Thread: The Arkenstone
It looked almost a bit too CGI to my taste. At least in the 48frames version.
But here is another thought I had and I think it has been discussed before amongst fans but here it is:
Could the Arkenstone be the lost Silmaril?
Just let me give you the two descriptions of both stones and then I will offer this for debate...
‘Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar or break it within the Kingdom of Arda. Yet that crystal was to the Silmarils but as is the body to the Children of Illuvítar: the house of its inner fire, that is within it and yet in all parts of it, and is its life. And the inner fire of Silmarils Fëanor made of the blended light of the Trees of Valinor, which lives in them yet, though the trees have long withered and shine no more. Therefore even in the darkness of the deepest treasury the Silmarils of their own radiance shone like the stars of Varda; and yet, as were they indeed living things, they rejoiced in light and received it and gave it back in hues more marvellous than before.’
‘It was the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain. So Bilbo guessed from Thorin’s description; but indeed there could be no two such gems, even in so marvellous a hoard, even in all the world. Even as he climbed, the same white gleam had shone before him and drawn his feet towards it. Slowly it grew to a little globe of pallid light. Now, as he came near. It was tinged with a flickering sparkle of many colours at the surface, reflected and splintered from the wavering light of his torch. At last he looked down upon it, and he caught his breath. The great jewel shone before his feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves, who had dug it up from the heart of the mountain long ago, it took all light that fell upon it and changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.’
Sounds almost similar, doesn't it? So, what do you think?
Yes indeed Lilia they do sound similar. However Tolkien clearly states that the Silmarils will be lost until the breaking of the World and the last battle with Melkor. I remember the first time reading the Sil I thought mmm I bet that Arkenstone is a Silmaril, put in the heart of Erebor by Aule... but alas I dont think this could be the case.
One thing that Ive always thought is that Aule and Ulmo could easily find a Silmaril each, as the jewelsy were thrown into the Fires of the Earth and the Deeps of the Ocean by the last of the Sons of Feanor. As each of these Valar have power over their realms I would imagine if they wanted to find them they could. Perhaps they dont want to remind themselves of the hurt that the dratted jewels did to the Earth in the first place...
To be honest I always assumed that was the idea all along, I didn't really think any more about it until it had been pointed out it might not be.
I read a very interesting "article" on another Tolkien forum, I highly suggest it. It's more or less just a users reasoning behind why it is...and it makes a whole lot of sense. A brief excerpt I found particularly interesting...
"And there is one more point worth discussing in these passages. In the second one, Mandos’ prophesy, given again for reference:
‘The fates of Arda, earth sea and air, lay locked within them.’
It is easy to miss, but there is a possible interpretation of this other than that readily apparent. It is in the wording. Mandos does not say that the fates of the Silmarils are locked within Arda – meaning simply that the gems themselves are destined to stay within the confines earth, sea and air, of Arda – but the other way around. The fates of Arda, in fact, are contained within the Silmarils.
Does this not mean that the Silmarili will each have a part to play, in the destiny of the world? One in air, one in the sea, one in earth? It is very possible that this is what Mandos actually meant. The Silmaril of air, for one, was certainly important in the fate of Arda. Were it not for Eärendil, and the Silmaril he bears in Vingilot in the heavens, the War of Wrath could not have been won; for the dragons of Morgoth would surely have vanquished Eönwe, if Vingilot had not appeared and overcome them at the last minute. Moreover it is largely Eärendil, wielding the light of his Silmaril, that guard against the return again of Melkor from the Timeless Void:
‘…and Eärendil keeps vigilance (against Morgoth’s return) upon the ramparts of heaven…’
The Silmaril that Maglor cast into the sea has not yet played it’s part (not that we know of, anyway). But if the Arkenstone was a Silmaril – the Silmaril of Earth – then it has, I think, performed it’s duty already. Clearly the Quest of Erebor and the after effects had gigantic consequences for Middle-Earth. The finding of the Ring, the reinstating of the King under the Mountain, the slaying of Smaug… how much of this was down to the Arkenstone’s pull on Thorin?
Probably not all that much. His desire to reclaim his old kingdom was probably fiercer because of it, to be sure, but still he would have most likely gone anyway. But what about the events that took place after Smaug’s death? The hostilities between Dwarves, Elves and Men, the Battle of Five Armies, the balance of power that took place between them – they were all tied up with the Arkenstone. Who knows? If the Arkenstone wasn’t present, perhaps the Battle of Five Armies would have been lost."
And of course we know Mandos' prophecies are VERY open to interpretation, never being as obvious as they seem. Hm....
I would post a link, but apparently we're not allowed to or something, so google search "New evidence for the Arkenstone-Silmaril case." It's on barrowdowns.com. Interesting stuff...
Edit: Also for those who might not know, but Tolkien has written that after the Final Battle, when Morgoth returns, the Silmarils will be brought to Yavanna, who will break them open to restore life to Arda. Thus, "the fates of Arda." Just to clear up any confusion.
Well, let's just play the what if game a little, shall we.
So the Silmaril got lost and if it only reappears after the world breaks apart, that might suggest it is somewhere in the earth, buried in the ground.
So that brings me back to the Arkenstone: it was found deep inside the mountain.
Perhaps it wasn't supposed to be found but as was pointed out before: the dwarves tend to dig a lil deeper than is sometimes good for them and they tend to awake powers that are meant to be left sleeping, as was the case with the Balrog of Moria as well. Perhaps they just found it by accident, that it wasn't supposed to happen but there it is.
.... I love the what if game
(someone from another forum [but quoted above] wrote): And there is one more point worth discussing in these passages. In the second one, Mandos’ prophesy, given again for reference:
‘The fates of Arda, earth sea and air, lay locked within them.’
It is easy to miss, but there is a possible interpretation of this other than that readily apparent. It is in the wording. Mandos does not say that the fates of the Silmarils are locked within Arda – meaning simply that the gems themselves are destined to stay within the confines earth, sea and air, of Arda – but the other way around (...).
Yet the Silmarillion has more to say here too...
'And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.'
'And the Vanyar returned (...) but their joy in victory was diminished, for they returned without the Silmarils from Morgoth's crown, and they knew that those jewels could not be found or brought together again unless the world be broken and unmade.'
The Silmarils found their 'long homes' in places inaccessible to mortals, and to my mind the Vanyar confirm (what I think is) an easy enough implication here. This second description was added to the 1930 Silmarillion (called Qenta Noldorinwa then), worded a bit differently there.
'Yet little joy had they in their return, for they came without the Silmarils, and these could not be again found, unless the world was broken and re-made anew.'
JRRT, Qenta Noldorinwa
And even JD Rateliff notes the 'sense of finality' imparted to the reader with this addition. He writes (The History of The Hobbit)
'Despite the sense of finality in the passages just quoted, Tolkien had in fact changed his mind four times in the previous fifteen years about the holy jewel's fate...' J. Rateliff
JDR's 'despite' looks backward in the external timeline.
But looking a the contemporary period and the future timeline (remembering that we still have his 'sense of finality' which I agree with), the 1930 Qenta is still relatively close in date to the writing of The Hobbit, and this passage was never rejected by Tolkien after it entered his tales.
Also, the idea of the Silmarils ultimately being broken (and so on) is from the Second Prophecy of Mandos, which was abandoned by Tolkien as a prophecy from Mandos and characterized as a Mannish myth rather.
Thus Christopher Tolkien cut the Second Prophecy from the 1977 Silmarillion, noting also that his father had written (see the end of the 1977 Silmarillion), that if the Marring of Arda might be amended: 'Manwe and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos.'
Tolkien substantially revised the 'Turin section' of the Last Battle as well.
So what do you think Galin??
The Arkenstone could not be a silmaril simply because the dwarves shaped it to its current shape.