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Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 12 -- "Of Men," Part 2: The Biosphere of Arda

Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:06am

Post #1 of 110 (1503 views)
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Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 12 -- "Of Men," Part 2: The Biosphere of Arda Can't Post

  
the biosphere of arda




aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by entmaiden on May 8 2013, 2:12pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:09am

Post #2 of 110 (1270 views)
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direct link to image [In reply to] Can't Post

    
The biosphere of Arda




(dang. photobucket shrank the image, as did the board. maybe i'll figure out a workaround later.)


text:

The biosphere of Arda revolves around two races, the Firstborn (Eldar) and the Secondborn (the Edain). Each has not only a spiritual role to play but a physical one as well. The health and vigor of each of these races contributes to the health of Arda.

The Eldar came first. Blessed with the greater portion of wisdom, and skill, and health, and beauty. According to Tolkien, in Arda unmarred, it is theirs not to grow old physically, but that their fëar (spirits) burn more fiercely over time (spans of ages), and gradually spend the stuff of their hröar (bodies). It is considered unnatural for a member of the Eldar to die – to not return from the Halls of Mandos to Arda. They are meant to live eternally within Arda, for as long as Arda exists. Their fëar and hröar are, not just symbolically, but literally for Arda, youth, health through preservation. By their natures and by their wills they live in harmony with the music of Eru.


Though Middle-Earth for the most part lay in the Sleep of Yavanna, in Beleriand, under the peace of Melian, there was life and joy, and the bright stars shone as silver fires; and there in the forest of Neldoreth Lúthien was born, and the white flowers of niphredil came forth to greet her as stars from the earth. (The Silmarillion, “Of the Sindar”)

“There is a wholesome air about Hollin. Much evil must befall a country if it wholly forgets the Elves, if once they dwelt there.”

“That is true,” said Legolas. “But the Elves of this land were of a race strange to us of the silvan folk, and the trees and the grass do not now remember them. Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago." (The Fellowship of the Ring,The Ring Goes South)



The Elves love Middle-Earth, and Middle-Earth returns that love. A new species of flower erupts in showers underfoot at the birth of Lúthien. The land and the stone still vibrate with health and happiness and longing at even the memory of Elves having dwelled with them. The Elves were meant to inhabit Middle-Earth, shepherd its life, provide healing, and stability. They awoke there, and were never meant to travel to Aman. Middle-Earth needed them.

And then the Secondborn awoke. If Elves are the Children of the Stars, the Edain are Children of the Sun. They awoke into a world that was still largely sleeping (the Sleep of Yavanna). But, as the Eldar are agents of preservation, the Edain are agents of change. Life (niphredil) and land (Hollin) responded to the Elves, but Middle-Earth also celebrates the arrival of the Secondborn.


From this time forth, were Reckoned the Years of the Sun. Swifter and briefer are they than the long Years of the Trees in Valinor. In that time the air of Middle-Earth became heavy with the breath of growth and mortality, and the changing and ageing of all things was hastened exceedingly; life teemed upon the soil and in the waters in the Second Spring of Arda, and the Eldar increased, and beneath the new Sun Beleriand grew green and fair. (The Silmarillion, “Of Men”)


The Sun is synonymous with the Edain, the Children of the Sun. They dawn on Middle-Earth together. But, even as the Sun and the Edain herald change and mortality, much that was in the Sleep of Yavanna awakens. The land and waters roil with new life, enough to be called the Second Spring of Arda. All of Beleriand grows verdant. Even the Eldar themselves are renewed and invigored by the influx of change and mortality – their numbers increase, even as their rhythm in Middle-Earth is hastened.
At this time, the two races live and are abundant in Middle-Earth. Their combined and shared gifts of wisdom, strength, endurance, and adaptability is the noontide of Middle-Earth, which basks in the light of the two peoples, the Children of the Stars and the Children of the Sun, much like Valinor was bathed in the light of the Two Trees.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Ataahua on May 8 2013, 7:13pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:17am

Post #3 of 110 (1244 views)
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question 1 -- why is mortality "unclean," if it is part of the biosphere? [In reply to] Can't Post

  

1. It seems mortality, change, is as much the will of Eru as is immortality and preservation. Their dramatic infusion into Middle-Earth benefits not just it, but the Eldar themselves. Even though years move more swiftly and change increases, their numbers also increase.

So why do the Valar (and to a lesser extent, the Elves) treat mortality like something unclean?

"And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will may touch them."




cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Inferno on May 8 2013, 5:18am)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:25am

Post #4 of 110 (1214 views)
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question 2 -- do you agree or disagree with this concept of the biosphere of arda? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


2. Do you buy into this concept of the biosphere of arda, that the Elves and the Edain are not just inhabitants, but forces for health within it, like the rain and the wind?

Does this macro view make you feel differently about what is healthy for this world? Does it make you reconsider any of your previous assessments of the Valar, Elves, or Edain?

Does it make anything that happens more meaningful, or less meaningful?

Does this biosphere concept impact any thinking you've had in the previous segment regarding suffering?





cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:30am

Post #5 of 110 (1211 views)
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question 3 -- is suffering equivalent to mortality? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


3. In part 1 (still ongoing), there's a l of discussion around suffering. Suffering deals with loss: loss of health, loss of happiness, loss of stability.

Mortality is loss. Loss of life. Existence. Being.

Is suffering equivalent to mortality? If so, because the Edain are mortal, is it their lot to suffer?

If so, because the Eldar are immortal, is it unnatural that they suffer?






cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 4:39am

Post #6 of 110 (1217 views)
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question 4 -- the two races and the two trees [In reply to] Can't Post

 


4. Sure this likening of the two races to the Two Trees is poetic (the light of the two races mingling and enlightening Middle-Earth, and this mingling its noontide, blah, blah, blah)...

... but do you actually buy this argument? That Middle-Earth got a lot better when the Edain appeared, and got a lot worse as the Elves left en masse for Aman?

Again, if you buy this argument, and the biosphere approach, has Middle-Earth sickened with the departure of the Elves?

Are the Edain like vigorous white cells, scrubbing away old tissue so new tissue can grow?

Are the Eldar like anti-oxidant features of the body?

(I know we were sort of talking macrosphere, so forgive me for invoking microsphere elements. But you get the idea.)




cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 11:57am

Post #7 of 110 (1203 views)
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question 5 -- how powerful is mortality? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


5. If the Eldar and the Edain are operating, natural forces within Arda, and part of its balance, so must too be the Ainur.

Aman is said to be deathless, not because of the land itself, but because of those who dwell there. Would a member of the Edain achieve immortality by living there? Bilbo, Frodo (and presumably Sam and Gimli) travel there to live for an extended period of time. But they are not of immortal race, but mortal.

Is Aman preserved through the high concentration of Valar and Eldar? Is this why Aman can extend the life of mortals?

Would the preserved status of Aman be in danger if a high enough concentration of the Edain settled there? Middle-Earth responded to their awakening with rapid change and aging. Aman is part of Arda, and we know the land itself does not impart mortality. Could the Edain physically disrupt the eternity of Aman, just by their presence?

Is the mortality of the Edain powerful enough to disrupt the immortality of the Ainu, even though the Ainu themselves are the most powerful beings in Arda?





cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 8 2013, 1:34pm

Post #8 of 110 (1194 views)
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Wish I knew [In reply to] Can't Post

I also don't understand why the Edain can't go to Valinor, since they are Children of Iluvatar like the Elves, not orcs. Mandos implies that he wants to kill Earendil for a mortal stepping on immortal land, and it appears only his half-Elven blood saves him.

Just what makes them unclean? It seems like they are more prone to certain sins, such as worshiping Morgoth/Sauron and killing their own kind. But that's not everyone and shouldn't condemn the race as a whole.

I sorta think that Tolkien considered Men in the sense of the Fall of Adam (the Christian notion) that made all humans flawed from birth, whereas Elves don't have that burden. I don't know of any text references that clearly explain why Men are "unclean." Unless they just plain don't bathe and don't wash their clothes. Or maybe there's dirt under their fingernails and manicures didn't come along until the 4th Age.


telain
Rohan

May 8 2013, 1:57pm

Post #9 of 110 (1184 views)
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off the cuff... [In reply to] Can't Post

My first reaction to this question (and thank you for such thoughtful and interesting questions!) is the relationship between Morgoth and Mortality.

It was my impression that Melkor/Morgoth was really the one responsible for creating disease and death, particularly in Middle-earth and among Yavanna's creations. Even after "the Great Sleep" still death and disease prevailed. My thought, then, is was this the reason Eru created the Edain as mortal beings? Are they more in keeping with the "new" Middle-earth than the Eldar? I think you are right: change is just as a part of Eru's plan as immutability. Was this his plan all along -- that Melkor/Morgoth would instigate change and that change would lead to greater things, as Manwe pronounced in the last chapter?


In another post I compared the Eldar to the air and water (constants) and the Edain to the kelvar and olvar (mortal). Did Eru see it as necessary to have two Children each with ties to different aspects of Arda? One that would represent the constant aspects, while one would represent the changeable ones?

As for the Valar and the Eldar: I think their prejudices stem from lack of understanding. Even the Valar do not know the full purpose of the Edain in the fullness of Eru-time. The Eldar certainly don't, and would +probably+ not understand why Eru would make one set of Children mortal. +Clearly+ they are inferior...

The Silmarils are the last representation of the constancy of the the light from the Two Trees -- Trees that were destroyed. I could see how they could make a connection between the destruction of the Trees and "mortal" flesh. They would not want anything associated with death to come near these last fragments of their finest creations. Again, we've noted lack of response and action from the Valar in the past, but now, with the building up of the Pelori, I see them as reacting reacting impulsively and absolutely (the pendulum does swing both directions, but with the Valar the pendulum is rather large and unwieldy and it does take some time...)

As an aside: I am very intrigued by your organization of questions into posts. I am looking forward to seeing how the discussion unfolds!


Darkstone
Immortal


May 8 2013, 2:26pm

Post #10 of 110 (1197 views)
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Envy [In reply to] Can't Post

"Death is their fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy."
-Quenta Silmarillion, Of the Beginning of Days

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 2:38pm

Post #11 of 110 (1180 views)
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link in original post [In reply to] Can't Post

 
hi guys... i was having trouble with the original image in this thread.... it's now fixed.

to get the full effect, click on it, and then click on it again (your cursor probably will have turned into a magnifying glass) to get the full effect.

cheers --


..


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 8 2013, 2:47pm

Post #12 of 110 (1185 views)
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yes, perplexing and.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... for my part, distasteful.

so we're mortal. according to the valar themselves, this was the "gift," the gift from iluvatar.

so... why so angry, namo? wanting to kill just because a mortal, who is basically a good guy, and coming to knock on the doors of the valar to ask them for help?

i never, ever, never liked the concept of original sin. i do see a correlation between the catholic view and the "unclean" state of the edain, but it's something that doesn't sit well.

according to (some of) the wise of the edain, the edain originally had a longer span of years (not as long as ages), and had the ability to voluntarily pass into the halls of mandos, and that we lost that by being beguiled by morgoth (and, just saying, having a vala or two to guide us when we awoke in hildórien instead of being at the mercy of morgoth would have been +great+).

but, even if those (some) sages had it correct, we always were mortal. the valar seem to have a problem with our mortality, not any (presumed) fallenness.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 8 2013, 3:28pm

Post #13 of 110 (1207 views)
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Map of Arda based upon Tolkien's drawings [In reply to] Can't Post

Full-sized image.

This image differs significantly from the previous one, largely due to the continent that makes up the lands of Harad.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Brethil
Half-elven


May 8 2013, 5:03pm

Post #14 of 110 (1159 views)
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On uncleanliness and test of faith [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

1. It seems mortality, change, is as much the will of Eru as is immortality and preservation. Their dramatic infusion into Middle-Earth benefits not just it, but the Eldar themselves. Even though years move more swiftly and change increases, their numbers also increase.

So why do the Valar (and to a lesser extent, the Elves) treat mortality like something unclean?

"And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so thereafter no mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will may touch them."





Well two answers here. I think the Valar not wanting to interact directly with mortals might be part of Eru's plan; the Firstborn were given proof of Divinity and still Fell, and the Valar themselves had a failing of faith in initiating the Summoning. Is the removal of the relations between the mortal Men and the Valar a stage in the test of faith of the new race? As we discussed in the other chapter section, is the evolution of the Edain a key component of the Second creation? Is Eru seeking to perfect the ideal of Faith (as 'hope without guarantee - Earandil's mission exemplifying faith?) It is from manwe that we get the statement (in the time of earandil) that no mortal shall set foot on Blessed realm and live; and of course we have already read that Manwe and Mandos are more in the know about the fate of Men than the rest of the Valar. Thoughts?

I think the hallowing by Varda rather separates out the two choices - mortal flesh NOR unclean - so I don't read that as a description of mortal as unclean. Of course the two can certainly converge.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 8 2013, 5:29pm

Post #15 of 110 (1163 views)
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Some biosphere thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


2. Do you buy into this concept of the biosphere of arda, that the Elves and the Edain are not just inhabitants, but forces for health within it, like the rain and the wind?
Does this macro view make you feel differently about what is healthy for this world? Does it make you reconsider any of your previous assessments of the Valar, Elves, or Edain?
Does it make anything that happens more meaningful, or less meaningful?
Does this biosphere concept impact any thinking you've had in the previous segment regarding suffering?






I do find it an interesting concept, but I see it from a different perspective: that the biosphere changes don't occur because of the awakening of the Edain, but by the way the world is nourished: through the new Sun.

The old Arda, under the Elves, was sort of 'sleeping' I think (as the Secondborn still were). Lorien and Este (In the Blessed 'Feedback' section) ask for some darkness and starlight as the constant light has disrupted the sleep in Arda - so in my mind that starlight and nighttime equates to a restful, sleeping era (Varda makes the change, very much like one of our good Modar...). The new Arda, as Men awaken, under the fallen but blazing light of the Sun, also awakens with clouds and waterfalls (implying rains) and an explosion of growth. This brings to mind an interesting biological analogy for me...
(...especially having read Squire's link to the biology of Arda discussion. The lack of UV light for example allowing for longer telomeres on the caps of Elven DNA strands, providing for long, un-mutated replications and life spans but not changing the gamete mixing between Elf and Men. The exposure of Men to the sun, shortening the DNA strand and limiting their life-span. Merely an amusing speculative foray into fantasy biology. It would perhaps explain Cirdan's beard, having long exposure to the Sun at his great age he experienced a mutation! But that is all a whimsical side note.)...
...Back to topic: the Sun sped up the rate of growth, woke up the olvar and kelvar more than they had been before, so that's why I think the years seem to fly by faster, yet be richer. So I don't think it is a sickness, but that life simply speeds up and wakes up - appropriate for a race to govern who IS limited by time, and *must* learn to use their time wisely, So here too I don't see it as negative, a disease-state or punitive, but part of the learning experiences needed to make the 'best' of the Secondborn and maybe the best creation of the next world according to Eru's vision. So maybe I see Arda as the growing and proving ground for the ultimate vision. Perhaps Arda isn't it.
The Sun of course is the second best light, the imperfect vision...but I don't think it is second-best for Men. For them I think it is ideal. I think the second-best refers to the Elven-centric Sil perspective (appropriate) and also from their lack of understanding of the nature of Men (after all the Gift puzzles them mightlily, doesn't it? To the point of envy.)

Might be fanciful but I see an optimism in here.

(“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 8 2013, 5:36pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 8 2013, 7:46pm

Post #16 of 110 (1141 views)
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Suffering and Free Will among Men and Elves [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

3. In part 1 (still ongoing), there's a l of discussion around suffering. Suffering deals with loss: loss of health, loss of happiness, loss of stability.
Mortality is loss. Loss of life. Existence. Being.
Is suffering equivalent to mortality? If so, because the Edain are mortal, is it their lot to suffer?
If so, because the Eldar are immortal, is it unnatural that they suffer?




Well, JRRT says (Letter #181) about Elves and Men: "In this mythological world the Elves and Men are in their incarnate forms kindred, but in the relation of their "spirits" to the world in time represent different 'experiments', each of which has its own natural trend, and weakness." The Elven sprits being attached to the world with their powers of, and purpose of (oh dear here I go again...) sub-creation is what makes them 'immortal' for as long as Arda exists. Men being outside the Song and NOT bound to Arda is what makes them 'mortal'. So the differentiation is a spirit one, and two sides of the same 'experimental' coin. All for the making of the next world?

He talks about the failing of the Elves in resisting change - thus their resentment of the Edain makes sense, as they represent a huge change, including (from the Elven standpoint) the bringing of the Sun. So that is their 'weakness', and that to a large extent is what causes their suffering: resisting change which JRRT describes as the will of God. That is their choice though, free will in action (exacerbated maybe by the failing of faith of the Valar, with the Summoning?) and they do indeed suffer, through loss sadness and fatigue with the world, as well as living with regret. Ultimately they make the Three in an effort to stop change.

Men are subject to death and disease, very true. Thus things DO NOT stay the same - they change, for good or for ill, and pretty quickly. Men do not seem to resist change as a race, but looks for ways to cope. So their 'weakness' is not the refusal to change. He also writes "Here I am only concerned with Death as part of the nature, physical and spiritual, of Man, and hope without guarantees." I think then that the weakness of Men is the seeking of power and control over their short duration - and that is THEIR cause of suffering to a large extent. They want to have cake and eat it too: they seek hope WITH a guarantee - ie: what they looked for in establishing great powerful Kingdoms, sailing into the West, and accepting the Nine Rings. But hope by definition can have no guarantee; is this more of the test of faith?

I don't think he meant mortality as 'loss' because it implies the release from the suffering of the world that the Elves do not get. Plus since we don't know the Fate of Men we can't fully theorize how much of the Self (fea) is retained, and how much is lost. So I think both races can suffer as part of a plan - but the extent sort of depends on how they exercise their free will.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


telain
Rohan

May 8 2013, 9:19pm

Post #17 of 110 (1145 views)
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well... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Unless they just plain don't bathe and don't wash their clothes. Or maybe there's dirt under their fingernails and manicures didn't come along until the 4th Age.


that was Saeros' problem with Turin...Wink


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 2:41am

Post #18 of 110 (1138 views)
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And let's not even discuss those smelly Dwarves... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
Unless they just plain don't bathe and don't wash their clothes. Or maybe there's dirt under their fingernails and manicures didn't come along until the 4th Age.

that was Saeros' problem with Turin...Wink


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


telain
Rohan

May 9 2013, 2:47am

Post #19 of 110 (1118 views)
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faith and the great unwashed horde [In reply to] Can't Post

I also read "mortal" and "unclean" as separate, but it is strange to me that "unclean" and "evil" are also separate (in fact I was about to suggest that unclean meant evil, but thankfully I reread the quote before posting...) Which then begs the question -- what does "unclean" mean? The line specifically says "hands unclean, nor anything of evil..." -- does this mean the hands of Sauron nor the wings of Balrog may touch them?

True, some of the Elves' nicknames for Edain are a bit...negative... but they don't mention "Men, the Great Unwashed Horde". Humour aside, I think "unclean" is something a bit stronger (and more malevolent) than that.

The fate of the Edain is part of Eru's plan, but I wonder if it is one of those things that doesn't quite come across in the narrative particulalry well. We've just learned that the Ainur are glorious and immortal, and the Elves are glorious and immortal, and the Edain get sick and die. But wait! It's a good thing and they will all envy the Edain in time. That is a very hard pill to swallow. But it is also (I imagine) difficult to write something like the Silmarilion and have it connect somehow to history and the modern era, yet be essentially (and appropriately enigmatically) myth and legend at the same time. It is almost as though Tolkien is asking his readers to have faith, just as Eru is asking the Edain to do.


telain
Rohan

May 9 2013, 2:54am

Post #20 of 110 (1142 views)
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oh, lets! [In reply to] Can't Post

So, that was fun. I just finished replying to one of your posts when I learn you were replying to one of mine! Excellent!

I was hoping I would get to give you this reference soon, and now is my chance. I am reading Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland, and in discussing the Forest of Dean, she gives an account of a rather small group of people with a very long and storied history. They are called "Free Miners" and they are allowed to mine certain areas of certain forests if they were born in that locality. The quote that made me think of you is this:


Quote
They...were renowned for their mining skills, hardy nature, gritty determination and ferocity in battle.


Sounds like dwarves to me! Though she says nothing of chiseled good looks, hmmm...


elaen32
Gondor

May 9 2013, 6:03am

Post #21 of 110 (1126 views)
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"Cleanliness is next to Godliness"..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it's the concept of "mortal flesh" rather than mortality which the Valar see as being akin to being "unclean" here. The Valar and the Elves knew little about death and, what they had seen at the point that Varda hallowed the Silmarils was brought about by Morgoth. Their concept may have been more that death= the corruption and decay of the hroa rather than the release of the fea from the circles of the world, of which they had little understanding or knowledge.
Like you, I do not agree with the concept of original sin at all, but it is a strong tenet of catholicism. Since Tolkien was devout, it may well have been a concept that he believed in and translated into his writing, so this may be an issue here also

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


sador
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 8:53am

Post #22 of 110 (1118 views)
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I think the two are seperate. [In reply to] Can't Post

"mortal flesh" is one thing, and "hands unclean" another (and "anything of evil" is a third).

It is worth pointing out, though, that the only mortal flesh around at the time was that of the kelvar, as Men weren't around yet. It is possible that it is an omission of Varda (not realising that Men would be included), or yet still of the author's - after all, the only Man to ever touch a Silmaril did so with impunity, and so did the three half-Elven which did so (Dior, Elwing, Earendil)!
Which of course makes the case of Mandos demanding that Earendil will die once he arrives in Valinor (which he does in a way - the "undying doom" laid upon him, as he never returns to the lands of the living or is ever seen by any of them; the Valar are merely witholding the gift of death from him) particularly interesting - did Varda specifically allow him an immortal-like status, which Mandos wanted to deny?


As a side point: I'm not quite sure regarding Dwarves - neither whether they would be considered mortal for the purposes of the hallowing, nor if the Valar (except for Aule and Yavanna) were at all aware of their existence! It appears from The Ruin of Doriath that the dwarves did touch the Silmaril while setting it within the Nauglamir. However, this bit was written by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay (the ideas in JRRT's last writing of this part were clearly irreconcilable with his later ideas regarding the Dwarves), and while the image of the Dwarves working with the Silmaril went back to the Book of Lost Tales - I do not remember when was the idea of Varda hallowing the Silmarils introduced. Probably far later.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:00pm

Post #23 of 110 (1120 views)
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Musings on cleanliness. Including bubble baths. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
They...were renowned for their mining skills, hardy nature, gritty determination and ferocity in battle.


Sounds like dwarves to me! Though she says nothing of chiseled good looks, hmmm...




Haha! Thank you for thinking of me Telain!Wink That bunch sounds right up my alley...and in the interest of a cleaner Arda my task would be making sure Thorin had repeated bubble baths and iced-tea shampoos (just like the directions say - lather, rinse, repeat.) (**distracted interval**)

(**back to topic..!**) In the sense of defining 'unclean', I feel like Maehdros is a great example in point: he isn't 'evil' through and through - and in later years he actually shapes up and makes some good, even hero-ish decisions. Yet he cannot touch the Silmarils without pain. So I think in that sense 'unclean' might refer to a shadow on your soul, of living against the Song (especially if you are an Elf.). I Maehdros' case that could be the Kinslaying or the Oath, either way.

The hallowing of the Jewels does come from Varda, not Eru...so maybe including Mortal in there is just a bit of a neener-neener from the Valar in separating themselves from the potential Secondborn or the Reheaded Stepchildren (Dwarves) since the Valar at that time are so bound up and concerned with the Noldor, to an unhealthy extent. (I would guess they would know about the Dwarves eventually waking even before they do. That's just a guess but I doubt Yavanna would have kept it secret. Especially if she was annoyed about the Dwarf vs tree thing, another female Vala certainly heard about it)

You are right, I think he had a bit of a challenge, in showing the negative side of something that mortals would look at with longing - immortality. But I agree, in a way he wants us to have faith, and know it works out, because I think he is trying to elevate Men's fate by illustrating a weariness? sadness? through remaining tied to the world. Showcasing the worth of humanity with a contrasting yet beautiful inhuman model (no aspersion here, using 'inhuman' as simply different than Men)?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:03pm

Post #24 of 110 (1103 views)
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Partially [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the Elves are part of the biosphere because 1) they're bound to it, and 2) they have gifts of enchantment. That would explain why Ulmo wanted to leave the Eldar in M-E to heal it and make it a better place, rather than sit around Valar with nothing to heal and eventually get into trouble (the Noldor are the rowdy teen tribe of the Elves). And there's the bit from Gandalf that even after the Elves have left a realm it feels wholesome. No one ever says that about Men.

I think the promise of Men lies outside Arda, wherever they go when dead. They don't make it any better just as Dwarves don't, not as a whole.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:09pm

Post #25 of 110 (1104 views)
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Tolkien cheats death [In reply to] Can't Post

The funny thing is that, in a sense, there is no "mortality as loss" in Middle-earth. Elves don't die normally, and get reincarnated when they do die. Men have a Gift from Iluvatar to go somewhere else. And it's clear that they go somewhere else, and it's got to be good to be a Gift. So while death is unpleasant, it's reversible for Elves and a highway to the next incarnation for Men. For all we know, Men get reincarnated as Elves do, just in another place.

I think both races are meant to suffer to grow in wisdom, but neither is meant to suffer more than the other. I think Tolkien was a believer in "this all happens for a reason."


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:20pm

Post #26 of 110 (319 views)
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It gets worse [In reply to] Can't Post

If you think of Sam as "the everyman," he gets all excited when he sees Elves, and Elves do frequently cross the Shire, so they're not unknowns like Oliphaunts. Does he ever say, "Oh, look, Mr Frodo, Men! I should dearly love to see what Men are like." But Men are as rare in the Shire as Elves are, so why wouldn't he be just as thrilled by them? Men are normal, dull, and not capable of enchantment. Men with Rings of Power don't create Loriens and Rivendells. Gondor at its pinnacle was a wondrous place, as was Numenor, but they didn't have the sense of wonderful enchantment and beauty that Nargothrond, Tirion, and Lorien did, they were just splendid, powerful, and culturally advanced.

I don't think we're meant to believe that the Sun heralds a better phase for the world. In real-world terms, it should, since we associate the sun with everything good except droughts and sunburn. But in Arda it's that second-best light from Valinor and means the decline of the superior civilization of the Elves who made Middle-earth a better place. The advent of the Sun means the best times are behind us. It's always very sad to think of it that way.

And how's that for another reversal by Tolkien of real-world connotations? Death isn't bad, it's the Gift of Iluvatar. The Sun doesn't herald new hope, it heralds the end of enchantment.


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:20pm

Post #27 of 110 (314 views)
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Time in elfland [In reply to] Can't Post

This quesiton does remind me that Tolkien keeps up an existing tradition whereby time is different in elfland: our hero might return to find that ages had passed in his or her normal world.

In keeping with this, the Fellowship find it hard to keep track of time in Rivendell or in Lorien (and stay there for surprisingly long periods given that they are on an urgent mission).

I'm not sure whether the converse is happening to Legolas - does traveling around with a bunch of mortals make him age?

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:29pm

Post #28 of 110 (308 views)
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Look out for the unclean new neighbors [In reply to] Can't Post

Great questions, as always, Mac. You've transformed a short chapter into a feast of philosophy.

Would Men dilute/disrupt the immortality of Valinor? It seems they would. Why else would the Valar be so determined not to let them in? Maybe Men (and Women) wouldn't cause the Elves and Valar to lose their immortality, but it seems the mortals would dilute the blessedness of the place by being so tacky that they die in it. And really, would you want your neighbors dying in your living room? Best to keep them at a distance and over the fence.

But it's also possible that the spiritual energy of Valinor would make Men die sooner, as the Silmaril from Valinor hastened the death of Luthien while enhancing her beauty. So maybe the paternalistic (and maternalistic) Valar were doing what was right for Men (and Women).

Many thanks for leading this chapter discussion!


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:39pm

Post #29 of 110 (315 views)
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Two Tolkien ideas collide? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been wondering whether there are 2 ideas which collide here.
In Tolkien, as in older fantasy traditions (I think), the elves often read like idealized humans - wiser, more beautiful, better at creating things, more in tune with nature. And immortal (perhaps "of course" since death isn't a popular feature of life). Maybe at best we see it as a least-worst option: the vet with the humane killer is an mercy option if your horse has just been in a horrible road traffic accident, but not a nice thing you'd do for your favourtie horse (or favourite human) under normal circumstances.

Then we have the Edain and their deliberately mysterious "gift". Death as not only natural but wonderful and positive (in a mysterious way). I wonder whether this idea didn't completely and consistently replace the "immortality = better" influences (if Tolkien would have seen an inconsistency at all).

I'm also thinking of Aragorn's death scene - he decided to self-destruct at "the right time" after a long and useful life. Maybe this is the ideal, in Tolkien's mind. But I dislike the scene - he seems uncharacteristically callous to Arwen, who doesn't want their time together to end quite yet (and perhaps never will). It seems relevant to me somehow, but I've not been able to thing k exactly how (so thought I'd put it up, in case someone else has an idea)

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:45pm

Post #30 of 110 (301 views)
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Differentiating mortal and unclean (and evil)? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"mortal flesh" is one thing, and "hands unclean" another (and "anything of evil" is a third). I think so too Sador.

It is worth pointing out, though, that the only mortal flesh around at the time was that of the kelvar, as Men weren't around yet. It is possible that it is an omission of Varda (not realising that Men would be included), or yet still of the author's - after all, the only Man to ever touch a Silmaril did so with impunity, and so did the three half-Elven which did so (Dior, Elwing, Earendil)!
Which of course makes the case of Mandos demanding that Earendil will die once he arrives in Valinor (which he does in a way - the "undying doom" laid upon him, as he never returns to the lands of the living or is ever seen by any of them; the Valar are merely witholding the gift of death from him) particularly interesting - did Varda specifically allow him an immortal-like status, which Mandos wanted to deny? In Letter #153 (was reading it for another point but saw this) JRRT talks about the Choice of the Half-kindred but in it says that the Valar do not have the power to change anyone's status or make those decisions themselves - so I think it might apply to Earandil, in that Manwe reads the answer but the ruling comes from Eru. In #297 he says that Earandil's voyage breaks two rules - Mortals in Aman and the Ban. But the reason he cannot set foot back in ME is stated to be because of being part descended from Men (but his courage is rewarded, not punished) so is it, as I thought upthread, more of the evolution of faith in the new generation? That no Man walk with in Arda having seen the Divine and therefore have proof of it?


As a side point: I'm not quite sure regarding Dwarves - neither whether they would be considered mortal for the purposes of the hallowing, nor if the Valar (except for Aule and Yavanna) were at all aware of their existence! It appears from The Ruin of Doriath that the dwarves did touch the Silmaril while setting it within the Nauglamir. However, this bit was written by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay (the ideas in JRRT's last writing of this part were clearly irreconcilable with his later ideas regarding the Dwarves), and while the image of the Dwarves working with the Silmaril went back to the Book of Lost Tales - I do not remember when was the idea of Varda hallowing the Silmarils introduced. Probably far later. That's true because of course the Dwarves certainly work it into the Nauglamir. Would tools be contacting it more than hands? (Not a good enough explanation to me.) I consulted Arda Reconstructed on Chapter 7 and Varda's hallowing and don't see any major edits to this section... in BoLT II the theme of the Dwarves and the necklace is so prevalent and repeated its hard not to say that was indeed his picture of the story. And Earandil easily wears the Silamaril on his brow, which gave Morgoth a hellish headache...can we say that maybe despite Varda wanting to hallow them from Mortal hands, Eru didn't see it that way, and that the Unclean and Evil are barred but mortals are not? In which that would mean definitely that the definitions of unclean, evil and mortal are separate.


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:45pm

Post #31 of 110 (336 views)
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I'm not sure I'm going to come to an agree/disagree view about the Biosphere theory [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure I'm going to come to an agree/disagree view about the Biosphere theory. But I'll keep it in mind as an interesting idea as we move forward with the read-through. Some thoughts, however:

1) It sounds a bit like the Gaia Hypothesis

Quote
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

2) If the Elves and the Edain represent forces of preservation and forces of change, its interesting that they are complementary, rather than in opposition. The elves aren't always building things which the Men are smashing , for example.

3) Also that some elves are changers (e.g. Feanor) and some Men are preservers (Denethor, regretting that things aren't as good as the old days)

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


sador
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:50pm

Post #32 of 110 (302 views)
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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

2. Do you buy into this concept of the biosphere of arda, that the Elves and the Edain are not just inhabitants, but forces for health within it, like the rain and the wind?
It is surely interesting. But what of the Moriquendi?

Does this make you feel differently about what is healthy for this world?

Considering the fact that on the one hand it was the coming of Men and the Sun which made all of Yavanna's plants grow, but on the other hand there is that excerpt about Hollin you've cited somewhere in this thread - I tend to think Tolkien wasn't quite consistent about this.

Does it make you reconsider any of your previous assessments of the Valar, Elves, or Edain?
It appears the Moriquendi are really insignificant.

Does it make anything that happens more meaningful, or less meaningful?

I don't see it as changing much either way.

Does this biosphere concept impact any thinking you've had in the previous segment regarding suffering?
How? Because Morgoth's realm was in the human part of the biosphere?







Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 12:53pm

Post #33 of 110 (299 views)
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Men's promise past Arda [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

I think the promise of Men lies outside Arda, wherever they go when dead. They don't make it any better just as Dwarves don't, not as a whole.




I agree CG. I feel like their glory days are somewhere else in the mythos, either in their afterlife or in the second creation. Kind of gives distant hope while retaining the mystery. We know the Dwarves too will have a role in the second world - bit of a gift to Aule?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 1:03pm

Post #34 of 110 (308 views)
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Men need distance from the Divine? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Great questions, as always, Mac. You've transformed a short chapter into a feast of philosophy. I second that thought!

But it's also possible that the spiritual energy of Valinor would make Men die sooner, as the Silmaril from Valinor hastened the death of Luthien while enhancing her beauty. So maybe the paternalistic (and maternalistic) Valar were doing what was right for Men (and Women). Good point here CG. Can we extrapolate here too then - that the retreat of Arda from Valinor (physically and spiritually) is needed for the safety of Men? Is that why the divine must remain distant, and Men must have faith instead of contact? Maybe since their spirits aren't tethered to Arda they are more fragile (and thus their hroa also more fragile.)

Many thanks for leading this chapter discussion! Seconded again Mac!


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 1:30pm

Post #35 of 110 (309 views)
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thanks : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks, otaku : )

when i was googling for maps i came across many fantastic ones... i know the map isn't the most accurate in some ways (the changes to the lands over time); i was just looking for something mappish that would generally convey the general regions of activity for the two peoples, and that would look like a reference one would find in an article.

i love maps! so thankful that tolkien loved them, too. : )

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 1:43pm

Post #36 of 110 (374 views)
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morgoth and mortality, entropy [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i think morgoth creates disease... but death? does he truly introduce that? i got the impression that there was death in middle-earth, but perhaps the olvar and the kelvar had longer lifespans at that time (the sun / the edain quicken everything)... but also... setting aside the possibility of longer lifespans in the early days for the kelvar and olvar.... they'd be killing (and eating) each other... so there +had+ to be some death, that had nothing to do with melkor.

not sure how they handled the kelvar and the olvar in aman.... supposedly everything that had ever lived or that would lived inhabited it (except for the edain, presumably), but how did that work? did the deer not eat the grass? did the wolves not eat the deer? did the birds not eat the worms? did the elves not eat the deer, or the plants?

i think you make a great point that the valar and the eldar, even if they know +about+ the "gift," could probably not comprehend it, and it may have unsettled them mightily (especially the eldar), as it would seem inherently unnatural for them.

if the "gift" is a test of faith for the edain, in a way it is also a test for the valar and the eldar... to accept that the edain are +not+ unnatural, and to welcome and work with this race, one of the beloved children of iluvatar ('tho i kind of get more of the "beloved" feeling around the eldar; i don't generally get the feeling that tolkien holds the edain as "beloved").

yes, i can see how the thought of mortality around the light of the two trees, in the silmarils, would be unsettling for them. but, honestly, how could the mortality of the edain have affected them?

(an aside: thanks, telain : ) i thought it might make the flow of conversations move more easily if i broke out the questions separately.)


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on May 9 2013, 1:45pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 2:36pm

Post #37 of 110 (303 views)
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perhaps.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
..but wouldn't this envy come about later, rather than at the dawn of the edain? yes, much time has passed for the valar and the eldar, but they are both in their youth, so to speak. they haven't yet spent enough time in the world to get weary of it yet. it seems premature for envy.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


sador
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 2:42pm

Post #38 of 110 (288 views)
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Why do you equate suffering with loss? [In reply to] Can't Post

As several thinikers (both westren and oriental) put it, true suffering is of the mind.

Is suffering equivalent to mortality?
No; an eternal life of regret is also a great suffering - and the reason so many of the Eldar end up feeling weary of the world.
Our imagination might not easily encompass this type of eternal loss - but as a deeply religious man, Tolkien thought he could.

If so, because the Edain are mortal, is it their lot to suffer?
According to your definition, of course!

If so, because the Eldar are immortal, is it unnatural that they suffer?

No. As Legolas says in The Great River, all things under the sun wear down in the end.
However, in Farewell to Lorien, Gimli states that in the Elves's eyes, memory is akin to the living world, rather than just a mirror; in that case, perhaps they should not grieve so?


As a side point - Gimli's words firmly establish Dwarves as mortals, which we've dibated earlier this week.






cheers --



Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 2:47pm

Post #39 of 110 (286 views)
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"fall" is a strong word [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i think "fall" is a strong word, in regards to the eldar. i don't see how they fell. did you truly mean the word "fall" and all it's connotations (in a state of sin, outside of grace, incredible, spiritual transgression), or were you being poetic?

i see it more like your second phrasing ("failing of faith")... but my position with the eldar is that the valar should never have brought them to aman, so the desire of the noldor to go there was entirely natural, and right, even if it was clouded by feanor's motivation.

another thing that i find interesting, since we're talking about faith: both the valar and the eldar get to see a manifestation of eru's plan. the valar see it in the vision of the music, and the eldar see it in the beauty of aman, which is as close as one is going to get to undimmed and untainted before melkor spoils it.

the edain never get to see the vision or the manifestation. earendil is half-elven, so he's not quite wholly edain. same with elwing. beren is swept straight to mandos, to which all edain go. perhaps the only edain that see the unclouded, physical manifestation are ar-pharazon and his crew? i think some of them actually stepped foot on the main island.

re varda's words... she may not mean the things as interchangeable, but she does group them together, which indicate a commonality, which i find troubling. hey! one of those is a gift from eru!


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


sador
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 3:02pm

Post #40 of 110 (284 views)
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I'm not sure about this comparison. [In reply to] Can't Post

Could you please elucidate it further?

but do you actually buy this argument? That Middle-Earth got a lot better when the Edain appeared, and got a lot worse as the Elves left en masse for Aman?
Well yes, in a way - it appears that the world is better with the Children on it. Although seeing that the Children belong to the Third Theme, there seems to be no good reason for it.
Perhaps it is just coincidental - the world works better with light.

Again, if you buy this argument, and the biosphere approach, has Middle-Earth sickened with the departure of the Elves?

You mean at the end of the Third Age?
Well, it changed. It became "disenchanted". Is that good or bad? Would you rather live in the Middle-ages?

Are the Edain like vigorous white cells, scrubbing away old tissue so new tissue can grow?

That's a nice take on Man's interference with the eco-system!
I mostly hear and read people complaining about it.

Are the Eldar like anti-oxidant features of the body?
Hmm... I always imagined the last fruit of Laurelin to be something like a citrus; but it is Men who are associated with the Sun...



sador
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 3:30pm

Post #41 of 110 (293 views)
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Do you want some of my miruvor? [In reply to] Can't Post

You see, I've remembered. Smile
Have some - it's good! It's July 2008 vintage, by the way - just the right thing for finishing one's first_chapter_discussion!

To your questions:

If the Eldar and the Edain are operating, natural forces within Arda, and part of its balance, so must too be the Ainur.
I actually challange this premise. The Ainur were before Arda, and will always be in a way external to it. Elves and Men are being Iluvatar created especially for Arda, and are different.

Would a member of the Edain achieve immortality by living there? Bilbo, Frodo (and presumably Sam and Gimli) travel there to live for an extended period of time. But they are not of immortal race, but mortal.

In the Akallabeth, the messengers of Manwe tell Tar-Atanamir they would not; Sauron, however, tells Ar-Pharazon he would.
It's your choice who to believe - but Manwe has at least one advantage - he actually lives in Aman. Sauron doesn't.

Is Aman preserved through the high concentration of Valar and Eldar?

In the Ambarkanta (which squire will discuss next year), it was stated that the atmosphere in Valinor is physically different. So as far as that concept was preserved - no.

Is this why Aman can extend the life of mortals?
I don't think it really can.

Would the preserved status of Aman be in danger if a high enough concentration of the Edain settled there? Middle-Earth responded to their awakening with rapid change and aging. Aman is part of Arda, and we know the land itself does not impart mortality. Could the Edain physically disrupt the eternity of Aman, just by their presence?

Well, the Great Fleet aparantly did disrupt Aman. It is not quite clear why the Valar took such a radical action against it - or actually, why they were frightened enough to lay down their mandate and call upon the One.

Is the mortality of the Edain powerful enough to disrupt the immortality of the Ainu, even though the Ainu themselves are the most powerful beings in Arda?

No. But the Gift of Iluvatar is - as they have the power to change the fate as expressed in the Music.

Thank you Maciliel!


Darkstone
Immortal


May 9 2013, 5:11pm

Post #42 of 110 (294 views)
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"Aside the Devil turned, For envy..." [In reply to] Can't Post

"Rab Judah said in Rab's name: When the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to create man, He [first] created a company of ministering angels and said to them: Is it your desire that we make a man in our image? They answered: Sovereign of the Universe, what will be his deeds? Such and such will be his deeds, He replied. Thereupon they exclaimed: Sovereign of the Universe, What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou thinkest of him?"
- Sanhedrin 38b

There are tales in other religious writings of Angels being envious of Man.

Of course the most famous instance is that of Satan, who envied Adam and Eve and so caused all sorts of trouble.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



(This post was edited by Darkstone on May 9 2013, 5:19pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 5:17pm

Post #43 of 110 (278 views)
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Yes, it's been "glorious," as promised, Mac [In reply to] Can't Post

We shall remember what Sador promised at the same time: "I'll have no choice but to take Of the Coming of Men Into the West, and show people how it's really done."

Which we know was a joke, of course, but are looking forward to it all the same.



Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 5:55pm

Post #44 of 110 (266 views)
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Fall - It is a strong word! [In reply to] Can't Post


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i think "fall" is a strong word, in regards to the eldar. i don't see how they fell. did you truly mean the word "fall" and all it's connotations (in a state of sin, outside of grace, incredible, spiritual transgression), or were you being poetic? ...And although I have always taken the revolt of the Noldor and the Kinslaying as a terrible set of acts, I would not have used such a strong word - if JRRT didn't use it himself. In Letter #212 "In Elvish legends there is a record of a strange case of an Elf (Miriel) who wanted to die, which had disastrous results, leading to the Fall of the High Elves." He makes quite a few references to the idea of a Fall with a capital F and a fall with a lower case f... (quite a long discussion of it in Letter #131) and I think mostly it refers to their turning away from divinity and the resultant slaying of Elf by Elf. (The second fall is the Elvish desire to preserve things unchanged.)

i see it more like your second phrasing ("failing of faith")... but my position with the eldar is that the valar should never have brought them to aman, so the desire of the noldor to go there was entirely natural, and right, even if it was clouded by feanor's motivation. I agree Mac...the Summoning is a failure of faith of the Valar, not of the Noldor. In that way they are the children in the equation who are misguided - with great love, but still misguided.

another thing that i find interesting, since we're talking about faith: both the valar and the eldar get to see a manifestation of eru's plan. the valar see it in the vision of the music, and the eldar see it in the beauty of aman, which is as close as one is going to get to undimmed and untainted before melkor spoils it. Yes, though Men seem to have a harder time deciphering the messages. I love your idea of the Song coursing endlessly through the waters and how that made Ulmo so wise...and it a poetic way explains our instinctive love of trickling water and crashing waves.

the edain never get to see the vision or the manifestation. earendil is half-elven, so he's not quite wholly edain. same with elwing. beren is swept straight to mandos, to which all edain go. perhaps the only edain that see the unclouded, physical manifestation are ar-pharazon and his crew? i think some of them actually stepped foot on the main island. Yes they do, and camp there - before they are buried alive (yikes, not my kind of camping trip!) That is indeed the veritable straw that breaks the back of Numenor. re varda's words... she may not mean the things as interchangeable, but she does group them together, which indicate a commonality, which i find troubling. hey! one of those is a gift from eru! True! I know! That's why I see it as a bit...(I said neener-neener earlier) patrician (being polite). Does it underline the huge gap of comprehension about the Gift and the fate of Men that the Valar have?


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 6:19pm

Post #45 of 110 (279 views)
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I *think* they are complimentary ideas NoWiz [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel like they go hand in hand because one is used to shine light upon the other; a frightening part of life to us - death - is removed from the Elven equation: they aren't ecstatically happy, they suffer too, but for longer spans until life itself is a weariness. Our reality - death - he tries to showcase as 'gift' option that ends that type of long fade and implies *some* (?) sort of afterlife reward. So I think he is consistent in his ideals - because he does say that his concern with death relate to Men's spiritual journey, not Immortals (summing up here).

Is what he is trying to get at with Aragorn's choice of death, and maybe Arwen's difficulties with it are more of the same, in showing how it would have been easier for her to accept if she had been born mortal, but as Elf-kind it is still a mystery? And that the key to joy at the end is acceptance of fate? Its a rough road for Arwen - Ardamire has that great line about it as his footer. And their time together must have gone by so fast for her.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 9:33pm

Post #46 of 110 (259 views)
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Though it's never stated outright [In reply to] Can't Post

I always get the feeling you are correct about Men being too fragile and needing insulation from the divine.

"Can we extrapolate here too then - that the retreat of Arda from Valinor (physically and spiritually) is needed for the safety of Men? Is that why the divine must remain distant, and Men must have faith instead of contact? Maybe since their spirits aren't tethered to Arda they are more fragile (and thus their hroa also more fragile.)"


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 9:56pm

Post #47 of 110 (246 views)
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mortality and decay [In reply to] Can't Post

[elaen32]

In Reply To
Maybe it's the concept of "mortal flesh" rather than mortality which the Valar see as being akin to being "unclean" here. The Valar and the Elves knew little about death and, what they had seen at the point that Varda hallowed the Silmarils was brought about by Morgoth. Their concept may have been more that death= the corruption and decay of the hroa rather than the release of the fea from the circles of the world, of which they had little understanding or knowledge.
Like you, I do not agree with the concept of original sin at all, but it is a strong tenet of catholicism. Since Tolkien was devout, it may well have been a concept that he believed in and translated into his writing, so this may be an issue here also

[/elaen32]

yes, the further we discuss these things, and the more folks (like brethil) unearth what tolkien explicitly says, via letters, the more i get the feeling that the concept of original sin, eden, all of it are inextricably part of tolkien, and it would have been difficult for him to construct a world without these themes, because they permeate his subconscious.

i think you make an excellent point regarding what exactly do the valar and eldar fear.... morality must be accompanied by decay (unless we're talking miriel's body being guarded by este's maidens). that was probably quite disturbing to them, and threatening. i don't think that contact with the flesh of the edain would have sullied the silmarils in any way, but i guess they were being overprotective.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 10:04pm

Post #48 of 110 (247 views)
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Elves and the disturbing sight of Death [In reply to] Can't Post


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[elaen32]

In Reply To
Maybe it's the concept of "mortal flesh" rather than mortality which the Valar see as being akin to being "unclean" here. The Valar and the Elves knew little about death and, what they had seen at the point that Varda hallowed the Silmarils was brought about by Morgoth. Their concept may have been more that death= the corruption and decay of the hroa rather than the release of the fea from the circles of the world, of which they had little understanding or knowledge.
Like you, I do not agree with the concept of original sin at all, but it is a strong tenet of catholicism. Since Tolkien was devout, it may well have been a concept that he believed in and translated into his writing, so this may be an issue here also

yes, the further we discuss these things, and the more folks (like brethil) unearth what tolkien explicitly says, via letters, the more i get the feeling that the concept of original sin, eden, all of it are inextricably part of tolkien, and it would have been difficult for him to construct a world without these themes, because they permeate his subconscious.

i think you make an excellent point regarding what exactly do the valar and eldar fear.... morality must be accompanied by decay (unless we're talking miriel's body being guarded by este's maidens). that was probably quite disturbing to them, and threatening. i don't think that contact with the flesh of the edain would have sullied the silmarils in any way, but i guess they were being overprotective.




That's a great point about the decay of the hroa. I know its jumping to Film (but its a great example) a bit but I love that puzzled, head-tilting look Legolas has as Boromir lies dying. So innately alien to them, and of course Men are so obviously affected by it...must be very disturbing.

I do think that tenets of JRRT's belief are in the mythos, very subtle, and not a direct parallel to his RL beliefs, but very close in spirit I think.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 10:05pm

Post #49 of 110 (246 views)
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the meaning of murder when you can rebody [In reply to] Can't Post

 
so, we're pretty much all agreed (except for maybe feanor and co and melkor) that the elf kinslaying is bad.

but, all those elves that "died," well.... they didn't +really+ die, did they? their hroar were destroyed, but all have the possibility to come back, and the vast majority probably will.

so, it's an awful act, but it's not quite like murder that we know, when the entire existence of someone is irrevocably changed within arda.

thingol talking about killing beren because he had the "temerity" to ask for luthien's hand, and propelling him on a quest designed to kill him.... that seems a greater crime than kinslaying -- because elves get a do-over.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 10:14pm

Post #50 of 110 (251 views)
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Yes and no [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, dang, Darkstone already said that.

Anyway, I have a similar sense about Aragorn's death, noWiz, that he's rather dismissive of Arwen's distraught state a la Aule and Yavanna. I'm never sure if I should attribute that to him being old and dying and not at his best, or if he doesn't understand her in a husband/wife way, or if it's something else. Sometimes I wonder if he's a True Believer in the Gift of Iluvatar, and when you're a True Believer in anything, you genuinely can't understand why other people don't get it too.

But Brethil nails another possibility, that after a long happy life together, Aragorn just assumes Arwen gets it, when fundamentally as an immortal, she doesn't and maybe can't. (And Ardamire's footer is one of my all-time favorite quotes.) Luthien doesn't seem as puzzled and upset as Arwen, but she's been to Mandos and back and can truly say, "Been there, done that."

As for the two ideas of Elves/immortality = better, and Gift of Illuvatar = better, I'd agree with Brethil that they're supposed to collide in a way to shed light on each other. Whichever of these gifts you have, you want the other, and each has its blessings and drawbacks, and you see the blessings of the one you don't have. Arwen would feel the rewards after death, but leading up to her lonely death in Lorien, she seems beset only by the bitter aspects of mortality.


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 10:21pm

Post #51 of 110 (301 views)
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elves as witnesses to death [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i'm not sure about legolas in particular, but there's a chance in his (at least) 500 years he's seen some folks die... if he winds up at the battle of five armies in pjackson's th:bo5a, he surely has.

i think what may be different for him (re gandalf's death and boromir's death) is the permanence of death... (none of the company had any inkling that gandalf +could+ come back, let alone would). being personally invested in someone who is not going to hang out in mandos for a while and rebody.

when i see (film reference) the elven bodies pile up in the two towers, at helm's deep, it is horrible, but it's not like they can't come back.

which brings me to another thing i've been thinking on....

re rebodying... in morgoth's ring tolkien writes that when elves are rebodied they are born among their families. he makes it seem like they usually +wouldn't+ be reborn to their parents, but to other elves within their family.

additionally, if the rebodied elf had a spouse, because elves bond for life and that is part of the normalcy/stability of their presence in arda, they are rebodied in such a time and place so that they will most certainly meet their spouse again, and have the opportunity to remarry.

so when i'm thinking of all these elves that are slain or die... from the wars of beleriand to those like the teleri in aman... i wonder... if a teleri on tol eressea slips on the dock, hits his head, falls into the bay and drowns, will he be rebodied somewhere in ossiriand or beleriand, because that's where is family are or that's where his wife is?

i have this picture of elves popping up in both aman and the mainland, swishing back and forth, because of all the complexities due to sundered kindreds and marriages.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


elaen32
Gondor

May 9 2013, 10:28pm

Post #52 of 110 (299 views)
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What a difference one letter makes..... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

what exactly do the valar and eldar fear.... morality must be accompanied by decay. that was probably quite disturbing to them, and threatening


Must have been worrying for such moral beings!WinkCrazy Usually I could make some sort of comment as to the relationship between decay and morality, but I'm half asleep- it being 23:25 here!! Any thoughts, Brethil?Evil Sorry, couldn't resistLaugh

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 10:35pm

Post #53 of 110 (303 views)
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lmdao! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
so.... perhaps this whole thing with the valar and the eldar being skeeved out by us is because of a typo?

i suppose it doesn't help that "mor" means "dark" and is the first part of "morgoth" and the first part of "mortal."

it's all rumil's fault. he didn't proofread carefully.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 10:56pm

Post #54 of 110 (292 views)
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**lots of giggling here** [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To

what exactly do the valar and eldar fear.... morality must be accompanied by decay. that was probably quite disturbing to them, and threatening


Must have been worrying for such moral beings!WinkCrazy Usually I could make some sort of comment as to the relationship between decay and morality, but I'm half asleep- it being 23:25 here!! Any thoughts, Brethil?Evil Sorry, couldn't resistLaugh




So those rampant bubble baths I have planned for Thorin will for the best! Now I'm obligated, MORALLY. Really.

Thanks Elaen!!! (This thread just gets better and better Mac!)Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 9 2013, 10:58pm

Post #55 of 110 (293 views)
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they're [In reply to] Can't Post

 
they're never going to let us into valinor now.

but if thorin's not going there, what's the point, anyway?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 11:26pm

Post #56 of 110 (296 views)
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I'll keep immorality over immortality any day... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
they're never going to let us into valinor now. (**haha!**)

but if thorin's not going there, what's the point, anyway?





Mac you crack me up!!! Smile
All the cool kids hang out in Arda anyway. Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 1:40am

Post #57 of 110 (290 views)
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Grass being greener [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Whichever of these gifts you have, you want the other, and each has its blessings and drawbacks, and you see the blessings of the one you don't have. Arwen would feel the rewards after death, but leading up to her lonely death in Lorien, she seems beset only by the bitter aspects of mortality.




THAT is a simply timeless, universal statement that you've arrived at CG. No matter if one is deathless or at death's door - its just the nature of living, sentient, curious beings to seek 'the other thing' that they don't have.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 1:41am

Post #58 of 110 (290 views)
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sufferin' succotash [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[sador] As several thinikers (both westren and oriental) put it, true suffering is of the mind.

Is suffering equivalent to mortality?
No; an eternal life of regret is also a great suffering - and the reason so many of the Eldar end up feeling weary of the world.
Our imagination might not easily encompass this type of eternal loss - but as a deeply religious man, Tolkien thought he could.

If so, because the Edain are mortal, is it their lot to suffer?
According to your definition, of course!

If so, because the Eldar are immortal, is it unnatural that they suffer?

No. As Legolas says in The Great River, all things under the sun wear down in the end.
However, in Farewell to Lorien, Gimli states that in the Elves's eyes, memory is akin to the living world, rather than just a mirror; in that case, perhaps they should not grieve so?


As a side point - Gimli's words firmly establish Dwarves as mortals, which we've dibated earlier this week.


cheers -- [/sador]


well, in the way i described it in the originating post.... much suffering deals with loss.... physical suffering.... loss of health, loss of a normal state of an absence of pain. emotional suffering.... loss of a feeling of safety, loss of love and/or a feeling of being loved, loss of a loved one, loss of an opportunity that could be life-sustaining or life-changing. so, i think suffering has a lot to do with loss.

you might find this interesting (or not! : ) ), but when i think of the edain -- us edain -- i don't immediately think "suffering!" i think of growth, opportunity, diversity, richness.... when i reflect some more, of course i think it would be very unusual for any of us to leave arda without experiencing great loss. ideally, as a member of the edain, we will experience being loved by others and loving others. it is very likely, if one is experiencing that love over time, that some people who love us and whom we love will die before us; thus, we will -- ideally -- experience this sort of loss.

hopefully, that's the only kind of loss we'll experience, that kind of loss that, by its definition, means that we meant something to someone, and others were equally significant to us.

other kinds of loss i'm sure we could all do without and still be good, wonderful people. some of the other suffering i've described.

i ardently disagree with the sages who deem that true suffering is of the mind. i +think+ you may mean to be describing a philosophy that says, roughly, "it's all in our heads, and we can just rethink ourselves to a place where nothing distresses us" (if this is not the case, please and absolutely, do clarify).

while i absolutely have in my understanding the the mind has powerful influence over the body, and have in my understanding that things like learned optimism and having a positive attitude can make critical differences in how we can lead better lives, i think equating all suffering to a "less enlightened state of thinking" does great disservice to edainity.

re elves, memory, and the living world.... interesting... my first impression was that this may have the opposite effect.

one of the reasons that the edain can balance their grief better over time is that it gets incorporated into a larger framework, and may even get moved to the back row.

if an elf experiences loss not as a past thing, but a present and very real thing, present reality, how can that elf move forward? it's almost as if that elf has pstd, in which (for the edain), traumatic experiences of the past feel as if they are actually happening in the present.




cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on May 10 2013, 1:43am)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 2:03am

Post #59 of 110 (277 views)
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elucidating upon the two trees, two races metaphor [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[sador] Could you please elucidate it further?

but do you actually buy this argument? That Middle-Earth got a lot better when the Edain appeared, and got a lot worse as the Elves left en masse for Aman?
Well yes, in a way - it appears that the world is better with the Children on it. Although seeing that the Children belong to the Third Theme, there seems to be no good reason for it.
Perhaps it is just coincidental - the world works better with light.

Again, if you buy this argument, and the biosphere approach, has Middle-Earth sickened with the departure of the Elves?

You mean at the end of the Third Age?
Well, it changed. It became "disenchanted". Is that good or bad? Would you rather live in the Middle-ages?

Are the Edain like vigorous white cells, scrubbing away old tissue so new tissue can grow?

That's a nice take on Man's interference with the eco-system!
I mostly hear and read people complaining about it.

Are the Eldar like anti-oxidant features of the body?
Hmm... I always imagined the last fruit of Laurelin to be something like a citrus; but it is Men who are associated with the Sun...
[/sador]



sure. : ) (re the elucidation.)

as i saw it, in my tree/races revelation, was that this rendition of arda was at its noontide when both children of iluvatar were plentiful and growing and exchanging.

each race has a purpose in arda. one is preserving, the other changing. yin and yang. when the bulk of elves are in aman and not contributing to the greater good of middle-earth (somewhere in the third age/fourth age) an imbalance begins. the elves are not present to preserve and heal the hurts of middle-earth. when they leave and as the few that remain fade, that special healing, and the spiritual healing, is stripped from middle-earth, and the forces of the edain (change, often without heed to preserving and healing) grow apace, with their natural checks removed.

likewise, there was imbalance when the eldar moved about aman and middle-earth while the edain were not yet born. much of middle-earth was still in the sleep of yavanna. promises that were yet to be kept, wonders that had yet to awaken.

during this brief time, when both races were in balance and contributing equally, middle-earth flourished, and was it its best state to combat the evils of morgoth and sauron. no, they could not win an ultimate victory over a vala, but that war belongs to arda marred. the music always orchestrated a time for both the eldar and the edain to stand tall and share their gifts equally. this was the balance, and the noontide.


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 2:15am

Post #60 of 110 (281 views)
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agreed. and no bubble bath can help Maedhros... [In reply to] Can't Post

Great example (Maedhros). I especially like "shadow on your soul"; an action so significantly wrong that the pureness of the Silmarils would burn the bearer. Am I wrong in thinking there was some discussion a few chapters ago regarding whether Feanor would be able to touch the Silmarils? I think I am falling on the side of "not without third degree burns."

And someone asked about whether the Dwarves would be considered mortal (and hence unable to touch ye hallowed Silmarils.) I think that they would be mortal, since they do have a life-span, and hence "no touching". And great point about the hallowing coming from Varda not Eru. I think that is very important since I don't think Eru would have done so -- it is strange enough that the Edain seem sundered from the Valar; Eru disallowing the Edain to touch the Silmarils seems a bridge too far for Eru...

...unless there is something in that action (i.e., the hallowing) that I'm missing...


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 2:28am

Post #61 of 110 (277 views)
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who can touch a silmaril [In reply to] Can't Post

 
it was brethil who voiced that on a chapter thread.

i, too, from the first time i read the silmarilion as a kid also thought there was no way, after the kinslaying, that feanor could have held one without it burning him to a crisp. seeing as he was rather fiery himself, it probably wouldn't have taken much to spark the blaze.

i have a hard time envisioning the dwarves creating the nauglimir without touching it, but if they touched it, presumably it would have burned them? weird visions of dwarves handling the silmaril with scraps of cloth and metal tongs.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 2:31am

Post #62 of 110 (274 views)
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excellent point about death [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe Morgoth simply makes death seem "unclean", or "evil". I am thinking along these lines since death is becoming even more strongly linked with disease with the Dawn of the Edain. Perhaps "predatory" death (for want of a more poetic term) was simply part of the kelvar/olvar cycle -- as you mentioned above -- but now that things can die of disease, it puts a rather different spin on things. Now death can be unclean. It can entail great suffering and death can really seem to have no purpose.

Comparing Edain to Eldar there exists a very strange situation: they are Children of Eru and therefore absolutely natural ("natural" here meaning Part of the Song), but they are so different from the Firstborn that the Firstborn see them as unnatural (as you mention.) To think that the two ever found common ground, I think, is actually quite a coup -- and perhaps that is one of the messages Tolkien is trying to tell us -- if these two groups can get along with each other (even only if from time to time), then why not people with so much more in common? (i.e., different modern nationalities, ethnicities, religions, etc.) I would be the first to admit it is a bit of a stretch, but perhaps not...


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 2:37am

Post #63 of 110 (276 views)
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well, when the Men of Bree are your closest examples of Edain-kind... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I can't imagine Sam would be too thrilled to see more of them!


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 2:39am

Post #64 of 110 (270 views)
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still laughing... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
... but it seems the mortals would dilute the blessedness of the place by being so tacky that they die in it. And really, would you want your neighbors dying in your living room?


especially the tacky part.



Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 2:41am

Post #65 of 110 (279 views)
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That hallowing is tricky...and I think there is something important in there. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I almost think he is playing sleight-of-hand with us, similar to how he has Treebeard give misleading info about the creation of the Orcs - because Treebeard ISN'T the narrator or the Wise and doesn't know the right answer. But that is only stated in Letters, never in canon. Tricksy.... and realistic.

We have Varda including mortals in the hallowing: but we have the Dwarves, in all stages of the telling (including BoLT) making the Nauglamir. At no point is the difficulty raised of them not being able to touch it. And the hallowing seems not to be a CT edit - looks like what JRRT wrote. In addition Earandil was unable to return to the shores of ME because he was part mortal - yet he wears a Silmaril on his brow without ill effect. Beren touched it, and Elwing, and Dior - we never read about it burning them, despite the one being mortal and the other two being fractions.

So what I wonder is if that although Varda desired it, her power ultimately comes from Eru - and maybe he didn't. I feel like its a bit of a logic puzzle there; but if correct, it means that JRRT via Eru was giving mortality a different and higher valuation than Varda, who groups it rather distastefully (as Mac points out) wth uncleanliness and evil.

Does this make sense? I hope so.

Ah yes - Feanor. I can picture a powerful scene post-Kinslaying and Oath had he recovered a beloved Silmaril, work of his hands and heart - and it burned him. Tragic.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 10 2013, 2:46am)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 2:46am

Post #66 of 110 (275 views)
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visions of the edain [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
... I can't imagine Sam would be too thrilled to see more of them!


(frodo, hearing the drunken, guttural cursing and unintelligible rumbling of drunken men tottering home from the prancing pony): sam! listen! men!

{the two scramble up a bramble-y slope to peer at the shaggy hulks careening back and forth along the road.)

(frodo): they're going to the yard, behind the stables. to relieve themselves in the trough.

(sam): they're leaving without paying their bill.

(frodo): never to return. until their hangovers are done.

(sam): i don't know why... it makes me sad.




cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 2:48am

Post #67 of 110 (267 views)
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...And that guy belching with the carrot! gasp! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 2:50am

Post #68 of 110 (272 views)
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i was thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... of giving that guy special mention.

but he's eating a carrot, which is a healthy choice, so we shouldn't be too hard on him. carrots and ale! carrots are the legendary food of drunkards.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 2:52am

Post #69 of 110 (258 views)
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I still have questions about the Moriquendi... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I think from some of your answers, sador, it brings to my mind just how left behind they really were. They were the first Elves to come in contact with the Edain and teach them about the Valar -- one might think that there would be a bit more written about them. But if the Silmarilion is meant to be written from the perspective of Eldar, then it highlights a particular gulf between Moriquendi and Calaquendi -- maybe more so than I originally envisioned.

So then, I wonder, just what are the differences between the Calaquendi and Moriquendi? Do any/all/most of the characteristics of Calaquendi apply to Moriquendi? Is it a question of degree?

Maciliel, you and I had posted something similar a while back, but I can no longer see those posts from afar...


Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 2:52am

Post #70 of 110 (266 views)
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**Bofur - laughing** [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
.... of giving that guy special mention.

but he's eating a carrot, which is a healthy choice, so we shouldn't be too hard on him. carrots and ale! carrots are the legendary food of drunkards.




Perfect Mac!!!! Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


elaen32
Gondor

May 10 2013, 5:36am

Post #71 of 110 (270 views)
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Maybe... [In reply to] Can't Post

He was an elf undercover- given away by the vegetarian snack choice! (PJ an elf?!!! I think notCrazy!)

Sorry, I'm not contributing to this excellent discussion in a very intelligent manner, am I ? My excuse is that I'm just too tired to think beyond the ridiculous at the moment!Wink

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Elizabeth
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 6:53am

Post #72 of 110 (263 views)
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Fearing the decline [In reply to] Can't Post

The problem is, Men get old, and much quicker than they're ready for. Physical and mental decline (maybe the latter is worse, in some respects) place a burden on the beloved survivors. I don't have the quote handy, but Tolkien did address the problem when Men (Numenorians) became obsessed with not dying.

So, Aragorn senses his time is coming, and wants to spare Arwen having to watch the less attractive aspects of his decline. I understand that this was horrible for her, but also that it was not "callous" from his POV.








Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 11:27am

Post #73 of 110 (244 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

As JRRT says "A good Numenorean died of free will when he felt it was time to do so." I think Aragorn is fulfilling his destiny, with acceptance, but it is Arwen's nature which causes her so much grief, not Aragorn himself.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 12:11pm

Post #74 of 110 (258 views)
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speaking of decline [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i'm in the middle of reading morgoth's ring, and came across some passages relating to miriel.

the valar are truly stumped as to why miriel has died. some state that it is the result of their fear being born into hroar into a world that has already been diseased by melkor (arda marred).

it got me to thinking.... previously, i had thought of only traditional bodily pains and such that plauged miriel enough for her to want to die. but tolkien also states that a fea being housed in a hroa is bound to it, and influenced by it.

we know there is the mind, but the mind is also mightily influenced by the physical matrix in which it is housed. things (for the edain) like seretonin uptake, synapses firing, how much thyroid hormone is floating around the system and getting into the cells (depression is a symptom of hypothyrodism).

so it got me to thinking that miriel's hroa might have been damaged or impaired in such a way that psychological issues developed. i'm not reducing it into a neat package of postpartum depression, but i think i'm getting the general gist of it across.

with the edain and such a shorter lifespan +and+ with a hroa more susceptible to decay and injury, our judgement and critical thinking are at even greater risk. so much harder to be wise when the body can assail the mind. but the mind can help heal the body, so it works the other way as well ('tho i think that other way is harder for most to muster).

re arwen... her dna is a mix of eldar, edain, and maiar. i'm not sure there is such a thing as maiar physical dna, as the maiar took forms upon themselves like raiment, and presumably melian took the form of an elf, so the hroa she inhabited would have been full of elvish dna.

so, how does arwen's physical nature impact her life? yes, she chooses mortality, but what does that mean? does her elvish dna ensure she will look beautiful and young up until the time she dies? when she chooses mortality, does her clock start aging as one of the edain? she does have edain dna as well, and there are physical rules for the bodies of the edain.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 12:34pm

Post #75 of 110 (249 views)
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thank you, sador!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[sador] You see, I've remembered. Smile
Have some - it's good! It's July 2008 vintage, by the way - just the right thing for finishing one's first_chapter_discussion!

To your questions:

If the Eldar and the Edain are operating, natural forces within Arda, and part of its balance, so must too be the Ainur.
I actually challange this premise. The Ainur were before Arda, and will always be in a way external to it. Elves and Men are being Iluvatar created especially for Arda, and are different.

Would a member of the Edain achieve immortality by living there? Bilbo, Frodo (and presumably Sam and Gimli) travel there to live for an extended period of time. But they are not of immortal race, but mortal.

In the Akallabeth, the messengers of Manwe tell Tar-Atanamir they would not; Sauron, however, tells Ar-Pharazon he would.
It's your choice who to believe - but Manwe has at least one advantage - he actually lives in Aman. Sauron doesn't.

Is Aman preserved through the high concentration of Valar and Eldar?

In the Ambarkanta (which squire will discuss next year), it was stated that the atmosphere in Valinor is physically different. So as far as that concept was preserved - no.

Is this why Aman can extend the life of mortals?
I don't think it really can.

Would the preserved status of Aman be in danger if a high enough concentration of the Edain settled there? Middle-Earth responded to their awakening with rapid change and aging. Aman is part of Arda, and we know the land itself does not impart mortality. Could the Edain physically disrupt the eternity of Aman, just by their presence?

Well, the Great Fleet aparantly did disrupt Aman. It is not quite clear why the Valar took such a radical action against it - or actually, why they were frightened enough to lay down their mandate and call upon the One.

Is the mortality of the Edain powerful enough to disrupt the immortality of the Ainu, even though the Ainu themselves are the most powerful beings in Arda?

No. But the Gift of Iluvatar is - as they have the power to change the fate as expressed in the Music.

Thank you Maciliel! [/sador]



thank you, sweet sador, for remembering! : ) i've had a bit of a bumpy week, job-wise, and this really made me smile... thank you so much! : )

yes, yes, by all means fair and just and indulgent, break out that miruvor! it will water our eloquence.


interesting, re the ainur.... yes, the originated before arda and stepped into it willingly... but similar things may be said of the fear of the edain and of the elves ('tho we don't know about the conscious choice part). aren't they all --- edain, eldar, ainur -- created especially for arda? the elves and the ainur who chose to enter are bound by it, so that's an additional rule.

i rather think not that a mortal could achieve immortality by living in aman. i think tolkien explicitly states no. so then what happens to the mortals that journey there (bilbo, frodo, and, presumably, sam and gimli)? the hobbits go to be healed, and it's implied / i infer that the healing will take a long time (seems it would take longer than the natural lifespan left to bilbo). but if aman / being among all the valar would hasten the physical decline of mortals, how does this balance out? they need more time for healing, but at the same time their decay is hastened, just by being in aman? seems like valarian intervention would be needed, which is an interesting thought --- the valar being able to extend the life / health of a mortal (perhaps with prior permission from eru).

so, is it the valar's presence, or aman's physicality, or the special, healing powers of certain valar (nienna, este, lorien) that are supposed to do the healing with these mortals? what are we to make of the fact that there's both healing and destroying being done in aman?

and this gift thing -- we've been discussing the gift a lot regarding its impact on the body (mortality), but we have hardly discussed the fate aspect. let's break open that cask.

(thank +you+ sador! great responses and counter-questions!)



many sunny cheers : )


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 1:05pm

Post #76 of 110 (315 views)
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pure brilliance! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I have to agree with Sam. It makes me sad, too. But then there's the laughing... thank you, Maciliel!


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 1:13pm

Post #77 of 110 (304 views)
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hah! : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i consider laughter one of our gifts. : )

honestly, a good portion of the edain can be described this way.

we are a race of extremes.


btw... it occurred to me this morning... feanor strikes me as quite.... edain-ish.

the egotism, the vainglory, the focusing on the works of his own hand, his needs vs. the harmony among all.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

May 10 2013, 1:18pm

Post #78 of 110 (305 views)
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I like where this is going [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been struggling with the "need" to distance Edain from the Divine ever since these discussions came up. I think "insulated" is a really good word for it and here are some more thoughts in that general vicinity...

What if distance from the Divine makes (at least some) want to achieve some positive aspect of Divinity? The innate curiosity of human nature therefore seeking to know and understand gives better "true" understanding of what it means to be Divine. What if the Valar realized that "familiarity breeds contempt" (hello? Is that you, Feanor?) even among the Powers That Be? And that distance give a humility to the Edain that is really important for understanding certain aspects of the Song? Could this be why Nessa-Mithrandir seem more important to the coming "Age of Men" than to the time of the Elves?

I was also thinking about your (CuriousG) hilarious comments about Men being tacky enough to die in Valinor. The Valar have experienced this by now in several ways: Miriel, Finwe, the Trees, and in close proximity the Teleri, and metaphorically Feanor. What if they don't want the Edain to come to Valinor because they don't want to get attached to them knowing they will die? Not to be too morbid, but just after our cat died, our house seemed to lose its "anima" (for want of a better word). We've grown accustomed to how the house feels without him now, but I admit I am a little shy of getting another cat. No cat will be able to replace him (he was a pretty special creature -- as they all are) , but what if the Valar are simply too hesitant to adopt another pet?


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 1:50pm

Post #79 of 110 (304 views)
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And cool kids are usually immoral [In reply to] Can't Post

So the Men, who were brought up with very strict parents, envied the immoral orgies of the Elves, and who wouldn't? But having immoral orgies for centuries tires out even the most vigorous amongst us, hence the Elves faded due to their immorality.

If Tolkien wasn't such a sloppy writer, we could have settled this issue a long time ago.


Maciliel
Valinor


May 10 2013, 1:58pm

Post #80 of 110 (301 views)
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it is only... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
they're never going to let us into valinor now. (**haha!**)

but if thorin's not going there, what's the point, anyway?


[brethil] Mac you crack me up!!! Smile
All the cool kids hang out in Arda anyway. Cool [/brethil]




brethil, you know i only speak of what is logical.

if only we could present this logic to the females of the edain. it would solve half of this issue of valinor-longing


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 2:06pm

Post #81 of 110 (302 views)
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*rolling with laughter* ! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 4:44pm

Post #82 of 110 (284 views)
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Excellent logic here! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To
they're never going to let us into valinor now. (**haha!**)
but if thorin's not going there, what's the point, anyway?

[brethil] Mac you crack me up!!! Smile All the cool kids hang out in Arda anyway. Cool [/brethil]


brethil, you know i only speak of what is logical.
if only we could present this logic to the females of the edain. it would solve half of this issue of valinor-longing





Your logic is sound Mac! Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 10 2013, 5:02pm

Post #83 of 110 (295 views)
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The Summoning - did it mess up the Elven/Edain dynamic? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've been struggling with the "need" to distance Edain from the Divine ever since these discussions came up. I think "insulated" is a really good word for it and here are some more thoughts in that general vicinity...
What if distance from the Divine makes (at least some) want to achieve some positive aspect of Divinity? The innate curiosity of human nature therefore seeking to know and understand gives better "true" understanding of what it means to be Divine. What if the Valar realized that "familiarity breeds contempt" (hello? Is that you, Feanor?) even among the Powers That Be? And that distance give a humility to the Edain that is really important for understanding certain aspects of the Song? Could this be why Nessa-Mithrandir seem more important to the coming "Age of Men" than to the time of the Elves?




You are right there, concerning familiarity and contempt, as another facet of the Summoning that went awry. I think the 'perfect' vision that JRRT talks about could only happen WITHOUT the Summoning, with the Eldar too not 'too close' to the Divine; even including Melkor in the picture. I think a certain amount of darkness gives balance to the Song and the Universe, and he writes that Eru does not seek flatness but richness and depth. But without the Summoning, there would be no Silmarils...(so no Oath)...maybe the Valar would have paid attention and Melkor would not have gotten to the Trees...(undistracted, but contented deities)...with the Firstborn to tend in Arda, maybe the Valar would have naturally created a source of light to share with them...(tending them from afar as was intended)...and the tremendous talents of the Firstborn would have made a beautiful, safer world for the Edain to awaken in.
Aaaand (yes I have a point here, somewhere) ...maybe under those circumstances, without always regretting what was lost and instead being totally committed to the stewardship of Arda, the Firstborn (particularly the Noldor) might have looked upon the Edain with more care, more 'shepherd' feelings, rather than regarding them with disdain. The Edain would have had the Firstborn as a sort of 'conduit' of lore and wisdom, preserving as you say a distance that might be what Eru intended for Men.
Yes, I think the Istari are a later thought, sort of a patch-job, and totally correct there Telain, much more of a mortal-necessary function.

(hugs) in condolence for your kitty BTW! Angelic

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 10 2013, 5:03pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 1:48pm

Post #84 of 110 (268 views)
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here are some quotes [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... from morgoth's ring, lumped together... speaking to the place of the eldar in the biosphere of middle-earth, suffering, etc....

i find the titling/sectioning confusing, so i'm citing as best i can...

pg 247, the later quenta silmarillion (ii) -- the valar are discussing how to deal with the permanent nature of elven marriage, death, and finwe and miriel.

mandos: "for not in death only hath the shadow entered into aman with the coming of the children destined to suffer; there are other sorrows, even if they be less. long hath she [indis] loved finwe, in patience and without bitterness. aule nameth feanor the greatest of the eldar, and in potency that is true. but i say unto you that the children of indis shall also be great, and the tale of arda more glorious because of their coming. andd from them shall spring things so fair that no tears shall dim their beauty; in whose being the valar, and the kindreds both of elves and of men that are to come shall all have part, an in whose deeds they shall rejoice. so that, long hence when all that here is, and seemeth yet fair an impregnable, shall nonetheless have faded and passed away, the light of aman shall not wholly cease ammong the free peoples of arda until the end.

when he tha shall e called earendil setteth foot upon the shores of aman, ye shall remember my words. in that hour ye will not say that the statute of justice hath borne fruit only in death; and the griefs that shall comme ye shall weigh in the balance, and they shall not seem too heavy compared with the rising of the light when valinor groweth dim."


there's a +lot+ going on here.

mandos seems to be talking of a future time when the beauty and the good and wondrous and healing things produced by the actions of the children of indis will give hope to the world, preserve what will eventually fade in valinor (!), and enrich all the children of iluvatar. in mentioning the edain in this (and the aman reference) he appears to be saying that this is going to happen on the mainland. he is saying this +way+ before feanor is an adult, and thus way before the return of the noldor, yet he appears to be saying that at least the children of indis will be returning to the mainland to work these great deeds, and it is their place to do so.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 3:05pm

Post #85 of 110 (265 views)
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Fantastic citations Mac! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
.... from morgoth's ring, lumped together... speaking to the place of the eldar in the biosphere of middle-earth, suffering, etc....
i find the titling/sectioning confusing, so i'm citing as best i can...
pg 247, the later quenta silmarillion (ii) -- the valar are discussing how to deal with the permanent nature of elven marriage, death, and finwe and miriel.

mandos: "for not in death only hath the shadow entered into aman with the coming of the children destined to suffer; there are other sorrows, even if they be less. long hath she [indis] loved finwe, in patience and without bitterness. aule nameth feanor the greatest of the eldar, and in potency that is true. but i say unto you that the children of indis shall also be great, and the tale of arda more glorious because of their coming. andd from them shall spring things so fair that no tears shall dim their beauty; in whose being the valar, and the kindreds both of elves and of men that are to come shall all have part, an in whose deeds they shall rejoice. so that, long hence when all that here is, and seemeth yet fair an impregnable, shall nonetheless have faded and passed away, the light of aman shall not wholly cease ammong the free peoples of arda until the end.
when he tha shall e called earendil setteth foot upon the shores of aman, ye shall remember my words. in that hour ye will not say that the statute of justice hath borne fruit only in death; and the griefs that shall comme ye shall weigh in the balance, and they shall not seem too heavy compared with the rising of the light when valinor groweth dim."


there's a +lot+ going on here.

mandos seems to be talking of a future time when the beauty and the good and wondrous and healing things produced by the actions of the children of indis will give hope to the world, preserve what will eventually fade in valinor (!), and enrich all the children of iluvatar. in mentioning the edain in this (and the aman reference) he appears to be saying that this is going to happen on the mainland. he is saying this +way+ before feanor is an adult, and thus way before the return of the noldor, yet he appears to be saying that at least the children of indis will be returning to the mainland to work these great deeds, and it is their place to do so.
Though all this is ostensibly about Elfkind, I see here so much of JRRT's philosophy of the development of the human soul, both in the first passage dealing with how the children of Indis shall (through their deeds and their bloodline) enrich Arda and thus the world of Men; and in the second passage where the hope of the world lives in Earandil . In Letter #131 "The contact of Men and Elves already foreshadows the history of the later Ages, and a recurrent theme is the idea that in Men (as they now are) there is a strand of 'blood' and inheritance, derived from the Elves, and that the art and poetry of Men is largely dependent on it, or modified by it." A footnote: "Of course in reality this only means that my 'elves' are only a representation or an apprehension of a part of human nature, but that is not the legendary mode of talking." What I see here is his incorporating the mythological, shall we say 'historical' Elf idea into the real-world human mind: mixing ancient human legends, via ME, back into humanity. In the myths we have the combination occur through the line of Finarfin to Arwen, whose Elven blood enters the royal house of Men and enriches it, in a poetic and spiritual way (in real-world gifts such as art and poetry, and although not stated love of nature) that lasts beyond the fading of Elfkind. So again I think through the use of Elven immortality and gifts, he subtly, beautifully (but maybe with a trace of sadness) enriches the nature of humanity. Angelic That's awesome.


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 3:33pm

Post #86 of 110 (268 views)
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i think [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i think you should get a tattoo that says "# 131".

ha! : )


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on May 11 2013, 3:33pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 3:41pm

Post #87 of 110 (257 views)
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Haha!!! ROFL Mac! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i think you should get a tattoo that says "# 131".

ha! : )




Yes, I do love that one don't I? Of course there are #156 and #183 too of which I am very fond...maybe just "Letters: I love 'em" Maybe in Sindar. It might make a very interesting tramp stamp Wink (NY definition: across lower back). Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 3:43pm

Post #88 of 110 (254 views)
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a new name for you... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i'm suggesting an epesse for you...

tengwadil.


cheers : )

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 3:50pm

Post #89 of 110 (252 views)
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I love that Mac! [In reply to] Can't Post

And am deeply flattered! Angelic

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 3:51pm

Post #90 of 110 (250 views)
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both your public names go rather nicely together... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
brethil tengwadil


... no?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 4:03pm

Post #91 of 110 (247 views)
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They do sound rather nice...! [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps based on your gorgeous avatar we can call you Telpemairo? (Maciliel Telpemairo....also a very nice ring [haha JRRT pun] to it!) SmileAngelic

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 4:05pm

Post #92 of 110 (240 views)
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(googling "mairo" now....) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
(busily googling "mairo" now.... it +does+ sound lovely! : ))


(cheers -- one second --- )


(.)


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 4:06pm

Post #93 of 110 (235 views)
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alright... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
...i'm googling... but i'm afraid tengwadil might have to help me out here. : )


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 4:08pm

Post #94 of 110 (233 views)
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Reply to. "Fantastic citations" [In reply to] Can't Post

That's torn it- going round the house humming the Beach Boys

You know
She's giving us good citations
Increasing our expectations
Ooh ooh ooh, good citations....

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 4:10pm

Post #95 of 110 (256 views)
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Yes if you google it fixates on the Italian plumber...!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.elfdict.com/...amp;ajax=false#mairo

check here though! (I thought rocco also sounded too much like an italian plumber!) Wink

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 4:22pm

Post #96 of 110 (231 views)
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.*..Good citations..*. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That's torn it- going round the house humming the Beach Boys

You know
She's giving us good citations
Increasing our expectations
Ooh ooh ooh, good citations....






Ok we have developed RR tattos and theme music today!

NoWiz that is fantastic...and CATCHY!!!!!!!!! (hmm hmm hmmmmm....)

And some nicks - shall we call you Noncurunir?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 11 2013, 4:30pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 4:41pm

Post #97 of 110 (242 views)
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ha! : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
(ha! re italian plumbers...)

when you mentioned my avatatar, and with the prefix of "telpe" i thought you might be going for "silver horse," but i only knew of "roch/roc" for horse in quenya.

i found this on wikipedia when i googled "mairo"...

"The name Maiar is in the Quenya tongue and comes from the Elvish root maya- "excellent, admirable"."

also, from the link you provided, i googled the source of that attribution/attributor to "horse" on that site, and got this tolkien language site....

http://folk.uib.no/hnohf

downloaded the quenya language list, and found these references...


Quote
"mai (1) adv. "well" (VT47:6), apparently also used as prefix (PE17:17:162, 163, 172)

mai (2) conj. "if" (PE14:59 cf. VT49:20; possibly obsoleted by #1 above; for “if”, Tolkien later used qui)

Maia pl. Maiar noun "the Beautiful" (MR:49), the lesser (= non-Vala) Ainur that entered Eä. Variant Máya in VT42:13/VT47:18, pl. Máyar in PM:363, 364 and VT47:18 (possibly, Máya is to be understood as the older form of Maia). With negative prefix ú- also Úmaiar, Maiar who became evil and followed Melkor, such as Balrogs (MR:79, "Umaiar", MR:165).

maira adj. “admirable, excellent, precious”; “splendid, sublime” (“only of great, august or splendid things”) (PE17:163, 172). Cf. Mairon.

mairë noun “work of high and beautiful art” (or the process of producing a work) (PE17:163)

mairëa adj. “beautiful” (of things made by art) (PE17:163). An alternative (and peculiar) form “mairia” is also implied in the source.

mairo noun "horse" (GL:56; later sources have rocco, olombo)

Mairon, masc. name “the Admirable” (cf. adj. maira), said to be the original name of Sauron, changed when he was suborned by Melkor, “but he continued to call himself Mairon the Admirable, or Tar-mairon ‘King Excellent’, until after the downfall of Númenor” (PE17:183). Since Sauron had joined Melkor before the Elves came to Valinor and developed the Quenya language, we are perhaps to understand that Mairon is a translation by sense of Sauron’s original Valarin name, though Sauron himself may seem to have used the Elvish form in Middle-earth and on Númenor."


all these meanings flow very nicely together for me, and it's a lovely, beautiful name, and i +thank you+ : ) , so much for the kindly given epesse. : )

(and i love that you find my avatar lovely... i do as well -- no surprise, perhaps : ).)

hantanyel órenyallo, brethil tengwadil.



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 5:11pm

Post #98 of 110 (221 views)
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Another appellation NoWiz. But it might be a spoiler. [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe Furincurunir (hidden wizard) is better for you NoWiz...since you probably are one and are just keeping it up your sleeve...

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 5:32pm

Post #99 of 110 (212 views)
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Furincurunir! Love it! (Sounds nice, & all those curvy letters)!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


telain
Rohan

May 12 2013, 10:16pm

Post #100 of 110 (198 views)
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the Hallowing of the Silmarils as protection? [In reply to] Can't Post

one thought I had that might be able to be shoe-horned in here...

Relating to Frodo and Bilbo and their handling of the One Ring -- the wounds of which essentially allow their passage to Valinor for healing -- remind me of our continuing discussion of the handling of the Silmarils once they have been hallowed by Varda. Add to that the gap between Edain and the Valar, which comes up in this chapter and I wonder if the hallowing of the Silmarils was more a protection for the Edain than a protection for the Silmarils.

If the One Ring -- a ring created by a Maia -- could cause so much damage to a couple of sturdy Hobbits, what would the Silmarils do? Even an incredibly powerful force of goodness and purity is an incredibly strong force...


Maciliel
Valinor


May 12 2013, 10:23pm

Post #101 of 110 (303 views)
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that [In reply to] Can't Post

 
is an incredibly interesting thought, telain.

my guess is that the valar weren't even thinking of us edain, but you never know.

re frodo, bilbo, and to a lesser extend, sam... per my post upthread.... they sail to valinor for healing... but what of the holy nature of the valar and their creations (which exists also in the silmarils)? would that not hasten the ending of their lives, even as the ministrations of este and nienna would help heal them? as the silmaril hastened luthien's end?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Valinor


May 12 2013, 10:26pm

Post #102 of 110 (310 views)
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what would have happened [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... without the oath?

kind of going with your thought, telain... what if there was no oath, the feanorians were just trying to get them back for the usual reasons (again, without the oath).

the silmarils cross paths with the edain.... enlightening experience? ennobling? healing? trouble-making? end-hastening?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 13 2013, 1:42am

Post #103 of 110 (300 views)
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There is something mortal-perilous about the Silmarils' light [In reply to] Can't Post

After Luthien dies:

Quote

the wise have said that the Silmaril hastened their end; for the flame of the beauty of Luthien as she wore it was too bright for mortal lands.

If any mortal had a right to possess the Silmaril after all they'd gone through, it was Beren and Luthien, but it seems to kill them off. As you say, it would be dangerous for any mortal to possess, and it would be a good thing if it repulsed them. However, it didn't seem to burn Beren's hand when he picked it up, and it certainly didn't burn Luthien when she wore it in the Nauglamir necklace, so there didn't seem to be any warning to them. Like radioactive substances, it killed with invisible effect. (I personally never quite view these troublesome jewels as "holy.")


telain
Rohan

May 14 2013, 1:42am

Post #104 of 110 (281 views)
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to quote a line from Bladerunner... [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if it is a case of the "light that shines twice as brightly burns half as long." probably a quote from several sources, actually...

Perhaps the Edain would gain insight, knowledge, power, grace, etc., from contact with the Silmarils, but the experience would burn them out more quickly because of it. I am thinking of the light that the Eldar gain from their time in Valinor... Perhaps the more fragile nature of the Edain could not handle it? Both healing and end-hastening?


Brethil
Half-elven


May 14 2013, 1:53am

Post #105 of 110 (282 views)
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Is that the End? Excellent idea Telain. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I wonder if it is a case of the "light that shines twice as brightly burns half as long." probably a quote from several sources, actually...

Perhaps the Edain would gain insight, knowledge, power, grace, etc., from contact with the Silmarils, but the experience would burn them out more quickly because of it. I am thinking of the light that the Eldar gain from their time in Valinor... Perhaps the more fragile nature of the Edain could not handle it? Both healing and end-hastening?




Is complete healing what Men have at their unknown end? Thus as you say, it could be both.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


telain
Rohan

May 14 2013, 1:57am

Post #106 of 110 (293 views)
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I agree, "holy" isn't the right word [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it is because Feanor created them that "holy" just does not sit right with me. Troublesome? Yes. Pure? In a way, since they are the light of the Trees. Too hot to handle? Most definitely! But you are right about Beren and Luthien -- thought the necklace does have...interesting properties that seem to protect the wearer even from its own weight.

Are we sure Beren wasn't wearing asbestos gloves?

I still think that there is something about them that hastens death -- either directly, or fate-ally (fatally and fate-ally?) It seems they attract all those tragic characters to them in some way. Characters who have something good about them -- in Feanor's case, it is his all-out awesomeness in absolutely everything (except good judgement and hasty oath-making) -- my impression is that other characters that interact with them (apart from Morgoth et al) there is some other inherent goodness (both Beren and Luthien come to mind).

So, as the One Ring attracts evil to it (and twists even the best of intentions to destruction) it seems perhaps the Silmarils attract good to them, but then something strange happens and those attracted to the Silmarils all end up being terribly tragic figures. Is this a way (perhaps in Eru's Song?) of keeping the Children of Eru from not "becoming" Ainu, or Ainu-adjacent? Perhaps there is some purpose to the hierarchy; Eldar and Edain are meant to learn, but not meant to have such immense degree of power over themselves or their surroundings.

Or, perhaps it is late, and my powers of hypothesizing are waning...


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 18 2013, 8:28am

Post #107 of 110 (270 views)
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Maybe the elves must suffer their immortality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Have been reading Paul Kocher's "Master of Middle Earth" (Ballantine, 1972). In Ch4, he has the idea that the elves must endure their immortality: they don't seem to fit into a world which is otherwise nearly entirely mortal (not sure about the Ents; but take them as outliers if necessary). Kocher's idea is that the Valar might have taken the elves to Valinor as an act of kindness: to make for them a place where immortals could be happy:away from the melencholy repetition of mortal lives and seasons, safe from the temptation to dominate shorter-lived creatures.

Writing in 1972, I presume Kocher did not have access to the Silmarillion (published 1977, I believe). I don't recall this motivation of the Valar coming up in our reading of the text, but it feels plausible to me.

But, running on with this idea, the elves who stay in Middle-earth or return there achieve some delights while they are enduring. And also, while they make mistakes and do wrong, their presence in Middle-earth does a lot if good. For example, they wake the Ents, civilise some of the Edain, and down to the Third Age some of them oppose the Enemy rather than simply fleeing from him, even though there is a sense (in the Third Age at least) that their victory will be largely a selfless one.

So maybe the elves are meant to have that sweet and sour existance, in part be because of the service it does the rest of the world. Which would be an idea close to, or consistent with, your Biosphere of Arda one.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 18 2013, 9:59am

Post #108 of 110 (285 views)
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Wilfred Thesiger, elf [In reply to] Can't Post

Thinking about that idea of the elves' longing for both Valinor and Middle-earth reminded me if this powerful quote from adventurer Wilfred Thesiger (from his book Arabian Sands:


Quote
A cloud gathers, the rain falls, men live; the cloud disperses without rain, and men and animals die. In the deserts of southern Arabia there is no rhythm of the seasons, no rise and fall of sap, but empty wastes where only the changing temperature marks the passage of the year. It is a bitter, desiccated land which knows nothing of gentleness or ease. Yet men have lived there since earliest times. Passing generations have left fire-blackened stones at camping sites, a few faint tracks polished on the gravel plains. Elsewhere the winds wipe out their footprints. Men live there because it is the world into which they were born; the life they lead is the life their forefathers led before them; they accept hardships and privations; they know no other way. Lawrence wrote in Seven Pillars of Wisdom "Bedouin ways were hard, even for those brought up in them and for strangers terrible: a death in life." No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match."

Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands


Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Brethil
Half-elven


May 18 2013, 1:59pm

Post #109 of 110 (258 views)
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I agree with all this NoWiz [In reply to] Can't Post


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Have been reading Paul Kocher's "Master of Middle Earth" (Ballantine, 1972). In Ch4, he has the idea that the elves must endure their immortality: they don't seem to fit into a world which is otherwise nearly entirely mortal (not sure about the Ents; but take them as outliers if necessary). Kocher's idea is that the Valar might have taken the elves to Valinor as an act of kindness: to make for them a place where immortals could be happy:away from the melencholy repetition of mortal lives and seasons, safe from the temptation to dominate shorter-lived creatures.
Writing in 1972, I presume Kocher did not have access to the Silmarillion (published 1977, I believe). I don't recall this motivation of the Valar coming up in our reading of the text, but it feels plausible to me.
But, running on with this idea, the elves who stay in Middle-earth or return there achieve some delights while they are enduring. And also, while they make mistakes and do wrong, their presence in Middle-earth does a lot if good. For example, they wake the Ents, civilise some of the Edain, and down to the Third Age some of them oppose the Enemy rather than simply fleeing from him, even though there is a sense (in the Third Age at least) that their victory will be largely a selfless one.
So maybe the elves are meant to have that sweet and sour existance, in part be because of the service it does the rest of the world. Which would be an idea close to, or consistent with, your Biosphere of Arda one.




And I think by showing us the weariness and suffering (eloquently described in your quote above) of Immortals we can feel thankful for our fate. And I think the real role of the Eldar was to prepare the world for Men - although as you say its a bit of a sweet and sour experience; but I think it would have been sweeter for them if not for the regrets of the post-Summoning days. If they had simply awakened in Arda, done great creative deeds, taught and helped the Edain, and then were able to seek the Blessed Realm when they were weary (after a long days work, per se) I think they would have had a lot less conflict. You are right, very much a biosphere sort of partnership between the Eldar, the Edain and Arda.

All true, I think that definitely could have motivated the Valar - who as many of us have said have a sort of parental outlook on the Eldar. JRRT says that several times in Letters, describing their 'fascination' with the Firstborn. But by giving in to this fascination, plus also giving in to the fear of Melkor (and not having faith in Eru's design, and helping the Eldar in Arda) the Valar took them into a 'happy' place, but not a place where they belonged.

Nice summing of the biosphere idea Furuncurunir!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Annael
Immortal


May 18 2013, 5:47pm

Post #110 of 110 (260 views)
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hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

If existence was purely blissful with no problems, there would be nothing to throw that bliss into relief, to make one aware of it. (An unchanging immortality holds no appeal for me.) Perhaps the Elves 'fell' in the first place because they needed to do something, to make a change in that existence. So they woke up trees and taught speech to animals and just generally meddled in things to see what would happen - not as Men would do, more intrusively and aggressively, because there was all the time in the world to observe the outcome. But at least it made for something to do. Otherwise, immortality would be something to "endure" indeed.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

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NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

 
 

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