I: The Book of Lost Tales part 1, VI: THE THEFT OF MELKO AND THE DARKENING OF VALINOR

The tale of this chapter concerns how Melko manipulated the Noldoli in order to get hold of the the precious gems that they had made and to create distrust towards the other gods. The chapter also features the theft of the Silmarils and the ruin of the Trees of Light. 

In the cottage, Lindo tells the tale of the corruption of the elves and how the loveliness of Valinor was abated, to a still knowledge-thirsty Eriol: Due to his jealousy and longing for the precious stones made by the Noldoli, Melko speaks cunning words to the Noldoli whenever in their company. Only Nólemë, leader of the Noldoli, spoke against him. Melko then told Manwë that the Noldoli spoke against him and even though Nólemë came to talk with Manwë, his heart was already tainted by the words of Melko. Melko was sent to Mandos and the Noldoli was bid to dwell somewhere else than Kôr. A bitterness towards the gods had been lit among the Eldar. The Noldoli makes their new home in Sirnúmen. Melko plans rebellion and vengeance upon gnomes and gods.

By the time of the festival Samírien Melko was allowed freedom again. All the Eldar (including the Noldoli) was invided to Valmar at this festival and all the gods as well. By the third day, when all gather at the top of Taniquetil, Melko dared to fulfill part of his deceitful plans together with dark spirits that he had befriended. He made way to Sirnúmen, where a few Noldoli had been left to guard their treasures and precious stones (something contrary to the customs). Melko slayed the guards and stole all the treasures, including the Silmarils. One of the guards was the father of Fëanor.

Fëanor’s heart grew the darkest from this and turned sour towards the gods. Him and his following remained in Sirnúmen, but a great part of the Noldoli turned back to Kôr to fashion new stones. Manwë tried to reason with Fëanor, but his words was misinterpreted by Fëanor due to his misery and by raising his voice in critique against the will of the gods, he made himself a greater following. Melko’s evil had given fruit.

Meanwhile, Melko had wandered south to find a dark place to hide his stolen treasure. There he came upon Móru (or Wirilómë/Ungoliont) a dark spirit in the shape of a great spider. Together they struck against Valinor by going to the Trees of Light where Ungoliont drank the light out of Laurelin and the other tree was poisoned. The Valar tries to stop them, but they are able to flee. Melko goes northward to his ice-kingdoms of the North and Ungoliont turnes South towards her lair. The world is once again dark.

Characters and Creatures to note

  • Fëanor – Noldoli Elf, creator of the Silmarils stolen by Melko.
  • Bruithwir – Noldoli Elf, father of Fëanor. Guarded the treasures of the Noldoli during Samírien and was slayed by Melko.
  • Wirilómë/Ungoliont – The primeval spirit Móru with unkown origin. Has the shape of a great spider. Feeds on light. Became an ally of  Melko.

Places to note

  • Sirnúmen – The vale where the Noldoli dwelt after leaving Kôr. There they kept all their treasure.

Features to note

  • Samírien – The feast of “Years of Double Mirth”. Every 7th year there was a feast to commemorate the coming of the Eldar into Valinor and every 3rd year there was a feast to commemorate the arrival of the white fleet and the coming of the Solosimpi to Valinor. When those two fell together every 21st year it is a Year of Double Mirth.

Comments

This chapter definetly shows the efficiency of Melko’s cunning and evil plans which does not limit itself just to physical destruction but also manipulating the Noldoli elfs. Melko does not do everything himself, but lures others to perform his evil tasks. He is even able to hide from Manwë the fact that it was he who corrupted the Noldoli.

The order of things and the duration of time is different from the final rendition in The Silmarillion of these events. Also it is noteworthy that the family line of Fëanor is different between the versions.

Have you read this chapter? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part and if you have anything to add!

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