English edition XIX Mereth Aderthad

Mae Govannen!

Welcome to the electronic page of the XIX annual meeting of the Tolkien Society of Spain (Sociedad Tolkien Española), known as Mereth Aderthad, or plainly, EstelCon. This year it is organized by two local delegations: the Smial of Khazad-Dûm (city of Zaragoza) and the Smial of Tol Eressëa (Mallorca) on december 5th to 8th 2014. As usual, it is opened for members of the STE and for the general public. Our objective as delegations is to spread and enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien's work.

What is a Mereth?

In Sindarin –one of the elvish languages invented by J.R.R. Tolkien-, mereth literally means "meeting"; the plural is merith, and in the STE we use it to designate a very common activity of our smials: to gather with other members for one or more days to share and enjoy multiple activities around Tolkien's work. Usually, a mereth is organised by a particular smial, and lasts a weekend. During these days, we make round-table meetings, attend to conferences, play games, and almost anything that the organizing smial may imagine. Two things that never fail are a story-telling night and a dressed up or "gala" dinner. This last one gets its name from the habit in the STE of making beautiful dresses inspired in the works of Tolkien, and to wear them for dinner. Obviously, this is not compulsory, and many people don't wear any special clothes.

However, once a year, there is a very special mereth that gathers a lot of members from the STE, and during which the annual General Meeting of the association is usually held. It receives always the same name: Mereth Aderthad, or "Feast of Reuniting". Each year a different smial is in charge of organizing it.

The Mereth Aderthad

Also called EstelCon (meaning “Convention of the Estel”), it is a meeting held once a year, that usually lasts for four days, and in which all the society participates, because although it’s prepared by a particular smial –and the hard work is done by them-, activities are developed by members of the entire STE, or by the committees, or by other smials.

The Mereth Aderthad is the greatest gathering of all members of the Sociedad Tolkien Española (plus any person who wants to join in), in order to spend a few days immersed in a world of fantasy, humor, friendship and culture in multiple forms… Doing what we all love to do: reading Tolkien, telling stories based in his work, listening at conferences, performing theatre plays representing passages of it, singing and listening to songs narrating great loves and heroic deeds, reading literary works in quenya with sublime voices, participating in diverse workshops (from dressmaking to pipe smoking), or learning hobbit dances and music; even watching to videos created by members themselves. And, over all, listening to real scholars demonstrating that Tolkien is far more than one of many fantasy writers; he is one of the greatest writers in History, unfairly forgotten by some experts, who are unable to perceive his deep thoughts about human being impregnating his works. If there is a single thing we all agree in a Mereth Aderthad, is the need of claiming for Tolkien's place in History.

Every EstelCon usually has a topic guiding the general plot, and driving the special activities prepared by the organizing smial.

One thing that we must never forget in every mereth are those small presents called "mathoms". In the Lord of the Rings: About the Hobbits, J.R.R. Tolkien defines "mathoms" as: «...items that Hobbits had no particular use for but could not bear to throw away...»

The habit in every mereth is that the organizing smial gives one mathom to every attending person; the more original, the better. But also, the attending smials usually give a mathom to the organizing one, as a way to thank them for the hard work done.


The Theme

Our tradition states that each annual convention goes around one plot or general concept.

In this case, both smials want to highlight those years and ages when elves and dwarves had a good relationship with each other, and created some of the most stunning works of art in Middle Earth.

It will be very nice that we all recall the building of the Gates of Moria, the subterranean realms of elves and dwarves or their trading relationships between their people. This mutual change and understanding brought forth many victories and songs and, although it was lost in the forthcoming ages, it was never forgotten… so it rose again in the Fourth Age.

Any passage concerning dwarvish-elvish friendship and collaboration is susceptible to be studied, explored and played in our EstelCon, but we will not limit the activities to those matters. Our Mereth Aderthad will be, primarily, a gathering of friends and intellects, so we are open to any activity, lecture or workshop regarding Tolkien's works.

Activities

The activity schedule is not closed yet, but we already have confirmed conferences, workshops, music, and also demonstrations of the different projects currently being developed by people from the STE, directly related to Tolkien's works; all thus leading to a wide range of possibilities for the different tastes of all our visitors.

The Working Committees from the STE will be present and will encourage us to participate. We will be able to learn or improve our bow shooting; play games ; take us a photo in our Gala Dinner; we will sing, firstly guided by our Bards and then in the musical contest of Tolkiendili songs…


Useful Info

Where: The XIX Mereth Aderthad is going to be held at Diagonal Plaza Hotel, Zaragoza. It is a four-star hotel, opened in 2008, that offers 176 rooms and many meeting rooms. We will be hosted in triple rooms, fully equipped with complete bathroom, wide windows, cupboards, soundproof facilities… we will also enjoy of free wifi and adapted bedrooms/meeting rooms for handicapped participants. It is also possible to ask for baby cots, and adapted menus for special needs.

It is located in PLAZA, the biggest logistic platform all over Europe. It is 10km from the bus/train station of Zaragoza, and connected with the Airport by bus (CAZ 501), that works in a 30 min. frequency.

Coordinates:
Latitude: 41.64363 – Longitude: -0.994447
Latitude: 41° 38′ 34.29" N – Longitude: 0° 59′ 38.46" W

  • If you come by private car, the hotel has its own free underground parking along with a private open one.
  • From Zaragoza Airport:
    • The hotel offers a free transfer service, on demand.
    • By taxi: Just 4 kilometers to reach the hotel.
    • There is also a bus connecting the bus station (it starts in Paseo Maria Agustin, 7 and then goes through train and bus station) and the Airport, that passes by PLAZA and has a stop nearby the hotel. Bus frequency is 30 minutes.
    • At the Airport there are also Rent A Car services, such as Atesa, Avis, Europcar and Hertz.
  • If you come by train, the best choice from the AVE station is to take a taxi. It will only take 10 minutes to reach the hotel.

When: From December the 5th to the 8th 2014.

How: Attending and enjoying the Estelcon 2014 is as easy as to come to the Conference and attend the lectures, sign up to the workshops or get involved in conversations about the works of the Professor in general, or the chronological events in which this mereth in particular is based.

It is our objective to promote activities of any kind performed by any member. All the initiatives are welcome; and if they are related with the plot, even better. This is the perfect chance to read again Professor's books and tangle of the true spirit of Middle Earth. Don't leave any book out!

How to sign up: Write an e-mail to estelcon2014@gmail.com and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.

Pricing:

This Mereth Aderthad has a total price of €145, including the hotel, full board pension (with buffet meals and the Gala Dinner) and the materials for activities, along with the wellcome pack. Partial attendance will be measured in a complete day basis, from dinner to lunch. For special cases, please ask us.

These are the prices depending on the length of your stay and the room type:

  • Whole event in triple room: 145,00 €
  • Whole event in double room: 166,00 €

If you can only assist some days, please, contact us (estelcon2014@gmail.com). Partial attendances are allowed.

(VAT included in all prices)

  • There are rooms for families >3 members available. Please contact us.
  • There is a 25% discount for children under 12.
  • Non Spanish Tolkien Society members have a supplement of €10.

Signing in:

Opens along October.

Final date: November the 4th

It's also important to note the refunding policy for cases of cancellation, that –exceptions apart– will be:

Refund 60%: cancellations due to November the 12th

Refund 25%: cancellations due to December the 1st

So, you know: if you want to participate and organize something, but you still don’t know what; if you want to do the best of you for some project, but you don’t know which one will better help the Estelcon; write and tell us what do you want. We’ll be pleased to offer you some help, and give you several ideas for you to develop at your will.