February 1

Day 32

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 19: Of Beren and Lúthien
    *Read the third sixth of this chapter today, so that you have finished half the chapter.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Lays of Beleriand: Note on the original submission of the Lay of Leithian and The Silmarillion in 1937

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: I. The Tale of Tinúviel, the first half of The Tale of Tinúviel

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien:” the first half of The Tale of Tinúviel

    • The Lays of Beleriand: III. The Lay of Leithian, Cantos V, VI, VII and VIII

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien:” A Second Extract from the Lay of Leithian

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section VI. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapters 12 - 15: Of Beren and Tinúviel, prior versions corresponding to today’s reading from The Silmarillion.

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Nargothrond, River Narog, Falls of Irvin, Ered Wethrin, Taur-nu-Fuin, Doriath, Menegroth, Guarded Plain

    • Arda: Middle-earth, Valinor

  • Character Cards: Huan

  • Timeline: First Age 465

  • Other: Look up the history of werewolves, and consider the nature of the werewolf under Sauron’s control. This is not the same kind of werewolf we think of today, a man transformed by the full moon, but rather a wolf possessed by an evil spirit.

Discussion Questions:

    1. Was Thingol justified in keeping Lúthien imprisoned? Was she justified in escaping?
    2. What could Felagund and Beren have done differently to avoid capture?
    3. Who is the most faithful friend you’ve ever had? How did they demonstrate their faithfulness?

 
 

February 2

Day 33

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 19: Of Beren and Lúthien
    *Read the fourth sixth of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section III. The Later Annals of Beleriand, Year 264 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lays of Beleriand: III. The Lay of Leithian, Cantos IX and X

    • The Lays of Beleriand: IV. The Lay of Leithian Recommenced, Cantos V-IX and Canto X

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section VI. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapters 12 - 15: Of Beren and Tinúviel, prior versions corresponding to today’s reading from The Silmarillion.

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, YS 465 (including corresponding Commentary)

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Angband, Ered Wethrin, Tol Sirion, Taur-nu-Fuin, Nargothrond, Dimbar, Doriath, Himring, Nan Dungortheb, Ered Gorgoroth, Brethil, Nogrod, Pass of Sirion, Anfauglith, Thangorodrim, River Sirion

    • Valinor: Eldamar

  • Timeline: First Age 465

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the wolf-hame of Draugluin worn by Huan and the bat-fell of Thuringwethil worn by Luthien. 

Discussion Questions:

    1. Is Lúthien wise or reckless?
    2. Does Curufin’s curse of Beren hold? Are his words empty, or is there power in them?
    3. Considering Sauron’s defeat, was there danger for Huan and Lúthien in assuming the forms of his servants?

 

February 3

Day 34

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 19: Of Beren and Lúthien
    *Read the fifth sixth of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: I. The Tale of Tinúviel, the last half of The Tale of Tinúviel

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: I. The Tale of Tinúviel, Commentary on The Tale of Tinúviel, 1. The primary narrative

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien:” the last half of The Tale of Tinúviel

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section VI. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapters 12 - 15: Of Beren and Tinúviel, prior versions corresponding to today’s reading from The Silmarillion.

    • The Lays of Beleriand: III. The Lay of Leithian, Cantos XI, XII, XIII and XIV

    • The Lays of Beleriand: IV. The Lay of Leithian Recommenced, Cantos XI-XIII and Canto XIV

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien:” The Narrative in The Lay of Leithian to its Termination

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Menegroth, Angband, Thangorodrim, Hithlum, Dor-nu-Fauglith, Taur-nu-Fuin, Tumladen, Gondolin, Doriath, Crissaegrim

  • Character Cards: Carcharoth

  • Timeline: First Age 465 - 466

  • Other: Listen to Professor Tolkien’s reading of “Song of Beren and Luthien.” 

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Angrist break when Beren tried to take the other two Silmarils?
    2. Why did the Silmaril not burn Beren’s hand? Why did it burn Carcharoth?
    3. How does suffering make people stronger? Why does it make some people stronger, while it destroys others?

 
 

February 4

Day 35

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 19: Of Beren and Lúthien
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: I. The Tale of Tinúviel, The second version of The Tale of Tinúviel

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: I. The Tale of Tinúviel, Commentary on The Tale of Tinúviel, 2. Places and peoples in the Tale of Tinúviel, and 3. Miscellaneous Matters

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section II. The Earliest ‘Silmarillion’ Chapter 10 (including Commentary)

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section III. The Quenta, Chapter 10 (including Commentary)

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand, Years 163-4 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section III. The Later Annals of Beleriand, Year 265

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien:” A Passage from the ‘Sketch of the Mythology’

    • The Lays of Beleriand: III. The Lay of Leithian, The Unwritten Cantos

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien” A Further Extract from The Quenta

    • Beren and Lúthien: “Beren and Lúthien” The Quenta Silmarillion

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section VI. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapters 12 - 15: Of Beren and Tinúviel, finish this section today

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, YS 466 - 467 (some of these are duplicates)(including corresponding Commentary)

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Doriath, Nargothrond, Himring, Angband, Taur-nu-Fuin, River Esgalduin, Menegroth

    • Valinor: Halls of Mandos

  • Character Cards: Mablung

  • Timeline: First Age 466 - 467

  • Other: Listen to Eurielle’s song “Lúthien’s Lament.”

Discussion Questions:

    1. Was Beren obligated to hunt Carcharoth?
    2. What do you suppose Thingol will do with the Silmaril?
    3. Do you find Eurielle’s interpretation compelling? Why or why not?

 
 

February 5

Day 36

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 20: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
    *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about one third of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part Three, Section XIV. Dangweth Pengolod

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand, Years 164 - 171 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section III. The Later Annals of Beleriand, Years 265-70 - 271

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, YS 468 - 471 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • Beren and Lúthien: The Return of Beren and Lúthien According to the Quenta Noldorinwa

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Doriath, Menegroth, River Gelion, Ossiriand, Tol Galen, River Adurant, Nargothrond, Nogrod, Belegost, Himring, Brethil, Gondolin, Dorthonion, Angband, Anfauglith, Hithlum, Eithel Sirion, Ered Wethrin, Falas, Dor-lómin, Thangorodrim

  • Character Cards: Dior

  • Timeline: First Age 467 - 471

  • Other: Look up the pencil drawing Tolkien made of The Vale of Sirion, featuring the fortress on Tol Sirion.

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Beren and Lúthien go so far away?
    2. Should Thingol have given the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor? Why or why not?
    3. Why did Turgon decide it was finally time to join the fight?

 
 

February 6

Day 37

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 20: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
    *Read the second third of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Lost Road: Appendix: I. The Genealogies, II. The List of Names, and III. The Second ‘Silmarillion’ Map

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand, Year 172 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section III. The Later Annals of Beleriand, Year 272

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, YS 472 (including corresponding Commentary)

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: River Sirion, Eithel Sirion, Rivil, Fen of Serech, Nargothrond, Angband, Hithlum, Anfauglith, Thangorodrim, Brethil, Ered Wethrin, Gondolin, Pass of Sirion, Mount Dolmed, Belegost 

  • Character Cards: Gwindor

  • Timeline: First Age 472

  • Other: Look up some illustrations of the battle-masks of the Naugrim. Consider what makes such a mask effective for intimidating foes, and what makes it effective in deflecting dragon-fire.

Discussion Questions:

    1. What is Morgoth afraid of?
    2. Did the sons of Fëanor behave honorably during the battle?
    3. What was the white flame that sprang from Fingon’s helmet?

 
 

February 7

Day 38

Basic Reading: 

    The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 20: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section II. The Earliest ‘Silmarillion’ Chapter 11 (including Commentary)

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section III. The Quenta, Chapter 11 (including Commentary)

    • The Shaping of Middle-Earth: Section VII. The Earliest Annals of Beleriand, Year 173 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section III. The Later Annals of Beleriand, Year 273 (including corresponding Commentary)

    • The Lost Road: Part Two, Section VI. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 16: Of the Fourth Battle: Nírnaith Arnediad

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, YS 473 (including corresponding Commentary)

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Dor-lómin, River Sirion, Fen of Serech, Rivil, Angband, Hithlum, Ered Wethrin, Ered Lindon, Ossiriand, Brethil, Nan-tathren, Doriath, Nargothrond, Havens, Nevrast, River Brithon, River Nenning, Falas, Brithombar, Eglarest, Isle of Balar, Mouths of Sirion, Thangorodrim, Anfauglith, Haudh-en-Ndengin

  • Character Cards: Glorfindel, Voronwë

  • Timeline: First Age 472

  • Other:  Listen to this original composition, "Nirnaeth Arnoediad or The Battle of Unnumbered Tears" by Jeremy Wiebe. Examine the map you printed out on January 22 and mark the spread of Morgoth’s power in Beleriand. . 

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Gothmog take Húrin alive?
    2. Do you think this is the last we will hear of the sons of Fëanor?
    3. What is your response to the punishment of Húrin?

 
 

February 8

Day 39

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 1: The Childhood of Túrin
    *This chapter will be read over the course of four days, so read about one fourth of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • The Children of Húrin: Preface

    • The Children of Húrin: Introduction

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: II. Turambar and the Foalókë - Read the first section, ending with “about June 1919.”

    • The Lays of Beleriand: I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin, opening section

    • The Lays of Beleriand: I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin, “The Second version of the Children of Húrin,” opening section    

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, Note 3: A further account of the coming of Húrin and Huor to Gondolin

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Hithlum, Dor-lómin, Brethil, Dorthonion, Doriath, Brithiach, River Sirion, Dimbar, Crissaegrim, Tumladen, Gondolin

  • Timeline: First Age 464 - 469

Discussion Questions:

    1. What do you think the relationship might have been like between Morwen and her sister-in-law Rían?
    2. Why did Maeglin dislike the brothers?
    3. Was Turgon over-cautious? Or not cautious enough?

 
 

February 9

Day 40

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 1: The Childhood of Túrin
    *Read the second fourth of this chapter today, so that you have finished about half.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Lays of Beleriand: I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin, “Túrin Son of Húrin & Glórund the Dragon”

    • The Lays of Beleriand: I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin, “The Second version of the Children of Húrin,” part I    

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

    • Beleriand: Angband, Anfauglith, Hithlum, Dor-lómin

  • Character Cards: Sador

  • Timeline: First Age 469

  • Other: Listen to some harp laments. Consider whether they ease grief or enhance it.

Discussion Questions:

    1. What do you find most relatable in these vignettes of a family living in troubled times?
    2. How can the sorrow of loss at a young age impact a person?
    3. Did you ever have a “Sador” in your life? How can such a person influence a child?

 
 

February 10

Day 41

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 1: The Childhood of Túrin
    *Read the third fourth of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Background:

    • Unfinished Tales: Introduction, opening section

    • Unfinished Tales: Introduction, Part One, II. The Tale of the Children of Húrin

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps: 

  • Timeline: First Age 472

Discussion Questions:

    1. Have you ever known a child wise beyond their years? Was there sorrow in their story?
    2. What motivates Túrin’s ambition to serve with an Elf-king?
    3. Is Húrin’s counsel to Morwen wise? Why or why not?

 

February 11

Day 42

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 1: The Childhood of Túrin
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:                

    • Unfinished Tales: Part One, II. Narn I Hîn Húrin: The Childhood of Túrin

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Brethil, Gondolin, Doriath, Dor-lómin

  • Timeline: First Age 472

  • Other: Look up the heraldry of the armies of Beleriand. Note the similarities and differences, especially between Elves and Men. Do you recognize any of the symbolism?

Discussion Questions:

    1. What do you think of Túrin’s gift?
    2. To what was Morwen referring when she promised to guard “what shall be”?
    3. What might have been Túrin’s mood as he watched his father ride away to battle?

 

February 12

Day 43

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 2: The Battle of Unnumbered Tears
    *This chapter will be read over the course of two days, so read about half of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:    

    • The War of the Jewels: Part One: The Grey Annals, Note 2: A further account of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Eithel Sirion, Ered Wethrin, Hithlum, Nargothrond, Dor-lómin, Brethil, Thangorodrim, Gondolin, Angband, Anfauglith, Dorthonion, River Sirion, Barad Eithel, Fen of Serech

  • Timeline: First Age 472

  • Other: Examine a map of your regional geography. Imagine a First Age-style battle taking place there; from where would the enemy attack? Identify possible strategic locations for strongholds and key areas of control.

Discussion Questions:

    1. How did Fingon demonstrate his gift for strategic thinking?
    2. Who might the Captain of Morgoth have been?
    3. Throughout this section, Tolkien uses fire as a metaphor for what?

 

February 13

Day 44

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 2: The Battle of Unnumbered Tears
    *Finish this chapter today.


Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: II. Turambar and the Foalókë - Read the second section, ending with “all that land was dark and little kindly.”

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Anfauglith, Angband, Nargothrond, Thangorodrim, Belegost, Brethil, Ered Wethrin, Gondolin, River Sirion, Fen of Serech, Dor-lómin, Rivil, Hithlum

  • Timeline: First Age 472

  • Other: Watch Darth Gandalf’s 16-minute YouTube video, which gives an excellent visual representation of this battle: “War in Middle-earth - The Battle of Unnumbered Tears.”

Discussion Questions:    

    1. Are the names Ecthelion and Glorfindel familiar to you? If so, in what context?
    2. Do you suppose Morwen knew Húrin was alive?
    3. How might Turgon bring ruin to Morgoth?

 

February 14

Day 45

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 3: The Words of Húrin and Morgoth

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • Unfinished Tales: Part One, II. Narn I Hîn Húrin: The Words of Húrin and Morgoth

Enrichment Activities:

Discussion Questions:

    1. How did Húrin learn such wisdom as he spoke to Morgoth?
    2. Why was Húrin so bold?
    3. What lies beyond the Circles of the World?

 

February 15

Day 46

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 4: The Departure of Túrin
    *This chapter will be read over the course of three days, so read about one third of it today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: II. Turambar and the Foalókë - Read the third section, ending with “Beren son of Egnor.” (including Commentary section 3: Miscellaneous Matters (i) Beren)

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Brethil, Taur-nu-Fuin, Dor-lómin, Mithrim, Haudh-en-Nirnaeth, Hithlum, Nen Lalaith, Amon Darthir, Ered Wethrin, Glithui, Fen of Serech, Nevrast, Doriath

  • Timeline: First Age 473

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why were the Easterlings afraid of Morwen?
    2. Why would Thingol harbor Túrin?
    3. Was it wise of Morwen to remain in Dor-lúmin?

 

February 16

Day 47

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 4: The Departure of Túrin
    *Read the second third of this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • The Book of Lost Tales 2: II. Turambar and the Foalókë - Read the fourth section, ending with “and the years passed.” (including Commentary section 1: The primary narrative, opening section and (i) The capture of Úrin and Túrin’s childhood in Hilsómë

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

  • Timeline: First Age 473

  • Other: Try carving something out of wood, or watch a video of medieval woodcarving. Do the hours spent seem pleasant to you, as they did to Sador?

Discussion Questions:

    1. Do you believe Túrin will return to Dor-lómin one day?
    2. Should Sador burn the chair, or keep it in hopes of Húrin’s return?
    3. Who demonstrates wisdom in this section, and how?

 
 

February 17

Day 48

Basic Reading: 

    The Children of Húrin: Chapter 4: The Departure of Túrin
    *Finish this chapter today.

Supplementary Reading:

  • Prior Versions:

    • Unfinished Tales: Part One, II. Narn I Hîn Húrin: The Departure of Túrin

Enrichment Activities:

  • Maps:  

    • Beleriand: Doriath, Ered Wethrin, River Sirion, Brethil, Menegroth, River Esgalduin, Hithlum, Dor-lómin, Nogrod, Angband

  • Character Cards: Niënor

  • Timeline: First Age 473

  • Other: Look up illustrations of the Helm of Hador.

Discussion Questions:

    1. Why did Thingol receive Túrin so kindly?
    2. Would Húrin’s fate have been different if he had worn the Helm of Hador to the Fifth Battle?
    3. Will Morwen come to regret her pride?