I wrote this as part of a class project for an Honors seminar in spring 2005. There are some things I'd probably do differently with it, now. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to tinker with it, so I'm posting it with only a few minor edits from its original version. Hopefully my readers (if any) will have mercy on me and offer constructive feedback. Please? Thanks.
Obviously I don't own any of Tolkien's works. Any and all mistakes are my own.
Excerpts From the Writings of Maglor, Son of Fëanor
Translated From the Elvish by Frodo Baggins
One of my earliest memories is of the day my brothers and I watched Yavanna create Galathilion, the White Tree of the Elves, in the city of Tirion. This came about after my cousin Galadriel, daughter of our father Fëanor's half-brother Finarfin, caused a great commotion among our kind. Enamored of the two great Trees of Light – tall, silver Telperion and fair, golden Laurelin – she attempted to climb to the topmost branch of the Tree of Silver during its time of rising light. She had always been very strong-willed, even as a young Elf-child, and although our elders were shocked by her actions, my brothers and I were not in the least surprised. Neither were Galadriel's brothers; Finrod, the eldest, who was my closest friend growing up in Tirion, even remarked that had she not been able to climb the Tree of Silver, she would have scaled the heights of the Tree of Gold instead. Galadriel dearly loved the Trees of Light, as did every Elf in Valinor, but after that it was made very clear to her (and to us all) that the sacred trees were not meant for climbing. However, so as not to seem too harsh, Yavanna made an image of silvery Telperion in the Elven city of Tirion, with the permission of the other Valar. Galathilion was supposedly a gift to all the Elves of Valinor, but I think in her heart Yavanna meant this gift for Galadriel especially, and though my cousin never did try to climb the White Tree in Tirion, she loved it just as greatly as the Two Trees of Valinor. And it has been said ever since that the light of Telperion and Laurelin is caught in Galadriel's silvery-golden hair because of her daring climb.
I almost wish I would have had the courage to try the same, but the fear of my father's wrath if I should do so kept me out of the Two Trees, as it did also my brothers. Our mother Nerdanel would have understood, but that availed us not, for although she is gentler and of deeper understanding than our father, she also tends to be overruled by him most of the time.
Fëanor, or more properly Curufinwë, is great among the Elves and well-known throughout Valinor. He is skilled at whatever he chooses to turn his hand to, whether it be smith-craft and the making of jewels or the writing of poems and songs. It was he who devised a set of letters for such writing, and like all his works they are beautiful and elegant. My father loves nothing better than to create things with his hands; he hates to stay idle.
I too love to create whatever I can, sometimes with my hands and other times with words, music, or both. Especially, I love to write songs that tell the great stories of the Elves, such as the awakening under the stars and the journey to Valinor. The first song ever I wrote, with the help of Finrod who also loves music-writing, was a song about an Elven-king who disappeared on the journey to Valinor, never to be seen again. He was Elwë, the brother of Olwë of Alqualondë, and none who dwell in this land of Aman know what became of him. Finrod and I were a little afraid at first that Olwë would not like what we had written, but after we sang it for him, he told us that our music was beautiful and had aided him a little in healing from the pain of losing the brother he loved. There were tears in Olwë's eyes as he spoke to us. Since that time, Finrod and I have written many, many songs, some of which we worked together on and some of which we did not. Finrod tells me that I am the better songwriter and singer (which I am somewhat inclined to disbelieve, for he is very skilled and I admire him greatly), but there is no question in either of our minds that he has greater skill than I have at playing musical instruments. My best instrument is the harp, but even at that I am far below my cousin in talent.
I sometimes think that I am closer to Finrod than I am to any of my brothers, save perhaps for my eldest brother Maedhros, who understands me better than perhaps I understand myself. Maedhros is the leader of us, and his constant companion is Fingon son of Fingolfin. Often Fingon's brother Turgon is seen with them, and where Fingon and Turgon go, they are followed closely by Orodreth, Angrod, and Aegnor, who are the sons of Finarfin, and Finrod's younger brothers. As if that is not enough, my three inseparable brothers Celegorm, Caranthir, and Curufin are usually inclined to follow where Maedhros leads, and sometimes my two youngest brothers, the fiery-haired twins Amrod and Amras, accompany them as well. Finrod and I tend to prefer not to go about in such a great crowd, but we join the group also at times so as not to give insult. Galadriel is of like mind to Finrod and I, but less often is she seen with us than with Maedhros and the others. Only Aradhel, the sister of Fingon and Turgon, stays apart from the rest of us. I do not know her very well.
Finrod and I often wander far from Tirion exploring the vastness of Aman. We have been to Valmar and to Alqualondë countless times, and even to the gardens of Lórien. Of all the places we visit, however, our favorites are Ezellohar, the Green Mound of the Two Trees near Valmar, and Alqualondë, the Swan-Haven that is the harbour city of the Teleri Elves. More to the point, Ezellohar is my special favorite because of my love for the Two Trees, and Alqualondë is the favorite of Finrod since he and I have many friends among the Teleri. Finrod and I share our newest songs with the harbor-dwellers; the Teleri have a passion for music.
If I did not live in Tirion with my people, the Noldor (of whom Finwë my father's father is the High King), I think I would enjoy living on the shores of the sea. It is peaceful there and very beautiful, but it is farther than I would prefer to be from the Trees.
(note by Frodo: Here Maglor's writing breaks off, and many pages have probably been lost altogether)
I know not what it was that drove my father, Fëanor Spirit-of-Fire, to create the Silmarils, the three wondrous jewels inside of which is trapped the golden and silver light of Laurelin and Telperion. Some say that my father was inspired by my cousin Galadriel's shining silver-gold hair, while others believe he made them out of love for the Trees and also for the works of his hands. There are even some who say that he sought to preserve safely the Tree-Light, in case something terrible should happen to the Trees in times to come. I know neither the truth nor what to think of any of the rumours, though I hope that the last is untrue since I cannot bear the thought of losing Telperion and Laurelin. Despite the mysterious circumstances, however, I was enchanted by the beauty of the Silmarils from the moment I first set eyes on them. They are large, clear gems of a blue-white hue, and from their centers radiates golden and silver light like the light of the flowers and dews of the Great Trees. Furthermore, when light is thrown upon them, they reflect and re-emit it in a spectacular display of every colour imaginable. When I saw them for the first time, I was too stunned to speak; all I could do was stare in openmouthed astonishment. My father watched my reaction, smiling proudly. I wished with all my heart that I could think of something fitting to say to him, about the marvel of this work, but all the words that came to my mind seemed vast understatements. Hesitantly I reached out to touch one of the Silmarils to feel if they were real, but my father stayed my hand, shaking his head slightly. Later I learned that Varda, Queen of the Stars, had hallowed them, so that no one unworthy could touch them without suffering. I wondered then if my father thought me unworthy or whether he was merely being overly cautious.
Inspired by my father's great jewels, I tried to recapture an image of their beauty, and I spent a great deal of time closeted in my chambers with a brush in my hand, attempting to somehow record with paint upon fine cloth the radiance of the holy gems. I was not particularly pleased with any of the results. No matter what I did, my paintings depicted only a shadow, a faint echo, of the true beauty of the Silmarils. With each failure, I became more frustrated.
I had just finished (or rather, given up on) one such pitiful attempt when my father interrupted me and inquired what I was about. Reluctantly I showed him the newly-completed painting I had done of the three Silmarils shining side-by-side with silver-gold light, feeling ashamed that I could not create anything truly worthy of being called an image of a Silmaril. I felt that my rough attempts merely dishonored them, and also my father their maker. But my father's eyes widened in amazement.
"This is thy work, my son?" he asked.
"Yes, father," I replied miserably.
"It is beautiful. I commend and admire you for your skill, and I am honored..."
Before he finished speaking, I cast my brush to the floor in fury, leaving a splash of white paint on the polished, dark floorstones. "Father, my paintings look nothing like thy gems!"
My father smiled ruefully, and he pulled a small piece of cloth from the pocket of his robes, which he then handed to me. "Your image of them is by far more lifelike than mine."
I studied the pattern upon the cloth. It was a design of an eight-pointed, white crystalline star, inscribed within a circle of pale blue, and although it looked not the least bit like a gemstone, it was an elegant symbol nonetheless. I could easily envision it in a set of heraldry, either by itself or as a part of some greater emblem. I told my father so, and he laughed regretfully, saying that I flattered him too much. Yet his eyes betrayed him, for I saw a small spark of pride in them as he turned to leave.
At the door, he hesitated. Then he returned and asked what other artwork I had done, for he knew that I loved to paint and draw, and also write poetry, prose, and music. I showed him some of my early sketches, and a painting of one Silmaril in all the splendor I could give to it. The jewel in the image sent silver-gold, blue-white, and many-colored light outward from a shining, many-pointed, golden-and-silvery pattern at its centre. My father held the cloth up and gazed at it for a very long time, and finally he asked if he could hang it in the grand entrance hall of our House.
"Now it is thee who bestows too much flattery upon me and my work!" I laughed, feeling somewhat better. Hearing my remark, my father merely smiled, and he walked away holding my painting very carefully in his hands. True to his word, he did indeed display it in the Great Hall of our home in Tirion soon after.
As soon as he was gone from my sight, I bent to retrieve my brush and clean up the mess I had made on the floor. Then I added a few final touches to the painting of the three Silmarils side-by-side.
(note by Frodo: Here the writing breaks off again)
Sadly, because of strife that arose among the sons of Finwë after the creation of the Silmarils, my father was exiled from Tirion for twelve years, and my brothers and I with him. Finwë accompanied us also, out of love for my father and shame at allowing such terrible events to occur – for my father was exiled because he drew a sword against his brother Fingolfin and threatened to slay him – but to my dismay and my brothers' sorrow, our mother accompanied us not. She had become estranged from my father and thus had no reason to go into exile with us. I was deeply saddened to leave Tirion, especially since after hearing of my father's display of temper, Finrod refused to see me even to say farewell. Fingon son of Fingolfin shared some brief parting words with my brother Maedhros, but he was the only one who dared come near us after Mandos sentenced my father to his punishment.
Not long after we built our stronghold of Formenos in the northern part of Valinor, my father was visited by Melkor, who was counted mighty among the Valar but whose lies were responsible in part for our suffering. I avoided the entire scene, but from an upper window I listened to their conversation. I could not hear much of it, which was probably just as well. I bore no love for Melkor, having heard of his terrible deeds of the past. It was unclear to me why my father would choose to trust him enough to allow him to come here, but as I pondered the meaning of it all, my thoughts were interrupted by a tremendous roar of fury. Indeed, it was my father's voice I heard, and these were as many of his words as I could hear clearly:
"GET THEE GONE FROM MY GATE, THOU JAIL-CROW OF MANDOS!"
There followed a tremendous BANG as the gates of Formenos were slammed shut.
I stood trembling at the window, unable to comprehend that I had just witnessed. My father defied a Vala, I thought wildly. Not just any Vala, but the mightiest of all of them, and the most evil. 'Spirit of Fire,' indeed. That name is too poor for one so reckless. So that's where my brother Curufin gets it from.
Not long after Melkor was chased from Formenos by my father, I had a strange dream. I dreamt I was walking along the shore near Alqualondë, a place where I had walked many times before, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends from among the Teleri. As I walked upon the gem-strewn sands in my dream, I felt somehow lost ... and very alone. I wished that one of my friends from the Swan-Haven would come out to meet me, but none appeared. I began to shiver in the cold wind blowing in from the sea, and therefore I quickened my strides.
Approaching the harbour, I noticed that all of the lamps were out. Never before had I seen a single lamp unlit in Alqualondë – much less all of them at once. At this I was concerned, especially since there was neither sight nor sign of any of the Teleri. I searched around, but to my disappointment, I found nothing. Perhaps it was because in the darkness, with only the stars of Varda to light my way, I had difficulty seeing at all.
Realization hit me in an instant. The light of the Trees had also vanished! Why? I thought in panic. Why have all the lights gone out? What could it mean?
Terrified, I fled from the harbour, running as fast as I could back along the deserted beach. The many jewels in the sands, shining dimly in the starlight, hurt my unshod feet. I looked down and realized that I was bleeding, and I hastily tore a few strips from the hem of my robes to bandage my wounds. As I knelt, I saw that many of the scattered gems were covered with blood. Not just the gems I had trod upon, but all of them. They shone bright red in the gloom, like watchful eyes. Everywhere I looked along the shoreline, I could see nothing else save for red sparks of light.
Now I was too fearful to move. I wanted to get up again and run far away from the sea, but I remained in place as if frozen. The wind had now risen to a terrible gale, and the waves crashed loudly upon the shore. The howling of the wind and sea, mixed with the mournful cries of seabirds, sang a haunting song – a song of death. I looked out over the sea, and as I did I could see the faraway coast of another continent. I stared in fascination at it, but my curiosity turned to fright as I beheld the flames of a tremendous conflict leaping skyward from that distant land.
This must be the work of Melkor, I thought. Who else would have done this, if not he?
As I continued to watch the distant fire in the east, the sky began to lighten. I turned around where I sat to look toward Valimar, near which the Two Trees grew on the Green Mound of Ezellohar, but the light that brightened the sky was not from Laurelin or Telperion. I glanced back to the east, just in time to see a great globe of fire rise into the sky. Red-gold was its light, of a blinding intensity, and I could not bear to look at it directly for more than an instant. Instead I cast my gaze toward the waters of the sea, and I saw that they too were red, like flowing blood, and the foam upon the wave-crests was tinged pink. I shuddered in horror and averted my eyes from the awful sight only to see again the blood-covered jewels in the sand. Without knowing why, I picked up one such stone, a ruby, and gazed at it more closely. It dissolved in my hand, leaving a smear of scarlet blood, and I cried out in woe.
As I screamed, I awoke from the dream, sitting bolt-upright in my bed. I sat there gasping in terror, still unable to move, and the remembered images of blood and fire still clouded my sight. My mind raced, and even though the dream was over, the feeling of helpless terror did not subside.
Eventually I was able to recover both my breath and my wits. I stumbled out of bed and ran to the window, nearly tearing the heavy, intricately-woven curtains as I hastily forced them back, afraid of what I might see. Was the light of the Two Trees still there? Or had it somehow been extinguished?
To my relief and comfort, I saw from afar the silvery radiance of Telperion, still shining with steady brightness. Immediately my heart was eased, and my fear began to fade. Everything was as it should be; what I had witnessed had been only a dream. Carefully I sat down upon the cushioned window-seat and rested my head against the cool, clear glass of the window, all the while not taking my eyes off of the distant light in the south. For a long time I stayed there, watching that light until the silver faded and turned to the golden glow of Laurelin, wishing that I was back in Tirion nearer to where the Trees grew. Wishing that my father had never been exiled from Tún, and my grandsire, my brothers, and myself with him ... and still afraid of what the future held for us and for all who dwelt in Arda.
(note by Frodo: here Maglor's writing breaks off yet again, and there seems to be no more of it)
The design of an eight-pointed crystal star inscribed on a blue circle is the heraldry JRRT came up with for the Silmarils. I attributed the design to Fëanor rather than to Maglor here, mainly to provide a bit of contrast between the two characters and their approaches to artistic works. The idea that the emblem could be used as part of some other design is a direct reference to the heraldic emblem of the three Silmarils, with a tree behind them, drawn by JRRT himself. Also, the descriptions of Maglor's artwork are based on the drawings I did as part of the project. If you look up Weather-Angel-Adept on deviantART and check my gallery's "JRR Tolkien" folder, you'll find them.
List of deleted and/or undeveloped scenes:
- Reconcilation after exile
- Battle scene: The Darkening of Valinor
- Debate of the use of the Silmarils to revive the Trees – Maglor is FOR this course of action.
- Oath of Fëanor
- More development needed of events leading up to and during the time of exile.
Whole story just needs more detail in general!
Plot holes pointed out by my reviewers in class:
- Galadriel and Fëanor hated each other, and this needs to be shown more, as well as structuring Galadriel's character a bit better.
- Dream sequence – winds at Alqualondë. Of COURSE they're not supposed to be there, that's the scary part! It's a DREAM!
- Battle scene at Ezellohar – technically the sons of Fëanor and the children of Fingolfin and Finarfin aren't supposed to be there, so it had better be REALLY well explained why they ARE. Also make it clear that Maglor fights very hard to try to save the holy Trees.
- Oath – show Maglor's apprehensiveness about the whole thing.
- Probably a whole lot more plot holes – read Histories of Middle Earth.
- Explain how Frodo came to be the one to translate all of this!