Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Chapter 11: Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

ElendilTheShort
Gondor


May 2 2013, 8:40am

Post #1 of 99 (393 views)
Shortcut
Chapter 11: Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor Can't Post

We start this chapter with the Valar upon their thrones in the Ring of Doom acting without action thinking back before Ea (creation) and forth to the End.

Is this end the final battle Dagor Dagorath or something beyond this.

Of interest the Valar mourn the marring of Feanor more than the loss of the trees. "For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and in subtlety alike, of all the Children of Illuvatar.

This statement would seem to put to rest who is the greatest in many respects and it does conflict other statements in the Silmarillion, for example it would imply that he is most valiant where elsewhere this is attributed to Fingolfin. How do these sweeping comments about his greatness sit with each of you. Even if conflict with other statements about other elves are put to one side, how can he be said to have the mightiest "understanding" and retain such a lack of empathy for others. He seems without mercy. I must be very far from the thought of Manwe and therfore Eru as I do not weep for Feanor, he is arrogant beyond belief and in my eyes he can only be named greatest if he finally lets the Silmarils be unmade or otherwise used after Dagor Dagorath so the unsullied light of the Trees can illuminate an umarred Arda remade.

Anyway after they finish dwelling on Feanor, the Valar set to thinking about actioning their thoughts, flower and fruit are recovered from Telperion and Laurelin and the Sun and the Moon are created. Sullied light of the poisoned trees set in vessels to hold and preserve their radiance. These vessels are guided by Maia selected by the Valar. Arien the maiden for the Sun and Tilion, one of Oromes hunters for the Moon.

Does anyone consider any significance can be given to the choice of the respective gender of the Maia selected for these tasks. Is Tolkien putting women on a pedestal and in a position of untouchable (by mortal men) reverence (such as he does with Galadriel) which some nowdays consider to be latent sexual discrimination.

The moon traveresed the skies for some time before the rising of the Sun and altough Arda enjoyed a second spring, as stated in the next chapter, with the rising of the Sun it is seen as a sign of the awakening of Men, their ascension to greatness and the waning of the elves.

As the Sun is a sullied light and it represents the awakening of Men is this to say that they and the time they are in will never be as good as the time when only Elves walked the Earth. Are Men always doomed to be less than what Eru envisioned due to Melkors marring, of the lights and otherwise of Arda, or can Men ulitmately overcome this limitation within the imperfect world they have inherited.

Melkor being what he is assails the new lights and the Valar decide to protect their realm by raising the Pelori Mountains and setting the Enchanted Isles in the Shadowy Seas to prevent sailors approaching their land.

I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think.

Finally and most importantly to me, while not strictly part of the Silmarillion the fact that the Sun and the Moon are vessels that hold the last fruit and flower of the Two Trees of Valinor and are driven by spirits is "astronomically absurd" and is addressed by Tolkien elsewhere, Myths Transformed I do believe.

If the Sun and the Moon cannot be these things within the "reality" of the mythology how can the Morning Star be Earendil in his hallowed ship with a Silmaril on his brow. How can the Vial of Galadriel capture such a light. How could she mistake what this is etc etc. There are numerous links to this aspect of the mythology, Elrond, Elros, Numenor, Aragorn, Anduril and more, in fact if we question this we can question everything. The stories are meant to be taken from different story telling sources such as the Red Book of Westmarch an mannish stories of the Elder days, but that does not explain the way LOTR is told or the "facts" presented within that story. What are the Sun and the Moon "REALLY" within the mythology. I stand by the fact the are exactly what is stated in the Silmarillion, but from a lore perspective i think I am very wrong. Can anyone illuminate this riddle with an unsullied light.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

May 2 2013, 9:20am

Post #2 of 99 (244 views)
Shortcut
Who's the greatest? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmmmmm, personally, I wouldn't put some vague description by the narrative in the early chapters of the Silm to be a deciding argument! I do have issues with the narrative in the Silm at times anyway, in particular with the early chapters. I suppose it depends if you take a fundamentalist approach to the Silm or not. As far as Feanor been subtle, interesting that here it says Feanor is subtle, yet a chapter of so later he is shown to have all the military sense of a WW1 general! Also, Tolkien seems to have a problem with those that are the greatest in the children of Illuvater. They have a tendency to come to bad ends, getting a bit too close to Eru.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 2 2013, 10:51am

Post #3 of 99 (279 views)
Shortcut
maciliel-thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

How do these sweeping comments about his greatness sit with each of you. Even if conflict with other statements about other elves are put to one side, how can he be said to have the mightiest "understanding" and retain such a lack of empathy for others. He seems without mercy.

there's a lot of hyperbole in the silmarilion, which i wound up taking in as poetic language, as i could not take it for factual language.

one of the things that always struck me about this passage was that it was one in which the compassion of the valar was shown (even if i thought it might be lacking elsewhere). more than the two trees, they valued the spiritual health of a child of iluvatar. i liked thinking that it would be the same for feanor as for any unnamed elf.

i do, similarly, mourn for the marring of feanor (which is partly by the circumstances he inherited as a child, partly his choices, and partly melkor's intervention -- but he was rather fey before melkor sidled up to him). however, i reject what i deem hyperbole. greatest in "understanding" he seems not. perhaps that is to mean "intelligence," which then would not be problematic. he certainly was far from the one with greatest empathy.

as an artist and creative type, when i first read the sil as an elder child / newly minted teenager, i identified with feanor. i suspect a lot of creative types did and do. the fiery passions, the artistic output, the creativity produced in widely different ways. the emotional isolation, and so on. yes, i thought his actions regarding others were bad. but the more i traveled through my own years, the more i valued gifts like empathy and compassion, in myself and in others, and increasingly saw feanor as less admirable, and his creative gifts being thoroughly overshadowed by his empathy deficit.



Does anyone consider any significance can be given to the choice of the respective gender of the Maia selected for these tasks. Is Tolkien putting women on a pedestal and in a position of untouchable (by mortal men) reverence (such as he does with Galadriel) which some nowdays consider to be latent sexual discrimination.
i do have a lot of issues with tolkien's treatment of females in his universe, however much i love his creation, and however much i might find admirable in specific characters.

yes, we have the male pursing the unattainable female again, but what i did like about this was that the female was described as being mightier, and also that the female was associated with the sun and the male with the moon (it is often reversed in many cultures -- though the japanese see a rabbit in the moon, which means that the japanese spirit of the moon is a hobbit).

again, i do see this "pedestal pattern" with tolkien and female characters (he selects a handful for elevation, and ignores the rest).

however, in many ways his conception of male and female fea is incredibly enlightened for its time. in morgoth's ring he writes extensively on the neri (males) and nessi (females) of the elves, and makes it perfectly, undeniably clear that they are equal. there is +much+ to admire in tolkien's perspective on females, but there are some things that are lacking.


The moon traveresed the skies for some time before the rising of the Sun and altough Arda enjoyed a second spring, as stated in the next chapter, with the rising of the Sun it is seen as a sign of the awakening of Men, their ascension to greatness and the waning of the elves.


As the Sun is a sullied light and it represents the awakening of Men is this to say that they and the time they are in will never be as good as the time when only Elves walked the Earth. Are Men always doomed to be less than what Eru envisioned due to Melkors marring, of the lights and otherwise of Arda, or can Men ulitmately overcome this limitation within the imperfect world they have inherited.

great question. i never interpreted the sun and moon as being sullied until my most recent reading. i had always presumed that we were seeing the light, much reduced, of both the trees via the sun and moon.

for my part, this question veers into the territory i wish to cover in "of men," so i will defer expanding until the next chapter.


I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think.
i see a pattern of isolationism in the valar, and i do not perceive it to be good. if all they did was raise the pelori but still tried to be a guide middle earth, i would not see this as problematic. but, whatever their issue with the noldor (and most / not all were kinslayers, so should not have been painted with the same brush as the feanorians), there were plenty of souls in middle earth that still needed their help, and morgoth was on the loose right at this time that they wrapped their robes around their shoulders and turned away from the mainland. thank eru for ulmo.


If the Sun and the Moon cannot be these things within the "reality" of the mythology how can the Morning Star be Earendil in his hallowed ship with a Silmaril on his brow. How can the Vial of Galadriel capture such a light. How could she mistake what this is etc etc. What are the Sun and the Moon "REALLY" within the mythology.
i'm not sure what you mean by galadriel "mistaking" the light in the phial. could you explain?

while thinking of a silmaril as the brightest star (which i have always interpreted as being sirius, the dog star. i do scratch my head at earendil being a pilot in the sky steering it, as he is not a maia, like arien or tilon, and i wonder how he can survive up there, and what he eats and when he rests. also, as much of an honor as this is, it's decidedly bad luck for elwing, who is separated from her husband (and elves mate for life)... unless he gets out of his ship after a long night's work? which would be poetic, but would be problematic as far as astronomy goes.

i love the poetry of the sun and moon being flowers of the two trees. love it. but that poetry is irreconciliable with the physics of the universe, and how our solar system formed. in many ways, tolkien's universe blends nicely with our own. as regards the sun and moon, less so.


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 May 2 2013, 10:56am)


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


May 2 2013, 12:41pm

Post #4 of 99 (213 views)
Shortcut
Galadriels vial [In reply to] Can't Post

she had to know what the light was from. ie a star as we know it or the Silmaril on Earendils brow.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 2 2013, 12:45pm

Post #5 of 99 (213 views)
Shortcut
yes, but [In reply to] Can't Post

 
yes, but... how is this problematic? i always thought she knew.

(thanks for the really great questions, btw... very thoughtful ones! : ) )

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


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


May 2 2013, 1:14pm

Post #6 of 99 (204 views)
Shortcut
Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

If she knows the light from Earendils "star" is from a Silmaril on his brow it is a fact as she is wise (in this use it means knowledgable not sagely) so if that is a fact and therefore possible in the myth, why can't the sun and the moon be what is claimed in the Silmarillion.


telain
Rohan

May 2 2013, 4:15pm

Post #7 of 99 (189 views)
Shortcut
thoughts over the lunch hour... [In reply to] Can't Post

...with more to come shortly!

Thoughts on Feanor the great(est).
I do not think it is odd that the Valar seem to mourn Feanor more than the Trees because they were not responsible for creating Feanor, but they are arguably responsible for his downfall. It is hurtful, of course, to see your own creations destroyed, but to see someone elseís creation destroyed (and a creation that you claimed to love and protect) would be even more heartbreaking; they watched over Eruís children and they allowed unspeakable harm come to one of them. We have discussed at length about how naÔve and unprepared the Valar can be when it comes to fending off Melkor (who really is truly to blame), but I think they also had a more active hand in Feanorís marring. They mourn for Feanor, but they also mourn for their role in letting one of Eruís greatest creations go horribly wrong.

On the Sun and Moon
Absolutely there is significance to the gender. Many/most European mythologies have the Sun as feminine and the Moon as masculine and Tolkien, I believe, respected that tradition. He was familiar with the mythologies of ancient Europe as well as the language, which given masculine/feminie/neutral nouns I think would have only underscored the point (though I havenít looked into that aspect, I admit.) I was always struck that the Sun is feminine in Tolkien, for me it made sense, though I am not sure exactly why -- (the Sun makes things grow/women give birth?)

I donít think it has as much to do with a pedestal Ė the reverse would put the masculine gender on the same pedestal, but I have never run across much about the gender ramifications of that situation. I always try to remember that given the time and place that Tolkien was writing, his female characters are actually quite strong Ė and thanks to Maciliel for bringing this up in more context. They may be quite different than what we today would consider strong, but that is (one of) the curse(s) of history and geography.

As an aside (and no snarkiness intended!): in reference to the reverence of Galadriel, could I not point out the reverence of Feanor? Why is it when a male character is considered the greatest and is revered we discuss whether he deserves it, but if a female character is great and revered, then it is latent sexual discrimination by the author?


Finwe
Lorien


May 2 2013, 7:25pm

Post #8 of 99 (181 views)
Shortcut
Great to be back [In reply to] Can't Post

Of interest the Valar mourn the marring of Feanor more than the loss of the trees. "For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and in subtlety alike, of all the Children of Illuvatar. I've always assumed that the Valar mourn the marring the Feanor more due to the fact that they realize they may have played a part in his downfall.

This statement would seem to put to rest who is the greatest in many respects and it does conflict other statements in the Silmarillion, for example it would imply that he is most valiant where elsewhere this is attributed to Fingolfin. How do these sweeping comments about his greatness sit with each of you. Even if conflict with other statements about other elves are put to one side, how can he be said to have the mightiest "understanding" and retain such a lack of empathy for others. He seems without mercy. I must be very far from the thought of Manwe and therfore Eru as I do not weep for Feanor, he is arrogant beyond belief and in my eyes he can only be named greatest if he finally lets the Silmarils be unmade or otherwise used after Dagor Dagorath so the unsullied light of the Trees can illuminate an umarred Arda remade. To give you a personal experience related to this, I will admit that the first time I read the Sil, after all the positive descriptors Tolkien heaps upon Feanor early on in the story, I just assumed he was gonna be the hero. Even as he started to make some questionable decisions, I continued to see his actions through that hero lens, so I was completely shocked when he totally turned, Needless to say, my second reading gave me a much different perspective! As for the "greatest" statements, I think Tolkien fell victim to building up his characters in order to make their fall more dramatic and occasionally lost track of who was the greatest at what.

Does anyone consider any significance can be given to the choice of the respective gender of the Maia selected for these tasks. Is Tolkien putting women on a pedestal and in a position of untouchable (by mortal men) reverence (such as he does with Galadriel) which some nowdays consider to be latent sexual discrimination. I would say there is definite significance to the gender of Arien and Tilion, but what that might be, I have no idea. Tongue As far as the "pedestal" is concerned, I'll avoid that, as I've never understood what this means in real life, much less Tolkien. Probably because I'm a man. Wink

Melkor being what he is assails the new lights and the Valar decide to protect their realm by raising the Pelori Mountains and setting the Enchanted Isles in the Shadowy Seas to prevent sailors approaching their land. I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think. I can see both sides of the argument, however, I personally feel the Valar's move was one bred of experience. It's time to let the Elves that so choose sink or swim on their own. Aman is not for Men or Dwarves.


As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when FŽanor 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.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 2 2013, 8:08pm

Post #9 of 99 (180 views)
Shortcut
Sun and Moon thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Great breakdown Elendil! Angelic We start this chapter with the Valar upon their thrones in the Ring of Doom acting without action thinking back before Ea (creation) and forth to the End. Is this end the final battle Dagor Dagorath or something beyond this. I do think they are reviewing what has been and what *might* be within their knowing, in an attempt to find something in that moment to bring them solace. But as the past and especially the recent past is known and highly personal I think that's why it offers them no comfort.

Of interest the Valar mourn the marring of Feanor more than the loss of the trees. "For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and in subtlety alike, of all the Children of Illuvatar. This statement would seem to put to rest who is the greatest in many respects and it does conflict other statements in the Silmarillion, for example it would imply that he is most valiant where elsewhere this is attributed to Fingolfin. How do these sweeping comments about his greatness sit with each of you. Even if conflict with other statements about other elves are put to one side, how can he be said to have the mightiest "understanding" and retain such a lack of empathy for others. He seems without mercy. I must be very far from the thought of Manwe and therfore Eru as I do not weep for Feanor, he is arrogant beyond belief and in my eyes he can only be named greatest if he finally lets the Silmarils be unmade or otherwise used after Dagor Dagorath so the unsullied light of the Trees can illuminate an umarred Arda remade.
I think in light of the powers of the Valar, as just below Eru in sub-creation and concerned from their origin with the making of the world, Feanor stands apart to them, having a different value in their currency than say someone brave like Fingolfin. I think what the Valar grieve for is what COULD have been, the ideal version of Feanor without the arrogance, the fear of loss, that might have helped them withstand the assault of Melkor upon the Trees and to preserve things as they were - as the Valar would like them: the Trees alive and the Noldor happy and among them. It is more of the sad 'embalming' way I think of looking at their situation, still in the 'bargaining' phase of grieving I think and sad to think the "WHAT IF..." type of thoughts we all have when something goes horribly wrong; as if by thinking about and imagining other options will somehow fix it, and just have things stay the same.

Anyway after they finish dwelling on Feanor, the Valar set to thinking about actioning their thoughts, flower and fruit are recovered from Telperion and Laurelin and the Sun and the Moon are created. Sullied light of the poisoned trees set in vessels to hold and preserve their radiance. These vessels are guided by Maia selected by the Valar. Arien the maiden for the Sun and Tilion, one of Oromes hunters for the Moon. Does anyone consider any significance can be given to the choice of the respective gender of the Maia selected for these tasks. Is Tolkien putting women on a pedestal and in a position of untouchable (by mortal men) reverence (such as he does with Galadriel) which some nowdays consider to be latent sexual discrimination. I do think JRRT had a female pedestals of differing heights for his women. As Telain states some cultures do identify the Sun with female power and the Moon with male; I think JRRT does see it as female creation being more active, more unassailable, and more focused. When he discusses sexual jokes, for example, he feels it is unfitting for women as the whole notion of sex to a female is much more important than to a male - because they create life with it, and thus he feels for women there is no humor to be found in such talk. Making Arien an object of beauty that can keep away the casual suitor I think refers to this ideal - a singularity that he finds honorable. She is not easily swayed, and keeps a steady pace in her designated role, a contrast to the male counterpart; she remains pure (as a naked flame) and untouchable. I wouldn't call it discrimination, as it does not seem to negatively affect his female characters.
The moon traveresed the skies for some time before the rising of the Sun and altough Arda enjoyed a second spring, as stated in the next chapter, with the rising of the Sun it is seen as a sign of the awakening of Men, their ascension to greatness and the waning of the elves.
As the Sun is a sullied light and it represents the awakening of Men is this to say that they and the time they are in will never be as good as the time when only Elves walked the Earth. Are Men always doomed to be less than what Eru envisioned due to Melkors marring, of the lights and otherwise of Arda, or can Men ulitmately overcome this limitation within the imperfect world they have inherited. I don't think Men per se have to overcome it - the Fallen Light refers to the fall of those higher up, not of Men. Their inheritance of Arda is inevitable and foreseen, and thus their awakening by definition indicates that the end of the dominion of the Firstborn is in sight. And really the fallen light is just that - the Fall of the higher powers and the Firstborn, not of Men, as a failing of faith: the Fall would not have happened without the Summoning, without the Valar in their fear and insecurity in Eru's plan for the Elves that they split the races and called them from their task - building a life in Arda. Men in a way benefit from this, and from the Fall - as without the loss of the Trees Arda would remain starlit only, and easier for Melkor and his cronies to wreak havoc. At least the light of the Sun, even as Fallen Light, confers some safety for Men.

Melkor being what he is assails the new lights and the Valar decide to protect their realm by raising the Pelori Mountains and setting the Enchanted Isles in the Shadowy Seas to prevent sailors approaching their land.
I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think. Actually I think its what they should have done all along! Kept the worlds separate, but actively taken part in the Elves well-being where they belonged, in Arda.
Finally and most importantly to me, while not strictly part of the Silmarillion the fact that the Sun and the Moon are vessels that hold the last fruit and flower of the Two Trees of Valinor and are driven by spirits is "astronomically absurd" and is addressed by Tolkien elsewhere, Myths Transformed I do believe.
If the Sun and the Moon cannot be these things within the "reality" of the mythology how can the Morning Star be Earendil in his hallowed ship with a Silmaril on his brow. How can the Vial of Galadriel capture such a light. How could she mistake what this is etc etc. There are numerous links to this aspect of the mythology, Elrond, Elros, Numenor, Aragorn, Anduril and more, in fact if we question this we can question everything. The stories are meant to be taken from different story telling sources such as the Red Book of Westmarch an mannish stories of the Elder days, but that does not explain the way LOTR is told or the "facts" presented within that story. What are the Sun and the Moon "REALLY" within the mythology. I stand by the fact the are exactly what is stated in the Silmarillion, but from a lore perspective i think I am very wrong. Can anyone illuminate this riddle with an unsullied light.I referenced BoLT 1 for the story there - even there the island of fire begun from the fruit that is the sun and the moon is virin holding the flower. The theoretical parallels are the same. In Letter #131 (such a useful letter) he writes about the Trees saying "...though from them, ere they died utterly, were derived the lights of the Sun and Moon. (A marked difference here between these legends and most others is that the Sun is not a divine symbol, but a second-best thing, and the 'light of the Sun' [the world under the sun] becomes terms for a fallen world, and a dislocated and imperfect vision.) Later on he says "as the stories become less mythical, and more like stories and romances, Men are interwoven." I think these two statements support that the origins of the Sun and Moon are indeed meant as truth with the Sil mythos, but perceptions change, become imperfect, as less myth and less understanding are within Arda as the Firstborn and 'their' tales fade. Indeed as you say Elendil the tales become more 'mannish' and not elf-centric, so the views of the facts change - not necessarily the facts themselves. So once we accept any of it indeed I have no issue with accepting all of it. Stonehenge in the real-world is one example here - in its day its purpose was completely clear and rational - through time our perceptions have changed, and that knowledge is lost. The fact of its purpose doesn't change to its lost makers, just to us removed from their thought; and of course we can invent and postulate our own ideas, all of which are through our modern filter of current culture.


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


elaen32
Gondor

May 2 2013, 9:29pm

Post #10 of 99 (171 views)
Shortcut
A few musings..... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
.

This statement would seem to put to rest who is the greatest in many respects and it does conflict other statements in the Silmarillion, for example it would imply that he is most valiant where elsewhere this is attributed to Fingolfin. How do these sweeping comments about his greatness sit with each of you. Even if conflict with other statements about other elves are put to one side, how can he be said to have the mightiest "understanding" and retain such a lack of empathy for others. He seems without mercy. I must be very far from the thought of Manwe and therfore Eru as I do not weep for Feanor, he is arrogant beyond belief and in my eyes he can only be named greatest if he finally lets the Silmarils be unmade or otherwise used after Dagor Dagorath so the unsullied light of the Trees can illuminate an umarred Arda remade. I think that this very much depends on the definitions of "greatest" and "understanding" here. Feanor certainly seems to have been the greatest of the First Born in terms of his skill, knowledge etc and could have been the greatest that lived( in an all round fashion). I think that "understanding" in this instance really means intelligence and knowledge and how to use it. However, instead of improving his "spiritual understanding", this knowledge seems to great and terrible for Feanor, as a non-Ainur, to deal with, and thus he is marred to the point of being pretty sociopathic

Does anyone consider any significance can be given to the choice of the respective gender of the Maia selected for these tasks. Is Tolkien putting women on a pedestal and in a position of untouchable (by mortal men) reverence (such as he does with Galadriel) which some nowdays consider to be latent sexual discrimination. I agree that Tolkien does put women on a pedestal as you describe. However, I do not feel this is the case here- although I am not able to give any cogent reasoning for this! There are some cultures/mythologies whereby the moon is referred to as female and this has its association with reproductive cycles, fertility and fruitfulness of the Earth etc In times gone by, the moon determined the timing of crop sowing and reaping, which is still practiced today in some quarters. This is certainly an "Earthier" (excuse the pun) interpretation of the feminine than Tolkien's, but I feel that his choice of gender here is valid.

I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think. I do not understand why the Valar do not confront Melkor more. I know he is the most powerful of the Ainur, but he is only one and at this stage in the history, his power is being diluted. Why the other Valar keep turning their backs on the rest of Arda is unclear to me, I have to admit. OK, they are a bit miffed that not all the Elves went to Aman, but as discussed in previous threads, this was not always the fault of the Moriquendi. Men & dwarves are mortal, but that, to me, shows that they are more in need of help. Men are Children of Eru and the Valar are servants of Eru, so surely they should look after Eru's creations? I have to admit that I frequently get irritated by the behaviour of the Valar whilst reading the Sil!!

.


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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 2 2013, 10:29pm

Post #11 of 99 (166 views)
Shortcut
The Valar turning away [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have seen many comments on various boards saying this is an act of cowardice/neglect/selfishness/laziness/stupidty and just about every other negative description imaginable. I do not see this at all within the context of the mythology, what do you think.
i see a pattern of isolationism in the valar, and i do not perceive it to be good. if all they did was raise the pelori but still tried to be a guide middle earth, i would not see this as problematic. but, whatever their issue with the noldor (and most / not all were kinslayers, so should not have been painted with the same brush as the feanorians), there were plenty of souls in middle earth that still needed their help, and morgoth was on the loose right at this time that they wrapped their robes around their shoulders and turned away from the mainland. thank eru for ulmo.




I agree with this so strongly Mac. Their self-absorption with the Noldor, moving onto the distraction of the Silmarils etc. prevents them from tending the rest of the flock - as you say, thankful for Ulmo! Finally in this chapter they get the wake-up call - remembering the darkness of Arda because of their own twilight! (Doh!) As for turning away, I think they wanted not to stir the pot with Men awakening - but its frustrating to realize how much they COULD have done had they not been 'turned away from the mainland' in the previous years: if Sun and Moon were brought to Arda earlier, crippling Morgoth, centralizing and demoralizing their foes...it might have ended then.

As it is I think they finally are doing the right thing - at a bit of the wrong time perhaps...

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


CuriousG
Valinor


May 2 2013, 11:44pm

Post #12 of 99 (157 views)
Shortcut
More questions [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting this, Elendil. We all appreciate it!

I'll add some questions of my own:

1. There's a big shift in writing style in this chapter, which Christopher Tolkien felt didn't fit in, and on my first read, I thought I'd blundered into another book. Do you like the shift, or would you prefer it was blended in more with the other chapters?

2. How many Valar does it take to screw in a sun bulb? It's a veritable assembly line. Nienna and Yavanna get the fruit and flower, Manwe hallows them, Aule's people make vessels for them, a couple Maiar are assigned to them, and Varda puts them in the sky. When they never leave the sky, Lorien and Este complain that the world needs some darkness for rest, so Ulmo's agents take them under the earth to emerge on the other side and wait to rise again. I can imagine even Vana and Nessa having a voice in all of this, and when Tilion is assaulted, maybe Tulkas gets involved in the defense. Would you have liked to see more of the inner workings of the Valar in other chapters, or is it enough in this one?

3. Imagery: a graven image in my mind from this chapter is the last-ditch, desperate attempt to heal the Trees by Nienna (crying) and Yavanna (who "sang alone in the shadows"). Are there other scenes where you find the imagery compelling?

4. Why do the Valar mourn the marring of Feanor but don't seem to mourn the loss/departure of the Noldor as a whole?

5. The Valar leave the Trees' dead forms sitting the same place, as Gondor leaves the dead White Tree in its place. Why aren't these things moved and tidied up? Does it seem morbid to keep these "corpses" around, or are they a worthy memorial?


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 12:00am

Post #13 of 99 (164 views)
Shortcut
Yes, they frustrate all of us [In reply to] Can't Post

Which I guess is why there's no real-world religion based on the Valar. As your gods, they would ignore you, so why worship them?

I can understand them re-fortifying Valinor to make sure Morgoth doesn't strike them again (even if it's closing the barn door after the horse is already out), but it's troubling that they create the islands and seas to trap mariners.

Quote
but all that ever set foot upon the islands were there entrapped, and slept until the Change of the World.

That's creepy to me. So any non-Noldor, non-Morgoth creature that winds up there is trapped until literally the end of the world? How freaking unfair is that? Couldn't someone bother to make a periodic sweep of the islands and check the latest fish caught in the trap? "Three orcs, two dwarves, five Sindar, and a hobbit. Release the good guys, let the orcs sleep forever." No. It's cruel.

We often ask what motivates characters, but what motivates Tolkien in depicting the Valar this way? Two possibilities:
1. The Valar need to look rather bad so that Ulmo looks good.
2. The Valar are Authority and Government, particularly governing in the name of Eru, and maybe he's showing what he thinks of government: not evil, but aloof, not all that bright despite having highly educated people, not very effective, usually two steps behind what needs to be done, and more concerned with its own welfare than bettering the lives of common citizens it's supposed to be looking after. [Brethil, you're reading the Letters--does he ever say much about real-world politicians?]


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 12:04am

Post #14 of 99 (156 views)
Shortcut
Glad to see you again, Finwe [In reply to] Can't Post

I worried we might have burned you out with your chapter on the Sindar. Pleased to see it's not so.


Quote
To give you a personal experience related to this, I will admit that the first time I read the Sil, after all the positive descriptors Tolkien heaps upon Feanor early on in the story, I just assumed he was gonna be the hero. Even as he started to make some questionable decisions, I continued to see his actions through that hero lens, so I was completely shocked when he totally turned, Needless to say, my second reading gave me a much different perspective! As for the "greatest" statements, I think Tolkien fell victim to building up his characters in order to make their fall more dramatic and occasionally lost track of who was the greatest at what.

You speak for me on this one. I thought he'd be a hero too and initially I tried making excuses for his failings.


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 12:26am

Post #15 of 99 (148 views)
Shortcut
Musings on musings [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I think that this very much depends on the definitions of "greatest" and "understanding" here. Feanor certainly seems to have been the greatest of the First Born in terms of his skill, knowledge etc and could have been the greatest that lived( in an all round fashion). I think that "understanding" in this instance really means intelligence and knowledge and how to use it. However, instead of improving his "spiritual understanding", this knowledge seems to great and terrible for Feanor, as a non-Ainur, to deal with, and thus he is marred to the point of being pretty sociopathic

My response to Elendil's question is yours: I interpret this as "greatest in skill" and "greatest in artistic/technical understanding" since he made the Silmarils. I don't interpret it as meaning empathy, though of course he needed some. Like when he was murdering Teleri to steal their boats, for one thing.


Quote
I agree that Tolkien does put women on a pedestal as you describe. However, I do not feel this is the case here- although I am not able to give any cogent reasoning for this!

Not sure I can give a reason either, but you echo my thoughts. The character contrasts are very interesting:

Tilion: he "begged to be given the task of tending for ever the last Flower of Silver." He's an emotional guy. Arien, by contrast, seems to just stoically walk up and take the job.

Tilion sounds like a softie in other ways: "he was a lover of silver...and when he would rest...he lay in a dream by the pools of Este." He loves pretty things, needs rest, and lies in dreams. Arien "had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them...Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on." Then Arien forsakes her body and is "a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendor." She expresses no emotion, is unhurt by things that hurt others, is scary, and even in humanoid form the Elves can't look her in the eye." I don't think she's on a pedestal. I think she's butch.

Who gets attacked? Wimpy Tilion, of course, because Morgoth doesn't dare attack Arien. And Arien of course, though a spirit of fire and hence a candidate for balrogdom, never succumbed to Melkor's enticements, so she's another woman who spurned him. Who stays on a steady course? Arien. Who's whimsical? Tilion, who is also so love-struck by her beauty that he's a solar stalker.


Quote
I do not understand why the Valar do not confront Melkor more. I know he is the most powerful of the Ainur, but he is only one and at this stage in the history, his power is being diluted.

This is one of the few times when I can understand the restraint of the Valar since they know land gets destroyed when they fight Melkor, and they don't want the first Men to be on that land and become extinct as soon as they're born. Mandos, of course, should tell them where Men would appear, but we know better than to expect that. And the Valar could have struck at Morgoth later after Men had appeared, so I won't let them off the hook altogether, but initially I would.


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 12:42am

Post #16 of 99 (155 views)
Shortcut
I accept the myth [In reply to] Can't Post

It's funny that Tolkien himself called his Sun & Moon story "astronomically absurd," but this is a fantasy book, and while I expect certain physical laws like gravity to work, I'll go easy on others. Maybe it's the beauty of the story that makes me overlook the absurdity. Maybe it's because it's similar to real-world myths which I enjoy reading even though I know they're not real. The only place that it becomes a little awkward is when Tolkien feels the need to explain why eclipses happen--because the Moon is in love with the Sun's beauty and can't keep away. I can imagine Arien sighing and saying, "Here comes Tilion, again!" while burning up the Valentine's cards he throws at her and melting his Valentine's chocolates. It all seems a little silly, and though I find it amusing, I wouldn't mind if that part were taken out.

Another reason why this clash of myth and reality is satisfying for me is that there's a lot of passion behind all this. The Valar are responding to a great loss with a valiant effort to bring light to the world with the last remnant of the Two Trees that they seemed to cherish above all else. It's one of their few selfless acts, and a noble one. They could have kept the Sun and Moon all to themselves in Valinor, but decided the light would hinder Morgoth and bring hope to Men, Avari, and even Noldor. When the Sun and Moon rest in Valinor everyday, they remind the Valar of what they lost and now can enjoy only part of each day, but they don't go back on their decision. Their divine concern and involvement make a bridge between myth and reality to me. Though I smirk when I read that Ulmo's people have to scuttle the Sun under the earth every day to rise again in the east. It brings silly images to mind.

I'm not sure why you say the light is sullied, however. The Trees were poisoned, but it seems to me that the fruit and flower were the last pure things to come out of the Trees and drained whatever original life had been in them. I look on the Sun and Moon as the last unsullied light from Yavanna's creation, along with the Silmarils.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 3 2013, 1:00am

Post #17 of 99 (154 views)
Shortcut
He does share some thoughts on Government that strike me as interesting... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
2. The Valar are Authority and Government, particularly governing in the name of Eru, and maybe he's showing what he thinks of government: not evil, but aloof, not all that bright despite having highly educated people, not very effective, usually two steps behind what needs to be done, and more concerned with its own welfare than bettering the lives of common citizens it's supposed to be looking after. [Brethil, you're reading the Letters--does he ever say much about real-world politicians?]




In Letter #52, he starts rather rakishly with "My political opinions lean more and more towards Anarchy..." and continues with "(philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) - or to 'unconstitutional Monarchy'...Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people...and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at least were unwilling to take it on) is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity." So here we see his ideas about Government as a faceless entity being fundamentally wrong, and the seeking of 'power' in the Government (with the capital G here) to be a definitive sign of one's lack of fitness for it. Here I think we can apply it to the Valar in this chapter - along with the How Many Valar DOES it take to Screw in a Sun? question - in that they seem to actually be the most effective at actually DOING something when they are involved in concert, decentralized, individualized, each bringing their own uniqueness to the process. Sitting around talking and having Manwe make obscure, telegraphic statements really didn't accomplish that much, did it?

Addressing your idea of the 'aloofness' of the Valar as government, he says: "If people were in the habit of referring to 'King George's council, Winston and his gang', it would go a long way to clearing thought, and reducing this frightful landslide into Theyocracy." So here we get the sense that the people should always think of their leaders as fellow men, using their NAMES and not their titles, acknowledging their shared mortality. I am guessing then that the aloofness we see is intentional, and is part of 'the errors' (political) of the Valar in dealing with the Elves which I have seen him refer to so often.

He also speaks about how even apparent wish to do 'good' can turn to domination in the hands of leaders: ":but the problem: that this frightful evil can and does arise from an apparently good root, the desire to benefit the world and others - speedily and according to the benefactor's own plans - is a recurrent motive."(Letter #131) He is actually addressing 'magic' and domination here, but that statement really rings true to me in a real-world sense. Poor political decisions, "quick" expedient solutions by a government removed from its citizen's needs, and only seeking the fastest or cheapest fix...all of these would qualify I think and fit allegorically into this idea of his.

In Letter # 183 he leads into the idea by discussing a critics points about reducing Beowulf to a 'political' statement. About human politics he says: "Of course 'real-life' causes are not clear cut - if only because human tyrants are seldom utterly corrupted into pure manifestations of evil will. As far as I can judge some seem to have been so corrupt, but even they must rule subjects only part of whom are equally corrupt, while many still need to have 'good motives', real or feigned, presented to them." Tyranny at work: presenting people with what they want to hear, to consolidate power. And how they politically work upon the hopes, dreams and needs of the subjects that may resist them - until it is too late. Also acknowledging the lack of needing to be pure evil to DO evil deeds.

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


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 1:00am

Post #18 of 99 (146 views)
Shortcut
The Second Best Sun and parental grief [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for citing from the Letters, Brethil. Those are wonderful quotes. My feeling has always been, in reading this chapter, that the Sun is just "second-best," and it's interesting that JRR said so himself. No ambiguity there! It adds to the overall melancholy atmosphere he weaves into Middle-earth, that it could have been better, should have been, but this is as good as it gets, so we have to put up with it. Hence your great observation that the Valar are grieving for what could have and should have been. While they go about the process of creating the Sun and Moon with reverence and a serious attitude, I can almost see their *real* feelings come out if they were sitting around the Ring of Doom, moping, and the Trees spit out their last gifts, and no one says anything, but someone, maybe Tulkas, kicks them towards Aule and says, "Go hang that stuff in the sky somehow." Then they all go back to moping. It probably takes immortals a long time to get through all 5 stages of grief.

The Valar looked on the Eldar as adopted children of sorts, so as parents, they have the double whammy of their house being ransacked while they were out at a party, and their child prodigy has done all kinds of vile, rebellious things and won't be coming back. Through a parental lens, that's devastating, and no amount of looking back to the Music or to the end of Arda alleviates that in the present. One would almost think that an eternal perspective would make the Valar more immune to grief, and since they aren't, it humanizes them in my eyes.


CuriousG
Valinor


May 3 2013, 1:10am

Post #19 of 99 (147 views)
Shortcut
Wow--very enlightening!! Many thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

for all your work in digging those up and setting them in context, Brethil. Whether he deliberately attributed all his feelings about government to the Valar or not, maybe those feelings seeped through all the same. Ulmo is the renegade from the Valar governing council, and significantly, he has the most compassion for non-Ainur and gets the most involved with them. And, of course, he was the proponent of leaving them in Middle-earth.

Aren't the Valar a little like Galadriel with the Ring? Not to the same extreme, of course, but when Sam told her she'd put things right, she told him that's how it would begin, but it wouldn't end there. It's the spirit of what you say Tolkien said repeatedly, that the desire to do good can lead to harm (which Gandalf also said re: the Ring). Had I been a voting Valar, I would have had the same desire to do good and told Ulmo "Give the rest of us a chance and let us bring these Eldar to Valinor. What could go wrong? Melkor is in jail, the world's still a rough place, and look how delightful these new creations of our own creator are." It all seemed well-intentioned, and who could have foreseen (besides Mandos) all the misery that twisted its way out of that decision?


Brethil
Half-elven


May 3 2013, 1:14am

Post #20 of 99 (143 views)
Shortcut
Second-best light [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

I'm not sure why you say the light is sullied, however. The Trees were poisoned, but it seems to me that the fruit and flower were the last pure things to come out of the Trees and drained whatever original life had been in them. I look on the Sun and Moon as the last unsullied light from Yavanna's creation, along with the Silmarils.




JRRT refers to them as second-best thing because the Trees had been poisoned by Ungoliant by then, so the flower and fruit are sullied; and he goes on to say 'light of the sun' is a term used to describe a fallen world, and a dislocated and imperfect vision. The Silmarils are pre-poisoning so are the last unsullied light.

Just a guess - I *think* here its not just the biological poisoning of the Trees and the remaining light being tainted - it all happens because of the failures that led to the death of the Trees. So I get the... feeling ...that is why it is second-best, although as Elendil asked, I don't think the fall or second-best-ness (is that a word?) applies to Men, but to the Firstborn, since it is their Fall and Men's awakening...men are blameless and benefit from the Sun and Moon; its Elves who are saddened by it, saddened by change and the slide towards weariness with the world. Which is why they want to preserve it - some Elf dude named Cele-something may have an idea or two (or Three....)

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


Finwe
Lorien


May 3 2013, 1:30am

Post #21 of 99 (136 views)
Shortcut
Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

Never burnt out, occasionally timed out. I'm sure we all run into that problem.

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when FŽanor 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.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 3 2013, 1:39am

Post #22 of 99 (138 views)
Shortcut
Thanks back CG - it was a great idea to look into! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think his politics definitely sneak into his mythos, and how can they not - there is an essential consistency which we have discussed all based on JRRT's strong moral convictions. I think a lot of his 'political' feeling was exactly that - a belief in right and wrong, and very humanized; many imply completely out of touch with his era, and they are probably right, to his credit.

Haha, about them all moping and how did it all get started - you will love this! (and your instinct is spot-on, Tulkas was in the mix indeed in this version). In BoLT1: The Valar are all around,(moping) watching the fruit of Laurelin ripen. Yavanna (mopingly) asks Aule to hold up the branch so it doesn't break. He stares at it, considers, and says: "Very long indeed did Varda and I seek throught he desolate homes and gardens for the materials for our craft. Now do I know Iluvatar has brought desire to my hand." He calls Tulkas to help.....and they rip it down!!!! Everyone has a FIT, but no one dares approach Aule and Tulkas Aule has a great line - "Cease ye of little wisdom and have a patience."(The Valar version of Dr Evil's shhhsh-pinch)

I really like this picture, of gentle ceremonious MOPING solemnity...then *BANG* Aule gets the job going, along with a neat and apropos comment. So I think JRRT's mindset is in sympathy with Aule here.

I agree with you, their grief does make them real; but even more so to me is watching them figure out the light issue (after suddenly going HEY, wait...did we forget something...) and all come together to make it happen. I feel a bit frustrated, like they could have been doing things like this all along, instead of trying to solve problems that shouldn't have ever been theirs to solve. It's true about how they were sort of in a parental position, and they may have been feeling a lot of shame and guilt maybe too, once the intitial feelings of shock wore off. Maybe it felt good to them to come together and be active, and do something, to assuage that helplessness.

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 3 2013, 1:42am)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 3 2013, 10:18am

Post #23 of 99 (135 views)
Shortcut
a brethil of fresh air [In reply to] Can't Post

 
a brethil of fresh air... what a wonderful, insightful, and lovely worded span of thoughts....


Quote
The moon traveresed the skies for some time before the rising of the Sun and altough Arda enjoyed a second spring, as stated in the next chapter, with the rising of the Sun it is seen as a sign of the awakening of Men, their ascension to greatness and the waning of the elves. As the Sun is a sullied light and it represents the awakening of Men is this to say that they and the time they are in will never be as good as the time when only Elves walked the Earth. Are Men always doomed to be less than what Eru envisioned due to Melkors marring, of the lights and otherwise of Arda, or can Men ulitmately overcome this limitation within the imperfect world they have inherited.

[brethil]I don't think Men per se have to overcome it - the Fallen Light refers to the fall of those higher up, not of Men. Their inheritance of Arda is inevitable and foreseen, and thus their awakening by definition indicates that the end of the dominion of the Firstborn is in sight. And really the fallen light is just that - the Fall of the higher powers and the Firstborn, not of Men, as a failing of faith: the Fall would not have happened without the Summoning, without the Valar in their fear and insecurity in Eru's plan for the Elves that they split the races and called them from their task - building a life in Arda. Men in a way benefit from this, and from the Fall - as without the loss of the Trees Arda would remain starlit only, and easier for Melkor and his cronies to wreak havoc. At least the light of the Sun, even as Fallen Light, confers some safety for Men. [/brethil]



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 May 3 2013, 10:21am)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 3 2013, 10:52am

Post #24 of 99 (107 views)
Shortcut
Thank you Mac! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 3 2013, 10:56am

Post #25 of 99 (118 views)
Shortcut
the valar and government [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i don't believe tolkien sees the valar as evil, nor does he see them doing evil things. but i think he sets up their history (and it's so alive-seeming that one can forget / misplace the thought that they are created characters.... i know sometimes i have the touch of the fey when i'm writing an impassioned post about them), he sets up their history as a special set of individuals who have concentrated power, almost limitless power, with no real challengers. they are wise, but despite that wisdom, make mistake after mistake after mistake.

in this, the valar are very much like any mortal of us, in a position of great power. even those who have been kissed on the brow by wisdom and who have a desire to do good as embers in their hearts can have their well-intentioned acts erupt into unforeseen disaster. i think, whether this was unconsciously written as a theme with the valar, or consciously, it is a theme nonetheless.

i sometimes feel pity for the valar, as they are so few, and are the first (and perhaps the only) of their generation. they are learning their paths just as much as the eldar are, the dwarves are, the edain are.

that being said, and while i'm certainly thankful for the gift of the sun and moon (both of which i enjoy very much), i certainly would have appreciated the gift of the istari a bit sooner... like when the caliquendi were all gathered in aman, or when the noldor returned to the mainland. any of those times would have been great.


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

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.