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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Shadow of Your Posts

noWizardme
Grey Havens


Jan 8 2013, 1:56pm


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The Shadow of Your Posts [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks everyone - I for one am really enjoying this discussion. What I wanted to do here was to bring together and react to some of the many excellent points made so far. "Shadowing your posts" see?.....OK, the things I do for a on on a chapter title.....

Yes, the Valar seem a fairly civilized and dignified lot. We don't seem to have gods for mostly-harmless-wild-abandon (like Pan or Dionysius, say). It's more the College Fellows dining than the student body with their drinking games, pranks and the impromptu invention of the most excellent sports such as "Blindfold Bicycle Jousting" to put a number of them in the Minor Injuries Unit by the end of their evening

OK, I'm convinced by the argument that the Valar choose male or female and then are stuck like that - potentially interesting, as perhaps we get an insight into what JRRT feels is naturally masculine or feminine. Similarly, I am looking forward to Ungoliant, to see how JRRT handles a female villain. My intentionally ridiculous comment about "Melkorina" seems to have led us into some interesting territory. I should say that I personally don't think Middle-earth would be improved by being more "pulpy" ("Fifty Shades of Gandalf the Grey?" Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!) But thinking about "pulpy" fiction and imagining the ridiculous B-movie "Melkorina" portrayed as a kind of evil Deja Thoris led me to realize: Tolkien was writing during the same period as Edgar Rice Burroughs (first published 1912) and H P Lovecraft (first published 1917). Quite likely these authors had no influence on Tolkien whatsoever (unless the Tolkien historians here know otherwise?), or whether that leads us anywhere.....

Classification mania - yes, Tolkien could have gone a lot further than his list of Valar and descriptions. I'm thinking of various interests of my children over the years; Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Power Rangers, Pokemon.... Shows with a cast of discrete characters, each with a distinct and never-to-grow-or-vary personality, associations with an element, colour, favourite object, weapon or attribute. Evidently that kind of thing appeals quite widely (and also must be a great aid to potboiler writing processes). Moving out of the word of modern fiction, one could cite the elaborate list of Christian Saints (with their attributes, feast days, patronages etc.). Instead of something that sounds like it is churned out of a database or Top Trumps game, we do get some nice thumbnail sketches.

Made-up words: yes, I think it is a good point that Tolkien was professionally very well equipped to make up feasible-sounding "English" words. As opposed to thinking of something phonic with lots of low-frequency letters in it in a rather lame attempt to be outlandish. Perhaps that reduces the risk that we "catch him out" inventing stuff. As opposed to, say, some of the names of Star Wars characters - some of which are so odd that they give rise to the game that your Official Star Wars name is a combination of a car you've driven and a medicine you've taken (e.g. "Zantac Mondeo"). Moreover, Tolkien was given to puzzling out what his names meant and how a character or thing would "go" with that name. I'm not a Tolkien-philology-scholar (any present, please do speak up with insights into the names in this chapter!) but I wonder whether he was getting the names right for the subconscious mind of his reader- so that subconsciously we get the feeling that "you do know my name, though you don't remember that I belong to it." And so it seems right already and we're not just required to take the author's word for it that "I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!" I wonder what Tolkien's works are like to read in translation to a language far away from English and its North European sibling languages: translation into Japanese, Korean or Chinese, say? There, this effect ought to break down (unless you translate the names to restore it). If we should have any multi-lingual readers able to say, I'd be most interested.

The sea - does seem to have a special place (once more). It needs two Maiar for it's different characters, and is hated by Melkor because it won't do what he tells it. Going back to an earlier conversation some us had about character alignments, Melkor is all for systems and order - provided they are HIS order. The idea of throwing some big waves at your sea wall just to see if he could get one over the top would appeal to Osse, I think. The sea wall might be demolished as a consequence, and he'd be all "Ooops!" . Whereas Melkor would be inflicting damage out of spite, or as part of a plan. Not too surprising that he didn't take over allegiance of the sea Maiar for long...

Artificing and hubris - we're told that Aulë is most like Melkor; they have a joint love of creating things. But (as raised in the Secret Fire) post above, that brings risks of wanting to push your art too far, or get too wedded to what you've made. While we're to understand that Melkor has recruited several Maiar, the only named defector is Sauron, who defects from Aulë. I'm a aware of two places in chapters to come where the temptations and frustrations following from creativity come up big-time. To avoid spoilers, I shall say just "dwarves" and "simarils". We should be sure to give this theme a good discussion in due course, but I suggest we want to wait for a later chapter, when we can bring in more examples without spoilers?

Do you see any other themes first surfacing here, which we'll want to not and discuss later?


Well, that devoured my lunchtime most pleasurably! Best wishes from cloudy Oxfordshire. No sign of a plume of smoke from the direction of Wolvercote Cemetry; so if the good Professor is turning in his grave in wrath about Melkorina etc., he can't be rotating fast enough for combustion!

Subject User Time
The Silmarillion discussion: Valaquenta noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 12:58pm
    No turning back CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 7 2013, 1:35pm
        thank you! telain Send a private message to telain Jan 7 2013, 2:45pm
            link to our earlier discussion of Ainulindale noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 2:54pm
                just posted there... and thank you!// telain Send a private message to telain Jan 8 2013, 6:12pm
    I look forward to your discussion post... telain Send a private message to telain Jan 7 2013, 2:43pm
        Experts definitely not needed! CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 7 2013, 3:24pm
    A note on book "Arda Reconstructed" by Voronwe the Faithful CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 7 2013, 4:36pm
        "DO keep up, Samwise Gamgee!" :)- Nah, you've been great// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 4:39pm
        I have that book as well. Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jan 7 2013, 5:50pm
        That makes me quite happy! Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Jan 8 2013, 4:32pm
    Oops, I seem to have started.... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 5:22pm
        ...and well, one thing led to another... (not for serious readers) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 5:34pm
        Great post! ; mnemonic CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 7 2013, 8:16pm
            An org chart for the Valar noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 9:18pm
                Ok, this is just me quite at random entering the world of the Reading Room, but.. Xanaseb Send a private message to Xanaseb Jan 12 2013, 1:01pm
                    I see what you mean noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 12 2013, 5:23pm
                        Ah! of course. Sorry, thought the lines meant that they came about -by- Eru ;) // Xanaseb Send a private message to Xanaseb Jan 12 2013, 8:58pm
                        every time I see "org chart", I read "orc chart!"// telain Send a private message to telain Jan 13 2013, 11:42pm
            Nice mnemonics, curiousG // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 8 2013, 6:36pm
            Mandos: Hand of Fate telain Send a private message to telain Jan 10 2013, 1:38am
            *mods up* // Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Jan 12 2013, 5:29am
        "The Valaquenta underneath the bough, a squishy chair, Corvoisier, and thou, lurking beside me in the Reading Room." squire Send a private message to squire Jan 7 2013, 9:09pm
            ...this forum is world enough? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 7 2013, 9:35pm
        First of all... Eldineth Send a private message to Eldineth Jan 7 2013, 11:11pm
            Eldineth, I would never have guessed from your post that you were not a native English speaker! Well-written post.! // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 8 2013, 6:34pm
                Thank you, noWizardme! Eldineth Send a private message to Eldineth Jan 9 2013, 1:11am
            Your English is terrific! // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 10 2013, 4:38am
                Thank you! Eldineth Send a private message to Eldineth Jan 10 2013, 4:26pm
        I agree with Squire about the Melkorina Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jan 7 2013, 11:21pm
        I think this is where I gave up on my first reading… Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 7 2013, 11:29pm
            The Shadow of Your Posts noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 8 2013, 1:56pm
        Hello! I'm new here and am quite happy to find that I managed to arrive when an electronic Silmarillion-reading party is getting started! Gwenhwyfar Send a private message to Gwenhwyfar Jan 9 2013, 6:33am
            Neat idea about Nienna and Melkor squire Send a private message to squire Jan 9 2013, 11:23am
                Evil bachelors CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 9 2013, 1:50pm
                    "obsidian bunker" and other matters... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 9 2013, 5:43pm
                    No evil women Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 9 2013, 5:49pm
                        There was also Thuringwethil DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jan 9 2013, 6:04pm
                        Females at large noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 9 2013, 6:22pm
                            Sure... Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 9 2013, 7:10pm
                                Sorry, I'm probably dragging you off subject... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 9 2013, 8:13pm
                                Amazorcs? telain Send a private message to telain Jan 10 2013, 12:53am
                                    No beards, but . . . . Gwenhwyfar Send a private message to Gwenhwyfar Jan 10 2013, 2:48am
                                        Married gods and single heroes noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 10 2013, 2:55pm
                                        Good point. Eldineth Send a private message to Eldineth Jan 10 2013, 4:56pm
                                    Surely Orcs are a construction of Sauron? The Gardener Send a private message to The Gardener Jan 10 2013, 10:40am
                                        Perhaps... Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 10 2013, 1:35pm
                                        You assume wrongly... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jan 10 2013, 4:16pm
                                            Young goblins as a gollum-snack; good point. Though just to be awkward.... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 10 2013, 4:37pm
                                                Orc sex CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 10 2013, 5:59pm
                                                    You probably just greatly increased the number of hits this thread will get from search engines :) // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 10 2013, 6:11pm
                                                    Orc domesticity Gwenhwyfar Send a private message to Gwenhwyfar Jan 10 2013, 7:54pm
                                                        Great point: "really evil of heart" = incompatible with babies noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 10 2013, 10:08pm
                                                            Yay for electronic magic! Gwenhwyfar Send a private message to Gwenhwyfar Jan 10 2013, 11:41pm
                                                                Sam vs. the Valaquenta (stylistically I mean) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 11 2013, 1:27pm
                                                                    I meant "the word 'valar' appears only 3 times in the text ( not inc. appendices)" // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 11 2013, 4:47pm
                                                                        Out of which, only two are clear references. sador Send a private message to sador Jan 17 2013, 12:54pm
                                                                            "The Elder King" CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 17 2013, 1:09pm
                                                                                Actually, Bilbo. sador Send a private message to sador Jan 27 2013, 10:11pm
                                                            "light-years" away from the subject, but... telain Send a private message to telain Jan 11 2013, 4:29pm
                                                        Wow! I did start something there! The Gardener Send a private message to The Gardener Jan 11 2013, 6:48am
                                                        There's a lively discussion of Orc origins on this thread: http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=562557#562557 // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 27 2013, 2:54pm
                                                    I just don't think Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jan 10 2013, 10:23pm
                                                You still have Bolg Azog's son. // sador Send a private message to sador Jan 17 2013, 12:51pm
                                        Wait... Eldineth Send a private message to Eldineth Jan 10 2013, 4:25pm
                                    The reserves Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 10 2013, 1:29pm
                        Arien and Galadriel Plurmo Send a private message to Plurmo Jan 9 2013, 6:31pm
                            Female evil... Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 9 2013, 7:18pm
        On Lists... beren_boy Send a private message to beren_boy Jan 9 2013, 10:01am
            List of kings acheron Send a private message to acheron Jan 9 2013, 1:30pm
        Male - Female - and Melkor The Gardener Send a private message to The Gardener Jan 9 2013, 4:46pm
            Yes, I always think Elves call out to Varda the way Catholics do to Mary.// CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 10 2013, 4:38am
        How did you feel the first time you ever arrived at this chapter and discovered it was a long list? Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jan 9 2013, 6:19pm
        Varda, not starry-eyed for Melkor; on being a single Vala/ier telain Send a private message to telain Jan 10 2013, 1:26am
            Beware the lonely CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 10 2013, 4:36am
                Hmmm Gwenhwyfar Send a private message to Gwenhwyfar Jan 10 2013, 5:30am
                    the importance of being social telain Send a private message to telain Jan 11 2013, 4:51pm
        Fab discussion! Valar Rhyme for Hobbit Children hanne Send a private message to hanne Jan 14 2013, 1:18pm
            Excellent! // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 14 2013, 1:26pm
            Truly beautiful and excellent--thanks for posting it.// CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 14 2013, 1:56pm
                thank you both - am happy you enjoyed! // hanne Send a private message to hanne Jan 15 2013, 2:43am
            Mods up. sador Send a private message to sador Jan 17 2013, 12:56pm
            Doesn't it bother anyone else... Etarre Send a private message to Etarre Jan 22 2013, 10:17pm
                Post away- we have no "last posting date" :) // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 22 2013, 10:26pm
                A picture of the Valar in all their might and glory? Got it. It ain't beautiful, but it is fan art squire Send a private message to squire Jan 23 2013, 2:08am
                Pre-feminist Tolkien CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 23 2013, 4:57pm
        Still within a fortnight of your post... sador Send a private message to sador Jan 20 2013, 4:27pm
    the Secret Fire acheron Send a private message to acheron Jan 8 2013, 12:27am
    The "V" Chapter--get ready for "F"s; and, more on Olorin CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 10 2013, 4:53am
        M for Bad? The Gardener Send a private message to The Gardener Jan 10 2013, 10:57am
    when do you want to start the next chapter? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 10 2013, 3:42pm
    Ready for the next chapter? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jan 14 2013, 4:31pm

 
 
 

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