015 – Along Came a Spider

Doom falls on Valinor in Chapter 8 of The Silmarillion. Manwë hosts a feast to reconcile the estranged sons of Finwë, but Melkor chooses that moment to get his revenge with a little help from the mother of all evil spiders (literally), Ungoliant. We bring back Tolkien Fun Facts with a young Professor’s trek through the Swiss Alps, and wonder about Valarin bug spray.

For an image of Der Berggeist by Josef Madlener, the painting that Tolkien deemed the “Origin of Gandalf,” visit this page for the artist’s hometown of Memmingen (German language site): https://www.memmingen.de/76.html

For an image of The Killing of the Trees by John Howe, visit the artist’s home page here: http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=977

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Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Silmarillion (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 73-77, “Of the Darkening of Valinor”

Carpenter, Humphrey. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography (Houghton Mifflin, paperback) Book II, Chapter 4, “‘T.C., B.S., etc.'”)

2 thoughts on “015 – Along Came a Spider

  1. I loved this issue (just like all of them, basically)! It’s interesting how Tolkien uses the prefix un- to build antonyms. Unfriends, unlight, unman. Instead of just picking up a different word for an antonym, he creates these amazing words. What a brilliant linguistic decision!

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