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Silmarillion Discussion Chapter 10: Of the Sindar
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Finwe
Lorien


Apr 22 2013, 2:19pm

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Silmarillion Discussion Chapter 10: Of the Sindar Can't Post

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

For such a short chapter, there is a lot going on and it jumps around a bit. For this reason, I’m going to focus on some of the main themes. I tried to come up with as many questions as possible to encourage as much participation as possible, so please feel free to skip over anything. Don’t feel compelled to answer everything!

Tolkien’s Writing Style
The first thing I’d like to focus on is how the narrative style of this chapter affects the character of Thingol. This chapter zooms back out, condensing the greatest deeds of Thingol into a few short paragraphs. Similarly, back in Chapter 4, his chapter is only a few pages long. Without jumping too into too many details and spoiling things in the later chapters, compare that to how Thingol’s less than admirable deeds are presented in the “zoomed in” Beren and Luthien chapter. Do these contrasting styles give Thingol a fair treatment?

One quote from the book really caught my eye. “and although they(Sindar) were Moriquendi, under the lordship of Thingol and the teaching of Melian they became the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth.” More Tolkien hyperbole. Are the Sindar really outpacing the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri in all these aspects? Is it hard to keep track of who is the fairest and greatest and most skilled at what considering how nearly every major character gets described as such at some point in the Silmarillion?

One passage is particularly striking in its breaking from the informative, narrative style. “In Beleriand in those days the Elves walked, and the rivers flowed, and the stars shone, and the night-flowers gave forth their scents; and the beauty of Melian was the noon, and the beauty of Luthien was as the dawn inspring. In Beleriand King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar, whose power is at rest, whose joy is as an air that they breathe in all their days, whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps. In Beleriand still at times rode Orome the great, passing like a wind over the mountains, and the sound of the his horn came down the leagues of the starlight, and the Elves feared him for the splendor of his countenance and the great noise of the onrush of Nahar; but when the Valaroma echoed in the hills, they knew well that all evil things were fled far away.” Notice how each of the three sentences in this paragraph begin with In Beleriand. Doesn’t this sound very lyrical or peotic, almost like a mini-Lay?

The quote above also mentions Nahar and the Valaroma, very obsure references that are nonessential to the story itself, yet do have a backstory earlier in the text. Do these obscure references pique your desire for knowledge or annoy you because you can’t remember what Tolkien is talking about? The Silmarillion was released in 1977, long before references websites such as Wikipedia, Tolkien Gateway, or Encyclopedia of Arda became available at our fingertips. How does modern technology, something Tolkien wasn’t always a fan of, make reading his stories easier in these situations?

Dwarves
Despite being a chapter named after Elves, we get quite a few glimpses into the Dwarves of Beleriand, as well. One thing that caught my eye was their stated Friendship with Eol & Maeglin. Dwarves are traditionally, but not always, seen as sketchy characters throughout literature. Does Tolkien take advantage of this stereotype to provide a bit of foreshadowing about the future of Eol and Maeglin?

Within Tolkien’s own writings, Dwarves are often depicted as greedy, however we learn in this chapter the Dwarves of the First Age preferred iron and copper over silver and gold. We are also given a tiny nugget about Dwarves of the later ages growing weary of the world. We read many references about the diminishing of Elves and Men. Is the Dwarves’ preference to iron and copper a nod to the ideals of the undiminished Dwarves?

We are told about the dwarves aversion to sharing their language and true names, yet we also learn of their generosity in helping the Sindar build many things. Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language, yet freely share their craft? You’d think the latter would have been a more valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely.

In payment for their aid in the building of Menegroth, Thingol gives the dwarves many pearls, the greatest of these being Nimphelos, which the chieftain of the dwarves of Belegost prized above a mountain of wealth. Remind anyone else of another dwarvish treasure? If they so cherished the great pearl, why do Dwarves hate the Sea so much?

We are told that Dwarvish clans killed one another. The Elven Kinslayings are portrayed as horrific tragedies, yet Dwarvish kinslayings get a one sentence mention. Is there a double standard for the two races or is this just a matter of the Sil supposedly being an Elvish retelling?

Sindar
One of the most important events takes place in this chapter, the birth of Luthien. Her mere presence seems to enrich Middle Earth, as upon her birth, we’re told niphredil bloomed for the first time. Does this support the argument that the Valar erred in bringing the Eldar to Aman?

The Elves and Dwarves work together to build Thingol’s great dwelling of Menegroth, described as the fairest dwelling east of the Sea. Was it really fairer than Gondolin or is this just another instance of hyperbole getting the best of Tolkien? We also learn that Melian had many Valinorean images carved into the walls of Menegroth, in a sense bringing the beauty of Valinor to Middle Earth. How does this compare to the Valar’s refusal to share the light of the Two Trees with Middle Earth? Also carven into the walls of Menegroth are the images of many trees. Did this have an influence on lords of Doriath, such as Celeborn and Thranduil, establishing woodland realms of their own in later ages?

Because of the friendship of the Dwarves and the Sindar, Beleriand has peace, but slowly Morgoth’s servants begin returning, including orcs, of whom the text states: “Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, thinking them perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in the wild; in which they guessed all too near, it is said.” Does this support the argument that orcs are of Elvish origin?

Because of all the evil creatures returning to Beleriand, Thingol calls on the Dwarves to arm his people. Tolkien goes out of his way to point out why the Sindar needed weapons. Are we supposed to be contrasting this to the Noldor crafting weapons in the bliss of Valinor?

Unforeseen, the Nandor show up after their brief pit stop along the Anduin. We are told some dwelt at the mouths of the Anduin. Is this a reference to the Elvish strain that supposedly inhabits the lords of Dol Amroth, which we learn about in ROTK?

Daeron the Minstrel, chief loremaster of Doriath, devises his runes, yet this accomplishment is paid little heed by the Sindar, but not by the Dwarves. As Moriquendi, they’ve seen firsthand that immortal does not mean undying. Why don’t the Sindar see the value in recording their history?

First Battle
Morgoth and Ungoliant return to Middle Earth, have their spat, and scare the crap out of Beleriand. Ungoliant flees south, but does not enter into Thingol’s kingdom by the power of Melian. Considering how Ungoliant is fresh off making Morgoth scream in echoing terror, that’s pretty impressive. We’re also told Melian possessed the foresight to sense the upcoming trouble and the end of the noontide. So, why couldn’t the Valar?

Morgoth returns to Angband, rallies the troops and sends orcs to plunder Beleriand. Cirdan is cut off at Eglarest, but with the help of Denethor and the Nandor, the orcs are defeated in eastern Beleriand. Denethor is killed in the battle, however, so filled with grief, many of the Green-elves return to Ossiriand and never come forth in war again. Still some join Thingol and are merged. For a high and mighty race, these Elves are constantly sundering from one another. Is there a lesson to be learned or did Tolkien simply like creating new names for them?

Cirdan’s western army is besieged and defeated. Melian sets her Girdle. “Melian put forth her power and fenced all that dominion round about with an unseen wall of shadow and bewinderment: the Girdle of Melian, that none thereafter could pass against her will or the will of King Thingol, unless one should come with a power greater than that of Melian the Maia. Are you satisfied with the mechanics of the Girdle of Melian? If Melian, a maia of lesser stature than the Valar, is able to set her Girdle, why didn’t one of the Valar do the same to Valinor?

So ended the first battle of the wars of Beleriand. Tolkien ever the great linguist, chose an exquisitely eloquent name for this important event: Dagor-nuin-Gilia…nope that wasn’t it; Dagor Aglar…not that either; Dagor Bragolla…try again; Nirnaeth Arnoedia…strike four. Oh that’s right, he called it the First Battle of Beleriand. I guess only battles that involve the Noldor get fancy names. Thoughts?

One more thing I’d like to discuss. In the Silmarillion, Feanor lands at the Firth of Drengist and burns the ships at Losgar. End of chapter. Not so fast. In the Shibboleth of Feanor, found in the Peoples of Middle Earth, Amras, one of Feanor’s youngest sons, is shocked by his father’s deeds and plans to return to his mother in Valinor with one of the ships. Feanor, aware of the dissension, orders the ships to be burned, only to later discover his son was aboard at the time, the first Feanorian victim of the Oath. Given that Amras has such an anonymous identity throughout the rest of the Sil, wouldn't his death in the above fashion enhanced not only his character, but also the story of the Noldor? Which version do you prefer?

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.

(This post was edited by Finwe on Apr 22 2013, 2:24pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Apr 22 2013, 3:15pm

Post #2 of 77 (422 views)
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More questions: Racist Elves (?) powerful Melian, and unexpected timelines [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for leading us back into Middle-earth, Finwe. I'll think about your questions, but may I first add some to the pot? The things that struck me reading the chapter were:

The Sindar seem to be rather dismissive about the Dwarves - one Sindarian name for them is an rather personal observation about their height, the other sounds like a disease. Elves and dwarves collaborate OK when there's mutual interest, but it doesn't seem to be all that relaxed a friendship. And collaboration seems to rely upon Dwarvish entrepreneurialism (woah, don't get to type that phrase often) to bridge the gap between the races. I got the impression that, after the initial surprise that they were not the only sentient life-forms about, the elves weren't really too bothered about the Dwarves. Or, perhaps no longer being the only intelligent lifeform is a massive culture shock, they are struggling to adapt, and doing it by assuming that a different race must be an inferior one? Amusement tinged with a big dose of anxiety? Fresh from the discussion of how the Valar maybe didn't take the Eldar seriously enough, I wonder whether the same theme is continuing....
Interesting that we're told the Noldor and Dwarves get on better - communities of the skilled tend to be very inter-racial, because you can bond over the shared passion for something (science, engineering, jazz, soccer...).

I agree with you Melian seems to do a great job forecasting the end of the happy days in Valinor, driving off Ungoliant then setting up the defences of the realm. Which does make one wonder why the Valar don't do a better job - in theory the Valar have an all-seeing, all-hearing first couple, and all-knowing, naught saying Mandos. My initial guess is that Melian has taken an extremely intimate interest in Middle-earth and the Sindar: maybe she is just paying more attention to the things that turn out to count?

My other question is about timelines. I'd supposed that the Noldor follow Melkor as quickly as they can. After that its not clear how long they have to travel for before Feanor is burning his boats (in several senses) on the shores of Middle-Earth, but everything is described in a rush as if it is not long. Yet there's time for Melkor to settle back into his old obsidian bunker, raise an army and fight a campaign. So that sounds like some months at least to me, and I felt surprised to think of the Noldor's journey being such a long one. Is that just me?

Boy, is it confusing to have a character called Denethor in the story, completely different bloke to the Denethor of LOTR.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 22 2013, 4:58pm

Post #3 of 77 (402 views)
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Denethor [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Boy, is it confusing to have a character called Denethor in the story, completely different bloke to the Denethor of LOTR.

That's why it's a relief when he exits the story. But we still have two Minas Tirith's to contend with. It was confusing on my first read, even though I knew this was a different time and place, to have Sauron in charge of Minas Tirith. It's like having Smaug living at Bag End.


Finwe
Lorien


Apr 22 2013, 5:46pm

Post #4 of 77 (399 views)
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Interesting questions [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe you're on to something about the Elvish attitude toward the Dwarves. Based on their haughty words and actions later on the in book, I imagine the Elves view the Dwarves as a tool at their disposal. I don't want to get into too much detail as we'll cover this in later chapters.

Melian is definitely more in tune to things, having temporarily bound herself to Middle Earth and Thingol. Had she been an Ainu of Aman at this time, I'm guessing she would be just as clueless as the rest.

Timelines is something I actually meant to address in my initial post, but cut it out because I felt it was getting too long. I'll have to check out my Atlas of Middle Earth to see if there is anything more specific about the time lapse of the Noldor's journey. Part of the reason it feels so rushed is we're back to the zoomed out narrative style. You could say the same thing about the founding of Doriath and construction of Menegroth. What likely took years is condensed into a few paragraphs. Another example from this chapter, perhaps more applicable since it deals with marching Elves, is the section on the Nandor. We get the sundering, various journeys through ME, naming of royalty, and arrival in Beleriand in less than a page.

My question was going to have to do with Ages vs. ages. There's the ambiguity of when the First Age actually began. Sometimes it's stated to have begun at the rising of the Moon. Sometimes it's a reference to all the Elder Days. We also are told that Sauron was imprisoned for three ages. Exactly how long are we supposed to imagine that being?

I'll get into the Melkor/army question when I've got more time. I've got a few ideas, but they're purely speculative, so I want to ensure I articulate them clearly.

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when Fëanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 1:30am

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maciliel-thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do these contrasting styles give Thingol a fair treatment?

fair enough. true, if we were zoomed in during "of the sindar," we'd get a more personal look at thingol, but zoomed out, we get a more epic look at thingol, and epicness can bestow a halo of greatness, wisdom, bravery, all those wonderful things. thingol gets treatment fair enough.


2. Are the Sindar really outpacing the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri in all these aspects? Is it hard to keep track of who is the fairest and greatest and most skilled at what considering how nearly every major character gets described as such at some point in the Silmarillion?

i think tolkien is being hyperbolous, if we are to include all of arda, 'tho less egregious than in some other instances. i actually took it to mean (and still take it to mean) that of all the elves on the main continent of middle earth (meaning, not of aman) were they the fairest.


3. Notice how each of the three sentences in this paragraph begin with In Beleriand. Doesn’t this sound very lyrical or peotic, almost like a mini-Lay?

yes, this is very noticeable (at least to me -- i often write like this purposely, when i'm invoking a more poetic mood or wish to create rhythm). speak it out loud. its effects are better evinced that way. lovely.


4. Do these obscure references pique your desire for knowledge or annoy you because you can’t remember what Tolkien is talking about? How does modern technology, something Tolkien wasn’t always a fan of, make reading his stories easier in these situations?

no... i have a pretty good memory. so i remember. they don't seem so obscure to me. what they do accomplish, for me, is establish continuity, and it's especially valuable as we progress through the narrative and we zoom in more. everything is woven together, like a tapestry from vaire's hand.

re tech, i'm +delighted+ there are so many online storehouses of tolkien knowledge. that's a good thing. and this tech stuff also allows us to have many varied minds meet and converse in a steady, merry stream, whether they type by the light of arien or tilion.


5. Dwarves: Does Tolkien take advantage of this stereotype to provide a bit of foreshadowing about the future of Eol and Maeglin?

tolkien's dwarves are a bit of a troublesome proposition. sometimes they seem the embodiment of humanity's foibles. tolkien hated allegory, but that does not mean that things like author prejudices and biases don't come into play. i don't think tolkien means to imply that by consorting with dwarves, eol and maeglin started down a bad path, but we can certainly look at the characters of these two elves and wonder what made them get on with dwarves so well.

i wonder if feanor would have gotten along with dwarves. he seemed to value knowledge above the vessel in which it resided. certainly celebrimbor, his grandson, worked greatly and wonderfully with dwarves.

rather than looking upon eol's and maeglin's consorting with dwarves with suspicion, perhaps we should interpret this as being enlightened. the elves called the dwarves "naugrim," the "stunted people," which cannot be seen as a compliment. elves are a little xenophobic where dwarves are concerned. perhaps too many blessings given to the elves from eru hinders their ability to see beauty in all its varieties.

if we look at the valar in aman, their calling to the eldar to come to the blessed realm, the two trees, as being evidence that the valar did not share their gifts with the rest of middle earth as they aught, can we not (at least for a moment) look at the elves the same way? they are given eternal life, health, beauty, talent, and most of them like to keep to themselves.


6. Is the Dwarves’ preference to iron and copper a nod to the ideals of the undiminished Dwarves?

somewhat. one can presume that dwarves may have loved to work in silver and gold because it suited the works they had in mind to make. but i do think that the later dwarves might have increasingly loved to work in gold and silver because they were becoming more susceptible to greed. again, are dwarves the victims of stereotyping? many of the elven kings (thranduil, thingol, feanor) seem rather overly entranced with shiny things. should we have taken warning when the noldor started working with gems and precious metals? if so, are they any more worthy of criticism than the dwarves?


7. Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language, yet freely share their craft? You’d think the latter would have been a more valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely.

this is very interesting, in many ways. the elves of doriath aren't really writing anything down to record it (perhaps melain has told them that vaire is recording everything herself, so why bother). i think this may stem from their immortality. the sun seems like it will shine forever (or in this instance, the stars, since we don't have arien yet), it is summer unending. one age may seem very much like the next, as one happy day can to another, to us who are mortal. there's plenty of time to do everything.

dwarves have a different experience. they die. and their lives are more difficult in many ways. they want to make sure their crafts are passed along from parent to child, from teacher to student. with elves, you could just go ask aule (if you were in aman).

which brings me to some of my own questions re dwarves and elves...

what are the feelings of the dwarves to the elves when they think about the fact that their revered creator, aule, is someone who knew many elves first-hand? some of the elves with whom they now cross paths? does it bother them that "their" vala is available to elves in aman, teaching them wonderful things, and yet does not visit them in middle earth? are they jealous of the elves?

and what are the elves thinking of, when they think upon the dwarves (especially the noldor)? they revere aule, yet they call his creation (and eru's) the "stunted people"? and the noldor, who prize skill and craft, and have a special reverence for aule... do they afford dwarves any special respect because they are aule's creations?


Is there a double standard for the two races or is this just a matter of the Sil supposedly being an Elvish retelling?

i don't think a double standard. it does seem that dwarves kill dwarves and edain kill edain far oftener than elves kill elves. i think we're to take this as elves are enlightened.

---- which brings to mind something that has always troubled me ---

if elves are so enlightened, how could they be hunting the petty dwarves? were those dwarves attacking them? (sorry, jumping a little ahead, but this relates to the question asked by the chapter leader.) the way i always read this, it just seemed like the elves would come across the petty dwarves and kill them, because they could, because they didn't see them as real people. if so, that's +not+ very enlightened.


Does this support the argument that the Valar erred in bringing the Eldar to Aman?

+yes+. and although i have questions about whether melain inadvertently took advantage of thingol, if only the valar and maiar had taken her general lead. how much more beauty and wisdom might have grown in middle earth? again, you're out of luck, moriquendi.


8. Does this support the argument that orcs are of Elvish origin?

absolutely, and yes. i've been wanting to post a thread on orcs for a long while. perhaps i will.


9. Are we supposed to be contrasting this to the Noldor crafting weapons in the bliss of Valinor?

somewhat. they both are a sign of trouble to come, but with the noldor, there was no enemy. so why were they arming? the sindar, very clearly, had to contend with the servants of morgoth. the first blood that the weapons of the noldor tasted was immortal.


10. We’re also told Melian possessed the foresight to sense the upcoming trouble and the end of the noontide. So, why couldn’t the Valar?

it's almost like the valar are drunk on their own bliss. are they so tired from their exertions that they don't bestir themselves? i'm continually wondering +how+ they could abandon middle earth, especially the moriquendi, part of the eldar, whom they claimed to love so much.


11. Given that Amras has such an anonymous identity throughout the rest of the Sil, wouldn't his death in the above fashion enhanced not only his character, but also the story of the Noldor? Which version do you prefer?

'tho it's a sad fate for amras, it's a better story. i'm sorry it was left out. it' also fleshes out the characters of the sons better, who at times seem little better differentiated than the thirteen dwarves of the hobbit.

i also like the idea of +someone+ repenting. +someone+ thinking, "hey, my dad may be brilliant, but he's wrong." although it's troubling that this comes not after the kinslaying, but the ships issue.



so many great, great questions. thank you so much, finwe.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 1:39am

Post #6 of 77 (380 views)
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just thought of something [In reply to] Can't Post

 
if gimli did indeed travel to aman with legolas, he will have a good chance of meeting aule.

lucky dwarf!

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 1:53am

Post #7 of 77 (386 views)
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Meanwhile, what are the country cousins up to? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Do these contrasting styles give Thingol a fair treatment?
Great question. I think the zoom out perspective makes everything seem grander, as if Thingol and Industrious is doing all these impressive things in short order. His flaws show up in the Beren & Luthien chapter, but he puts on a good show here. Wise, in command, thoughtful.

Are the Sindar really outpacing the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri in all these aspects? Is it hard to keep track of who is the fairest and greatest and most skilled at what considering how nearly every major character gets described as such at some point in the Silmarillion?
Yes, he is heavy on the hyperbole, isn't he? Though I think here the comparison is to non-Valinorean Elves. I view it as the Elves of Light are in Valinor, and the Dark Elves are in Middle-earth. The Sindar are "Grey/Gray" because they're in between the two. Certainly when the Noldor arrive, the Sindar appear far less sophisticated.

Notice how each of the three sentences in this paragraph begin with In Beleriand. Doesn’t this sound very lyrical or peotic, almost like a mini-Lay?
I'm glad you pointed this out, because I just re-read the chapter, and that construction went right past me. But it is lyrical because of it. He's certainly creating Beleriand as an enchanted place that you want to go. It's a little absurd that I get attached to Beleriand as a character in the book, but I do because of all the action taking place in it. It feels like a whole, whereas the events in LOTR are spread far enough apart that I don't think of the Shire and Gondor as the same place or having much in common, whereas Hithlum and Ossiriand seem quite connected, and what affects one ripples to the other in my mind.

What do you make of this line?

Quote
In Beleriand King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar, whose power is at rest,

It seems odd to compare him to the Maiar, even if it's a Maia at rest. Isn't that presumptuous? Even Feanor, who's at times of hyperbole called the greatest of the Eldar, is never compared to a Maia. I know he didn't marry one, but are we to believe that Melian's aura/grace/divinity rubbed off on him? Is the effect real or an illusion? It seems to be the latter, but I'm never quite sure. Somehow Melian has made all the Sindar better than other Moriquendi, so why not her hubby too? Only as later chapters reveal, he can be petty and not very bright. The praise here seems out of place to me, or maybe I just don't interpret it correctly.

Do these obscure references pique your desire for knowledge or annoy you because you can’t remember what Tolkien is talking about?
I like being reminded of Orome. I think he's cool. I'm piqued. And I read it in 1977. It was a labor to keep everything straight, I suppose, but a labor of love.

Does Tolkien take advantage of this stereotype to provide a bit of foreshadowing about the future of Eol and Maeglin?
Excellent question. I never thought of it that way before. I only thought that since they're smith-types, they got along well with other smith-types. But it seems that lack of scruples also gives them something in common. A lot in common. Don't let your kids play with Dwarves, I guess.

Is the Dwarves’ preference to iron and copper a nod to the ideals of the undiminished Dwarves?
Yes, this is a line I like to read. It's part of the innocence of this Age, before people were greedy, even Dwarves. It heightens the tragedy to come, I suppose, when you feel an age of innocence is lost.

Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language, yet freely share their craft? You’d think the latter would have been a more valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely.
You really have your thinking cap on today, and I don't seem to wear mine enough. Never thought of this either, just accepted at face value, but yes, shouldn't it be the reverse? Teaching anyone your craft means you risk not making money from it when the knowledge spreads. My only explanation is that language is somehow connected with the soul, less so than their craftsmanship, and they don't want anyone to see inside them. It seems that Elves bare their souls quite a bit, and Men less so, but Dwarves never do. In modern terms, they have issues with intimacy, and that's manifested by keeping their language safe from outsiders.

Remind anyone else of another dwarvish treasure? If they so cherished the great pearl, why do Dwarves hate the Sea so much?
You mean the Arkenpearl? I always think that when I read this. And it seems somehow awkwardly inserted. I think they hate the Sea because they can't subdue it to their hammers and anvils or make anything from it. The Sea is wild and untamable, and they like things they can control. It also gives a contrast to their spiritual instincts vs those of Elves.

Is there a double standard for the two races or is this just a matter of the Sil supposedly being an Elvish retelling?
Well, Men kill each other two with no one calling it a Kinslaying. Elves are held to a higher standard, as are hobbits. Making a somewhat casual reference to Dwarves killing each other shows them to be an inferior race to Elves, where such a think only happens thrice and is mostly unthinkable.

One of the most important events takes place in this chapter, the birth of Luthien. Her mere presence seems to enrich Middle Earth, as upon her birth, we’re told niphredil bloomed for the first time. Does this support the argument that the Valar erred in bringing the Eldar to Aman?
Tired of me saying I'd never thought of that before? The best thing about these book discussions for me is that I can read the books a million times and not gain the new perspectives I encounter from other people here. I really like that idea you bring up, and I'm going to think about it over the next day or two. My immediate reaction is that Luthien is special because of Melian's blood. But still, she's half-Elven, so half of whatever good she brings can be attributed to the Elves. And maybe the broader view is: look what a great realm Melian single-handedly helped create in Beleriand. What if other Ainur had done the same?

On the other hand, it says a lot that the Nandor stayed behind as Ulmo advocated, and they had a hard time of it on their own and had to seek shelter in Melian-land. And it appears that Beleriand was unique, so that other Moriquendi realms didn't accomplish nearly as much. So maybe Ulmo was wrong, and Luthien is an exception due to her lineage.

Was it really fairer than Gondolin or is this just another instance of hyperbole getting the best of Tolkien?
Honestly, this hyperbole annoys me. I'm sure Menegroth was pretty, but I wouldn't give it #1 status, unless the context is pre-return-of-the-Noldor.

How does this compare to the Valar’s refusal to share the light of the Two Trees with Middle Earth?
To me the question is larger. Why is Melian the only Peace Corps volunteer teaching the rustic folk? Why don't other missionaries from the Valar come among the Moriquendi and teach them? Orome's riding isn't enough.

Does this support the argument that orcs are of Elvish origin?
Certainly.

Is this a reference to the Elvish strain that supposedly inhabits the lords of Dol Amroth, which we learn about in ROTK?
I interpret it that way.

Why don’t the Sindar see the value in recording their history?
I've always been puzzled by this myself, unless it's the bit about a prophet having no recognition in his own land. It actually makes them seem like they're not smart enough to appreciate a good idea that comes along, and the Dwarves are.

So, why couldn’t the Valar?
Great point. Mandos would know, but not tell. If Melian knew, would other Ainur know? It seems likely. Why would Melian act on her foresight but not the others? Though there's something about the Valar as being disconnected philosophers and intellectuals, whereas Melian is down in the trenches and pragmatic, so she'll act on her foresight.

Is there a lesson to be learned or did Tolkien simply like creating new names for them?
I think he liked making new names for new tribes. He almost seems to take childish delight in it.

If Melian, a maia of lesser stature than the Valar, is able to set her Girdle, why didn’t one of the Valar do the same to Valinor?
Never thought of that either. It's like Melian is the only one of them with any power, wisdom, or common sense. Why isn't she in Manwe's shoes? Then again, what does she see in Thingol?

Battle name: It seems a possible oversight to me. I read this thinking JRR had to have a name in mind for it.
What I never understand is how easily Thingol writes off the fate of Cirdan.

Quote
he learned that the Orc-host in the west was victorious, and had drived Cirdan to the rim of the sea. Therefore he withdrew all his people...

Wait a minute!!! What about going to Cirdan's aid? You might harass the Orcs with guerrilla tactics if you don't have the numbers, or you watch and wait for an opportunity, but you don't just abandon your kin, comrade, and vassal to being besieged and ultimately defeated by the Orcs, do you??? I really have a problem with this part.

Which version do you prefer?
Complicated answer. It's hinted that some of Feanor's sons are more like Nerdanel, i.e., more humane and less hot-headed, than others, and the twins sort of seem the likely candidates, but we never hear much about them. Having a son clearly defined as loyal to Nerdanel's values who dies from the Oath makes the whole family more interesting. But somehow, I like the fact that the sons of Feanor keep surviving all the disasters in Beleriand until they start killing their own kin again. It almost seems like the Oath keeps them all alive to do their dirty work, and they're all caught in the same net. It's twisted, but seems appropriate.

I'll add to noWiz's question about the timeline: either Melkor recovers his armies and overruns Beleriand all in one week, or it took months to sail from Valinor to Beleriand (and you can see ships burning from one shore to the other, so it's not that far). Somehow the timeline, which is normally flawless, falls apart here.

You came up with a penetrating analysis of this chapter, Finwe. I had planned on going to bed an hour ago, but I'm having too much fun reading and replying to your observations. I hope you'll take another chapter later. Many thanks for this one.


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 11:00am

Post #8 of 77 (380 views)
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more on melian [In reply to] Can't Post

 
though a protective and inspiring figure, melain is cloaked in many troubling issues.

1. she is a maia, and she is consorting with an elda, who is a being of subordinate order. she has far greater power and wisdom, and her purpose in arda is different than one of the first born. it is an unequal power structure. i can absolutely understand why thingol would be entranced with melain, but why would melain be besotted with thingol? and, even given that attraction, why is it not wrong, in this unequal dynamic, that she engaged in this relationship? doesn't it violate the general prime directive of the valar and maiar?

also, their coming together brought about incredible woe for a vast number of elves. thingol disappears. his desperate kin and subjects look for him. they have to make an awful decision: continue on without him, or stay to look for him, and be sundered from everyone else. and there's the very real possibility that he could have been captured by servants of morgoth. many elves, from the time of the awakening, were.

i find melain's relationship with thingol troubling on many, many levels, and this last aspect is especially awful, as it brought horrible grief to so many.

so, no reprimand from the valar? there's not even a summoning to the ring of doom to discuss it, nor does it seem the valar discuss it among themselves.

re the girdle....

again, is she breaking any rules of getting too involved? if it's okay for melian to use her powers in this way, why didn't other maiar do the same (if not the valar)? and, if it wasn't really okay, why no talk of it. it seems a rather huge deal.

and a closing problem with melian... (don't want to invoke too much from a future chapter)... after thingol is slain she departs, and with her her protective encirclement. she's not just thingol's wife, she is the queen of his people. so, no responsibility to them? to continue to protect and guide them? to make some provisions for her departure? also, was not luthien still alive at this point? she's mortal now, and when she's dead will presumably be separated from her mother forever. mother melian doesn't want to stick around for whatever time she has left with her daughter (perhaps it was too painful)? again, +questions+, questions, questions.

melian is so celebrated as the blessings of above come down to enrich the earthy plain, but i have +so+ many issues with this character.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


telain
Rohan

Apr 23 2013, 2:39pm

Post #9 of 77 (367 views)
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back at the ranch, things are happening [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, I commend you for your post. It is a dense, disorganized chapter, but you’ve organized everything really well -- and very interesting questions! So, thank you!

Tolkien’s writing style

I don’t feel like I “know” Thingol yet. I feel like I should, he already had half a “chapter”, but he’s still a bit of a shadowy grey cloak...

Truthfully, I am getting a rather strange impression about the Sindar in general. They are “...the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth”, which as everyone so far has mentioned is hyperbole, and as CuriousG mentioned, it is “in Middle-earth” so the Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri do not count. But I also wonder, is it damning them with faint praise? Much like, if you don’t have a Vanya or Noldo around, one of the Sindar would do.

And having said that, it seems that Thingol’s folk do make the best of Beleriand, but that owes so much to Melian and the Dwarves. Melian seems to, as CuriousG mentions, be the only one with any power, wisdom, or common sense. But as Maciliel rightly counters -- why is she able to do all this and isn’t this running counter to the “prime directive” of the Maia? Shouldn’t her power be a little lessened since she has (presumably) taken a stable form? Not that I am comparing Melian to Ungoliant or even Melkor, but it is curious that meddling in the affairs of Middle-earth is usually seen as undesirable, and that stability of form for a Maiar is the result of evil misdeeds.

In Beleriand... fantastic catch, Finwe. That paragraph is beautiful and I wish it would have lasted just a bit longer, but I think there is a reason for that (see below). I do see this as a mini-Lay, but even more so I see it as an attempt to capture some of the good things that happened. Just prior to that paragraph, Tolkien writes:

Quote
But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while still they endure for eyes to see, are their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.


I feel as though these lines are the theme for the whole of the Silmarillion. So many great, beautiful, wonderful things happened, existed, and were destroyed one way or another. I wonder if this mini-Lay was an attempt to give the impression that great and wonderful things were happening in Middle-earth while all this nonsense was going on in Valinor, but no one (i.e., no Vala) really took notice. So here it is: a pale record of the deeds the Sindar did before (surprise!) tragedy struck.

On Oromë, Nahar, and the Valaroma I really liked the continuity that those few lines provided. It also reminds us that there are Valar in Middle-earth that are doing something about the proliferation of evil things, but don’t ...(ahem) ... go throwing Girdles around a place just because they’ve settled down. Truthfully, I am not totally against Melian, but I do think some of her actions are a bit questionable -- if for no other reason that the security she provides makes Thingol a bit more arrogant than he might otherwise have been.

On Dwarves and Sindar I found it interesting as well that this chapter focused so much on Dwarves, but then I find I learn so much more about someone (or a people) when they are shown interacting with another. So now I come back to my earlier assessment of the Sindar -- that even in hyperbole, they are being described as somewhat less than their Valinorian cousins. The Noldor interact with the Valar, while the Sindar interact with the Dwarves. (And both not terribly well, but I think we have to keep remembering that both peoples are very, very young.) The Noldor take the Valar to task for arguably behaving like children who wanted to keep their pets in (a very beautiful gilded) cage. Meanwhile, the Sindar thought they were the only sentient being in Middle-earth (even though they were aware and afraid of Oromë) and lo! and behold! Dwarves pop out from rocks in the earth and declare their intentions in a strange and (to the Elves) uncomely tongue. The Sindar’s response? Tease them about their height and use their skills when needed.

So, yes, I think we are supposed to be comparing the Sindar to the Noldor throughout this chapter. The call to arms? Interesting, since without Melian, Thingol would have been without a fortress and probably without the wherewithal to call for arms in the first place. The Sindar certainly have a more admirable reason to call to arms than the Noldor did, but I think it is interesting that the Noldor’s “call to arms” was a direct result of Melkor’s lies. I’m not sure what that means to me yet, but I feel there is something there that feels much more tragic. The Noldor needed to be tricked into setting against the Valar, whereas the Sindar handle the relationship with the Dwarves in such a way as they preferred working with the Noldor once they establish themselves in Middle-earth.

As far as the double-standard for Dwarves and Elves? That is a mystery! Especially since we witness Eru going to great lengths to allow the Dwarves life -- you’d think he’d be a bit more upset. Or is he setting an example for Aulë? “See, I told you your creation was flawed.” I also was struck by the line: “A warlike race of old were all the Naugrim,...” It makes the Dwarves seem so ancient, yet they were not to have arrived earlier than the Elves. It seems that the Dwarves are a rather contradictory race -- motivated by greed and war, but capable of crafting great and beautiful things. now cognizant of the ease of hyperbole!

First Battle of Beleriand Am I still writing a response! This chapter is dense! And I agree, Finwe, I think a more poetic title might be in order. Perhaps battle was simply so new and outrageous that no one had time to come up with a fancier name? Perhaps a battle needs a Noldo or two to pen an appropriate moniker?

Like the Ring of Doom, I was never happy with the Girdle of Melian. Yes, images come to mind that are nothing less than ridiculous, and, yes, I admit that it is a product of modern word-usage. Still.

With the constant sundering of Elves, I wonder if Tolkien is implying that they do not all think alike. Even though not all the Noldor follow Feanor faithfully, we still sometimes write about them as if like they did. For myself, I always wanted to hear a bit more about the Laiquendi (and having just written that, your point about Tolkien liking to make up names for them may have some validity!)

So many interesting questions! My brain is pleasantly exhausted. Curious to see where this discussion thread leads... More later...


elaen32
Gondor

Apr 23 2013, 10:23pm

Post #10 of 77 (354 views)
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For a short chapter, there's an awful lot in there!! [In reply to] Can't Post

My first go at the Sil discussions- please excuse any repetition of what others have said or glaring errors in my lore!!

In Reply To

One quote from the book really caught my eye. “and although they(Sindar) were Moriquendi, under the lordship of Thingol and the teaching of Melian they became the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth.” More Tolkien hyperbole. Are the Sindar really outpacing the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri in all these aspects? Is it hard to keep track of who is the fairest and greatest and most skilled at what considering how nearly every major character gets described as such at some point in the Silmarillion?
The operative word(s) here are "Middle-earth"- at this stage the Vanyar, Noldor and the other half of the Teleri are in Aman and the other elves in Middle-earth are either Avari or those who broke off the Great Journey. In effect, the Sindar got the furthest towards Aman ? demonstrating their greater wisdom. Then Melian comes along, keeps them in ME and imparts her wisdom. So, yes, in terms of elves in ME as opposed to Arda, they probably are the wisest and most advanced at this point, but soon to lose this status.
Notice how each of the three sentences in this paragraph begin with In Beleriand. Doesn’t this sound very lyrical or peotic, almost like a mini-Lay? Yes, it is much more poetic in nature and appropriate to the feel that Tolkien seems to be trying for here

Do these obscure references pique your desire for knowledge or annoy you because you can’t remember what Tolkien is talking about? How does modern technology, something Tolkien wasn’t always a fan of, make reading his stories easier in these situations?
They don't annoy me now, though admittedly, when I first read LOTR, I found the obscure references very distracting. Then I read the Silmarillion, which answered many of my questions. Now, if I find something obscure, I store it away mentally until I am able to look it up, but it doesn't take me out of the stories anymore. Re modern technology- yes it is a great help. I do wonder what Tolkien would have made of internet forums like this and what he would make of our discussions here. Would he think it was great that we were discussing his work in detail and enjoying his created world? Or would he consider it not quite erudite enough ( speaking for myself here, not those who are far more knowledgeable than me!) compared with his discussions with the Inklings over a pint in the "Eagle & Child"?
Dwarves
Is the Dwarves’ preference to iron and copper a nod to the ideals of the undiminished Dwarves? I think it points to them being of a more practical nature at this time- making things of iron and copper that are useful, rather than the ornate jewellery and decorative craft later. The more practical side seems closer to the dwarves' true nature, but later they are diminished as their love for silver, gold and jewels becomes their prime concern

Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language, yet freely share their craft? You’d think the latter would have been a more valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely. My take on this is that the dwarves have a different origin story and thus a different spirituality to elves and men. Their language could be the expression of their soul, as are their true names. Hence, as elves and men do not bare the depths of their souls with all sundry, the same with the dwarves and their language. Their craft, obviously, is part of their "spirit" too, but is the more externalised part, hence they are more likely to share it, although later they become rather jealous of their craft and their creations

Is there a double standard for the two races or is this just a matter of the Sil supposedly being an Elvish retelling? I think it is probably because it is an Elvish retelling- the Elves do not really understand the motivations and cultures of the dwarves and think the dwarves inferior anyway. Maybe they feel the tragedy of this less because of these facts. Even today, in RL we find it easier to relate to tragedy in our own communities and countries than those further away with different customs

Sindar
One of the most important events takes place in this chapter, the birth of Luthien. Her mere presence seems to enrich Middle Earth, as upon her birth, we’re told niphredil bloomed for the first time. Does this support the argument that the Valar erred in bringing the Eldar to Aman?
Yes- Ok Luthien is half Maia, but maybe if other Maiar (obviously not the evil ones!) had followed Melian's example and mingled with the First born, there would have been greater peace and beauty to counteract Melkor's actions. I do feel that the Valar gave up on ME a little too easily and then gave the elves too little time to undertake such a big journey. They then turned their backs on those who couldn't or wouldn't go to Aman, depriving them of light, aid against Melkor etc. This seems a strange way for a bunch of divine beings to behave towards their responsibilities IMO!

Because of the friendship of the Dwarves and the Sindar, Beleriand has peace, but slowly Morgoth’s servants begin returning, including orcs, of whom the text states: “Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, thinking them perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in the wild; in which they guessed all too near, it is said.” Does this support the argument that orcs are of Elvish origin? Hmmm, yes I think so, although Tolkien does contradict this elsewhere in his writings, but as far as I can make out, the elvish origin of orcs seems to be the most consistent explanation

Unforeseen, the Nandor show up after their brief pit stop along the Anduin. We are told some dwelt at the mouths of the Anduin. Is this a reference to the Elvish strain that supposedly inhabits the lords of Dol Amroth, which we learn about in ROTK?
I suppose they could be- although I always had the impression that the elves of Dol Amroth were Second Age refugees from Lothlorien, who fled when Durin's Bane was awoken. But I suppose some elves had to be there in the first instance to build the ships that these people left on.


"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 23 2013, 10:32pm

Post #11 of 77 (359 views)
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Thum Thoughts on Thingol (oops, lisping a bit..) [In reply to] Can't Post

The first thing I'd like to focus on is how the narrative style of
this chapter affects the character of Thingol. This chapter zooms back out,
condensing the greatest deeds of Thingol into a few short paragraphs.
Similarly, back in Chapter 4, his chapter is only a few pages long. Without
jumping too into too many details and spoiling things in the later chapters,
compare that to how Thingol's less than admirable deeds are presented in the
"zoomed in"ť Beren and Luthien chapter. Do these contrasting styles give
Thingol a fair treatment? I think it represents a chronology in a way, and an overall "zooming in" on Thingol's character as it changes through time. In Ch 3 we see romantic, all positive things about Thingol; in CH10 for the most part we have the removed 'deeds' view of his actions, for the most part noble and kingdom-making, instead of the more intimate 'eavesdropping' view we will get later. There is a bit of a magician's trick here though, isn't there - that quick mention of how Thingol leaves Cirdan to his fate in the western shore and retreats to safety...wait! HE DID WHAT!? So in the ending of the 'deeds' view we get this little hint of something disturbing going on...
One quote from the book really caught my
eye: "and although they (Sindar) were Moriquendi, under the lordship of
Thingol and the teaching of Melian they became the fairest and the most wise and
skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth." More Tolkien hyperbole? Are
the Sindar really outpacing the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri in all these aspects?
Is it hard to keep track of who is the fairest and greatest and most skilled at
what considering how nearly every major character gets described as such at some

point in the Silmarillion? Yes, it's rather a left-handed compliment, by implying that the Lesser Elves were less skilled and artful and wise than those who had been to Valinor. On the other hand - when the Exiles return they take up Sindarin as their language...out of extension of rebellion and new beginnings perhaps?
One passage is particularly striking in
its breaking from the informative, narrative style. "In
Beleriand in those days the Elves walked, and the rivers flowed, and
the stars shone, and the night-flowers gave forth their scents; and the beauty
of Melian was the noon, and the beauty of Luthien was as the dawn inspring.
King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar,
whose power is at rest, whose joy is as an air that they breathe in all their
days, whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps.
In Beleriand still at times rode Orome the great, passing like a wind
over the mountains, and the sound of the his horn came down the leagues of the
starlight, and the Elves feared him for the splendor of his countenance and the
great noise of the onrush of Nahar; but when the Valaroma echoed in the hills,
they knew well that all evil things were fled far away. Notice how each
of the three sentences in this paragraph begin with In Beleriand. Doesn't this

sound very lyrical or peotic, almost like a mini-Lay? It does sound like that, and I think what he is trying to do is give it a specialness, an almost Biblically lyrical quality, which empasizes the sadness of its loss. Its funny how the Lesser Elves still fear Orome, even though the Darker things retreat at the sight of him and Nahar's hooves. Makes me feel bad for them, those elves, living in twilight where they get snagged away by mysterious dark forms and even fearing forces of Good - one could say quit rightly they were 'afraid of their own shadows'. I feel like maybe this wouldn't be the case if the Valar weren't so consumed by their own drama in Valinor.
The quote above also mentions Nahar and the Valaroma, very obsure references that are
nonessential to the story itself, yet do have a backstory earlier in the text.
Do these obscure references pique your desire for knowledge or annoy you
because you can't remember what Tolkien is talking about? The Silmarillion
was released in 1977, long before references websites such as Wikipedia, Tolkien
Gateway, or Encyclopedia of Arda became available at our fingertips. How
does modern technology, something Tolkien wasn't always a fan of, make reading

his stories easier in these situations? I like the accessibility it gives, because even if you have all the texts a bit of a heads up as to where to look further is helpful. I like the hidden references and finding out about what I can't remember, sends me scuttling and page-turning (Nerdvana..!)
Despite
being a chapter named after Elves, we get quite a few glimpses into the Dwarves
of Beleriand, as well. One thing that caught my eye was their stated Friendship
with Eol & Maeglin. Dwarves are traditionally, but not always, seen as
sketchy characters throughout literature. Does Tolkien take advantage of
this stereotype to provide a bit of foreshadowing about the future of Eol and

Maeglin? Yes I think this is a great point, and the foreshadowing comes in the form of how Tolkien uses the word 'alien' in the previous sentence. Indeed JRRT refrred to the Dwarves "...as both native and alien in their own land" (para from memory, Letters.) It implies something about these Elves that will 'descend' into another world, another realm, so different than the elven realm. Especially since they have some pretty definite ideas about the superiority of elves to Dwarves, and as CG *very amusingly* points out calling them stunted and almost-venereal-disease I think shows they naivete but also their unwillingness, at this immature stage in their history, to fully embrace the idea that they are not the sole owners of intelligence in Arda.
In his own writings, Dwarves are often depicted
as greedy, however we learn in this chapter the Dwarves of the First Age
preferred iron and copper over silver and gold. We are also given a tiny nugget
about Dwarves of the later ages growing weary of the world. We read many
references about the diminishing of Elves and Men. Is the Dwarves
preference to iron and copper a nod to the ideals of the undiminished

Dwarves? Beautiful idea. Yes I can see this, as those earlier materials are the materials of building everyday, needed tools and not luxuries. I think it was a time when they were very close to Aule and his love of basic crafting, before their skills rapidly grew and they came to embrace building and crafting for beauty and symbolism. (A bit of ME Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs going on here.)
We are told about the dwarves aversion to sharing their
language and true names, yet we also learn of their generosity in helping the
Sindar build many things. Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language,
yet freely share their craft? You'd think the latter would have been a more

valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely. Actually this makes perfect sense to me. Keep in mind words in ME have power - names and language represent more than just simple communication. Their generosity in sharing their skills speaks of their essential goodness coupled with their pride in their skills, which they would be happy to showcase. I posted something like this in an earlier thread, that for example the Doors of Moria may have had Elf help in lettering, but remain completely Dwarven in operation and spirit. Dwarf pride, as a race apart, doesn't mold or change itself even when working with other races. So going out into the world of other spreads heir culture, and shows their abilities (sacred abilities - they come from The Smith) without compromising their cultural integrity (even the Ring couldn't do that.)
In payment for
their aid in the building of Menegroth, Thingol gives the dwarves many pearls,
the greatest of these being Nimphelos, which the chieftain of the dwarves of
Belegost prized above a mountain of wealth. Remind anyone else of another
dwarvish treasure? If they so cherished the great pearl, why do Dwarves hate

the Sea so much? I think they can love the Pearls because they are still minerals, made from Earth, and are beautiful. (As you say - like the Arkenstone, gouged pearl-like from the oyster of Earth.)
We are told that Dwarvish clans killed one another.
The Elven Kinslayings are portrayed as horrific tragedies, yet Dwarvish
kinslayings get a one sentence mention. Is there a double standard for the
two races or is this just a matter of the Sil supposedly being an Elvish

retelling? Very true Finwe. Sil is very Elf-centric! (which sounds like an Elf with an odd bend of mind...)
One of the most important events takes
place in this chapter, the birth of Luthien. Her mere presence seems to enrich
Middle Earth, as upon her birth, we're told niphredil bloomed for the first
time. Does this support the argument that the Valar erred in bringing the

Eldar to Aman? I completely think that it does! The Elves in Arda had such potential to grow and develop without the Valar interfering, and this is a sign of that. That is all stunted through fear and poor choices. Granted Luthien is the result of union between Maiar and Elf - but this could have happened regardless of the Summons. I think that by taking them from Arda the Valar interrupted the Elves in reaching their full potential for sub-creation, as envisioned by Eru. Would the Firstborn have been better fixing the ills of Arda when their existence was bound up with it, and would they have been happier with Arda to love, as it is and could be, instead of pining for what they can no longer have, leading to what JRRT refers to as their desire to 'embalm' ME as it is, an to despise and fear change. ***Would we have the Three without this feeling on their part? And the resultant peril of the One?????***
The Elves and Dwarves work together to build
Thingol's great dwelling of Menegroth, described as the fairest dwelling east of
the Sea. Was it really fairer than Gondolin or is this just another instance

of hyperbole getting the best of Tolkien? That's a tough one; both sound lovely, but is he getting at Menegroth's fairness not being undermined, as Gondolin's is by the relative beauty of Idril? Not sure here - they both sound gorgeous, and Gondolin can be compared to Tirion...
We also learn that Melian had many
Valinorean images carved into the walls of Menegroth, in a sense bringing the
beauty of Valinor to Middle Earth. How does this compare to the Valar's

refusal to share the light of the Two Trees with Middle Earth? Well, its a nice deal - having your cake and eating it too! Having Queenship in Arda, with a (surely) handsome Elven husband, yet getting to walk about surrounded by the glory of Valinor? I think it is the same sort of somewhat innocent self-serving behaviors as keeping the Light.
Also carven
into the walls of Menegroth are the images of many trees. Did this have an
influence on lords of Doriath, such as Celeborn and Thranduil, establishing

woodland realms of their own in later ages? It may be - because in the First Age living in a stine palace was fine for Elves, but with all the influence of Trees maybe that shifted their focus.
Because of the
friendship of the Dwarves and the Sindar, Beleriand has peace, but slowly
Morgoth's servants begin returning, including orcs, of whom the text states:
"Whence they came, or what they were, the Elves knew not then, thinking them
perhaps to be Avari who had become evil and savage in the wild; in which they
guessed all too near, it is said." Does this support the argument that

orcs are of Elvish origin? Absolutely!!!!!
Because of all the evil creatures
returning to Beleriand, Thingol calls on the Dwarves to arm his people. Tolkien
goes out of his way to point out why the Sindar needed weapons. Are we
supposed to be contrasting this to the Noldor crafting weapons in the bliss of

Valinor? Nice parallel Finwe!!!! One is discontent and the other is fear of death...never a happy reason to Arm-up, is there?
Unforeseen, the Nandor show up after their brief pit stop
along the Anduin. We are told some dwelt at the mouths of the Anduin. Is
this a reference to the Elvish strain that supposedly inhabits the lords of Dol

Amroth, which we learn about in ROTK? That makes sense, also that it would be Lesser elves in the line.
Daeron the Minstrel, chief
loremaster of Doriath, devises his runes, yet this accomplishment is paid little
heed by the Sindar, but not by the Dwarves. As Moriquendi, they've seen
firsthand that immortal does not mean undying. Why don't the Sindar see the

value in recording their history? Let me say here it makes me love the Dwarves for all their joy in reading and writing. And I think they have that pressing need as long-lived Mortals to record their deeds, especially with their pride. The Elves might 'know' that they can die, but I think they need to experience more loss before they see the need for recording.
First Battle: Morgoth
and Ungoliant return to Middle Earth, have their spat, and scare the crap out of
Beleriand. Ungoliant flees south, but does not enter into Thingol's kingdom by
the power of Melian. Considering how Ungoliant is fresh off making Morgoth
scream in echoing terror, that's pretty impressive. We're also told Melian
possessed the foresight to sense the upcoming trouble and the end of the

noontide. So, why couldn't the Valar? A question with the same answer: why do they party over and over without posting so much as a cockatiel for a sentry? Lack of forethought! I think maybe her foresight has to do with her assuming an Earthly form perhaps? Just being more in touch with real-world Arda itself instead of the bright, shiny distraction of Valinor.
Morgoth returns to
Angband, rallies the troops and sends orcs to plunder Beleriand. Cirdan is cut
off at Eglarest, but with the help of Denethor and the Nandor, the orcs are
defeated in eastern Beleriand. Denethor is killed in the battle, however, so
filled with grief, many of the Green-elves return to Ossiriand and never come
forth in war again. Still some join Thingol and are merged. For a high and
mighty race, these Elves are constantly sundering from one another. Is there a

lesson to be learned or did Tolkien simply like creating new names for them? Love of naming aside - I think it is a sign of JRRT's essential message of the beginning of diminishment from the first days of life. From the First Song the Last Battle is already known...time cycling down and the Firstborn with it.
Cirdan's western army is besieged and defeated. Melian sets her
Girdle. Melian put forth her power and fenced all that dominion round about
with an unseen wall of shadow and bewinderment: the Girdle of Melian, that none
thereafter could pass against her will or the will of King Thingol, unless one
should come with a power greater than that of Melian the Maia. Are you
satisfied with the mechanics of the Girdle of Melian? If Melian, a maia of
lesser stature than the Valar, is able to set her Girdle, why didn't one of the

Valar do the same to Valinor? I think living day-today among dark threats let her come up with the idea of fencing them out. The Valar in the distant Blessed Realm seem removed from danger. Sadly. I like the idea of it; the use of it as purely 'political' and involved with shielding only things precious to her and Thingol - not so much.
So ended the first battle of the wars
of Beleriand. Tolkien ever the great linguist, chose an exquisitely eloquent
name for this important event: Dagor-nuin-Gilie ..nope that wasn't it; Dagor
Aglar; not that either; Dagor Bragolla;try again; Nirnaeth Arnoedia; strike four.
Oh that's right, he called it the First Battle of Beleriand. I guess only

battles that involve the Noldor get fancy names. Is it echoing the 'lay' prose? Having a First so we can have a Second...dunno.
One
more thing I'd like to discuss. In the Silmarillion, Feanor lands at the Firth
of Drengist and burns the ships at Losgar. End of chapter. Not so fast. In
the Shibboleth of Feanor, found in the Peoples of Middle Earth, Amras,
one of Feanor's youngest sons, is shocked by his father's deeds and plans to
return to his mother in Valinor with one of the ships. Feanor, aware of the
dissension, orders the ships to be burned, only to later discover his son was
aboard at the time, the first Feanorian victim of the Oath. Given that Amras
has such an anonymous identity throughout the rest of the Sil, wouldn't his
death in the above fashion enhanced not only his character, but also the story

of the Noldor? Which version do you prefer? That's a powerful event; but it might demonize Feanor TOO much, if he takes no hurt or slowing of purpose having lost a young son to the Oath so soon. So I see why it was removed.
**I have a last question: does anyone know exactly where on the Western coast Cirdan was pinned in by the Orcs when Thingol did not aid him? I wonder because if it was North of Vinyamar and north of the Mountains...there could have been an interesting event. If that far North, and Thingol had gone to Cirdan's aid, he would probably have seen the smoke from the ships and possibly run smack into Feanor - so we would have a meet-up between a Lord of Arda, wed ot a Maiar, meeting hotheaded Feanor fresh from rebellion....**
If it was much further south, I guess no chance of it... but could that be why JRRT has Thingol retreat?


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on Apr 23 2013, 10:38pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 23 2013, 10:36pm

Post #12 of 77 (346 views)
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I love your point on Dwarven Craft [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
My first go at the Sil discussions- please excuse any repetition of what others have said or glaring errors in my lore!!

In Reply To

Why are Dwarves so secretive with their language, yet freely share their craft? You’d think the latter would have been a more valuable commodity, hence guarded more closely. My take on this is that the dwarves have a different origin story and thus a different spirituality to elves and men. Their language could be the expression of their soul, as are their true names. Hence, as elves and men do not bare the depths of their souls with all sundry, the same with the dwarves and their language. Their craft, obviously, is part of their "spirit" too, but is the more externalised part, hence they are more likely to share it, although later they become rather jealous of their craft and their creations

*************************Welcome Elaen! So happy to see you jumping in!! Angelic And I so agree with your idea above - as well as your take on how the Dimishment of the Dwarves shows in their choice of materials. I posted before reading this and feel you said it well, especially the point about how close their Dwarven names are to their souls.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


elaen32
Gondor

Apr 23 2013, 10:58pm

Post #13 of 77 (343 views)
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Melian the Mother... [In reply to] Can't Post

Melian does seem to leave ME rather promptly after Thingol's death, doesn't she? I wonder if she had a choice or whether the Valar told her she must return to Aman? She seems to have had a rather distant relationship with Luthien, as I recall and, as you say, leaves Luthien in her mortal state without a backward glance. But then maybe she did not want to witness her dying a mortal death.
Mothers seem to be absent or treated with ambivalence in many cases in Tolkien- In LOTR,1) Finduilas dies during Boromir and Faramir's childhood- seemingly of depression and decline at being so close to Mordor, 2)Theoden's wife dies young,3) Theodwyn, his sister, gives up when her husband dies, leaving young Eomer and Eowyn as orphans 4) Celebrian departs to the undying lands, not knowing if she will see her children again- being unsure whether they will choose to follow Elrond to Aman 5) Galadriel seems rather vague as a grandmother to Arwen- I wouldn't expect her to be knitting bootees for Eldarion when he comes along, but there is little to connect the two 6) Frodo's mother dies when he is young 7) Sam's mother is not mentioned and is presumably dead, since the Gaffer lives alone and I cannot imagine Hobbit divorce

That's 7 easily thought of examples in one book alone- I know there are more referrences in the Sil, which I cannot think of at present. There are, of course, some more positive examples eg Gilraen, sad as she is, seems to be there for Aragorn through his childhood. Belladonna Took seems to have been a good role model for Bilbo (once he remembers it), but overall mothers are not well represented.
So what is the issue with Tolkein's absent mothers? Is this related to his own mother's death when he was young? Or is it just that mothers/women don't come into the storyline- if so why even mention their fates? Maybe we should have a Tolkien and motherhood thread- perhaps I will do a bit more research and come back on that one

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 11:06pm

Post #14 of 77 (337 views)
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My guess on Thingol's retreat [In reply to] Can't Post

is that it was plot-driven because Cirdan and Theoden both needed to be hemmed in by Orcs, so the Noldor could arrive and be mistaken as saviors from the Valar. If Thingol and Cirdan had been victorious, I think the Noldor would have had much less welcome (and even as saviors, Thingol was pretty gruff with them, even though their leaders were from the family of his friend Finwe). But whatever the reason, it still seems wrong, even cowardly. Why didn't Melian put a Corset or Skirt around the Falas for protection?


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 23 2013, 11:25pm

Post #15 of 77 (330 views)
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So true - I can go both ways with the retreat [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
is that it was plot-driven because Cirdan and Theoden both needed to be hemmed in by Orcs, so the Noldor could arrive and be mistaken as saviors from the Valar. If Thingol and Cirdan had been victorious, I think the Noldor would have had much less welcome (and even as saviors, Thingol was pretty gruff with them, even though their leaders were from the family of his friend Finwe). But whatever the reason, it still seems wrong, even cowardly. Why didn't Melian put a Corset or Skirt around the Falas for protection?




Absolutely it serves a plot function. I can also see it as a tiny flare of warning that The Girdle and what it represents has gone to Thingol's head and changed his natural way of reacting. (Maybe she can only Girdle one spot - with herself at the center? I can see that as a mechanism and it doesn't bode well for anyone else, unfortunately, if that's the case; especially since its not like Thingol is putting out the welcome mat to anyone.) We dropped Sil Denethor (agreed - whoof, too confusing) but Thingol seems to have a Denethor-type bend of mind when it comes to real estate (...MINE! And no other man's...!)

If they HAD met I don't think it would have gone well at all. The Oath might have been stopped right there with the destruction of the House of Feanor - another plot point against them meeting, and a reason for Thingol to retreat.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 12:55am

Post #16 of 77 (327 views)
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or at least a sock [In reply to] Can't Post

 

In Reply To
Why didn't Melian put a Corset or Skirt around the Falas for protection?


.... or at least an odd sock from her sock drawer..

but, seriously.... yes. what goeth on, melian?


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 1:37am

Post #17 of 77 (359 views)
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how do you solve a problem like melian? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
wonderful post, elaen.

i concur... i've made the same, casual observations re mothers in tolkien.

tolkien's women are frequently either on pedestals, or they're absent. or both, in some cases.

arwen +did+ spend some time in lothlorien, but that's as much grandmother/granddaughterness we get.

i, also, wonder if the absence his own mother caused this psychic imprint in tolkien's works (miriel looms suddenly large). he seems to have had a +very+ hard time writing about present mothers, caring mothers.

presumably, galadriel was a caring mother, but we get no descriptions of that, the way we do of fathers' loves for their sons'. but that is also a female-to-female relationship, which tolkien seems also to have had a hard time describing (i'm inferring, through absence, and other observations i've made of his writings).

melian seems to have been an attentive mother.

i think his word-paintings for the goddesses (melian, gladriel) are rich, as are his for the illustrious maidens (luthien, eowyn), but he does not seem comfortable, does not seem perhaps able to describe female-to-female relations.

i just wonder if tolkien just didn't have the personal vocabulary to do so, based on his experiences. his love-objects and goddesses were striking, but he had much to borrow from (his own relationship, with his hard-won beloved).

i think there is so much to praise tolkien for, but i do think it is a weakness in his writing that there is such a gender imbalance, and a lot of interior lives of females seem to be unlit. i also find it troublesome and extremely disappointing that he often leaves females off of the family trees (many just seem present to give birth to the next generation). aragorn's daughters didn't even get names (!!!) -- that we know of, at least.

elaen, please +do+ create that thread on motherhood/tolkien. it's a really worthwhile subject.

i look forward to your thread.


many cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 1:50am

Post #18 of 77 (327 views)
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re luthien as evidence that the valar erred [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i said yes to this, and i maintain that yes.

but...

i also want to consider luthien's hroa and melian's hroa.

melian was a maia, so she did not naturally have a hroa, but donned one of her choosing to walk upon middle earth. was that hroa patterned after elven hroar? built only from the building blocks available to build elven hroar? or did it have some extra components of maian creation? like a different gene sequence?

if the former (patterned entirely after elven hroar), it is not luthien's hroa that is special and causes flowers to appear under her feet, but her blended fea.

if the latter, then it could be both the blended hroa and the blended fea that is so special.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 2:30am

Post #19 of 77 (332 views)
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Niphredil [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you know what I just noticed? Niphredil is said to have bloomed first at the birth of Lúthien. At the death of Arwen, this is said:


Quote
and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.


Now, this doesn't necessarily say that the niphredil all died when she did, but it is interesting that its death is recorded as being bound up with Arwen's just like its birth was bound up with Lúthien's. She is the Morning Star and Arwen is the Evenstar, and I find it fascinating that the tale of niphredil is so entwined with them.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 2:31am

Post #20 of 77 (321 views)
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great catch, ardamire! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
well done, and wonderfully observed. and how fitting it is that you would be the one to make this observation, you holding arwen in such high esteem?

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 2:33am

Post #21 of 77 (317 views)
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Thanks, Maciliel! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure it's only because I'm so enamored of her that I remembered the reference in the appendix. I'd never thought about it before. I wonder if it was a coincidence or if Tolkien intended it.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 2:40am

Post #22 of 77 (313 views)
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Beautiful point with deep meaning [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm sure it's only because I'm so enamored of her that I remembered the reference in the appendix. I'd never thought about it before. I wonder if it was a coincidence or if Tolkien intended it.




I think he intended it completely - morning to the evening of the Elves. Wonderful. Great catch there Ardamire ( and they look like stars in the grass, don't they? Those two as the starlights of their people, that which is most honored and loved.)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 2:42am

Post #23 of 77 (313 views)
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i do [In reply to] Can't Post

 
because we love his works so much and because he was an +extremely+ well-thought out writer, i do think we often through our extremely rigorous discussions ascribe meaning to things that might have been accidental or non-consequential on his part. however, i strongly suspect in this case that this was intentional. if i had to make a bet, that's where i'd put my cubits.

luthien is such and important character to him, as is arwen, and they are not important independently, they are important interdependently. the morning star and the evenstar. those were appellations he very carefully bestowed upon them.

at the awakening of the morning star, niphredil also awoke. as the evenstar closed her eyes, so closed also the niphredil.

yes, i figured that it was because of all the characters in arda, arwen is most in your thoughts, and you would remember things related to her. it all made perfect sense to me when i read your post -- both the niphredil, and your discovering the association.


cheers : )


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Apr 24 2013, 2:44am)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 24 2013, 2:51am

Post #24 of 77 (308 views)
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Niphredil as stars [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't remember their physical description, but if they are described as looking like stars, I can only conclude that it was intentional. They bloom with the birth of the Morning Star and fade with the death of the Evenstar. Perfect Heart

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 2:51am

Post #25 of 77 (306 views)
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Early Elves and Dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
First of all, I commend you for your post. It is a dense, disorganized chapter, but you’ve organized everything really well -- and very interesting questions! So, thank you! Oooh - I second that Finwe! (Had it in my original post, it went to cyberlimbo, then forgot to put it back 2nd typing.)


As far as the double-standard for Dwarves and Elves? That is a mystery! Especially since we witness Eru going to great lengths to allow the Dwarves life -- you’d think he’d be a bit more upset. Or is he setting an example for Aulë? “See, I told you your creation was flawed.” I also was struck by the line: “A warlike race of old were all the Naugrim,...” It makes the Dwarves seem so ancient, yet they were not to have arrived earlier than the Elves. It seems that the Dwarves are a rather contradictory race -- motivated by greed and war, but capable of crafting great and beautiful things. now cognizant of the ease of hyperbole!
This is one WEIRD double standard too - because whenever you turn a page the Dwarves are helping someone, busy as bees, behaving quite nicely in fact. They are even bothered by the 'dark' things entering Beleriand, enough to chat with the Elves about it. So is the initial issue REALLY their relative 'unloveliness' and their sheer non-Elven-ness? Because they certainly don't come out swinging, do they? It seems a cruel way to teach Aule a lesson; especially since he showed the willingness to destroy the 'mistake' and was not defiant about it at all. I can see the 'warlike' as described by the early Elves as anyone who might not just sort of nod and go on about their business. It seems like in the early days there was a lot of promise that goes unfulfilled in the races being able to interact happily. I must say I do see some poor attitude on part of the Firstborn now and again... (BTW almost done with the book - I promise! Such a crazy week!Crazy)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

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