bunn (bunn) wrote,

Havens of Sirion: Death of Amras and Amrod

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.
Tags: noldor, tolkien

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