Episode 56
November 7, 2023

The Long Defeat Is Maybe Going on a Little Too Long

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned discuss Oriana’s choice of topic: the Noldor. Also termed the Deep-elves and, in early versions of the legendarium, the Gnomes – thankfully changed given unavoidable associations – they were one of the three ethnicities of the Eldar in general, the first Children of Iluvatar. As compared to the serene Vanyar and the many generally lower-key societies of the Teleri, the Noldor were the ones most driven by the desire to create and to learn about the world in general, though these tendencies, exacerbated by Melkor in his Valinorean captivity and the internal family strife of their royal house, resulted in all the many deeds of fame in Middle-earth on the one hand but also their near total destruction and eventual fading away on the other. By the time of The Lord of the Rings, only small societies and remnants were left, casting an influence on the course of events but not directing them. What can we learn from the stories of the women of the Noldor in particular, not just Galadriel but other figures such as Fëanor’s mother Míriel and his wife Nerdanel or the Nargothrond princess Finduilas? What throughlines did Tolkien suggest in terms of how the Noldor both seemed the most human of the Elves as well as being driven by the same ambiguous creative impulses that haunted any number of beings in the legendarium? How does the decision to keep them from the center of the many arcs of The Lord of the Rings help shape the book into being the story that it is? And just how much of an obsessive creative type do you have to be to not only devise the writing system for your culture but to insist on sticking to a particular pronunciation because you’re still mad about how things ended up with your family?

Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. Plus a bonus Galadriel-as-Carmen Miranda sketch. (The episode provides context. Sorta.)

Negotiations, negotiations. The SAG-AFTRA strike has a lot of it.

The new edition of the letters will be out in mid-November.

Holly Ordway’s book Tolkien’s Faith.

The Bandcamp Daily story on Jim Kirkwood and his early Tolkien-inspired work.

Some details on Starve Acre, the new Morfydd Clark/Mat Smith folk horror film.

I mean if you WANT the Tolkien Gateway definition of the Noldor

Recommending the Andy Serkis reading of The Silmarillion once more!

Our episode on Galadriel.

Turgon via Tolkien Gateway; relatedly, our episode on The Fall of Gondolin.

Gildor Inglorion, a truly fascinating character, as is Voronwë.

Míriel and Nerdanel – and they have stories that were not fully told…

Glorfindel seems like he’s about to be a major character in The Lord of the Rings…and then he’s not!

We discussed the Kinslaying as part of our episode on evil.

Ah yes, The Shibboleth of Fëanor. Boy this is nuts. And great at the same time.

Then there’s the Oath of Fëanor. Maybe review the language first before you sign a contract.

Our episodes on “Leaf by Niggle” (as part of Tree and Leaf) and Smith of Wootton Major.

Finduilas – again, would be good to learn more about her! See also our episode on The Children of Húrin.

And yes The Wheel of Time is really good. Really!

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