Nearly every Thursday, a group of individuals gathers in a room in downtown Salt Lake City. I heard of the group from a friend whom I met during my days in The Remnant movement and knew I was reading Daymon Smith’s books. The majority of the group has known one another for years. The group has been meeting for close to a decade. What do they do in this room until midnight? Well, a lot of topics have been addressed over the last ten years, but for the previous three years, the discussion has revolved around Words. Three years ago, I found myself as a confused outsider. Were these people really discussing Mormonism and Elves in the same breath?
Today, It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to join the group. There was a sabbatical of sorts as the primary contributor of information – Daymon – needed to focus on other aspects of his life. And, after that sabbatical, my life became busier. I hope to join them again soon.
At the time I was attending, the primary focus was on Words of The Faithful. The majority of memories from my attendance revolve around the discussion of pages eleven to sixteen. I recall making a comment, in jest, “When are we going to get past page sixteen?”
Why am I telling you all of this? To point out of all the pages in Words of the Faithful, this portion is most familiar. And, yet, this time around, I found that there were so many things I had previously missed!
In the first paragraph of Izilba’s tale, we are confronted with names unfamiliar to most. Google will be your friend! Write down names that are unfamiliar to you and Google them along with Tolkien, [example: “Westernesse Tolkien”], and you should find plenty of resources.
However, there are individuals wholly unique to Words. You’ll have to keep reading to learn more about them.
Izilba is a grey one. She is rumored to be a daughter not distant of Thingol Ellu, but we don’t know her lineage. We learn that, somehow, she is welcomed by the King and his kin, and even invited at times to attend The Table of Council. (Her choice of attire for these affairs of state puts the Kardashians to shame).
We learn that Queen Silmariel – who is not among the living, mind you – comes to Izilba to give comfort and a stone. This stone allows the Queen to converse with Izilba when the moon is in its waning. (Pay close attention to the cycles of the moon! There is something to be found there!)
I was puzzled by the trash of Ossë. I think I may have sorted it out, but I could be wrong. Elvish-glass is said to be contraband, which is why Izilba worries about her sea-glass being confiscated. What wasn’t clear to me was whether or not the glass said to be trash is referring to sea glass or Elvish glass. I’m assuming it is sea glass since the nobles set slaves to gather it to be sold in the East and to the commoners. I don’t see them intentionally selling contraband.
Currently, I am very puzzled by what Izilba meant by Zhera’s fate that enlarged the circles of the world, loosened the girdle of Arda (p.13).
One critique I used to hold regarding the text was the mention of Astarte and Aphrodite (p. 18). How could Zhera know who Astarte and Aphrodite are if the Greeks are thousands of years away from existing? I often asked myself. As I was reading this time, I recognized that it could be commentary from Pengolodh, not Zhera. That fits, given Pengolodh is a loremaster and has had time to gather references from various cultures over the millennia.
One of my favorite quotes comes from page 22.
“but of all thy heart’s thoughts, doubt most what seemeth the wise answer without a face.”
If you’re struggling to understand what is happening, keep reading! It makes more sense as you go.
Leave your thoughts below in the comment section or on the Facebook page.
Remember! You can read along by looking at the reading schedule and using the associated links.