Of Beleriand and its Realms

Zzzzzz…huh? what? oh sorry, I must’ve dozed off their for a minute. Okay, so how many times did you have to read this chapter to get any real idea of how everything was layed out and who was where? I’ve read it 4 or 5 times, and I’m still not totally clear on where everyone is situated and all the names of the territories and rivers and marshes and forests and plains and hills and on and on and on…and I even have a map to help me out! (God help those of you who are listening to the Silmarillion on CD and have no map to reference!) Whenever something happens, I find myself refering back to the map in this chapter and the one at the beginning of the book, which is a big help. In all honesty, after reading this chapter as many times as I have, I do have a pretty good idea of how it’s all layed out, but I don’t have it all committed to memory.

This is a very necessary chapter, but not the most gripping. Tolkien effectively sets the stage for whatever happens next in this epic history (legends and myths and all). And, God love him for keeping things realistically complicated. But that complication is bound to lead to some confusion. Something he was aware of I’m sure.

Something I’m a little curious of is how Thingol feels about the Noldor carving up what he had considered his land. Hithlum, Dorthonian, and the regions east of Doriath, Thingol had given leave to the Noldor to dwell, but not in the West where Finrod makes himself lord. I can’t help but feel that this might be the basis for plot complications later on.

And one more thing: who the heck is Cirdan? He rules the remnant of the Teleri in the Falas, sure, but where did he come from? He’s not mentioned as having been one of the princes of the Teleri, he just kinda pops up way back Chapter 5 and here he is again, with the death of Denethor in ages past, he’s now the only ruler of Beleriand not clearly descended from one of the original lords of the Eldar. I wonder what role he’ll play later.

Till next time, keep thinking,