Starting in February 2020, Mythgard Academy will offer a free seminar on Morgoth’s Ring, the tenth volume in the History of Middle-earth (HoME) series. This volume begins the final leg of our journey through the HoME series, as it begins the look at the later drafts and revisions of the stories that eventually became part of The Silmarillion. The title of Morgoth’s Ring comes from a comparison of Melkor’s dispersal of power in Arda to his protégé Sauron’s later handiwork, and “thus the whole of Middle-earth was Morgoth’s Ring.”
Morgoth’s Ring was published in 1993, about a year after the previous volume, Sauron Defeated. It includes the “Ainulindalë,” “The Annals of Aman,” The Later Quenta Silmarillion, “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth” and Myths Transformed – a set of reinterpretations of some stories included in the legendarium.
If you have missed any of our other discussions in The History of Middle-earth series, you can find links to them on the main Mythgard Academy page.
The History of Middle-earth, Volume 10 is available from Amazon.
A Message from Dr. Corey Olsen
Mythgard Academy programs make scholarly investigation of speculative fiction available to everyone for free. We meet on a weekly basis, and recorded sessions are shared on the Signum University YouTube channel.
Mythgard Academy is supported through the generous contributions of Signum University donors. Everyone who donates votes on which books we look at, and donors who donate $100 or more are invited to join The Council of the Wise to nominate and debate the merits of future books. The Council has methodically chosen The History of Middle-earth volumes, interspersed with other great works of fantasy and science fiction, including A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, Dune by Frank Herbert, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
Morgoth’s Ring is our second book of 2020. We will be voting on the next book soon, so if you have a favorite fantasy or sci-fi story that has not been chosen yet, donate today to join the Council and make your nomination!
– Dr. Corey Olsen
Morgoth’s Ring originally met on Wednesdays at 10 pm Eastern Time from March 18 – October 28, 2020.
Week 1: Beginning Anew
Read: Part One: Ainulindale (1-45)
Date: March 18, 2020
Week 2: Reworking the Pantheon
Read: Part Two: Annals of Aman, Sections 1-3 (47-91)
Date: April 1, 2020
Week 3: The Narrative Unfolds
Read: Part Two: Annals of Aman, Sections 4-6 (92-138)
Date: April 8, 2020
Week 4: What Genre Is This Again?
Read: Part Two, continued
Date: April 15, 2020
Week 5: The Silmarillion at Sea
Read: Part Three: The Later Quenta, I: The First Phase (141-199)
Date: April 22, 2020
Week 6: Annals or Quenta
Read: Part Three: The Later Quenta, II: The Second Phase, through “Laws and Customs among the Eldar” (199-253)
Date: April 29, 2020
Week 7: Confessions
Read: Part Three: The Later Quenta, II: the rest of The Second Phase (254-300)
Date: May 6, 2020
Week 8: Backfilling the Old World
Read: Part Three, continued
Date: May 13, 2020
Week 9: The Truth About Elves
Read: Part Four: Athrabeth (303-366)
Date: May 20, 2020
Week 10: The Necromancer Explained!
Read: Part Four: Athrabeth, continued
Date: May 27, 2020
Week 11: The Necromancer Explained! (Really!)
Read: Part Five: Myths Transformed (369-431)
Date: June 3, 2020
Week 12: Q&A with the Valar
Read: Part Five: Myths Transformed, continued
Date: June 10, 2020
Week 13: A Legislative Debate in Valinor
Date: June 19, 2020
Week 14: The Great Metaphysical Debate
Date: June 24, 2020
Week 15: The Debate Continues (At Last!)
Date: July 22, 2020
Week 16: The End of Findwë and Míriel
Date: July 29, 2020
Week 17: The Darkening and the Marring
Date: August 5, 2020
Week 18: Into and Out of Darkness
Date: August 12, 2020
Week 19: The Mystery of Humanity
Date: August 26, 2020
Week 20: What’s the Point of Humans?
Date: September 2, 2020
Week 21: The Remarkable Conclusion
Date: September 9, 2020
Week 22: Tragedy and Hope
Date: September 16, 2020
Week 23: Some Useful Explanations
Date: September 23, 2020
Week 24: The Numenorean Athrabeth
Date: October 3, 2020
Week 25: Middle-earth and Christianity
Date: October 10, 2020
Week 26: Tear It All Down?
Date: October 14, 2020
Week 27: Concerning Morgoth
Date: October 21, 2020
Week 28: Orcs: A Tactical Retreat
Date: October 28, 2020
Artwork for Morgoth’s Ring
The artwork for Morgoth’s Ring was adapted from Morgoth punishes Húrin by Ted Nasmith. Used with permission.