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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Some eagles: Maiar or not

Elthir
Rohan

Dec 30 2012, 1:58pm


Views: 129
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Some eagles: Maiar or not [In reply to] Can't Post

Part of the problem might be that certain relevant texts are hard to date, at least in relation to each other:


Quote
'Manwe however sent Maia spirits in Eagle form to dwell near Thangorodrim...' Note to the typescript, Annals of Aman

'... many of the Maiar robed themselves like other lesser living things, as trees, flowers, beasts. (Huan.)' Note on the page for Myths Transformed, text V

'Huan and Sorontar could be Maiar -- emissaries of Manwe. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.' Myths Transformed text VIII




These appear to hail from the late 1950s


I have a further question concerning text VIII in any case: immediately after noting the problem of the descendants of Thorondor, Tolkien asks if Maiar can become Orcs, answers yes, and then notes: '... but by practising when embodied procreation they would (cf. Melian) [become] more and more earthbound, unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form), until released by death (killing), and they would dwindle in force.'

But does this not imply that Maiar could have descendants? If these spirits accept permanent incarnation as Eagles, it seems to me that Gwaehir and Landroval being descendants of Thorondor should not necessarily prohibit the idea of Thorondor being a Maia -- though I certainly agree he should procreate with a female Maia as an eagle, as opposed to a regular eagle.

If so (correct me if I'm wrong about this previous part), Tolkien's conclusion to text VIII -- that the eagles are not Maiar but beasts raised to a higher level (but still without fear, as in plural of fea) -- could be in question, possibly being the result of a problem that may not really have been a problem upon further reflection. But yet, according to very next paragraph following the statement about Thorondor, even Tolkien seems to think Maiar could have descendants.

I realize this was very much a record of 'thinking with the pen', but I'm wondering if others share my confusion here -- or if I'm off the path myself, creating my own confusion rather.

Also, in The Lost Road Christopher Tolkien comments about editorial alterations made the text published in The Silmarillion. With respect to a line in Of Beren and Lúthien, and Thorondor and two other Eagles from the steps of Angband:



Quote

(...) with wings swifter than the wind (p. 182). The draft text B has at this point: 'Thorondor led them, and the others were Lhandroval (Wide-wing) and Gwaewar his vassal.' In the following text C, also of 1937, this became: 'Thorondor was their leader; and with him were his mightiest vassals, wide-winged Lhandroval, and Gwaewar lord of the wind.' This was emended (in 1951) to 'Gwaihir the lord of storm', and in this form the passage is found in the QS [Quenta Silmarillion] manuscript. It was omitted in The Silmarillion on account of the passage in The Return of the King (VI. 4): 'There came Gwahir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother ... mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor, who built his eyries in the inaccessible peaks of the Encircling Mountains when Middle-earth was young.'

At the time, I did not understand the nature and dating of the end of QS. It now appears that there was no reason to suppress the names; in fact, it seems that Gwaewar was changed to Gwaihir to bring it into accord with The Lord of the Rings -- however this is to be interpreted.




However this is to be interpreted, yes. But it looks like we have Gwaihir, even if a descendant of old Thorondor, alive in the First Age. Although again, the external dating becomes an issue, and Tolkien's 'final' decision becomes a bit obscured here.


The Osanwe-kenta (c 1959-60) states: 'The only case that is known in the histories of the Eldar is that of Melian who became the spouse of King Elu-thingol. This certainly was not evil or against the will of Eru, and though it led to sorrow, both Elves and Men were enriched.' Author's note 5, where Pengolodh adds a long note on the use of hroar by the Valar.

This singles Melian out, but not being published (which caused Tolkien's 'unfortunately' above in text VIII with respect to Thorondor), to my mind this would still not necessarily prohibit the notion of the eagles as Maiar, if desired. And I suppose Tolkien might not have been considering the eagles here, but that speculation is only so compelling, admittedly.


So the answer must once again be: East-elves Wink

Subject User Time
The Most Powerful of the Third Age Carnivoran Send a private message to Carnivoran Dec 11 2012, 7:13pm
    I really Nerven Send a private message to Nerven Dec 11 2012, 9:21pm
        What do you think of Elrond vs the Nazgul? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 11 2012, 9:32pm
            I Nerven Send a private message to Nerven Dec 11 2012, 9:44pm
            A herald in battle would be a worthy leader and formidable fighter themselves ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Dec 14 2012, 10:50am
    Welcome! And great question CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 11 2012, 9:25pm
        Nice list Carnivoran Send a private message to Carnivoran Dec 11 2012, 11:07pm
        Like your list elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Dec 12 2012, 3:58pm
            Agree on Gandalf CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 12 2012, 4:05pm
    They are all Maiar Aule Send a private message to Aule Dec 20 2012, 5:55pm
        Where does it say that the Eagles are Maiar? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 20 2012, 6:28pm
            Thorondor Aule Send a private message to Aule Dec 20 2012, 6:38pm
                Gwaihir CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 20 2012, 6:52pm
                    Correction Aule Send a private message to Aule Dec 20 2012, 7:27pm
                Are you thinking of the fell beast? JessCej Send a private message to JessCej Dec 28 2012, 12:00am
            Some eagles: Maiar or not Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Dec 30 2012, 1:58pm
                And Ungoliant CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 30 2012, 4:41pm
                    Oops CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 30 2012, 5:44pm
                        Ungoliant's origin ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Dec 30 2012, 8:29pm
    i don't go in for this sort of thing much geordie Send a private message to geordie Dec 20 2012, 6:47pm
        I agree they don't rank neatly CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 20 2012, 7:04pm
    Power is definitely situational and varying Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Dec 20 2012, 7:08pm

 
 
 

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