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Old 12-17-2015, 06:27 AM   #121
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1420!

This will never end, will it?

Now. I just got angrily neg-repped for a post I made here *two years ago*, so I think this could be a good time to remind everyone not to get *too* emotionally invested in the subject.

Cool picture, Ivrin!
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:38 PM   #122
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Now. I just got angrily neg-repped for a post I made here *two years ago*, so I think this could be a good time to remind everyone not to get *too* emotionally in the subject.
Would you have complained if someone gave you a positive rep for a two year-old post? Sometimes, I get a positive and negative rep for the same post. There's no pleasing everyone.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:20 PM   #123
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Would you have complained if someone gave you a positive rep for a two year-old post? Sometimes, I get a positive and negative rep for the same post. There's no pleasing everyone.
Maybe that was me. Sometimes I give positive and negative rep to the same post. In my head.
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:41 AM   #124
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Would you have complained if someone gave you a positive rep for a two year-old post? Sometimes, I get a positive and negative rep for the same post. There's no pleasing everyone.
You don't understand, the Arkensil is serious business!
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:25 PM   #125
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This will never end, will it?

Now. I just got angrily neg-repped for a post I made here *two years ago*, so I think this could be a good time to remind everyone not to get *too* emotionally invested in the subject.

Cool picture, Ivrin!
Thanx Nerwen

A little red square has come my way, of course as well over time here they're, I dunno, sometimes a 'badge of honour' and other times a 'thorn in my side'. But it's interesting what Morth<...>oron said about green and red for the same posts. Yes, there is no pleasing everyone.

This has been a very --hilarious-- thread to post at, and in fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the Arken-maril um, no, erm, the Silkenstone, um, not that!! The Sil-Ark-ril-enstonean ideas that have really assisted in my deepening of appreciation of Albatross ski trips with lava-resistant feathREs (c.f. spectREs), for flying thru subterranean lava conduits which.....morphed....the original Maedhros (woops, Maglis, um, no Maeghros's) Arkmeril that he hurled. That's how the dwarves found it.
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Old 05-02-2021, 02:38 AM   #126
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Silmaril

I realize I am several years late to the party at this point, but I was just now reading about the Silmarils and how some have posited that it is possible that the Arkenstone is one of them. I read this thread and went back to the Silmarillion and in my mind it seems possible, if improbable. However, in the world of fiction anything that is possible may happen if the author deems it, and without the word of Tolkien for or against the theory, I don't believe we can conclude either way that it is or isn't.

Obviously any evidence for the Arkenstone being one of the Silmarils is purely circumstantial: they are both shiny rocks that glow and hold sway over the wills of those around them. I am not here to discuss evidence that they are the same — simply to argue against the evidence to the contrary.

Two of the most common arguments that they must not be the same stone in this thread are as follows: Silmarils burn not only the hands of any evil being that holds them, but also any mortal; and that it is said the dwarves cut and refined the Arkenstone. Both are taken directly from the Silmarillion. However, upon further inspection, they are not the rock solid rebuttals they seem.

First, while it is indeed said upon the creation of the Silmarils that they will burn the hands of any mortal that holds them, however, later it is said that the stone "suffered [Beren's] touch and hurt him not". This clearly contradicts the account that Varda rendered them untouchable by morals, and leaves room for the possibility that the stone could have also been touched by the later mortals that came into contact with the Arkenstone without being burned.

As for the claim that the stone could not be cut and refined by the dwarves, in the passage describing the stone it says "Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.". First of all, we already know that adamant can be cut into a jewel due to the crafting of Nenya by the elves. Second, it says that violence cannot mar it, but by cutting facets it can be argued that far from impairing the Arkenstone, they refined the appearance. Finally, we know that it cannot be broken, but they Arkenstone still exists and its power remains intact, so this line of reasoning is unclear at best.

These are my responses to the most common issues with this idea. Let me know if there is anything glaring I have missed as this is my first post (if anyone will notice this on such and old thread).
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:04 AM   #127
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I realize I am several years late to the party at this point, but I was just now reading about the Silmarils and how some have posited that it is possible that the Arkenstone is one of them. I read this thread and went back to the Silmarillion and in my mind it seems possible, if improbable. However, in the world of fiction anything that is possible may happen if the author deems it, and without the word of Tolkien for or against the theory, I don't believe we can conclude either way that it is or isn't.
First off, welcome to the Downs!

This question is, of course, open-ended, like the Balrog "wings" discussion, and the nature of Tom Bombadil.
In this thread many years ago, I conceded that it was technically possible for the Arkenstone to be a Silmaril, but highly unlikely.

The way that in The Silmarillion the Silmarils are grouped together when describing their fate, intimates that all were placed beyond the reach of the denizens of Arda.

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And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs if heaven, and one in the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.
That has an air of finality.

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First, while it is indeed said upon the creation of the Silmarils that they will burn the hands of any mortal that holds them, however, later it is said that the stone "suffered [Beren's] touch and hurt him not". This clearly contradicts the account that Varda rendered them untouchable by morals, and leaves room for the possibility that the stone could have also been touched by the later mortals that came into contact with the Arkenstone without being burned.
To that, I would argue that Beren was a very special case, meant (as Gandalf would say) to accomplish certain tasks. Melian noted that her power

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shall not restrain him, for doom greater than my power shall send him.
He was "suffered" to touch the Silmaril, because the Directing Power wished it so.

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As for the claim that the stone could not be cut and refined by the dwarves, in the passage describing the stone it says "Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.". First of all, we already know that adamant can be cut into a jewel due to the crafting of Nenya by the elves. Second, it says that violence cannot mar it, but by cutting facets it can be argued that far from impairing the Arkenstone, they refined the appearance. Finally, we know that it cannot be broken, but they Arkenstone still exists and its power remains intact, so this line of reasoning is unclear at best.
Well, all right. The question I have, though, (aside from how the stone could have made its way to Erebor to begin with) is why Dwarves would be been allowed to not only touch, but alter a Silmaril. They clearly were a unique work, bound with high matters affecting the fate of the world. Why would one be fated to end up in a relatively insignificant place, at one time sharing space with a dragon?
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:17 PM   #128
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Silmaril

First of all, I am shocked at how quickly you responded after this thread being dead for so long.

I do acknowledge that there is definitely a suggestion that each of the three Silmarils will remain in their respective elements until they are recovered before the end of days. In my eyes, as the Arkenstone never passed beyond the hands of the dwarves, only passed between their halls, and was ultimately reinterred in the earth it can possibly be seen to not have been recovered, but moved — as long as the stone lies within the halls or hands of the dwarves, it belongs to the earth. As we do not know what comes to pass at the end, it is even possible that this movement was necessary for the future recovery of the stones in the first place, much like how Sméagol/Gollum was needed for the recovery and destruction of the ring. This could also explain why the dwarves were allowed to possess the stone despite their arguable unworthiness.

Your argument that Beren was the exception, not the rule is certainly a possibility. However, as far as I can tell (I may have missed something), there are no instances of any of the Silmarils burning someone simply because they are mortal. The two stones taken by Malgor and Maedhros both burned their new owners, but it is made clear that the reason for this is their evil, not because they are mortal. It is even said that "[Maedhros'] right thereto had become void", speaking of his right to the stone. This implies that the brothers would have possibly had a valid claim and right to the stones but for their evil actions. To me, this, and the lack of any being burned purely because of their mortality is evidence enough to suggest that the initial description of the hallowing of the stones is inaccurate.
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:06 PM   #129
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[/quote

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First of all, I am shocked at how quickly you responded after this thread being dead for so long.
The Dead rise to fulfill their oaths.

I don't think there's any real in-canon support for the Arkenstone being a Silmaril. This is fairly clearly intended to not be the case. As much as it's impossible to prove a negative, Tolkien would clearly have mentioned this somewhere.

That said...

First, I think it's pretty clear from Rateliff's History of The Hobbit that Tolkien borrowed a lot of things wholesale from his mythology when writing The Hobbit and there is not much stretching involved to say that the Arkenstone is an ersatz Silmaril. When The Hobbit gets integrated into the mythos "for real" with the writing of The Lord of the Rings, these connections are either decanonised or rewritten or recast--Mirkwood cannot BE Taur-nu-Fuin, nor the Great River Sirion.

Secondly, although my opinion is that it is clear that "in the canon," (or the finished version... etc.) the Arkenstone cannot be a Silmaril, I don't think there's actually enough text on the matter to prove it definitively. All the fate of the Silmaril texts (i.e. anything in The Silmarillion after Túrin's death is reworked early material. The War of Wrath and the disposition of the Silmarils is from ca.1930 Qenta Noldorinwa and some later notes worked in. As far as my memory is concerned, the Appendices go into so little detail about the First Age that the Silmarils are barely mentioned, let alone their individual dispositions. So, if you want to make a case that the Christopher Tolkien-edited Silm is too flimsy to argue against the "Arkenstone is a Silmaril" theory... well, I have a thread for you.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:52 PM   #130
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As for the claim that the stone could not be cut and refined by the dwarves, in the passage describing the stone it says "Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.". First of all, we already know that adamant can be cut into a jewel due to the crafting of Nenya by the elves. Second, it says that violence cannot mar it, but by cutting facets it can be argued that far from impairing the Arkenstone, they refined the appearance. Finally, we know that it cannot be broken, but they Arkenstone still exists and its power remains intact, so this line of reasoning is unclear at best.
I am firmly in the "no obviously it is not a Silmaril" camp, but I accept that a flimsy case could be made for the Arkenstone being a Silmaril. Though in my view it entails more than one leap of faith to arrive at that conclusion.

Anyways, I guess it could be that the dwarves, due to their origin and unknown destiny, were allowed to handle a Silmaril. However arguing that they should be able to do damage to a Silmaril, just as long as they made sure to categorize it as "improvements" seems like one such leap.

Furthermore I think it undermines the very core of the Silmarillion if Feanor's work could so easily be improved. These are jewels so fair that the very fate of Arda depends upon them, and apparently they could also do with a bit of a refurbishment...

It is one thing to have the skill to bring about the Nauglimir or other items that could compliment the Silmaril, another thing completely to alter something the Valar had hallowed.

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I don't think there's any real in-canon support for the Arkenstone being a Silmaril. This is fairly clearly intended to not be the case. As much as it's impossible to prove a negative, Tolkien would clearly have mentioned this somewhere.

That said...

First, I think it's pretty clear from Rateliff's History of The Hobbit that Tolkien borrowed a lot of things wholesale from his mythology when writing The Hobbit and there is not much stretching involved to say that the Arkenstone is an ersatz Silmaril. When The Hobbit gets integrated into the mythos "for real" with the writing of The Lord of the Rings, these connections are either decanonised or rewritten or recast--Mirkwood cannot BE Taur-nu-Fuin, nor the Great River Sirion.
This I like, and in this respect I would be willing to concede that the Arkentone is a Silmaril of sorts.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:06 PM   #131
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In this case there is no doubt about it, not even the shadow of a penumbra in which Balrog wings exist.

Tolkien tells us that Feanor made the substance of the Silmarils "more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar or break it within the Kingdom of Arda." But we are told of the Arkenstone that "the Dwarves had cut and shaped it into myriad facets."

Nope. No Dwarf or anyone else in Arda is shaping and faceting a Silmaril.
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Old 05-08-2021, 04:36 PM   #132
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Tolkien tells us that Feanor made the substance of the Silmarils "more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar or break it within the Kingdom of Arda." But we are told of the Arkenstone that "the Dwarves had cut and shaped it into myriad facets."
Where are you getting that last quote? I’m searching but can’t find a source for its making.

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Old 05-09-2021, 05:14 AM   #133
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I haven’t examined this thread thoroughly enough to know if this quote has been added already, but it seems to lay the matter to rest.

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The Noldor also it was who first achieved the making of gems; and the fairest of all gems were the Silmarils, and they are lost.
The Silmarillion Of the Beginning of Days

How much more finality does one require?
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:44 AM   #134
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I haven’t examined this thread thoroughly enough to know if this quote has been added already, but it seems to lay the matter to rest.

The Silmarillion Of the Beginning of Days

How much more finality does one require?
I’d argue the The Silmarillion was written before The Hobbit and set before it by a wide margin. If we take the approach that these are all just translations vs Tolkien’s writings I put very little stock in the finality of its authors.

I mean I can write “my headphones are lost” does this mean I will never find them? Ever? “Lost” only has finality as a euphemism for death. And in Tolkien’s world that’s not even a definite.

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“But what was lost may yet be found”-Gandalf council of Elrond
In fact the entire debate about the ring is losing it won’t be good enough. Eventually it’ll be found even from the deepest oceans.

As for shaping it, I easily interpret that as it being in a volcano rock that they chipped away to reveal it.

Is the Arkenstone a Silmaril? I don’t know. I do know arguments against it aren’t the most compelling I’ve read, after reading most of this thread.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:54 AM   #135
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I’d argue the The Silmarillion was written before The Hobbit and set before it by a wide margin. If we take the approach that these are all just translations vs Tolkien’s writings I put very little stock in the finality of its authors.
To me, that points at the "canonicity" issue, and if we're going there, then all bets are off, and anything is possible.

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I mean I can write “my headphones are lost” does this mean I will never find them? Ever? “Lost” only has finality as a euphemism for death. And in Tolkien’s world that’s not even a definite.
Yet, the Silmarils are consistently written as being important to a specific time in the history of Arda, with no indication they would ever again be a matter for the Children of Ilúvatar to be concerned.

As for Gandalf's remark at the Council of Elrond, for one thing, he was merely quoting Saruman's thoughts on Sauron's ideas about the One Ring's whereabouts.
Second, that comment was certainly valid for the Great Rings, as Gandalf told Frodo they "had a way of being found". But they were Sauron's work, and their propensity for attracting potential "owners" was due to a malevolent power.
I do not see the same characteristic in the Silmarils, because from all indications in the annals of Arda, their purpose was accomplished: they were in secure places where they would indefinitely preserve the light of the Trees, while being safeguarded from all, whether good, bad, or in-between.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:14 PM   #136
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Yet, the Silmarils are consistently written as being important to a specific time in the history of Arda, with no indication they would ever again be a matter for the Children of Ilúvatar to be concerned.
That’s certainly an interpretation, but again I’m not sure that’s an argument against their reappearance. Again I haven’t studied the Silmarillion or even read it so I only have surface level understanding through this thread and some articles, but it does seem to me the reemergence of light from the trees is if nothing else an excellent symbolic sign of strength. And we do know the stone is said to burn the unworthy Bilbo’s inherent place in the War of the Ring would make him worthy and Thorin (iirc) doesn’t handle it until he learns the wisdom of Bilbo.

Annoyingly I think if I were to stake a position on the affair it’d be agnosticism to say for sure it’s a Silmaril is equally a folly as to say it’s not.

As for everyone who keeps comparing this discussion to whether or not Balrogs have wings well, that is far more clear with one side being definitively wrong.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:48 PM   #137
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That’s certainly an interpretation, but again I’m not sure that’s an argument against their reappearance. Again I haven’t studied the Silmarillion or even read it so I only have surface level understanding through this thread and some articles, but it does seem to me the reemergence of light from the trees is if nothing else an excellent symbolic sign of strength. And we do know the stone is said to burn the unworthy Bilbo’s inherent place in the War of the Ring would make him worthy and Thorin (iirc) doesn’t handle it until he learns the wisdom of Bilbo.

Annoyingly I think if I were to stake a position on the affair it’d be agnosticism to say for sure it’s a Silmaril is equally a folly as to say it’s not.

As for everyone who keeps comparing this discussion to whether or not Balrogs have wings well, that is far more clear with one side being definitively wrong.
*Sighs* The thread that refuses to die. I will give you some finality, anything further is simply arguing for arguing's sake. Direct quote:

"And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters."

1.The Silmaril tossed by Maglor into a fiery pit was in Beleriand, which no longer exists on a map. That whole wrath of Eru thing. It's not going to traverse thousands of miles away, under at least 2 mountain ranges and end up in Erebor.

And two other quotes:

"The great jewel shone before his [Bilbo's] feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves..."

"Like the crystal of diamonds it [a Silmaril] appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda."


2. If a Silmaril can't be marred, how can it be cut and fashioned? How was Thrain, who certainly was not worthy of holding it in his hand, able to not only carry it about, but bequeath it to later unworthy dwarves so they could handle it?

And finally,

3. How could Olórin, a Maia of Valinor and accounted wisest of the Istari, not immediately recognize a Silmaril when he handled it? You think he forgot what it looked liked from back in the day in Valinor? The greatest of all the works of the Elves (and of the Istari, he was closest to the Elves)? He certainly knew the One Ring, and was a Ring-wielder himself. You don't forget a Silmaril once you see it. Plus, leaving it in Erebor would have its own inherent danger of being taken by Sauron, who did indeed attack Erebor during the War of the Ring.

4. According to the Final Prophecy of Mandos, after Melkor's defeat in the Dagor Dagorath, the Silmarils will be recovered by the Valar. Then Fëanor will be released from the Halls of Mandos and give Yavanna the Silmarils and she will break them and with their light she will revive the Two Trees. A Silmaril is, as has been said countless times, a "holy jewel" bound to the revival of the Two Trees at the end of all things.

5. Do you think when the Valar and Maiar are searching in vain for the third Silmaril, Gandalf will say, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it's buried in a crypt with a dead dwarf in Erebor several thousand mile east of here. I gave it back to him a while back. Ummm....why are all you guys glaring at me like that?"

To consider a Silmaril to be the Arkenstone not only strains credulity, it shatters it into tiny shards, fit to be broomed up and dumped in a waste bin.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:59 AM   #138
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*Sighs* The thread that refuses to die. I will give you some finality, anything further is simply arguing for arguing's sake. Direct quote:

"And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters."

1.The Silmaril tossed by Maglor into a fiery pit was in Beleriand, which no longer exists on a map. That whole wrath of Eru thing. It's not going to traverse thousands of miles away, under at least 2 mountain ranges and end up in Erebor.

And two other quotes:

"The great jewel shone before his [Bilbo's] feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves..."

"Like the crystal of diamonds it [a Silmaril] appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda."


2. If a Silmaril can't be marred, how can it be cut and fashioned? How was Thrain, who certainly was not worthy of holding it in his hand, able to not only carry it about, but bequeath it to later unworthy dwarves so they could handle it?

And finally,

3. How could Olórin, a Maia of Valinor and accounted wisest of the Istari, not immediately recognize a Silmaril when he handled it? You think he forgot what it looked liked from back in the day in Valinor? The greatest of all the works of the Elves (and of the Istari, he was closest to the Elves)? He certainly knew the One Ring, and was a Ring-wielder himself. You don't forget a Silmaril once you see it. Plus, leaving it in Erebor would have its own inherent danger of being taken by Sauron, who did indeed attack Erebor during the War of the Ring.

4. According to the Final Prophecy of Mandos, after Melkor's defeat in the Dagor Dagorath, the Silmarils will be recovered by the Valar. Then Fëanor will be released from the Halls of Mandos and give Yavanna the Silmarils and she will break them and with their light she will revive the Two Trees. A Silmaril is, as has been said countless times, a "holy jewel" bound to the revival of the Two Trees at the end of all things.

5. Do you think when the Valar and Maiar are searching in vain for the third Silmaril, Gandalf will say, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it's buried in a crypt with a dead dwarf in Erebor several thousand mile east of here. I gave it back to him a while back. Ummm....why are all you guys glaring at me like that?"

To consider a Silmaril to be the Arkenstone not only strains credulity, it shatters it into tiny shards, fit to be broomed up and dumped in a waste bin.
1. Speculation on both sides

2. The Hobbit is written by Bilbo out of his understanding. As has been said chipping it out of volcanic rock will be sufficient explanation of this as misunderstood by Bilbo.

3. Since when has Gandalf been open about anything? His quest and mission was as a guide and his current task was keeping as many people alive as possible. Arguably getting The Lonely Mountain up and running would’ve been, to him, the best way to keep the thing safe. Also I’d say a quick text search of the Silmarillion only mentions Olorin a couple times, did he ever actually see or interact with them? He’s not omniscient.

4. “In those days the Silmarils shall be recovered from sea and earth and air,” it’s still in the Earth buried with Thorin. This doesn’t contradict the prophecy in any shape or form.

5. If they aren’t “searching in vain” then what does “lost” mean. If they supposedly know exactly where they are they’re not lost, just in storage. This interpretation completely contradicts getting rid of the things in the first place.

There’s plenty of reasons to doubt it’s a Silmaril. Plenty of reasons to believe it is. It only stretches Credulity if you’ve already set yourself dead against it.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:48 AM   #139
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1. Speculation on both sides

2. The Hobbit is written by Bilbo out of his understanding. As has been said chipping it out of volcanic rock will be sufficient explanation of this as misunderstood by Bilbo.

3. Since when has Gandalf been open about anything? His quest and mission was as a guide and his current task was keeping as many people alive as possible. Arguably getting The Lonely Mountain up and running would’ve been, to him, the best way to keep the thing safe. Also I’d say a quick text search of the Silmarillion only mentions Olorin a couple times, did he ever actually see or interact with them? He’s not omniscient.

4. “In those days the Silmarils shall be recovered from sea and earth and air,” it’s still in the Earth buried with Thorin. This doesn’t contradict the prophecy in any shape or form.

5. If they aren’t “searching in vain” then what does “lost” mean. If they supposedly know exactly where they are they’re not lost, just in storage. This interpretation completely contradicts getting rid of the things in the first place.

There’s plenty of reasons to doubt it’s a Silmaril. Plenty of reasons to believe it is. It only stretches Credulity if you’ve already set yourself dead against it.
1. Speculation? It is not speculation. Beleriand no longer exists. Drowned. Broken in the War of Wrath, and what little remained was destroyed by Eru. That whole drowning Numenor flap. Look it up. Also, traveling east from what once was Beleriand, you have to traverse a wide swathe of sea, pass beneath 2 mountain ranges, Ered Luin and Hythaiglir, and ford several rivers to reach Erebor. Jewels do not migrate.

2. So, in a matter of a few thousand years, a jewel suddenly gets a coating of volcanic rock? Well, if we are abandoning millions of years of geological record altogether, how fast did the Silmaril migrate to Erebor? Was it unladen? Did it stop for tea in Hobbiton, perhaps spend a weekend at a B&B in Bree?

3. We know quite a lot about Gandalf in Valinor. We know he was quite close to the Elves, for instance. And that Manwë himself requested Olórin to be one of the Istari. It's rather disingenuous to be dissing Gandalf at this point. But it amuses me to no end that folks will willfully argue that a Silmaril could be the Arkenstone, throw up nonsensical suppositions, and just as willfully ignore everything about the very nature of the Silmaril that would preclude it from being the Arkenstone, cut up and faceted and handled by dwarves and a precocious hobbit. Per the text:

"All who dwelt in Aman were filled with wonder and delight at the work of Fëanor. And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so that thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them, but it was scorched and withered; and Manwë foretold that the fates of Arda, earth, sea, and air, lay locked within them."

"Like the crystal of diamonds it [a Silmaril] appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda."

"And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters."


"Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor.... Thereafter shall Earth be broken and re-made, and the Silmarils shall be recovered out of Air and Earth and Sea; for Eärendil shall descend and surrender that flame which he hath had in keeping. Then Fëanor shall take the Three Jewels and he will break them and with their fire Yavanna will rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth."

So Tolkien, who spent the better part of his life lavishing a great chronicle on the utmost importance of the holy jewels for the whole of Arda in the Quenta Silmarillion, suddenly pawns them off to a few shady dwarves in a second-rate backwater dwarven stronghold? One would think the migrating Silmaril would have taken up residence in a snazzier dwarven pad like Khazad-dûm (it would be on the way eastward on its long migration to Erebor).

Needless to say, if you wish to ignore the very nature of a Silmaril, its very specific story and attributes, how it effects those who are not meant or unworthy to touch it (and that would include Morgoth, Carcharoth, Maglor and Maedhros), and the finality by which Tolkien lays them to rest, then further discussion is fruitless.
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:54 AM   #140
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Needless to say, if you wish to ignore the very nature of a Silmaril, its very specific story and attributes, how it effects those who are not meant or unworthy to touch it (and that would include Morgoth, Carcharoth, Maglor and Maedhros), and the finality by which Tolkien lays them to rest, then further discussion is fruitless.
Are we allowing or ignoring voice of the author? Because yeah, Tolkien is pretty clear that the Silmarils stayed where they were put. On that basis I don't think there's an argument to be made (other than the one about the Arkenstone 'being a Silmaril' in the same sense that Mirkwood 'is' Taur-na-Fuin and the Elvenking 'is' Thingol).

But if we treat the Silmarillion as a historical text, then the chronicler (Noldorin or Numenorean) would have no way of knowing! And it's actually feasible for Maedhros' Silmaril to wind up in Erebor - but not to be mined there.

Let's imagine Maedhros' "fiery chasm" is, or shortly after gave rise to, a rhyolitic volcanic eruption. That's the kind of eruption that forms obsidian - black volcanic glass. The Silmaril could have easily been encased in the stuff, and fairly near the surface. Of course, you'd need to be a miner to retrieve it, and fireproof to boot.

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Last of all the eastern force to stand firm were the Dwarves of Belegost, and thus they won renown. For the Naugrim withstood fire more hardily than either Elves or Men, and it was their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle hideous to look upon; and those stood them in good stead against the dragons.
Oh yeah them. ^_^ Obsidian is probably the sharpest blade you can get - in modern times there have been experiments with using it for surgical scalpels - so I can easily imagine the dwarves of the Blue Mountains finding it and going 'score!'. So they chip away at it, hauling it away in chunks - and then they find a piece which seems to glow with its own light...

We know from Gimli's comments on the Glittering Caves that dwarves didn't just hack up rocks to get to the most valuable treasures. Depending on how much obsidian a Silmaril can shine through, this could be a substantially larger chunk - I think it plausible they would have carved a larger globe around it, not coming close to the actual Silmaril. Cutting facets into obsidian would require remarkable skill, but oh yeah, dwarves.

So now we have the Arkenstone in the Blue Mountains, but, like... it's pretty obviously a Silmaril, right? I mean, the dude who had one of them went for a lava bath, and now the same lava produced a glowing rock. And Silmarils are holy objects. So they wouldn't keep it in the minor holdings the Blue Mountains had become - they would have taken it east, to either Khazad-Dum - or Gundabad, sacred place of the Dwarves.

If it was in Moria, it's hard to see how it couldn't have been common knowledge - but Gundabad is a different story. That fastness was taken by Orcs in the middle of the Second Age. There's a pattern of Silmarils being spirited away from realms under attack - Doriath, the Havens - and with Khazad-Dum locked down at the time, it would have had to be carried east, towards the Iron Hills.

But it's a long way to the Iron Hills, and the Grey Mountains were infested with Orcs. What if the fleeing dwarves never made it that far, but holed up in a single, lonely mountain until at last they were destroyed...?

Three thousand years pass. The Arkenstone, already known only to a few, passes out of all memory - or does it? The Heirs of Durin are known to be able to keep secrets about precious treasures over that timescale - they kept their Ring hidden! They could also have passed down the tale: we once held a Silmaril; it left Gundabad but never arrived in the Iron Hills. It must be somewhere...!

And so, when Nain I is killed by an ancient evil, and Thrain I flees Moria, he decides that his people could really do with a holy relic to gather around. Rather than moving his throne to the already-settled Iron Hills, he heads for the #1 prospect as the resting place of the Arkenstone - the Lonely Mountain. (Being a dwarf, he also hedges his bets and sends some of his people into the Grey Mountains, but he's pretty sure it's Erebor he wants.) And lo and behold, down in the deepest cavern, clutched perhaps in the brittle skeletal hand of an ancient Longbeard, he finds it: the Arkenstone, the Silmaril, the Heart of the Mountain Kingdom.

And no, he doesn't tell anyone what it is - there's a grumpy elf in the forest next door who is noted for all but outright claiming to be the Heir of Doriath. You do not want him repeating Thingol's antics. No, Thrain decides, we'll just claim we mined this up - it's just a random glowing rock, nothing for anyone else to get excited about...

Or something like that. It works only if you treat the texts as historic documents - it's flatly against the will of the author. But sometimes that can be fun to play around with.

(As to Gandalf: well, he did fail to identify the One Ring, which was imbued with power akin to his own, even while picking it up to put in its envelope. But also, given how much trouble the Arkenstone had caused when everyone thought it was just a shiny rock, sticking it unidentified in a tomb was probably the best place for it!)

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Old 05-10-2021, 04:01 PM   #141
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(As to Gandalf: well, he did fail to identify the One Ring, which was imbued with power akin to his own, even while picking it up to put in its envelope. But also, given how much trouble the Arkenstone had caused when everyone thought it was just a shiny rock, sticking it unidentified in a tomb was probably the best place for it!)

hS
That is the thing, with the information available to him Gandalf should have deduced the nature of Bilbo's ring much earlier than he did... It makes me think less of him.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:25 PM   #142
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I think it comes down to this: do you WANT the Arkenstone to be the Silmaril? Because, if you want something hard enough - or on the contrary, if you don't want something hard enough, you'll find arguments and counterarguments on both sides, and declare that the legitimate canonicity and interpretation is the one that supports your cause.

I don't want the Arkenstone to be the Silmaril, though I recognize that it was meta-inspired by the Silmaril the way Hui describes (ie in the same way the Elvenking is Thingol). I want the Silmarils to have an epic and symbolic end. I want them to be unique, untouchable, unrepeatable. I want their light to be something special - they are not just gems that glow, they glow with a light that is more than the world of the Sun and Moon. Furthermore, I want the Elves and the Dwarves to have their own unique jewels, not everything must be about the same old Silmarils.

So, all in all, my main argument against the Arkenstone being the Silmaril is that, in my eyes, such a thing would ruin both stories rather than make them more interesting. Cogito, ergo they are not.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:06 PM   #143
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So, all in all, my main argument against the Arkenstone being the Silmaril is that, in my eyes, such a thing would ruin both stories rather than make them more interesting. Cogito, ergo they are not.
I agree with this. As I've said, the idea that one Silmaril was spared so that it could end up lying on the body of a dwarf (an Heir of Durin notwithstanding) underground is out of alignment with the epic stature of the Silmarils.

That aside, has anyone thought how a dragon could have shared a space with a Silmaril for 171 years and never seen or touched it? And the Arkenstone wasn't buried under piles of treasure, either. Bilbo found it near the top of the heap.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:37 PM   #144
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I agree with this. As I've said, the idea that one Silmaril was spared so that it could end up lying on the body of a dwarf (an Heir of Durin notwithstanding) underground is out of alignment with the epic stature of the Silmarils.

That aside, has anyone thought how a dragon could have shared a space with a Silmaril for 171 years and never seen or touched it? And the Arkenstone wasn't buried under piles of treasure, either. Bilbo found it near the top of the heap.
Plain insulting dwarves now to make an argument joking

What’s the significance of Smaug being near it? He didn’t eat treasure just hoarded it without seemingly any interest beyond gold=shiny=good.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:00 PM   #145
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What’s the significance of Smaug being near it? He didn’t eat treasure just hoarded it without seemingly any interest beyond gold=shiny=good.
It was established that the Silmaril called to those who beheld it. Carcaroth was moved to eat the thing in Beren's hand. It's a stretch to believe that having seen one, Smaug would not have touched it even once.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:42 PM   #146
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Ah, but the speculative Hui-theory is that the Silmaril is but the core of the Arkenstone: the cut facets must be some non-Silmaril material that frames it but not the perfectly round Silmaril itself. How thick a layer of crystal/obsidian/acrylic needs be around a Silmaril to keep it from burning a dragon's dainty mitts?

(Never mind that burning seems particularly inapt a punishment for a dragon.)


The whole theory is, to my mind, clearly wrong, but I find I can tolerate quite a bit of utter wrongness when it's done knowing it's wrong.
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:36 AM   #147
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So, all in all, my main argument against the Arkenstone being the Silmaril is that, in my eyes, such a thing would ruin both stories rather than make them more interesting. Cogito, ergo they are not.
Ultimately, this. The Silmarils are a part of the First Age, the war of the Light against Those who would destroy it. Their one representative in the Third Age, the star and light of Earendil, serves as a reminder of that war, a memory of which side won, and a weapon against the daughter of She who would devour it. To have another representative serve as an unknown spark of conflict would be to weaken the Silmarils and the end of the First Age both.


... but.

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The whole theory is, to my mind, clearly wrong, but I find I can tolerate quite a bit of utter wrongness when it's done knowing it's wrong.
It can be so much fun.

(The Gundabad escape would be in the hands of a Longbeard princess, just like the escape from Doriath long ago. I already think she's amazing and she doesn't even have a name!)

hS
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:11 AM   #148
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(The Gundabad escape would be in the hands of a Longbeard princess, just like the escape from Doriath long ago. I already think she's amazing and she doesn't even have a name!)
Oh, she does. You see, she was a "Longbeard princess" because she was married to a Longbeard prince, but actually she was an Elf from Mirkwood, name of Tauriel.....
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:34 AM   #149
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So, all in all, my main argument against the Arkenstone being the Silmaril is that, in my eyes, such a thing would ruin both stories rather than make them more interesting. Cogito, ergo they are not.
I know you already said both sides will believe as they wish, and I’ve already said neither side can definitively prove the other wrong but this particular argument falls into the same logic ProArkenSils use of “well it’s cooler that way”
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:22 AM   #150
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I know you already said both sides will believe as they wish, and I’ve already said neither side can definitively prove the other wrong but this particular argument falls into the same logic ProArkenSils use of “well it’s cooler that way”
Exactly! If you think it's cooler that way... by all means.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:17 PM   #151
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Occam's razor applies here, I think. To make the Arkenstone a Silmaril means assuming a complex chain of improbabilities, starting with a physical explanation as to how the Dwarves could have shaped the unmarrable to begin with, not to mention how the devil it made it from a fiery chasm in drowned Beleriand to Erebor.

Whereas positing that they are two different jewels requires no assumptions at all.
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