Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
This is a neat chapter. Not neat as in nice or nifty, but neat as in clean and tidy. By the end, all the major strongholds of the Noldor are destroyed and their remnants (Nargothrond being without a remnant) living by the sea. Tuor and his Elven wife Idril Celebrindal (Turgon’s daughter) and their son Earendil even meet up with the remnant of Doriath in Arvernian. Then we have Tuor rumored that after his death he was sundered from the fate of Men and numbered with the Noldor. So of the first Elven-Man union the Elf (Luthien) spends the afterlife as a Man, and of the second Elven-Man union the Man spends the afterlife as an Elf. In the end it all seemed very neat.
Tolkien sure knows how to build your hopes up and dash them, I must add. When Tuor comes to Gondolin with the warning from Ulmo, and Turgon remembers Ulmo’s words from long ago not to love or trust too well the works of his hands etc, for a moment it seemed like Turgon was going to be reasonable. I keep forgetting that that’s not possible in this story. It’s all about fate controling everything and justice running its full course. Although with one chapter left in the Silmarillion-propper there seems like an awful lot that has to happen for the Silmarillion to be tied up neatly. We have four sons of Feanor left, two Silmarils in Morgoth’s posession, and all of Beleriand to sink beneath the ocean…well maybe that part happens in the Akallabeth that comes after, but that aside it’s still a lot to happen in one chapter.
I’m anxious to see how it all “ends.” I suspect the oath of Feanor will run its course (as will the curse of the Noldor), the Vala will be glorified and gain posession of the Silmarils. If Tolkien’s foreshadowing isn’t entirely misleading, I suspect that Earendil will sail to Valinor and plead the case of the Elves before Manwe; then Manwe–moved to pity–will sink Beleriand in order to destroy Morgoth’s minions or something like that.
I sure hope its good. I hope it makes me go, “gee, that really was worth the trip through all that devastation, destruction, and death,” but I suspect that no ending could be that good.
till next time,