) died in the third kinslaying (the assault on Sirion). They were redheads, as was Maedhros. The two sons which concern us most in this tale are the eldest, Maedhros (earlier form Maidros) and Maglor. Maedhros was known as "the tall," and Maglor was a musician and singer of note. Maedhros was once captured by Morgoth and hung by his right wrist upon the heights of Thangorodrim. He was eventually rescued by his old friend Fingon (with the help of Thorondor, King of the Eagles). However, Fingon could not cut through the steel which bound Maedhros, and the son of Feanor therefore lost his right hand above the wrist. This did not become a noticeable handicap:

"There Maidros in time was healed; for the fire of life was hot within him, and his strength was of the ancient world, such as those possessed who were nurture in Valinor. His body recovered from its torment and became hale but the shadow of his pain was in his heart; and he lived to wield his sword with this left had more deadly than his right had been." (The Lost Road: 277)

It is further said that he "did deeds of surprising valour, and the orcs could not endure the light of his face; for since his torment upon Thangorodrim his spirit and burned like a white fire within, and he was as one that returneth from the dead keen and terrible; and they fled before him." (The Lost Road: 310)

According to "The Shibboleth of Feanor" (The Peoples of Middle-earth: 355), "all the sons save Curufin preferred their mother-names and were ever afterwards remembered by them." These names are given in the same source (pp 352-3), along with brief descriptions of the sons based on the etymology of these names:

Maedhros = Maitimo "'well-shaped one': he was of beautiful bodily form. But he, and the youngest, inherited the rare red-brown hair of Nerdanel's kin.... So Maitimo had as an epesse given by his brothers and other kin Russandol 'copper-top'."

Maglor = Makalaure "of uncertain meaning. Usually interpreted (and said to have been a 'prophetic' mother-name) as 'forging gold.' If so, probably a poetic reference to his skill in harping, the sound of which was golden...."

Amrod and Amras were said to call each other by the name "Ambarussa" ('top-russet').

3) Some time after the death of Beren and Luthien it became known that Dior, their son, possessed the Nauglamir, the dwarf-wrought, golden necklace which held a Silmaril and many Valinorian gems. The seven sons of Feanor demanded it back, but when Dior did not answer, "Celegorm stirred up his brothers to prepare an assault upon Doriath. They came at unawares in the middle of the winter, and fought with Dior in the Thousand Caves; and so befell the second slaying of Elf by Elf. There fell Celegorm by Dior's hand, and there fell Curufin, and dark Caranthir; but Dior was slain also, and Nimloth his wife.... (The Silmarillion: 292)

Elwing, Dior's daughter, and some of the refugees from Doriath survived the attack and escaped to the mouth of Sirion with the Silmaril. Elwing's older brothers, originally twins called Elboron and Elbereth, evolved into brothers three years apart in age (yet still Elwing's elder) named Eldun and Elrun, and finally Elured and Elurin. The fate of the brothers is unclear in canon, but points to an untimely death:

"The young sons of Dior, Elboron and Elbereth, were taken captive by the evil men of Maidros' following, and they were left to starve in the woods; but Maidros lamented the cruel deed; and sought unavailingly for them." (The Lost Road: 156)

"The young sons of Dior, Elboron and Elbereth, were slain by the evil men of Maidros' host, and Maidros bewailed the foul deed." (The Shaping of Middle-earth: 368)

"Elured and Elurin, before they came to manhood, were both slain by the sons of Feanor.... (The Peoples of Middle-earth: 369)

"The cruel servants of Celegorm seized his young sons and left them to starve in the forest.... of the fate of Elured and Elurin no tale tells." (The Silmarillion: 292)

As they say, pick your poison . In any case, it is clear Maidros himself meant no harm to the children, and regretted the act. It also explains perhaps why Maidros and/or Maglor were later so eager to foster Elrond and Elros.

4) According to "The Silmarillion" (305), "Now when the first tidings came to Maedhros that Elwing yet lived, and dwelt in possession of the Silmaril by the mouths of Sirion, he repenting of the deeds of Doriath withheld his hand. But in time the knowledge of their oath unfulfilled returned to torment him and his brothers, and gathering from their wandering hunting-paths they sent messages to the Havens of friendship and yet a stern demand.... And so there came to pass the last and cruelest of the slayings of Elf by Elf; and that was the third of the great wrongs achieved by the accursed oath."

The blame for the attack on Sirion is laid straight at the feet of the twins, Damrod and Diriel (Amrod and Amras) in both "The Shaping of Middle-earth" and "The Lost Road" (157): "Damrod and Diriel resolved to win the Silmaril, if Earendil would not give it up willingly." The same source continues to say that "Damrod and Diriel ravaged Sirion, and were slain. Maidros and Maglor were there, but they were sick at heart." Elwing threw herself into the sea with the Silmaril and was rescued by Ulmo, who turned her into a sea bird so she could fly in search of Earendil. Elrond and Elros were taken to fostering, by Maidros in the original versions, Maglor in the final one.

5) It is not clear whether Elrond and Elros ever knew their father in person. "The Silmarillion (304) states that Elwing bore him "Elrond and Elros, who are called the Half-elven. Yet Earendil could not rest, and his voyages about the shores of the Hither Lands eased not his quiet." In this version the twins were clearly born before Earendil's last voyage. However, "The Peoples of Middle-earth" (376) states that "both his sons were born in his absence."

"The Later Annals of Beleriand" has the exact same statement.

Supporting this is "The Last Road" (157) which says "But the unquiet had come also upon Earendel, and he set sail in his ship Wingelot, Flower of the Foam, and he voyaged the far seas seeking Tuor, and seeking Valinor. But he found neither; yet the marvels that he did were many and renowned. Elrond the Half-elfin, son of Earendel, was born while Earendel was far at sea." Version 'C' of "The Tale of Years" has several dates crossed out and changed more than once for the important events in Earendil's life, and one permutation of those dates would suggest the twins were two years old when their father left. Other permutations of the dates would have the twins born the same year as his voyages began, or two years afterwards (we are of course to assume he stopped home for a visit during those two years). On the basis of the evidence presented it is impossible to say for certain whether or not Earendel ever saw his sons and vice versa, unless one takes "The Silmarillion" version as definitive. However, given the admitted "licenses" Christopher Tolkien took in editing that work, I am loathe to accept it on face value when it appears in opposition to the more obviously canonical works. Therefore in this story I take the point of view that Earendel did not see his sons in person, nor did they him -except perhaps at the last battle against Morgoth. See "Kilmessi" for a discussion of that possibility.

6) The age of the twins at the time of their kidnapping is not well established in canon. Various chronologies can be interpreted as saying the twins were anywhere from two to eight. However, a convincing case can be made for their being six years of age. "The War of the Jewels" (349) notes that the Line of Elros ("Unfinished Tales": 218) states that "Elros was born fifty eight years before the Second Age began; this agrees with the changed date here (532) and the end of the First Age in 590." Therefore in this story I take the twins to have been six at the time of their kidnapping. Also, as best as I can tell there is no canon as to which of the twins was technically born first.

7) The genesis of the twins' names is not singularly established in canon, although several theories exist:

a) In a letter to Rhona Beare from 1958, Tolkien wrote that "Elrond and Elros, children of Earendil (sea-lover) and Elwing (elf-foam) were so called because they were carried off by the sons of Feanor, in the last act of the feud between the high-elven houses of the Noldorin princes concerning the Silmarils.... The infants were not slain, but left like 'babes in the woods,' in a cave with a fall of water over the entrance. There they were found, Elrond in the cave, and Elros dabbling in the waters." (Letters of JRRT: 282) Christopher Tolkien notes this interpretation is earlier than that found in "The Silmarillion", where Elrond is "Star-dome," Elros is "Star-foam," and Elwing is "Star-spray."

b) "The Shibboleth of Feanor" (Peoples of Middle-earth: 349) states that the names "Elros and Elrond, the last descendents of Finwe born on the Elder Days, were formed to recall the name of their mother Elwing.

c) A theory proposed in "The Problem of Ros" (The Peoples of Middle-earth) claims that in naming her sons, Elwing followed the tradition of the names of her elder brothers, where one was named in the Eldar tongue and the other in the Beorian (human), befitting their half-blood status. However, Tolkien later admitted that this was not consistent to other naming schemes he had done using the root "ros." However, there are two points of this discussion which still ring true: firstly, that Elwing solely named her sons (given that her husband was at sea), and the source of Elrond's name which follows below.

d) "The Problem of Ros" (371) states that "Elrond was a word for the firmament, the starry dome as it appeared like a roof to Arda; and it was given by Elwing in memory of the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe in the midst of the stronghold of Menegroth that was called the Menelthrond, because by the arts and aid of Melian its high arched roof had been adorned with silver and gems set in the order and figures of the stars in the great Dome of Valinor in Aman, whence Melian came."

"The War of the Jewels" (414) agrees, stating that the root 'rondo' meant "'a vaulted or circled roof, as seen from below (and usually not visible from outside)', or 'a (large) hall or chamber so roofed.' It was still often applied pictorially to the heavens after the Elves had obtained much greater knowledge of 'Star-lore.' Cf. the name Elrond 'star-dome' (Elros meant 'star-glitter')."

I have attempted to blend together all four theories in this story, by having Elwing name her sons after her previous home (the Menelthrond of her grandparents) and the glittering foam of the seaside land of her second home (Sirion).

8) Galdor was "that valiant Gnome [Noldor] who led the men of the Tree in many a charge and yet won out of Gondolin and even the onslaught of Melko upon the dwellers at Sirion's mouth and went back to the ruins with Earendil." (Ibid.) An elvish character of the same name shows up in LOTR as a messenger from Cirdan sent to the Council of Elrond. A note by Christopher Tolkien to "Essays on Glorfindel" (The Peoples of Middle-earth: 387-8) argues that like Glorfindel, the character in the First Age is the same as that named in the Third. However, taking this viewpoint with Galdor is rather simple, because of the fact that he clearly survives the fall of Gondolin in canon. To explain his dwelling at the Havens, Christopher points out that "in the 'Name-list to the Fall of Gondolin' it is said that he went to Sirion's mouth. Galdor of Gondolin was the lord of the house of the Tree, and it is said that he 'was held the most valiant of all the Gondothlim save Turgon alone'." (Ibid.)

9) Just how human were Elrond and Elros? The half-elven were described rather ambiguously, except for having the best traits of both kinds (the beauty and grace of the Eldar and the strength of Man). A close inspection of several facts leads us to draw several conclusions about not only the twin Peredhil, but their parents:

a) According to "Of the Laws and Customs Among the Eldar" (Morgoth's Ring: 209-10), "The Eldar grew in bodily form slower than Men, but in mind more swiftly. They learned to speak before they were one year old; and in the same time they learned to walk and to dance, for their wills came soon to the mastery of their bodies. Nonetheless there was less difference between the two Kindreds, Elves and Men, in early youth; and a man who watched elf-children at play might well have believed that they were the children of Men, of some fair and happy people.... The same watcher might indeed have wondered at the small limbs and stature of these children, judging their age by their skill in words and grace in motion. For at the end of the third year mortal children began to outstrip Elves, hastening on to a full stature while the Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood. Children of Men might reach their full height while Eldar of the same age were still in body like to mortals of no more of seven years. Not until the fiftieth year did the Eldar attain the stature and shape in which their lives would afterwards endure, and for some a hundred years would pass before they were full-grown."

b) "The Line of Elros" (Unfinished Tales: 235) speaks to the eventual difference between the twins in their choice of fates: "In this account, only Elros was granted a peculiar longevity, and it is said here that he and his brother Elrond were not differently endowed in the physical potential of life, but that since Elros elected to remain among the kindred of Men he retained the chief characteristic of Men as opposed to the Quendi: the 'seeking else-whither,' as the Eldar called it, the 'weariness' or desire to depart from the world. It is further expounded that the increase in the Numenorean span was brought about by assimilation of their mode of life to that of the Eldar: though they were expressly worried that they had not become Eldar, but remained mortal Men, and had been granted only an extension of the period of their vigour of mind and body. Thus (as the Eldar) they grew at much the same rate as other Men, but when they achieved 'full-growth' they then aged, or 'wore-out', very much more slowly."

c) If we take the aforementioned reference that Elros was fifty eight at the end of the First Age, as well as a reference in LOTR which implies that at least Elrond fought in the final battle against Morgoth at the end of the First Age (See "Kilmessi" for more information), the twins must have been not only adults but hale and strong warriors at that age. d) The various chronologies of the First Age seem to demand that both Earendil and Elwing were no older than thirty at the time of the birth of their sons (more likely in their mid-20's). They were both clearly adults at that time.

Surveying these different facts leads us to the conclusion that the Peredhil "grew up" faster than pure-blooded Eldar, yet once they became adult seemed to age more slowly than their Adanic cousins. The wording that Elros "remained among the kindred of Men" seems to suggest that the Half-elven were more physically human than elvish to begin with. I have therefore written the twins as physically appearing like human six year olds, but with the enhanced beauty and grace of their Eldar blood, as well as a greater eloquence than human children of that age. However, they are still children, and certainly prone to the pettiness and immaturity of their age.

10) Some Sindarin terms defined:
Nossgwarth! Nossdagnir! - Kin betrayer! Kin slayer!
Gwanunig - one of a pair of twins
A pair of twins as a collective unit is called gwanun or gwenyn
Celegur = hasty heart
Aphadon = follower
Erchamion = one-handed
Lanthirant = waterfall's gift
Le gweston meleth-nin. Si a an-uir: "To thee I pledge my heart. Now and for eternity." (this appears as part of the wedding vows in "We Are Finding Who We Are" [http://www.ithilas.com/fos/wafwwa.html]
11) There are numerous different timelines for the First Age existent in Tolkien's writings. Most of these are various versions of "The Later Annals of Beleriand" (The Lost Road) and "The Tale of Years" (The War of the Jewels). One seemingly consist commonality is a four year gap between the Last Kin-slaying and the arrival of Earendil and Elwing in Valinor. The arrival of Valinor's army in Middle-earth (and the start of the War of Wrath) was anywhere between three to fourteen years after that, depending on the particular version of the timeline. It appears that the shorter timeframe is more consistent with the widely accepted dates of 532 as the birth of Elrond and Elros and 587 as the end of the War of Wrath. Given that narrow window, and the urgency with which Earendil pleaded the case of the two kindreds, it seems likely that Earendil rose for the first time as the "Evening Star" in the same year as his arrival - i.e. 542.

According to "The Quenta Silmarillion" (The Lost Road: 361-2): "Now when first Vingelot was set to sail on the seas of heaven, it rose unlooked for, glittering and bright; and the folk of earth beheld it from afar and wondered, and they took it for a sign of hope. And when this new star arose in the West, Maidros said unto Maglor: 'Surely that is a Silmaril that shineth in the sky? And Maglor said: 'If it be verily that Silmaril that we saw cast into the sea that riseth again under the power of the Gods, then let us be glad; for its glory is seen now by many, and is yet secure from all evil.' Then the Elves looked up, and despaired no longer; but Morgoth was filled with doubt."

The various timelines of the late First Age contain some strangely contradictory comments concerning the Sons of Feanor. Version A of "The Tale of Years" (The War of the Jewels: 345) claims that in the year 540 "The last free Elves and remnants of the Fathers of Men are driven out of Beleriand and take refuge in the Isle of Balar."

"The Later Annals of Beleriand" version AB2 (The Lost Road: 157) states that in that same year "Maidros and Maglor, sons of Feanor, dwelt in hiding in the south of Eastern Beleriand, about Amon Ereb, the Lonely Hill, that stands solitary amid the wide plain.

But Morgoth sent against them, and they fled to the Isle of Balar. Now Morgoth's triumph was complete, and all that land was in his hold, and none were left, Elves or Men, save such as were in his thralls." However, Christopher Tolkien notes in a commentary to the same annals (op.cit.:167-8) "It is not told in AB1 that Maidros and Maglor and their people fled in the end from Amon Ereb to the Isle of Balar. In Q [Quenta] nothing is told of the actual habitation of Maidros and Maglor during the final years." Given the animosity between the sons of Feanor and the survivors of Doriath (some of whom had survived two kin-slayings), it does not seem likely that the sons of Feanor would have sought to spend years in tight quarters with their former foes on Balar. The Feanoreans were typically loners at heart, and would have fared fairly well surviving in the wilds with just each other and a small band of trusted followers (and their adopted sons, the Peredhil).

12) Maglor's song is part of "The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor" (The Lays of Beleriand: 159). The connection is made in "Morgoth's Ring" (125) and "The Shaping of Middle-earth" (204) between this abandoned and unfinished work and the Noldolante, "the Fall of the Noldor, that Maglor made ere he was lost." (Silmarillion: 98). Christopher Tolkien notes in a footnote to "The Quenta" (The Shaping of Middle-earth: 204) that he has never found a trace of any poem named Noldolante, and he presumes the connection made is a correct one. This famous tragic poem will become important in "Kilmessi."

13) I take as canon Tolkien's last known parentage notation for Gil-galad - as son of Orodreth, son of Angrod, son of Finarfin. See "The Shibboleth of Feanor" (The Peoples of Middle-earth: 350-1) for details.

14) The circumstances of Oropher's death are recounted in "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" [Unfinished Tales] Amdir, King of Lorien, and much of his host was killed in the Battle of Dagorlad, "being cut off from the main host and driven into the Dead Marshes. Oropher was slain in the first assault upon Mordor, rushing forward at the head of his most doughty warriors before Gil-galad had given the signal for the advance. Thranduil, his son, survived, but when the war ended and Sauron was slain (as it seemed) he led home barely a third of the army that had marched to war." (271) Despite the chronology stated in the film, there was a lapse of seven years between Dagorlad and the final victory over Sauron's forces (and Gil-galad and Elendil's deaths).

15) Speculation on the obscure (yet canonical) name "Finnelach" for Gil-galad will be the basis of the upcoming story "Kilmessi."

16) The battlefield relationship of Elrond, Gil-galad, Elendil, and Isildur is discussed in "Where the Shadows Are."

"Misunderstood" discusses the night before the Last Alliance left Imladris and the giving of the seal to Elrond as a wedding present.


References:

The Sindarin Dictionary Project http://www.geocities.com/almacq.geo/sindar/
Robert Foster (1978) The Complete Guide to Middle Earth (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1994) The War of the Jewels (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1980) Unfinished Tales (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1994) The War of the Jewels (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1987) The Lost Road and Other Writings (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1986) The Shaping of Middle-earth (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1977) The Silmarillion (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R. Tolkien (1993) Morgoth's Ring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
J.R.R.T Tolkien (1985) The Lays of Beleriand (NY: Ballantine Books)
J.R.R.T Tolkien (1996) The Peoples of Middle-earth (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
Humphrey Carter (ed.) (1981) The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
Karen Wynn Fonstad (1981) The Atlas of Middle-earth, rev. ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co)
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