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I couldn't work out what to draw for Amrod and Amras at first.  They don't get mentioned much in the Silmarillion, only as hunters, and Celegorm kind of has that role already.  Apart from that, they are just 'and Amrod and Amras' or even worse just two of  'the seven sons'.  Which is not a personality.

But I did have lots of Views on the Havens of Sirion...which I have seen drawn as a mighty stone seaside fortress.  But I don't think it can have been.  The Havens of Sirion existed for, I think, 68 years, and most of the residents, fleeing from Gondolin and from Doriath, were there for less than thirty.   The place was supposed to be a hidden refuge, tucked away from Morgoth and lost in the reeds among the many mouths of the River Sirion (a river so wide that there were few navigable crossings, and they were much further north.)   It was growing in prosperity, but that would be from  a fairly low point, I don't think it can have been rich or luxurious.  The Feanorians were no longer a great army, they must have been a fairly small force by the time they got to Sirion, yet they were able to completely destroy it.

Given where the Feanorian power-base was, in the East, in Ossiriand,  I don't think they can have attacked on horseback, because they would have to get across the River Sirion to get there, and building horse-transports across the Sirion seems like it would be pretty difficult.   So I think they left their horses behind (if they still had horses at that point).

I think a real-world historical parallel for the Havens of Sirion might be King Alfred's secret base on the Isle of Athelney, when he was fighting the Vikings, and perhaps also the reeds and fens of the Saxon hero Hereward the Wake.   So it should not be a great city of stone, but a secret place full of creeks, ferries and bridges, with tree-houses and flets like Lorien, and probably architecture of wildly differing (but all relatively quick to build and simple) styles.

And that gave me an idea for the personality of Amrod and Amras.  Because their lands in East Beleriand were probably the last to fall to Morgoth, and until they attacked the Havens, they would basically have been the main defence left between the Havens and Angband.  I think of them as conducting a last desperate and unsung defence, small unglamorous, unheroic actions, not great battles, like the left-over people of Britain in Sutcliff's Dawn Wind, the small princes of Wales and the West,  fighting tiny battles and trying to hold a shifting, unholdable frontier, not really knowing what they were trying to fight for any more, while those who could not fight had time to flee.   Except, unlike in Dawn Wind, Amrod and Amras would really have been fighting evil, not just people, and it was an evil that could climb inside your head and make you do awful things...  Now I like Amrod and Amras a lot.

Then Pp suggested that instead of two pictures, one for Amrod and one for Amras, I should make a paired painting, so here it is, with Amras dying on the right, and Amrod dying on the left.   Probably there should be more Feanorians and more dead people, but you will have to assume they are out of shot because drawing tiny people takes AGES.   So here they are.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
3rd Apr, 2017 03:34 (UTC)
Yes! Almost everyone who writes about it seems to picture a traditional European castle with a tower, from which Elwing can leap dramatically! The most I could manage was perhaps a slightly higher promontory at the mouth of the river, with deep water along the coast.

Also, Amrod and Amras never seem to have had a major base, the way the other sons of Feanor did (and Maglor didn't either, though I assume that his people had horses- perhaps with wagons in the Sarmatian style). I think of them as having gone pretty native in the Laiquendi way from the start, with a semi-nomadic lifestyle even before the Siege was broken, and even more so after the Nirnaith Arnoediad.
3rd Apr, 2017 20:15 (UTC)
Castles seem like they would take way too long to build, and be difficult on such marshy ground too. And too obvious!

I like the idea of Sarmatian-style wagons!
5th Apr, 2017 02:25 (UTC)
Perhaps something like Hereward the Wake's haven on Ely.

The map of Beleriand is unclear about the terrain in between forests. If one assumes that it approximates Western Europe, then the whole of Beleriand should have mostly been forest. I think of Amrod and Amras as having a series of bases throughout their territory, and moving among them on a regular rotation.

Edited at 2017-04-05 02:25 (UTC)
3rd Apr, 2017 05:04 (UTC)
Love your artwork.
3rd Apr, 2017 19:23 (UTC)
Thank you! All this practice is helping...
3rd May, 2017 21:56 (UTC)
Well, you do need to explain somehow why Maglor and Maedhros didn't just wade in right after and drag Elwing back out of the sea again. People usually do it by assuming that she's cast herself either off a cliff or a tower, even if neither of them are particularly canonical.
But you do have a point and, in fact, I've seen one or two other people arguing similarly, recently.
(My headcanon has a tower. It just can't be helped, now, because the fic exists, even if it's only in my head.)
I do not really get the impression that after the arrival of those waves of refugees, the Havens of Sirion were still particularly hidden. Both Morgoth and the Feanorians seem to have known quite well where they were, at any rate, unlike with Gondolin or even Nargothrond. But I suppose the protection of Ulmo could be taken as meaning some kind of concealment, still.
3rd May, 2017 22:13 (UTC)
Oh, but that's so easy! All you need is a spur of rock and a suitable current and tide, maybe with a squall or something coming up at the right moment to drive the message home. I can think of a few places along our coast here where on one side there is a gentle wooded slope down to protected river water, and on the other side there is a sea that no sane person would jump into because it really wants to kill you.

Even our tame little River Tamar, at the right time of tide you'd have to be mad to jump in, you can see logs whirling past faster than you can easily run along the bank.

... thanks for this thought. I obviously need to describe my ideas more carefully. I'm just struggling with Dead Feanor again, I'll revisit the Havens section.

I'm not against a small stone tower, there could reasonably be one of those near the wharf, perhaps as a lighthouse built by Cirdan in the early days. I just don't think the whole place would have been a stone city.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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