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Old 05-05-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
Urwen
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Silmarillion Rewrite

Here is my rewrite of the book in an attempt to create a happier ending.

The changes planned:

Sil/CoH/FoG
- Nerdanel goes with Feanor and his hosts
- Elenwe survives the crossing
- Fingolfin and Feanor have an amicable relationship
- Maedhros doesn't end up captured
- Aredhel lives
- Maeglin receives therapy
- Lalaith survives
- Turin takes different paths, and his life improves considerably as a result
- Beleg survives
- Turin marries Finduilas
- Nienor marries Brandir
- Lalaith marries Beleg
- FoG goes pretty much the same, except Turgon and Maeglin work together in secret to save the city's inhabitants
- Everything else remains the same

Unfinished Tales of Numenor/Akallabeth
- Erendis actually listens to her husband
- She travels with him to Middle Earth and they create a bastion there for the sole purpose of opposing Sauron.
- Erendis uses her love of the forests to convince some Ents to join their cause
- Tar-Miriel is much more genre-savvy. She gathers the Faithful and their loyalists around her, in a bid to ensure she becomes the Queen before Pharazon could do the same.
- She names Pharazon her regent in an effort to appease his desire for power.
- She begins to heal the Kingdom
- Her hard work eventually pays off, and Elven ships return to Numenor.
- With her strength in numbers, she decides to take down Sauron
- The newly returned Elves lend her a hand with their weapons and their magicks.
- Sauron is defeated and executed
- Sauron's spirit flees and he wanders the world without a body, waiting for Melkor to escape the Void

(It does have one flaw: without CoH misfortune, Turin would have no reason to fight and kill Morgoth)
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:09 AM   #2
Huinesoron
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o.O

O-okay, so... my general rule of thumb with alternate universes is that they work best when you can create them with one change. The more 'and also this changes' you have to work in, the less your readers are going to buy it as plausible. At first glance, this looks like a whole string of 'and also's, but on thinking about it, it might not be that bad.

Nerdanel staying on friendly(ish) terms with her husband is your change (your Point of Divergence). Let's assume the First Kinslaying still happens somehow (perhaps she was back with the supply chain), and that House Feanor still sail east, leaving Fingolfin behind. Would Nerdanel - backed by at least Maedhros - be able to sway Feanor into, y'know, not burning his bridges behind him like an idiot?

Let's say yes. Feanor still presses forward, but grudgingly sends his sailors back to fetch Fingolfin. The Grinding Ice remains uncrossed, and Fingolfin arrives in Middle-earth with an even larger host.

Feanor is... probably still dead. It's just hard to see him not racing off and getting himself killed. Maedhros becomes High King, counselled by his mother. Without him being captured, and with Fingolfin not hating his entire house, I'm inclined to think he'd keep the position, at least on a titular level, which... may also mean he keeps Hithlum, come to think of it. No, let's not do that: he takes his people off to lay a leaguer against Angband, and things shake out much the way they do in the Silm.

How do we get Aredhel to live? With Nerdanel acting as the power behind the throne in Himling, House Feanor's treatment of the locals will be at least a little gentler. That makes Eol that much more inclined to, y'know, not go for murder-suicide at the earliest opportunity. I can't imagine he'd be happy as a prisoner in Gondolin, but he'd stay there. He and Maeglin co-found the House of the Mole, and press endlessly for Turgon to expand out of Tumladen. Having his dad around makes Maeglin at least a little less messed up.

The Bragollach still comes as a brutal surprise to everyone, and Beleriand is driven into retreat. Cel'n'Cur are still thugs, so while they might be a bit more subtle in their takeover of Nargothrond, the Lay of Leithian doesn't really change. That brings us to Turin.

How do we save Lalaith? By sparking off the Nirnaeth sooner. In the Silm, Luthien and Beren retrieve a Silmaril in 466, the same year as Lalaith's birth. In 468, Maedhros belatedly goes 'hey, what if we did that too?', but it's too late to save Lalaith from Morgoth's plague a year later.

But... now Maedhros is on speaking terms with his cousins. He publicly censures Cel'n'Cur for their idiocy (this probably assumes they didn't attempt to assassinate the Princess of Doriath in this timeline) and immediately reaches out to Fingon and Orodreth. By 468, the Union of Maedhros has cleared Beleriand of Orcs (a year early), and Morgoth doesn't have the reach to sneak that plague in.

The problem with 'earlier' is that both Nienor and Tuor were born in the year of the Nirnaeth; I think we just have to push their birthdates up a bit. Maybe not losing Lalaith meant Hurin and Morwen felt more in the mood (hem hem), and Huor and Rian were able to marry a bit earlier without feeling like they were dishonouring the tragedy. That works.

Does the Nirnaeth go better? A bit. Nerdanel is more perceptive than her sons, and points out that guys with names like 'Ulfang' are a bit sketchy; the backstab still catches them out, but they're a bit more ready for it. Over in the west, Thingol actually sends more than two soldiers to help out, so again, things go just a bit better.

Is it too much for Fingon to live? Eithel Sirion might still fall, but the High King could probably rally the people of Hithlum to a sort of guerrilla-siege scenario. Morgoth still sends the Easterlings in, but there's fewer of them, and met with fiercer resistance. That lets the families evacuate - including (pretty much against her will) the heavily-pregnant Morwen. (Rian probably still goes crazy; poor kid.)

Hurin's family go down to Doriath and are taken in by Thingol. When they hear that Morgoth has cursed them (how did Turin find that out, anyway? Or did he just guess?), they pretty much laugh it off - what can hurt them in the Guarded Realm? Turin becomes a great warrior, and forges a friendship with Beleg; since Lalaith is a lot like her brother, Beleg adores her, too.

Beleriand in this timeline isn't broken, but it is on a knife-edge. Could Thingol decide it's time to reassert his claimed authority as King of Beleriand? To create a new Union, this time under his leadership?

There are four significant forces left in Beleriand at this point, other than Doriath itself and hidden Gondolin: Nargothrond, House Feanor (maybe still clinging on in Himling, with the 'Nirnaeth-lite' scenario), Brethil, and whatever Fingon still has left. There are also four members of the House of Hurin hanging out in Doriath.

So yeah, somehow they each end up on a different ambassadorial mission. Turin goes to Nargothrond, as a kind of 'hey, last time a Man came from my realm to yours you imprisoned my daughter, do better this time' to Orodreth. He meets Finduilas, who... still thinks Gwindor is dead, actually. They hit it off.

Nienor goes to Brethil, because she's youngest and it's closest, but also as a representative from the Third House to the Second. Thingol miiiiiight have deliberately sent her to meet a guy who's about her age and happens to be the Lord of the Haladin.

Lalaith goes (with Beleg) to Hithlum. With Turin playing soldier, and Morwen sulking (endlessly. For years.), she's actually been taking on the role of Lady of Hador; now she's off to try and save anything that's left of her kin.

Morwen goes to House Feanor, because... well, because I think she needs to meet Nerdanel. They can have a nice long chat about Foolhardy Husbands who Get Themselves Killed.

The Union of Thingol is formed, and holds the line, keeping Morgoth out of Beleriand proper - barely. It's weaker in the east, but the Pass of Sirion is pretty much held. Morgoth starts looking for any way to get past - including pushing through those blasted eagles - and that's when he finds the location of Gondolin.

Does he still capture Maeglin? Justifiable either way, but with Eol and Aredhel still in the city, the kid would a) not break as easily and b) confess pretty quick. With Maeglin also not being as vehemently anti-Tuor, Idril's secret tunnel doesn't need to be secret: they can devote the entire city to digging it. Morgoth attacks, but Gondolin (mostly) evacuates.

Over time, the realms in the west are forced to retreat. First Hithlum falls at last; then Brethil is overwhelmed; then Nargothrond's position becomes too tenuous. They fall back, some to Doriath, some to the Havens (of the Falas, not Sirion - West Beleriand never quite fell in this timeline). In the east, House Feanor is stuck in full Vietnam mode, until Nerdanel and Morwen eventually persuade Thingol to grant them passage through Doriath.

(Hurin, I should note, has probably been executed by a bored Morgoth by this point. Sorry, Hurin.)

Rather than a series of catastrophes, the fall of Beleriand in this timeline is a slow grind. Eventually, Doriath is cut off from the Havens entirely; the last to get out are Thingol's grandchildren, carrying with them the (unmounted) Silmaril. They meet the Sons of Feanor, who... uh... yeah.

There is a very frosty peace down on the coast - I imagine Maedhros filing repeated legal claims on the Silmaril - but eventually the chief players' natural urges win out. Tuor and Idril sail west. Earendil tries to follow them. House Feanor make a play for the Silmaril. Elwing goes over a cliff like the clutz she is.

The War of Wrath is a somewhat more unified affair. The Free Peoples join the Host of the Valar, which liberates Doriath and continues north. Beleriand is still wrecked, and probably multiple House Finwe characters die, but everyone's working together. It doesn't end well for everyone, but it ends okay. Ish.

And all because Feanor didn't alienate his wife quite so hard.

(Which, yes, makes this yet another For The Love Of A Good Woman scenario. I told you they were hard to get away from...!)

hS
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:28 AM   #3
Urwen
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Your analysis is so very thorough.
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