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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Silmarillion discussion: Of the Coming of the Elves

CuriousG
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 5:34am


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The Silmarillion discussion: Of the Coming of the Elves Can't Post

Chapter outline:
  • Confronted with the widening of Melkor's power, Yavanna whips up the Valar to defeat him so the Elves can be born safely.
  • Mandos calls the war talk to a halt with a prophecy that the Elves will be born in darkness and will love the stars, which prompts Varda to create new, bolder stars to welcome their arrival.
  • The Elves are born by Lake Cuivienen.
  • Orome discovers them by hearing them singing and reports back to Valinor.
  • The Valar defeat Melkor (at last!) and imprison him in Mandos.
  • Ingwe, Elwe, and Finwe go to Valinor as tourists and come back to inspire their kindred to journey there.
  • Orome leads them toward Valinor, getting as far as Beleriand.
  • We learn of the differences between the three great kindreds of Elves.

Little questions:
Why do you suppose the other Valar don't make their own trips to M-E? Don't they all have a personal stake in it?
Why does Orome get no dialogue?

What's Melkor been up to?
  1. He fashioned the Misty Mountains to hinder the riding of Orome (though only if he was going east/west).
  2. Melkor has corrupted beasts and spirits: "the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread."
  3. Orcs: the wise of Eressea believe Orcs were made from corrupted Elves. Also, they "had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar" (a polite way of saying they have sex). "And deep in their dark hearts the Orcs loathe their Master, whom they served in fear, the maker only of their misery. This it may be was the vilest deed of Melkor, and the most hateful to Iluvatar."
>>Why do you think Melkor was nibbling around the edges of the Elves and kidnapping them a few at a time? Why not enslave them all at once? They weren't exactly a fighting force.


Recurring Tolkien themes:
1. Music, light, stars, trees, water

Tokien seems happiest and at his most creative when he writes about these themes, and he weaves them together in unexpected ways. Music created Arda and its people, Yavanna's song created trees of light, and Varda created stars from the water/dew of those trees of light. Nice cycle, huh? The Elves who never reach Valinor still benefit from seeing the stars made from its Two Trees.

Next Elves awaken by a body of water, and they are discovered by Orome because of their singing. Some are frightened by the deceits of Melkor but most are drawn to the light of Aman in his face--the same light in the Two Trees and the stars.

The Elves love the stars as their first sight, and their first sound is water, which remembers the Great Music.

2. Grudges

Melkor never forgives the Elves for being the cause of his downfall. (Just as Elves and Dwarves never forgive each other, and Gollum hateses a certain thief forever.)

3. Melancholy and decline
These first Elves are "stronger and greater than they have since become; but not more fair..." Their beauty exceeded all other beauty from Iluvatar, "and sorrow and wisdom have enhanced it." This is our first introduction to Elves, and already we collide with the bittersweet news that they become weaker over time, and it takes sadness to make them more beautiful than their progenitors. Do you ever wonder (like me) why Tolkien can't just make everyone happy for a little while?

Did I miss any other themes?

More questions:
Varda creates the constellations of Orion and the Big Dipper as omens to daunt Melkor. What effect does this connection to our own world have on you? Do you react with, "Cool! That's our world!" or "Hmm. I liked it better when this was a fantasy place in another time that I could escape to." ?

Tolkien calls Varda's new stars "the greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda." Do you agree? I vote the Trees as greatest.

The Valar don't find Sauron and many other creatures of Melkor. How do you react to this: do you think they should have and are at fault? Or was Melkor just fiendishly clever in hiding things from people who don't really understand deceit?

Ulmo is the leader of the faction saying that the Elves should be left in Middle-earth to improve the land, but the Valar decide they love the Elves too much to leave them so far away, and that it's too dangerous to leave them overseas. Mandos says, "So it is doomed," and we're told "From this summons came many woes that afterwards befell." If you were there, wouldn't you get more information out of Mandos? Doesn't this sound like a warning that no one is heeding? And if he understands it himself, doesn't he owe it to his kindred to warn them of the consequences? Aside from that, do you agree with Ulmo that the Elves should have been left in Middle-earth?

Why are the Noldor called "the Deep Elves?" To me, "deep" means philosophical, or a highly complex personality. Are the Teleri and Vanyar shallow in comparison? (This isn't meant to be provocative; I've never understood this word usage.)

Last
Is this a chapter you come back to, or is one read enough? (I personally come back over and over.)

Subject User Time
The Silmarillion discussion: Of the Coming of the Elves CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 1 2013, 5:34am
    Brief comment from "Arda Reconstructed" CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 1 2013, 5:55am
        I'm enjoying seeing these brief comments from AR Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 1 2013, 7:34pm
        As far as I remember, not exactly. sador Send a private message to sador Feb 12 2013, 9:33pm
            Some corrections Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 13 2013, 2:41am
                Thank you! sador Send a private message to sador Feb 13 2013, 5:12pm
                    Food for thought is good! Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 13 2013, 7:00pm
                        "It needed a week's answer, or none." sador Send a private message to sador Feb 15 2013, 2:04pm
                            I'm always interested in what you have to say! // Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 15 2013, 3:51pm
    birth and other questions fo Elves elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 1 2013, 4:15pm
        >>Why do you think Melkor was nibbling around the edges of the Elves and kidnapping them a few at a time? Why not enslave them all at once? They weren't exactly a fighting force. Asger Send a private message to Asger Feb 1 2013, 6:57pm
        Elves and the bad guy CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 6:31pm
    great post! I hope my answers measure up... telain Send a private message to telain Feb 2 2013, 8:34pm
        Doom and Deepness and Damned, sexy orcs noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 3 2013, 6:06pm
            Mandos and his secrets CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 9:12pm
                doomed by doom? telain Send a private message to telain Feb 5 2013, 4:32pm
        Valar and Elves CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 7:02pm
    Of Elves and Orcs--more info CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 3 2013, 7:56pm
    Answers at last sador Send a private message to sador Feb 11 2013, 12:16pm
        late thought about stars, and links to real Earth noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 11 2013, 2:35pm
            Oh, the next chapter disscussion HAS started... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 11 2013, 2:38pm
            Middle-earth and Real-earth telain Send a private message to telain Feb 12 2013, 4:25pm
        Answers to answers CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 15 2013, 1:51am

 
 
 

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