Ch:Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
|Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor|
|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
This chapter tells of the creation of the Silmarils by Fëanor and how the cunning of Melkor created division within the Noldorin people.
 Plot Summary
 The Silmarils
At the peak of his skill, Fëanor created the Silmarils, jewels that contained the mingling lights of the Two Trees of Valinor within them. It is said that the substance of which they were made would never be known by any otehr than Fëanor until the ends of the Earth. The Silmarils were like living things, for they had their own inner fire that burned within them. Melkor desired greatly to have the Silmarils for himself, and he conjured and plotted ways to divide the Elves and take them. He talked often with the Noldor, spreading lies to distort the truth and their perception of reality. He filled them with dreams of vast dominions that they could have in the Outer Lands of Middle-earth. He often said that the power of the Valar would not be enough as the Elves grew and spread across the world. He spoke of the coming of Men, the Second-born children of Ilúvatar and how they would have kingdoms in the former homes of the Eldar.
 Fëanor's Blindness
Fëanor became greedy over his Silmarils and was the most ambitious of the Noldor, a race that was ambitious by nature, and so Melkor used this to his own devices. He started a rumor that Fingolfin and his sons were trying to steal Fëanor's rights as firstborn son of Finwë. He spread another, stating that Fëanor, who had never loved his brothers, would try to drive Fingolfin and Finarfin out of Tirion. Fëanor created a hideaway, and there, he created many arms for battle. Not even Melkor was aware of this place. He also began to speak in protest to the Valar, believing that they were held as prisoners in Aman, and he called upon the Noldor to follow him back to Middle-earth. Tirion was in a maelstrom of its own reckless waves. Worried, Finwë called counsel of his lords. Fingolfin came quickly, before anyone else, asking: "King and father, wilt thou not restrain our brother, Curufinwë, who is called the Spirit of Fire, all too truly? By what right does he speak for all our people, as if he were King? Thou it was who long ago spoke before the Quendi, bidding them accept the summons of the Valar to Aman. Thou is was that led the Noldor upon the long road through the perils of Middle-earth to the light of Eldamar. If thou dost not now repent of it, two sons at least thou hast to honour thy words."
As Fingolfin spoke, Fëanor came into the chamber, armed with a sword and a helm upon his head. "So it is as I guessed", he began. "My half-brother would be before me with my father, in this as in all other matters." He drew his sword upon Fingolfin and shouted, "Get thee gone, and take thy due place!" Fingolfin ignored Fëanor and departed after bowing to his father. Fëanor followed him and stayed him at the door of the king's house and drew a sword to his chest. "See, half-brother! This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls." These word were shouted in public, and many Noldor heard them. Fingolfin still said nothing and continued on through the crowd in search of Finarfin.
The Valar were aware of these happenings, but they did not know that Melkor had toppled the first domino. They assumed Fëanor to be the instigator, for he had drawn his blade on his own kin. They summoned him to the gates of Valmar, and he was tried in the Ring of Doom, and Manwë declared that he would suffer a twelve-year banishment from Tirion, to think over his actions. Fingolfin offered pardon, saying, "I will release my brother." However, Fëanor said nothing and left. Fëanor's seven sons followed him into exile, as well as Finwë, who loved his son very much. Together, they created a secret treasury, called Formenos, and they hid their jewels and the Silmarils there. They also stockpiled their arms there.
 Melkor Exposed
Melkor fled, knowing that the Valar had discovered his lies in Fëanor's trial. He took the form of a cloud, and Tulkas could not find him. The lgith of the trees seemed to dim at that time. Rumor has it that Melkor's whereabouts were unknown until he came to the doors of Formenos. He sought alliance with Fëanor, and Finwë's son thought whether or not he should accept, for it seemed the rumors of his brother might yet be true. Seeing that he was hesitant, Melkor warned that the Silmarils were not safe from the Valar there. However, Fëanor saw through this lie, cursed him angrily, and slammed the door in his face, the face of Melkor, the mightiest of the Ainur and most powerful being in all the land. Melkor left Valinor in shame ad hid in the North.