December 4, 2000

Moving Sale -- Magic Rings and Other Trinkets Half Off
Michael Martinez

J.R.R. Tolkien might not agree with me but I sometimes envision the rebellious Noldor traipsing down the road to Alqualonde in much the same state as Steve Martin appears in that famous promotional poster for his movie, The Jerk. He's unshaven, bedraggled, his pants are dragging around his feet, and he's carrying a chair, a lamp, and some other stuff.

Were the Noldor jerks? One would certainly be tempted to question their wisdom. Regardless of how many Noldor you believe there would have been when Feanor held his anti-Valar rally in Tirion upon Tuna, the sad fact is that most of those Elves who listened to him ended up dead. And they weren't very nice to the Teleri, either.

But the passage which brings the similarity to my mind is the one where Tolkien notes (in speaking of Finarfin and Finrod and the Noldor who followed them) that "more than any others of the Exiles they carried thence memories of the bliss they had forsaken, and some even of the things that they had made there they took with them: a solace and a burden on the road."

Well, I can hardly imagine why a Noldo would carry a chair along, but maybe they had some really good carpenters who just couldn't bear to leave their work behind. One can almost see Feanor trying to persuade the carpenters specializing in chairs not to carry their works with them. "It may be that we can leave our chairs behind," they might have replied. "But never again shall we make their like, and if we must leave them, we shall break out hearts." Clearly, the chair guys were not numbered among the Feanorians, although their prized possessions would have made for a good bar-fight on the quays of Alqualonde.

What sort of things would the Noldor have taken with them?

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