About Magweth Pengolodh, or, One for My HoME-ies

Gentle Readers,

Right. Magweth Pengolodh: The Question of Pengolod, a fanfiction novel that I wrote. It's a genfic based on some of the notes that are part of Tolkien's Silmarillion backstory. A lot of Tolkien fanfic is less driven by hard plot than by the desire for the author, and readers, to take a lingering mental ramble through Middle-Earth. And why not? It goes back to the heart of why we all read Tolkien fanfiction, because we love Tolkien and want to explore his universe more.

So, in this fan writing tradition, Magweth Pengolod is a long genfic based on some of the notes that are part of Tolkien's Silmarillion backstory. You may enjoy this if you are interested in Númenor or in the Silmarillion in general, or if a philosophical exploration of differences between elves and mortals is up your alley. There will be 12 parts. Magweth Pengolod has got linguistics, romance, drag queens, schemers, villains, boats galore, and through the tale-within-a-tale device, plenty of Silmarillion glimpses and some HoME characters getting fleshed out. I owe thanks to my beloved beta readers, as ever, and to the Tolkien linguist Claudio for helping to translate the title.

HoME? By this I mean History of Middle-Earth. The History of Middle-Earth books are a 14-volume set of Tolkien's notes, incomplete writings, and draft versions. Once you have memorized Lord of the Rings and made it through The Silmarillion, these are the last stop for hard-core Tolkien fans. Nine of these volumes were distilled into one book, The Silmarillion, by Tolkien's son Christopher editing his father's work after Tolkien's death. What this means is that there's a LOT of stuff that never saw formal print that is published in these volumes, good stuff for fans of every aspect of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, be it elves, orcs, hobbits, dwarves, or humans. The volume Unfinished Tales, which collected several of the more presentable/general-interest fragments, is also included in the HoME text family by fans. Still with me?

Lots of the material in HoME is just as boring as you'd think, but there are also fascinating pieces and well-developed characters that never made it into the Silmarillion. Magweth Pengolodh: The Question of Pengolod, is based on those interesting bits. The two primary protagonists, Pengolod and Aelfwine, are both HoME characters, but if you've only read The Silmarillion, you should be OK with this story. (I've taken the license for my Aelfwine reinterpretation from a letter of Tolkien's, Letter 257, and my spelling of "Pengolod" without the H at the end from the index of HoME-War of the Jewels.) I'm having a great time creating an interpretation of Tolkien's Numenor, toying with some of Tolkien's philosophy, and exploring some of my Middle-Earth imaginings and place-setting that have been in the background of my stories.

Honestly, I expect three, maybe four people to be up for reading this one. A 12-part story based on HoME characters? Spiced up with linguistic obsession and drag queens? If I'd sat down and thought really hard about how to scare off 95% of Tolkien fan readers, that's what I'd come up with. But this is what my writing muses brought me. Magweth Pengolodh is my great big fanfic folly. So if you're in the mood for a Middle-Earth ramble, come along...





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Magweth Pengolodh Sections

1 - At the Sign of the Open Book

2 - Romenna Days

3 - The Ship-Feast

4 - The Erulaitalë

5 - Armenelos

6 - Unien's Race

7 - The Hall of Venturers

8 - The Fat Man's Tale

9 - The Tomb of Elros

10 - The Traveller's Wind

11 - The Sea-Bells

12 - The Charivari and Epilogue

Series Notes