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Doom and Deepness and Damned, sexy orcs

noWizardme
Grey Havens


Feb 3 2013, 6:06pm


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Doom and Deepness and Damned, sexy orcs [In reply to] Can't Post

Mandos ties my brain in knots

I think Mandos' "Doom" is an interesting theme here. In Valanquenta, we're told that Mandos:


Quote
...knows all things that shall be, save only those that lie still in the freedom of Iluvatar.

Which means he knows something between everything and nothing (depending on how much freedom Iluvatar has, or decides to use in practice). Personally, I'm interpreting this as he knows how things will currently work out, unless Iluvatar changes his mind on anything. So any pronouncement Mandos can make must come with a disclaimer. Even so it would impose some pretty definite limitations on free will in Tolkien's universe, you would think. For example, maybe the Ring is doomed to be destroyed at the end of the Third Age whether Frodo fails to do it at the last minute (as happens) or whether it goes wrong earlier on. So if Frodo were nabbed by the wrights or never left the Green Dragon, for example, would it have worked out that the Ring gets destroyed some other way? Why bother with the hassle of fighting evil yourself when you can safely leave it to some other poor sucker {underlined text added at edit}?. Hmmm- that could get quite deep, philosophically.

But no wonder the Mandos learns to be circumspect - people would endlessly bother him for stock picks, otherwise.

When the Valar are meeting and trying to decide whether to summon the Elves to Valinor, Mandos only says "So it is doomed" - which is wonderfully oracular, delphic and unhelpful. Does he mean "this is what Iluvatar wishes"? Or "I can see this is what the meeting will resolve (darned stupid idea though it is)"? (or even something like "So, WE are doomed"?) It seems to end the debate however; which Mandos, presumably could predict before saying it... Oracles: always tie my head in knots.
Certainly, as the book (and CuriousG in his starter post) notes:


Quote
"From this summons came many woes that afterwards befell".

In the discussion of the previous chapter. we've noted a possible laziness or selfishness about the Valar - they have decided to partition Arda into a good bit, which they control and a Melkor bit, which isn't so well-maintained, rather than taking on the improvement of the whole estate . Then they love the Elves, so of course want them to come to the good bit. So maybe they take Mandos' words for support of their scheme rather than seeing that its much more ambiguous than that. (which his a bit ironic, because Mandos presumably knew before speaking that they would take his words as support....) But, tracking back towards the sticky swamp of oracles, and destiny and logic: can you even ask Mandos "what would work out better - for us to bring the Elves here, or support them in living in Middle-earth?" If Mandos knows "all things that shall be", how can there be alternatives that would lead to different outcomes?

Curious G asks: Why are the Noldor called "the Deep Elves?"
My guess is that its because they end up with a deep knowledge of things. Which leads them to suffering and distress as well as pleasure. So "deep" (with connotations of "towards the darkness" as well as "large volume") is maybe a good name. Calling them the "crafty elves" would not sound so good, because of multiple senses of crafty!

Damned, sexy orcs
Shocked- woah, hold on: note that important comma, and recall there's a technical sense of "damned" Angelic

Back in the Valanquenta discussion, a theme grew up (starting about here ) about orcish reproduction. Well, this chapter seems to settle it ("For the orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar"). Which means there are orc females and orc sex and orc babies around. Rather than just being of mytheo-biological interest (or good for an "eeeew!" factor) it brings us back to a great and serious point made by in the Valanquenta thread by Gwenhwyfar

Quote
"I've always thought, particularly since Tolkien was in a real war, that he invented orcs because he needed an enemy that could be unequivocally evil and not very person-like so that his heroes could be unequivocally right to fight and kill them. ... No real war can be satisfactory if it involves human enemies because most humans (even if they are required/persuaded to follow an evil leader, such as Hitler) are not 100% evil. [Note] Tolkien's sympathy for Gollum -- who had a tiny but real chance at redemption & joining the good guys ...

In that case, thinking too hard about orc families with wives and children would invalidate their purpose. I think biological reproduction must be happening, but that the thought of orc babies would have been unbearable to an author who positioned their species as an enemy whom it is always acceptable to kill. No people in Tolkien's world start evil, even if they become very evil later by their own choices; the fact that orcs are ruined elves allows that rule to still apply: they started out good but were pushed past the point where they could possibly be redeemed. Innocent orc babies who've never hurt anybody (even if they grow up to do so) would upset the concept, so that's why I think Tolkien didn't want to think about them.

[I've quoted this only in part: the full text of this post can be found here ]


Poor orc babies- damned already at birth? Are they doomed to be evil no matter how they try otherwise (or if, say, brought up by a group of kindly elves)? If so, Melkor has corrupted a race in perpetuity, so very much "the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful to Iluvatar"

Maybe that is why Melkor doesn't kidnap the Elves en masse - perhaps that would be too much for Iluvatar and the Valar to take, rather hands-off htough they seem to be at this stage.


Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....
Feel free to meddle in the affairs of noWizardMe by agreeing or disagreeing (politely...) with my posts! I may not be subtle, but at least I'm usually slow to anger...

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Feb 3 2013, 6:08pm)

Subject User Time
The Silmarillion discussion: Of the Coming of the Elves CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 1 2013, 5:34am
    Brief comment from "Arda Reconstructed" CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 1 2013, 5:55am
        I'm enjoying seeing these brief comments from AR Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 1 2013, 7:34pm
        As far as I remember, not exactly. sador Send a private message to sador Feb 12 2013, 9:33pm
            Some corrections Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 13 2013, 2:41am
                Thank you! sador Send a private message to sador Feb 13 2013, 5:12pm
                    Food for thought is good! Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 13 2013, 7:00pm
                        "It needed a week's answer, or none." sador Send a private message to sador Feb 15 2013, 2:04pm
                            I'm always interested in what you have to say! // Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 15 2013, 3:51pm
    birth and other questions fo Elves elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 1 2013, 4:15pm
        >>Why do you think Melkor was nibbling around the edges of the Elves and kidnapping them a few at a time? Why not enslave them all at once? They weren't exactly a fighting force. Asger Send a private message to Asger Feb 1 2013, 6:57pm
        Elves and the bad guy CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 6:31pm
    great post! I hope my answers measure up... telain Send a private message to telain Feb 2 2013, 8:34pm
        Doom and Deepness and Damned, sexy orcs noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 3 2013, 6:06pm
            Mandos and his secrets CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 9:12pm
                doomed by doom? telain Send a private message to telain Feb 5 2013, 4:32pm
        Valar and Elves CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 7:02pm
    Of Elves and Orcs--more info CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 7:56pm
    Answers at last sador Send a private message to sador Feb 11 2013, 12:16pm
        late thought about stars, and links to real Earth noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 11 2013, 2:35pm
            Oh, the next chapter disscussion HAS started... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 11 2013, 2:38pm
            Middle-earth and Real-earth telain Send a private message to telain Feb 12 2013, 4:25pm
        Answers to answers CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 15 2013, 1:51am

 
 
 

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