1. The Full Tragedy of the Kinslaying
at last there was peace in the world.
Elrond slept uneasily beside his brother. The Time of the Elves was over, and the Dominion of Men was here. Eonwe summoned all the Elves of Beleriand to depart
to Valinor. As the sons of Earendil, Elros and Elrond had been given leave to choose to which kindred their fates would be joined. Elrond was tempted to let Elros
choose and then simply choose alike so that they would not be parted, but it seemed unfair to force such a heavy decision upon his brother. And yet, they were not
even permitted to speak to their father, who had fought the dragons in the air and yet was forbidden to set foot upon Middle-earth. It was true that they’d reached
maturity and could make decisions of their own, but they’d only reached maturity 8 years ago, and this seemed too grave a decision to make without any guidance.
How Elros could sleep at a time like this was beyond Elrond, but then again, they were both rather tired, and it was entirely possible that Elrond was sleeping and
simply thinking in his sleep.
"Elros, Elrond, wake up," cried a voice from outside their tent.
Elrond stirred first and moved to the tent flap, but Elros stopped him. "What can be happening in the middle of the night that requires our attention?" Elros whispered.
"Pretend to be asleep." Elros was rather sick of having people either congratulate them on the greatness of their father Earendil, whom they’ve never met, or berate
them for the evil of their foster fathers Maedhros and Maglor, who had stolen the Silmarils like thieves in the night.
"I’m sorry, Elros." Elrond opened the tent flap. "What is it?"
Gil-galad’s frown met him. "The guards have seen Maglor approaching our camp from a distance. You’d best get dressed and come with us."
"Perhaps he comes to return the Silmaril," Elrond said hopefully. Gil-galad’s look made it clear that he didn’t believe Maglor came with good intentions.
"Whatever the case, you and Elros should be there. He comes from the east. Meet us there." Gil-galad didn’t wait to hear if they would come or not. He knew they
would. It concerned their foster father.
Elros sighed and rose. "Do you suppose they’ll simply kill him?"
"More kinslaying? I think not." Elros helped his brother dress in his armor. They rarely dressed in anything less than at least light armor, though the war was now
over. In all honesty, they had no other good clothing that had survived the long war, and they refused to wear gifts from others. They were not beggars. After a time,
Elrond said, "Perhaps he comes to return to Valinor and submit to the judgment of the Valar."
"Oh, that’s really likely," Elros said sarcastically.
Once they were both ready, Elros and Elrond went to the eastern part of the camp. It wasn’t hard to find what they sought. Eonwe and a host of Elves were
assembled, and there were archers out in the open, ready to take aim at the son of Feanor if necessary.
"Ah, sons of Earendil, I am glad that you’re here," Eonwe said, after which he continued talking with the King of the Vanyar.
Elros and Elrond watched as Maglor slowly approached the camp. He was moving as if a giant boulder had been chained to him. His cheeks were hollow, and his
face haunted, but his eyes were as bright as stars. He stopped when he was still some distance from the camp.
"Can we go to him?" asked Elros, though he must’ve known what the answer would be.
"I’m afraid not," said King Ingil.
"I hear that all the Elves who will harken to you will depart from these lands," Maglor said in a loud, clear voice. There was no wind on this particular night, and his
voice carried easily.
"That is so, son of Feanor," said Eonwe. "What are your intentions? Will you surrender the Silmaril at last in return for passage to the Blessed Realm?"
Maglor chuckled. "Not quite." He held up his right hand, and all saw with their keen eyes that it was burned.
"I warned you, son of Feanor, that you had lost the right to your father’s work. The Silmaril has rejected you," Eonwe replied.
"You err in your understanding of events." Maglor laughed mirthlessly. "The Silmaril was marred by Morgoth. I have committed it to the waters of the Sea to be
restored in time. My eldest brother," he grimaced and continued, "Maedhros has committed his Silmaril to its right place in the earth, and there it will be cleansed.
There they will abide until the End of the World. But to those Elves who love Middle-earth and loathe to leave, this I say to you: now that the Silmarils are in their
right places, one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters, the Elves may remain in Middle-earth, for a time.
You may abide here and heal the hurts of the world as you will. But when the Time of the Elves does come to an end, then you must depart from these lands or fade.
And this is the cruelest of the deeds of Morgoth: that the Elves should be exiled from the land of their birth."
The Elves began to mutter amongst themselves. Could it be true that they need not depart yet? It was apparent that many desired to stay if they could. Elrond felt his
heart lift at the news. He and Elros would have more time to make their fateful decision.
"So you have bought us some time. Those who elect to stay in Middle-earth are free to do so and will be welcomed back to the Blessed Realm at any time, for we
are all kin. But what of you Maglor?" Ingil asked.
"I have no desire to ever come back among the Elves." Maglor hung his head, and though he whispered, all heard his words clearly. "The memories are heavy upon
To many, this seemed right, that the remaining sons of Feanor should go into self-exile for the many and merciless deeds, being blinded by their oath, and most of all
because of their slaying of Dior and the assault upon the Havens. Elrond frowned and was about to speak up, but Maglor suddenly began to laugh like one fey.
"The dark clouds of Morgoth have ever hung over Middle-earth, and much that is known to the Elves of Aman are lies of the Dark Lord. Indeed, few Elves of
Middle-earth know the full tale of our deeds." His eyes fell on Elros, then Elrond. Maglor’s voice seemed to gain power as he spoke, and his spirit was kindled to a
great flame. "I have one last gift for all the Eldalie. It is a song that, before now, was only known to my father and my brothers: Noldolante, the Fall of the Noldor."
Maglor launched into song then, and his voice carried such that all those gathered upon the shores of Middle-earth heard his tale. Even those in their sleep awoke,
for the power of Maglor’s song could not be stayed. He sang of the slaying of the Two Trees and of Finwe. He sang of Feanor’s speech in Tirion and the Oath. He
sang of the flight of the Noldor as they purposed to lure Morgoth from the Blessed Realm and to draw his hatred and attention from the Valar and the Eldar that
remained in Aman. He sang of Alqualonde, the purchasing of the ships with jewels, and the voice that sprang up suddenly among the Teleri: "Never shall these
thieves leave the Havens in our ships."
And then Maglor sang of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde and the evil wrought by that voice of Morgoth. They saw with unfailing clarity the attack of the Teleri in their
belief that the swanships were being stolen, the retaliation of the Noldor as word spread that the Teleri purposed to stop their flight from Valinor, and the senseless
bloodshed that followed on both sides. At last, the younger generation of Elves understood that the full truth of the tragedy was too sorrowful to retell. The infamous
slaying of kin unto kin was the result of a grievous misunderstanding bred by Morgoth.
Of the Children of the Valar, the Maiar, and the Three Kindreds of Elves assembled upon the shores of Middle-earth, not a one could contain his tears as he heard
Maglor's tale. The last notes of Maglor's song trailed off in the night air and were replaced by the wailing of men, women, and children alike.
Elrond clung to Elros, and they wept into each other's shoulders. Truly, reality was crueler than imagination, and at last they understood more of the guilt that had
burdened their foster fathers. When at last they regained their composure, they looked about for Maglor, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Maglor's voice had forged a tale of gold that none would ever be able to repeat yet none who had heard it could ever forget, and he was named mightiest among the
singers of old. It is said among the Elves that he wandered ever upon the shores thereafter, singing in pain and regret beside the waves.
Paradise Regained story continuity, so there's a lot of Feanorian twisting of canon and reverting to older versions of the tale in the HoMEs.
The Silmarils do indeed allow the Elves to stay in Middle-earth for another Two Ages.
"Of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde more is told in that lament which is named Noldolante, the Fall of the Noldor, that Maglor made ere he was lost" (S. 98). In this,
Maglor composed the Noldolante after the Kinslaying but does not share it with any save his father and brothers until just before he was lost.
"So sprang up suddenly a voice among them [the Teleri]: 'Never shall these thieves leave the Haven in our ships" (I. 165). Taken from the Book of Lost Tales I, this
sudden voice sounds awfully suspicious to me in light of the rumors that Morgoth spread in Tirion. I assume here that it's a servant of Morgoth.
Maglor's fate is partially quoted from the Silmarillion, p. 314. It's said here that he was named mightiest among the singers of old. Of course, Maglor is stated in the
Silmarillion as being named only after Daeron of Doriath. The reason for this discrepancy is the timing of the end of this story. Daeron will later prove himself the
better singer, but that's a different tale to be told.
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