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History Lessons  by Nilmandra

For all of you who know your Silmarillion well, please bear with me! Elladan and Elrohir do not, and thus Glorfindel has some work to do!

Chapter 2: The Silmarillion for Elflings

Glorfindel drew Elladan and Elrohir close as he spread a map out across his knees. He looked at one, then the other and drew in a deep breath.

"Maybe you are not old enough for this story yet."


"There is much you need to know to understand what was happening then," Glorfindel protested. "I do not know that you can remember all of this!"


"Are you sure? There are many names of men, elves, and places to keep track of," Glorfindel warned them.

"We can remember lots of things!" Elrohir tugged on the sleeve of Glorfindel's tunic. "Please Glorfindel?"

Glorfindel paused and studied them for a moment. "Well, we can try," he relented. "You must promise to stop me and ask questions if I tell you too much and you don't remember what something means. Later you will need to study this map with me. It is best to see the geography of the land we are talking about."

"Yes Glorfindel, we promise!" each elfling promised for himself and his twin.

"Now, where should we begin? Glorfindel mused, looking at first one elfling, then the other. "Well, I suppose there is no better place to begin than. . . the beginning. You are mighty small pen-neth. Perhaps the beginning is too far back?"

"No Glorfindel! We can start at the beginning. We have very good minds," Elrohir answered.

Glorfindel smiled. "In the beginning Eru, the One, who we call Ilvatar sang into existence spirit beings, each one a representation of his thought. Do you know what these spirit beings were called?"

"The Valar!" Elrohir answered.

"Some of the Valar took on bodily forms and with the thoughts that had created them, they created Arda. There are seven Kings of the Valar and seven Queens. But there was one, one who was as mighty as Manw and most in the thought of Ilvatar"

The elflings looked at him expectantly. "His name was Melkor, but no elf uses that name today. You have learned of him by another name."

"Morgoth!" Elladan exclaimed. "It was Morgoth and he was bad!"

"It was Morgoth," Glorfindel replied. His paused, then lowering his voice continued, "Do you know why Morgoth was bad?"

Two small heads shook as they drew closer to Glorfindel.

"He was jealous. Even though Morgoth, then calledMelkor,was one of the most powerful of the Valar, he was jealous of the other Valar and that which they created. He turned to destroying the good things they made instead of adding his own good things to Arda."

Elladan looked at Elrohir and felt his face flush. He leaned across Glorfindel's knees and beckoned his twin to draw near. "I am sorry I scribbled on your drawing," he whispered.

Elrohir patted his hand. "And I am sorry I ruined your carving," he whispered back.

Elladan's eyes narrowed. "You did that?"

Glorfindel suppressed a chuckle and gently separated the elflings, continuing the story. "There are others who are like the Valar, who act as their helpers and servants, called the Maiar. Some of them thought Melkor was great and they wanted to serve him, to be like him. Do you know who some of the servants of Melkor are?"

"Sauron," Elladan breathed.

"Yes, Sauron is one. But there were others."

Elrohir thought for a moment. "The balrog? The balrog you fought?"

"There were many balrogs," Glorfindel answered. "The balrogs were servants of Melkor too. So were Ungoliant, the giant spider, and the vampire Thuringwethil."

Elladan's eyes widened and Elrohir shuddered as Glorfindel whispered those fearsome names. "Melkor and his servants rose up against the Valar and fought over Arda long before elves or men awakened. Melkor destroyed Middle-Earth. The great lamps that provided light to Arda were broken, the lands split and the seas rose up in tumult. The dwellings of the Valar were destroyed so they moved to the westernmost land which was called . . . ."

"Aman!" Elrohir interrupted.

Glorfindel smiled and tousled the elfling's hair. "Yes Aman. The Valar built their mansions in Valinor, and Yavanna sang the two trees into being. The light of the trees was glorious and the Valar turned all their attention to making Valinor beautiful. Who else did Ilvatar create? "

"He created the elves," Elrohir's eyes were wide with excitement.

"The elves are called the Firstborn of the Children of Ilvatar. Sometime after the Valar moved to Aman the firstborn awoke in Middle-Earth. They woke under the stars that Varda, Elbereth the star kindler we call her, had created, and they loved the twilight. But there was evil still in Middle-Earth, and it was Melkor who first knew that the elves had awakened. Do you think Melkor liked the elves?"

"No," Elladan whispered. "I think he tried to hurt them."

"You are right, Elladan. Melkor and his evil creatures captured some of the elves. The elves spoke of the Hunter that would come and take them if they ever went too far, alone, from the safety of their group."

"The Valar should help them," Elrohir protested.

"The Valar thought they should too," Glorfindel answered. "They went to war against Melkor in the Battle of the Powers, finally capturing him and imprisoning him in the Fastness of Mandos. But even with Melkor gone, there was still much evil in the dark places of the earth. So the Valar went to the elves and asked them to come live in Aman. Many of the elves decided to go. Do you know what this is called?

"The Great Journey!" Elrohir jumped up. "We learned that."

"Some elves were unwilling to go. . ."

"The Avari!"

"Right," Glorfindel laughed as both elflings were now standing before him. "The Avari were the ones unwilling to make the journey. Do you know what kind of elves did make the journey? One is the Vanyar."

"Noldor!" Elrohir shouted.

"Teleri!" Elladan was close behind.

"My, you do know lots," Glorfindel complimented them. "Do you remember if all of these elves completed the journey?"

"Some did not," Elrohir answered, his little foot tapping as he tried to remember which ones had not completed the journey.

"Some of the Teleri did not go, and this is important for our story. They fell away and settled here in Beleriand," Glorfindel pointed at the map. "These elves that fell away and the Avari are known as the Moriquendi."

"Why did they fall away?" Elladan asked.

"Because there was much to see in Middle-Earth and they loved it there. In the case of one of the elf Kings, Elw, it was because he met the Maia Melian and fell in love with her. They settled with many of King Elw's people here at Doriath in Beleriand. Do you know where Beleriand was located?"

Heads shook again, and Glorfindel directed them to the map in his lap. "Beleriand is this land located west of the Blue Mountains. All that is left of it today is this little piece of land we call Lindon. You can see how big this used to be. All of the elves of Beleriand considered Elw, now called Thingol, their King."

The twins studied the map of Beleriand, noting the lines Glorfindel drew to show them where the new shores of the sea were located and watching as he pointed out landmarks as he spoke of them.

"Now, what elves came to Middle-Earth at the beginning of the First Age?"

"The Noldor!" Elladan cried. "We just learned that today!"

"You are correct, Elladan," Glorfindel answered as he ruffled the elfling's hair. "Do you know why the Noldor came to Middle-Earth?"

"Not exactly," Elladan admitted.

"Finw was the King of the Noldor in Aman," Glorfindel continued.

"We are related to King Finw," Elrohir offered.

"Yes, you are," Glorfindel smiled. "Finw had a son named Fanor. Fanor was very talented at making things, and he made three great jewels. These jewels held the light of the trees in Valinor. Do you know what these living Jewels were called?"

Both elflings shook their heads.

"They were the Silmarils. They were beautiful and strong - unable to be damaged or destroyed. Held within the Silmarils was the fate of Arda, earth, sea and air."

"Oh," Elladan and Elrohir were both open mouthed.

"Now Melkor served his time, three ages, in the fastness of Mandos before Manw released him. Melkor returned to live among the elves and the Valar in Aman, and he pretended to be helpful and good. But he was still evil, and he really was looking for a way to harm the elves and the Valar. He wanted the Silmarils. So he began looking for ways to deceive and create unrest among the elves, especially the Noldor.

"Now Fanor was very possessive of the Silmarils and did not want anyone looking at them or touching them. Melkor told him that the Valar desired the jewels. So Fanor took his seven sons and moved from the city of Valmar where they had long dwelled and they formed a new stronghold called Formenos where Fanor thought he could better protect his treasure.

"Now there was a great feast in Valmar that all the Valar and elves attended. While everyone was at the feast, Melkor and Ungoliant destroyed the two trees of Valinor. The only way the light could be restored would be to take that light back from the Silmarils. While Fanor was struggling over whether he would give up his Silmarils, Melkor and Ungoliant went to Formenos and cast down the walls, killing King Finw, the father of Fanor. This was the first murder.

"Ungoliant took the treasures of Fanor and Melkor stole the Silmarils. Melkor and Ungoliant returned to Angband, his former stronghold in Middle-Earth. There they fought over the Silmarils, with Melkor finally winning when his Balrogs awoke and helped him defeat Ungoliant. Melkor set himself up as King of the World and set the Silmarils upon his crown.

"Fanor, in his grief at the death of his father and the loss of the Silmarils, incited the Noldor elves to revolt against the Valar. Fanor and his sons, and some others swore an oath to seek the Silmarils at any cost from any who withheld one of the jewels from them. Fanor is who gave Melkor the name Morgoth, and that is the name all elves now use.

"Then the Noldor marched to the sea where the Teleri elves kept their ships. They would not aid the Noldor. Do you know what Fanor did then?" Glorfindel held the rapt attention of the elflings. Two heads shook slowly.

"Fanor and his sons fought the Teleri and killed them. This was the first kin-slaying, the first time elves killed elves. The Noldor who killed the Teleri stole their ships and sailed to Beleriand. Because of this, the Valar exiled Fanor and all the Noldor that decided to follow him from Valinor. They were told if they left, they could not come back. Many of the Noldor who had not sworn oaths or killed could not bear to be parted from their kin, and so followed them on foot over the great ice bridge to the north. It was a long and terrible journey."

Elrohir snuggled close to Glorfindel, twisting his fingers in the elf-Lord's tunic. "Glorfindel?"

"Yes, Elrohir?"

"Did you come with the Noldor?"

"Yes, Elrohir."


"Yes, Elrohir?"

"Did you swear an oath?"

"No, Elrohir. Nor did I kill anyone. I did follow, though, as did your grandmother Galadriel."

The elflings were silent as they pondered this information.

"Glorfindel, does this mean you cannot ever sail west?" Elladan asked softly.

"No, Elladan. Manw lifted the exile at the end of the First Age - we can all sail west."

The twins smiled, clearly relieved.

"When did you move to Gondolin?" Elrohir asked, wanting the story to continue.

"The Noldor princes set up various kingdoms and lands in Beleriand. Turgon, the middle son of Fingolfin who was the second son of King Finw, built the stronghold of Gondolin. I lived there because I was related through the line of Fingolfin's mother Indis, a Vanyar elf."

"Glorfindel, that was some story," Elrohir looked upon their friend with awe.

"We have not even started the story, Elrohir!" Glorfindel's glorious laugh filled the room. "Now you know who the main people of the first age are and why they are part of the first age. Tomorrow we will learn about the coming of men and then in another 400 years your Ada will be born!"

Elladan and Elrohir stared at each other in shock. "Four hundred years until Ada is born?" Elladan mouthed to Elrohir.

"Glorfindel, will you tell us just a little bit more?" Elrohir pleaded.

Glorfindel sipped his water and glanced at Elrond, who had remained silent throughout. Elrond rose gracefully and stepped outside the room for a moment, then returned to his seat.

"Dinner will be served here," Elrond announced.

Two shining eager faces turned to Glorfindel, who rolled his eyes and sighed. "Well, I guess I must continue if you are so insatiable in your thirst for knowledge. This next part will require that we draw some genealogy trees."

Both elflings looked at him blankly. Glorfindel smiled. "That is where we learn how everyone is related."

He gathered some parchment and ink, placing both in front of Elrohir.

"Now, men first appeared in FA 305. There were three main houses of the Edain or the second born. You are direct descendents from the house of Bor and the house of Hador. You are very special in the genealogy of Middle Earth - you are descendents from the high Kings Finw of the Noldor, Ingw of the Vanyar, and Olw and Elw of the Teleri; the men Bor and Hador, and the Maia Melian. There is no one else like you in all of Middle-Earth."

Elladan and Elrohir gaped at Glorfindel. He smiled at them and picked up the ink quill. "Ready?"

"Finw was your four times great grandfather on your father's side and your mother's side;

"Ingw is your great-great-great-grandmother's father; also on your father's side.

"Olw is your four times great grandfather on your mother's side;

"Elw and Melian are your fives-times great grandparents on your father's side;

"Barahir of the House of Bor is your six-times great grandfather on your father's side;

"Hador is your four times great grandfather on your father's side;

"There have been two elf-edain marriages in history - Lthien and Beren, and Idril and Tuor. They are your great great grandparents and great grandparents, respectively.

"You have Noldor, Vanyar, and Teleri blood.

"Your grandfather on your father's side, Erendil, is the morning and evening star."

Glorfindel finished the diagram with a flourish and grinned at the stunned looks on the younglings' faces. They stared at the paper for a few moments, small fingers tracing the trees and counting the generations. Elrohir turned to his father.

"Ada, why did you not tell us how confusing we are?"

Elrond tried to suppress a laugh, but it was no use. "I am sorry, Elrohir. It never seemed so confusing until Glorfindel explained it."

Glorfindel threw a wadded up sheet of parchment expertly at Elrond, bouncing the paper off his forehead. Elrond merely laughed harder.

"Finish your dinners, nn-ions," Elrond finally managed to say, "then I will help you with your baths and tuck you in bed."

Elrohir and Elladan looked at each other, then their father, then Glorfindel. Then they laughed too.

"Glorfindel, we cannot wait until tomorrow." Glorfindel was the recipient of enthusiastic hugs. "We are so glad you are home."

* * * * *

nn-ions -----------my sons
pen-neth----------young ones

A/N: Glorfindel of Rivendell is Glorfindel of Gondolin in this story. After reading all I could on him, I have given him a back-history of being part-Vanya and of having crossed on the grinding ice with those who followed the Noldor. These are conclusions I have drawn, but are not facts.

Also, regarding Dior's twins in the last chapter: In the Silmarillion we know only that Dior and Nimloth had two sons. The HoME series makes reference to them in Volumes 4, 5, 11, and 12. The first of those I read was Vol 11 (looking for any speculation as to Elrond's date of birth) and there are three references to them being twins born in the year I 500 and one indicating they were not. I do not know if any one volume of HoME is more 'right' than another. For this purpose, the sons of Dior and Nimloth are twins.

Melkor's name is used for educational purposes only. In conversation he would only be called Morgoth, as stated in the Silmarillion.

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