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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Late answers


Feb 17 2013, 3:25pm

Views: 284
Late answers [In reply to] Can't Post

5.) What do people make of Tolkien’s use of this stock theme?
It is another stock theme of meidaeval literature, which I doubt people in the modern world would know of if not for Tolkien.

Is it merely a convenient device to explain why Thingol remains behind in Middle-earth?
Why would Tolkien want that?

I mean, there are enough explanations for dark-elves in Beleriand already - why bother with giving them so exalted a leader?

Or is Tolkien using the theme with a distinct purpose in mind?
I suspect it is more of a device to explain Luthien - the real reworking of the Edith-dancing-for-John memory.

6.) Is this the sort of thing which most readers pass over as “decoration”?
Readers are already acquainted with LotR, so they tend to expect this sort of thing. Think of The Houses of Healing, and Aragorn's "ennobling" of the name Strider - as if any long, pompous-sounding word in an antique language would not sound grand.

Or is it the sort of thing which gives Tolkien’s legendarium greater depth as well as quasi-historical credibility?
Greater depth - yes.
Historical credibility - um... see squire's response.

Since Tolkien studied precisely this sort of thing in his day job (e.g. the development of dialects in specific regions), is it just his own scholarly interests intruding?
That's surely a part of it; but he worked it in pretty well.

7.) What purpose did Tolkien have in inventing these “Grey Elves”?
As far as I remember, Tom Shippey wrote a long an interesting essay about this.
I think they would impersonate his own private myth of the Elves' fading - he needed being which were near the light-elves, but still well-grounded in Middle-earth, so that there will be those who fade.

Does the rest of the story bear out the concept of an intermediate position for these “Grey Elves”?
I think it does.

Subject User Time
Silmarillion Discussion: Of Thingol and Melian, #2 NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 1:22am
    La Belle Dame Sans Chimichurri squire Send a private message to squire Feb 12 2013, 2:35am
        Perhaps Gov. Sanford demonstrated NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 7:48am
            Whose enchantment is it anyway? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 12 2013, 6:00pm
    Is it just a "stock theme" though? FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 13 2013, 4:31pm
    Love and enchantment elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 13 2013, 8:13pm
    Feminine wiles CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 14 2013, 1:52am
    posting previous questions here now elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 14 2013, 5:37pm
        Thingol's resume CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 15 2013, 1:29am
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Feb 17 2013, 3:25pm
    a few thoughts on several great comments telain Send a private message to telain Feb 20 2013, 11:51pm
        Hyperlink to next chapter noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 21 2013, 10:21pm


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