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Awesome / The Silmarillion

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The Silmarillion is packed with so many moments of concentrated badassitude & awesomeness that it's hardly possible to list them all. Some of the more prominent ones are:-

  • The first and greatest one: Tolkien had worked on this series for DECADES before he finally published it after more than 50 years. Chronicling the entire history of a literary universe, it shows just how dedicated Tolkien was to his work.
  • The arrival of Tulkas the Strong.
    So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter...
    • And when Melkor finally fights Tulkas, Tulkas wrestles him into submission.
    • 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 Too Dumb to Fool or Hidden Depths, it's awesome that he could see right through Morgoth.
  • When Morgoth shows up at Fëanor's house, the latter spurns him with, "Get thee gone from my gate, thou jail-crow of Mandos!". And the book points out that he slams the door in the face of the most powerful being in the world.
  • 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 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 hot bloodedness..
  • 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 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 'I am no man', Beren holds aloft the stump of his maimed hand, 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 Frodo's quest on Nightmare Difficulty. And much like Frodo, they did what numerous Elven Kings and armies could not: Retrieve one of the Silmarillions.
  • Lúthien infiltrating Morgoth's fortress, then putting him and his entire army to sleep thanks to her magic.
    • Lúthien and Huan also overthrow Sauron's castle.
      In that hour Lúthien came, and standing upon the bridge that led to Sauron's isle she sang a song that no walls of stone could hinder. ...Then Sauron yielded himself, and Lúthien took the mastery of the isle and all that was there... Lúthien stood upon the bridge, and declared her power: and the spell was loosed that bound stone to stone, and the gates were thrown down, and the walls opened, and the pits laid bare.
  • Huan the Hound of Valinor. He betrayed his villainous masters and rescued Lúthien, he slaughtered Sauron's werewolves and then defeated Sauron himself, saved Beren from Celegorm & Curufin, and in the hour of his passing, took down Carcharoth, the greatest wolf to ever live.
  • Fingolfin challenges Morgoth to single combat and manages to seriously wound the dark lord before dying. Seven times he injured Morgoth, rising time and again after being smashed to the ground, and when Morgoth crushes him for the final time, Fingolfin permanently cripples the Dark Lord's leg. Not to mention the fact that when Fingolfin was riding to challenge Morgoth, he projected an aura of pure rage so terrible that Morgoth's entire host mistook him for Oromë of the Valar and fled.
    • Thorondor, the chieftain of the Great Eagles of Manwë not only swoops down and steals the High King's body from Morgoth's own hands, but also rakes Morgoth across his face!
  • Finrod fighting and killing a werewolf with his bare hands.
  • The Dwarves of Belegost proved their mettle during Unnumbered Tears, by halting Glaurung and his dragon brood in their tracks where not even the mightiest of the Eldar or the Fathers of Men could, and they actually manage to wound the Father of Dragons with their terrible greataxes.
    • When Glaurung crushed down the Dwarf Lord Azaghal, he drove his dagger into the beast's belly even as he died, sending it screaming back to Morgoth, basically saving every other elf or human warrior from a fiery death. Yes, he made a dragon fly away with just a dagger.
    • And as a sign of how dangerous dwarves are when avenging their kin, when the Dwarves gathered up Azaghal's body and marched from the field for his funeral, their fury was so great that none of Melkor's army even bothered to get in their way.
  • At the tail end of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, Morgoth sends his army after Turgon's host. Húrin objects. With a battle axe. He holds the army off for so long that the axe ended up melting before he was brought down and yelled "Day shall come again!" every time he killed.
  • And then, in the presence of Morgoth and his entire court, all hope utterly crushed for any sort of victory, what does Húrin do? In the face of an offer of "mercy" from Morgoth, he not only refuses, but mocks him. Even in the face of a horrific curse upon all his family and descendants of misery and tragedy that Morgoth would make him watch.
  • Húrin meets his wife at the grave of their children. She asks him what took him so long and he sums up decades of being tortured by Morgoth with "It was a long road. I have come as I could."
  • His brother Huor's last stand in the same battle. Huor kills seventy trolls single-handedly with his battleaxe.
  • Every time the Fathers of Men took up arms, it resulted in a Moment of Awesome. No, seriously. Just leaf through the pages & locate the deaths of all prominent human warriors. In almost all of these cases, they fell fighting in rear guard actions, making face-meltingly awesome last stands, or conducting guerrilla campaigns deep behind enemy lines. Morgoth's main foe might have been the Noldor, but it was these puny, short lived mortals who caused him the most trouble.
  • The children of Bor deserve a mention. The rest of the Easterlings might have turned traitor, but these stalwarts stayed true to their allies, the folk of Maedhros. In fact the sons of Bor made sure to take down the traitorous children of Ulfang down with them during Unnumbered Tears, proving that there is nobility, courage & honor to be found even amongst men not belonging to the lofty Houses of the Atanatari.
  • Túrin killing Glaurung, the source of much of his suffering.
  • One of the first things Haleth did on entering Beleriand was to Curb Stomp a band of orcs.
  • Tuor arriving to the shore and seeing Belegaer, the Sundering Sea, as the first Man ever.
  • Ulmo appearing to Tuor at the shore.
  • Ecthelion and Glorfindel's exploits during the fall of Gondolin. The former managed to bring down Gothmog himself, while the latter made it possible for some of the citizens to escape by slaying another unnamed Balrog. Both of the elves perished in the process.
  • Eärendil, having sailed to the land of the Valar to beg their aid against Morgoth, returns to Middle-Earth in his flying ship at the head of an army of gods, angels, and giant eagles. His ship leads the air assault against Morgoth's flying dragons, and he personally slays the "greatest of all dragons", Ancalagon.
    • The Valar answering his plea and finally coming to the aid of the world is one as well.
    • For that matter, while it might be a little vindictive, seeing how Morgoth, Master of the Fates of Arda and mightiest being in all Middle-Earth, ends his existence on his knees and begging for mercy before he gets his long-overdue punishment, is pretty satisfying.
    • Credit where it's due; Ancalagon and the winged dragons managed to turn the tide on the fresh Hosts of Valinor single-handed. For a moment, in spite of everything; hope was lost. And then Eärendil showed up.
    • 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 Epic Hail when he finally succeeds.
  • Ar-Pharazôn's army was so powerful that Sauron's servants ran away from them in terror, and Sauron had to surrender to him. Of course, it was more complicated than that, but still...
    • Even after all the misery this ultimately led to, the Dúnedain still thought this was awesome. When Gondor controlled the city of Umbar, they built a monument to Pharazôn, marking the spot where Sauron submitted to him. He might have been a jerk, but in that one moment, he was their jerk, and the savior of Middle-earth.
  • Facing defeat at the hands of Ar-Pharazôn, Sauron concocts a risky Batman Gambit. After surrendering and letting himself to be taken back to Númenor, through charisma and his silver tongue, he eventually became one of Ar-Pharazôn's closest advisers, which let him turn the Númenóreans from being God's chosen to worshipers of Melkor, offering human sacrifices in the name of the first Dark Lord. It all ended in Sauron convincing the now old King into using Númenor's huge army to literally take the heavens by assault, and in return cataclysmic divine punishment was inflicted upon Númenor, of which only those few faithful survived. Of course, the victory came to Sauron at a hefty price (he lost his body when Númenor sank, and was unable to take a fair form ever again), but it still worked in the end.
  • Ar-Pharazôn and the Great Armament sailing against Valinor. Even though you know it's going to end poorly, and that the Númenoreans have already fallen so far, it's hard not to feel a sense of pride (the Númenoreans still being Human and all) at this line: that hour the trumpets of Númenor outrang the thunder.
  • Fingon's rescue of Maedhros. He went alone into Morgoth's land, and climbed an impossibly tall mountain made of toxic slag, to save someone who may very well have been dead, or locked somewhere in the depths of Angband, and who, for all he knew, had left him and his people to die on the Grinding Ice or crawl back to the Valar.
  • Fingon's fall.
  • The Leap of Beren. Celegorm and Curufin, several thousand years his elders and very skilled riders, try to trample him under their horses while Curufin grabs Lúthien (apparently so his brother could rape her!) Beren dodges the trampling horses and leaps onto Curufin's galloping horse from behind, with such force that he knocks it over. Then he wrestles the jerkface into a headlock and starts throttling him — and keep in mind elves are usually stronger than humans. The only reason Curufin survived at all was that Beren somehow got Lúthien off the horse unharmed, and she asked him to show more mercy than Curufin would. So Beren loots all his stuff, then picks Curufin up bodily and throws him away. The jackass totally had it coming a dozen times.
  • 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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