Nice thread, Brego.
I think I wrote that somewhere else on this forums, but I fell in love with Silmarillion from the first few pages, because I was amazed by the idea of creating the universe with music. I mean - music is for me the most abstract, most intangible and mysterious art in the world, and the vision of creating everything that exists with an orchestra or a choir has to be one of the most beautiful things I ever read.
I love the story of the Sun and the Moon, and Arien and Tilion's story - their eternal race.
Yes agreed Indis. I love the scorch marks on the Moon caused by the heats of Arien, when he gets too close to her.
Re the Music of the Ainur. I wonder what it would sound like? Tolkien's wonderful descriptions give a an idea that its Melodic and orchestral, beautiful and terrible at the same time. I think Mr Howard Shaw would do a great job if he got the chance.
When goblins from Mount Gram in the Misty Mountains invaded the Northfarthing, Bandobras Took charged at the goblin leader Golfimbul and knocked off his head with a club. The goblin's head flew through the air for 100 yards and went down a rabbit hole; it is said that this was how the game of golf was invented.
For those who have seen the Hobbit movie this story and a portrait of Bandobras are presented beautifully by Gandalf.
As far as mythic explanations I have to note Earendil. And it may be obvious enough to note on a Tolkien forum, but it is no less beautiful or enchanting for being so well known of course. Tolkien not only explains this 'star' but the 'true' history behind the name éarendel in an Old English poem (Crist).
Compare for example the Norse legend of Aurvandil, his frozen toe broken off by Thor and thrown into the sky as a star. This has its charm no doubt, but I prefer Tolkien's Earendil, who sat at the helm of his hallowed and fair vessel, glistening with the dust of gems, a Silmaril bound on his brow.
This is a nice thread Brego, but as a Tolkien fan I have to ask where your example above hails from. I'm referring to your description of an Elf upon a mountain plucking and throwing a golden hair to the top of another mountain, with its center being caught by Ilmarin and bent into an arch and so on, with the Sun reflecting against the hair to create the first rainbow.
I can't recall everything Tolkien ever wrote of course, but if this is from Tolkien could you direct us to it more specifically? At the moment I'm wondering if maybe you might be thinking of the Bridge of Orome from The Book of Lost Tales (which perhaps you meant instead of Unfinished Tales), since Vana's hair is involved.
But if so I think the details there are different enough to note for anyone who may not own The Book of Lost Tales.
Orome's bridge (and of course the description will be much more poetic in Tolkien's early style of prose, compared to the following somewhat simplified description):
Orome begged a tress of Vana's hair (she is Orome's wife in this early conception) and he dipped the threads in the radiance of Kulullin, a cauldron of golden light in Valinor, and Vana wove this into a leash 'immeasurable'. Orome then cast this thong of gold on a hill in the East called Kalorme, very distant from Valinor, and by the magic of its making and the cunning of Orome's hand it stayed a golden curve, and Orome fastened the other end to a pillar in Manwe's court.
Then Orome used the bridge to travel East, and could return upon it 'ravelling' the thong as he came back, and in this way the Valar could travel to different places if they desired. The bridge glistens golden in the Sun when it is secured, and when rain moistens it the light breaks into many hues of colour: a Rainbow of course.
This idea was never mentioned again outside the very early Book of Lost Tales, but I would agree some of Tolkien's very early ideas, this one included, are quite wonderful.
Well actually you mentioned that this was in Unfinished Tales not The History of Middle-Earth which contains The Book of Lost Tales, but I don't really want to comb multiple volumes for this in any case, which is why I asked you for a more specific direction in my last post.
Are you sure you aren't thinking of Orome's Bridge?
It turns out that there's an index reference for 'Rainbow' in The History of Middle-Earth series.
It appears in three different volumes and according to these references the only variant to Orome's Bridge appears in an isolated note:
'When the Gods close Valinor... Lorien leaves a path across the mountains called Olore Malle, and Manwe the Rainbow where he walks to survey the world. It is only visible after rain, for then it is wet.
The Book of Lost Tales, The Hiding of Valinor, note 9
Other rainbow references have to do with the term Heavenly Arch (see The Fall of Gondolin), or the Rainbow Cleft, but in any case none of these references (anyway), refer to a story of an Elven hair and so on.
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