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Never Speak Nor Sing: 1. Story Notes
Note on Notes:
I am not a fan of author's notes. I very rarely write them, and do not expect people to read them. The notes below may be of interest to some, but not all. If you do not wish to read the entirety of my ramblings, look only at these two points:
1) The story follows a composite of Silmarillion canon, HoME, ideas that Tolkien abandoned, and other aspects that are entirely made up by me to fill in areas that Tolkien never touched. I do not call the story a true AU (though I know most people will), but it is certainly not canon in the way that Tolkien presented it. The world is notably darker than what is presented in the Silmarillion. This is Arda Very Marred.
2) I use both (North) Sindarin and Quenya/Quendya words and phrases in this story. Wherever relevant, they are translated at the bottom of the chapter. Both Sindarin and Quenya versions of character names are used as well. For an explanation on how/why/when Elvish words are used, see the "Note on Languages" below. For a table of Sindarin-Quenya name equivalents, see "Note on Names".
Note on Story:
As mentioned above, this is a darkly themed story. The setting is bleak, and the characters are grumpy, quarrelsome, spiteful, cruel, arrogant, and a variety of other unpleasant adjectives besides. OOC? Perhaps, and I know some readers will think so. But the Elves of the Silmarillion did lie, steal, fight, discriminate, kidnap, covet, attempt rape, betray, murder, and so on. And in Tolkien's early drafts, they were far worse. At this point in their history, they were not the wise and kind beings represented in LotR. They were young, angry, and irrational. In LotR, Elrond is approximately 6500 years old and has gained more life experience and knowledge than one can imagine. In this story, Fingon is in his late 200s and has lived the majority of his life in trouble-free Valinor. A favourable comparison of their behaviour is impossible.
Characters aside, the more canonical aspects of this story follow a patchwork of ideas from both Silmarillion and HoME. Here, Fingolfin's sister did not go with him into exile. Finrod did marry Amárië in Valinor. The timeline for crossing the Helcaraxë has been condensed. Most importantly, Glorfindel of Gondolin is not the same person as the Glorfindel of Rivendell (as Rúmil of Tirion and Rúmil of Lórien are not the same person). One day, I will write an essay outlining exactly why I believe there are two distinct Glorfindels, but for now I will leave it here: as far as this story goes, they are two separate characters. This is the story of Glorfindel of Rivendell in the First Age.
Glorfindel is forty-three when the story begins. This places him at the approximate size and emotional maturity of a human sixteen-year-old.
Note on Languages:
Elvish languages are used here in a few specific situations. Mainly, to differentiate between the speaking of Sindarin and Quenya. Because this story focuses predominantly on Quenya speakers at the beginning of the First Age, the "understood" language of speech through most of the story is Quenya. Occasionally, while characters are understood to be speaking Quenya, something will be said in Sindarin. In this case, actual Sindarin is used, and will be translated at the end of the chapter or in the story text. The rule also goes for the reverse situation, where Sindarin is the understood language and Quenya words need to be emphasised.
Elvish words also appear in cases where there is no English equivalent (words like "Silmaril"), or where the word is being used as a replacement for a proper name (Glorfindel calls his mother "Amma", because as far as he is concerned, this is her name).
Finally, they appear as place names or cultural/racial names. Fingon, speaking Quenya, would say "Hisilómë" rather than the Sindarin "Hithlum". Oropher says "Golodhren" rather than "Noldorin". Here is a table for those unfamiliar with the Quenya-Sindarin equivalents:
QUENYA NORTH SINDARIN
Eldarin Edhelren (this is what the Sindar call their language: Elvish)
I have specified North Sindarin here because it differs slightly from the regular dialect, most obviously in consonant clusters. North Sindarin words such as "minto" and "edhelren" become "minno" and "edhellen" in Third Age Sindarin. Even the name "Glorfindel" is much more easily considered North Sindarin; regularly, "Glorfinnel" would make more sense. Luckily, "Glorfindel" fits perfectly into the timeframe and location of this story.
On top of the North Sindarin, Glorfindel also speaks a different dialect of Quenya. His Vanyarin speech (properly called Quendya) has a few slight differences from the Noldorin variety. It contains the sounds TH and Z where Noldorin Quenya does not, and uses the letter D diferently. Where Fingon would say "Sindarin" and "Teleri", Glorfindel would say "Thindarin" and "Telezi".
All Elvish translations and inventions were done by me, which means I get to claim full responsibility for any errors.
Note on Names:
As with the words and places, names are used according to which language is understood as spoken, but (for the most part) only in dialogue. Through most of the narrative, the more common Sindarin versions are used. Quick reference table, including OCs:
Fingolfin (Finwë) Nolofinwë
Other names (Anairë, Artanis, Amárië, etc.) are only ever given in one language.
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