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Great insights, Brethil

CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 27 2013, 12:46am


Views: 609
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Great insights, Brethil [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, I'd never dared to ask if the Silmarils should never have been made, but the question deserves to be asked. They changed history, and while you can blame various people for the decisions they made, the context of history and those choices would be very different (and possibly better) if they never had been. I suppose one could run too far with that thinking, and suggest that if Yavanna had never created the Two Trees, Melkor wouldn't have had anything to cut down and ruin all the happiness. But still, the Silmarils didn't necessarily bring anything new and better to the world as the Two Trees did, they just seemed to repeat what was there.

It says a lot about the ethics of creating that Aule was willing to destroy the Dwarves he created, but Feanor was wholly unwilling to destroy the Silmarils, even if that meant restoring light to Valinor. Do you suppose this comparison is accidental, or intended by Tolkien? Does he want us to see that Aule made the right choice, and Feanor made the wrong choice in the same context?

But it seems to me that Feanor's "Downfall" really began with jealously hoarding the Silmarils. Their light was not of his own making, so he should have shared them at least in public view, but he had the vanity to pretend that they were entirely his creation and not something that borrowed from the common wealth of Valinor. That selfish pride caused the chain of events of hiding them in exile with him in Formenos, which led to the death of his father and their theft. Okay, it's easy to second guess people and I shouldn't. But I will anyway, since Tolkien plays with Fate a lot, so we can too. Had Feanor worn the Silmarils in Valimar, it would have been much harder (if not impossible) for Melkor and Ungoliant to attack him in the crowd with Valar present and seize the jewels.

As for clinging to the past, that's another thought that never occurred to me, but you hit a bulls-eye, because that's what Feanor was doing. It's always hard for me to figure out how much Tolkien dabbled in psychology, which is much more commonplace to talk about in the present than it was when he was writing. Was Feanor, the abandoned semi-orphan, always clinging to the past mother he couldn't get back, and were the Silmarils part of that trait? Hard to say, but tempting to say yes, because he sure did cling to them, though he was just plain selfish, and maybe that was reason enough to cling to them.

I've said before that I think the Sil is a journey of wisdom for all its characters. Jumping ahead, I think it says something about the maturing of the Valar that they (FINALLY!) decide to do something for the whole world instead of just for their cozy neighborhood and release the Sun and Moon to illuminate Arda and not just Valinor. They broadened their sense of the common good, and they were willing to let go of their past (constant light in Valinor) for the future. Feanor wouldn't let go of anything, even when with the foresight of death he saw that the Noldor would never win, still he urged them on to their destruction.

Subject User Time
**Silmarillion Discussion Chapter 7: Of The Silmirals and the Unrest of the Noldor elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Mar 18 2013, 4:48pm
    My thoughts Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Mar 18 2013, 7:08pm
    Thoughts on Ch 7, Feanor and Family Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 19 2013, 8:34pm
    a few thoughts telain Send a private message to telain Mar 21 2013, 5:21pm
    maciliel-thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 21 2013, 10:57pm
    Answers and more questions CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 24 2013, 3:24am
        And answering Your questions sador Send a private message to sador Mar 24 2013, 10:40am
            More questions CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 27 2013, 12:59am
                maciliel-thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 27 2013, 3:21am
                    "Smart people don't start many bar fights. But stupid people don't build many hydrogen bombs." noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 31 2013, 2:27pm
                oh, good question telain Send a private message to telain Mar 27 2013, 12:22pm
                Deep Elves elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Mar 27 2013, 10:48pm
                    Problems of creation playing out on a new level noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 30 2013, 4:10pm
        Silmarils and creation ethic Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 26 2013, 7:35pm
            Great insights, Brethil CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 27 2013, 12:46am
                Great post CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 27 2013, 8:37pm
        interesting, curiousg Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Mar 27 2013, 3:41am
    Answering your questions sador Send a private message to sador Mar 24 2013, 9:27am
        Just to note that discussion of the next chapter has started noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 9 2013, 11:24am
            very thoughtful addition Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 9 2013, 2:04pm

 
 
 

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