The island was brought up from the sea as a gift from the Valar to the Edain, the Fathers of Men who had stood with the Elves of Beleriand against Morgoth in the War of the Jewels. Númenor was meant to be a "rest after the war" for the Edain. Early in the Second Age the greater part of those Edain that survived their defeat from Morgoth journeyed to the isle, sailing in ships provided and steered by the Elves. The migration took fifty years and brought 5,000 to 10,000 men, women and children.
The realm was officially established in S.A. 32, and Elros Half-elven, son of Eärendil, and brother of Elrond and descendant of all the royal houses of Elves and Edain, became the first King of Númenor. Under his rule, and those of his descendants, the Númenóreans rose to become a powerful people. The first ships sailed from Númenor to Middle-earth in the year 600 of the Second Age.
The Númenóreans were forbidden by the Valar from sailing so far westward that Númenor was no longer visible, for fear that they would come upon the Undying Lands, to which Men could not come. For a long time, Númenor remained friendly with the Elves, both of Eressëa and of Middle-earth, and between S.A. 1693-1700, they assisted Gil-galad in the War of the Elves and Sauron, which broke out after the forging of the Great Rings, in particular the One Ring. King Tar-Minastir and the forces of Númenor were without peer in war, and together with the Elves, they were able to temporarily defeat Sauron. Over time the Númenóreans became jealous of the Elves for their immortality, and began to resent the Ban of the Valar and to rebel against their authority, seeking the everlasting life that they believed was begrudged them. They tried to compensate for this by going eastward and colonizing large parts of Middle-earth, first in a friendly manner, but later as cruel tyrants. Soon the Númenóreans came to rule a great coastal empire that had no rival. Few (the "Faithful") remained loyal to the Valar and friendly to the Elves.
In the year 3255 of the Second Age, the 25th king, Ar-Pharazôn, sailed to Middle-earth and landed at Umbar. Seeing the might of Númenor, Sauron's armies fled and Sauron surrendered without a fight. He was brought back to Númenor as a prisoner but he soon became an advisor to the king and promised the Númenóreans eternal life if they worshipped Melkor. With Sauron as his advisor, Ar-Pharazôn had a 500-foot (150 m) tall temple to Melkor erected, in which he offered human sacrifices to Melkor (those selected to be sacrificed were Elendili, Númenóreans who were still faithful to the Elves).
During this time, the White Tree Nimloth, which stood before the King's House in Armenelos and whose fate was said to be tied to the line of kings, was chopped down and burned as a sacrifice to Melkor at Sauron's direction. Isildur, heroically and at great personal risk, rescued a fruit of the tree which became an ancestor of the White Tree of Gondor, preserving the ancient line of trees.
Prompted by Sauron and fearing old age and death, Ar-Pharazôn built a great armada and set sail into the West to make war upon the Valar and seize the Undying Lands, and by so doing achieve immortality. Sauron remained behind. This force was quoted by Tolkien as the 'greatest force ever assembled on Arda'. In the year 3319 of the Second Age, Ar-Pharazôn landed on the shores of Aman. As the Valar were forbidden to take direct action against Men, Manwë, chief of the Valar, called upon Eru. The Undying Lands were removed from the world forever, and the formerly flat Earth was made into a globe. Númenor was overwhelmed in the cataclysm and sank beneath the sea, killing its inhabitants, including the body of Sauron who was thereby robbed of his ability to assume fair and charming forms, forever appearing in the form of a Dark Lord thereafter.
Elendil, son of the leader of the Faithful during the reign of Ar-Pharazôn, his sons and his followers had foreseen the disaster that was to befall Númenor, and they had set sail in nine ships before the island fell. They landed in Middle-earth and founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.
After twenty-eight years of imprisonment and the death of his children, Húrin was released by Morgoth. "He had grown grim to look upon: his hair and beard were white and long, but there was a fell light in his eyes. He walked unbowed, and yet carried a great black staff; but he was girt with a sword." He was brought to his old homelands in Hithlum, but the Easterlings living there at first did not recognize him and later feared him, believing he served their evil lord Morgoth. The House of Hador had been destroyed, and those who remained as slaves or outlaws held him in suspicion and fear.
Seven outlaws under Asgon joined Húrin, and together they went to the Vale of Sirion. Húrin abandoned his followers and sought the entrance to Gondolin, but the Hidden City was closed, and Turgon at first did not wish to allow him in. Húrin cried out against Turgon, thus revealing the location of Gondolin to Morgoth's spies, and then left. Only after he had left did Turgon have a change of heart and send Eagles to fetch him, but they came too late and did not find him.
Húrin continued to the forest of Brethil where his son and daughter had died, and met his wife Morwen there at their grave at Cabed-en-Aras, just before she, too, died. In anger and despair he sought out the Folk of Haleth, blaming them for the death of his wife and children, and caused a revolt that killed the last Haladin. For Hardang the Chieftain of Brethil feared and dishonoured Húrin, imprisoning and trying to kill him. Húrin's cause was defended by Manthor, and they managed to set the Folk of Brethil against Hardang and slay him. But Manthor himself was killed, and guessed the will of Húrin: "Was not this your true errand, Man of the North: to bring ruin upon us to weigh against thine own?"
Húrin met up again with the outlaws, and together they went to Nargothrond, where Húrin killed the Petty-dwarf Mîm who had claimed the treasure of Glaurung, earning a curse on the gold. Húrin and his outlaws brought the treasure, including the Nauglamír, to Doriath, insulting Thingol by giving it as a fee for his 'good care' of Húrin's kin. Húrin thus brought a curse on Doriath as well, eventually leading to its downfall.
Melian's kind words managed to break through to Húrin's clouded mind, and Húrin finally saw that all his deeds had only aided Morgoth. A broken man, he was rumoured to have cast himself in the sea and killed himself. That was the end of Húrin, who had been known as the "mightiest of the warriors of mortal men".
After the catastrophe of the Fifth Battle, the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the boy Túrin is sent to Doriath for protection from Morgoth's special enmity for the House of Húrin. Beleg becomes the mentor, steadfast friend and brother-in-arms of Túrin Turambar. The two fight together in defending the north marches of Doriath from the Orcs of Morgoth. When Túrin is accused of murder, Beleg searches out and produces at the last moment a witness who can testify to extenuating circumstances. When Túrin pridefully leaves Doriath after the affair, Beleg receives permission from Thingol to follow him into exile and is granted the sword Anglachel to help in this endeavour. Beleg long seeks Túrin. At Amon Rûdh he is captured and tortured by Túrin's men, until Túrin returns and releases him. Although Beleg beseeches Túrin to return to Doriath, where he has been pardoned and would be welcomed, Túrin still pridefully refuses and Beleg loyally chooses to stay with Túrin. Together, with Túrin wearing the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, they lead a band of men against the invaders of Morgoth. The land where the "Two Captains" dwell becomes known as the Land of Helm and Bow, but the small realm was destroyed two years later.
When Túrin is captured by Morgoth in a treacherous ambush, Beleg is grievously wounded. Yet with the strength of a great Elven warrior and his extraordinary healing skills, he recovers swiftly and tracks the Orcs. In the deadly land of Taur-nu-Fuin Beleg meets the elf Gwindor, recently escaped from Morgoth's thraldom, and together they rescue Túrin, with Beleg performing an heroic feat ofbowmanship, slaying numerous wolf sentinels in the dark. After they carry Túrin from the Orc-camp, while removing Túrin's bonds, Beleg accidentally cut Túrin with his sword. Túrin awakes and does not recognize Beleg in the darkness, mistaking the shape over him with a blade as an Orc. In a sudden rage of self-defence, he wrests the sword from Beleg and kills him. When he recognizes the truth of his friend's loyalty and bravery and his own fatal mistake, Túrin is so overcome with grief that he walks in a daze for weeks, being led out of danger by Gwindor. After returning to himself, Túrin takes Beleg's sword Anglachel, renaming it Gurthang ("Iron of Death"), and wields it in further battles against Morgoth's forces for the rest of his life. Years later, Túrin himself dies upon the sword Gurthang when his tragic life becomes too hard to bear, and the sword is thus avenged for the death of Beleg.
"Now the streets of Gondolin were paved with stone and wide, kerbed with marble, and fair houses and courts amid gardens of bright flowers were set about the ways, and many towers of great slenderness and beauty builded of white marble and carved most marvelously rose to the heaven. Squares there were lit with fountains and the home of birds that sang amid the branches of their aged trees, but of all these the greatest was that place where stood the King's palace, and the tower thereof was the loftiest in the city, and the fountains that played before the doors shot twenty fathoms and seven in the air and fell in a singing rain of crystal; therein did the sun glitter splendidly by day, and the moon most magically shimmered by night. The birds that dwelt there were of the whiteness of snow and their voices sweeter than a lullaby of music.
the Vala Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, revealed the location of the Vale of Tumladen to the Noldorin Lord Turgon in a dream around the year FA 50. Under this divine guidance, Turgon travelled from his kingdom in Nevrast and found the vale in FA 53. Within the Echoriath just west of Dorthonion and east of the River Sirion, lay a round level plain with sheer walls on all sides and a ravine and tunnel leading out to the southwest known as the Hidden Way. In the middle of the vale there was a steep hill which was calledAmon Gwareth. There Turgon decided to found a great city that would be protected by the mountains and hidden from the Dark Lord Morgoth.
For nearly seventy-five years, Turgon and his people built Gondolin in secret. After it was completed in FA 116, he took with him to dwell in the hidden city his entire people in Nevrast — almost a third of the Ñoldor — as well as nearly three quarters of the northern Sindar. The city stood for nearly 400 years until it was betrayed to Morgoth by Maeglin, Turgon's nephew, and sacked by the army of Morgoth the Dark Lord.
The Witch-king and the other Nazgūl rode from Mordor and Dol Guldur searching for the Shire. Four entered the Shire, and found that "Baggins" had moved to Buckland. Several Nazgūl attacked Gandalf onWeathertop and tried to ambush Frodo Baggins in Buckland and at Bree. Five, including the Witch-king, finally found Frodo on Weathertop with the other hobbits, accompanied by the Ranger Aragorn. The Ringwraiths attacked the party, and the Witch-king wounded Frodo with a Morgul-blade. Frodo's wound threatened to turn him into a wraith under the control of the Nazgūl.
As the company made for Rivendell, the realm of Elrond Half-elven, they met Glorfindel, who loaned Frodo his horse Asfaloth. Pursued by all nine Nazgūl, the horse carried Frodo across the River Bruinen. From the far bank Frodo defied the Nazgūl. When the Witch-king rode into the water, Elrond, who controlled the river, released a flood that caught three Nazgūl and their horses. Glorfindel advanced and drove the terrified horses of the remaining Nazgūl into the flood. The horses drowned, and all nine Nazgūl were swept away.
'Listen! They are coming this way,' said Frodo. 'We have only to wait.' The singing drew nearer. One clear voice rose now above the others. It was singing in the fair elven-tongue, of which Frodo knew only a little, and the others knew nothing. Yet the sound blending with the melody seemed to shape itself in their thought into words which they only partly understood. This was the song as Frodo heard it:
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea.
O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sawn,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.
The song ended. 'These are High Elves! They spoke the name of Elbereth!' said Frodo in amazement, 'Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. Not many now remain in Middle-earth, east of the Great Sea. This is indeed a strange chance!'
-------------from chapter III<three is company>
The three commanders agreed that the Goblins and Wargs were the enemies of all, and previous grievances between them were put on hold in face of the greater threat. They arranged their forces on the two spurs of the Mountain that lined the valley leading to the now-sealed off great gate; the only entrance to the Mountain. The Dwarves and Lake-men formed up on one spur and the Elves on the other, while a light rear-guard lined across the mouth of the valley to lure the Goblins between the two, and thus destroy them. Bilbo Baggins, while invisible due to the Ring, tried to sit out the battle on the spur held by the Elves.
Soon the Goblins and Wargs arrived (and now four armies were on the field), and at first the plan worked: they were lured into the choke point and took heavy losses. However, due to their superior numbers, the allied Free Folk did not hold the advantage long. The second wave was even worse than the first, and now many Goblins scaled the mountain from the opposite side, and began to attack the arrayed forces from above and behind, as the main wave pressed forward. The battle raged across the Mountain, and then a great noise was heard: Thorin and his twelve Dwarf companions inside the mountain had thrown down the stone wall they had erected across the mouth of the gates, killing many Goblins. Thorin and Company then charged out to join the battle, covered from head to toe in the finest armour and weapons contained in the treasure hoard of Erebor. Thorin advanced through the Goblins ranks all the way up to the gigantic Goblins that formed the Bodyguard of Bolg, whom he could not get past. The battle degenerated into a chaotic close quarters melee, no quarter asked or given.
As the battle was turning fully against the Free Folk, a number of Giant Eagles of the Misty Mountains arrived (the fifth army), led by Gwaihir, Lord of the Eagles. Bilbo was the first to spot their entrance on the scene and began shouting that "the Eagles are coming!", a shout that was then continued among the other troops of the Free Folk. At this point Bilbo was knocked in the head by a large stone thrown by a Goblin from above on the Mountain, and he passed out. With the support of the Giant Eagles, the battle turned back against the Goblins. Then Beorn himself arrived at the battle, apparently having heard news that a large army of Goblins was on the move. This time he did not appear in his former shape of a giant Man, but had changed his skin to that of a gigantic bear. Beorn drove through the Goblin lines, but paused to carry the wounded Thorin out of the battle. Beorn then returned to the battle with even greater wrath and smashed the ranks of the Bodyguard of Bolg, ultimately killing Bolg himself. The Goblins eventually panicked and scattered, to be picked off by hunting forces from the victors later; many of the Goblin survivors died in the Mirkwood forest.
The Mists of Avalon is a 1983 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she relates the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters. The book follows the trajectory of Morgaine (often called Morgan le Fay in other works), a priestessfighting to save her matriarchal Celtic culture in a country where patriarchal Christianity threatens to destroy the pagan way of life. The epic is focused on the lives of Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, Igraine and other women who are often marginalized in Arthurian retellings. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are supporting rather than main characters.
The Mists of Avalon is in stark contrast to most other retellings of the Arthurian tales, which consistently cast Morgan le Fay as a distant, one-dimensional evil sorceress, with little or no explanation given for her antagonism to the Round Table. In this case Morgaine is presented as a woman with unique gifts and responsibilities at a time of enormous political and spiritual upheaval who is called upon to defend her indigenous matriarchal heritage against impossible odds. The Mists of Avalon stands as a watershed for feminist interpretation of male-centered myth by articulating women's experiences at times of great change and shifts in gender-power. The typical battles, quests, and feuds of King Arthur's reign act as secondary elements to the women's lives.
The story is told in four large parts: Book One: Mistress of Magic, Book Two: The High Queen, Book Three: The King Stag, andBook Four: The Prisoner in the Oak. The novel was a best-seller upon its publication and remains popular to this day. Bradley and Diana L. Paxson later expanded the book into the Avalon series.
The Book of the New Sun (1980–83) is a series of four science fantasy novels or one four-volume novel by the American author Gene Wolfe. Alternatively, it is a series comprising the original tetralogy, a 1983 collection of essays, and a 1987 sequel.[a] Either way, it inaugurated the so-called "Solar Cycle" (below) that Wolfe continued after 1987 by setting other multi-volume works in the same universe.
Gene Wolfe had originally intended the story to be a 40,000 words novella called "The Feast of Saint Catherine", meant to be published in one of the Obitanthologies, but during the writing it continued to grow in size. Despite being published with a year between each book, all four books were written and completed during his free time without anyone's knowledge when he was still an editor of Plant Engineering, allowing him to write at his own pace and take his time.
The tetralogy chronicles the journey of Severian, a disgraced journeyman torturer who is exiled and forced to travel to Thrax and beyond. It is a first-person narrative, ostensibly translated by Wolfe into contemporary English, set in the distant future when the Sun has dimmed and Earth is cooler (a "Dying Earth" story).