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my thoughts


Mar 16 2013, 12:30am

Views: 633
my thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Melkor was kept chained in the halls of Mandos, and in solitary confinement. What do you imagine that was like?
it probably was a piece of cake for melkor, relatively speaking. time does not pass in the same way for a vala. probably the valar were thinking meditation would help in on his path. also, he had done great harm to the world and individuals, many of whom dwelled in valinor. so keeping him away from them was probably also in their thoughts. i suspect isolation was precisely the wrong approach. i think if melkor had a chance at rehabilitation, it would have been through the company of others. but i also question whether he was redeemable. did he have free will, or was his rebellion part of eru's plan? if so, what a horrible position to be in -- being the chosen one, but chosen to be irredeemable, chosen to be the greatest sinner for whom salvation was doomed.

2. The Valar apprently believed in punishment rather than reform; would a different approach have made any difference? Were the Valar capable of "capital punishment"? Would another more reform-minded approach worked, or was Melkor beyond help?

see above.

As Manwe debated the fate of Melkor, Nienna aided Melkor in his defence, while Mandos (shockingly) remained silent. 3. Why does Nienna aid Melkor in this way?

it is nienna's gift. if melkor had any chance of being healed (he certainly had sickness), it was through her.

4. We have seen so far in The Silmarilion that Mandos can be maddeningly vague -- why does he choose to say nothing now? Does he think he's offering a not-so-subtle hint, or does he actually not know what Melkor is up to?

mandos knows a lot. certainly more than he says. but it's unclear when he's silent because he chooses or cannot tamper with the fates of others, or whether he's silent out of caprice. i suspect in general he's kind of a calvin coolidge sort of fellow.

The Nature of Evil: The Enemy Within. It seems that Manwe believes Melkor has been "cured" of his evil ways, yet others are not deceived -- namely Ulmo, Tulkas, and (somewhat surprisingly) the Vanyar. Tolkien writes: Quote For Manwe was free from evil and could not comprehend it, ..., and he saw not to the depths of Melkor's heart, and did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever. 5. Is Tolkien suggesting (like many modern crime dramas and police procedurals) that one must know -- or be -- a little evil in order to recognize it? What does this say about Ulmo, Tulkas, and the Vanyar (or is suspicion something else entirely?) Why do they suspect Melkor of deceit?

i don't think you have to understand evil to deal with it. you can just be observant of pattern. but some aspects of our personalities may be strengths in certain circumstances, and vulnerabilities in others. forgiveness, here, is a wonderful quality to bestow on someone worthy. if melkor was worthy, then the reticence of ulmo and tulkas would have been vulnerabilities. in this instance, they were strengths. i think also that being so powerful, like manwe, can color one's thinking. what does he have to personally lose? the individuals who are relatively powerless against melkor perhaps should have had more say, as they had more to lose, and perhaps their sense of danger was sharper, for that reason.

6. Melkor's evil seems to stem from envy -- what is the difference between envy and admiration? How does envy become so negatively charged and why does it inherently spell doom in this story (and many, many others)?

envy is inherently negatively charged. it is desire that becomes negatively charged, and becomes envy. and envy taken to extremes is blinding.

Melkor chooses to teach his knowledge and skills to the Noldor over the Vanyar (who still do not trust him), and over the Teleri (a people he believes are not worthy of his teaching). Given what we know of the Noldor's interest in understanding the world and crafting things, this seems to makes sense. Melkor also, falsely, takes credit for teaching Feanor all he knows, though Feanor hate for Melkor exceeded any of the Eldalie.

i have doubts that melkor truly admires anything but himself, so i think the only thing he sees in the noldor is a kinship of making things, and they are the most likely to revere him for being a great maker of things. he wants to be adored, revered, and to have his portion praised above all others. which turns into an intolerance for anything created by others. if there's something worth having, he will have it (the silmarils) or destroy it (the elven kingdoms).

i also think that melkor sees the noldor as tools, rather than people. tools that he can use (better than the vanyar, better than the teleri) for his purposes. the noldor flatter his vanity and are easily manipulated. aule is also a great maker, and the noldor are affiliated with aule. that must make it extra sweet for melkor. by rights (by melkor's thinking, perhaps), the noldor should be revering +him+ above all other valar.

7. Without staying too far into future chapters, why does Melkor take credit for Feanor? Why doesn't Feanor protest?

i think melkor takes credit for feanor's work because he cannot stand rivals. and to have one of the eldar, a race less in might and skill, be a rival to him, a vala, must be galling. i think it also gives him pleasure to try to discredit feanor. on a tactical level, it sows seeds of discontent that he will reap later.

i think feanor does not have much response because he has such contempt for melkor. by definition, anyone who would claim credit for his work (feanor's) is a thief. and worthy of contempt. i do think it bothers feanor, however, but it is a hot coal that is smoldering under many others. feanor is a hot coal pit.

8. It seems to me that the actions or protestations of some key people are missing in this chapter (more on that subject later). What were the Vanyar, the Teleri, and Aule -- the one who first taught the Noldor -- doing during all of this?

all the valar probably had something to say, but perhaps it was not all recorded. not sure that the eldar were invited to say something, as they were not of the order of the valar. which is a shame, as they were the ones who had been directly harmed, and suffered most.


aka. fili orc-enshield
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Mar 16 2013, 12:32am)

Subject User Time
Silmarilion Discussion, Chapter 6: "...and the Unchaining of Melkor" 2 of 2 telain Send a private message to telain Mar 11 2013, 4:42pm
    Unleashing the beast CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 13 2013, 5:55pm
        how well do we really know Melkor? telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:02pm
            Melkor Choice and naivete of the Valar Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 17 2013, 1:38am
                Melkor's dark music and Nienna's healing telain Send a private message to telain Mar 17 2013, 11:34pm
                    Pride and pity CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 18 2013, 12:49am
                        I get your thoughts CG! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 1:19am
                    Some thoughts on Nienna and Olorin and pity Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 1:12am
                        I'm always learning something new here CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 18 2013, 2:04am
                            Clueless? Hardly! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 18 2013, 3:15am
    My thoughts Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Mar 14 2013, 7:07pm
        how did Aule get in this chapter? Oh, yes... telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:39pm
            The whole "Knowledge- good or bad?" question elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Mar 17 2013, 10:28am
    my thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 12:30am
        Free will Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2013, 4:40am
            then how does this apply to the gift of men? Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 11:09am
                It's not easy for us Mortals to see it as a gift, is it? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 3:45pm
                    as you've described it.. Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 16 2013, 4:06pm
                        Scratching head, flipping though text- Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 4:49pm
                            I think the "gift" is not connected to "free will". Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2013, 9:40pm
                                Did not intend to imply control Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 10:13pm
        Feanor is a pit of smouldering coals... telain Send a private message to telain Mar 16 2013, 11:52pm
    Hello all, my first post about Sil, but I have been following :) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 16 2013, 2:01am
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Mar 18 2013, 7:35am


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