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* The ''second'' greatest one: Christopher Tolkien spent another few years after his father's death going through stacks of handwritten pages, fragments of story, margin notes, letters and personal recollections to try and make a history of Arda as close to definitive as he could, even (reluctantly) inventing himself when necessary. And (unlike with his later, more scholarly ''History of Middle Earth'') he made it work as a single volume accessible to the casual reader. Without his tireless work, Tolkien's grander vision may have been confined to obscurity and literature buffs, but instead the tales of the First Age reached a wider readership.

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ted_nasmith___morgoth_and_the_high_king_of_noldor_1992.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Fingolfin]] vs [[EvilOverlord Morgoth]]. Fingolfin loses but [[DyingMomentOfAwesome goes down swinging]]]]


* [[PunyHumans Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. After suffering torture and death of his companions, Beren retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but his hand holding the jewel is bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.

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* [[PunyHumans Beren]], son of Barahir, is tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. After suffering torture and death the deaths of his companions, Beren retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but his hand holding the jewel is bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.


* [[PunyHumans Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but gets the hand holding the jewel bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.

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* [[PunyHumans Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He After suffering torture and death of his companions, Beren retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but gets the his hand holding the jewel is bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.


* [[PunyHuman Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but gets the hand holding the jewel bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.

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* [[PunyHuman [[PunyHumans Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion in order to be able to marry his daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves one of the Silmarillion, but gets the hand holding the jewel bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.


* [[PunyHuman Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion, an artifact that has been utterly lost to the Elves for thousands of years, to win his daughter's hand. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves a Silmarillion, but gets his hand bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.

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* [[PunyHuman Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion, an artifact that has been utterly lost Silmarillion in order to the Elves for thousands of years, be able to win marry his daughter's hand.daughter. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves a one of the Silmarillion, but gets his the hand holding the jewel bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.

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* [[PunyHuman Beren]], son of Barahir, tasked by Thingol to retrieve one of the Silmarillion, an artifact that has been utterly lost to the Elves for thousands of years, to win his daughter's hand. Beren vows that he will not return until he has the jewel in his hand, and sets upon a quest that leads him to the heart of Morgoth's realm. He retrieves a Silmarillion, but gets his hand bitten off by Carcharoth, greatest of all the wolves. Returning to Thingol, the great Elven king spurns him, claiming that Beren has failed his quest. And then, in an act of human defiance not matched until Dernhelm announced '[[NoManOfWomanBorn I am no man]]', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, ''[[ExactWords the hand that still holds the Silmarillion within Carcharoth's stomach]]''. Thingol finally caves and gives Beren his blessing to wed his daughter.
** Beren and Luthien's adventure was basically [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Frodo's quest]] on Nightmare Difficulty. And much like Frodo, they did what numerous Elven Kings and armies could not: '''[[ImpossibleTask Retrieve one of the Silmarillions]]'''.


** Before any of that, Eärendil's miraculous voyage to Valinor, using the power of the Silmaril itself to find the way and pass through the Enchanted Isles (the first sailor ''ever'' to do so), and Eönwë's EpicHail when he finally does so.

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** Before any of that, Eärendil's miraculous voyage to Valinor, using the power of the Silmaril itself to find the way and pass through the Enchanted Isles (the first sailor ''ever'' to do so), and Eönwë's EpicHail when he finally does so.succeeds.


** Before any of that, Eärendil's miraculous voyage to Valinor, using the power of the Silmaril itself to find the way and pass through the Enchanted Iles, and Eönwë's EpicHail when he finally does so.

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** Before any of that, Eärendil's miraculous voyage to Valinor, using the power of the Silmaril itself to find the way and pass through the Enchanted Iles, Isles (the first sailor ''ever'' to do so), and Eönwë's EpicHail when he finally does so.

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** Before any of that, Eärendil's miraculous voyage to Valinor, using the power of the Silmaril itself to find the way and pass through the Enchanted Iles, and Eönwë's EpicHail when he finally does so.

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* From the ''Fall of Gondolin'': Near the end of the battle, Rog, one of the twelve lords of Gondolin, and head of the House of the Hammers of Wrath, led an absolutely ''savage'' counterattack against Morgoth's forces. These guys were so badass they took the flaming whips from the balrogs and used them to kill them!

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** While Morgoth is spending his penance in Valinor, almost everyone believes him to be reformed. Tulkas and Ulmo are the exceptions, and it's said that Tulkas frowns whenever he sees Morgoth walk by. Whether Tulkas' case is TooDumbToFool or HiddenDepths, it's awesome that he could see right through Morgoth.


* Fëanor's speeches - hell, Fëanor in general - are, if possible, ''subverted'' Moments of Awesome. They would be textbook Moments of Awesome, except that he's hot-tempered, ruthless, completely obsessed with revenge and his Silmarils, and at least a little crazy. Things don't go very well for his followers, not to mention their neighbors. Even so, he was arguably the biggest badass in the ''Silmarillion'' (the only ones who possess the badassitude to compare with him are Beren, Húrin, Fingolfin, Finrod, and Eärendil). Let's take stock shall we? He reinvented the system of writing that his people used, invented the palantíri, and forged the Silmarils, gems that imprisoned the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, and even he doesn't know how he did that. He slammed the door in the face of the most powerful being in Arda. His speeches have been talked about; he also chased a routed army alone for who knows how long, and the army was too afraid to turn around and fight him. And to top it all of, he has the most badass final fight of any character in the franchise: he fights the balrogs. Not one, like Gandalf or Glorfindel, oh no, he fought ALL of them (ambiguous as their number might be, though Tolkien's later writings has them at 7 total.). At once. For hours. While covered in bleeding wounds and also '''[[IncendiaryExponent ON FIRE!!!!]]''' And even after he gets brought down (which took the arrival of the most powerful balrog, said to be on a similar power level with Sauron), it takes him hours to die of his injuries. And then his corpse spontaneously burns to ash due to his sheer [[HotBlooded hot bloodedness.]].

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* Fëanor's speeches - -- hell, Fëanor in general - -- are, if possible, ''subverted'' Moments of Awesome. They would be textbook Moments of Awesome, except that he's hot-tempered, ruthless, completely obsessed with revenge and his Silmarils, and at least a little crazy. Things don't go very well for his followers, not to mention their neighbors. Even so, he was arguably the biggest badass in the ''Silmarillion'' (the only ones who possess the badassitude to compare with him are Beren, Húrin, Fingolfin, Finrod, and Eärendil). Let's take stock shall we? He reinvented the system of writing that his people used, invented the palantíri, and forged the Silmarils, gems that imprisoned the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, and even he doesn't know how he did that. He slammed the door in the face of the most powerful being in Arda. His speeches have been talked about; he also chased a routed army alone for who knows how long, and the army was too afraid to turn around and fight him. And to top it all of, he has the most badass final fight of any character in the franchise: he fights the balrogs. Not one, like Gandalf or Glorfindel, oh no, he fought ALL of them (ambiguous as their number might be, though Tolkien's later writings has them at 7 total.). At once. For hours. While covered in bleeding wounds and also '''[[IncendiaryExponent ON FIRE!!!!]]''' And even after he gets brought down (which took the arrival of the most powerful balrog, said to be on a similar power level with Sauron), it takes him hours to die of his injuries. And then his corpse spontaneously burns to ash due to his sheer [[HotBlooded hot bloodedness.]].


* Fëanor's speeches - hell, Fëanor in general - are, if possible, ''subverted'' Moments of Awesome. They would be textbook Moments of Awesome, except that he's hot-tempered, ruthless, completely obsessed with revenge and his Silmarils, and at least a little crazy. Things don't go very well for his followers, not to mention their neighbors. Even so, he was arguably the biggest badass in the ''Silmarillion'' (the only ones who possess the badassitude to compare with him are Beren, Húrin, Fingolfin, Finrod, and Eärendil). Let's take stock shall we? He reinvented the system of writing that his people used, invented the palantíri, and forged the Silmarils, gems that imprisoned the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, and even he doesn't know how he did that. He slammed the door in the face of the most powerful being in Arda. His speeches have been talked about; he also chased a routed army alone for who knows how long, and the army was too afraid to turn around and fight him. And to top it all of, he has the most badass final fight of any character in the franchise: he fights the balrogs. Not one, like Gandalf or Glorfindel, oh no, he fought ALL of them (ambiguous as their number might be). At once. For hours. While covered in bleeding wounds and also '''[[IncendiaryExponent ON FIRE!!!!]]''' And even after he gets brought down (which took the arrival of the most powerful balrog, said to be on a similar power level with Sauron), it takes him hours to die of his injuries. And then his corpse spontaneously burns to ash due to his sheer [[HotBlooded hot bloodedness.]].

to:

* Fëanor's speeches - hell, Fëanor in general - are, if possible, ''subverted'' Moments of Awesome. They would be textbook Moments of Awesome, except that he's hot-tempered, ruthless, completely obsessed with revenge and his Silmarils, and at least a little crazy. Things don't go very well for his followers, not to mention their neighbors. Even so, he was arguably the biggest badass in the ''Silmarillion'' (the only ones who possess the badassitude to compare with him are Beren, Húrin, Fingolfin, Finrod, and Eärendil). Let's take stock shall we? He reinvented the system of writing that his people used, invented the palantíri, and forged the Silmarils, gems that imprisoned the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, and even he doesn't know how he did that. He slammed the door in the face of the most powerful being in Arda. His speeches have been talked about; he also chased a routed army alone for who knows how long, and the army was too afraid to turn around and fight him. And to top it all of, he has the most badass final fight of any character in the franchise: he fights the balrogs. Not one, like Gandalf or Glorfindel, oh no, he fought ALL of them (ambiguous as their number might be).be, though Tolkien's later writings has them at 7 total.). At once. For hours. While covered in bleeding wounds and also '''[[IncendiaryExponent ON FIRE!!!!]]''' And even after he gets brought down (which took the arrival of the most powerful balrog, said to be on a similar power level with Sauron), it takes him hours to die of his injuries. And then his corpse spontaneously burns to ash due to his sheer [[HotBlooded hot bloodedness.]].


* The invasion of Valinor itself; both the Valar and the Eldar alike had no confidence in victory against Ar-Pharazôn and his army.
** That was not it. According WordOfGod, the Valar could not punish or coerce Men because they are under Eru's direct authority. Since they were not authorized to stop the Numenoreans, they opted to retreate and let The One deal with them.

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