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"But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men."

Tuor is a human, Hurin's nephew in exile. The elf Idril falls in love with him and they marry; who knows why? Why do elves fall in love with humans? Imagine there was another species that looked like humans and had most of the same cultural norms, but died within forty-eight hours of maturity. Would you marry them? How can you fall in love with someone that young and brief? Who knows? Gondolin is isolated; you've seen the same people every day for a hundred years, and one day Tuor just shows up. He's just like you, only he's already almost gone. As alert and alive, but perishable as a ripe peach. Idril's father doesn't even try to stop her. Why should he? It's the end of the world; it's been the end of the world for years, so what does it matter if the man you marry turns to dust in your arms? That's just how we live now. Anyway, plenty of couples have natural lifespans in the same order of magnitude and are no happier than the rest of us. No guarantees in life, except guaranteed suffering, because this is the Silmarillion.

Maeglin, Idril's unhappy cousin, is the only one in Gondolin who hates Tuor. Maeglin makes many poor decisions, but I feel bad for him here. He's always been an outsider in Gondolin despite being the king's nephew, and he can't stop lusting after Idril and the crown, separately and together. To love someone who doesn't love you back is hard enough, but to hate someone whom everyone around you loves might be more painful still. (I know, because this is how I feel about Person of Interest).

One day Maeglin is captured, and Morgoth, being Morgoth, promises to "give him" Idril in exchange for information on how to get into Gondolin. But of course it doesn't work that way and he's never had any reason to think it could work that way; Idril didn't like him creeping on her before and she doesn't like it any better when he just grabs her in the middle of an invasion while she's trying to evacuate the city. Maeglin ends up thrown off the walls by Tuor the mayfly usurper, and I don't know what he was expecting. What did you think was going to happen, Maeglin? How did you expect this plan to end?

It's almost better that he does get killed, because you know if he lived he'd have to wander the ashes of Gondolin alone for 900 centuries being miserable and Morgoth would probably find some way of dumping salt into his wounds because Morgoth can't ever just be grateful for anything.

There's a balrog, and someone has to slay it, but the problem with balrogs is they always kill you. Your only options are to run away as fast as you can and leave the balrog to set everything on fire, or stay and fight and maybe defeat it, which will kill you. There's no way around it. Glorfindel kills a balrog and some people get away, so it was worth it, maybe. Tuor and Idril get as many people ot as they can and make the best of it. Then Tuor grows old in almost no time, because that's the kind of thing he is, and he and Idril sail into the west, and no one knows what happened to them, but let's all cross our fingers and hope that it wasn't anything needlessly horrible.

Only one chapter left of the Quenta Silmarillion, and then there's a time and style jump into something different. This book has been surprisingly emotionally exhausting.


blase ev

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