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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
A few answers (second installment)

sador
Valinor

Apr 20 2009, 1:32pm


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A few answers (second installment) [In reply to] Can't Post


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Each paper session concludes with a question-and-answer period. Here are some that followed these first papers:


What is the effect of Eärendil’s story on the characters and readers of LOTR?
I think in a way Frodo is the nearest thing to Earendil. We first hear of Earendil as the coda of the tale of Beren and Luthien; Bilbo's poem of Earendil is probably his strongest impression of Rivendell (note that in 'Many Partings' he says the only thing missing in Rivendell is the Sea), and it is he who invokes Earendil in the Tower of Cirith Ungol (while Sam invokes Elbereth).
Gandalf's words of him becoming transparent and full of clear light is something which happened only to one other child of Iluvatar; and, as I've argued before, his bearing the star-glass from Lorien means he becomes the caretaker of Earendil's light when Galadriel surrenders it.
I would go as far as to suggest that the star Sam sees in Mordor might be a vision of Frodo as Earendil.

Could Elves be said to represent the female aspect of humanity?
Why?


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I thought that Williamson was building a connection to the interaction of two LOTR characters in particular (Does it remind you of anything in particular from LOTR?)

Do you mean Aragorn's first glimpse of Eowyn?


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Here’s a question Jane Chance asked: Is there an opposition in Middle-earth between becoming and decay?

There might be - but it is the Elves who are decaying (and according to Saruman, Numenor as well), and the orcs who are becoming - especially if you accept those symbols of progress, the goblins of The Hobbit, as a part of the equation.

What is the relationship between Arwen and the banner?
I wonder. I see it as a continuation of the Elessar, which was given to him as a present from Arwen, together with the name Elfstone; when Halbarad presents the banner, he quotes Arwen as using this very name. I'm not quite sure what to make of this.

Can the Dead see Arwen’s design on the banner in the darkness when it is first unfurled?
I'm not sure whether the Dead can see anything. But perhaps they can sense it - in which case this will be a first occasion of fulfilling Bilbo's prophetic words: "A Light from the Shadows shall spring". I used to think that meant only his coming up to Harlond with the breaking of the Great Darkness - but you're right, it is unfurled twice.
Must rethink my previous answer.

What is Ilúvatar’s role in the dialectic of Middle-earth?
What does this question mean? I assume you mean the Hegelian dialectic, which as far as I understand seems to be a natural process of the resolution of conflicts in a world without God. Iluvatar's role in the dialectic is his apparant absence, which allows the dialectic process to happen, does it not?
Twice Iluvatar intervenes, in the Akallabeth and in sending Gandalf back. In both cases, it seems to be a restoring of balance more than tipping the scales.

Is there a connection between the names “Tinúviel” and “Undómiel”?
Doesn't 'Tinuviel' mean a nightingale? I'm not sure what the mythical significance of the bird is, but the 'night' element is intriguing.


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And another that came up along the way: When does Sam blush in the story, and why?

Oh, interseting observation! He does so four times: once when looked at by Galadriel, when given the wooden box, when telling Frodo he wants to marry Rosie, and when Galadriel commends him for his use of the box - with the lame excuse that "He forgot how beautiful the Lady was".
If not for the last sentence, I would have assumed it was only in connection with Rosie (and that the Garden is a symbol for that) - but doesn't that last time change the picture a bit?

Anyway - thanks a lot for sharing!

"Praps ye sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my preciousss" - Gollum

Subject User Time
Tolkien 2009 in Vermont – a report N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 19 2009, 5:58am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 19 2009, 10:51pm
    Just a few thoughts. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 20 2009, 1:02am
    A few answers, some to the point sador Send a private message to sador Apr 20 2009, 10:14am
        FFH it was! N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Apr 20 2009, 10:31pm
            Woah! FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Apr 21 2009, 8:57am
    A few answers (second installment) sador Send a private message to sador Apr 20 2009, 1:32pm
    Quack, quack ... visualweasel Send a private message to visualweasel Apr 20 2009, 5:45pm
        Yes, Gríma too, good catch. And how about lust for the Ring? Or other lusts? Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 20 2009, 5:56pm
            Onward turning... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 20 2009, 9:46pm
                Tolkien had a higher regard for Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 20 2009, 10:58pm
                    True, but ... visualweasel Send a private message to visualweasel Apr 21 2009, 1:56pm
                        We don't get to know Arwen. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 21 2009, 2:45pm
            Ring Writhes Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 20 2009, 9:49pm
        Those who argue that are, of course, wrong Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Apr 20 2009, 10:54pm
    Blushing in the metaphorical dark, I'll give a lame answer (or two) squire Send a private message to squire Apr 20 2009, 11:08pm
        I would love to hear Ian McKellen read that passage! It reminds me Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 21 2009, 5:43am
            What a great clip! visualweasel Send a private message to visualweasel Apr 21 2009, 1:52pm
    **stands up straight, salutes NEB..**. weaver Send a private message to weaver Apr 21 2009, 6:06am
    Ah, Springtime in Vermont dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Apr 22 2009, 12:42am
        Duck lollipop Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 22 2009, 1:46am
            Quack! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Apr 22 2009, 2:11am
        More than UUT Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 22 2009, 3:44am
            Yes, we did. Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Apr 22 2009, 4:18am
            You did already sador Send a private message to sador Apr 22 2009, 6:38am
            When exactly did the wind change? Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 22 2009, 3:25pm
                Thank you for the generous summary! // Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 23 2009, 7:17pm
            I think there may be some magic FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Apr 22 2009, 4:23pm
    Almost OT Luthien Rising Send a private message to Luthien Rising Apr 22 2009, 9:24pm
    I feel like I had been there myself! Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow May 7 2009, 12:10am
        Nice to see you around the place! squire Send a private message to squire May 7 2009, 1:07am
            feels like home Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow May 7 2009, 1:30am
                Guten Tag! Sally, baby, here she comes! squire Send a private message to squire May 7 2009, 5:43am
                    It's all true! // Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow May 10 2009, 12:56am
        welcome back! weaver Send a private message to weaver May 7 2009, 1:37am
            I will definitely try to go next year // Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow May 10 2009, 12:58am
        *Peers around WMU's computer lab* N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand May 7 2009, 9:16pm

 
 
 

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