I: The Book of Lost Tales part 1, VII: THE FLIGHT OF THE NOLDOLI

This passage of the tale told by Lindo is a continuation from the previous chapter “The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor”. It features how a group of the Eldar, notoriously a lot of the Noldoli, leaves Valinor and wanders north in order to access the world, that is, the Great Lands (or Middle-Earth as we know the continent as in Tolkien’s later works).

Lindo continues from the previous tale and tells that the Valar is still searching for Melko and Ungoliont and is aided by some Eldar, namely the Solosimpi. Fëanor still speaks against Manwë and rallies a lot of the Noldoli to follow him in his search for the gems and to get to the continent they first arrived at. The Inwir does not follow Fëanor although a few of the Teleri did.

(A section which was rejected was written and I will not write down which was written there, the following text will include the plot which was replacing this section called “The Battle of Kópas Alqalunteri or The Kinslaughter). The host of Eldar following Fëanor reached the dwellings of the Solosimpi elves at Kópas Alqalunteri. Most of the Solosimpi was hunting with the gods and of those remained, none would listen to the words of Fëanor and the Noldoli. So the Noldoli stole their ships and the Solosimpi tried to shout for them to return the ships. They started to threaten with rocks and bows, but the host of Noldoli who was still ashore, not stealing the boats started to fight and slaughter the Solosimpi that resisted them because they thought war had been kindled. The Noldoli travelled by boat northwards along the coast while a great part of the host marched along the coast. An endless march and due to their deeds towards their kin, evil now beset them.

Eriol asks Lindo about Qerkoringa, the stream between the Icefang tip and the Great lands that kept the continents apart. Helkaraksë, or Icefang, is the remnants of the old terrible ices of Melko’s region. Before getting to this region the Eldar met one servant of Vefántur who urged them to return. The servant fortold the evil things that would happen to the Noldoli in the future in the Great Lands and warned them of Melko: “Great is the fall of Gondolin”. These were the Prophecies of Amnos.  Once reaching the north the Eldar had to ferry the host over the sea in turns. Some of the host landed on the ice-islands waiting and blame was starting to be aimed towards Fëanor. A few deserted the host. Of the Eldar some remained, lost among the ice. Some managed to cross the Helkaraksë and Qerkaringa and finally reached the Great Lands.

Lindo closes the tale and proclaims that these evil fates had come to happen because of the evil power of Melko which had lit a darkness in the hearts of the Eldar and destroyed the happiness of both Gods and Elves.

Places to note

  • Kópas Alqaluntë – The Haven of the Swanships. The chief dwelling of the Solisimpi. “Swanhaven”.
  • Qerkaringa – “The chill gulf” that is located between Helkaraksë and the Great lands. Filled with ice-floes.
  • Helkaraksë – “Icefang”, the neck or promontory running out from the western land.
  • Amnos – The beaching place of the ship Mornië. Where the servant of Véfantur told the prophecies to the Noldoli.

Comments

I found this chapter a little bit hard to follow, because a lot happens in very few pages and it is not entirely told in a linear fashion. In short, the passage illustrates the weariness and misery of the difficult march that the Noldoli is setting out on. Not all the Noldoli seems to follow and a few of the other groups of Eldar seems to have joined.

In the rejected section which I did not write the plot of the big difference is that there the Noldoli did not slay any Solosimpi, the one bad thing that they did was to steal the boats.

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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