This February, we are taking our cue from Valentine’s Day and invite you to join us in a contemplation of love! Your prompts for this month will be quotes from the Legendarium that are all about love.
But in Middle-earth as in our modern day and age, love can take many shapes, and romantic or sexual attraction are only two aspects of it. Tolkien’s characters experience different kinds of love: love of family, love of friends, love of a place, love of treasure, love of abstract concepts like duty or freedom … and sometimes, they may feel no love at all.
We have made a list of quotes about love from the Legendarium, and you can select one - or several - that inspire you to write about that crazy little thing called love. It doesn’t have to be a love story; it just needs to respond in some way to the quote(s) that you’ve chosen. Although we are sorting the quotes according to their context, feel free to disregard that in your response! For example, you can use a romantic love quote in a platonic way, or turn a feudal reading of love into something romantic.
February is also Black History Month, so we encourage participants to focus on characters of color or characters from cultural groups we don't hear from a lot in the texts. Participants are also welcome to combine our love prompts with SilmLadyLove’s Femslash February prompts.
Fanworks for this challenge are due on the archive by March 10 in order to receive a stamp.
Romantic or ambiguous love
- "[Melian] spoke no word; but being filled with love Elwë came to her and took her hand, and straightway a spell was laid on him, so that they stood thus while long years were measured by the wheeling stars above them; and the trees of Nan Elmoth grew tall and dark before they spoke any word." ~ Of Thingol and Melian
- "The love of Finwë and Míriel was great and glad, for it began in the Blessed Realm in the Days of Bliss." ~ Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
- "Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them." ~ Of the Return of the Noldor
- "But it is said that not until that hour had such cold thoughts ruled [Finrod]; for indeed she whom he had loved was Amarië of the Vanyar, and she went not with him into exile." ~ Of the Noldor in Beleriand
- "[Gorlim’s] wife was named Eilinel, and their love was great, ere evil befell." ~ Of Beren and Lúthien
- "And it seemed to Thingol that this Man was unlike all other mortal Men, and among the great in Arda, and the love of Lúthien a thing new and strange; and he perceived that their doom might not be withstood by any power of the world." ~ Of Beren and Lúthien
- "But Gwindor sat in dark thought; and on a time he spoke to Finduilas, saying: 'Daughter of the house of Finarfin, let no grief lie between us; for though Morgoth has laid my life in ruin, you still I love. Go whither love leads you; yet beware!’" ~ Of Túrin Turambar
- "His heart turned to Níniel, and he asked her in marriage; but for that time she delayed in spite of her love. For Brandir foreboded he knew not what, and sought to restrain her, rather for her sake than his own or rivalry with Turambar; and he revealed to her that Turambar was Túrin son of Húrin, and though she knew not the name a shadow fell upon her mind." ~ Of Túrin Turambar
- "The Eldar wedded once only in life, and for love or at the least by free will upon either part." ~ Morgoth’s Ring, "Laws and Customs among the Eldar"
- "’Love of Indis did not drive out love of Míriel; so now pity for Míriel doth not lessen my heart’s care for Indis.’" ~ Morgoth’s Ring, "Laws and Customs among the Eldar"
- "And Ilúvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: '[...]Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwë, thy friend, whom thou lovest.'" ~ Ainulindalë
- "Now Hador Lórindol, son of Hathol, son of Magor, son of Malach Aradan, entered the household of Fingolfin in his youth, and was loved by the King." ~ Of the Coming of Men into the West
- "Thus ended Beleg Strongbow, truest of friends, greatest in skill of all that harboured in the woods of Beleriand in the Elder Days, at the hand of him whom he most loved; and that grief was graven on the face of Túrin and never faded." ~ Of Túrin Turambar
- "But when all was spoken, Manwë gave judgement, and he said: 'In this matter the power of doom is given to me. The peril that he ventured for love of the Two Kindreds shall not fall upon Eärendil, nor shall it fall upon Elwing his wife, who entered into peril for love of him; but they shall not walk again ever among Elves or Men in the Outer Lands.’" ~ Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
Parental and feudal love
- "Therefore when [the Ainur] beheld [the Children of Ilúvatar], the more did they love them, being things other than themselves, strange and free…" ~ Ainulindalë
- "Nonetheless Ulmo loves both Elves and Men, and never abandoned them, not even when they lay under the wrath of the Valar." ~ Valaquenta
- "Therefore those who dwell by the sea or go up in ships may love [Ossë], but they do not trust him." ~ Valaquenta
- "Then Aulë answered: 'I did not desire such lordship. I desired things other than I am, to love and to teach them, so that they too might perceive the beauty of Eä, which thou hast caused to be.’" ~ Of Aulë and Yavanna
- "The Vanyar [Manwë] loved best of all Elves, and of him they received song and poetry; for poetry is the delight of Manwë, and the song of words is his music." ~Of the Beginning of Days
- "Greater love was given to Fingolfin and his sons, and his household and the most part of the dwellers in Tirion refused to renounce him, if he would go with them; and thus at the last as two divided hosts the Noldor set forth upon their bitter road." ~ Of the Flight of the Noldor
- "But there were many who loved the Lady Haleth and wished to go whither she would, and dwell under her rule; and these she led into the Forest of Brethil, between Teiglin and Sirion." ~ Of the Coming of Men into the West
- "For Turgon took great liking for the sons of Galdor, and spoke much with them; and he wished indeed to keep them in Gondolin out of love, and not only for his law that no stranger, be he Elf or Man, who found the way to the secret kingdom and looked upon the city should ever depart again, until the King should open the leaguer, and the hidden people should come forth." ~ Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
- "'Sit now there; and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda.’" ~ Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
- "For Maglor took pity upon Elros and Elrond, and he cherished them, and love grew after between them, as little might be thought; but Maglor's heart was sick and weary with the burden of the dreadful oath." ~ Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
- "[The Elves of Beleriand] were admitted again to the love of Manwë and the pardon of the Valar; and the Teleri forgave their ancient grief, and the curse was laid to rest." ~ Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
Love of things and places
- "[Yavanna] is the lover of all things that grow in the earth, and all their countless forms she holds in her mind, from the trees like towers in forests long ago to the moss upon stones or the small and secret things in the mould." ~ Valaquenta
- "Oromë loved the lands of Middle-earth, and he left them unwillingly and came last to Valinor; and often of old he passed back east over the mountains and returned with his host to the hills and the plains." ~ Valaquenta
- "For Fëanor began to love the Silmarils with a greedy love, and grudged the sight of them to all save his father and his seven sons; he seldom remembered now that the light within them was not his own." ~ Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
- "But the Sindar had the fairer voices and were more skilled in music, save only Maglor son of Fëanor, and they loved the woods and the riversides; and some of the Grey-elves still wandered far and wide without settled abode, and they sang as they went." ~ Of the Return of the Noldor
- "’But love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West and cometh from the Sea.'" ~ Of the Noldor in Beleriand
- "And the Númenóreans answered: 'Why should we not envy the Valar, or even the least of the Deathless? For of us is required a blind trust, and a hope without assurance, knowing not what lies before us in a little while. And yet we also love the Earth and would not lose it.'" ~ Akallabêth
- "Moreover [the Noldor] were not at peace in their hearts, since they had refused to return into the West, and they desired both to stay in Middle-earth, which indeed they loved, and yet to enjoy the bliss of those that had departed." ~ Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Absence of love
- "Therefore all the more did [Melkor] feign love for them and seek their friendship, and he offered them the service of his lore and labour in any great deed that they would do." ~ Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
- "The wedding of his father was not pleasing to Fëanor; and he had no great love for Indis, nor for Fingolfin and Finarfin, her sons." ~ Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
- "There [Aredhel] was often in the company of the sons of Fëanor, her kin; but to none was her heart's love given." ~ Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
- "For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he saw not to the depths of Melkor’s heart, and did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever." ~ Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
- "Of like mind with Galadriel was Fingon Fingolfin’s son, being moved also by Fëanor’s words, though he loved him little; and with Fingon stood as they ever did Angrod and Aegnor, sons of Finarfin." ~ Of the Flight of the Noldor
- "Men have feared the Valar, rather than loved them, and have not understood the purposes of the Powers, being at variance with them, and at strife with the world." ~ Of Men
- "’And this counsel I add: return now to your dwelling in the darkness of Nan Elmoth; for my heart warns me that if you now pursue those who love you no more, never will you return thither.'"~ Of Maeglin
- "And however that might be, Idril loved Maeglin not at all; and knowing his thought of her she loved him the less." ~ Of Maeglin
- "Therefore [Brandir] renounced his lordship, and all love for the people that had scorned him, and having naught left but his love for Níniel he girt himself with a sword and went after her; but being lame he fell far behind." ~ Of Túrin Turambar
- "No love was there between Ar-Gimilzôr and his queen, or between their sons." ~ Akallabêth