The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > Novices and Newcomers
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-15-2020, 01:06 PM   #1
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 1,619
Huinesoron is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Pipe The Silmarillion in the Vernacular

I have accidentally committed myself to retelling the Silmarillion in the vernacular to my children, aged 7 and 9.

This began because I foolishly attempted to explain why feeling guilty means you need to stop doing something rather than getting angry and continuing, by using the phrase 'let me tell you a story'. I then racked my brains for a suitable story... and, as he often does, Feanor leapt to mind.

It's been... an experience. I never knew I could chop so much out of the Silm and still convey the essential story. I'm telling it entirely off the cuff, chopping it into 15 minute chunks, and trying to work in enough hooks to get them to ask for more (which is working!), so it's... well:

Part 1 was the story of Feanor, from making the Silmarils to his death; 'Feanor' and 'Melkor' were the only two names I used, and I didn't actually mention the Trees dying. I ended by summing up the fate of Maedhros and Maglor (not named), and attributing it all to their dad not dealing well with guilt. ^_^

Part 2 was inspired by the question 'Who was king after Feanor died?'. So we backtracked to the Trees dying, then did Fingolfin and the Grinding Ice, and then struggled through Maedhros' captivity and Fingon's rescue. Again, those were all the names I worked in. This was the one where my son said 'A lot of these names start with F, don't they?' Yep, kid, they do that.

Part 3 began with me asking 'If you were trying to protect your city from Melkor, how would you do it?', and they answered beautifully. First we had 'a Melkor-proof shield', so I explained Doriath (no name, though I did have to name Melian). Then 'hide it', so we did Nargothrond and Gondolin, and a little bit of Finrod propoganda (he got a name; Turgon didn't, and neither city did). Then 'train my soldiers to fight really well', so we did Himring and Mithrim. Finally I fed them 'just live a long way away', allowing me to introduce Cirdan and the Havens. I threw in the Dagor Aglareb and Glaurung's little outing, to provide a bit of upcoming threat, and then pointed out that we'd mentioned Elves and Dwarves (and Goblins - yes, I know - and Gods - I know), but we hadn't yet talked about humans... but that they were, literally, on their way.

("Well, not literally," I get from the back of the car. "Literally in the story, maybe.")

So next time I get to do The Coming of Men, which should lead us nicely to the Bragollach, and then into Beren and Luthien. What I'm going to do about Turin when he shows up, I have no idea - but I will have to, because I've already introduced the idea that all these cities are going to fall in the end.

Has anyone else ever had to/wound up doing something like this? And/or, any suggestions for how I should proceed?

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2020, 06:55 PM   #2
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,367
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
With my son and daughter (the son is 7 years older), I started with The Hobbit at about age 5, and then the Lord of the Rings at about 7-8. I never even considered reading The Silmarillion to them, to be honest.
__________________
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2020, 07:14 PM   #3
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 8,078
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Your story just made my day! That is so adorable.

A simplified and slightly altered Turin story can be an excellent way of explaining why feeling guilty should make you stop and not just get angry and continue. You don't even need to mention the rest of his family, the story works even if he's the only one there.
__________________
"I have no great fondness for the universe, but I do live there." - Eliezer Yudkowsky
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2020, 05:38 PM   #4
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,863
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Not personally but it reminds me of what Dorothy L Sayers said about dramatising the Bible for the radio in the early forties with potential child audience that she couldn’t be too explicit about Mary Magdalene but just had to give the impression she lived a fast lif3 and probably drank to many cocktails!
__________________
“But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar.”

Christopher Tolkien, Requiescat in pace
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 06:05 AM   #5
Pervinca Took
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Treetops, C/O Great Smials
Posts: 3,616
Pervinca Took is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
That is one of the best opening posts I have ever read, Huinesoron. And I can well remember the wilful days of childhood, feeling a bad feeling but getting angry and continuing instead of being sorry.

How enlightened (I mean it - I was pretty gobsmacked by this!) to respond that they would defend their city beautifully! And what flawless logic in all the subsequent methods suggested.

You really should write these stories/retellings up. It reminds me of what Rosemary Sutcliff did for 'Beowulf,' but sounds a lot more exciting - and I think the 'moral' messages would be more complex, too - although I guess in the 'reduction' they might possibly end up a little too close to allegory.

Whether or no, what a great thing to do. Lucky kids and lucky father, I say.

Uton herian Huinesoronings!
__________________
"Sit by the firelight's glow; tell us an old tale we know. Tell of adventures strange and rare; never to change, ever to share! Stories we tell will cast their spell, now and for always."

Last edited by Pervinca Took; Yesterday at 01:27 PM.
Pervinca Took is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:59 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.