The Silmarillion Recap: The War of Wrath Part III (The Eagles Are Coming!)

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, the Valar launched an assault on Morgoth that sent him reeling but were forced to retreat because of Morgoth’s last ditch offensive. This week, the war takes a turn.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24 part 8

The Valar and their armies are overwhelmed. After the torrent of dragons, each worse than the one that emerged before it, everything is starting to feel hopeless. They have fallen back to regroup and decide their next course of action against Morogth.

However, they don’t have to ponder long. Help is already on the way. The eagles ex machina arrive, headed by none other than Eärendil. While there aren’t many details, it is clear that, just before sunrise, Eärendil beats one of the dragons, Ancalagon the Black, who then falls to the ground and destroys the towers that protect Morgoth’s lair. It’s a bad blow for Morgoth, especially since the rest of his dragons are defeated shortly afterwards. So much for his upper hand.

Knowing that there is nothing left to do, Morgoth attempts to retreat into the mines attached to his fortress of Angband, but he’s not fast enough. The Valar find him, drag him out, and chain him up again. This time, Morgoth’s pleas for forgiveness are ignored. (Just as they should have been the first time.)

The last two Silmarils — the jewels that have caused so much trouble and grief since their creation — are removed from Morgoth’s crown and placed under the watchful eye of Eönwë, Manwë’s herald.

Meanwhile, the slaves and prisoners are released, and everyone has a good look at the results of the war. Morgoth’s lair is in the north, and everything there has changed. The Sea comes in differently than it did before, and old rivers are replaced by new ones. It’s quite a change for the topography of Middle-earth.

And while some things have changed substantially with this war, others stay the same. Fëanor’s two remaining sons — Maedhros and Maglor — still have their eyes on their father’s treasure, and they mean to get the last two Silmarils by any means necessary.

Next week, the last incident in the Silmaril’s tumultuous history comes to a head.

The Silmarillion Recap: The War of Wrath Part II (To War!)

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, the Valar prepared for war against Morgoth. This week, they launch their assault.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24 part 7

As the Valar’s army passes over the Sea, it seems like an ordinary day in Middle-earth. Morgoth is focused on himself, not taking much notice of what’s happening outside and completely clueless about what’s happening to the West.

But then, with one trumpet blast, everything changes. Eönwë (Manwë’s herald) gives the signal to start the Valar’s march to Angband (Morgoth’s fortress), and thus begins the infamous Great War, better known as the War of Wrath.

The Elves and the Valar aren’t alone in this fight, though. Remember those first few tribes of Men who met the Elves and worked with them in the beginning? Well, they band together with the Elves and now the Valar, and they hope to avenge their fallen forefathers, like Hurin, Huor, Barahir, Baragund, Galdor, and Gundor.

Surely Morogth is taken completely unawares but not by surprise. For years, he has been amassing his own troops. He even recruits the Men who didn’t join the Valar (and the Elves never forget this move). However, against a group of angry Elves, Men, and the Valar, they don’t even stand a chance. Before long, his first line of defense is decimated, including his Balrogs. Only a few survive by finding deep, dark holes and burrowing away, not to be seen again until The Fellowship of the Ring.

In the face of this defeat, Morgoth is terrified. He’s been able to beat back his enemies before, but it’s starting to look hopeless. In one last desperate move, he sends out the deus ex machina of his side: the dragons. If Glaurung seemed bad, he is nothing compared to these monsters.

Overwhelmed, the Valar and their armies fall back to regroup. They will need something more powerful to defeat these foes.

Next week, another deus ex machina shows up, and it’s not one Morgoth wants to see…

Making Mondays Better: Star Wars Cat Videos

So evidently I’m a cat person now. My husband claims that I’ve always been one deep inside: they’re the perfect introvert pet, and I’m a serious introvert. My mom-in-law thinks it’s funny since I grew up with dogs but have completely taken to our kitten. My sister-in-law teases that I’m a crazy cat lady like her now… but I only have one. I can’t be that crazy, right? And now I watch the Simon’s Cat videos and laugh because I understand, not just because they’re funny.

All that to say, I’m taking the next step in being a cat person. I’m posting a cat video. But how can you beat a cat video that has to do with Star Wars?


Geek Alert: Harmony of Heroes Album

Over the years, I’ve acquired an eclectic taste in music. I listen to a little bit of just about everything, and even if it’s not what I usually listen to, I can find something to appreciate it just about any kind of music. However, if you were to search through my MP3 player (because, yes, I still use one of those), most of the music is instrumental.

Why? I’ve been wondering that for years. Maybe it’s that it’s easier for me to write to. It sets a mood and lets my thoughts wander and entwine with the instruments. Maybe it just better suits me as an introvert because it’s not another voice talking to me. Maybe it’s the depth of the music and the thrill of hearing so many pieces working together to create a masterpiece. Or maybe it’s just that they feel so epic. I don’t know. Whatever it is, though, it has the vast majority of my alone listening time.

In any case, I’m always on the hunt for new instrumentals. While movie soundtracks are a favorite, video game music is sometimes at the same caliper. After all, have you heard Halo’s soundtracks? And never mind that the Symphony of the Goddesses (based on The Legend of Zelda) is on its third tour. (By the way, if it comes anywhere near you and you enjoy symphonies, it’s awesome!)

Which brings me to our new find: Harmony of Heroes! It’s a free (yes, I said free… and virus-free too; my techy husband was quite sure of that) album made by Nintendo fans in honor of the different franchises represented in Super Smash Bros (a favorite game around here). Like the Zelda symphony, the music is of impressive quality, and 100 tracks for free? Even if you don’t know the games, it’s a great find. It’s available for download here.

What music do you like to listen to? Or write to?

The Silmarillion Recap: War of Wrath Part I (Gathering the Troops)

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Eärendil began his nightly journeys beyond the confines of the world and casts some doubt into Morgoth’s heart. This week, Morgoth gets more than he was bargaining for.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24 part 6

It’s been a long time since Morgoth faced a major assault. Since the last big war (and it was a big war), he’s had a few annoyances, but he feels quite secure in his longstanding fortress of Angband surrounded by his imposing armies. Elves and Men have fought him before, but he’s managed to crush them. And he doesn’t figure there will be any trouble from the Valar across the Sea because they are too separated from the Noldor and won’t act on their behalf. That’s why the next set of events come as a complete shock. He has no idea about Eärendil or what the Valar plans to do.

The Valar plans to go to war.

Before they do, though, it sounds like a reunion from the beginning of the “Quenta Silmarillion.” Joining the Valar are two groups of Elves that haven’t been mentioned in a very long time: the Vanyar and the Noldor who chose to stay in Valinor.

While many of the Noldor chose to follow Fëanor to their doom, plenty of them had no interest in revenge and its consequences and have been in Valinor the whole time. Heading them up is Finarfin, Fëanor’s more level-headed half-brother. And now, so many years later, Finarfin is finally venturing to Middle-earth along with the Valar to clean up the mess his half-brother made.

The Vanyar and the Noldor aren’t the only two groups of Elves, though. The Teleri are there too. At first, they flat out refuse. They might be more laid back, but they haven’t forgotten that Fëanor killed their people and burned their ships as he fled to Middle-earth. This isn’t their fight. They already paid enough. However, Elwing is related to them, so for her sake, they agree to sail everyone across the Sea and wait on the shores of Middle-earth for the war to be over.

With this accompaniment, the Valar grab their gear and head out. It’s time for Morgoth to pay for what he’s done.

Next time, Morgoth finds a surprise on his doorstep…

The Silmarillion Recap: Decisions, Decisions (for Earnedil and Elwing)

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Eärendil finally made his plea to the Valar. This week, he and Elwing have an important decision to make which will have lasting repercussions.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 24 part 5

While Eärendil wandered off onto Valinor to find someone, Elwing waited on the ship with the three mariners they traveled with. Understandably, she’s been anxious about this whole affair, and now it’s been too long since Eärendil left. So she decides to explore the island herself and try to find him.

As she heads up the coast, she doesn’t find Eärendil, but she does find other Elves. The Teleri. (These Elves have lived in Valinor since Elves were first invited across the Sea. To learn a little more about them, click here and here.)

Unlike some of the other Elves who moved to Valinor (cough, Noldor, cough), the Teleri have always been friendly folk but prefer to do their own thing rather than involve themselves in others’ business. Sometimes (like now), they don’t even show up for the Valar’s festivals. Fortunately, though, the Valar never have seemed to mind. They get along just fine.

After spending some time with the Teleri, Elwing is joined again by Eärendil. He takes her back to Valimar, where the Valar are, because they have a very important decision to make.

Because they’re both descended of Elves and Men and they’ve made it to Valinor, they are given a choice: they can either accept the fate of Elves or of Men. Eärendil decides to leave the choice to Elwing. Because of Luthien, she wants the Elves’ fate. And while Eärendil goes along with it, he partly would have rathered that of Men since that’s what his father was.

This decision is also passed to their sons, Elrond and Elros. (Surprise, they’re not dead!) More on that later, though.

Now that their decision is made, Eönwë (Manwë’s messenger) sends the mariners that joined Eärendil on their way back to Middle-earth with a new ship and takes Eärendil’s ship, Vingilot, to the “uttermost rim of the world” (Tolkien 300). Here, he now journeys into the sky with the Silmaril still bound to his brow. Elwing doesn’t normally join him on his journeys, but she lives in a white tower near the water and chats with birds there (since she did take their form a while ago), and sometimes when Eärendil is close, she flies up to meet him because she, evidently, has acquired wings.

Now, the first time Eärendil journeyed up into the sky, everyone in Middle-earth takes notice and they name the new star Gil-Estel, Star of High Hope. Among those who see it are two of Fëanor’s remaining sons, Maedhros and Maglor. Maedhros immediately suspects that it is the Silmaril that fell into the Sea when they attacked Elwing and her people. However, Maglor seems to have the level head on his shoulders as he assures his brother that it’s better this way. Now it can’t be reached by evil.

Someone else sees it too: Morgoth. While he feels quite sure of himself and his stronghold, it does cause him a smidge of doubt. And it should.

Next week, Morgoth has more coming than he ever bargained for.

May the Fourth Be with You (and an Anniversary)

Happy Intergalactic Star Wars Day! While it’s a huge deal for my friends, family, and me, I realized today that it’s literally been years since I posted about it here. Three years to be exact. I still don’t know how that could possibly be considering all of the hubbub that it causes around here.

After some shenanigans with our friends over the weekend, tonight will be filled with watching Star Wars (hopefully the original trilogy) and Mexican food with my parents and brother. At first, we thought it was a weird combination. Then a connection was made: both cultures have a cantina, right?

As for what to wear, a Star Wars shirt is essential. And since t-shirts with dressier clothes are in, I couldn’t resist:

Easiest way to dress up a Star Wars shirt. :)

Easiest way to dress up a Star Wars shirt. :)

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And to top it all off…

Princess Leia buns!

Princess Leia buns!

So whether you celebrate with Mexican food and movies like us or opt for something else, have a wonderful Intergalactic Star Wars Day! And May the Fourth be with you!

Oh, and I nearly forgot, today is another momentous occasion. To my amusement, it’s WordPress that reminded me of it. It’s our bloggiversary. Five years ago, I started the Everyday Epic, not sure if I would stick with it. And here we are today. We’ve had our ups and downs, but it’s been a great five years together. Here’s to many more.


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