The Silmarillion Writers' Guild :: Silmarillion40

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Silmarillion40

As early as 1917, a young J.R.R. Tolkien began writing down the myths and stories that comprised his imagined world. A century later, here we are, four decades after the publication of The Silmarillion on 15 September 1977, still enjoying to read those earliest stories. Our love for the archaic language or people with indistinguishable names, for the grim yet majestic nature of the tales, for the quest for the Silmarils and the characters who find themselves swept up in it, has brought us together. Our views of the different characters and events, of Tolkien's style or overall themes may differ - often vastly - but we have all found something in The Silmarillion that captivates and moves us. More, we feel inside us a need to engage with the texts more deeply, writing our own take on its events, filling the gaps, fixing the bits that irk us, or giving a voice to characters previously unheard. Through our fannish activities we continue to breathe life into the "stillborn postscript"1; we are the "other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama" that Tolkien once ("absurdly") hoped would continue to contribute to his Legendarium.2

An anniversary is always a good occasion for celebration – a celebration of the book that we love, and a celebration of the community that has grown out of this love. How better to combine the two than by creating a compilation of fanworks that follow the timeline of The Silmarillion? One (sometimes, two) such fanworks will be revealed on this site each day for the next 40 (what else?) days. From the creation of Arda to the creation of the Rings of Power, from glory to tragedy, despair to hope, we are going to re-experience the great tales through the eyes of our fellow fans. Many minds and hands have been hard at work to put this collection together with more than eighty fanworks submitted by three dozen different writers and artists. If you enjoy their work, please consider leaving them a comment!

Table of Contents

Star Kindler
by FeanorusRex

Varda creates the stars. (Artwork)

Subcreation: A Collection
by SWG Authors

Tolkien's theory of subcreation states that it is part of our deepest human nature to create secondary worlds. This collection of drabbles, ficlets, one-shots, and sketches follows the thread of subcreation across the span of the legendarium. (Ficlet Collection)

Young Gods
by Fernstrike

It began in Almaren - when the world was new, and the gods were young, and the World seemed full of possibilities. It began beneath the earth, under great halls, inside a dark mirror. (Short Story)

And She Slept
by LadyBrooke

As Valinor is created, there are those who stay behind in the darkness to wait for those that come. (Ficlet)

Turn All Your Flesh As Gold
by anthropologyarda

Aulë's expertise does not lie in lungs and sinews. Mairon teaches his Master more than he intends. (Short Story)

We were not born in Cuiviénen
by Lyra

Morwë tells Oromë about the origins of his people, contradicting some stories the Vala has heard earlier. (Ficlet)

Paths of Good Intentions
by just_jenni

Melian is bored and travels to Arda to see the Quendi. She meets Elwe. His people wonder where he is. (Short Story)

Bewildered
by Dawn Felagund

Not all of the Eldar believed Valinor would be superior to Middle-earth. Having followed the man she loves from the land she loved also, Míriel struggles to cope with a strange life in a strange new land. (Short Story)

Fëanor Makes the Silmarils
by alikuu

Fëanor experiments with the light-retaining properties of Silima in the privacy of his forge. (Artwork)

The Creation of the Silmarils
by amyfortuna

Fëanor's creation of the Silmarils, in the form of a sestina. (Poetry)

Dwarves Come into Beleriand
by Robinka

The Dwarves arrive in Beleriand. (Artwork)

The Fates of Our Kin
by LadyBrooke

It is an ill omen when a Prince of Doriath appears in the tent of a Dwarf without any weapons and lowers himself to sit beneath her while they speak of important matters. (Short Story)

Melkor Stirs Strife among the Noldor
by Nixie Genesis

Melkor weaves his lies, especially between the sons of Finwë. (Artwork)

A King Unkinged (For the Love He Bore Feanor)
by Himring

Finwe arrives in Formenos. (Short Story)

This Time It's Different
by Nixie Genesis

Melkor meets Ungoliant within her lair in order to fulfill his plan. They both converge on Aman and Melkor takes his revenge. (Short Story)

Approaching Darkness
by ryesil

Melkor, Ungoliant and the darkening of Valinor. (Artwork)

The First Kinslaying
by fortunaavversa

The first kinslaying. (Artwork)

Exodus of the Noldor
by Writing Gecko

After the Exile of the Noldor, Arafinwe and Aule reflect on things which can be fixed, and those that cannot. (Ficlet)

The Remnants of a Person
by LadyBrooke

After the battle, too few of Denethor’s people remain to search through all the bodies alone. (Ficlet)

Burning
by feanorusrex

Arien's experience following the death of the Trees. (Poetry)

The Guides
by Hrymfaxe

Arien of Anar and Tilion of Isil. (Artwork, NSFW)

One Last Spring
by anthropologyarda

The world is changing. Strange dreams drive an Avari chieftain to embark on a quest, where he unknowingly stumbles upon his people's doom. (Short Story)

Helcaraxë
by hennethgalad

Fingolfin, his family and friends, confront the ice and the unknown, and are drawn closer together by their feat of endurance. But Fingolfin suffers bitter loneliness and only the great valour of the other Elves gives him the strength to keep moving. (Short Story)

The Grinding Ice
by fortunaavversa

The Grinding Ice. (Artwork)

Mereth Aderthad
by Grundy

"When twenty years of the Sun had passed, Fingolfin King of the Noldor made a great feast; and it was held in the spring near to the pools of Ivrin, whence the swift river Narog arose, for there the lands were green and fair at the feet of the Mountains of Shadow that shielded them from the North. The joy of that feast was long remembered in later days of sorrow; and it was called Mereth Aderthad, the Feast of Reuniting." (Short Story)

Of Linguistic Preferences
by Robinka

Some of the Sindar may have practical reasons to like their king’s edict that banishes Quenya from Doriath. (Drabble)

Eöl and Aredhel
by feanorusrex

And Aredhel strayed from her companions and was lost. (Artwork)

Lady Aredhel's Decision
by Scribe of Mirrormere

The account of Lord Eöl and Lady Aredhel, from the perspective of two of Eöl's smiths. (Short Story)

No One
by Dawn Felagund

Idril sits down to dinner with her cousin Maeglin shortly after the deaths of his parents. What begins as an uneventful meal dominoes into resentment and defensiveness as her own traumatic memories of her mother's death surface. (Short Story)

This Mortal Coil
by hennethgalad

The reflections of Bëor as he is welcomed to Nargothrond. (Short Story)

Darker than Night
by Luxa

While hunting, Amlach and Maedhros are pulled from their excursion by a surprise messenger, who asks them to take on a task great than either of them realize. They should have realized that finding traitors is no small task. (Short Story)

Red Sun Rising
by Amy Fortuna

Fingolfin passes on the crown to Fingon his son and heir. (Short Story)

Through the Morning Mist
by StarSpray

At long last, Emeldir leads her people into the forest of Brethil. (Ficlet)

The Duel
by lightofthetrees

The (in)famous song duel at Tol-in-Gaurhoth, as told by Finrod. (Short Story)

The Dead That Live
by fortunaavversa

Beren and Lúthien win a Silmaril. (Artwork)

Fewer Words, Without Song
by IgnobleBard

The story of Beren and Lúthien told as a fairy tale. (Short Story)

False Spring
by oshun

The story of the Union of Maedhros, the great alliance of Elves, Men and Dwarves organized by Fingon and Maedhros, is the prelude to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. It is the return of hope for my protagonists and yet the beginning of the end of the struggle of those rash and heroic Noldor whose deeds made me fall in love with The Silmarillion. (Short Story)

Follow Me Home
by Robinka

Beleg meets his doom. (Ficlet)

Dagnir Glaurunga
by Robinka

The dragon and his executioner. A take of the death of Glaurung, but with a twist. (Artwork)

Strife about the Nauglamír
by Robinka

Strife about the Nauglamír. (Artwork)

A Dwarf's Memories
by LadyBrooke

An excerpt from the memoirs of a Dwarf of Belegost, concerning her childhood in Menegroth. (Ficlet)

Too late to go in peace
by mangacrack

Dreams tell Dior to stop the madness, but the young king doesn't listen. (Short Story)

Ravens over Doriath
by Hrymfaxe

In the aftermath of the Second Kinslaying (some gore and horror themes). (Artwork)

Escape
by hennethgalad

Tuor meets the messengers of Círdan and passes through the mountains to the sea. At Vinyamar he comes face to face with Ulmo. (Short Story)

Beyond the Cirith Thoronath
by Robinka

Death of a Golden Flower. (Poetry and Artwork)

A Tyrant Spell Has Bound Me
by Independence1776

After an ambush by Morgoth’s army destroys the Fëanorian camp, the survivors seek refuge in the Havens. Dark AU. (Short Story)

We Will Be Who We Are
by Lotrfan

The Army of Valinor has come to Beleriand. Maedhros and Maglor feel they must join in this battle against Morgoth but are reluctant to bring Elrond and Elros into the conflict. War of Wrath prompt focusing on the relationships between the surviving sons of Fëanor and the sons of Eärendil they are fostering. (Short Story)

There was battle in the air
by Lyra

"But Eärendil came, shining with white flame, and about Vingilot were gathered all the great birds of heaven and Thorondor was their captain, and there was battle in the air all the day and through a dark night of doubt. Before the rising of the sun Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host, and cast him from the sky; and he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his ruin." (Artwork)

Bright Star - An Exile into Paradise
by Oshun

Elros is preparing to leave behind the land of his birth, everyone and everything he has known, to become one of the founding settlers and the first king of Númenór. Elrond is not ready to let him go. (Short Story)

Roads Not Taken
by anthropologyarda

With Tar-Ciryatan's crowning, Númenor takes the well-traveled path – but it wasn't the only one. His sister held other dreams. (Short Story)

The City Lights Burn
by Tyelca

Elrond and Gil-Galad discuss Annatar’s presence in Ost-in-Edhil. (Short Story)

Leviathan
by Fernstrike

Númenor is sick. A lord out of the east comes bearing a cure - a leviathan that is also an ouroboros. (Short Story)

Endorenna
by Lyra

"But when the devouring wave rolled over the land and Númenor toppled to its fall, then [Elendil] would have been overwhelmed and would have deemed it the lesser grief to perish, for no wrench of death could be more bitter than the loss and agony of that day; but the great wind took him, wilder than any wind that Men had known, roaring from the west, and it swept his ships far away; and it rent their sails and snapped their masts, hunting the unhappy men like straws upon the water." (Artwork)

Gone For Soldiers
by Alquien

A late night meeting between cousins just before the Last Alliance. (Ficlet)

There Was A Ship
by Alquien

Círdan watches as the ship from Valinor reaches Mithlond bearing the Istari. (Short Story)

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Acknowledgements

Over the past forty days, thirty-five different creators have shared over 100,000 words of stories and poetry and sixteen works of art. Putting together a project of this size requires many hundreds of hours of creativity and industry. I am indebted to those whose skills and efforts made the Silmarillion40 possible.

My first thank-you goes always to my comoderators here on the SWG, who support projects like the Silmarillion40 through their planning expertise and devotion of their time: Russandol, Angelica, and Elleth. A very special thank-you goes also to Lyra, who works with me on running the site's challenges and ended up swept into Silmarillion40 planning when I started using our shared challenge document to plan the event. Lyra stepped up to make the beautiful border on the Silmarillion40 site, wrote most of the forty prompts, and authored the introduction when, nearly on the eve of the project's debut, I realized I hadn't done this yet and wouldn't have time. This project would not have had the splendor it did or be nearly as well run without Lyra's assistance.

Three volunteers set aside time every week to make sure that the day's fanworks were shared on our Dreamwidth and LiveJournal communities. Thank you Angelica, Lyra, and Hrymfaxe for taking on this regular obligation and watching out for and helping each other without a word of prompting from me.

Grundy, Fernstrike, and Jenni volunteered as beta readers, a job that cannot be underestimated because having in-house betas available to our authors ensures that no one is left out from participating simply because they don't have a beta in the Silmarillion fandom. Ensuring as many people can participate on the SWG as want to has always been a core value for us. Thank you to our betas for helping make that happen!

I want to give a special thank you to hennethgalad, who pinch-hit for not one but two stories (and the Day One collection!) after authors had to drop out at the last minute. A willingness to write what's needed with only a few days' notice cannot be undervalued, and hennethgalad's swift willingness to step in made my job much less stressful during this event. Thank you also to the other contributors to the Day One collection--Angelica, amyfortuna, Himring, Jenni, Lyra, Vulgarweed, Oshun, Independence1776, LadyBrooke, Fernstrike, Linda Hoyland, and lordnelson100--for collaborating at the last minute so that we'd have a written fanwork to post on the first day.

Lots of people offered friendship and encouragement--a forty-day event is long (and begins well before the first fanwork is posted). My weekend chat buddies Hrymfaxe and Robinka, who listen to me whine and rant on a weekly basis. My friend Oshun, who I know is always there when I need someone (which is a nice way of saying that she also listens to me whine and rant). Lyra, who is not only brilliant and talented but always patient when it takes me more time than I care to admit to reply to her emails (and who is still waiting for me to fix a posting mistake I made on the archive that I promised to fix on Day One ... and here it is Day Forty now. Yikes.) Hennethgalad, who sends me beautiful seascapes and webcams of the ocean just because. My husband Bobby, who has done more than his fair share of livestock feeding, garden harvesting, and housecleaning while I juggled this event, professional coursework, and the start of the school year. So many friends who have encouraged me and the SWG now and over the years, whether promoting the event or reccing a Silm40 fanwork or simply commenting--whether they know I'm listening or not--about how much they are enjoying the event ... all of these seemingly small gestures mean more than I can say. Thank you.

And finally--to those thirty-five creators, who stepped up to make something beautiful or thought-provoking or funny or heartfelt (or all of the above!) for this event. You shared your time, your talent, and your imagination with us. Silmarillion40 would not have happened without you, and I continue to be awed by both the talent and generosity with that talent in our small corner of the fannish world. Thank you all for sharing both with us.

Peace and Elves to all of you,
Dawn Felagund
SWG founder and owner

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