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Ungoliant and the sometimes puzzling Valar behavior

Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 9 2013, 10:48pm


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The whole point of Aman was that it was a sanctuary unspoiled by the evil found in the rest of the world. Didn't they call in an exterminator first to get rid of all the bugs before they set up their paradise? So we can come back to the idea of them being childishly naive or overconfident in thinking there's no bogeyman over the hill. Or incompetent. Shouldn't Orome have hunted around Aman once in awhile to make sure it was all clear? Isn't Manwe supposed to see around the world--and Aman at least--from his mountaintop?

The argument I could make in their defense is that fairy tales usually assume that most of any world is unknown, so the Valar wouldn't have had cartographers and satellite photos even of their own backyard. Fairy tales can have children wander just a few feet "into the woods" and disappear/get eaten by a witch/be kidnapped by fairies/etc. So maybe the idea is that they couldn't know every square inch of even Aman. But to a general reader, it sure seems they should have.




From the fairy tale/device perspective, absolutely - but that's the basis of so many human fears isn't it, so it's an effective device!

From the standpoint of ME, (and your cartography standpoint CG) it seems JRRT went out of his way to describe this narrow, dark area of Avathar as mournful, shadowed and unexplored, bordered by the deep and cold dark sea. And he tells of Orome patrolling to the North and ignoring the South - based on Melkor's previous behaviors and the location of Utumno. So I guess the Valar learned something - but the learning is limited by their experiences. Indeed as I said earlier I know Ulmo had the most distrust of Melkor, but he came only to the Blessed Realm infrequently, and maybe also did not go the sort of 'dead zone' where no Firstborn lived. Tulkas was there more and Manwe had the vision from the high seat (and with him Varda had the hearing.) so, could it be the simple (almost mortal) failing of not wanting to closely explore places distasteful to them? Of course they are the most likely places for evil to take root...but again I keep coming back to that naďve judgment that most of the Valar show. Just based on the idea that though the Valar 'mature' they remain the first generation of children of Eru forever...

(From a fiction perspective it would be fascinating (!!!) to know how JRRT might portray the individual Valar in our time, having seen many more thousands of years of life.)

And I wonder exactly WHEN, if Ungoliant can choose her shape, when she morphed into the spider-form. Maybe in earlier days her shape was different and no so easy to spot as a dark power. It reads "In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form..." So maybe this implies that she picked the place before she picked the shape, and thus came unnoticed to Avathar.

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.

Subject User Time
**Silmarillion discusion, Chapter 8: Of the Darkening of Valinor** Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 8 2013, 10:48pm
    I'm not convinced Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Apr 8 2013, 11:14pm
        Guards Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 8 2013, 11:27pm
            Even the sentries on holiday AGAIN? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 9 2013, 10:46am
                I hadn't even thought of that! Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 9 2013, 5:33pm
                    That's why I thought the feast feels "fey" Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 9 2013, 6:27pm
                        I think it's a combination Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 9 2013, 7:53pm
                            Ultimately I think its a combination as well Finwe Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 10 2013, 12:45am
                                Morgoth's Ring Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 10 2013, 2:01am
                                    Ice Pillars Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 10 2013, 2:09am
                                        You could be correct Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 10 2013, 2:20am
                                            Yes, definitely somewhere! Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 10 2013, 2:54am
                        Possibly overconfidence? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 9 2013, 7:56pm
                            overconfidence and naivete? telain Send a private message to telain Apr 13 2013, 12:17am
    The Darkening of Valinor - thoughts on the chapter Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 9 2013, 2:46am
        "the primeval devourer of light" noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 9 2013, 11:17am
            True N-W-M, and in addition... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 9 2013, 4:49pm
                What we know, and don't know, about Ungoliant noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 9 2013, 9:57pm
                    Mulling on Ungoliant Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 10 2013, 12:02am
                    Ungoliant Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 10 2013, 2:14am
                        True - she comes from darkness it seems, in either version Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 10 2013, 2:25am
                        Philosophical and in-world-theological problems? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 10 2013, 6:32am
                            The sprits called forth, such as Ungoliant Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 10 2013, 2:06pm
                    *applause and guffaws* CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 11 2013, 9:06pm
                    don't read this post after dark... telain Send a private message to telain Apr 13 2013, 12:46am
    My thoughts Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 9 2013, 7:31pm
        One more thing Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 9 2013, 8:10pm
            I often think that too. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 9 2013, 8:51pm
                Ungoliant and the sometimes puzzling Valar behavior Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 9 2013, 10:48pm
            well elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Apr 10 2013, 12:58pm
                You and I agree Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 10 2013, 3:59pm
                    The Valar and Ungoliant elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Apr 10 2013, 9:42pm
                        The timing of Ungoliant settling in Avathar Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 11 2013, 5:47pm
                            Sounds plausible! I like the idea of Ungoliant the elf-stalker // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 11 2013, 9:02pm
                                Yes she might have quite a resume...! (And discretion and Valar...hahahah!) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 11 2013, 10:01pm
                            agreed! things are "taking shape" telain Send a private message to telain Apr 13 2013, 12:56am
                                Very good point Telain about other spirits "out there" Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 13 2013, 2:08am
                                    clothes really do make the Maiar telain Send a private message to telain Apr 14 2013, 11:07pm
                                        Very true on Primordial Fear Telain Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 16 2013, 12:29am
    a few answers elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Apr 10 2013, 12:39pm
    Some answers CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 11 2013, 9:29pm
        Good points Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 12 2013, 2:39am
            I have a (partial) defence of Feanor - which I'm preparing as part of discussion of next chapter... // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 12 2013, 7:56am
                Your ideas on Feanor Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 12 2013, 11:43am
            just was reading the chapter last night Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 12 2013, 10:18am
                What an interesting idea! // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 12 2013, 11:21am
                Ungoliant is almost a bad Bombadil CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 12 2013, 1:05pm
                    Her unending hunger Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 12 2013, 1:10pm
                        Yes, her hatred is fascinating too CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 12 2013, 1:20pm
                            I really like this - she consumes the reaminder of her goodness Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 12 2013, 1:35pm
        so why is everyone so nuts over feanor? Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 16 2013, 3:06am
            Feanor had a good image consultant in his author CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 3:59am
            He's an unlikeable artist squire Send a private message to squire Apr 16 2013, 4:09am
                Artists and stereotypes CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 4:45am
                    "King of Planet Unreasonable" noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 16 2013, 11:17am
                        question about form... Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 16 2013, 11:23am
                            I started the next chapter... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 16 2013, 12:08pm
                                hurrah! Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 16 2013, 12:15pm
    Melkor & Ungoliant are like Frodo & Sam CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 11 2013, 9:31pm
        Wow interesting dark parallel Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 12 2013, 2:43am
            Could this be chapter 1? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 13 2013, 4:43pm
                True, it could be a starting point, but the feel would definitely change Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 13 2013, 7:20pm
                    I agree, it wouldn't fee do mythical. Also, Eru would be much more distant. // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 13 2013, 8:04pm
                        It links up with you great thread about his writing process... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 13 2013, 9:47pm
                    The Sil was not really ready for prime time in the late 1940s squire Send a private message to squire Apr 14 2013, 12:19am
                        To do with how Tolkien imagined the Sil, I think noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 14 2013, 10:39am
                            It's a complex proposition, following Tolkien's process here squire Send a private message to squire Apr 14 2013, 3:16pm
                                Well, if The Hobbit is any indication CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 15 2013, 1:35am
                                    who looks likely to be Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 15 2013, 1:47am
    maciliel-thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 15 2013, 3:56am
        Wonderful - thank you! sador Send a private message to sador Apr 15 2013, 2:45pm
            thanks, sador Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 15 2013, 2:51pm
        Intentional descent, or accidental? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 12:43am
            "Y' get accustomed to th' smell." squire Send a private message to squire Apr 16 2013, 1:12am
                ...and if it smells troubling today noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 16 2013, 11:22am
                Tolkien's villians - can we deduce any general points? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 16 2013, 1:51pm
    ungoliant boldog Send a private message to boldog Apr 15 2013, 9:54am
        A brief appearance in each book noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 15 2013, 1:53pm
            And the mosters Beren fought with on his way to Doriath. // sador Send a private message to sador Apr 15 2013, 2:37pm
                Imagine leaving Ungoliant out of the Chapter! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Apr 15 2013, 8:37pm
                    Ungoliant from Arda Reconstructed CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 2:07am
                        Melkor killing the Trees extends the tale Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Apr 16 2013, 2:43am
        Me too CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 12:25am
    Late for the party sador Send a private message to sador Apr 15 2013, 2:35pm
        The forgotten wife CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 12:35am
            the sad fate of indis, and the rulership of the noldor Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 16 2013, 1:10am
            the ruler of the noldor -- high queen galadriel Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Apr 16 2013, 1:12am
        Indis & Finwe Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Apr 16 2013, 1:48am
    Gollum/Ungoliant Finwe Send a private message to Finwe Apr 15 2013, 9:29pm
        Good points CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Apr 16 2013, 12:13am

 
 
 

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