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Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 12 -- "Of Men," Part 1
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Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 10:04am

Post #1 of 72 (809 views)
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Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 12 -- "Of Men," Part 1 Can't Post

Your Life as a Member of the Edain – the Eternal "Why"?

Hello, Fellow Children of the Sun --

I (like many here) have gone through some really horrible times, have had to battle through incredible challenges (for whatever your own struggles have been, I hope that Nienna and Este aid you in healing). Although I think of myself as having been born with a lot of sensitivity and compassion, I definitely think that my travels through hardship have increased my compassion and my empathy. However, I do not think this is a fail-safe formula for growth. Many times, hardship can just make you hard.

Many people make sense of their suffering by ascribing it to a greater purpose (for what it’s worth, I do not). This philosophy is often encapsulated by phrases like, “everything happens for a reason” and “it just was meant to be / wasn’t meant to be.”

One of the things that runs through my mind in my own life is that I feel I’m finally starting to get good at being a human being, but it’s taken me many years to get to this point. Experience can elevate wisdom and enrich compassion, but it’s a shame that for many of us, a good chunk of our lives have been spent before we reach this point.

So how does this relate to the chapter?

Here’s how:

The Edain seem to have the greater part of suffering during their time in Arda. According to Tolkien, compared to the Elves, the Edain are less wise, are assailable by sickness, by decay of the body, by old age, are easily slain by illness and injury and less easily healed (as a bonus, the Edain also possess less beauty than the Elves – whatever that means).

1. So does this suffering have a purpose?

2. Are the Edain supposed to grow in wisdom and empathy, and bring this increased understanding to their part of the making of the Second Music? Will their spirits which have grown in such a way become Ainur, or Ainur-like? Are the themes that are to be sung by the Edain in the Second Music to teach the present Ainur in any way?

3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? (Hearken back to “just getting good at being a human being.”)

4. The Eldar have a lot of unflattering names for the Edain (the sickly, the night-fearers, the self-cursed, the heavy-handed). Are these sobriquets they’ve given the Edain out of the Wisdom of the Eldar, or out of the Insecurity of the Eldar? They know (because the Valar told them) that the Edain come from Eru, so why all the name-calling?

5. No Vala comes to help the Edain. Why? It’s said that it’s just naturally more difficult for the Edain to hear the messages of the Valar through things like rivers and the land (as the Eldar do)… so wouldn’t they need extra help? Did the Valar learn from their mistakes from their treatment of the Eldar (do they even realize they made mistakes in bringing the Eldar to Aman?), or is this just another instance of their isolationism and neglect? It seems quite the paradox that the Edain might most need guidance from the Valar, but are cut off from it.

Here in the Silmarilion is where we Edain finally gain a foothold. Up until now, it’s been the god-like Ainu and their teachers’ pets the super-race of the Eldar. But all of us on this thread are Children of the Sun (unless some of you are hiding something), and the text may turn more real, more vivid, and more urgent at this point, despite the briefness of the chapter.

6. Does the introduction of the Edain make the Silmarilion more real for you? More personal?



Children of the Sun, let me hear your voices.


Many sunny 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


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 11:40am

Post #2 of 72 (606 views)
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A pile of good things, a pile of bad [In reply to] Can't Post

Suffering, what's the point? As you say, sometimes we feel that something good came out of a bad experience but its possible to imagine either that this is our minds making it all bearable, as much as some law of nature. Surprisingly, about the best thing I've ever seen on the issue comes from a Dr Who script:

Quote

"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant. "
(you can see a performance of those lines in the show here (YouTube clip) )

Doctor Who, a character in TV series Doctor Who, episode titled Vincent and the Doctor (2010), written by Richard Curtis

That sounds right to me - the good and the bad aren't something you can meaningfully put in a double -accounting ledger and cancel out to see whether a life is overall in the red or in the black.

And what are the Valar up to - as you say, not much. Thanks for the Light, and goodbye. Enjoy Morgoth, guys. Possibilities:
  1. The Valar don't care
  2. They care desperately, but feel they messed up with their handling of the Eldar, are being very cautious now not to mess up again, and have yet to think of sending out wizards.
I'm part Neanderthal on my mother's side. Indeed, I there's evidence we all are. Studies of human mitochondiral DNA show that Neanderthal genes are widespread (and because you get all you mitochondria from the egg you started from, none from the sperm, this only tells you about your female ancestors). Why raise the Neanderthals? Because of their bearing on the attitude of the elves to the Men (and the dwarves). As far as I'm aware, its all speculation what happened to the Neanderthals in the end - did they interbreed peacefully with "modern" humans until the two became one? Or were there wars, slaughters of the Neanderthal men and , the driving off of our Neanderthal maternal ancestors as forced breeding stock (if the opposite atrocities happened, we would no longer know - no Neanderthal mitochondria to study)? The genetic results don't say. When we think of Neanderthals and modern humans our thoughts can be much influenced by an old Victorian idea which conflated evolution and progress (the superior modern humans, on their way to becoming WASP Englishmen, would naturally triumph over the antiquated Nanderthals - I once went to an excellent lecture by Dr Stephen J Gould, who spent some time demolishing this idea.) We don't know what it would be like to live in a world with several sub-spiecies of human, or humanoid. But the rude names and part-suspicion, part-mockery of other races that the elves go in for is all too familiar in the in-species intolerance which different groups of modern humans have all too often shown each other through history. The chapter refers to elves and Men becoming more estranged over time (and blames Morgoth for it), so divide and rule by Mr Sparklycrown may be part of what is going on.

Another thing Tolkien might be up to here. In Paul H Kocher's book "Master of Middle Earth (which I've just started, thanks to a recommendation by Squire), I see this:

Quote
Tolkien is sure that modern man's belief that he is the only intelligent species on Earth has not been good for him.

Paul Kocher 1972

[you can tell its not yet the '80s-'90s, when an author would probably have used gender-neutral language]

...we can read this chapter as showing the elves falling into this folly: struggling to appreciate the other intelligent life forms, to everyone's loss.

Does the arrival of Men make the story more real - I'm not sure yet. Men (with a capital M, which we're stuck with in this text for "men and women") are going to play several key roles in the stories to come. But here we're getting the elvish picture that they are weirdly substandard creatures (with perhaps a side-dish of envy and suspicion that Men have been invited to some secret ultimate project whereas the elves, and maybe even the Valar, aren't.)

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
Valinor


May 5 2013, 12:09pm

Post #3 of 72 (578 views)
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love your bringing up the neanderthals [In reply to] Can't Post

 
...and +love+ your bringing up stephen j. gould -- so jealous you got to hear him speak!!! : )

i have a long-time interest in paleontology.... i've read nearly all of his collected essays in volumes like "hen's teeth and horses' toes," and i think some of his separate works ("the mismeasure of man") are powerful. also, if you're a baseball fan (which i am not), there's extra spice, because he works bball in often, making it play with seemingly odd teammates like crinoids, convergent evolution, etc.

in our real history, i firmly suspect that most of us who have neanderthal dna (of which i probably have some) got it by foul means -- probably rape (certainly allowing for, in addition, the peaceable exchange of extra-species dna). one of the wonderful things that has arisen as a scientific finding of late is that a good portion of those with european heritage have a snippet of neanderthal dna in their genes, while it doesn't exist in african strains (i'm +really+ simplifying here), which is the place from which we all arose, in our genetic infancy. would have +loved+ to know what hitler and his ilk would have thought of +that+. hah! the (supposedly) caveman dna being present in the european strain, but not the aftrican (pure) strain. perhaps he and his team would have undertaken some rampant revising of neanderthal reputation -- making the neanderthals some sort of nordic super-race, so that it turned into an asset.

re suffering ---> wisdom... while i don't think that's an inevitable evolution, i do think that suffering and hardship offer us choices. what do we do with what has landed in our laps? some times we can make the choice to expand ourselves, sometimes it works through us on a more subconscious level, sometimes we deflect that choice, and sometimes our coping skills are so overcome that choice is more tenuous, and we react more than choose, often with unintended and undesirable results.


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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 2:59pm

Post #4 of 72 (589 views)
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First thoughts on Men [In reply to] Can't Post


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1. So does this suffering have a purpose?. Are the Edain supposed to grow in wisdom and empathy, and bring this increased understanding to their part of the making of the Second Music? Will their spirits which have grown in such a way become Ainur, or Ainur-like? Are the themes that are to be sung by the Edain in the Second Music to teach the present Ainur in any way? I group these two questions together because they are united under a common unknown - Eru's haven for Men after death. Only Mandos and Manwe seem to know what their fate is in the 'mansions of the dead', and they aren't talking (un-cryptically anyway).. Indeed both Men and Dwarves are said to have a place already reserved for them in the Second music, so perhaps there is a wisdom to be imparted in the next world as Eru envisions it. Did he foresee the failure of faith of the Valar as a possibility? Of course. So maybe we can theorize that input from men, about day-to-day struggles, will be useful for the next batch of Creation.

3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? (Hearken back to “just getting good at being a human being.”) Again I wonder if it has to do with their afterlife - is it so rewarding that perhaps it compensates? I think Elves probably have the same cardinal amount of suffering maybe, just spread out over many more eons. Or is it part of what Eru has in mind for the Second world? I also find interesting that Men aren't given 'proof' of the Gods like the Firstborn are. So in a way, especially since their fate is outside the Song, it is a great test of faith, and dancing on a wire without a net: they must choose their courses on their own, without the guidance that the Firstborn get. Is that the point of the suffering? To expand the test of faith? To teach the next world to have (as JRRT puts it) "hope without guarantee'?

4. The Eldar have a lot of unflattering names for the Edain (the sickly, the night-fearers, the self-cursed, the heavy-handed). Are these sobriquets they’ve given the Edain out of the Wisdom of the Eldar, or out of the Insecurity of the Eldar? They know (because the Valar told them) that the Edain come from Eru, so why all the name-calling? Yes quite a set of street names isn't it? I think the Valar ignoring them maybe makes them inferior from the start in the eyes of the Firstborn. and there is that underlying sense of Men's awakening being the Doom of the Firstborn, as Arda will pass from them to these usurpers. We know Morgoth has been talking smack, and trying to breach a gap right away between the races, so they don't unite against him.

5. No Vala comes to help the Edain. Why? It’s said that it’s just naturally more difficult for the Edain to hear the messages of the Valar through things like rivers and the land (as the Eldar do)… so wouldn’t they need extra help? Did the Valar learn from their mistakes from their treatment of the Eldar (do they even realize they made mistakes in bringing the Eldar to Aman?), or is this just another instance of their isolationism and neglect? It seems quite the paradox that the Edain might most need guidance from the Valar, but are cut off from it. I love what NoWiz said here:"They care desperately, but feel they messed up with their handling of the Eldar, are being very cautious now not to mess up again, and have yet to think of sending out wizards."I think they have indeed overcompensated into isolationism. Plus because their messages aren't understood as well, maybe they feel like its a waste of time to try to communicate with these creatures.

Here in the Silmarilion is where we Edain finally gain a foothold. Up until now, it’s been the god-like Ainu and their teachers’ pets the super-race of the Eldar. But all of us on this thread are Children of the Sun (unless some of you are hiding something), and the text may turn more real, more vivid, and more urgent at this point, despite the briefness of the chapter.

6. Does the introduction of the Edain make the Silmarilion more real for you? More personal? Maybe in a way - it does sort of parallel our evolution, starting out kind of behind the curve as it were as you discussed with NoWiz earlier... (Interested in the Neanderthal chat. The DNA sequenced in us represents less than 3%, but it is questionable if its origin comes from h. neanderthalis themselves OR represents archaic DNA from an older population common to h. sapiens and h. neanderthalensis who survived past their expected spans in isolation - a model being studied currently is a pocket of h. heidelbergensis in Africa. I know there is a parallel model for Europe but the archaic population I don't think has been identified. So although the DNA is there it doesn't necessarily support the interbreeding model.) ...anyway - back on topic - it does give you a bit of an awkward sense, as that's how we would 'compare' to the Firstborn especially at first. I feel bad for them that they fear the Valar - the Firstborn did too, but then were given all sorts of support. Men don't get that. And Morgoth is just sort of stirring the pot the whole time too, and whether the Valar wanted some 'peace' for Men to awaken in or whether they are just burnt out on caretaking I'm not entirely sure...they SAY its the first, but one has to question their state of feeling at this point in time. It seems like except for Ulmo they are sort of MIA for a while.

Children of the Sun, let me hear your voices.(At work, so that's my first offering! Thanks for a great set of Ideas Mac!) Angelic


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

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 5 2013, 3:02pm)


elaen32
Gondor

May 5 2013, 4:03pm

Post #5 of 72 (572 views)
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Yay, some humans in Middle Earth! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

The Edain seem to have the greater part of suffering during their time in Arda. According to Tolkien, compared to the Elves, the Edain are less wise, are assailable by sickness, by decay of the body, by old age, are easily slain by illness and injury and less easily healed (as a bonus, the Edain also possess less beauty than the Elves – whatever that means).
1. So does this suffering have a purpose?
I think as humans, we often feel we have to believe that our sufferings have meaning. It's a way of dealing with them and avoiding despair. However, I, personally believe that suffering both in RL and ME does have some purpose. In RL this is a huge question involving philsophy, theology, psychology. In the context of Arda, I assume that the reward is in the mysterious next life
2. Are the Edain supposed to grow in wisdom and empathy, and bring this increased understanding to their part of the making of the Second Music? Will their spirits which have grown in such a way become Ainur, or Ainur-like? Are the themes that are to be sung by the Edain in the Second Music to teach the present Ainur in any way?
Yes, I think so, both individually and collectively, wisdom and empathy increase through their sufferings. The Edain, thus, bring something unique to the Second Music, which neither the immortal Elves nor the divine Ainur can bring or probably even imagine. It does all feel like a bit of an experiment on Eru's part to me- "well, if I make that group like that, they can tell me what that is like and if I might the other group differently, then they can tell me what that, in turn, is like" The Edain can also tell the Ainur and possibly even Eru, their experiences of being tempted or corrupted by evil
3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? (Hearken back to “just getting good at being a human being.”)
Good question! Because that empathy and wisdom is not just for that individual, but to be shared with others to increase the overall wisdom of a given people? Since mortals go on experiencing suffering, even if they gain something from it, to have to experience this over a very long life would be hard?
4. The Eldar have a lot of unflattering names for the Edain (the sickly, the night-fearers, the self-cursed, the heavy-handed). Are these sobriquets they’ve given the Edain out of the Wisdom of the Eldar, or out of the Insecurity of the Eldar? They know (because the Valar told them) that the Edain come from Eru, so why all the name-calling?
Oh, definitely the insecurity of the Eldar! They did the same with the dwarves, didn't they. I have to admit that I always found Tolkien's Elves somewhat hypocritical about a lot of things. Name calling and scorn for the weak are not the signs of a wise, benevolent "super race" IMO! The Eldar find it very difficult to cope with the idea that they are not the only "intelligent" , non-Ainur people. I think it comes as a shock to them and they do not like the thought that these "inferior" beings could be as well-loved by Iluvatar as themselves. They probably feel that they have enough to deal with in fending off Morgoth and dealing with the sons of Feanor, without the possibility of being superseded by people they feel are less worthy than themselves. I guess the Eldar feel assailed on all sides
5. No Vala comes to help the Edain. Why? It’s said that it’s just naturally more difficult for the Edain to hear the messages of the Valar through things like rivers and the land (as the Eldar do)… so wouldn’t they need extra help? Did the Valar learn from their mistakes from their treatment of the Eldar (do they even realize they made mistakes in bringing the Eldar to Aman?), or is this just another instance of their isolationism and neglect? It seems quite the paradox that the Edain might most need guidance from the Valar, but are cut off from it.
You would think that the Edain would need extra help, wouldn't you? The Valar do not show themselves as being all wise at this stage of ME history and before. Now, I think they adopt a "hands off" approach, possibly in part because, as you say, they realise that compelling the Eldar to go to Aman has not worked out that well and left and open field for Morgoth.
Here in the Silmarilion is where we Edain finally gain a foothold. Up until now, it’s been the god-like Ainu and their teachers’ pets the super-race of the Eldar. But all of us on this thread are Children of the Sun (unless some of you are hiding something), and the text may turn more real, more vivid, and more urgent at this point, despite the briefness of the chapter.

6. Does the introduction of the Edain make the Silmarilion more real for you? More personal?
Hee hee! teacher's pets! Yes, it does feel a bit like that at times, doesn't it? Yes, the coming of the Edain does help, partly because the time spans for the Elves are just impossible to relate to. I've just been reading Chapter 13- there seem to be about 800 years of relative peace while the Noldor settle down and Morgoth quakes in his dungeons because of the sun. Makes the "We've had peace for 400 years" speech in AUJ look a little foolish! Having more manageable life spans etc does help. Also, as you may have gathered, the Eldar are not my favourite race in ME!


.


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


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 4:45pm

Post #6 of 72 (560 views)
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"First thoughts on men"? Oh sorry, is this an oestrogen island thread?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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!' "


Erúmer
The Shire


May 5 2013, 4:51pm

Post #7 of 72 (554 views)
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Spoiler? [In reply to] Can't Post

3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? (Hearken back to “just getting good at being a human being.”)

If anybody hasn't gotten to the Akallabeth, feel free to skip thisWink

I think that it's short because the results would be disastrous otherwise. The Numenoreans were men with loooong lifespans...and it only made them greedy for longer life, which led to their envy of the Eldar and their eventual ruin. Men are made of different character than Elves, and I think this is why their lives have to be shorter--or maybe it's the other way round,


elaen32
Gondor

May 5 2013, 4:53pm

Post #8 of 72 (554 views)
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Nah.. [In reply to] Can't Post


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If it was an EI thread, Brethil would have entitled it "First Thoughts on Hot Dwarves", not mere Men! (Runs for cover- sorry Brethil- you're not even online at present to defend yourself from these scurrilous accusations!)WinkCrazy

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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:03pm

Post #9 of 72 (547 views)
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Haha! and I'm laughing *quite a bit* here because you read my mind Elaen... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

If it was an EI thread, Brethil would have entitled it "First Thoughts on Hot Dwarves", not mere Men! (Runs for cover- sorry Brethil- you're not even online at present to defend yourself from these scurrilous accusations!)WinkCrazy




...I was actually going to title my post "First Thought on men INSTEAD of Delicious Dwarf Kings..." but I am trying to behave with some pretense of decorum here in the RR. Hasn't been entirely successful. And feel free, accuse away, no cover needed - I am quite beyond defending it myself!!!!SmileEvil

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on May 5 2013, 5:13pm)


elaen32
Gondor

May 5 2013, 5:12pm

Post #10 of 72 (546 views)
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Sorry [In reply to] Can't Post

NWM and I have lowered the tone a little here. I usually endeavour to be more sensible in RR too, but that reply was too much to resist. Anyway, who says others are always "decorous" in their RR behaviour- the kilts and pants thread went a little "off topic" shall we say?LaughEvil

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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:16pm

Post #11 of 72 (544 views)
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No apologies!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Our variations in - shall we say tone? - keep it so much more interesting...!!!! Cool

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


Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 5:23pm

Post #12 of 72 (544 views)
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hey... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
[brethil] I was actually going to title my post "First Thought on men INSTEAD of Delicious Dwarf Kings..." [/brethil]


.... i thought you were on a diet...


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 5 2013, 5:24pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 5:24pm

Post #13 of 72 (541 views)
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and +this+ [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... is what keeps us out of valinor.


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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:26pm

Post #14 of 72 (541 views)
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**I would NEVER cut that out** [In reply to] Can't Post


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Quote
[brethil] I was actually going to title my post "First Thought on men INSTEAD of Delicious Dwarf Kings..." [/brethil]


.... i thought you were on a diet...
.




And anyway proper enjoyment would equal calories BURNED after all. Evil

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


elaen32
Gondor

May 5 2013, 5:29pm

Post #15 of 72 (535 views)
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Watch out, watch out, there are Modar about!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

EvilWink

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


Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 5:30pm

Post #16 of 72 (532 views)
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interesting thought [In reply to] Can't Post


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[erumer] 3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? (Hearken back to “just getting good at being a human being.”)

If anybody hasn't gotten to the Akallabeth, feel free to skip thisWink

I think that it's short because the results would be disastrous otherwise. The Numenoreans were men with loooong lifespans...and it only made them greedy for longer life, which led to their envy of the Eldar and their eventual ruin. Men are made of different character than Elves, and I think this is why their lives have to be shorter--or maybe it's the other way round, [/erumer]


interesting thought... to which i'll add... wouldn't shortened lifespans make us +more+ envious? honestly, i don't see increasing the lifespan of the edain as making them more or less envious...

supposedly, the lifespan of the edain was supposed to be much longer originally (according to andreth, whose words you can find in "morgoth's ring")... some say that the edain lost their longer lifespans from hearkening to morgoth... which sounds like elvish superiority. surely, not so many of the edain were so enthralled with morgoth's lies that it took a sweeping toll on the entire race. but, if the original lifespan +was+ longer, why did it diminish?

perhaps living in harmony with middle earth and eru's plans contributes to health.


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


May 5 2013, 5:31pm

Post #17 of 72 (528 views)
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i am +sure+ [In reply to] Can't Post

 
quite a lot of modar are adherents to a diet of delicious dwarves.


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


May 5 2013, 5:33pm

Post #18 of 72 (526 views)
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pfffffffftttttttt!!!!!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
[nowimë] "First thoughts on men"? Oh sorry, is this an oestrogen island thread? [/nowimë]



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


elaen32
Gondor

May 5 2013, 5:35pm

Post #19 of 72 (523 views)
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Twas not that which was concerning me [In reply to] Can't Post

... it was how Brethil intended to utlise said calories- or maybe I misinterpreted!Wink I'll shut up now, change t'subject.......

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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:39pm

Post #20 of 72 (521 views)
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Lifestyle and life-span relationship [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To


interesting thought... to which i'll add... wouldn't shortened lifespans make us +more+ envious? honestly, i don't see increasing the lifespan of the edain as making them more or less envious...

supposedly, the lifespan of the edain was supposed to be much longer originally (according to andreth, whose words you can find in "morgoth's ring")... some say that the edain lost their longer lifespans from hearkening to morgoth... which sounds like elvish superiority. surely, not so many of the edain were so enthralled with morgoth's lies that it took a sweeping toll on the entire race. but, if the original lifespan +was+ longer, why did it diminish?

perhaps living in harmony with middle earth and eru's plans contributes to health.




I don't have books with me right now ... but didn't Aragorn's longer life span both represent an increase over previous years of the Dunedain's chiefs and reflect back on the prior glory? So perhaps as you say Mac living in synch with one's destiny / full potential contributes to the renewed vigor?

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


Erúmer
The Shire


May 5 2013, 5:39pm

Post #21 of 72 (517 views)
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Envy [In reply to] Can't Post

I sort of had the concept in my head when I read Akallabeth that as the Numenoreans experienced longer life, it gave them a tatse of the Eldar's 'curse' and they wanted more.

As for Morgoth's Ring, I'm biding my time until I can find (and afford) the full HoME set, so I beg, excuse any illiteracy Laugh the point you put forward there is interesting. And yes, I actually thought it was dramaticized in the Sil how 'inferior' men were because they crept to Morgoth (I think, as the Sil is sort of written as a book of Elvish lore, that that is the Elven spin on things).

Perhaps :) it does make sense, though Eru's plans were to let Men leave Arda anyhow. Maybe Men's lifespans on Arda are so short because what waits for them after death is better? As far as I know the place beyond Man's death is firmly unexplained (again, pardon any illiteracy)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 5:42pm

Post #22 of 72 (519 views)
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re suffering [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Quote
[elaen32] 1. So does this suffering have a purpose?
I think as humans, we often feel we have to believe that our sufferings have meaning. It's a way of dealing with them and avoiding despair. However, I, personally believe that suffering both in RL and ME does have some purpose. In RL this is a huge question involving philsophy, theology, psychology. In the context of Arda, I assume that the reward is in the mysterious next life [/elaen32]


i think the "faith in contrast with the unknown" is what tolkien gives the edain... and... extrapolating even further into my opinion... i am thinking that this suffering in middle earth of the edain has a purpose, for the enrichment of all. i'd like to think that eru has thought for the edain, since the valar often don't seem to have any.

(look -- i'm applying meaning to suffering in middle earth, even though in real life i don't hold this position!)

in real life, i think suffering just +is+ (bombadillian, if you like). it doesn't have any overall purpose, but we can take action (or not) from it. +you+ can give meaning to your suffering, in a philosophical way ("it was meant to be"/"everything has a reason"), which (for some) makes the suffering more bearable -- or -- you can say, "this is what i've been dealt -- it has no logic, it sucks... let me look at the causalities... what is my part in this, what is others', and what can i do to learn from this and be a better person?" (this is my personal take).

i certainly do like the idea in middle earth that there are angelic spirits to which we can appeal... pain and anguish are very isolating, and being able to reach out for help to a person-like spirit is very natural for humans.


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


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:42pm

Post #23 of 72 (511 views)
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Yep, stop now or you may be forced to hand back your kilt. (Or does that make it worse?) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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!' "


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 5:45pm

Post #24 of 72 (509 views)
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**Bwaaahaahaa!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, my dearest NoWiz I think dekilting might be counterproductive.........(rolling....!!!!)

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


Maciliel
Valinor


May 5 2013, 5:46pm

Post #25 of 72 (507 views)
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yes, unexplained [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
[erumer] Perhaps :) it does make sense, though Eru's plans were to let Men leave Arda anyhow. Maybe Men's lifespans on Arda are so short because what waits for them after death is better? As far as I know the place beyond Man's death is firmly unexplained (again, pardon any illiteracy) [/erumer]



yes, unexplained.... 'tho what i think lies ahead in the unknown, after death, for the edain... is not paradiase, more labor... but a joyous labor.


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

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