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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.