There must be something wrong with me, but this question seemed like so much fun that I had to bump it to the front of the line. Anyway, in chronological order, the most gruesome deaths (I didn’t quite follow your no-suicides rule, sorry) of Middle Earth:
- Fingon: Towards the end of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (which was quite the emotional rollercoaster, as far as battles go), Fingon was separated from Turgon by Gothmog, the lord of balrogs. They fought, all of Fingon’s guard dying in the process, until a second balrog came up behind Fingon and tied him up with a whip of fire. Then “hewed him with his black axe”, killing Fingon. After which the balrogs “beat him into the dust with their maces, and his banner, blue and silver, they trod into the mire of his blood.”
- Finduilas: The only lady on this list, she was captured by Morgoth’s servants during the sack of Nargothrond. She was marched right past the man she loved, who didn’t move to help her at all (he was under the dragon’s spell). When the orcs were attacked on the road, they killed their captives, including Finduilas, whom they pinned to a tree with a spear.
- Celebrimbor: When Sauron attacked Eregion, Celebrimbor stayed to defend the House of the Mirdain (where the lesser rings of power were kept.) He was captured and tortured for information on the three elvish rings of power. When he refused to tell Sauron anything, he was killed. His body, “shot through with orc-arrows”, was hung on a pole and used as Sauron’s banner when he marched to war with the armies of Lindon.
- Maedhros (and Gollum): Since the actual manner of death is pretty much the same, Maedhros and Gollum tie for this spot. After finally getting his hand on one of the silmarils, Maedhros finds that the silmaril burns to the touch. Realizing that he’d failed in his oath, and in unbearable pain, Maedhros runs away from his brother Maglor and throws himself into a fiery chasm. Thousands of years later, Gollum follows Frodo into Mount Doom, fights him for the One Ring (which had taken hold of his mind centuries ago), literally bights off Frodo’s finger to get it, and then trips over the edge into the volcano.
- Gil-galad: His death is usually glossed over in accounts of the War of the Last Alliance. We know that he was killed personally by Sauron, along with Elendil, but the specifics aren’t usually mentioned - except in one clue, thanks to Isildur. He mentions that the One Ring probably reacted to fire because Sauron’s hands were “black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed.” This gruesome hint suggests that Gil-galad was burned to death by the heat of Sauron’s own hands.
And, with that note, I hope you’re all having a happy Wednesday!
SOURCES: The Silmarillion, LOTR, The Unfinished Tales
Not many people know the stereotypical heart shape was meant to be two hearts fused together
Hey there. History nerd here… not many people know this “fact” because it’s not true. The universal heart shape we recognize today has nothing to do with the heart, actually. It has to do with early Roman birth control.
The Romans used a plant called silphium to prevent pregnancy. It was so effective that it became a critical part of Rome’s economy and daily life. It was literally so important to their culture that the image of it’s seed were even imprinted on currency.
It’s the exact shape of the heart we know today, and this is the first time it’s visage was ever recorded in history. It was so important to them, and so highly prized that they actually drove the plant into extinction by over harvesting it for use.
This shape was so ingrained in their society’s conscious as a symbol of sexual liberation that it became associated with all aspects of intimacy, eg. sex, unity, and love.
It’s not two hearts sewn together. It’s an ancient plant that Romans used to have gratuitous amounts of sex before condoms were around.
But! But but but!
Sam DOES follow, just not right away. Sam lives a long, prosperous, ridiculously happy life in Hobbiton with Rosie, with whom he has many children. He was mayor of Hobbiton SEVEN times until he retired at age 96, oversaw the establishment of the Shire as its own independent land, and was personally given the Star of the Dunedain by King Elessar as a gesture of friendship and love. But when Rosie passed away on Mid-Year’s day, Sam rode out from Bag End on September 22nd for the last time and finally followed Frodo to Valinor as the third and last Ringbearer to do so at the grand old age of 104.
He did exactly as Frodo asked him to. He was whole, and happy, and he enjoyed and did more than he could have ever imagined when he was a humble gardener listening in for tales of the Elves. And when he had lived out his life in peace and absolute happiness he earned his reward and followed Frodo home.
DON’T TOUCH ME OH MY ERU.
Tolkien, everyone. The father of fandom feels.
GET. OUT. *SCREAMS*