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Update on Tolkien notes

Tol Eressea

May 13 2013, 3:51am

Post #1 of 4 (152 views)
Update on Tolkien notes Can't Post

Hey all! I know it's been a while; I've been very busy with massive finals (including two honors theses), graduation, and moving into a new apartment. We still don't have internet, and may not for another few weeks, but I still want to post notes on the end of LOTR as well as stuff on the Sil. Once we get internet, I will come back for another few weeks to finish posting those!

In the meantime, here is a quick copy-and-paste of my notes on Frodo's leaving the Grey Havens. (I am copy and pasting here, only editing to make sure that things are complete sentences, so apologies for grammar/spelling issues)

Cirdan, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Celeborn all leave Middle earth, and at this point, we finally see the three Rings-- Vilya, Nenya, and Narya. Celebrimbor, who made the Rings, said that the traces of the Rings last for years and years-- so, the idea is that the effects of the Rings are not completely faded on our world yet. We are still living in a world that has remnants of the Rings. However, the Elves are gone, and the ones who have stayed have stayed away from humans, so our Shakespearean literature is misrepresenting what they used to be; the fact that we have done that is a sign of our separation from them-- what they have become in our own stories is more and more inaccurate (think "A Midsummer Night's Dream"). In the end, humans become the isolated sentient species, much like the Elves originally were in The Silmarillion.

The reason Frodo had to leave Middle-earth was the same reason he had to fail on his quest; the type of evil he is combating is not suitable for Middle-earth. It is not a battle that he could have won, being a being of Middle-earth, but it is also not a battle that he can recover from in Middle-earth. There will still be evil on earth, but it will be the evil created by corrupted men, which means that it can still be fought with men. We are left with a world that is our world, but a world that is smaller, diminished, and "realistic"- a world of realism, left to men.

Class question: what will happen to Tom Bombadil? Balrogs? Shelob? Do they leave and go somewhere else, or just die off?

Thank you for being patient with my erratic schedule; I know the latest isn't much, but I will be back in a few weeks! (With internet!!)

‎"When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter's power—upon one plane; and the desire to wield that power in the world
external to our minds awakes."
--J. R. R. Tolkien

Mozart and Chocolate

Kristin Thompson

May 13 2013, 3:16pm

Post #2 of 4 (91 views)
I tentatively assume [In reply to] Can't Post

that the Balrog Gandalf killed was the last surviving one. I suspect that it survived by hiding deep under the earth, so secretively that even Galadriel and Celeborn, who live nearby, only had a vague suspicion that something was down there. It's hard to imagine anyplace else on Middle-earth where one could hide so successfully. Plus I don't think there were that many of them to begin with, since they were originally Maiar.

Shelob is presumably mortal, though long-lived, and I would imagine that she eventually died.

Tom Bombadil is apparently immortal and seems to have a perfect control over the land he considers his domain. I expect he is still around somewhere, living undetected by Men because he has magical protections that prevent them from penetrating deep enough into the forest to find him. Admittedly the four hobbits managed to find him by chance--or was it really chance?


May 13 2013, 3:44pm

Post #3 of 4 (69 views)
Tolkien probably intended the Balrog of Moria to be the last one... [In reply to] Can't Post

Chances are that the Balrog was the last of its kind; however, as someone who has gamed in Middle-earth, I find that to be a boring answer. For role-playing game purposes, I prefer to believe that there were still one or two lurking about in the deep places of the world.

Shelob likely did die some hours, days or weeks after being wounded by Samwise. We are certainly left with that impression.

Who says that Tom Bombadil died or left Middle-earth? For all we know, he might still be around, secretly protecting his small portion of the World. Maybe he even found himself a new Goldberry (some particularly lovely Elf-maiden who turned his head?).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

Forum Admin / Moderator

May 16 2013, 1:10am

Post #4 of 4 (53 views)
Diminished [In reply to] Can't Post

And "dwindled" - a rustic folk of hill and dale - so sad to see the Elves cast from their nobility over the years, but then, "nobility" has I think a different connotation for Elves and for Men.

Tom (and Goldberry) are still around. If you listen, you can hear them in the wind in the trees, and the music of moving waters...and I know that there have been times I've been talking a walk through woods, and caught a glimpse of something bright out of the corner of my eye. He will not leave until the End. Smile

(p.s. congrats on your graduation, Laera! Cool)


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

(This post was edited by dernwyn on May 16 2013, 1:11am)


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