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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Silmarilion Discussion: Chapter 12 -- "Of Men," Part 1
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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 5 2013, 5:47pm

Post #26 of 72 (154 views)
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please... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... have some dwarfcorum.


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, 5:50pm

Post #27 of 72 (149 views)
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I think so too.. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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.

The Numenoreans were a bunch of "high achievers" in many ways- their seamanship, their physical strength, their intelligence and wisdom etc were well above those of "normal" Men. In some areas they may even have rivalled the Elves, especially those in Middle Earth, who, except for Celebrimbor's people in Eregion, were not doing much that was new. However, the Numenoreans still were mortal, even though they could live as long as 500 years (tho I think only Elros was quite that long lived). They probably felt that they were just as good as the Elves, so why shouldn't they have immortality too? They wanted more time to achieve yet greater feats. What was a background resentment of an accepted unchanging fact, was changed into outright rebellion under Saurons' influence

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


Erúmer
The Shire


May 5 2013, 5:50pm

Post #28 of 72 (156 views)
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Joyous labor [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting that you should say that, as (once again going back to Akallabeth) the complaint was that Men should have to leave all that they had built, and only enjoy their labours for a little while, before death; whereas the Eldar had centuries to enjoy their labours, longer if they were lucky. By joyous labor, do you mayhaps mean that what Edain build after death they get to keep?


Erúmer
The Shire


May 5 2013, 5:54pm

Post #29 of 72 (152 views)
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Goes straight back to enjoyment after death [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't see your post until after I'd just written in response to Maciliel about joyous labor after Death. Maybe Eru's gift was that they would have time to continue their craftsmanship, and in some place beyond death or time, never see it diminished. Good point:)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 5 2013, 5:55pm

Post #30 of 72 (149 views)
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yes, and... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
[brethil] 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? [/brethil]


... in tolkien's world, while i proffer the "living in harmony" = granting a longer, healthier life as my own interpretation/wishful thinking... i do think i observe in tolkien the theme that you also have to work for it, not just be deserving, and that even if you are deserving and work for it, you might not get it.

there are lots of examples of savior-like characters who renew entire races... aragorn, the edain. arwen, the edain. luthien, the edain, melain, the eldar. elros, the edain.

and, yes... aragorn's longer life span reflected both an increase over the previous dwindling of the lifespans of the numenor-descended dunedain, and the glory of numenor, 'tho it did not match the very long lifespans of numenor's earliest rulers (and general denizens), which could be upwards of 300-400 years (elros had the longest, if i'm recalling correctly).

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
Tol Eressea


May 5 2013, 5:57pm

Post #31 of 72 (145 views)
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no illiteracy here... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
many here have read home, many have not. it's fine to reference it here and there, but it's not needed to participate in our discussions... all you need is the sil, and an opinion. (and many thanks for your contributions on this thread. : ) )


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


Erúmer
The Shire


May 5 2013, 5:59pm

Post #32 of 72 (142 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

And I'm glad to have been able to participate :)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 5 2013, 5:59pm

Post #33 of 72 (141 views)
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no, more like... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
[erumer] By joyous labor, do you mayhaps mean that what Edain build after death they get to keep? [/erumer]



no... more like there's lots of work to be done in the second music, and the edain might not even be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, but the building will be -- has the potential to be -- joyous.

i'm infusing a +lot+ of my own ideas here. i'm in no way saying that tolkien thinks this way. i'm making sense of his world according to my values.

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, 6:00pm

Post #34 of 72 (141 views)
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Suffering.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, the finding meaning in suffering is a very personal thing and can be contentious. I did not meant to imply that all or even most people could find meaning, just that it was a natural thing to want to do. It really does depend so much on culture in RL- reams have been written (as I understand it and am informed by more religious friends) about why a "loving God" would allow suffering. Tolkien, as a devout Catholic, would, I believe have wanted to reconcile these two things in his writing.

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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 5 2013, 6:03pm

Post #35 of 72 (145 views)
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suffering and meaning, and diverse opinions [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
[elaen32] Yes, the finding meaning in suffering is a very personal thing and can be contentious. I did not meant to imply that all or even most people could find meaning, just that it was a natural thing to want to do. It really does depend so much on culture in RL- reams have been written (as I understand it and am informed by more religious friends) about why a "loving God" would allow suffering. Tolkien, as a devout Catholic, would, I believe have wanted to reconcile these two things in his writing. [/elaen32]


ah, no fretting here... i, too, am treading lightly. in expressing my opinions, i'm hoping i'm doing it in a respectful way for those who +do+ adhere to the "happens for a reason" proponents, not just for the sake of respecting their life framework, but because that framework might have helped them through some very difficult times. and i would by no means undermine that.

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, 6:22pm

Post #36 of 72 (126 views)
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Glad to have you around! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I'm glad to have been able to participate :)




Smile

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


Brethil
Half-elven


May 5 2013, 6:32pm

Post #37 of 72 (130 views)
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Interesting Elaen about meaning in reconciling faith and canon [In reply to] Can't Post


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Yes, the finding meaning in suffering is a very personal thing and can be contentious. I did not meant to imply that all or even most people could find meaning, just that it was a natural thing to want to do. It really does depend so much on culture in RL- reams have been written (as I understand it and am informed by more religious friends) about why a "loving God" would allow suffering. Tolkien, as a devout Catholic, would, I believe have wanted to reconcile these two things in his writing.




About Tolkien's faith. I do think that his attempt to reconcile his Catholicism both leads to leaving the fate of Men as a mystery as well as implying that it is a 'gift' and that what appears to us from a short-living perspective as a painful end or diminishment is actually a blessed release from the pain of the world. I see him as optimistic and deeply concerned with the fate of the RL human soul, and in that vein the fates of the Immortal Elves serve as a literary theological counterpoint to men's. We get to see the darker side of what we don't have - Immortality - and thus maybe he wishes us to be joyous and thankful for then Gift, which is what we do (even in a translation from RL Catholicism, since much of it remains similarly unknown.)

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


CuriousG
Valinor


May 5 2013, 9:38pm

Post #38 of 72 (118 views)
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Of Mice and Men [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for kicking this off in such a novel way, Maciliel. Where to plunge in amid the swirling thoughts and twirling kilts and spinning dwarves?

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.”)

I think everyone in Tolkien's universe is supposed to grow in empathy. It seems that the Eldar are better at developing it than Men, which could be due to a number of reasons: 1) they have more time to develop this trait, 2) they are genetically or culturally predisposed to it, or 3) they are just plain superior to Men in every possible way. I lean toward #3. When I read Tolkien, I get the sense that he earnestly wants everyone to become better than they are, and it's a tragedy to him when they do not, but while he writes he mixes the real world with Faerie and has to explain the former in the latter. So Men start out weaker and less lovely than Elves, and have less potential for perfection, and that's why humans are the way they are in RL. He usually seems disappointed when telling the history of Men, much more so than Elves, and Men seem to squander the opportunities given to them by Fate and the Valar.

All of that is to say that Men's suffering does have a purpose to make them grow in wisdom and empathy, but not very many take advantage of it, or not enough for Tolkien to be satisfied with them. Though I don't think lifespan has anything to do with it. There are wise teenagers and bitter 90-year-olds who've been bitter all their lives in the real world, so having nearly a century to learn doesn't mean you do. I would say that overall, having more time to learn, as the Elves do, makes it more likely that you will, but only a little more likely. Celeborn is thousands of years old when Galadriel has to correct him and tell him to show a little empathy for their guests. As Erumer pointed out, having a longer life didn't make the Numenoreans any more empathic or wise. It ultimately made them more self-destructive. So once again, interference from the Valar has backfired.

It seems quite the paradox that the Edain might most need guidance from the Valar, but are cut off from it.

Speaking of the Holy Ones, it seems an egregious error of the Valar to not seek out Men and greet them when they do appear. I can understand that they don't want to repeat the mistake of bringing them to Valinor, but to ignore them completely? Makes no sense at all. When I read the Aule & Yavanna chapter, I always think she got a bad deal, and I think the same when I read about the first Men in this chapter. What are they thinking in their Ring of Doom?

"Melkor has rebuilt his fortress and is striving to take over Middle-earth again. The Noldor have no hope in winning. Men are coming soon, so we can't fight Melkor ourselves. What do we do? Oh, what we're best at--nothing."

But in a roundabout way, it makes sense about spiritual yearning. "We are the Eldar and we have seen the Light of Valinor. It's cool. Been there, done that." And after the First Age, the Eldar get a free ticket back to Heaven whenever they want. Men have never seen Heaven, don't get to talk to any Men who have, and they don't know where they go where they die, whereas all the questions have been answered for the Elves (*yawn*). So while it seems ridiculously unfair for the Valar to neglect Men, it explains the profound Mannish tendency to seek out Light, and long life, and answers to life's mysteries in an aggressive manner that the Valar and Eldar don't understand.

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?
Honestly, I admire the Elves most of the time, but their racial slurs for others diminish them in my eyes. They're not exactly appreciating the other singers in the Music's choir, are they? Maybe the world would be too perfect if the Elves hugged Men and Dwarves the way they do trees. There are plenty of Elves who do love Men, but plenty who don't, and all because of their race. Maybe I wouldn't be so sensitive on the issue if racism in the real-world was a dead concept instead of a little worm nibbling under the carpet.

6. Does the introduction of the Edain make the Silmarilion more real for you? More personal?
Funny you should ask that. I enjoy the fantasy world that takes place in the First Age, and when Men appear, it makes it a little too real, and I wish they weren't in it. First Tolkien sprinkles Men all over Beleriand, and what other too-familiar ingredients will he think of next--Starbuck's? Nooooooooooooooooooo. (Then again, sitting at a seaside cafe in the Falas while talking with Ulmo about what whale songs mean with a lite mocha frappucino with whipped cream wouldn't be all bad.)


CuriousG
Valinor


May 5 2013, 9:46pm

Post #39 of 72 (111 views)
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What evils would 10,000-year-old Men cook up? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad to have you join our discussion, Erumer, and no worries about spoilers. It's a safe assumption that everyone here has read the books, and if not, they'll learn something when people bring things up. Everything is so interconnected in our conversations that it's hard to not bring up something from somewhere else.

And good point about there being a sort of existential need for Men's live to burn out quickly before they can do too much damage. The Elves cause less and less damage over time, whereas Men often cause more and more.


telain
Rohan

May 5 2013, 11:43pm

Post #40 of 72 (102 views)
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very much agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think Tolkien was in a way reconciling his Catholicism with the "fate of Men." I also like your (and elaen's) interpretation of suffering as well.

To that I might add that perhaps the short life of Men and the suffering (disease and death particularly) may be some way of tying Men to Middle-earth, as opposed to Valinor. Since Eru must know that spoiler Middle-earth will be sundered from Valinor, perhaps Eru also knew he needed one race to represent the more fleeting aspects of life in Middle-earth. I almost equate the Elves to the water and air -- those elements that are constant, like their immortality. The dwarves -- wait, Brethil, concentrate! -- are equated with the rock, which seems to last longer, but can be eroded and changed. Men can be equated to the kelvar and olvar, since they do succumb to disease and death, but still multiply generation after generation.

It may also be extrapolated that dwarves are as strong as stone and have "chiseled" good looks, but that is for the individual to decide...Wink


telain
Rohan

May 5 2013, 11:44pm

Post #41 of 72 (100 views)
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I shudder to think!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


May 6 2013, 12:22am

Post #42 of 72 (99 views)
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I like your equations Telain [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I do think Tolkien was in a way reconciling his Catholicism with the "fate of Men." I also like your (and elaen's) interpretation of suffering as well. Thanks Telain.
To that I might add that perhaps the short life of Men and the suffering (disease and death particularly) may be some way of tying Men to Middle-earth, as opposed to Valinor. Since Eru must know that spoiler Middle-earth will be sundered from Valinor, perhaps Eru also knew he needed one race to represent the more fleeting aspects of life in Middle-earth. I almost equate the Elves to the water and air -- those elements that are constant, like their immortality. The dwarves -- wait, Brethil, concentrate! -- are equated with the rock, which seems to last longer, but can be eroded and changed. Men can be equated to the kelvar and olvar, since they do succumb to disease and death, but still multiply generation after generation. That is a really amazing way to look at the races as almost Jungian archetypes of the properties of life. I have a thought - that somehow the binding of Men to ME and their ability to keep changing and adapting says something about what their place will be in the Second Song. Just not quite sure where it goes entirely...will think on it more...ideas anyone?
It may also be extrapolated that dwarves are as strong as stone and have "chiseled" good looks, but that is for the individual to decide...WinkAgreed - and *very* well stated Telain! (Sigh. It's not easy being so Dwarvishly distracted. Like a cat with a laser pointer.)Blush


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


telain
Rohan

May 6 2013, 12:27am

Post #43 of 72 (104 views)
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late to the party, but I brought two winky emoticons! [In reply to] Can't Post

1. So does this suffering have a purpose?

I responded to a post by Brethil that contains a longer answer. Basically, I liken Men to the kelvar and olvar: susceptible to disease and death. I also had soemthing in their about Elves and air/water, dwarves being akin to "hot rocks" some other nonsense Wink

I think my thought behind this is very close to CuriousG's response and the second question (below); it is about empathy.


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?


I quite like the idea of men becoming Ainur. It certainly would balance the suffering and mortality. Perhaps there would be some teaching about not waiting until something bad is upon you. Maybe that is why human life is so short -- if you want to do something, you have to hurry up and do it, or risk regretting it later when you are no longer able. I guess I just posited a possible answer to question 3!

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.”)


Oh, Maciliel! I so very much understand. I feel like I have been preparing to do something all my life, but I never seem to quite reach it. And sometimes what we truly learn is not something that we thought we would learn. Or we truly understand something that we thought we knew. I think the short life really forces one to be grateful for the things that one has (either spiritually, materially, or otherwise.) Unfortunately, it does not necessarily happen for everyone or in the same way. Perhaps that human trait (via Tolkien's interpretation) of desire for power is the desire that motivates people to do great things. Whether for good or ill (and here I am thinking of CuriousG's posts about the deeds of 10,000 year-old men).

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?


I would say that the Second People, the Followers, the After-born, the Mortals, the Children of the Sun and, arguably the Inscrutible are all names from the Wisdom side of the Eldar. The others are from those insecure Elves whose haughtiness has overtaken their good judgement. I think names come from three places: nicknames for those you like and derogatory names for those you don't like, and those names you use for people you just don't know very well.

And, true, Tolkien did sing the praises of the Eldar time and again, but he never did say they were perfect. I think the Eldar were a group of individuals; some perhaps not as great (or creative) in their nicknaming as others... Come to think of it, I do not recall Tolkien ever mentioning any Elf as being "the greatest name-caller that ever lived, in Middle-earth nor in Valinor,..." Wink


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.


As many of you have said, I think that the Valar are once-bitten, twice shy (for once!) I think they doomed Feanor and they are not willing to be the cause of another one of Eru's children's downfall. I do find this interesting, however:


Quote
Ulmo nonetheless took thought for them, aiding the will and counsel of Manwe; ... But they have not skill in those matters, and still less had they in those days before they had mingled with the Elves.

The two things that struck me are that Ulmo seems to be acting on Manwe's counsel, so that is interesting (but not sure what I think that means just yet...)

The second thing is that they understood less before they mingled with Elves. Perhaps this was one of the lessons that Tolkiens was eluding to. The Elves had to learn to find the Edain worthy and to teach them the ways of the world, and the Edain had to learn. Perhaps there is something about learning -- and maybe learning how to coexist -- that is hidden in this chapter.

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?


Am I hiding something? I'll never tell. I do know that when I first read The Hobbit and LOTR, both at rather young ages, I felt more relationship to Elvish characters and landscapes (and still do). Interestingly, my husband and I, in our yearly 'watching of the films', had a great discussion of which landscapes in LOTR felt more like home. Though he and many people would say the Shire -- and don't get me wrong, it looks like a lovely place to visit -- it is not at the top pf my list. Rivendell and book-Lothlorien, on the other hand...

Back to Maciliel's excellent question: what this chapter does for me, is to bring the ancient world -- what I sometimes refer to as "The Old Ways" -- in touch with the modern world.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 6 2013, 12:54am

Post #44 of 72 (99 views)
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a telain is never late. she arrives precisely when she means to... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

re the edain becoming ainur... from my questions i believe i have revealed much of my own inclinations... i love your thoughts on the value of time... we edain would know best that sometimes you don't get do-overs (rebodying), sometimes it's best to act (valar waiting, waiting waiting).

a real waste is to do nothing. do something. time is short, take a step, any step will do, it will certainly lead to another. and another.

re name-calling:

who, you ask was the greatest eldar name-caller? wouldn't that be our specially gifted orator, feanor? maybe he came up with all these catchy names. we know he didn't think much of us (i tease feanor).

re the valar:

it rather feels like they just abandoned the edain. the only valar (besides ulmo) that takes an interest in us is morgoth. can you blame so many of us for going astray? especially when most of us were learning about the valar from the moriquendi, who were afraid of the valar, or at least wary of them? boy, leaving the moriquendi on their own sure does come to haunt the valar.

i like your three classes of nicknames, including the class that's more neutral for folks we don't know very well.


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
Tol Eressea


May 6 2013, 1:20am

Post #45 of 72 (96 views)
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wisdom and other conditions [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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[curiousg] It seems that the Eldar are better at developing it than Men, . Men seem to squander the opportunities given to them by Fate and the Valar. [/curiousg]


huh.... why do you perceive the elves are wise (perhaps you do, because you're wiser than i)? they seem to make much folly. feanor, his sons... and every single elf who followed them... turgon not (spoiler) vacating gondolin, even though he's had direct contact with ulmo, thingol being high-handed with the dwarves (who -- spoiler -- kill him). i know tolkien +says+ they're wiser than the edain, but they often don't appear to be in practice. i think tolkien idealizes the elves (understatement), and seems to take the edain to task more for their failures.



Quote
[curiousg] There are wise teenagers and bitter 90-year-olds who've been bitter all their lives in the real world, so having nearly a century to learn doesn't mean you do. [/curiousg]


and even bitter 90-year-olds might have started as wise teenagers.

btw, i love hearing you wax eloquent about the shortcomings of the valar. (btw, why do you think yavanna got a raw deal?)


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
Tol Eressea


May 6 2013, 1:50am

Post #46 of 72 (96 views)
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of [strike] hot dwarves [/strike] men [In reply to] Can't Post

 
do namo and manwe know what the fate of the edain is? i'm not sure. namo might know where they hang out in mandos, but beyond?

i don't see the afterlife as compensatory for what the edain experience in arda. i think there's a strong possibility that no paradise awaits the edain. what does? more work. noble work, but more work.

what you reference, the dancing on a wire without a net... it's sort of a variation of "ethics are what you do when no one else is looking." how the edain act, when there is no assurance. hope. faith.

re the valar's perception of the edain... perhaps we sort of look like... orcs to them. (i tease the valar.)

thanks for the additional data re neanderthals. : )


cheers --

.


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

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


CuriousG
Valinor


May 6 2013, 2:32am

Post #47 of 72 (94 views)
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Smaht Elves [In reply to] Can't Post

Here in Boston people can't say their "r"s, which makes the Elves smaht. They're not always smaht, but smahtuh than Men, and Men only get smaht when they hang around Elves.

Elves make mistakes and aren't perfect, but they're wise, and make fewer mistakes than Men. In the Third Age, the Wise are the Wizards and the Elvish leaders with no Men allowed. Denethor doesn't get a seat at the Wise table despite his pre-insanity wisdom (he would have been the best candidate, unless you're a delegate for Butterbur).

I wholeheartedly agree with your statement: "tolkien idealizes the elves (understatement), and seems to take the edain to task more for their failures."

RE: Yavanna's raw deal, Telain brought up how dismissive the He-Gods are with the Earth-Mother. And I wanted to say, "Mac, that wasn't that long ago, don't you remember participating?" But wow, it was back in January before you joined in March, so now I can't say that, except I already did, and where is that Backspace key, anyway?

It's May, and we're still discussing The Silmarillion? How cool is that? We've only had one battle of Beleriand so far, and we won part of it, and reinforcements are on the way, so I'm sure things will work out fine for everyone. Don't spoil it! Wink


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


May 6 2013, 3:01am

Post #48 of 72 (82 views)
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wow [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i can't believe you guys started without me.


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
Tol Eressea


May 6 2013, 3:24am

Post #49 of 72 (84 views)
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accent [In reply to] Can't Post

 
ah sawh vahda jogging ahround jahmaica pond.

that feanah was wicked smaht.

finahfin likes ta hang ahround quinzy mahket.


cheeahs ---

.


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 6 2013, 3:25am)


sador
Half-elven


May 6 2013, 7:37am

Post #50 of 72 (75 views)
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Sunny side up [In reply to] Can't Post

as a bonus, the Edain also possess less beauty than the Elves – whatever that means.
Do you really want to go there? Because i don't.

Anyway, to answer your questions:

1. So does this suffering have a purpose?
According to Tolkien, it is all a part of the Plan; I wouldn't attempt to bend his story to my own beliefs - although in my case, not much bending is needed.
The interesting part is that Men seem not to be bound by the Music, and to have a power to shape their destiny for themselves. But once this power is granted to multiple beings, friction (of all kinds) is inevitable, as is suffering.
It seems that the brief span of Men's life, and the many mishaps which are strewn on their way, are intertwined with that power - with the Gift of Iluvatar.

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?
I've noticed that some of the responses here asserted that the Elves did have greater empathy. I beg to differ; I do not see any indication of this. Consider for instance Lindir's dismissal of Mortals and their affairs in Many Meetings - and even Gildor expressed the same feeling, somewhat less rudely.
Or else, consider the Elvenking.

Will their spirits which have grown in such a way become Ainur, or Ainur-like?
They are Ainur-like - but like the Ainur of the Music, not the clothed Valar and Maiar.

Are the themes that are to be sung by the Edain in the Second Music to teach the present Ainur in any way?
I do not know about the Second Music, but it appears that the actions of Men in Middle-earth can teach the Ainur quite a bit (sometimes by negative example).

3. If suffering can be a pathway to empathy and wisdom, why is the lifespan of the Edain so short? There is a limit to suffering one can accumulate and grow through, is there not?
I guess you've read The Wanderings of Hurin, right? I think this is a case of someone whose sufferings have gone beyong his capacity.

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?
The Eldar like to call others names. And to pinch their pimply faces... But I digress.

However, the Elves do seem to treat Men with just the wrong mixture of contenpt and fear.

5. No Vala comes to help the Edain. Why?
Do you want me to spoil my discussion? I was planning to discuss this...

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?
According to what I've written above about the strange power that Men have over their destiny, perhaps a direct message won't help, either.

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?)
I would hope so. At any rate, Ulmo considered the invitating of the Eldar wrong, and is the only one to reach out to Men.

or is this just another instance of their isolationism and neglect?
In Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin, Ulmo makes the odd statement that "Doom is strong" (UT p. 29), which implies that he is in a way working against Mandos (despite his earlier qualifying this by "seem to"). What does that mean? Did Mandos prefer Men to be left in the dark?
Anyway, it seems that you are the source of ElendiltheShort's comment last week.

It seems quite the paradox that the Edain might most need guidance from the Valar, but are cut off from it.


In Reply To
But all of us on this thread are Children of the Sun (unless some of you are hiding something).

Everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey.

6. Does the introduction of the Edain make the Silmarilion more real for you? More personal?
Not more real, but more like a human myth.


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