Notes: Then Tuor came into Nevrast, and looking upon Belegaer the Great Sea he was enamored of it, and the sound of it, and the longing for it were ever in his heart and ear, and an unquiet was on him that took him at last into the depths of the realms of Ulmo. - "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin," The Silmarillion, 295.
The full quote then continues on to say that "then" Tuor lived alone in Nevrast for at least a season before seeing the swans, which he knew were a sign that he had "tarried too long," and therefore he goes north and ends up in deserted Vinyamar.
There seem to be three ways of interpreting the text: (1) The last quoted line is meant to summarize and the yet-to-be-told story of Tuor's eventual meeting with Ulmo on the beach in front of Vinyamar. (2) That line is intended to summarize the entirety of Tuor's still-outstanding story, his entire journey, from escaped thrall to quasi-Elven pilgrim to Valinor. (3) The last line obliquely refers to a prior meeting between Tuor and Ulmo, which makes him Ulmo's messenger and gives him a preliminary task that prepares him for the revelation at Vinyamar.
I chose option three, since to me it makes the most sense out of the idea that he spent too long in Nevrast, which implies that he should have been doing something between his arrival in Nevrast and his arrival in Vinyamar. But we're never told what that is – the swans are the first and only indication that Tuor is waiting or has anything to do at all. And since Tuor never sets foot in the ocean at Vinyamar, but the text says "took him at last into the depths of the realms of Ulmo," to me the Vinyamar episode doesn't satisfy the letter of the text. Why would it say "into the depths of Ulmo's realms" instead of "into contact with Ulmo" or "face to face with Ulmo" or something else that isn't so suggestive of immersion into Ulmo's element, if it meant to point us to the face to face meeting of Ulmo and Tuor?
But what would it mean to really enter into the depths of Ulmo's realms (in the plural)? If it means (minimally) to enter the depths of the sea, there would seem to be consequences for those who rely on air to survive. And what could it mean to say that Ulmo has multiple realms? What are they? How exactly (and when) is Tuor invested as Ulmo's messenger/prophet?
These are the questions to which this little gap-filler tries to respond.
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