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Of hiding

CuriousG
Valinor


Aug 3 2013, 9:42pm


Views: 127
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Of hiding [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your point, Telain:

"Perhaps Ents are more the cautionary tale here: if you are faced with some difficulty and you respond by hiding away from the world, then you are bound to lose more than if you had faced it head-on."

The Elves and the hobbits both confirm and contradict this. I get the feeling in LOTR that Tolkien is critical of the Elves for isolating themselves in the Havens, Rivendell, Lorien, and Mirkwood. It's pretty defeatist to call something "The Last Alliance." It means you're never going to try again, and for immortals, never is a long time. So they stay in their cocoons and avoid other races, falling asleep again, as it were, while the world outside evolves without them so that they ultimately lose their place in it, forced to emigrate or fade.

But the hobbits shun the outside world too, and they are prosperous and not stuck in the past. Everything about the Shire feels right, and other than being a little too sleepy and allowing the vastly outnumbered ruffians to dominate them, I don't think Tolkien is critical of them.

There's also the point made earlier about Melian's psychic duvet (another instant classic from Wiz) acting as two-edged as a Feanorian sword. It seems to afford perfect protection, but feeling too secure was probably Thingol's downfall. Wasn't he hiding away from the world? But feeling too safe, he foolishly put himself at risk with the Dwarves for no happy ending. He certainly lost more in hiding than if he'd faced outside dangers head-on and adapted to them.

But to contradict myself on that point (something I excel at; it's my Feanor-like gift), Gondolin only got better in hiding from the world, and Nargothrond did too under Finrod. So, what are Tolkien's criteria for when hiding from the world is good and when it's bad?

I think it goes back to your sleep/wakening theme. Gondolin remained a vital society in its isolation. No idea about Nargothrond. Doriath had its initial burst of wonder with the creation of Menegroth, then seemed to slumber. Yet Gondolin and Nargothrond originated with the inspiration of Ulmo while their rulers slept. And had they remained alert/awake, those rulers would have heeded his warning to escape while they still could.

What do you think of the ring-smiths of the Noldor? If learning is awakening, they learned a whole new craft in forging their rings of power, and whether sullied by Sauron or not, they were works of wonder. That heightened knowledge led to their downfall, and oddly, though the Three resulted from the pinnacle of that awakened breakthrough, their keepers used them to create sleepy, dreamy realms remembering the past but not dealing with the waking world. Ironic? Treebeard even commented that his Elven neighbors had gone from Lothlorien to simply "Lorien," or Dreamflower.

It's mere coincidence, but a fitting one, that in Bored of the Rings, when the Fellowship reaches Lorien, Celeborn and Galadriel are asleep on their thrones.

Last point: isn't it the Istari's mission, and Cirdan's explicit comment to Gandalf re: Narya, that they need to wake up the world to fight the creeping menace of the Shadow?

Thanks for such a thought-provoking essay and discussion! I'll probably stay up late at night thinking about it...wait!

Subject User Time
TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day Six- The Silmarillion topics TORn Amateur Symposium Send a private message to TORn Amateur Symposium Jul 26 2013, 7:06am
    Subthread for "Who was the original owner of Orcrist?" by Dark Jackal TORn Amateur Symposium Send a private message to TORn Amateur Symposium Jul 26 2013, 7:07am
        Really nice reasoning DJ! elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jul 26 2013, 10:09am
            I agree - good bit of deduction! // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 26 2013, 12:13pm
            I would love to find out how the swords got from Gondolin to the Trolls hoard DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jul 26 2013, 5:42pm
                UUT - mithril shirt Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jul 26 2013, 7:01pm
                    Thanks for the link Ardamire! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 7:58pm
                        Another one Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jul 26 2013, 8:19pm
                            I love this theory! Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 26 2013, 8:30pm
                                Isn't it great? Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jul 26 2013, 8:39pm
                                Commonality in surviving Beleriand Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 8:47pm
                                    Sounds like that could make for a nice speculative essay next time round, Brethil DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jul 27 2013, 3:15pm
                                        Its a dangerous business, posting on this forum... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 27 2013, 3:36pm
                            Another cool idea .. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 8:35pm
                                Intriguing Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jul 26 2013, 8:45pm
                                    It not only adds to the mystery Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 26 2013, 10:13pm
                    That's the one, thank you Ardamírë. DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jul 26 2013, 8:10pm
                        Agreed Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Jul 26 2013, 8:21pm
                I wonder about this too, elaen and Daniel Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 26 2013, 7:58pm
        Love the logic of your construct DarkJackal! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 3:17pm
        A short but sweet paper Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jul 26 2013, 3:29pm
        Beautiful! But - sador Send a private message to sador Aug 4 2013, 10:39am
    Subthread for "The Silmarillion as Awakening to the Real World and Adulthood" by Telain TORn Amateur Symposium Send a private message to TORn Amateur Symposium Jul 26 2013, 7:08am
        Loved reading this Telain elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jul 26 2013, 11:01am
            Re waking & sleeping when the hobbits return to the Shire noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 26 2013, 12:12pm
            bring forth the "beautiful harmonic"! telain Send a private message to telain Jul 26 2013, 2:12pm
                regressing and proud of it // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 26 2013, 2:51pm
                    I shall regress as one of you! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 3:52pm
            Frodo's falling asleep Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 3:44pm
        Melian as a sleeper noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 26 2013, 12:18pm
            Absolutely! telain Send a private message to telain Jul 26 2013, 3:26pm
                Melian and Thingol Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 3:51pm
            Asleep in one's lingerie CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 3 2013, 9:50pm
            about Melian and the silmaril elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Aug 7 2013, 7:53pm
        So many great examples in the literature Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 3:39pm
            Hanseol and Aretel? telain Send a private message to telain Jul 26 2013, 4:29pm
                Sleeping through the ages Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 26 2013, 6:28pm
        Great essay, thank you telain :-) DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jul 26 2013, 6:04pm
            I thank you! Ents and morning people... telain Send a private message to telain Jul 27 2013, 10:06pm
                Evolution of the Ents Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 30 2013, 4:34pm
                    that works for me telain Send a private message to telain Jul 30 2013, 10:53pm
                        Ents and Entwives Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Aug 3 2013, 3:44pm
                            ents, elves and eriador telain Send a private message to telain Aug 7 2013, 1:27pm
                                Absolutely relevant (and thanks again for that recc!) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Aug 7 2013, 5:17pm
                        Of hiding CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 3 2013, 9:42pm
                            Great points on the Elf strongholds CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Aug 3 2013, 10:35pm
                            "Dead they looked, and yet it was not so ... Asleep they were." squire Send a private message to squire Aug 4 2013, 2:49am
                                Another Tolkien theme coming into view? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Aug 4 2013, 9:03pm
                                    Oog squire Send a private message to squire Aug 5 2013, 12:13am
                                        I agree - caution needed about Good and Evil (with caps) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Aug 5 2013, 6:47am
                                        Haemorrheges shrinking without surgery, and the like. // sador Send a private message to sador Aug 5 2013, 7:53am
                            not hiding, just on the road... telain Send a private message to telain Aug 7 2013, 1:40pm
        I finally got to read this. sador Send a private message to sador Aug 4 2013, 10:30am
            and I am finally getting to answer! telain Send a private message to telain Aug 7 2013, 9:40pm
                One of my favorite Tolkien lines, on this squire Send a private message to squire Aug 8 2013, 1:09am
                    oh, nice quote telain Send a private message to telain Aug 9 2013, 10:00pm

 
 
 

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