I should probably not utter a word about all this as I cannot get through "The Silmarillion" of 1977. And I have not studied HOMe sufficiently, having only dipped into it here and there and listened sporadically to Prof Corey's discussions of it. Finally, I do not yet have a copy of "The Nature of Middle-earth". I have copies of all the rest. And I do not pretend to understand Boethius "Consolation". That said I have some deep suspicions as to why JRRT never finished the Silmarillion... that is, the whole legendarium. And I raise these issues also only as providing some context to the discussion, not because I have hardened conclusions about the issue of WTNFS... Why Tolkien Never Finished the Silmarillion.... My context simple to state, but has far reaching implications. That context is Orthodox Christian patrology to the degree I understand it. Namely, that there is a very solid bond between mortality and sin (aka The Fall). We die because we are corrupted physically and in soul by having become as a race separated from God, Who is life. Because we are mortal (fear death) we sin. This is a vicious circle. The cure of our mortality and corruption is the infusion of the Divine Nature into ours, if we let it, and work on it. That happens through the Incarnation and Resurrection of the God-man. This has nothing to do with the Anselm Vicarious Satisfaction Theory of Redemption which is classic RC and Prot dogma. It is not a transactional, a bribery deal with God the Father by the suffering of the Son, esp. on the Cross. The paying off of the Justice determined God by the Son. The Cross in the Orthodox Fathers is, was impossible death of Life Himself overcoming human mortality and corruption. It is an ontological transformation of human nature itself not a legalistic, juridical payment (to whom... the devil? God forbid! the Father? how does the injustice of deicide achieve that, even if we consider such a basically blasphemous concept of God Who is love. not an offended righteous only Judge).... Our race is fallen because the fountainhead of our human race fell (from communion with God) and is restored by the recapitulation (reheading, literally) of our race in Christ. This restores our free will if it has gotten lost in subservience to our vices (the passions), which we let ourselves become prey to.. PS: For those who ask, this is the point, the resolution, the goal of the OT... It is coherent despite differing genres.... OK, what has this to do with the Silmarillion? Very simple. The basic premise of the Silmarillion, no matter which version, edition, or revision one chooses, is that the Elves have longevity because they are not "fallen" yet they are indeed obviously fallen! Away from Valinor, in the Kinslaying, with the rebellion of Feanor, etc. Some have claimed they have no free will, being subservient to The Music. If that were true, their story would be not only irrelevant but boring. I see in the musings, so far, of "The Nature of Middle-earth" Tolkien's attempts to deal with this fundamental impossibility... in the aging, the whole complex of the problematics of Elvish nature and its history. In a nutshell, he is confronting the problem of a fallen race enduring no ontological consequences to their fallenness. This is akin to his futile attempt to reconcile modern science and his Elvish cosmology. These are not solvable problems without having to reject the entire uniqueness of the legendarium. Maybe I have this all wrong, but I offer it as a possible explanation: that he intuited these problems as being inherent (whether one accepts RC theology of the Fall or not... which is more about inherited guilt (a logical impossibility, by the way) than about an ontological transformation, salvation, resurrection of the human race). Perhaps he intuited (or learned of) the problematics of the RC doctrine... The "thought experiment" of a race of everlasting fallen was not working. Great stories individually, but the ontology-axiology of Elvishness as a context was inherently flawed beyond redemption... And this does not begin to deal with the problem of angelic powers (the Valar) subservient to time... who in traditional Christian theology are eternal beings, not temporal. Meaning they are eternally bound by their own choice to follow the will of omniscient, morally-ethically perfect God Whose first principle of creation is free will - whether on the eternal or on the temporal plane. Tolkien was simply confronting and accepting that the parameters of his Silmarillion legendarium were untenable. The Silmarillon could not be finalized, and thus was not publishable. This may be the reason Christopher never edited and published the essays in this book. I see these problems as insurmountable: I hope Tolkien did also. I think Flammifer's contextualization points in this direction.