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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
a few thoughts on several great comments


Feb 20 2013, 11:51pm

Views: 137
a few thoughts on several great comments [In reply to] Can't Post

I like FarFromHome’s comments about the “coming together” of two people of differing backgrounds in order to produce a hero/heroine for a later time. This theme provides a viable reason for some people being born into “royalty” or at least “notoriety” or “fame” (from elevorn and CuriousG’s conversation). We seem to know or at least expect great things will come from these uncommon/extraordinary unions.

Why Thingol? A good question. He was lucky enough to follow the nightingales’ song? (Not a terribly good answer...) I suppose one might get haughty if one succeeded in seducing a higher power. I agree with elevorn that it feels like a more pure “love and enchantment” (agapesis/eros but whether Melian is just as enchanted is also a good question. Before this discussion thread existed I would have said she was. Now, I tend to feel like she isn’t -- and perhaps this next part is a bit uncharitable -- but it almost feels like she is using Thingol as a way to influence change in Middle-earth. I know this is stretching, but this chapter is, well, a bit thin...

And Melian was his Queen, wiser than any child of Middle-earth; ... Great power Melian lent to Thingol, who was himself great among the Eldar; ...

As for the languages, I love the languages. To me it definitely lends a weight to these stories -- a complexity that feels more “real.” One of my first loves was trying to figure out how each word was pronounced, how to make new words, and the differences between Quenya and SIndar -- I could entertain myself for hours! (and often still do...)

Of course, I also completely agree with squire’s comments above. Tolkien doesn’t quite figure in all the permutations of language and culture that immortal beings would have, therefore many of us find some things attributed to Elvish language and/or culture as odd, or strange, or simply illogical. I like to think it gives some scope to entertain exactly how immortal or “changeless” the Elves could be imagined to be. I know it flies in the face of canon, but I sometimes think of the Elves’ immortality in terms of the long lives of Biblical figures (and, to be fair, figures from many cultural myths and legends). I realize that brings up other problems elsewhere, but it makes some things (like marriage, children, language, etc.) just a bit more believable the way Tolkien wrote them.

Additionally, I feel like the Elven divisions are a way to sort of complicate matters. Not only did I spend hours with the languages, but just trying to understand all the divisions (and why they were divided) seemed like a fine way to spend some, erm, "spare" time.

And thank you, NZ Strider for a fantastic set of discussions!

Subject User Time
Silmarillion Discussion: Of Thingol and Melian, #2 NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 1:22am
    La Belle Dame Sans Chimichurri squire Send a private message to squire Feb 12 2013, 2:35am
        Perhaps Gov. Sanford demonstrated NZ Strider Send a private message to NZ Strider Feb 12 2013, 7:48am
            Whose enchantment is it anyway? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 12 2013, 6:00pm
    Is it just a "stock theme" though? FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 13 2013, 4:31pm
    Love and enchantment elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 13 2013, 8:13pm
    Feminine wiles CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 14 2013, 1:52am
    posting previous questions here now elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 14 2013, 5:37pm
        Thingol's resume CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 15 2013, 1:29am
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Feb 17 2013, 3:25pm
    a few thoughts on several great comments telain Send a private message to telain Feb 20 2013, 11:51pm
        Hyperlink to next chapter noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Feb 21 2013, 10:21pm


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