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Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 16 -- "Of Maeglin"
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telain
Rohan

Jun 6 2013, 12:36am

Post #151 of 381 (4089 views)
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my thoughts on the Eol and Aredhel question [In reply to] Can't Post

or, rather, my feelings.

When I read Thingol and Melian's meeting, I felt spellbound. Knowing now their "interesting" relationship (which in some ways infuriates me and in some ways feels so much like a "real" relationship) even makes it even a bit more magical. That feeling of being struck by someone who attracts you and the world seems somehow brighter, happier. I felt from reading the moment of their meeting that they would have an enduring relationship. And so far...

Eol and Aredhel. Every time I read this chapter I feel...wrong. I don't feel that spark, that spellbinding moment that made my reading of Thingol and Melian's meeting so special. Instead I feel more than a little squicked out (Maciliel word!) I feel uneasy and I cannot see how this chapter is going to end well (and lo! and behold! it doesn't!)

"not wholly unwilling" is problematic. I think "wholly" is the problem word. Like NoWiz mentions above, the English propensity for writing positive exaggeration in the negative (i.e., I was not unwilling to partake in a glass of miruvor with Gildor Inglorion!...) is a consideration, but the "wholly" puts it into an entirely different context. Now, it is tinged with real negativity and all I feel from that statement is an impending sense of dread. She will not be happy...

Like Elizabeth, I am not sure it is love in the truest, romantic Tolkien-sense. Eol is not healthy. Using trickery to ensnare a mate is never seen as a good thing, unless of course you are only using trickery to meet the person, and then the person has the opportunity to see the real you and the person has the ability to make a decision about whether they want to be with you. Aredhel is lost, confused, exhausted. Maybe she does see something in Eol, but can we really say that she is in right mind or has full mental capacity? I am inclined to say "No."

And then both she and her son are essentially held prisoner. While I do agree with Maciliel that Tolkien's Elves do not rape, I think it is safe to say that "healthy" Elves do not rape. Every description of Eol points to a severe case of unhealthy and while I think "rape" is still a bit too harsh (part of Aredhel was willing), I think it is close enough to be called a grey area and part of why we the reader are meant to not side with Eol (not even from the beginning, as we were with Feanor.)

In any event, even when I try to read this chapter in a neutral way, I cannot read Eol in a way that is remotely sympathic. I cannot read their relationship in a neutral way. I see it as very, very unhealthy and with Tolkien, that is never a good thing.


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 6 2013, 12:42am

Post #152 of 381 (4078 views)
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I confused an LA Customs guy with that. [In reply to] Can't Post

Customs: "How long do you intend to be in the States?"
Me: "A fortnight."
Customs: "How long?"
Me: "A fortnight." (long pause) "Two weeks."
Customs: "Oh, right. What was that word you said?"

It hadn't occurred to me that 'fortnight' wasn't a well-known word internationally, like 'cat'.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 12:49am

Post #153 of 381 (4085 views)
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They probably used "fortnight' for the next two weeks [In reply to] Can't Post

In every sentence, just for fun...! Cool

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


telain
Rohan

Jun 6 2013, 12:51am

Post #154 of 381 (4076 views)
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I really am "at" the party...somewhere...! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I've been trying to respond, but every time I log on there are a million more posts! That is a testament to your thoughtful discussion, Maciliel. It is awesome (in the original sense!) and thank you for putting much thought and care into it.

Absolutely the mind-guarding. Meant to put that in there and you are absolutely right (also part of my imagination about the gifts...)

Eol did flee from Melian's Girdle (chuckle). I think by that time he must have been tired of all the half-truths he was privy to.

I've been watching Star Trek:TNG via Netflix. The totally open-minded society you described made me instantly think of the empathic/mind-reading-ish Betazoids... And yes, they were totally open (so much that their wedding ceremonies were performed completely unclothed...) But that only works when everyone is that way, otherwise there is an instant power differential between two people.

Which brings me back to Eol. He had to feel rather superior with this ability and it would certainly give him the arrogance to ensnare Aredhel and posture against SonsofFeanor and the other Noldor. And the arrogance to try to kill his son instead of letting him stay in Gondolin.


Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 12:55am

Post #155 of 381 (4072 views)
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another fantastic post, telain [In reply to] Can't Post

 
another fantastic post, telain. : )


[telain]
When I read Thingol and Melian's meeting, I felt spellbound. Knowing now their "interesting" relationship (which in some ways infuriates me and in some ways feels so much like a "real" relationship) even makes it even a bit more magical. That feeling of being struck by someone who attracts you and the world seems somehow brighter, happier. I felt from reading the moment of their meeting that they would have an enduring relationship. And so far...

Eol and Aredhel. Every time I read this chapter I feel...wrong. I don't feel that spark, that spellbinding moment that made my reading of Thingol and Melian's meeting so special. Instead I feel more than a little squicked out (Maciliel word!) I feel uneasy and I cannot see how this chapter is going to end well (and lo! and behold! it doesn't!)
[/telain]

so agree with you here... agreed, agreed, +agreed+. full of foreboding. but i rather felt that way as soon as aredhel was so determined to leave gondolin, even if it was alone.

(btw, "squick" comes from the quenya word, quakko, which means "i'm about to lose my lembas, you'd better move over by gwindor.")



[telain]
Like Elizabeth, I am not sure it is love in the truest, romantic Tolkien-sense. Eol is not healthy. Using trickery to ensnare a mate is never seen as a good thing, unless of course you are only using trickery to meet the person, and then the person has the opportunity to see the real you and the person has the ability to make a decision about whether they want to be with you. Aredhel is lost, confused, exhausted. Maybe she does see something in Eol, but can we really say that she is in right mind or has full mental capacity? I am inclined to say "No."
[/telain]

well, it's my reading that eol (and i'm +no+ eol apologist) did use his powers to +meet+ her. once she as at his door, he emerged and things went their natural way.

i suppose i see aredhel as a much stronger character, willingly making her own choice, passionately making her own choice. i do think her fea and eol's had a lot in common. 'tho i wouldn't say hers was unhealthy, but perhaps i would say that she let her will rule her mind, her caprice rule her mind. i think she made a dreadful choice that almost seems doomed from the get-go, but i do think there was happiness there at the start for both of them. then they both relaxed back into their personalities, and everything disintergrated.


[telain]
And then both she and her son are essentially held prisoner. While I do agree with Maciliel that Tolkien's Elves do not rape, I think it is safe to say that "healthy" Elves do not rape. Every description of Eol points to a severe case of unhealthy and while I think "rape" is still a bit too harsh (part of Aredhel was willing), I think it is close enough to be called a grey area and part of why we the reader are meant to not side with Eol (not even from the beginning, as we were with Feanor.)
[/telain]


yes, it's hard sometimes to make assessments about characters or events when tolkien in other texts says, "this is the rule." he was quite adamant about the rape and adultery stuff, so it leaves me with an unsettled mind. i'll dig up the passages, 'tho i know they won't settle anything; i think, 'tho, they will be interesting for those who have not read them.


[telain]
In any event, even when I try to read this chapter in a neutral way, I cannot read Eol in a way that is remotely sympathic. I cannot read their relationship in a neutral way. I see it as very, very unhealthy and with Tolkien, that is never a good thing.
[/telain]

yes, eol turns quite quickly into a loathsome creature. +loathsome+. and cursing his son to boot (or was that pure prophecy)?

also -- does anyone find it curious that tolkien has maeglin consistently and persistently doing and saying nothing while eol and turgon have it out? i have to go reread that part.


cheers, and thanks again for the great post --

.


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


Jun 6 2013, 12:56am

Post #156 of 381 (4059 views)
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what [In reply to] Can't Post

 
what is this "cat" you speak of?

is that some sort of new zealand fruit? is it good in a martini?


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


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 12:59am

Post #157 of 381 (4071 views)
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The attempt on Maeglin [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Which brings me back to Eol. He had to feel rather superior with this ability and it would certainly give him the arrogance to ensnare Aredhel and posture against SonsofFeanor and the other Noldor. And the arrogance to try to kill his son instead of letting him stay in Gondolin.




That's the darkest deed really - I can even understand the attempt to take a spouse's life (I am sure many of us can...LOL) but that Eol's choice was possession of Maeglin or Maeglin's death at his hand, sealing both their fates, is to me a far darker and twisted, to the point of being unnatural, way of thinking.

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


Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 1:03am

Post #158 of 381 (4062 views)
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are you [In reply to] Can't Post

 
are you really at a party right now? neat!

and, totally welcome.... sorry i've been awol for the past week or so... been trying to scrounge up a new job, and have been busy with interviews and preparing and such.

no way! i was +totally+ thinking about betazoids re mind-reading and open societies! +and+ i've +also+ been (re)watching st:tng! ha!

you're right about the betazoid weddings and the power differential. except when you're speaking about lwaxana troi. btw, did you see the game of thrones episode last week? there was a nude/clothes power differential in one key scene, that flipped the power to the naked person.


back to maeglin -- the awfulness, the +awfulness+ of a parent who would willingly, intentionally kill his / her child. the utter selfishness. hardly a better example of one who thinks of her / his progeny as property.

(psssst..... are there, by chance, any hot dwarves at this party of yours? if so, if you were to introduce me, i would not be wholly unwilling...)

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


Jun 6 2013, 1:04am

Post #159 of 381 (4082 views)
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a list of unnatural elves [In reply to] Can't Post

 
1. eol
2. maeglin

...... ?


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


elaen32
Gondor


Jun 6 2013, 1:07am

Post #160 of 381 (4061 views)
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To an extent, yes. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So do you think just with the distance and time - even if we shared a common government - the speech patterns would have still diverged between the UK and America?


Maybe they would be a bit less marked, but as I said previously, and Imin has implied in his posts, there is still a lot of difference in speech patterns just within the UK. There undoubtably is in the US too- most American dialects I have no problems with, but there are a few, eg some of the Deep South accents that I really have to listen carefully to

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


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 1:26am

Post #161 of 381 (4053 views)
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That's awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

Poor customs guy. If only he had read Tolkien, he would know. Laugh

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 1:27am

Post #162 of 381 (4049 views)
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Thanks for the map, Telpemairo, and a question... [In reply to] Can't Post

...about Aredhel, and her desire to wander 'as had been her wont in Valinor'...the entire episode another product of the Summoning, and that pervasive Elven desire for the things they had lost?

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


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 1:28am

Post #163 of 381 (4045 views)
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I think we should all wear them // [In reply to] Can't Post

with our RR kilts, Ardamire's custom editions.

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


Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 1:32am

Post #164 of 381 (4033 views)
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huh.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
personally, i don't get the feeling that aredhel was wandering because she was subconsciously looking/longing for valinor...

my take is that she's always had a restless fea. perhaps, in a way, it was very elvish for her to wander... by wandering and exploring, elves got a chance (or, for some, would have gotten a chance) to meet all of middle earth, and shepherd it.

what are your thoughts, 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 telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 1:38am

Post #165 of 381 (4041 views)
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I agree on restlessness [In reply to] Can't Post

It just struck me because of how it was written, recalling Valinor...not sure how much shepherding she was looking to do, it feels like she had very specific reasons for travelling.
I may be reading into the sentence too much, of course! Wink

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


Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 1:41am

Post #166 of 381 (4035 views)
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ha! : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
agreed... i don't see aredhel as a shepherd... just saying that perhaps elvish wandering was part of the plan to have them shepherd. : )

perhaps tolkien, with the valinor mention, was just nudging the reader to remember that valinor was a lost paradise.


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


Jun 6 2013, 1:48am

Post #167 of 381 (4046 views)
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"Wrongness" on first read [In reply to] Can't Post

In terms of literary analysis, this chapter has every right to be there. But in terms of reader experience, on my first read I felt like I'd blundered into another book. This wasn't the fairy tale romance that I saw everywhere else in Tolkien, and even though other chapters can be dark, this one was much darker, and it wasn't just hiding from the Sun in the forest (though that was dark and creepy too). Do you suppose Tolkien intended for this chapter to remain the way it was, or did he have edits in mind? Would there be a more sympathetic backstory to Eol? Or would Aredhel have deserted him not of fear, but from homesickness and knowing he wouldn't fit in with the Noldor? I'm not saying Tolkien should have softened things, but it sorta seems like he would have. There's a lot of misery in the chapters to come, but none of them feel twisted like this one.


squire
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 1:48am

Post #168 of 381 (4080 views)
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"He's done some bad things, but I know he has a good side that needs me." [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure where exactly it fits in, but this sub-thread reminded me of an observation of Tolkien's, found in his famous 6-page letter* to his son on the subject of women, marriage, and sex:
If [women] have any delusion it is that they can 'reform' men. They will take a rotter open-eyed, and even when the delusion of reforming him fails, go on loving him.
So to date-rape and indirectly expressed sexual arousal, perhaps add hopeless idealism as a lens for understanding Eol's actions.

*Letter 43, from 1941. It's a classic among Tolkien's letters and well worth mining for insights into his own, rather than his authorial, ideas about how women and men fit together.



squire online:
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CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 6 2013, 1:52am

Post #169 of 381 (4039 views)
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Maciliel has made a thread that's #3 in replies in all RR history (so far). // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 1:53am

Post #170 of 381 (4031 views)
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Somehow that doesn't surprise me! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 2:07am

Post #171 of 381 (4036 views)
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thanks for the reference [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks for the reference, squire : )

i'll be scampering upstairs soon to reference #43.


i do think it may shed some light on aredhel and eol.... but i'm also (again) trying to balance it with what tolkien says about elves as a race.


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


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Jun 6 2013, 2:08am

Post #172 of 381 (4029 views)
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Thanks for the quote, squire! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember that letter. Does it - or any other source - explain from where Tolkien had gotten this opinion. I agree with it, but had he known some woman trapped in destructive, dysfunctional relationship? Or was it more a general observation formed from sources such as academic texts, newspaper news and literature?

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Maciliel
Valinor


Jun 6 2013, 2:10am

Post #173 of 381 (4029 views)
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well... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
to be more accurate (and, quite honestly) +everyone+ is making this thread the #3 in rr postings.

and, i'll also add.... i only kick-started the discussion... and it's not hard to talk about what tolkien writes.

(if only telain will let me know about whether she would introduce me to some hot dwarves at her party -- +again+ -- i would not be wholly unwilling.... )


(ok... i'm starting to crack myself up with that...)


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


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Jun 6 2013, 2:11am

Post #174 of 381 (4038 views)
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Link. It must be seen. [In reply to] Can't Post

Or is it this one? Blush

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied

(This post was edited by Faenoriel on Jun 6 2013, 2:12am)


telain
Rohan

Jun 6 2013, 2:12am

Post #175 of 381 (4034 views)
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Attention! Dark Elf on the Psych Ward [In reply to] Can't Post

"twisted" is a good word CG, and it makes me think of the mutilated Elf to Orc progression that has plagued several discussion threads in the past few months!

I think Eol was "normal" at some point. I think perhaps he was a bit of a recluse -- either due to his mind-"reading" abilities, or to a introverted personality, or both. But something did start to twist him. I have a hunch it is hatred of the Noldor.

1) He loves the stars and hates the Sun. Without perhaps his knowing it, the Sun is the work of Varda, but more importantly it rises with the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth (Sun = Noldor). The stars are the state of Middle-earth prior to Noldor interference in "his" world. Therefore he transfers his hate of the Noldor to Anar.

2) He desires Aredhel, but his actions toward her and Maeglin more akin to incarceration and possession. Aredhel is Noldo, and Maeglin is more like his mother than his father. This has to be a slap in the face to Eol. Even his son is like the people he hates!? By trying to "keep" them both, he exercises his hold over two Noldo, which proves his superiority over them (at least it probably does in his own mind.) It is interesting to me that the Noldor he meet "out in the world" easily outwit him or overpower him.

3) He tries to convince Maeglin that Maeglin is Teleri (when it is obvious he shares more of his mother's Noldo characteristics.)

4) His greatest craftsmanship is a decidedly "Noldor" craft: smithing. Again trying to outdo the Noldor by taking on their skills and friendship with the dwarves (Aule-proxies).

He is constantly competing with and trying to possess that which the Noldor hold dear -- a sure case of jealousy begets anger. And with that much anger and jealousy and seclusion (apart from the servants -- how messed up must they have been?!!?) "twisted" would be the good days.

In short, I imagine if Eol were around today I'm sure his psychiatric bills would be through the roof...

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