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Father (Eol and Young Maeglin)
By Mellaril   |   Watch
86 19 1K (1 Today)
Published: January 16, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 Mellaril
"And Aredhel bore to Eöl a son in the shadows of Nan Elmoth, and in her heart she gave him a name in the forbidden tongue of the Noldor, Lómion, that signifies Child of the Twilight; but his father gave him no name until he was twelve years old. Then he called him Maeglin, which is Sharp Glance, for he perceived that the eyes of his son were more piercing than his own, and his thought could read the secrets of hearts beyond the mist of words."

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Silmarillion (p. 128). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Maeglin is by far my favorite character in The Silmarillion. I think I must have read his story hundreds of times: his lonely childhood, the violent death of his mother, his hopeless love for his cousin, and his ultimate betrayal of the city of Gondolin. It's a story of intrigue and tragedy that has kept me up many a night. I just love him to pieces. 
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Comments19
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NastyBeastie's avatar
NastyBeastieHobbyist

Maeglin's face, esp. eyes're done SO great! (Though I must admit, despite all unholy urge to control and possess Eol shows with every step, I've always been on his side far rather than Maeglin's : (

Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Hmm, interesting perspective! Why do you say that?
NastyBeastie's avatar
NastyBeastieHobbyist

(It would be long. I'm sorry ^^ My inner philologist is hard to leash)

I think, what appeals to me most is the fact Eol's the only one (well, as far as I can remember from Silmarillion) who, being able of pretty dark deeds, has no Doom, nor Curse, nor Oath to corrupt him in the first place (and doesn't give a damn about Silmarils). With Professor's words that every story is a story of the Fall (plus Mortality and the Machine), Eol really puzzles me, as he hadn't any particular Fall, he is just the way he is from the beginning. Yep, "dark", I think, is a good word ) And he never pretends to seem otherwise.

While of Maeglin I used to think, like, "oh right, here goes another one" -- noble looks, crafty words, the type who makes everybody (well, almost) like them and then lead them into some nasty kinslaying (like it was with Feanor, CCC and Turin, it feels like one of Professor's favourite combinations). It was so very strange and kind of eye-opening to discover fandom's different interpretations. It's so great your depictions of Maeglin (on the wall too) are much deeper and far more compassionate than my old headcanon, I'd probably never be able to see there's so much more in him. I'd love to see a drawing of him around the Fall of Gondolin if you'll ever come up with one : ) It woud be interesting to compare it with his father's image and that child with hopeless eyes.

Aaaaand I wonder what's your take on Eol :3

Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Interesting! Sorry it took me so long to reply. So here's my take on Eöl:

Eöl is evil, or at least as close to it as an elf can be. But he's evil with streaks of goodness, and evil in a human way (as opposed to Morgoth or Sauron, who are what I'd call "cosmically" evil). While there may be numerous possible explanations for it (family murdered by the Noldor, dark/antisocial nature, etc.) He's someone who commits wicked acts, but his motivations are logical. His love for Aredhel is not enough for him to overcome his hatred of her kinspeople, and so, consumed by jealousy and wrath, he kills her. Maeglin, on the other hand, is at first resistant to his own nature. He fights alongside his uncle in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, showing his loyalty is to the Noldor, the very people who killed his father (and his ancestors). And when he is captured by Morgoth, he doesn't immediately think, "Hurrah! This is my chance to take over the world!" He resists - only after he is tortured and manipulated does he give in. Even though ultimately he, like his father, is unable to overcome his wicked nature, he tries as hard as he can to do so.  
NastyBeastie's avatar
NastyBeastieHobbyist

Thanks for sharing your perspective! Actually, it stirs so many thoughts, I think it's time for annual Silmarillion rereading)

Mimisilvertongue's avatar
MimisilvertongueStudent General Artist
I really love this one!
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!!
Annathelle26's avatar
Annathelle26Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your portrayal of them is so good! Well done! :clap:
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!! :D
Amaniwolf's avatar
Very cool, i always found his story intriguing.
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
:))) thanks!
Wasserwaldnymphe's avatar
WasserwaldnympheHobbyist Traditional Artist
It's one of my favorite stories, too. The story of Eol, Ardhel und Maeglin reads like: If you wouldn't always lock up your family members, they wouldn't do such horrible things.
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Haha yup!!
alystraea's avatar
alystraeaHobbyist Digital Artist
I really love this! The surly frown on Eol's face, the possessive/controlling hand on his son, and Maeglin's intense stare (yup, "sharp glance"). Maeglin's arm looks as though it's being held quite stiffly, and I wonder if that was intended to show tension/resentment/unease?
As always I like the painterly texture and your brush strokes. 
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much! I stumbled across a photograph of a child with a pair of skeletal hands caressing its face and then was inspired to paint this. The more I think about it, I think Eöl loved our Maeglin more than anything in the world and from his perspective he was saving him from a lifetime of imprisonment by the people who slaughtered the Teleri! So I really wanted to portray that dark, possessive love that characterized their relationship.

As for the hand I'd love to say I did it on purpose but alas ;) it's just a little awkwardly done. Still learning!
alystraea's avatar
alystraeaHobbyist Digital Artist
Our views of Eol are similar - the dark, possessive part we definitely agree on. My own view of him is even darker though, as I think saving Maeglin from imprisonment by kinslayers paints him better than he is. I do see him as loving Maeglin intensely, but it was a twisted, abusive, controlling love, and it would brook no rebellion. He viewed Maeglin as his, wanted him to be a mini-Eol, and I feel it was largely rage at being rejected by his son for a people he hated and utterly despised that propelled that javelin towards Maeglin. 
It's comforting to know you're still learning too, but I must say that that awkward arm actually adds something to the painting!
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Yeah I have to agree with you there. Not sorry about the end he met. And thanks! Glad that it worked for you :D
Jans-art's avatar
Jans-artProfessional Digital Artist
They look so sad, beautifully expressive!Clap 
Mellaril's avatar
MellarilHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! Maeglin's father eventually murders his mother so it is quite sad :(
anonymous's avatar
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