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Rivendell 0 secs ago **Silmarillion Discussion 2013, Part 3 of Chapter 9: Of The Flight of the Noldor
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Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 2:19pm

Post #51 of 59 (236 views)
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Thnak you for clarifying Sador! [In reply to] Can't Post


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(http://newboards.theonering.net/...sb=post_time;so=DESC;)
This is actually a rewrite of the first form of the Oath, from the hardly-begun lay The Flight of the Noldoli. In it, Feanor names only Varda, which I interpret both as acknowledging her part in the Silmarils, and as stating that he is defying only Manwe, not her (compare to the Lament of Galadriel in Farewell to Lorien).

I guess the adding of Manwe and Eru Himself to the Oath in its later versions were "editorial embellishments" by Tolkien, to enhance the blasphemous nature of the Oath (as he called it in the Waldmann letter nowizardme cited in the OP), and to explain how Maedhros and Maglor felt beholden to it even after the War of Wrath. As originally written, the Oath itself was not quite blasphemous - its execution was.




So the Oath 'evolved' and became more potent with time...interesting the initially that he spared Varda defiance and wrath. I see why JRRT would have changed that as well - it gives Feanor a certain chivalry that he might want avoided as it complicates the storyline. And as Finwe brought up in the CH10 discussion there was also the editing out of the loss of a young son, as early as the ship-burning, to the Oath - because that may have demonized Feanor too much. So one can see the balancing act he was doing in getting the spirit of Feanor just right.

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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 28 2013, 4:00pm

Post #52 of 59 (245 views)
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maciliel-thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

 
re oaths:

in general, i don't think oaths are good ideas. oaths trump reason, binding the swearer to an action that might not be wise. situations change.

the part i don't quite get is how swearing this oath becomes a / almost a physical force that drives the oath-taker forward. how does it do that? will eru really banish them out of all creation if they break it? wouldn't eru want them to stop murdering and disrupting in pursuit of the silmarils?

perhaps it's an eldar-thing. more magic, their ties to arda and all that. perhaps that's what makes the oath work on them? would it have the same effect on a member of the edain?

what's being bound here? the fea or the hroa? if caranthir came back into a hroa (which he is presumably to do), would he still be bound by that oath? because his fea was bound to it? or was it his hroa that was bound to it?



re rebellion:

i'm also not quite understanding the label of "rebellion." it seems to me, that would only apply to some of the noldor: feanor, for coming to tirion; anyone involved in the kinslaying. but plenty of noldor had no part in either of those activities. why wouldn't they be free to depart for middle earth? what laws had they broken?

although i think that the elves should never have been called to live in valinor permanently, at the same time i think it's a sort of madness to go to middle earth at this time, with morgoth on the loose. especially with the valar saying "no take-backs" and that they're not going to help.

rather a wretched scenario. they're going back to middle earth, where they were +supposed+ to be in the first place (and i invoke, as supporting evidence, lines from lotr to the effect "a land of middle earth enriched by the elves remembers them long after their departure"), but in a no-win situation. yes, feanor bears a lot of responsibility -- but i think the greater authors in this mess are the valar, who could have kept morgoth at bay in the first place, and who should never have called the eldar to live in aman permanently in the first place.

which leads me too....


what's driving the noldor?

yes, feanor is quite the orator. but that's perhaps not the main thing that drives them.

i think what drives them is that their fear and hoar are being called back to middle earth, where they belong.

why do the vanyar and teleri not feel this calling? well, they're not stirred up as the noldor are. perhaps if they had their own feanors, they'd also be packing up their poetry books and unfurling their sails.



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


sador
Half-elven


Apr 29 2013, 9:09am

Post #53 of 59 (221 views)
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Not answers - but more questions! [In reply to] Can't Post

in general, i don't think oaths are good ideas. oaths trump reason, binding the swearer to an action that might not be wise. situations change.
Well, that's the whole point - committing yourself to something beyond your temporary reason (which all too often becomes whims). Would you diss marriage vows the same way? Or oaths of fealty?

wouldn't eru want them to stop murdering and disrupting in pursuit of the silmarils?
Oh, I wouldn't presume to guess what Eru would prefer.
From what I know of Jewish Law, such an oath would probably be automatically null and void, as any oath to commit a crime is; naturally, it would carry the penalty for swearing in vain.
I have no idea as to Christian Law. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable would enlighten me.
This oath has precedents in both Geco-Roman and Anglo-Saxon cultures, but it does seem to have a Christian flavour to it (in invoking Eru himself, and calling the Everlasting Darkness upon them if they break it); however, I don't think the theology is spelled out clearly enough for us to hazard a guess as to what Eru would prefer. As a matter of fact, once Elves do not leave the world upon being murdered - merely forcibly transfered to Mandos for a while - just how bad is such a murder? We are supposed to instinctively feel that it is as bad as killing a human, or even worse (see Tolkien's eulogy for the many wood-elves slain in the Battle of Five Armies) - but is it really? And how does Eru evaluate it? Is He even interested in morality as we understand it?

As regarding the last question, it appears that we can answer in the affirmative. In another Chrisitan-feeling paragraph in the last chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion, Maglor tells his brother:




Quote

'If none can release us,’ said Maglor, ‘then indeed the Everlasting Darkness shall be our lot, whether we keep our oath or break it; but less evil shall we do in the breaking’




However, he does allow Maedhros to persuade him at the end.

What I find striking about Maglor's words is his assurance that the crimes he committed doom him to the Everlasting Darkness. But just what is this? Is he to be denied his part in the Second Music? Or is this another remnant of Morgoth's lies, that in the end some would be delivered over to him - just like the Christian conception of the Last Judgment? But within the legendarium, we do not know anything of this.

And again, the question of orcs arises. Are they doomed to the Everlasting Darkness?

what's being bound here? the fea or the hroa? if caranthir came back into a hroa (which he is presumably to do), would he still be bound by that oath? because his fea was bound to it? or was it his hroa that was bound to it?
Nice question - although the probable answer is that had there been a chance that he would act upon his oath again, there is no way Mandos would release him for rebirth.


i'm also not quite understanding the label of "rebellion." it seems to me, that would only apply to some of the noldor: feanor, for coming to tirion; anyone involved in the kinslaying. but plenty of noldor had no part in either of those activities. why wouldn't they be free to depart for middle earth? what laws had they broken?
Well, even regarding Feanor himself - if a guest misbehaves he is turned out, this doesn't make him a rebel. The label of rebellion implies that the Valar were viewed by whoever made the statement as having authority over the Children of Iluvatar (which I expect they do not have), and that they are to be obeyed by the Eldar, which should stay in Valinor.
This reflects upon nowizardme's question, regarding the title of the chapter - it seems clear what the Noldor are flying from.


what's driving the noldor?
Memories of Cuivienen (painted way to bright, but that's how these things go), disillusion with Valinor, and most of all, a belief that their destiny lies in Middle-earth.
The Vanyar strike me as having turned their back upon it, preferring bliss to destiny; while the Teleri are the eternal waverers.


Thank you for those further questions!


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 29 2013, 11:51am

Post #54 of 59 (219 views)
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to be fair, i +did+ posit some answers [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i was most certainly thinking of marriage vows when i was composing my response, but opted not to include references to them in my post (but shall do here!).

i don't think marriage vows are in the same category ('tho many vehemently disagree). i would look askance at any marriage vows that would call damnation and eternal darkness upon me if i broke them, or similar.

i was reading a bit of morgoth's ring over the weekend, and the segment on elvish customs around marriage may speak to this issue, perhaps.

tolkien was writing of marriage among the elves. he notes that the bond of marriage resides in the hroa, partly because marriage is part of the path that leads to children. however, 'tho the bond is mainly of the hroa, it would not exist without the will of the fea, so in that respect, the fea is also involved.

if we can use that as a model for how oaths would work on elves, the fea makes the oath, and the hroa compels the fea to keep the oath.

from that same section in morgoth's ring it is written in regards to elves and rebodying: 1) the fea must wish it (no elf is forced to rebody); 2) the fea must want/agree to take up its old life, which was interrupted -- eru's plan is that elves live in arda, enriching it; death of the hroa interrupts this; redress of this wrong is possible by rebodying; but no rebodying is granted to fear which do not wish to take up their old lives; 3) mandos must agree to the rebodying.

i don't agree that the sons of feanor will not be allowed to rebody. who can tell? if they were, they would be housed in new hroar (identical to the old). if the oath acted on the hroa, as in marriage, it seems logical that they would need to take the oath again (as is the case re marriage with an elf rebodied). it also seems that their fear might pull them to that action, but i think (in this scenario) it is possible that their time in mandos would have given their fear a chance to reconsider and make better decisions once rehoused (this was the whole purpose of fear residing in mandos).

interesting possibilities.


more later. a girl has patrol duty.


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 29 2013, 11:55am)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 29 2013, 2:30pm

Post #55 of 59 (195 views)
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Involving the gods in dark deeds [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting idea that the oath might not be valid given that it invokes the gods to punish Feanor and Sons if they don't do bad things. But we're certainly told that the oath is in effect:

Quote
For so sworn, good or evil, an oath may not be broken , and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world’s end

There's no sense of the gods rejecting the "contract" F & sons have made with them, or it not going to work on those grounds. Quite the opposite - its dramatic because it is so extreme.
Perhaps part of it being "blasphemous" is this sense of it mixing the gods up in dark deeds.

Off topic:
Maciliel said "a girl has patrol duty"
A man hopes that a girl had a pleasant patrol duty. Valar Dohaeris
(A man spent rather a lot of last weekend watching Game of Thrones Series II)


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!' "


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 29 2013, 4:23pm

Post #56 of 59 (195 views)
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a girl is still patrolling [In reply to] Can't Post

 
a girl is patrolling still, yet all the while, thinks upon the questions a man has posed about this chapter.

also, a girl is glad a man has discovered westeros, a most intriguing land.


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


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 30 2013, 8:56pm

Post #57 of 59 (174 views)
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Oaths - on endless repeat? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

tolkien was writing of marriage among the elves. he notes that the bond of marriage resides in the hroa, partly because marriage is part of the path that leads to children. however, 'tho the bond is mainly of the hroa, it would not exist without the will of the fea, so in that respect, the fea is also involved. if we can use that as a model for how oaths would work on elves, the fea makes the oath, and the hroa compels the fea to keep the oath.

from that same section in morgoth's ring it is written in regards to elves and rebodying: 1) the fea must wish it (no elf is forced to rebody); 2) the fea must want/agree to take up its old life, which was interrupted -- eru's plan is that elves live in arda, enriching it; death of the hroa interrupts this; redress of this wrong is possible by rebodying; but no rebodying is granted to fear which do not wish to take up their old lives; 3) mandos must agree to the rebodying.

i don't agree that the sons of feanor will not be allowed to rebody. who can tell? if they were, they would be housed in new hroar (identical to the old). if the oath acted on the hroa, as in marriage, it seems logical that they would need to take the oath again (as is the case re marriage with an elf rebodied). it also seems that their fear might pull them to that action, but i think (in this scenario) it is possible that their time in mandos would have given their fear a chance to reconsider and make better decisions once rehoused (this was the whole purpose of fear residing in mandos).

interesting possibilities.
.





For so sworn, good or evil, an oath may not be broken , and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world’s end.

Hmm, trying to reconcile the ideas of the oath being a fea and hroa constraint with the above idea. I like the mixed idea, Mac, as the mechanics of how it works. Continuing to carry out an oath seems like an oddity in the Halls of Mandos, where only the fea would reside. So perhaps the rebodying would continue the fea's struggle with the oath? It says the oathkeeper or breaker will be pursued until the world's end...so perhaps rebodying would allow the fea to make either the same choice, or a different one, and reject the oath? But does that then make them an oathbreaker....even of an ill-conceived oath? If that is the case, it appears that it might be a cyclical issue, once the oath has been spoken and sworn to. Impossible to break away from, whether one keeps it or rejects it! Grim. Moral of the story is - as Elrond wisely does - avoid 'em.

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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 1 2013, 11:29am

Post #58 of 59 (181 views)
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if a man wishes [In reply to] Can't Post

 
if a man wishes to join a discussion on this week's episode of game of thrones, a discussion is happening on the offtopic board, and a man is most certainly invited.

.


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


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


May 2 2013, 3:30pm

Post #59 of 59 (204 views)
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It is good to know these things [In reply to] Can't Post

A man will check out off-topic, but may be reluctant to discuss Series 3 shows until he's seen them (going on discs instead of broadcast).

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!' "

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