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Old 03-19-2008, 12:35 PM   #1
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Is it possible: 1 Silmaril found: The Arkenstone

I was wondering, is the Arkenstone the Silmaril that fell into the Earth? After the mountains shifted and Beleriand went, did a Silmaril come up in the heart of a mountain, encased in stone, only to be carved back by a dwarf? This would explain everything. I'm not sure about dates and if this theory works (because the War of Wrath was before the Silmarils were recovered, though only just, I think). Does anyone know the answer?
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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Thumbs up

A quick search of the forum is always advisable. But we all do it from time to time:

An old discussion on the Arkenstone.

There are others out there, of course, but this is my favorite.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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You obvioulsy have better searching powers than me. I thought I had searched well, but oviously not well enough.

And I didn't just make this thread because of my pseudonym, though its quite a nice coincidence (trying to look for what I lost, eh?)
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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A good discussion. I think that the Arkenstone was somewhat informed by the pre-existing description of the Silmarils, as much of The Hobbit's geography resembles but isn't quite that of Beleriand: it's especially worth noting that in Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon translations of the Annals he uses the OE word 'eorclanstanas' to translate 'Silmarils.' But the word literally means nothing more than 'precious or sacred stones.'
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
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"somewhat informed" I like that. There are so many things from the unpublished Silmarillion that crept into the published Hobbit and LotR that one cannot help but think that Tolkien had despaired of TS ever being published and didn't want all that hard work and creativity to go to waste. The Arkenstone would look to be one. If it were an actual silmaril, though, I would wonder how Smaug, a creature of evil, would manage to keep it around without being either burned or driven mad by it.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:22 AM   #6
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Nope, I don't think so.

To begin with the Lonely Mountain must've been very far from the place where Maedros threw the silmaril down a firery pit. I find it highly unlikely that it would have travelled under the crust of the earth to be refound countless leagues east of where it was originally lost.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:55 AM   #7
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There are plenty of stories about famous jewels in Middle-earth. The Arkenstone and the Silmarils are two different things with different histories.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Silmaril

There has been a lot of talk about how the Arkenstone couldn't have been a Silmaril because only the good can touch it without being burned, and Thorin wasn't at all good. This I think isn't true in the case of Thorin, although he seemed mean on the outside with confronting the men of the Dale and the elves the way that he did, but when he was on his death bed that's when his true colors showed. So yes I do believe that the Arkenstone is a Silmaril.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:54 PM   #9
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I agree. . . being stubborn and narrow minded does not = evil
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:18 PM   #10
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Also, he is not of the original children of Illuvatar- maybe the same standards don't apply.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #11
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But Varda's curse extended not just to evil creatures, but mortal flesh. Beren was a particular exception, but no other Man (or Dwarf) could have handled a Silmaril unscathed.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:58 PM   #12
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She could have made them an exception, if it helped with the Plan.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:24 PM   #13
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Interesting thought, but I've a vague feeling somehow that Bilbo would not have been permitted merely to bury it with Thoren if it had been a Silmaril.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:33 AM   #14
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Perhaps that it would probably be better there, then to have people continually fighting about it.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:37 PM   #15
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I think if it had been a Silmaril that Gandalf would have said something.
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:12 PM   #16
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I stumbled over this little note while browsing HOME XI and came to think of this thread.

HOME XI Comment on SS22 pg 108
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For Melian taught to them [The Dwarves Of Belegost] much wisdom (which also they were eager to get, and she gave to them also the great jewel which she alone had brought out of Valinor, work of Feanor ... for he gave many such to the folk of Lorien. A white gem it was that gathered the starlight and sent it forth in blue fires; end the Enfang priced it above a mountain of wealth.
Fits like a glove eh? The Arkenstone's Silmaril-like qualities are explained as it was a work of Feanor in Valinor. And how did the Dwarves find the Arkenstone? They dug it up from Lonely Mountain right. Probably left there by their ancient ancestors I'd say.

What do you think?
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:23 PM   #17
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Well, if I recall correctly, Thorin said that the Arkenstone was an heirloom of his house. If it had already been among the treasure of the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain when Smaug moved in, having been handed down through the generations, I'd say there's a good chance that it was Melian's gift to the Dwarves of ages past. Makes sense to me. Nice find.
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Old 04-26-2008, 03:27 PM   #18
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
So we know that at the very least it was the work of the Feanor (not one of the silmarils because they would only have been recovered after the War).
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:19 PM   #19
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You've got me convinced, skip.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:28 AM   #20
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Glad to have won a few folk over. Unfortunately there's a catch I didn't notice at first, being eager an all.

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This was an idea that did not fit the chronology, for Melian left Valinor in 1050, the year of the awakening of the elves ... Feanor was born more than a hundred Valian years later ... and in GA 2 the story of the great pearl Nimphelos was substituted.
Oh well...
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:31 AM   #21
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Oh. Drat.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:12 PM   #22
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Anyway, how did she get the pearl?
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #23
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It may not exactly fit with the Melian story, but it does give a pointer, I think. Not all of the Noldor were unfriendly with the Elves, and I suspect that if Feanor had other gems of his making, he might well have taken them with him when he left Valinor (especially given his anger at the Valar, and his unwillingness to have others touch his creations without his leave). Even if it didn't come from Feanor, he wasn't the only jewel-smith in Middle-earth. Celebrimbor was the greatest jewel-smith of Eregion, and by one version of the story in UT, created the version of the Elessar that came down to Aragorn through Galadriel. Since the smiths of Eregion were at one time friendly with Durin's folk, it's entirely possible the Arkenstone was made by them and given to the Dwarves of Khazad-dum as a token of the peace between them. Thorin was a direct descendant of Durin's line, so such a gift might well have become a treasured heirloom of his house, despite the animosity that eventually grew between the Elves and Dwarves.

Then again, this could be an example of what happens when things change in rewriting and revising. New things are substituted, but not all of the loose ends are removed. Could happen.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:54 AM   #24
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If we are going to speculate I may offer an alternative.

If I'm not mistaken, Finrod Felagund were said to have brought more riches out of Tirion than all the other elven princes put together. Maybe the Arkenstone, in this case quite possibly a work of Feanor, was a part of the Dwarves' payment for helping Felagund delve out Nargothrond?

(then again, would Feanor really give anything to Finrod, son of Finarfin, son of Indis?)
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:10 AM   #25
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Anyway, how did she get the pearl?
If my memory serves me well the great pearl was fished up in the Bay of Balar by Cirdan (maybe not personally but you get my point) and given to Thingol among many others of lesser scale and beauty. The Dwarves went crazy about 'em as they'd seen nothing like it before. Remember, a mere glimpse of the ocean was enough to make a dwarf shriek like a sissy.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #26
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The story of Melian's gem seems lijke an (abortive) attempt by Tolkien to create a backstory for the Arkenstone ( and demonstrate it was not, in fact, a Silmaril); but elsewhaere he says, I believe in App a Durin's Folk, that Thrain I discovered the Arkenstone digging under Erebor. So it doesn't quite fit the gift-of-the-Noldor theory.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:49 AM   #27
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Ok, well maybe other stones went into the earth with the Arkenstone, or from Angband. Just a suggestion (I don't have any evidence anywhere to back this up)
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #28
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I'm not near any reference material, but I seem to recall the Arkenstone described as much larger than the Silmarils. After all, one Sil fit in Beren's clenched fist, and I seem to remember the Arkenstone as a much bigger gem for Bilbo to carry (although the size difference between Hobbit and Man could be a variable).
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:30 PM   #29
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Regarding the comparative size of the Arkenstone to a Silmaril, there is this from the Hobbit:

Quote:
His [Bilbo's] small hand would not close about it, for it was a large and heavy gem.
Again, I realize there was a marked difference in size between Bilbo and Beren (who clutched a Silmaril in his closed fist), but it does give one pause to consider a size difference in the two gems. In addition, The Hobbit text states that the Arkenstone 'was cut and fashioned by the dwarves', meaning it was faceted and shaped from a larger raw stone. Would the dwarves ever consider cutting and fashioning a peerless gem such as a Silmaril? The dwarves of Nogrod refashioned the Nauglamir to fit the Silmaril, but they did not tamper with the gem itself (after all, who better than a dwarf to understand all the facets of such perfection?).
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
Would the dwarves ever consider cutting and fashioning a peerless gem such as a Silmaril?

A stronger objection in the same vein might run thus: COULD the Dwarves even cut and fashion a Silmaril? I believe there is something in the Silmarillion to the effect that the Silmarils were unbreakable except by Fanor himself, so craftily were they made.

Or it's too late at night and I'm getting things confused. Don't think so though...

In any case, without giving a fuller argument at all, count me down as quite opposed to any suggestion that the Arkenstone was a Silmaril.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:54 PM   #31
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I think only some rampant and unfounded speculation can help us to solve this question.

Just as Gwaihir said in the thread Hookbill linked to, the Silmaril could have traveled via the convective force within the mantle of Middle-earth and resurfaced thousands of miles away. The fact that the Lonely Mountain was, well, lonely, suggests a volcanic origin.

Now, how can the Arkenstone be the Silmaril if it doesn't meet its appearance and size? During its travels through the mantle, it would be possible that other material has settled around it, making increasing its size. Nothing would speak against the Dwarves cutting this outer material, fashioning the resulting Arkenstone, without ever touching the Silmaril inside. The Silmaril's beauty and attraction would be diminished, but still great. Its power to burn unclean flesh could be affected, too.

It is also entirely possible that a few people, such as Gandalf, knew about its secret, but wisely concealed it so that no (more) trouble about it would emerge.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #32
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Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Enw is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Macalaure, this is a good point, quite similar to what I thought before.

Also, if I remember correcctly, there were no gems before the Noldor, so the Arkenstone must have come from somewhere.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:13 AM   #33
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Macalaure is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Macalaure is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Macalaure is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Whoops... didn't read the first post carefully enough.

Just ignore me.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:00 PM   #34
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Also, if I remember correcctly, there were no gems before the Noldor, so the Arkenstone must have come from somewhere.
That was Tolkien's earlier idea, but helater changed his mind: the Noldor first found gems, but didn't invent them.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:05 AM   #35
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Then, there is the apocryphal statement that Feanor will unlock the Silmarils at the end of the world (after Tolkien's version of Ragnarok). Plus, I don't think there was enough time, geophysically speaking, for an errant gem to find its way from the edge of the Belegaer all the way to the heart of Erebor and embed itself in a crust of rock for the Dwarves to conveniently find and tinker with. Things like that don't occur in a 5 or 10 thousand year period. Unless of course it wanted to be found...mwahahaha.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:53 PM   #36
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Well...one Silmaril did fall into the earth. Perhaps that was nearer to Erebor. Or was that one consumed by magma? But, even if it wasn't, I think it's a good point that there would not have been enough time for more crystal-junk to accumulate around the gem, which is necessary for the transformation into the Arkenstone. I rather doubt that anyone other than Feanor would have had the ability to alter a Silmaril, so without extra crystal formation around it, the dwarves probably wouldn't have been able to do any cutting or shaping - nor would they have wanted to.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #37
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My two bits or more

I don't see how the Arkenstone can be a Silmaril. First, the Silmarils were hallowed by Varda that no mortal hands or flesh unclean or evil could handle them but that they would be scorched. There are no exceptions here and dwarves are not like the Eldar, immortal, but only have an extended lifespan, and in the end, die as they are mortals.

Mandos said that they contained in them the fates of Arda, earth, sea and air were locked in them. And in the end, that is where they went into the earth, the sea and one placed in the air until after the final battle.

Based on this I believe that the Silmarils are found in the sky or air, in the depths of the earth and in the depths of the sea until the final battle. The Arkenstone is just what it is, a jewel that is beautiful and desirable but not a Silmaril.

What is interesting to me is the similarity between Feanor and Thorin. Feanor eventually begun to be greedy about the Silmarils, showing them only to his seven sons and his father, forgetting that the light within them was not his own. Thorin too, became very greedy with the Arkenstone, to the point of forgetting all the good Bilbo had done and wanting him dead. Why, because the Arkenstone was a Silmaril? No, but its beauty and power burned to his dwarven heart and his greed made him forget about the finer things in life. Unlike the Silmarils which drove the sons of Feanor to their deaths, the Arkenstone united the men of Dale/Longlake, the Elves of Mrikwood and the Dwarves of Erebor when Dain paid the debt for the Arkenstone and it was placed on Thorin in his tomb. Clearly for me, and others can dispute my belief and that is fine, IF the Arkenstone was a Silmaril, after defeating the Goblins and Wargs, the Elves, Men and Dwarves would have gone at it. That didn't happen (unlike the events at Doriath) and instead the Arkenstone is a great and wonderful jewel, an heirloom of Durin's folks and their kings, and it brought unity as Bilbo intended and nothing more. And for that matter, Bilbo did not scorch and wither after touching the Arkenstone several times (being mortal).

For me the Silmarils were not destined for this world to be seen until after the final battle . . . that is, unless Indiana Jones gets news of them and goes hunting them . . . then all bets are off.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:16 PM   #38
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But Bilbo had the ring at the time, so maybe he was, in some way, immortal.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:06 PM   #39
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But Bilbo had the ring at the time, so maybe he was, in some way, immortal.
The Silmaril, a holy jewel containing the mingled light of the Two Trees, in direct contact with the One Ring, the symbol of corruption and great evil? Bilbo would have imploded.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:21 AM   #40
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But Bilbo had the ring at the time, so maybe he was, in some way, immortal.
I beg to differ. Bearing a Ring of power, even if it is the greatest, does not take away mortality. What it does, mainly, is like.... too little butter on too large a toast.

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Originally Posted by The Silmarillion, page 305, published by Harper Collins
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.
There... I think that would disclose any theory that the Arkenstone is a Silmaril. Not withstanding the argument that no mortal hand can touch a Silmaril by virtue of Varda's blessing... and come on. Though Thorin can be considered a "high" dwarf, a Silmaril, something that hallowed, would not suffer such a meager fate. (Meager in the sense that what, it'll just lie forever in the hands of a Dwarvish skeleton in a mountain.)
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