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Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » Sil read-alongs of Yore and Fore (Page 3)
Author Topic: Sil read-alongs of Yore and Fore
Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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After some thought and consultation I can announce that chapters it is!

I must, however, point out that I will be away for work a fair bit during August so I may be absent. I'll give advance warning where possible.

Anyone got any problems with starting around the 18th? That should give people time to 'check in'.

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Roll of Honor Aoife
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Sounds good to me - I'll mark my calendar []
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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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Sounds good, but I have a question.

My copy of the Sil has two 'sections' called Ainulindalë and Valaquenta before it moves on to Quenta Silmarillion, which is divided into 'proper' chapters.

Are we reading the two preceding sections first, and both acting as a week's reading?

Now I must run out to buy a very fat notebook, as my toe-in-the-water reading makes me realise that I shall have to make notes, if only to keep up with the Multiple Name Syndrome. I shall also require a map, sandwiches and a flask of tea.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I would say all of those items were required for ANY trip into the Sil. I may put them in the first post.

But yes, I was planning on suffering through the first two oddments, each as a weeks reading.

Edit - You forgot to mention a blanket (or possibly a towel) under which to find when it all gets too much. []

[ 07-13-2011, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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I was thinking of reading it under the duvet - is that acceptable? []
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I imagine so. [] I do find duvets a bit stuffy though, one is less likely to pass out due to lack of oxygen under a blanket or towel.

[ 07-13-2011, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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I'm in, assuming we're doing just the Quenta Silmarillion as SSA stated. [] I shall not be reading my copy under a blanket; possibly under the influence, though... []
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Thingol of Doriath
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You kind of need to read the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta before getting into the Silmarillion proper. It sets the stage.

Think of it as reading Greek mythology before reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. It might not be necessary to understand the books/poems, but it sets the backdrop. What happened between the gods on Olympus was reflected in the struggles of the Greeks on earth, much the same way as in Valinor and Beleriand. []

Good luck with the read-along! []

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Roll of Honor Athene
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Oh well, I'm in anyway, and my first question is how do you pronounce Ainulindalë?
[]

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Thingol of Doriath
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I'm not good at the Elvish pronunciation. Perhaps Varna could lend a hand.

Whenever I read obscure Tolkien and come across a jaw cracker Elvish word, I tend to pronounce it in my head as "Nnnn hnnnn iiil" and then just get on with the story.

I probably shouldn't have admitted to that. []

I won't participate in the read along DQ as I'm reading A Dance With Dragons and my parents are coming for a visit next week... but let me know if you need any help. []

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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[] Daddy. I think we need you for keeping us (in)sane.

E: First post updated - welcome Athene!

[ 07-13-2011, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Actually I have read the Silm as bedtime reading under my pillow on quite a number of occasions. Which can lead to peculair dreams and relationships at times. And a rather beaten up copy. However if people do get confused in the first few chapters it might be an idea to go straight into a chapter later on in the tale. Of the fifth battle would be a good and a slightly surprising one to any that only know Tolkien from Lotr or the Hobbit. Oh and it is only 13 pages long, I've counted so even if you are confused, it won't be for long.

[ 07-13-2011, 10:27 PM: Message edited by: Hamfast Gamgee ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Today marks the start of this read-along. We'll be aiming to get that first little section (Ainulindalë) read and discussed this week. []

P.S. Hamfast, we are starting at the START. []

[ 07-18-2011, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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Starting with Ainulindalë for this week, yes yes? []
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Oop, sorry Athene! I was editing to put that in when you posted! Yes, Ainulindalë this week.
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Roll of Honor Athene
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Hee, sorry. [] This is Jumping The Gun Monday, apparently.
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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[] Just a slow Monday for me, I think.
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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
Yes, Ainulindalë this week.
[]
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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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I've started reading it; my notes are longer than the number of pages I've read []

It's Eru's own fault here, but I always felt sorry for God, being sung at all the time, all those dirge-like hymns. It's not like most Christian congregations sound like Iron Maiden or something.

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Roll of Honor Athene
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[Eddie Izzard]Joyfully we lark aboooouuuuuuut[/Eddie Izzard]
[]
( [] )

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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[mournfully]Aaaaaaa-laaaaay-luuuuuuuuu-yaaaaaaa[/mournfully]

For anybody who is deprived, look here.

[ 07-19-2011, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: Sauron's Secret Agent ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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I'll get on this tonight, in between baking Richard Lenski's Friendship Cake Experiment. []

Cake and Tolkien. [] Not too shabby a way to spend a Tuesday night. []

E: Read. Notes made. Will have Thoughts. []

[ 07-20-2011, 06:14 AM: Message edited by: Athene ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Started, been busy, will hopefully get done tonight. Armed with a notebook. []

[] At the Eddie. I [] that.

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Roll of Honor Athene
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[] My thoughts:

Things I really liked:

The singing of things into being reminded me initially of Rudyard Kipling's singing of Magics in the Just-So Stories. Also slightly similar to the Australian Aboriginal concept of dreaming - seems as though this process of creation by an external manifestation of thought is quite common in human mythology.

Melkor originally deceived himself as to his intentions. I like this because it makes him very human; trying to think of himself as the hero even when he's gearing up to do something selfish and wicked.

The love of the sea is the Children (CoI) listening for the Music. Lovely connection both to Legolas' later yearnings, and to our own world.

Singing only gave the Valar a vision of Arda - they had to do actual hard work on the ground to bring it into being. The Flame Imperishable seems to be the difference between thought and actuality, as it was when Eru awoke the Ainur.

Things that puzzled me:

The Ainur are the equivalent of the angels in Christian mythology, with the obvious analogy of Melkor to Lucifer, the angel who defied God. However, the CoI think of them as the Gods. It is mentioned in LotR that the CoI have mostly forgotten about Eru, but is it stated why?

JRRT states that the Valar chose to go to Arda and become part of it, living only within its confines. But he also states that they may be unable to see Arda from the end of the Third Age. This seems inconsistent, unless they afterwards left?

The innumerable stars are outside Arda, in the Void. It's not very voidy then, is it? Explanation needed.

The Valar choose to take gendered form according to their natures, in other words certain characteristics were already considered to be gender-specific. This doesn't make a lot of sense before the CoI came into existence.

[] []

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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My Tuppence:

- Singing to create a world (or see what they're going to create) strikes me as more than a little odd, but that's Tolkien for you, so I'll skip over that one.

- As Athene pointed out, the Ainur/Valar and gender is a bit... If they 'choose' a gender on Arda according to their characteristics, it is implied that they had a gender in all but their physical form before... I'm not at all sure (book not here) they JRRT didn't refer to Melkor as he before the whole Valar-choosing fiasco... Must go back and check that, unless someone puts me right first. []

In response to Athene:

- Re Melkor: I thought he was more just trying to stir things up, like any other antagonist. I didn't think it made him especially 'human', besides which, should the Ainur really BE human?

- Re The Valar on Arda and not being able to see: Maybe they're blind? [] No, seriously, I just assumed that because they song had ended they hadn't seen any further into the future of what 'could' be if they put the effort into it. I assumed that they'd just be as clueless as everyone else from then on, but I haven't read all of JRRT's outpourings on the subject so I could be very wrong.

- Re: Void and Stars: Where are stars mentioned? But yes, if there are stars in it it's really not very Void-like, is it? Plot-hole! []

- Re: CoI forgetting Eru: If it's stated why I have no idea where, it probably isn't. I suppose if you think of Eru of Many Names and the Ainur as a Christian analogy then the CoI and the Valar have a pagan analogy in keeping with JRRT's Norse/Icelandic/etc Mythology obsession. I suppose forgetting about Eru would get around that - have a singular creating force then have the creations forget it over the years to have your much-admired pagan myths fit better. []

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