ignoring the oath and the consequences of not giving up silmarils. which do you think is morally the most correct re: who should get the silmarils?


Look, I’d go with Regular Inheritance Law, treating the Silmarils as just another piece of property. That ought to make the Feanorians just as mad even though it means they keep title.

Except that this is thousands of years ago, everyone’s dead and/or in Elf Space Heaven and/or Not, so we should really be applying regular archaeology law.

The Silmarils belong to the British Museum.


#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #((this amusement not to be taken as expressing an opinion regarding the statement itself)) #discourse cw? #racism cw? #Middle Earth


theres lots of first contact stories, and usually they mostly gloss over the establishment of a pidgin, like theyll mention it but its not the main focus, and thats fine, not every first contact story should be about linguistics, but it fills me with a longing for more stories about trying to bridge a communication gap like that, especially ones that question the ability for advanced abstract translation at all


not every first contact story should be about linguistics

dubious. every story should be about linguistics.




#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #Middle Earth #language #the person I’m reblogging from also tagged it: #Almost Nowhere


Legolas pretty quickly gets in the habit of venting about his travelling companions in Elvish, so long as Gandalf & Aragorn aren’t in earshot they’ll never know right?

Then about a week into their journey like

Legolas: *in Elvish, for approximately the 20th time* ugh fucking hobbits, so annoying

Frodo: *also in Elvish, deadpan* yeah we’re the worst





Legolas: ugh fucking hobbits

Merry: Frodo what’d he say

Frodo: I’m not sure he speaks a weird dialect but I think he’s insulting us. I should tell him I can understand Elvish

Merry: I mean you could do that but consider

Merry: you can only tell him ONCE

Frodo: Merry. You’re absolutely right. I’ll wait.


#legolas’ hick accent vs #frodo’s ‘i learned it out of a book’ accent #FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Legolas: umm well your accent is horrible


Frodo: :)


Frodo: Hello. My name is Frodo. I am a Hobbit. How are you?

Legolas: y’alld’ve’ff’ve

Frodo, crying: please I can’t understand what you’r saying


Ok, but Frodo didn’t just learn out of a book. He learned like… Chaucerian Elvish. So actually:

Frodo: Good morrow to thee, frend. I hope we twain shalle bee moste excellente companions.

Legolas: Wots that mate? ‘Ere, you avin’ a giggle? Fookin’ ‘obbits, I sware.

Aragorn: *laughing too hard to walk*






i mean, honestly it’s amazing the Elves had as many languages and dialects as they did, considering Galadriel (for example) is over seven thousand years old.

english would probably have changed less since Chaucer’s time, if a lot of our cultural leaders from the thirteenth century were still alive and running things.

they’ve had like. seven generations since the sun happened, max. frodo’s books are old to him, but outside any very old poetry copied down exactly, the dialect represented in them isn’t likely to be older than the Second Age, wherein Aragorn’s foster-father Elrond started out as a very young adult and grew into himself, and Legolas’ father was born.

so like, three to six thousand years old, maybe, which is probably a drop in the bucket of Elvish history judging by all the ethnic differentiation that had time to develop before Ungoliant came along, even if we can’t really tell because there weren’t years to count, before the Trees were destroyed.

plus a lot of Bilbo’s materials were probably directly from Elrond, whose library dates largely from the Third Age, probably, because he didn’t establish Imladris until after the Last Alliance. and Elrond isn’t the type to intentionally help Bilbo learn the wrong dialect and sound sillier than can be helped, even if everyone was humoring him more than a little.

so Frodo might sound hilariously formal for conversational use (though considering how most Elves use Westron he’s probably safe there) and kind of old-fashioned, but he’s not in any danger of being incomprehensible, because elves live on such a ridiculous timescale.


to over-analyse this awesome and hilarious post even more, legolas’ grandfather was from linguistically stubborn Doriath and their family is actually from a somewhat different, higher-status ethnic background than their subjects.

so depending on how much of a role Thranduil took in his upbringing (and Oropher in his), Legolas may have some weird stilted old-fashioned speaking tics in his Sindarin that reflect a more purely Doriathrin dialect rather than the Doriathrin-influenced Western Sindarin that became the most widely spoken Sindarin long before he was born, or he might have a School Voice from having been taught how to Speak Proper and then lapse into really obscure colloquial Avari dialect when he’s being casual. or both!

considering legolas’ moderately complicated political position, i expect he can code-switch.

…it’s also fairly likely considering the linguistic politics involved that Legolas is reasonably articulate in Sindarin, though with some level of accent, but knows approximately zero Quenya outside of loanwords into Sindarin, and even those he mostly didn’t learn as a kid.

which would be extra hilarious when he and gimli fetch up in Valinor in his little homemade skiff, if the first elves he meets have never been to Middle Earth and they’re just standing there on the beach reduced to miming about what is the short beard person, and who are you, and why.

this is elvish dialects and tolkien, okay. there’s a lot of canon material! he actually initially developed the history of middle-earth specifically to ground the linguistic development of the various Elvish languages!


Legolas: Alas, verily would I have dispatched thine enemy posthaste, but y’all’d’ve pitched a feckin’ fit.

Aragorn: *eyelid twitching*


Frodo: *frantically scribbling* Hang on which language are you even speaking right now

Pippin, confused: Is he not speaking Elvish?

Frodo, sarcastically: I dunno, are you speaking Hobbit?

Boromir, who has been lowkey pissed-off at the Hobbits’ weird dialect this whole time: That’s what it sounds like to me.

Merry, who actually knows some shit about Hobbit background: We are actually speaking multiple variants of the Shire dialect of Westron, you ignorant fuck.

Sam, a mere working-class country boy: Honestly y’all could be talkin Dwarvish half the time for all I know.


#Middle Earth #language #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #my past self has good taste #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what


one of my favorite lotr facts is that gondorians speak sindarin as a first language and yet when faramir was talking to frodo and sam about cirith ungol he was like “we don’t know what’s in there.” like faramir. cirith ungol is sindarin for “pass of the spider.” do the math


some of my favorite tags on this post



Don’t forget that Frodo also speaks Sindarin, which makes this even worse.

Faramir: Hey, don’t go up the Spider Stairs.

Frodo: Why? What’s up the Spider Stairs?

Faramir: We don’t know, Frodo. We just don’t know.


to be fair, you’d assume the name means “there’s a lot of spiders here,” not, “there is one spider the size of a draft horse here.” so you go up expecting to have to shoo a lot of skeeter eaters out of your tent, and instead you have to figure out how to rope and shoe godzillarantula.


Hmmm…They do live in a world where godzillarantulas feature prominently in mythology and history (Ungoliant plunged the world into darkness, scared the crap out of Sauron’s old boss, etc) and existed within the last century in Mirkwood. Assuming they ever talk to anyone who’s been to Mirkwood. They… probably know they were giant spiders in Mirkwood pretty recently? It’s hard to figure out how much anyone in Middle-earth has been talking to anyone else when we didn’t actually see it.

On the other hand – what if it’s the giant evil spiders’ prominence in history/mythology that’s causing trouble? What if lots of evil/nasty things/places get called “spider” just to indicate how nasty and evil they are, rather than any association with literal spiders, and it’s just… overloaded? Maybe the bad part of town in Minas Tirith is the Spider District. Maybe every tavern trying to be edgy calls itself the Spiderweb.

Actually spider/Ungoliant references could be really appealing to Gondorians trying to be edgy. They’re dark and evil! Plunged the world into darkness! But they AREN’T involved in the war they’re actually fighting, they aren’t directly associated with Sauron at all, so getting too interested in them would be creepy without being potentially treasonous. Because no one’s ACTUALLY going to worship those dangerous but not epic spiders up in Mirkwood, and no one’s heard anything from any proper spawn of Ungoliant in ages and ages.

In fact, spider/Ungoliant references might be appealing to ORCS trying to express that something is nasty and creepy! Nobody likes Ungoliant.

Maybe Faramir’s been to fourteen different Spider Caves across Ithilien, and half of them he didn’t even see regular spiders in, they’re just dark and damp and may have had orcs at some point, or something, and at some point in history someone got spooked. So you know, it’s POSSIBLE Spider Pass has something to do with spiders? But really it just means people don’t like it.

(The problem with this theory is we never actually SAW anyone overusing spider references. But it’s plausible they would!)


“The average spider on Middle Earth is the size of a dinner plate” is a statistical error. The average spider on Middle Earth is smaller than a coin. Cirith Ungol (lit: Spiders Gorge), which contains a spider larger than a horse, is an outlier adn should not have been counted.






Come for the Tolkien linguistics, stay for the Spiders Georg reference


this map, by jonathan hull, shows all the places in the USA named after the devil or hell. assuming big giant awful spiders were a common thing in middle earth, it’s likely that there were a shit ton of Spider Stairways.


you don’t wander into Devil’s Lick assuming that satan himself is gonna give you a rimjob. you presumably also don’t head up Spider Stairs assuming an arachnid the size of a cottage is gonna try and eat your friend.


FUN FACT: A huge portion of the “Devil’s [OBJECT]” names in Wyoming are from a poor bastard called John Coulter, who was probably the first white man to see Yellowstone! He saw it because he got seperated from the Lewis and Clark expidition on their way back east, decided that with winter coming on, he should head south to stay ahead of the weather, rather than east to try to catch up with the party, and instead got lost inside the Yellowstone caldera, the COLDEST fucking part of Wyoming, with its scalding, posionous geysers, earthquakes, massive packs of wolves that weren’t afraid of people yet, and temperatures hitting as low as Negative 40, and naturally assumed that he had somehow taken a wrong turn into the Nnth Circle of Hell.

He lived, managed to get out of the caldera, took extensive notes on the landscape, eventunally met up with some Blackfoot tribesmen who gave him a horse and directions to the nearest european settlement, and he left, naming every single notable feature after hell or the Devil, because Wyoming is clearly His Infernal Country.

So as far as Frodo knows, “Spiders Pass” was just named by a particularly disgruntled and arachnophobic field cartographer.


#that one post with the thing #it got better #Middle Earth #language #names #spiders #Spiders Georg #maps #geography #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #hell cw?



Since getting into the Silm fandom, being in Glasgow city centre and walking past this shop


has become immeasurably more hilarious/horrifying.

I’ve just realised the random picture I chose here has a “Now Hiring” sign in the window, which makes this even better. XD

“Nine vacancies. Experienced kings among the race of Men preferred. Email your CV to”


#Middle Earth #oh my god #I didn’t actually laugh aloud but it still amused me enough to reblog


I really hope the Amazon show picks a side in the Gil-Gadad debate. Just for the drama. I think it will be funny to watch.



It will set a thousand invented fans screaming and re-launch the Infamous Debates. 



#gil galad#rings of power#lotr#silmarillion#wait someone break it down for those of us who haven’t read silm

Keeping in mind that I am a semi-casual Tolkien fan and will almost certainly get a few things wrong, here is my summary of The Gil-Galad Debate. 

…please forgive me for the long post, this is my soapbox and I really feel like exposition at the moment.

Gil-Galad is referenced in JRR Tolkien’s *The Lord of the Rings* series as “the last of the great Elf-kings of Middle Earth”, who was in charge of the elvish forces during the Last Alliances of Elves and Men and was killed by Sauron. This is accurate, but not the entirety of his background as described in The Silmarillion

Gil-Galad was the last High King of the Noldor in Exile in Middle Earth, the Noldor being essentially a subethnicity of elves, many of whom left Valinor (aka the Blessed Realm) and headed to Middle Earth for various reasons it would take a much longer post to explore in full. (It is interesting to note that this group does not include the Wood-Elves, who were never in Valinor to begin with – their own High King was historically someone else entirely. No, it wasn’t Thranduil, and yes, said someone else was long dead by the events of LOTR.)  

Historically, the first High King of All The Noldor Everywhere was an elf called Finwe. The Kingship, descending as it apparently did via agnatic primogeniture (meaning, according to wiki, ‘determined by tracing shared descent from the nearest common ancestor through male ancestors’) means that all of the High Kings of the Noldor, in Exile or not, presumably back their claim to the throne via relationship to Finwe. 

Meaning that Gil-Galad has to be related to Finwe in some way for his claim to hold. Got that? Good, because here’s where it gets complicated. 

Here’s where we break the fourth wall and consider the Tolkiens – both JRR himself, and his son, Christopher Tolkien, who spent a good portion if not all of his life working with his father’s unpublished materials. 

The issue regarding Gil-Galad is that canonically we do not know who his parents are. JRR Tolkien apparently listed Gil-Galad’s father as at least four separate elves in various drafts/unpublished materials, and never came to a definite conclusion about exactly how GG was related to Finwe. We think his final decision might have been that his father was an Elf named Orodreth (who himself had at least two separate fathers listed!) but we’re not sure. When Christopher Tolkien cleaned up and published his father’s drafts in The Silmarillion, he apparently chose a different elf (an elf named Fingon) to be Gil-Galad’s ‘definite’ father, adding some background material to make it work. HOWEVER. 

Christopher Tolkien himself said that “ this decision to make Gil-galad a son of Fingon was an editorial mistake on his part, and did not represent his father’s conception of the character. He suggested that it would have been better to have left Gil-galad’s parentage obscure.”

Christopher Tolkien said that. 

This means, of course, that the fandom has been arguing over just who Gil-Galad’s father was – and who the elf-king himself was – pretty much ever since the Silmarillion came out. The fandom has taken every single interpretation you can imagine and run with it – all four of the elves Tolkien considered making his father, plus a number of other options. Was his father Sauron?  There’s fic for that. Was his father a background character who shows up in precisely one page of the Silmarillion only to be subsequently killed off? There’s fic for that, and entire online essays defending said options. Was he a time-traveling elf from the future? At least one good fic. 

Much more amusing, in my opinion, are the stories where, in-universe, no-one knows exactly how Gil-Galad is related to the line of Finwe. 

So. That’s my summary of ‘The Gil-Galad Debate’.

In my humble opinion, whatever option Amazon picks, it’s going to be debated and subsequently disputed by a large number of, if not the entire, fandom. 



Potential fathers for Gil-Galad from Tolkien’s drafts include:

1. As Hamelin-born mentioned, Orodreth. Orodreth has the advantage of definitely having had a living wife on the same continent as him at the same time as Gil-Galad first appeared on the scene. This would make him a really appealing candidate except (a) Tolkien fans really enjoy this mystery, (b) while this would put Gil-Galad in line for the throne, it would arguably mean he was not next in line at the time he became king, and © Orodreth is … probably not the most popular descendant of Finwe. Which is a little unfair to him, considering what some of the others got up to, but there it is.

2. As Hamelin-born also mentioned, Fingon! The pro side to this is that if Gil-Galad is Fingon’s son, he is next in line for the throne when becomes king. The downsides with this from the fandom’s general views are (a) Christopher Tolkien’s comments, and (b) Fingon being married would interfere with one of the more popular Silm ships.

3. Finrod! Two big problems here: Not only does this renew the inheritance issues, it also introduces a new problem. Namely, Finrod is very much engaged to a woman that is very much not on the same continent as him at the time Gil-Galad is born.

4. Son of Feanor, unspecified. There are absolutely no problems with this theory. None whatsoever. 

I mean, it creates an entirely new and different wrinkle in the inheritance debate thanks to Maedhros’s abdication, raises several questions about exactly what string of events led to Gil-Galad being king, and was from an earlier almost certainly rejected draft of Tolkien’s writings, but I don’t care because it’s so much fun to play with.

Other theories worth mentioning!

– @cycas’s theory of Lalwen/Cirdan. This has the advantage of actually identifying Gil-Galad’s mother, a feature most theories decidedly lack.

– Dior/Nimloth – the theory here being that Gil-Galad is one of their twin boys who were lost in the woods after their city fell and who were never seen again. This theory has the advantage of making something in the Silm marginally less awful and the additional advantage of Thingol presumably rolling in his grave.

– Orodreth/his wife, except Gil-Galad isn’t an additional child they had, Gil-Galad is their canonical daughter Finduilas. Canonically, Finduilas died horribly, but that’s no reason we can’t theorize that she decided to fake her own death and return to rule the Noldor.

– Some random dude who got hypnotized by a dragon into believing he was the rightful king of the Noldor. The Noldor, being short on kings at the time, ran with this.

I feel an obligation to note that this last theory, unlike the others, does not have a sizable faction behind it in the fandom. I just like it.

– And many, many more. There are so many theories about his parentage. So many. 

I kind of want to come up with as many crazy ones as possible before the new series comes out just in case it somehow manages to finally bring an end to the debate.



tags via @goldenvoicedminstrel​

#gil galad just being a random dude with a fancy name who was too awkward to correct someone’s assumption he must be in line for the throne#and then just rolling with it because it really is too late to back out now#*i don’t know why everone thinks i’m the rightful king of the noldor and at this point I’m too afraid to ask*#gil galad


#thank you Silmarillion side of Tumblr #Middle Earth #meta #I didn’t actually laugh aloud but it still amused me enough to reblog



In today’s memes based on 25-year-old media properties: this.


#Star Trek #Middle Earth #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #when we were kids my brother and I used to have eye-bugging-out competitions #we called it ”going Gowron” #scopophobia?



Struck suddenly with the knowledge that in the Later Times, Maglor constantly shares wild and contradictory anecdotes about “my brother” without ever clarifying that he had multiple brothers

even people who twig to the fact that he must have more than one are wracking their brains trying to determine the minimum number of brothers that could have done all of those things. (most of them come to the conclusion that at least two people would be necessary to account for everything that was actually creditable solely to maedhros)

(even maglor can’t always accurately remember which stories go with which twin)


#Middle Earth #I didn’t actually laugh aloud but it still amused me enough to reblog #(I don’t actually go here but it’s still funny)




When will creators of famous and beloved franchises realise that no fan in the history of fandoms has wanted the sequel with the new generation to have higher stakes and more angsty drama than the original.

A Fan: Wow, can’t wait to see the heroes’ children living in a world that has been made better by the original heroes, having a loving and respectful relationship with the hero I loved and respected as a child, and dealing with their own adventure that might not be as high stake as saving the world, but is important for their own personal journey. 

A creator: How about the world is ending again, the new generation hates the heroes, who have become major assholes for no reason, and everything is bigger and goes more boom.  

Hobbit/Lord of the Rings is the SINGLE exception to higher stakes sequel

and you know why? it’s bc nothing in lotr undid what happened in the hobbit

the hobbit was a lower-stakes story about bilbo helping some dwarves reclaim their ancestral home, and in lotr (the book at least) tolkien goes out of his way to talk about how bilbo lived for a long time rich and famous and happy, and that erebor and dale are prosperous and successful. the threat is something that bilbo brought home with him, but if bilbo hadn’t found it, it would have fallen into worse hands. 

the reason why higher-stakes sequels are so often disappointing is bc it’s a betrayal of the original work, and undoes its premise and its victory. in the hobbit, they were never setting out to save the whole of middle earth, so the fact that the whole of middle earth ends up in peril during lotr doesn’t feel like a betrayal. terrible things happen in lotr, but they are better than they would have been in the hobbit hadn’t happened, and that’s why it works


#Middle Earth #meta #interesting