Quickies Qtr. 1/ 2007
This quarter's Quickie Challenge has a theme: all story prompts are about
Stars and Planets in Middle-earth.
The story should be at least one type-written page long, but not more than 3 type-written pages (1500 to 4500 characters).
If you live in or near Germany, there is a wonderful show touring the country called "The Sky above Middle-earth". Developed by five Tolkien fans from the Bremen Olbers Planetarium, the show combines readings from the works of Tolkien, a slide show of Middle-earth star images by renowned Tolkien artists, and music. For more information, go to the website of the Olbers Planetarium.
Here are the 12 story challenges for the Stars and Planets-Quickie Challenge:
1. In ancient times the First Elves lived in a star-lit world without sun and moon, in a place called Cuiviénen. In Chapter 3 of the Silmarillion the following is told:
"And indeed the most ancient songs of the Elves, of which echoes are remembered still in the West, tell of the shadow-shapes that walked in the hills above Cuiviénen, or would pass suddenly over the stars; and of the dark Rider upon his wild horse that pursued those that wandered to take them and devour them." Write a story about what it meant for the first Elves to live in a star-lit world haunted by those dark shadows.
2. Write a story about a servant of Angband seeing the light of the Silmarils - the light of the two Trees – in the Iron Crone of Morgoth.
3. "A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful; and there great lords had dwelt, the Wardens of Gondor upon the West, and wise men that watched the stars." (TTT, The Road to Isengard). Write a story about a wise man watching the stars from Orthanc.
4. Write a story about the Elvish creation of ithildin (meaning "starmoon" or rather "moon-glitter"), the substance of which the devices on the West-gate of Moria were made.
5. Write a story involving the use of the secret "moon-letters" used by the Dwarves which probably were written with ithildin.
Check out the entry in the Resource Library at HASA or in the Encyclopedia of Arda. The story may take place in any age.
6. In The Hobbit Thorin explains the meaning of Durin's Day:
"The first day of the dwarves' New Year ... is as all should know, the first day of the last moon of Autumn on the threshold of Winter. We still call it Durin's Day when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together."
Write a story about how the Dwarves celebrate this New Year. For more information about the astronomy of Durin's Day, see this interesting article by Lalaith.
7. The Elves call the star constellation "Orion" Menelmacar or Menelvagor - the Swordsman in the Sky. Write a story about how the more peaceful hobbits of the Shire might have named the constellation "Orion" and whether they had a story to go with their name.
8. Write a story about the significance of the sun in the Rohirrim's culture, which can be seen, for example, on their shields feature the image of the sun.
9. Write a story about Elrond hearing Bilbo sing his song about Eärendil the Mariner in the Hall of Fire. What does it mean for the Half-Elf that his father has turned into a "star" which he can see every morning and evening in the sky above Rivendell?
10. "There flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor; but Seven Stars were about it, and a high crown above it, the signs of Elendil that no lord had borne for years beyond count. And the stars flamed in the sunlight, for they were wrought of gems by Arwen daughter of Elrond; and the crown was bright in the morning, for it was wrought of mithril and gold." The Lord of the Rings, III, 6
Write a story about Beregond explaining to his son Bergil the meaning of the Seven Stars of Gondor on Aragorn's banner that he reveals at his arrival in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
11. It says in the entry for the year 1436 in The Tale of Years (Appendix B, The Lord of the Rings) that "King Elessar rides north, and dwells for a while by Lake Evendim. He comes to the Brandywine Bridge, and there greets his friends. He gives the Star of the Dúnedain to Master Samwise …"
What is the Star of the Dúnedain? Why is it called a Star? Why did Aragorn give it to Sam? Write a story about the Star of the Dúnedain. For more information about "Sam's Star", do check out this great and very insightful article by Cara J. Loup.
12. (movie-verse) In one major change from the Book, the movie has Arwen give the white gem called "Evenstar" (like herself) to Aragorn as a token of her love (and not to Frodo the Ringbearer). Eventually, the gem is carried by Eldarion, Arwen's and Aragorn's son, whom we see in Arwen's vision in The Return of the King-movie. Write a movie-verse story about the fate of this gem in Gondor.
Have fun with these story prompts! Looking forward to seeing any one of them become a real story.
Entries with Stories
The following authors have entered a story in the Challenge.
- IgnobleBard - A Far and Distant Star
- General Audience
- Last Updated: 05 Dec 07
- Elrond ponders his father the night before the Council.
- Jay of Lasgalen - Star Gazing
- General Audience
- Last Updated: 22 Jan 07
- A ficlet in which Elrohir and a young Estel spend an evening watching the stars, and discussing ancient legends.
The following authors have entered a placeholder in the Challenge.
- Adoption Date: 21 Jan 07