Another Chain of Custody: Possessors of the Silmarils

Some time ago, I put together a complete and overly pedantic chain of custody for the One Ring: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/a-chain-of-custody-listing-the-ringbearers/

Today, I decided to match that, by doing something similar for the Silmarils. In the interests of clarity, I will be using the text as it appears in the published Silmarillion of 1977 – which means Christopher Tolkien’s reconstructed Ruin of Doriath.

The dates are taken from the Annals of Aman (HOME X, pp.94-96., and pp.98-108.), the Grey Annals (HOME XI, p..63-69.), and The Tale of Years (HOME XI, pp.350-351.). Note that Christopher Tolkien’s reconstruction is not entirely consistent with the Tale of Years, where Melian takes the Silmaril to Lúthien after Thingol’s death. To resolve this, I have placed the events of the published Silmarillion into the timeline otherwise intended for the Ruin of Doriath.

The First Silmaril

NAMEYear ObtainedYear Lost/SurrenderedLength of PossessionAdditional Notes
Fëanáro (Fëanor)Y.T. 1450 (created)Y.T. 149545 Valian YearsSilmarils hallowed by Varda (Y.T. 1450), relocated from Tirion to Formenos (Y.T. 1490), and stolen from Formenos by Melkor and Ungoliant (Y.T. 1495).
Melkor (Morgoth)Y.T. 1495Y.S. 4665 Valian Years + 466 Years of the SunSilmarils taken from Formenos to Angband. Morgoth forged the Iron Crown (The Silmarillion, p.95.), and put in it the three Silmarils.
BerenY.S. 466Y.S. 466< 1 daySilmaril cut from Iron Crown by Beren using Angrist. Beren took the Silmaril from Morgoth’s throne-room up to the Gates of Angband.
CarcharothY.S. 466Y.S. 466< 1 yearBit off Beren’s hand, swallowing the Silmaril. Fled from Angband to Doriath.
MablungY.S. 466Y.S. 466< 1 dayCarcharoth slain by Huan. Silmaril taken from the Wolf’s stomach by Mablung, and given to Beren.
BerenY.S. 466Y.S. 466< 1 daySilmaril given to Thingol in completion of his Quest.
Elwë (Thingol)Y.S. 466Y.S. 50337 yearsTook Silmaril to Menegroth. Hired craftsmen of Nogrod to place the Silmaril in the Nauglamír.
Dwarves of NogrodY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearSlew Thingol. Silmaril-Nauglamír taken from Menegroth along eastwards road.
Unknown Sindarin Elf of DoriathY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearDwarves slain by Elves of Doriath. Silmaril-Nauglamír taken back to Menegroth and given to Melian.
MelianY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearEntrusted Silmaril-Nauglamír to Mablung before departing from Beleriand.
MablungY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearSilmaril-Nauglamír kept in treasury of Menegroth. Mablung slain by the Dwarves of Nogrod before the doors of the treasury.
Dwarves of NogrodY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearSilmaril-Nauglamír taken from Menegroth to Sarn Athrad. Dwarves slain by Beren, Green-Elves, and Ents.
BerenY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearSlew the Lord of Nogrod (Naugladur, as per The Book of Lost Tales), and took the item from him. Silmaril-Nauglamír taken from Sarn Athrad to Tol Galen.
Lúthien Y.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearWore Silmaril-Nauglamír in Tol Galen until autumn.
Unknown Lord of the Green ElvesY.S. 503Y.S. 503< 1 yearSilmaril-Nauglamír taken from Tol Galen to Dior in Menegroth.
Dior EluchílY.S. 503Y.S. 5063 yearsWore Silmaril-Nauglamír in Menegroth. Slain during Yule by the Sons of Fëanor.
ElwingY.S. 506Y.S. 53832 yearsTook Silmaril from Menegroth to the Havens of Sirion, and thence leapt into the Sea. Took Silmaril to Eärendil.
EärendilY.S. 538Current possessorA long time.Took Silmaril across the Sea to Valinor, and thence into the skies.

The Second Silmaril

Here the additional source is the Tale of Years (HOME XI, pp.345-346.)


NAME
Year obtainedYear Lost/SurrenderedLength of PossessionAdditional Notes
Fëanáro (Fëanor)Y.T. 1450 (created)Y.T. 149545 Valian YearsSilmarils hallowed by Varda (Y.T. 1450), relocated from Tirion to Formenos (Y.T. 1490), and stolen from Formenos by Melkor and Ungoliant (Y.T. 1495).
Melkor (Morgoth)Y.T. 1495Y.S. 5875 Valian Years + 587 Years of the SunSilmarils taken from Formenos to Angband. Morgoth forged the Iron Crown (The Silmarillion, p.95.), and put in it the three Silmarils. Beren failed to take this Silmaril in Y.S. 466.
EönwëY.S. 587Y.S. 587< 1 yearTook Silmaril from the Iron Crown after Morgoth’s defeat, and held it for safekeeping, pending the judgement of the Valar.
MaedhrosY.S. 587Y.S. 587< 1 yearReclaimed Silmaril from Eönwë. Silmaril burned his hand. In despair, Maedhros threw himself and the Silmaril into a fiery chasm.
NoneY.S. 587Currently situatedA long time.Lost in the underground fires of the Earth.

The Third Silmaril

Additional sources as with Second Silmaril.


NAME
Year obtainedYear Lost/SurrenderedLength of PossessionAdditional Notes
Fëanáro (Fëanor)Y.T. 1450 (created)Y.T. 149545 Valian YearsSilmarils hallowed by Varda (Y.T. 1450), relocated from Tirion to Formenos (Y.T. 1490), and stolen from Formenos by Melkor and Ungoliant (Y.T. 1495).
Melkor (Morgoth)Y.T. 1495Y.S. 5875 Valian Years + 587 Years of the SunSilmarils taken from Formenos to Angband. Morgoth forged the Iron Crown (The Silmarillion, p.95.), and put in it the three Silmarils. Beren failed to take this Silmaril in Y.S. 466.
EönwëY.S. 587Y.S. 587< 1 yearTook Silmaril from the Iron Crown after Morgoth’s defeat, and held it for safekeeping, pending the judgement of the Valar.
MaglorY.S. 587Y.S. 587< 1 yearReclaimed Silmaril from Eönwë. Silmaril burned his hands. In despair, Maglor threw the Silmaril into the Sea.
NoneY.S. 587Currently situatedA long time.Lost in the depths of the Sea.

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