“Thus Wrote Pengolodh”: Historical Bias, Its Evidence, and Its Implications in The Silmarillion (Video)

This past weekend, I presented a paper titled “‘Thus Wrote Pengolodh’: Historical Bias, Its Evidence, and Its Implications in The Silmarillion” at the Tolkien at UVM Conference. The paper considered two big questions:

  1. Who wrote The Silmarillion? Or–is there evidence for the Númenórean tradition (beyond Tolkien saying more or less, “Hey, I think Númenóreans are involved in some way!), or is the Quenta Silmarillion essentially an Elven text? I argue that it is, looking at some new evidence for why the narrator must be Eldarin.
  2. What is the evidence for historical bias in The Silmarillion? I cover some of what was included in Attainable Vistas but also present some new evidence showing that The Silmarillion is a biased text that favors Gondolin and Doriath while going to lengths to downplay and negatively depict the Fëanorians.

The attached video is a recording (not live! made in the comfort of my own study) with the slides I showed at the conference.

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