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Old 11-23-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
Blind Guardian
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Sting Who is on the cover of the Silmarillion

This has been bugging me since I got the book years ago. Is it Manwė? Varda? Feanor? The hair looks like feathers, but the facial structure and arms look feminine to me. Is there any place that it's said? Or a description for the artpiece?

This one:
http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2...s/3/3a/182.jpg
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File Type: jpg 182.jpg (21.0 KB, 2108 views)
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #2
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Since it looks like a non-human coveting three jewel-like objects, my guess would be Melkor.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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I think this non-standard image was chosen by the publishers in part because it is non-standard and pictorially striking, not because it fits closely with any part of The Silmarillion.

It might be intended to represent Ilśvatar at the moment when He made the universe real.

See, for example, other slightly similar pictures:
  1. https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images...Nahar_Doa.jpeg
  2. http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/i/20..._Nahar_Doa.jpg
  3. http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/i/20..._Nahar_Doa.jpg
  4. http://paulhectort.deviantart.com/art/Ainur-349449138
  5. http://www.thefuturetense.net/wp-con...s-2011-web.jpg
  6. http://tolkiengateway.net/w/images/t..._the_Ainur.jpg
  7. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_-lRNi5OaDE...iluvatar-2.jpg
  8. http://translate.google.ca/translate...ri&prev=search
  9. http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/f/20...ym-d5sbsp3.jpg
  10. http://enanoakd.deviantart.com/art/E...lace-402141225
  11. http://www.lamagiaenarda.com/imagene...valar/namo.jpg
The image could represent Fėanor creating the Silmarils, but Fėanor is supposed to look like an Elf, not like some kind of bird humanoid.

Perhaps if you could provide the name of the artist, we might not have to rely so much on guessing. Have you tried getting in touch with the publisher of this edition?

Last edited by jallanite; 11-23-2014 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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My guess is Fėanor. Though it could be Melkor. Painted by someone who hadn't actually read the book but may have had a vague description and had possibly read the Hobbit. Those surely must be the silmarilli but on the scale of the arkenstone. Not things even a mighty elflord might wear in jewellery.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:40 AM   #5
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This illustration is found on the web at http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/The_Silmarillion , marked as “Second Edition Cover”.
It is also at https://www.google.ca/search?q=silma...tm%3B288%3B475 .

So Christopher Tolkien ought to know why this particular image was chosen. I confess to not knowing.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:50 AM   #6
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I can't really answer the question, although my guess is leaning towards Fėanor: there are three jewels, and the character is surely not evil-looking enough to be Morgoth at that point. That being said, I have the equivalent edition of The Book of Lost Tales Part I and it has an equally ambiguous cover: http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403181958l/7347.jpg
One assumes it's Eriol speaking to one of the Elves, although I'm unsure which. I'm not very fond of it, I must admit. It makes it look like they're trying to market this fairly serious critical study of draft material as an 80s fantasy adventure novel (albeit one with lots of chatting). It reminds me of the covers to David Eddings' stuff, or the absurd covers of the American editions of The Wheel of Time. "Eriol" also looks a bit bored.

My well-loved 1999 Harper Collins paperback edition of The Silmarillion bears Professor Tolkien's painting of Taniquetil, Halls of Manwė on the Mountains of the World above Faerie on the cover. I'm rather fond of that, by contrast. My editions of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings are in the same style and use Professor Tolkien's original cover designs, which I feel lends them a certain something.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Perhaps if you could provide the name of the artist, we might not have to rely so much on guessing. Have you tried getting in touch with the publisher of this edition?
I have not. I wouldn't even know how to do that. It might be too long ago for them to even know.

Technically I have this over: http://i.neoseeker.com/boxshots/Qm9v...uDtrPnMjoJ.jpg

Man, Google.com gave me MUCH different results for the same search, Jallanite.

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Since it looks like a non-human coveting three jewel-like objects, my guess would be Melkor.
I like how that's the first thing you thought of ^_^ Everyone coveted them but Melkor most of all.
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"… his name is Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedeom, and he shall make you stronger than they." Sauron to Ar-Pharazōn
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Tom was poet bot. Tom only sold soul for art. Tom suffered. Mith mithed Tom

Last edited by Blind Guardian; 11-24-2014 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Added stuffs and spelling
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:41 PM   #8
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Well.

It's on the back of the book.

"Cover illustration by
Mike Dringenberg"

The Silmarillion
Watercolor on board
8.5 x 13"

From here: http://www.eidolonfinearts.com/mike_...ringenberg?p=1

That's all I can find after 1 hour of searching.
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"… his name is Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedeom, and he shall make you stronger than they." Sauron to Ar-Pharazōn
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Tom was poet bot. Tom only sold soul for art. Tom suffered. Mith mithed Tom

Last edited by Blind Guardian; 11-24-2014 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #9
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[/URL] .

So Christopher Tolkien ought to know why this particular image was chosen. I confess to not knowing.
CT has no input into the Ballantine/Del Ray covers, any more than his father did (remember JRRT's shock and horror at the Remington LR covers?).
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:13 PM   #10
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I don't think it is necessarily something authors have much say in. I went to a reader's day a couple of years ago and one of the authors disliked the cover of the book she was discussing. It wasn't a bad illustration in itself but it didn't reflect the tone of the book. However meaning no disrespect, she is not of the same status.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:43 PM   #11
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CT has no input into the Ballantine/Del Ray covers, any more than his father did (remember JRRT's shock and horror at the Remington LR covers?).
Neither the cover reproduction I found (at http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403181958l/7347.jpg) nor anything published previously in this forum indicates that this cover was from a Ballantine edition. It was only marked on a website as “Second Edition Cover”. This suggested to me, perhaps wrongly, that this illustration was originally from the dustcover of the hardcover second edition published by HarperCollinsPublishers in 1999. The illustration might then have been reprinted as cover art on the paperback edition by Del Rey books, since Del Rey had American paperback rights to previous versions of The Silmarillion. Or the website may have been somewhat imprecise (to the point of being wrong) and referred only to the first Del Rey/Ballantine second edition.

See http://www.planet-tolkien.com/board/...arillion-cover for a fan discussion of what I think to be the same illustration, with the same lack of conclusions to the discussion as in this forum.

For artistic screw-ups, see this interview with Barbara Remington about how she came to illustrate the covers to the original Ballantine paperback editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings without even reading the books: http://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/...Brem+Interview , not her usual practice.
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Old 11-28-2014, 04:40 AM   #12
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HarperCollinsPublishers
How I hate referencing my Harper Collins editions in academic work and having to reproduce their ridiculous 'all one word with the last one in italics' publisher title. It looks absurd and unprofessional in my opinion, and doesn't help when one's intention is encouraging people to take the texts seriously.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
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Unwin -> Harper Collins have always been remarkably deferential to Tolkien pere et fils in the matter of book covers. Most publishers never consult the authors and don't give a fig what they think. Certainly that has always been the case with Ballantine/Del Ray (who are a sublicensee of a sublicensee).

Remember what Capitol Records did with the Beatles?
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:56 AM   #14
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Unwin -> Harper Collins have always been remarkably deferential to Tolkien pere et fils in the matter of book covers. Most publishers never consult the authors and don't give a fig what they think. Certainly that has always been the case with Ballantine/Del Ray (who are a sublicensee of a sublicensee).

Remember what Capitol Records did with the Beatles?
I believe The Silmarillion cover is actually Lucy in the sky with diamonds fixing a hole where the rain gets in. It's the type of cover you need if you want to be a paperback writer.
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