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War of Wrath III : the Mappening

I had difficulty visualising how I thought the Downfall of Beleriand might have happened, so I borrowed some maps and mangled them horribly to show the progress of events and particularly the change in the coast.
(The first and last two dates are from  The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11: I made the rest up. )

545 : the Host of the Valar arrive in Middle Earth.  Noldor land at Mouths of Sirion, Vanyar land at Eglarest.

559: attack from the east on Bay of Balar, counterattack takes out lower Gelion

563: Balrog attacks from Nevrast repulsed

565: giant flood magic on River Sirion

577 Ulmo takes action on dragon infestation in Doriath & Brethil

583 Ered Luin, Nogrod, Belegost, attacked by fleeing Balrog.  Gulf of Lune created

587 : Victory in Middle Earth

590 : Melkor thrust through the Doors of Night into the Everlasting Darkness, Angband area collapses.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
15th Jan, 2017 10:34 (UTC)
Hello! Your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!
Learn more about LiveJournal Ratings in FAQ.
15th Jan, 2017 16:09 (UTC)
... and it's always weird when that happens on a post with no comments.

Like the internet is standing there giving you a Look.
15th Jan, 2017 16:44 (UTC)
I did look at your maps earlier!
(I just didn't feel very articulate--or in the mood for heart-ing a post about the Drowning of Beleriand today. The maps are clever, though!)

Edited at 2017-01-15 17:04 (UTC)
15th Jan, 2017 21:46 (UTC)
Thank you, that makes me feel weirdly better. I mean, there is no reason that I can see that people should be particularly interested in non-canon maps drawn for my convenience, so it feels odd to get a notification to say they are doing so... IN SILENCE. :-D
15th Jan, 2017 22:44 (UTC)
I have to admit that I looked at them in silence *twice*, but had nothing sensible to say :)

I'm a bit bemused, but this may be because I know nothing about the war (I just love maps) - it doesn't look like the sea rose, because mountains vanish while flat places stay, so was the land magically sunk? Is this Middle Earth's Logres? (From the little I know of it, countries were always vanishing there!)

The top-25 thing is odd, though - it turns up on quiet fic_rush posts, too. My hypothesis is that they're some of the ones posted at a time of day when LJ is quiet in general, but even so...

Edited at 2017-01-15 22:46 (UTC)
15th Jan, 2017 23:29 (UTC)
The Silmarillion says :" For so great was the fury of those adversaries that the northern regions of the western world were rent asunder, and the sea roared in through many chasms... and rivers perished or found new paths, and the valleys were upheaved and the hills trod down." (and very little else!)

So I'm assuming that a lot of the land was magically sunk, that the sinking was done in a number of battles, rather than all at once (because the war took 43 years, but quite a few people did survive it) and that places where there are big mountains before might now be fathoms deep.

Thangorodrim, which is the big triple volcano thing at the top, got broken right at the end of the war, when a giant dragon fell on it, CRUNCH :-D

I suppose I could have put the maps up locked to just me : I wanted to shove them all into a post because it's a handy way of having them all on one big scrollable page where I can quickly find them on any machine. Still, if you liked them, maybe leaving them public was the thing!
16th Jan, 2017 07:42 (UTC)
I wonder what had happenned to the Isle of Balar. I had a feeling somehow, that all fleeing elves were huddling there, taking this last refuge, while Eonwe and his army were dealing with Morgoth; but now that I think of it, I can't remember where did I get this suggestion from. Probably imagined.
So, in your universe it goes down quickly with all the south of Beleriand. Is it made up or based on anything from the canon?
16th Jan, 2017 08:40 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything in canon about what happened to Balar, but it's not on the Third Age maps or mentioned as one of the bits that still stick up above the waves, so it must have sunk at some point. (I did wonder whether to leave it there and assume it sank when Numenor did though)

But aha! You have very usefully pointed out a mistake in my maps in that I had shown Balar vanishing right at the beginning, which I had not intended to do. My madeup timeline had it being evacuated back to the Falas, and then later from the Falas to Thargelion / Lindon. I'll fix that. It's really confusing all this land-sinking stuff. I was trying to write about it, and kept forgetting which bits were still above water, hence the maps.

We do know that Elrond was at the breaking of Thangorodrim, because he says so in LoTR. He would only be 56 then, so very young in Elf terms, and I'm assuming that if he was there, then so was Elros and probably also Cirdan, Galadriel, Celeborn and Gil-galad. The remnants of the Edain fought in the war too, because that's why they were awarded Numenor as a prize.

So I think that the people left on Balar would be children, people looking after them, and probably old men and women (the Edain are on Balar as well at the start of the war). Plus, presumably, Cirdan's ship maintenance crew people.

The Silmarillion does give the distinct impression that the Valar stormed ashore and it was all over in about two weeks, but what later description there is actually suggests that most of the fighting was done by the Vanyar and Noldor rather than the Valar in person - presumably because if the Valar had fought in person, Beleriand would have been wrecked much faster and everyone in it would have died.

16th Jan, 2017 08:51 (UTC)
...I'm inclined to say that Maedhros and Maglor were also at the fall of Thangorodrim, on the grounds that you'd think they would have been there if at all possible, and what else would they be doing...?
16th Jan, 2017 11:08 (UTC)
I wonder... Lots to imagine, nothing in canon to be sure of.
I've seen some wise (or at least with a better memory) people discussing that, according to Tolkien, Elrond+Elros were at Thangorodrim, Edain were at Thangorodrim... nothing is said about any beleriandic elves.

About the Valar - alas, I don't remember where I did get it, but I definitely have read somewhere in the HOME that there were NO Valar in "the host of Valar". "The host of Valar" itself was an invention of Christopher, because he was combining several textes, most of them were old and had "the host of Fionwe", but Fionwe son of Manwe was no more, and he was unsure if he can just simply replace it with Eonwe or no, and at last just has written "the host of Valar" and left it at that. As a result we have "the host of Valar" where there were no Valar at all, and nobody knows what exactly was the role of Eonwe. That's how Christopher Tolkien explaned it himself. And JRR Tolkien somewhere says that Valar couldn't go to war because, as you've said, Beleriand (and lots of other lands) would have sunk very quickly.
16th Jan, 2017 14:30 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen that: no Valar in the Host of the Valar! I did not know that Christopher created the phrase though. Hurray for Christopher, heroically devoting his life to trying to force his father's muddled notes to make sense.

But from a story-telling point of view I need to explain the general impression you get from the Silmarillion, too. Otherwise the story would make sense only to people who have read HoME and can remember it all (which is not me!). So I am going to have Ulmo involved a bit. After all, Ulmo is involved all along. Ulmo does what he wants :-D.

I'm trying to stay closer to the Silmarillion, and use HoME only for background. So no burned Amrod, and Gil-galad as Fingon's son, which may be a Christopher mistake but I think makes way more sense than the more complicated family tree with Orodreth.

17th Jan, 2017 09:18 (UTC)
"Ulmo is involved all along. Ulmo does what he wants :-D." - Yeah, lol, Tolkien himself sometimes thought so!
29th Jun, 2017 23:07 (UTC)
Great maps!
Yes! On a first reading it sounds like the War of Wrath was over in no time but fortysomething years make more sense if people in Beleriand are supposed to have time to run away!

M&M near Thangorodrim: is there any reference in HoMe to where Eonwe's camp is? Not very far, I suppose and they must have been lurking nearby to be able to attack it.

Do you mind if I friend you?

29th Jun, 2017 23:17 (UTC)
Oh hello! Yes, feel free. I'll friend you back, any friend of Maglor's etc etc ;-)
29th Jun, 2017 23:33 (UTC)
...Eonwe's camp, I don't think so, no. There's very little detail given at all. But we do know that they had to deal with all the thralls that came climbing out of Thangorodrim, and I *think* there is a mention somewhere that they had to build ships - the Teleri dropped them off, but refused to land, so I don't think they can have stayed on Anfauglith very long - it would be unstable and no water.

(My version of the War of Wrath, Eonwe's camp is in Lindon because Beleriand is falling into the sea, and Lindon is still stable and has clean water etc for emergency first-aid and supplies. But I'm struggling to remember exactly the canon I made notes about now, because I've written my own much more detailed version and now I can't remember which bits I made up to fill in the holes. Now feeling guilty for not keeping more careful notes.

I'm still working on 563-586, from after the Balrog attacks on Nevrast to the release of the winged dragons. All the rest is written, but I stalled a bit after I finally managed to dislodge Elrond from Maglor and send him off to join Gil-galad. Now Maglor is sad and Maedhros is going a bit mad :-( and I stopped at that point to write cheerful post-LOTR fic instead for a bit to cheer Maglor up. )
6th Jul, 2017 09:59 (UTC)
Spectacular work!!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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