Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Field of Cormallen #1: Stand, Men of the West

a.s.
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 12:01am

Post #1 of 17 (1127 views)
Shortcut
The Field of Cormallen #1: Stand, Men of the West Can't Post

When last we saw our heroes at the Black Gate, they were fighting what seems to be a hopeless battle. The men of the West are trapped. Aragorn stands with Gandalf upon a hill, and Pippin has just heard voices crying "The Eagles are coming!".




Quote

All about the hills the hosts of Mordor raged. The Captains of the West were foundering in a gathering sea. The sun gleamed red, and under the wings of the Nazgűl the shadows of death fell dark upon the earth. Aragorn stood beneath his banner, silent and stern, as one lost in thought of things long past or far away; but his eyes gleamed like stars that shine the brighter as the night deepens. Upon the hill-top stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold and no shadow fell on him. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a wave on the beleaguered hills, voices roaring like a tide amid the wreck and crash of arms.




1) Why does Tolkien use the words "he was white and cold" to describe Gandalf? Why does no shadow fall on him?

Gandalf has a sudden vision, or premonition, and looks to the North where the skies are now pale and clear.

"The Eagles are coming!", he announces to the warring crowd, and the hosts of Mordor wonder "what this sign might mean".

We discussed the Eagles recently, but something that escaped me until I prepared for this chapter is that the Eagles are so unusual a sight in Middle Earth that the hosts of Mordor don't really know what they are doing. They see that Gandalf is extremely happy about the coming Eagles, but what the sight of these birds portends they don't rightly know.

Yet.



Quote

There came Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, greatest of all the Eagles of the North, mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor, who built his eyries in the inaccessible peaks of the Encircling Mountains when Middle-earth was young. Behind them in long swift lines came all their vassals from the northern mountains, speeding on a gathering wind. Straight down upon the Nazgűl they bore, stooping suddenly out of the high airs, and the rush of their wide wings as they passed over was like a gale.




2) How big are the Eagles? Are they the size of the Fell Beasts? Are they messing with the flying Beasts, or just after the mounted Nazgul themselves?

3) The Eagles are accompanied by "all" their vassals, "speeding on a gathering wind". Significance of the wind that accpanies the Eagles?

The Nazgul, however, are suddenly called back to Mordor, where Sauron has just become aware of the drama unfolding at the brink of the Fire on Mt. Doom. Even the ordinary (if one can call orcs and such "ordinary") soldiers are suddenly aware that something has changed: "The Power that drove them on and filled them with hate and fury was wavering, its will was removed from them; and now looking in the eyes of their enemies they saw a deadly light and were afraid".

4) Does "all the hosts of Mordor" include the Men of the South and East who joined forces with Sauron? If so, what is the implication of a "will" that can exert such control? Are the Men fighting for Mordor responsible for their actions in this war?



Quote

But Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice: "Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom."



5) There is a clear Biblical reference here, can you name it?

6) There is some beautiful imagery here, in this portion of text. Care to comment on any of Tolkien's use of light/shadow, stars/night, or any other symbolism here?

a.s.



"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


Elros
Rivendell


Dec 1 2008, 3:41am

Post #2 of 17 (534 views)
Shortcut
Will [In reply to] Can't Post

4) Does "all the hosts of Mordor" include the Men of the South and East who joined forces with Sauron? I would assume it included Men as well. In the Silmarillion, the first evil Men, the original Easterlings, served Morgoth and yet hated him. Their leader, I believe it was Brodda but my memory is failing me right now, served Morgoth partially to avoid his wrath, but mostly through greed. After aiding Morgoth in overrunning the remnants of the House of Hador, he was promised and given Dor-lomin, but mostly as a prisoner himself, not as a true ruler. It's either submit or die. I'm sure Men of the Third Age were similiarly deceived by Sauron. Previously, the Mouth of Sauron's grand desires to be Sauron's chief Leuitenant after the War were discussed here.

If so, what is the implication of a "will" that can exert such control? The implication of this is simply something I'm sure Tolkien witnessed personally in his lifetime, Men are greedy. He fought in a war because some guys decided they either wanted land and power or they wanted more.

Are the Men fighting for Mordor responsible for their actions in this war? Absolutely. How are Men to be judged if they are not responsible for their actions? That's what makes Aragorn's pardon so noble.


sador
Half-elven

Dec 1 2008, 7:50am

Post #3 of 17 (553 views)
Shortcut
A few thoughts, some to the point [In reply to] Can't Post

Just questions 1-4:

1) Why does Tolkien use the words "he was white and cold" to describe Gandalf? Why does no shadow fall on him?
He is with no substance any more (weightless, as Gwaihir told him when he found him on the peak od Celebdil), transparent - or, as he himself said of Frodo (in 'Many Meetings'): "full of clear light for those who can see" (quoting from memory).

2) How big are the Eagles? Are they the size of the Fell Beasts? Are they messing with the flying Beasts, or just after the mounted Nazgul themselves?
Possibly smaller than Fell Beasts. Anyway, this seems an aerial battle, reminiscent of the War of Wrath, in which Earendil slew Ancalagon the Black (no chance of quoting without the book).


3) The Eagles are accompanied by "all" their vassals, "speeding on a gathering wind". Significance of the wind that accpanies the Eagles?
Persumably, a sigm from Manwe.
But compare this to the elegy for Boromir, in which the North Wind is described as 'mighty', and is the herald of news.

4) Does "all the hosts of Mordor" include the Men of the South and East who joined forces with Sauron? If so, what is the implication of a "will" that can exert such control? Are the Men fighting for Mordor responsible for their actions in this war?
This might be quite mundane; when the High Command falters, and the rank-and-file soldiers feel this, they waver themselves. This takes nothing from the responsibility of the Men fighting for Sauron - however, the questions Sam raises about the dead Harad fighter in 'Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit' are still apt, of course.

"It is a long way, is it not, from Bree, where you did not like the look of me?" - Aragorn


a.s.
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 11:57am

Post #4 of 17 (541 views)
Shortcut
could there be such a "will" in Real Life? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
If so, what is the implication of a "will" that can exert such control?

The implication of this is simply something I'm sure Tolkien witnessed personally in his lifetime, Men are greedy. He fought in a war because some guys decided they either wanted land and power or they wanted more.




If the Will of Sauron has "enslaved" men to his purpose, so much so that they can actually feel and notice when his "will" wavers and is withdrawn from the battle at this moment, then what does this say about the men engaged in this battle?

Is Tolkien trying to make a point about soldiers fighting on the side of "evil", in "real life"? Is there really any such possibility, or is the "real life" equivalent something akin to brainwashing? Are we back with Sam's soldier from Harad, as sador points out?

Or is Tolkien talking about a supernatural force for evil, rather than the usual way men are brainwashed by other men, in "real life"?

And is this point lost, if one doesn't believe in The Devil as a force of evil in the world?



Quote

Are the Men fighting for Mordor responsible for their actions in this war?

Absolutely. How are Men to be judged if they are not responsible for their actions?




I agree.

But I'll just point out that we (as readers) readily forgive Frodo for succumbing to evil but have a hard time forgiving Gollum. Are the men fighting for Sauron Frodos, or Gollums?

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 1 2008, 3:57pm

Post #5 of 17 (547 views)
Shortcut
"For Solomon, we committed the wind" [In reply to] Can't Post

Sura 21:81 "For Solomon, we committed the wind gusting and blowing at his disposal. He could direct it as he wished, to whatever land he chose, and we blessed such land for him."
-The Koran


1) Why does Tolkien use the words "he was white and cold" to describe Gandalf?

He is a pure force of Eru now. He is no longer Human. This is his moment of Destiny. It’s interesting to compare him to Frodo:

“Then suddenly, as before under the eaves of the Emyn Muil, Sam saw these two rivals with other vision. A crouching shape, scarcely more than the shadow of a living thing, a creature now wholly ruined and defeated, yet filled with a hideous lust and rage; and before it stood stern, untouchable now by pity, a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire.”


Why does no shadow fall on him?

He is Light. Light is scissors to Shadow’s paper.


2) How big are the Eagles?

Bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a streetcar.


Are they the size of the Fell Beasts? Are they messing with the flying Beasts, or just after the mounted Nazgul themselves?

Yes.


3) The Eagles are accompanied by "all" their vassals, "speeding on a gathering wind". Significance of the wind that accpanies the Eagles?

“Gwaihir” = “Wind Lord”, so the Wind does what its Lord tells it to.


4) Does "all the hosts of Mordor" include the Men of the South and East who joined forces with Sauron?

Sure. They worship him, don’t they?


If so, what is the implication of a "will" that can exert such control?

What would we feel if we sensed our God abandon us? For that matter, how do we feel when our leaders lose hope? There indeed is a national "will" that can be inspired or crushed. Think Winston Churchill's "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" versus Jimmy Carter's "National Malaise".


Are the Men fighting for Mordor responsible for their actions in this war?

They chose to deny Eru and worship Sauron.


5) There is a clear Biblical reference here, can you name it?

Well, I'm stumped. Can't think of anything in the KJV. However, from the 1913 Moffett translation:

Ezekiel 22:4 "You are guilty of the blood you shed, befouled by the idols you have made; you have brought on your own hour of doom, your day of reckoning."


What seems more applicable, though, is a passage from the Koran:

Sura 22:1 "O mankind! Fear your Lord. Lo! the earthquake of the Hour of Doom is a tremendous thing."

(In Islam the end of the world will not be from flood or fire, but from earthquake.)


6) There is some beautiful imagery here, in this portion of text. Care to comment on any of Tolkien's use of light/shadow, stars/night, or any other symbolism here?

Nice.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Dreamdeer
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 5:15pm

Post #6 of 17 (515 views)
Shortcut
The Responsibility of Soldiers [In reply to] Can't Post

The responsibility of soldiers varies in degree. They are duty-bound to fight where their leaders send them. However, they have a personal moral responsibility not to commit war-crimes along the way, whether ordered to or not. They must strive with all of their might not to slay non-combatants or to prolong the suffering and deaths of those combatants which they do slay, they must not engage in deliberate torture, and they must take decent, basic care of prisoners and conquered persons.

The evilest of the men under Sauron fought to the death, expecting no mercy for they had granted none, themselves. The rest either fled or surrendered. Tar Elessar did the right thing to grant them amnesty, because they were only soldiers. Can you imagine the chaos and horror if, after a war, we treated defeated armies as though anyone who slew a soldier on our side was a murderer?

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


a.s.
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 6:41pm

Post #7 of 17 (560 views)
Shortcut
Exodus 14:13-14 [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Quote

But Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice: "Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom."



5) There is a clear Biblical reference here, can you name it?




Exodus 14:13-14 (Douay-Rheims version)

Pharao pursueth the children of Israel:


And Moses said to the people: Fear not: stand and see the great wonders of the Lord, which he will do this day: for the Egyptians, whom you see now, you shall see no more for ever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.


a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 1 2008, 6:46pm

Post #8 of 17 (553 views)
Shortcut
Whoops! [In reply to] Can't Post

Always nice to find out what I don't know. Plus this gives me an excuse to re-read Douay-Rheims. Thanks for that!

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Elros
Rivendell


Dec 1 2008, 7:14pm

Post #9 of 17 (510 views)
Shortcut
Evil [In reply to] Can't Post

 
If the Will of Sauron has "enslaved" men to his purpose, so much so that they can actually feel and notice when his "will" wavers and is withdrawn from the battle at this moment, then what does this say about the men engaged in this battle? They have been given in to the evil Melkor brought into Arda in it's beginning and Sauron has perpetuated in his absence. Similarly to the Ring's growing power as it draws closer to Mt. Doom, the "will" of evil would wax in Sauron's presence and wane in his absence.

Is Tolkien trying to make a point about soldiers fighting on the side of "evil", in "real life"? Is there really any such possibility, or is the "real life" equivalent something akin to brainwashing? Are we back with Sam's soldier from Harad, as sador points out? Brainwashing is what I had in mind, and again, brainwashing only works on those Men weak in heart and mind. Remember, Castamir's sons fled to Umbar and they no doubt bred a natural hatred for Gondor and other Men. However, I do like Sador's example of Sam's soldier, especially considering there wasn't a lot of independence in Middle Earth. Soldiers and commoners pretty much do what their leaders tell them to do.

Or is Tolkien talking about a supernatural force for evil, rather than the usual way men are brainwashed by other men, in "real life"? I believe Sauron's supernatural powers as a Maia also played a part in swaying evil Men to his cause. I think it ties into Sauron and Melkor's existence in the world even after their destruction or banishment. They are the ultimate sources of evil in Middle Earth. Melkor literally "created" evil in this theme of the Music, so every evil act can be traced back to him, but ultimately, it is up to each individual to strive for good even in the presence of evil. That is what seperates the Faramirs and Aragorns from the Haradhrim and Easterlings.

And is this point lost, if one doesn't believe in The Devil as a force of evil in the world? Yes. Melkor is the Devil. They both introduced evil into the world, but nearly all of their evil intentions are carried out by others they seduce to their will.

But I'll just point out that we (as readers) readily forgive Frodo for succumbing to evil but have a hard time forgiving Gollum. Are the men fighting for Sauron Frodos, or Gollums? I think our opinions of Frodo vs. Gollum are swayed by human nature. Fairy tales, or any tales for that matter, nearly always have clearly defined good characters and evil characters. Sauron makes no physical appearance in LOTR, while Gollum does frequently, hence he must be the bad guy.

As far as the men fighting for Sauron, they are most definitely Gollums. When faced with evil they accept it rather than fight it. Tolkien was Catholic, as am I, so I'll use the basic guidelines for which Catholics believe Men are judged on. 1) We are judged by our intentions-Sauron's Men might not actually have evil intentions in their hearts and wish they could stand up to him, so they pass here. 2) We are judged by our actions- Whether Sauron's Men intended to do such evil deeds, when it came to the test, they failed. 3) We are judged by the good we failed to do- Here is where Sauron's Men fail most miserably. Not only did they carry out Sauron's evil, they failed to stand against it.

Despite their failings, Aragorn committed they ultimate pardon and forgave them, which made him my favorite LOTR character and the anti-Melkor. Where Melkor and Sauron saw only the potential for evil in Men where previously good had existed, Aragorn saw the potential for good where previously evil was present. He was the Lincoln of Middle Earth, humbling himself and offering Reconciliation to avoid further animosity. Not even Manwe was able to demonstrate this level of forgiveness towards the Elves for most of the Silmarillion. The three factors of judgement I mentioned above is another rason why I was surprised to read that Tolkien considered making Turin a God to fight in the Dagor Dagorath, but I'm getting off topic. Thanks for making me think so much on my day off a.s. Tongue


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 7:19pm

Post #10 of 17 (525 views)
Shortcut
That doesn't seem so clear to me [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There is a clear Biblical reference here, can you name it?


And Moses said to the people: Fear not: stand and see the great wonders of the Lord, which he will do this day: for the Egyptians, whom you see now, you shall see no more for ever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.



I only see one actual word in common between the two quotes - the word "stand". Gandalf doesn't promise "wonders" as Moses does, nor does he imply that any Unseen Power will fight for them. He simply tells the men to wait for the "hour of doom" (or decision) to come. I can't help thinking that many armies throughout history have been told to wait for the outcome of some other action before they attack, which is all Gandalf actually seems to be saying.

Not that there isn't a biblical tone here - but I don't see a clear reference to this particular verse.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



Elros
Rivendell


Dec 1 2008, 7:29pm

Post #11 of 17 (543 views)
Shortcut
Great example [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What would we feel if we sensed our God abandon us?

Another example of how Manwe could have learned a few things from Aragorn. In Middle Earth, the Noldor were forsaken by Manwe and left in the presence of Melkor, where they had no chance of avoiding the evils they befell without the aid of Manwe. When Maedhros and his brothers or Turin were willing to repent their deeds, they were surrounded by Melkor's evil rather than any good force of Manwe. Aragorn immediately pardoned Sauron's evil men and believed in the good in their hearts. Manwe immediately punished the Elves and forced them to "prove" their worthiness, only serving to push them deeper and deeper into evil.


a.s.
Valinor


Dec 1 2008, 7:40pm

Post #12 of 17 (528 views)
Shortcut
well, heck. :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

The Israelites are surrounded by Pharoah's army, and in the midst of this Moses tells them to stand and wait, God will deliver them from their enemies.

And then he parts the Red Sea, of course.

Cool

It's not a direct parallel, since we have two fighting armies here, not innocents fleeing from slavery being pursued by their enslavers. And Moses has had, of course, a direct conversation with God and is prepared for the moment, whereas Gandalf is reading the signs and portents of both the Eagles (and probably Manwe's intervention there) and the wavering of Sauron's will. And it isn't "God", per se, who is going to deliver the Men of the West, it's Frodo and Frodo's Doom.

Or Providence. Call it what you will.

But the prophet standing in the midst of armed forces heeding signals from a supernatural power and telling everyone to "stand and wait, Doom (or God's deliverance) is at hand" is pretty striking. At least, to me.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Dec 1 2008, 10:14pm

Post #13 of 17 (512 views)
Shortcut
Gosh, the one that popped into my mind when you asked the question [In reply to] Can't Post

probably doesn't fit at all, but it was in Gethsemene when Jesus told his disciples to wait and not fight, because the hour was at hand, or something like that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Dreamdeer
Valinor


Dec 2 2008, 2:50am

Post #14 of 17 (568 views)
Shortcut
Did all of them do evil? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think that the common run of soldiers did evil. They fought against an enemy that they were probably told threatened their homes and families. They would have had no access to any information contradicting this. As a fellow Catholic, I call to mind that one must knowingly sin, and the rank and file didn't know that their leader was a devil, nor did most of them likely know what went on within a Mordor prison--they would only be told, vaguely, that Bad Guys got what they deserved there, and good people didn't have to think worry their little heads about it.

Granted, ignorance can, in itself, become a sin, (by Catholic standards, anyway) if one refuses an opportunity to correct it, and the ignorance leads to acts that would be considered sinful if done knowingly. But I can't see Sauron giving anyone a chance, if he could help it, of learning anything that might lead to rebellion in the ranks. I'm sure that his propaganda machine had an iron grip on all information, and that people who asked too many questions disappeared rapidly.

My sympathies do not include higher ranking men, who had a better idea of what was going on, and willingly went along with it. They were war criminals, pure and simple. I don't think that Aragorn's pardon included them--he gave his pardon to the slaves. That wouldn't cover the men cracking the whips.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 2 2008, 8:33am

Post #15 of 17 (504 views)
Shortcut
Oh, I see it now [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But the prophet standing in the midst of armed forces heeding signals from a supernatural power and telling everyone to "stand and wait, Doom (or God's deliverance) is at hand" is pretty striking. At least, to me.



Once you assume a) that Gandalf is a prophet; b) that the coming of the Eagles is equivalent to communication with God; and c) that "doom" means "God's deliverance" (which it didn't in Old English - it just meant an ordinary accounting or reckoning, so it could just mean that it's "payback time" for Sauron Tongue), then it all fits. Once you've decided that this scene is entirely biblical, then, not surprisingly, you find it echoes the Bible! Wink

Tolkien is being much more subtle than that, though, it seems to me. You can't help feeling the biblical tone, of course, but there's no visible intervention here - no direct miracle equivalent to the Parting of the Red Sea. Gandalf is calling off troops and asking them to await the outcome of an external event, not telling fleeing civilians to turn around a witness a miracle. And indeed no Unseen Power needs to smite Sauron - evil is destroyed through its own folly.

Still, as a scenario, I agree that it has a lot of parallels with the parting of the Red Sea - I can imagine that filmed in much the same way that the downfall of the Lord of the Rings is filmed. I certainly have no problem agreeing that this whole scene is biblical in tone, but still, I don't see any direct quotation going on, either from the Parting of the Red Sea or any other bit of the Bible (Aunt Dora's seems a closer fit to me, despite the Old Testament feel to Tolkien's writing here). I don't know the Bible well enough to say, but I've always assumed that the closest parallels would be found in the book of Revelation.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



Elros
Rivendell


Dec 2 2008, 10:41pm

Post #16 of 17 (502 views)
Shortcut
Some yes, most not [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you to a point about the degree to which soldiers vs. leaders committed evil acts, but I think the soldiers are much guiltier than you suggest. The leaders that were most corrupted by Sauron continued to fight even after Barad-dur fell, hence they were killed in battle rather than pardoned, while the soldiers did stop fighting. This does show they weren't totally corrupted by Sauron, but they did still worship him and murder for him nonetheless.

In the War of the Ring, the only homes that were assailed were those of the enemies of Sauron. No battles were fought on Easterling or Haradhrim soil. They came and answered Sauron's call to launch an unprovoked attack. The Silmarillion's "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" also points out in several different instances about how the cruel Haradhrim hated Elendil and his sons and worshipped the Dark Lord. Herumir(sp?) and other Black Numenorreans were powerful among them. This hatred went back thousands of years, so I don't think it is merely a matter of a small group of leaders forcing their beliefs upon the majority. The Easterlings worship of Melkor began even earlier and continued with Sauron. This hatred and contempt seems more like it is ingrained in their culture and festers from generation to generation.

Sauron found Men the easiest to corrupt and turn to his will. I don't doubt that if these Men had resisted Sauron and never been corrupted by his evil ways, they would have avoided the evil acts they committed, but they didn't. Their sin was abandoning Eru and turning their worship to Melkor or Sauron for their own personal gain. Eru's will was still present in Middle Earth, it just didn't offer immediate gratification for evil Men, so they ignored it. I don't find that unknowingly committing evil, it's refusing to acknowledge good.


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Dec 4 2008, 5:03pm

Post #17 of 17 (724 views)
Shortcut
We don't know if all the men are evil [In reply to] Can't Post

From "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit":
(Sam) wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace..."

Where's Frodo?

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.