This weekend, Hall of Fire finally resumes its Silmarillion chats with chapter 16 — Of Maeglin. We’ll explore the tragic tale of Aredhel and Eol, exploring what spurred the White Lady of Gondolin to leave the hidden city and how it set in train a trail of events that leads right up the sacking of Gondolin itself.
‘So you forsake your father and his kin, ill-gotten son! Here shall you fail of all your hopes, and here may you yet die the same death as I.’ Eol at Gondolin.
Was Aredhel strong or rebellious, and how does her restlessness compare with that of her Noldorin half-sister, Galadriel? What does it say about her character that she chose to visit her Feanorean cousins, rather than Fingon? What of Turgon, who allowed her to leave Gondolin reluctantly? Was he foolish or realistic? What else could he have done, if anything? On the other hand, why does every other elf of Gondolin seem content to remain in the vale of Tumladen? Or should we interpret this in a more mythical sense?
Do we see the doom of Mandos at work with Aredhel’s inability to enter Doriath and subsequently losinmg her companions travelling through Esgalduin? Is it the inexorable hand of Mandos’ curse that draws Aredhel to Eol — and is it right that Fate should so interfere? Or is her restlesness and apparent wilfullness her own responsibility?
What should we make of Eol, the dark elf of the Teleri with the huge chip on his shoulder? Is he a Teleri prince? In his own way, he seems as restless as Aredhel. He uses enchantments to lure her in, yet it is said she was ‘not unwilling’. And where does his intense and abiding hatred of the Noldor come from? For although he calls them kinslayers, he does not associate with the Teleri, instead preferring the company of the Dwarves. Is it solely enforced isolation that spurs Aredhel to flee? How much is Maeglin’s apparent lust for knowledge — and perhaps the throne of Gondolin — responsible?
Neither Curufin nor Turgon move to slay Eol, despite the former’s wish to do so? It seems almost the kinslaying has horrified the Noldor to the point where to kill another elf has become virtually forbidden by custom and law. Do you agree?
Nevertheless, In Gondolin, events run inevitably to a dreadful conclusion? Does everyone get wehat they deserve, or does Turgon condemn everyone with his stubbornness?
Above all, what is this story telling us?
These are just a few of the things we’ll discuss this weekend on Sunday February 12 at 2.00pm EST in The Hall of Fire.
Time zone conversions
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Our chats usually last 45 mins to an hour, and are very newbie friendly. Simply drop in and join the conversation!
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Sun Feb 12 — Silmarillion Chapter 16
Sat Feb 18 — Silmarillion Chapter 16
Sun Feb 26 — Middle-earth’s greatest hero
Sat Mar 4 — Middle-earth’s greatest hero
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