Silmarillion Seminar: August 23rd! The Line of Elros: The Kings of Numenor

Elros and Elrond

Thursday, August 23rd, at 10:15PM EST, The Silmarillion Seminar continues as we discuss Chapter The Line of Elros: The Kings of Numenor-from the Founding of the City of Armenelos to the Downfall from Tolkien’s “Unfinished Tales.”

It’s interesting to think of the Kings of Numenor, but I think even more interesting are the Queens of Numenor. Moreover, the fact that the Numenorean Kings take their Title from Quenya, the highest and noblest of all the Elvish languages, itself says quite a bit about the Numenorean culture and the Elvish-Men closeness and affection.

We are given a genealogy of sorts in the book of the line of Numenorean Kings in this short chapter. The notes of the Chapter are highly interesting and given the subtlety of Tolkien, I’m sure the Simarillionaires (Facebook link-click here, Twitter link here), lead by Jason Jewell of Signum University, will be able to get a full hour of interesting discussion out of this chapter. For this is a most-interesting chapter.

I personally find the story of Elros (and his name, which encapsulates the history and glory) fascinating, especially the fact that Tolkien interestingly chooses 32 as the year Elros took to throne. What’s interesting about that? You’ll have to  tune in to find out, Fellowship! But think about it. Google it. If you want to cheat, that is.

Tune in August 23rd here on My-Middle-Earth Radio @ 10:15pm EST, and Brandon can be contacted @BrandonYoung82 on Twitter and use #Silmarillion if you have something to add. Happy Listening Friends!

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Silmarillion Seminar Episode Recap: Unfinished Tales Description of the Island of Numenor

The Silmarillon Seminar participants did not think that we could get an entire session out of the “Unfinished Tales” version of the description of Numenor given the length of the chapter. However, like always, Tolkien surprised us, and gave us a full session. Here’s a recap of what we talked about in last night’s Seminar (10:15ET–MyMERadio)-Brandon

The first main issue we discussed was the Geography of Numenor, and the strange fact that it is described in the text as Five-Pointed, or as a “Pentagle,” the inversion of which is the sign the the symbol Satanism. In Goethe’s “Faust,” Faust’s devil appears because he made a mistake in the geometry (i.e. a line was broken) of this five-pointed star. the devil appears.

However an upright star, a Pentagle, is supposed to stand for “perfection” or “virtue” and  is on Texaco,Wall-Mart,  The USA Army (and many corporate logos beside).

But why why Five? Is there anywhere else in Tolkien’s world that we find “five” as a sacred, (maybe even holy) number? It seems the Valar like this number, as they sent in numbers of five Istari in numbers of Five, though we only hear about the White, Grey and Brown.

I was blamed (jokingly) for saying the Valar are responsible for this intentional act of subcreation. Aule’s subcreation is stopped by Illuvatar, but the sub-creation here is a Gift to Men from the Valar and allowed to go on. Perhaps the Valar can create geography and people to fill it, but not Children of their own?

Manwe’s Eagles fly above the Island, perhaps, as Jason suggested, keeping an eye on the Numenoreans.  The proximity of Numenor being between Middle-Earth and Valinor, as pointed out by Matt, will prove to a problem later. What will Eru think of the Valar’s subcreation here, which could be–as was argued–an interference with The Children of Illuvavtar? Stay tuned!

It was also brought up that Tolkien had on his mind the Island of Atlantis. Was Plato’s description of Atlantis in “The Republic” is proximate to the size of Numenor? Are there other places? It seems roughly the size of California and the west coast of the United States, perhaps the size of Texas, the Lone Star State.

If you want to find out how Five is an important number in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight click here.

Interference by the Gods in myth tend to bloodshed, but is this a good thing or a bad thing? Does Tolkien even care for the Geography of Arda ? Is there any significance given to the number nine? How about the number seven? Numerology and Geography is sure something to think about.

Join us next time as The Silmarillion Seminar meets back Thursday, July 26th at 10:15pm!

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Welcome To The Official Silmarillion Seminar Blog

Welcome to The Official Silmarillion Seminar Blog! The Silmarillion Seminar was started by The Tolkien Professor and about 8 other participants from various backgrounds as a sort of “Support Group” (Tolkien Anonymous?). And slowly, chapter by chapter we took on the task of that monumental book . Though being from various backgrounds, we all shared a great Love for Tolkien. And not just Tolkien but, in particular, his work, The Silmarillion, . and believe it or not, we wanted more!

Our mission thus is to make a scholarly assessment of not only The Silmarillion but also the exegetical literature about The Silmarillion and Tolkien Scholarship more generally in the hopes of reaching out to the lay person who wants to contribute to a scholarly conversation.  Right now, for instance, we are exploring the “Unfinished Tales” and will be making our way soon on to “The Histories of Middle-Earth” Series.

All of our topics have crossed with various Tolkien artists, LOTRO fans, and Tolkien fans more widely. This blog is an outlet for people to leave comments on recent episodes. Our goal is to have a blog post every week: one to coincide and recap our latest episode and another for Tom Bombadil or whatever is on our members’ and fans’ minds.

The Silmarillion Seminar airs every other Thursday on  MyMiddle-Earth Radio at 10:15pm Eastern Standard Time. We are always welcome to special guest participants and fans! If you love The Silmarillion, this is the podcast/radio show for you. We are but branches of the Tree of the Tolkien Professor, and if you want to listen in or catch up on the 30-something Episodes already produced, click here!

The Silmarillion Seminar is led by the great Jason Jewell, who you might know as a Professor at Faulkner University where he holds Chair of the Humanities Department, and of Signum University . Our tech wizard is the “Snake of Silverlake” Dave Kale who besides producing this show, also produces the highly successful “Riddles in The Dark” series with the Tolkien Professor, as well as many other podcasts with Fr. Roderick, my personal favorite being “Secrets of the Hobbit.

Our other tech wizard and divine voice of feminine intuition is Laura Berkholtz, who also works close with Fr. Roderick AND the Tolkien Professor and is the Editor-At-Large of our Seminar. We also have Jordon Hattery, a self-proclaimed Fingolfin-phile, and great movie reviewer/pig owner,  Matt Shaw, a man with tremendous insight (And our “Southern Beren,”) Chris Stevens, the Rock of our group, John Evans, an 18-year old blind prodigy and the future of Tolkien Scholarship. And finally there’s me, Brandon Young, a Philosopher turned Lawyer, Musician, Writer and keeper of this and other blogs and other podcasts. I have two published articles with The Bertrand Russell Society  and am working on a book called “Riverrun: The Love of Words, James Joyce and J.R.R. Tolkien.” (click that for my blog on the topic).

The mission of this blog is to expand upon the things some of us forgot to say during the hour we have on the show, or to re-cap a particularly good broadcast. and to pose questions about anything and everything Silmarillion related.

We welcome all comments, debate, and feedback about anything under the Sun.

Find us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. And listen in Thursdays 10:15 on MyMiddle-Earth Radio.

May the Valar Bless and Keep You Always,

-Brandon & The Silmarillionaires

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