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Of the Coming of Men into the West, I: "A chance meeting, as we say in Middle-earth".
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sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 7:11am

Post #1 of 98 (525 views)
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Of the Coming of Men into the West, I: "A chance meeting, as we say in Middle-earth". Can't Post

I. Story Time


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When three hundred years and more were gone since the Noldor came to Beleriand, in the days of the Long Peace, Finrod Felagund lord of Nargothrond journeyed east of Sirion and went hunting with Maglor and Maedhros, sons of Fëanor. But he wearied of the chase and passed on alone towards the mountains of Ered Lindon that he saw shining afar; and taking the Dwarf-road he crossed Gelion at the ford of Sarn Athrad, and taming south over the upper streams of Ascar, he came into the north of Ossiriand.



Isn't this a bit too much like Aredhel in the previous chapter? What is it about the Noldor noblepersons which entice them to ride alone, with no thought for security? Do they believe so much in Fingolfin's boast regarding the Siege of Angband being unbrerakable?
Or – is this a mythical device, preceding an unexpected discovery? If so, were both set approximately a hundred years before the Dagor Bragollach, as the period during which solitary roaming the mysterious, magical Elflands was conceivable?

So Finrod rides (I assume so – or did they hunt on foot?) to the foothills of the Mountains which none of the Noldor has yet crossed to the East, and suddenly –



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… he saw lights in the evening, and far off he heard the sound of song. At this he wondered much, for the Green-elves of that land lit no fires, nor did they sing by night At first he feared that a raid of Orcs had passed the leaguer of the North, but as he drew near he perceived that it was not so; for the singers used a tongue that he had not heard before, neither that of Dwarves nor of Orcs.



And so the newcomers, the Atani, are discovered! Finrod watches them, and love for them stirs in his heart. He waits until they all fall asleep by the fire where none keeps watch – as if they did not come from a wide world infested by enemies, nor do they realize the dangers of leaving a fire alone!
Is this innocence a bit too much to be believable?
And what about the strange language? Later on, this chapter states that the first Men learned their speech from dark-elves – surely Finrod would have recognized it? Conversely, would he know the secret tongue of dwarves had he heard it?

A last question is regarding the sudden love that Finrod felt for them. In Arda Reconstructed page 157, Douglas Kane (Voronwë the Faithful) suggests this would have been better explained, had Christopher retained a sentence from the later Quenta Silmarillion, published in The War of the Jewels (HoME vol. XI) p. 216, which describes them as: "tall, and strong, and comely, though rude and scantily clad" and their camp as "well-ordered" (but what of the unkept fire?).
What do you think? Do you agree that the longer description should not have been omitted?
Just for the sake of completeness, I refer you to squire's critique of the description.

Once all are sound asleep Felagund, as he is called throughout this chapter (more of this below), takes up a rude harp which Bëor their chieftain had played before, and sings them a song in the Elvish tongue, which conjures up before the listening Men which awake a vision "of the making of Arda, and the bliss of Aman beyond the shadows of the Sea".
At first they believe him to be one of the Valar, of whom they had heard rumor – but he teaches them true lore. So they name him Nóm, which stands for "wisdom" in their language, and following that they name the Noldor Nómin, the Wise; and they take him for their lord.
What do you make of this "song of wisdom"? Is it a spell? How does it compare to similar songs Tolkien describes – The Lament of Galadriel Frodo hears? Legolas' peception of the Rohirrim's song when he first enters Edoras? To those who have read The Lost Road and/or The Notion Club Papers, the song of King Sheaf as a child? Any other parallels?

As Voronwë recently noted, this name for the Noldor is a throwback to his original name for them, "gnomes", which he had used throughout the first twenty years of his writing; thus becoming a retroactive justification for it's use, and for the inexplicable statement in chapter 3 (Of the Coming of Elves): "Next came the Noldor, a name of wisdom, the people of Finwë. They are the Deep Elves…"
Do you like this kind of "Tolkien-lore"? does it enhance you understanding, or appreciation of the professor's work? Or do you find this just boring obscuriatae?

Bëor, or Balan as he should still be named, tells Finrod quite a lot about two other migrating clans, which are heading west; however, he tells little (and probably knows little) of his people's history, saying only:



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A darkness lies behind us, and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.


We will discuss this ominous darkness which lies behind Men in the next thread; but one question must be asked:
Is this credible – that the foremost leader of the first people to cross the mountains knows nothing of their history? Is he just a petty warlord, to which the folk-wisdom was simply not imparted? Or did he really keep his knowledge even from Finrod?


The Green-elves of Ossiriand are however very much displeased by the newcomers, so they beg Felagund to order them back, or to go on westward. So they move to the lands of Amrod and Amras, which they call Estolad, the Encampment. Felagund stays with them a year before returning to Nargothrond; but Balan their leader begs leave to come with him, committing the lordship of his folk to his son Baran. "In this way he got his name… for Bëor signified ‘Vassal’ in the tongue of his people".
Is this a name given out of affection? Is it a honorary title? Or is it the opposite – an expression of contempt? What do you think of this bold leader of free Men, going as the only specimen of his race to dwell among the lordly Elves?
Once again, how does this compare to other leaders who go to live among their betters – for instance, to Ingwë? Are there any other examples we know? And is the comparison valid – by which I mean, are the Elves as superior to Men as the Valar to them?
Or another idea – how does this compare to Bilbo, ending his life among the Elves? To Frodo taking ship? To Gimli?


II. Text and Tradition

1. King Felagund

It is noteworthy that Finrod is named in the chapter by his proper name only once, while he is called "Felagund" seventeen times, and "Finrod Felgund" twice more. This would make sense, had it been a name in the tongue of Men; but according to chapter 13, this is actually a dwarvish name, meaning "hewer of caves"!
Did you ever notice this? What do you make out of it?

Perhaps Tolkien was simply over-eager to introduce this name; but this was the original name for Finrod, supposedly in good Elvish; the using of an Elvish-sounding word for a dwarf-given appellate was just a "fortunate" coincidence ('caves' are about the one thing for which the dwarves would not need elvish help in naming!), much like the coincidence which made sense in the Mannish tongue of the name "gnomes" to the Noldor. Wink
However, the whole character of Felagund was introduced to be a "man-friend"; and it makes sense that he was also the one Elvish lord (with the possible exception of his sister) who treated dwarves generously. It would behoove us to look at the history of this character (not the person!) and how it evolved.
A fair warning: the next three paragraphs will attempt to sum up a very complicated topic; if you are uninterested in a HoME-based discussion of the evolving drafts, skip to the next section! Also, I might have gotten some of the facts wrong – if anyone catches a mistake, please correct me!

As far as I understood, Finrod was the last of Finwë's grandsons to be added to the Royal House. As late as the 1926 Sketch of the Mythology, he did not exist; however, in the Lay of Leithan (a long poem about the love and exploits of Beren and Lúthien), he had emerged – with his oath to Barahir, his argument with Celegorm and Caranthir, his combat with Sauron (at that point named Thú the Wizard) and his heroic death. In 1930, his meeting and befriending of Bëor was added, making him the patron of all the Edain; in the late 1950s, when Tolkien turned to explore the philosophical and theological ramifications of his secondary world, he made Finrod as the spokesman of the Elves in the Athrabeth. Other aspects of his character were added between 1930 and the writing of the Athrabeth – his rôle in the rebellion of the Noldor in the 1937 Quenta (The Lost Road, HoME vol. V page 234), as was the story of his founding of Nargothrond (ibid. p. 254); and his rôle as Thingol's senior Noldo relative in the post-LotR Grey Annals.
At first, his name was just Felagund; and he was conceived from the first to be a son of Finrod Fingolfin's brother, which stayed behind after the Curse of Mandos (he was added to the geneology sometime between the 1926 and the 1930 drafts – The Shaping of Middle-earth, HoME IV p. 15). However, in both the 1937 Quenta and the parallel Annals of Aman he was named "Inglor", a name which persisted until 1955, when it was printed in appendix F to The Lord of the Rings. However, this name was dropped soon after – as in the draft of the Athrabeth which Christopher dated to the latter half of the 1950s, the name "Finrod" was used, with Finarfin for the final name of his father; the second edition of LotR was corrected accordingly.

One important corollary of this account, is that when the first chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring was written, "Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod" was clearly intended to be Felagund's son!
Do you see any parallels between the two? All Gildor-fans – this is your opportunity!

I wonder what made Tolkien change his mind regarding Gildor, making him just one of the lords of Finrod's household. Or was his name left unchanged by mistake? Christopher probably did not think so, as he retained the story of Amarië, who did not follow Finrod to exile. But her story might have been not the cause of Gildor's "demotion", but rather both might have been side-effects of the same thing: Tolkien's shifting ideas regarding how to incorporate the last King of the High Elves to the Royal House of the Noldor, which I have discussed here.
In short, at first Gil-galad was said to have been a descendant of Fëanor, then Inglor's son (which would make him Gildor's older brother), then Fingon's, then Orodreth's – who according to later writings by Tolkien, was to be removed from Finrod's brother to his nephew, becoming the son of Angrod. When preparing The Silmarillion for publishing, Christopher was convinced that the Fingon-ancestry was his father's dominant idea, but later he has changed his mind.
At any rate – the character of Gil-galad was for a long time perceived as a heir of Finrod's in some way.
Do you see a connection between the two? Which?
And likewise, how did Finrod's character (which was more or less fully drawn before The Lord of the Rings was written) affect Tolkien's portrayal of his sister, Galadriel?


2. The long-awaited newcomers

If I may, I would like to return to the description of Finrod's first meeting with Men.
It closely parallels Oromë's first meeting with the Elves, in chapter 3:


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And on a time it chanced that Oromë rode eastward in his hunting, and he turned north by the shores of Helcar and passed under the shadows of the Orocarni, the Mountains of the East. Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Oromë wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing.
Thus it was that the Valar found at last, as it were by chance, those whom they had so long awaited. And Oromë looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder, as though they were beings sudden and marvellous and unforeseen; for so it shall ever be with the Valar.



Do you like this parallel? Or does it feel like overworking a theme?

The curious thing is that this theme was originally written for neither the awakening of Elves nor Men.
According to Tolkien's first conception in The Book of Lost Tales, Manwë suddenly knows that the Elves have awoken, while Varda is singing a joyous song (HoME vol. I, page 113); the tale of Oromë coming upon them is mentioned laconically in the 1926 and 1930 versions, and only described in the 1937 Quenta.
Men are found by the dark-elf Nuin, who serves the independent wizard Tú, greatest of all the spirits who dwell out of Valinor. Christopher did publish a draft of a really stunning description (pages 232-233):


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Suddenly afar off down in the dark woods a nightingale sang, and others answered palely afar off, and Nuin well-nigh swooned at the loveliness of that dreaming place…
Now did Nuin ascend deeper into the vale, treading softly by reason of some unknown wonder that possessed him, and lo, beneath the trees he saw the warm dusk full of sleeping forms…
Then seized with a sudden fear he turned and stole from that hallowed place… and Tú was little pleased thereat; nor any the more when Nuin made an end of his tale, telling of all he there saw – "and methought," said he, "that all those who slumbered were children, yet was their stature that of the greatest of the Elves."
Then did Tú fall into fear of Manwë, nay even of Ilúvatar…



More about Tú in the next thread; but here, I just note in passing another case of Tolkien using descriptions from discarded versions in different settings – the nightingales in the dark woods were later used in Thingol's bewitchment by Melian.
Any comments on this parallel? On Tolkien's system of re-using his own imagery? A riddle for HoME scholars: where did he re-use the BoLT description of Manwë and Varda's sudden knowledge that the Elves have come?

The origin of our descriptions of the arising of both Elves and Men is found in a short prose fragment describing the coming of the Noldor to Middle-earth, which Christopher dated to soon after The Book of Lost Tales. It was published in The Shaping of Middle-earth, pages 7-8:


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Now it happened that Fëanor got him beyond to the hills that girt Dor Lómin… and he had no small company and his three sons were with him. Thus came they on a day nigh evening to a hilltop, and afar off descried a red light leaping in a vale open… There they saw an armed company no less than their own, and they sat around a mighty fire of wood. The most were asleep, but some few stirred, and Fëanor stood then up and called…
Then a great clamour broke forth in the vale and the folk of Fëanor knew full soon that here were no elfin folk, by reason of their harsh voices and unlovely cries, and many arrows came winging in the dark towards that voice…


Shocked
Orcs! Comments?


3. The Laiquendi of Ossiriand

We have copied above the mysterious description of the Green-elves lighting no fires, and not singing after dark (does this make sense for Moriquendi, who abided in starlit Middle-earth before the first Sunrise?); we have also discussed the Green-elves in telain's thread.
To these curious traits, we must add their own reasons to shun Men, as given to Finrod:

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For we desire no strangers in this land to break the peace in which we live. And these folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we shall afflict them in all ways that we can.



Based on these two descriptions – how do you imagine the Green-elves?
This question was raised in the previous discussion by Elizabeth; for your reference, see question 3 here.

The Green-elves appear once more in The Silmarillion: when Beren and Lúthien return from Mandos, they live among them in the land which is called Dor Firn-i-Guinar, the Land of the Dead that Live (the first paragraph of chapter 20).
I think that at this stage they assume a mythical, rather than a physical, dimension.
What do you think? How do they compare to the elfs found elsewhere in European myths? Is this apparent already in our chapter?
How do the Green-elves compare to (although as far as Tolkien writing is concerned, they draw upon) the mysterious wood-elves in Flies and Spiders (The Hobbit, ch. 8)? Or to the invisible spirit inhabiting the island in The Sea-Bell (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, no. 15)?

'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!

(This post was edited by sador on Jun 10 2013, 7:14am)


wildespace
The Shire

Jun 10 2013, 8:45am

Post #2 of 98 (271 views)
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Wow, big post! Gonna keep me occupied for a while. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the naivety of the scene of suddenly coming upon men recalls the scene in "The Book of Lost Tales":


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Now did Nuin descend deeper into the vale, treading softly by reason of some unknown wonder that possessed him, and lo, beneath the trees he saw the warm dusk full of sleeping forms, and some were twined each in the other's arms, and some lay sleeping gently all alone, and Nuin stood and marvelled, scarce breathing.


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"and methought," said he, "that all who slumbered there were children, yet was their stature that of the greatest of the Elves."


As for languages, I think the Dwarvish and Orcish refer here to their particular accents and manner of speech. While men learned their language from Dark Elves, it must have changed and evolved over the course of hundreds of years.

The word Gnome, originally, related to "wisdom", and that's the reason Tolkien used it to name the Deep Elves. In popular culture, however, Gnomes transformed into silly little creatures with big noses and big ears, and Tolkien wanted to distance his works from that association. So he invented the elvish word Noldor / Noldoli / Noldorin. That's perfectly fine with me. He also used to call his elves fairies, but as fairies also became the silly diminituive creatures in the public consciousness, he abandoned that term.

P.S. I admire your enthusiasm and brainstorming, but for the sake of our sanity and coherence, perhaps you could break such posts up into separate threads? Then we could focus on particular topics properly (and not feel overwhelmed). Thanks :)


(This post was edited by wildespace on Jun 10 2013, 8:48am)


wildespace
The Shire

Jun 10 2013, 9:37am

Post #3 of 98 (270 views)
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P.P.S. [In reply to] Can't Post

Having read the rest of your post, I see that you already know of the various accounts in Tolkien's various drafts, so there's nothing of value that I could add here. This thread is way over my head.

/bows out


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 10:00am

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Please don't! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I have gone over the drafts in HoME while preparing this discussion - but I'm sure I have missed a lot, and there is so much which is open to interpretation yet!

Regarding your suggestion, to break the discussion into several posts - let's ask the whole board for their opinions.
What do you people think?

'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 10:33am

Post #5 of 98 (245 views)
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don't worry, stick with it! :) plus organization of subthreads [In reply to] Can't Post

Stick with us - The "in over my head" feeling tends to go away after a while, I find Smile (Or maybe I just have a very big head). Everyone has his or her unique perspective on the story, and other knowledge. That keeps me happily posting if I have something to say or ask, though its completely clear that many others here are much better read than I am.

Also, please don't worry about this (my itals, hope you don't mind):

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or the sake of our sanity and coherence, perhaps you could break such posts up into separate threads? Then we could focus on particular topics properly (and not feel overwhelmed).

Don't worry because usually someone will start answering each of the questions (you don't have to feel that you have to do it all!). Or sometimes questions will be overlooked. If I've started the chapter I either remind people later about those un-answered questions, or just don't worry feeling that maybe it wasn't such and interesting question after all, and provided folks have enough to discuss, then all is well. It's a friendly discussion, not a Tolkien exam Wink

So, don't worry at all if you don't have an opinion on everything (or even anything). Most likely someone will - see what they say, and feel completely free to chip in with a contribution of any size if and when you have one. The one thing you won't get is a rude or bored reaction to what you have to say.

BTW, The number and organization of subthreads is a tricky problem for the chapter-starter. In the chapter discussions I've started, I've worried a lot about how to do it well, and whether anyone will feel that discussion is being made difficult by my choices (too much at once? or too broken up, thereby imposing an unhelpful amount of structure on the discussion?). But I've come to the conclusion that one just has to pick a sensible-seeming plan and then just go with it. So it depends on whether I'm seeing the chapter as best presented as consecutive scenes, or in terms of themes, or as a series of quesitons. I don't think it's automatically best to force the discussion into subthreads right away. But nor is it automatically wrong. In any case, when I'm starting a chapter I'm hoping that it will quickly get bigger than just my thoughts. Then it has to kind of go where it will, depending on who turns up and what people say. And that's almost completely beyond the chapter-starter's control. The other issue has been, until recently, the risk that one posts up a chapter start and there is very little reaction - I think posts getting >100 replies and >1000 views are a bit of a recent phenomenon! So as chapter-starter I've certainly wondered "what if I start a discussion and nobody comes" - having enough questions is a defence against that. Possibly at some point in this readthrough, we should have a thread discussing which discussions worked particularly well, & why we think that was?

And for some reason, I often seem to end up on the surreal subthread. So far, for instance, I've been persuaded to wear a kilt, attacked by zombies, force-fed miruvor slammers and discovered more about first age undergarments than I thought I wanted to know. Why do these things keep happening to me? Laugh

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 10:34am

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we cross-posted! [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there some weird forfeit for me now?
Anyway, my thought was that you should stick to your plan, sador & it will work out.

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


PhantomS
Rohan


Jun 10 2013, 3:20pm

Post #7 of 98 (247 views)
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Finrod, hunter of men and fire marshal [In reply to] Can't Post


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Isn't this a bit too much like Aredhel in the previous chapter? What is it about the Noldor noblepersons which entice them to ride alone, with no thought for security? Do they believe so much in Fingolfin's boast regarding the Siege of Angband being unbrerakable?
Or – is this a mythical device, preceding an unexpected discovery? If so, were both set approximately a hundred years before the Dagor Bragollach, as the period during which solitary roaming the mysterious, magical Elflands was conceivable?

Finrod was in strong company with Maglor and Maedhros and his path is behind their strong fortresses and leading to the even stronger fortresses of the Dwarves, plus it is close to Caranthir's patch. He was roaming, but on friendly territory. You're only in danger if you wander into forests!


Quote

Is this innocence a bit too much to be believable?
And what about the strange language? Later on, this chapter states that the first Men learned their speech from dark-elves – surely Finrod would have recognized it? Conversely, would he know the secret tongue of dwarves had he heard it?


When Dark Elves meet Noldor they do understand each other because they can speak with their minds as well as their mouths. Humans did not do that and what's more the three groups travelled separately so language developed in different places. Finrod might not understand human speech yet; they may have learned to speak from the dark elves, but their languages developed apart from that. Look at the Ents- taught to speak by the Elves but chit chatting in tree-speak!

The innocence is a little strange, considering the Beor people were used to hardship and suffering. Perhaps it is the 'Promised Land' effect- the moment they crossed the mountains they must have thought they were safe from everything. They are also incredibly tired; the fire might be something completely carelessly forgotten.

Finrod would not know the secret tongue as Dwarves never speak it with outsiders; Eol might be an exception, but he's pretty far gone from being an Elf himself.



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Is this credible – that the foremost leader of the first people to cross the mountains knows nothing of their history? Is he just a petty warlord, to which the folk-wisdom was simply not imparted? Or did he really keep his knowledge even from Finrod?


Nomadic people rarely keep histories of themselves, and the Beor tribe were nomads. The Mongols had to rely on Uigurs and Uzbeks to write their history, and that was only after they had Persian cities under their rule. it's not surprising that Beor doesn't know much about the history of their people, they have been on the move for as long as he can remember with no written or sung lore.

Quote

Is this a name given out of affection? Is it a honorary title? Or is it the opposite – an expression of contempt? What do you think of this bold leader of free Men, going as the only specimen of his race to dwell among the lordly Elves?
Once again, how does this compare to other leaders who go to live among their betters – for instance, to Ingwë? Are there any other examples we know? And is the comparison valid – by which I mean, are the Elves as superior to Men as the Valar to them?
Or another idea – how does this compare to Bilbo, ending his life among the Elves? To Frodo taking ship? To Gimli?




'Vassal' is not a bad name in this case. Elves were superior to Men here, quite clearly the betters and teachers. Getting to be a vassal was an achievement, since the Sil also mentions princes begging to serve with Elvish lords later.

Ingwe actually lives with all of his people near Manwe and Varda's place, so he isn't exactly a solo act.

The three who go to Valinor get to die without any pain or hurt; the world of Middle Earth couldn't give them that comfort any more so they got to die like folks in the First Age (to some extent). Sam is the interesting one, because he seems to go to Valinor out of love for Frodo rather than for the Elves.


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At any rate – the character of Gil-galad was for a long time perceived as a heir of Finrod's in some way.
Do you see a connection between the two? Which?
And likewise, how did Finrod's character (which was more or less fully drawn before The Lord of the Rings was written) affect Tolkien's portrayal of his sister, Galadriel?


Gilgalad is a heroic leader for the Elves, who by the time of his ascenscion only had Cirdan to follow. Finrod is a true hero in the classic sense- the others had done heroic deeds but only Finrod had the real foresight to build his fortress, the intuition to find Men and the loyalty to fight for Beren. Gilgalad is kind of a throwback to him, like Elendil is a throwback to the greatest of Numenor.

Tolkien conveniently sweeps Galadriel under the rug for most of the Silmarillion, after establishing her as a leader candidate and strongest among Elves. She is not a hero type but leads from behind- a queen type. Finrod did all the dashing deeds but in the service of the High King Fingolfin and his own intuition. Galadriel seems to be written as being led by herself, very 'willful' as ever. Tolkien must have put them side by side and made sure they were strong and brave but not similar at all.



Quote
We have copied above the mysterious description of the Green-elves lighting no fires, and not singing after dark (does this make sense for Moriquendi, who abided in starlit Middle-earth before the first Sunrise?); we have also discussed the Green-elves in telain's thread.
To these curious traits, we must add their own reasons to shun Men, as given to Finrod:

Quote
For we desire no strangers in this land to break the peace in which we live. And these folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we shall afflict them in all ways that we can.


Based on these two descriptions – how do you imagine the Green-elves?


They seem to value peace and quiet, much like the trees they live in. Like Eol they seem to not even like the stars, as if they do not even recognize the changes to the sky. They are similar to the Nandor Elves but do not hunt, not even evil animals. They may be the only Elves that are close in thinking to the original Elves, albeit in a place that doesn't tolerate that kind of thinking.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 10 2013, 4:47pm

Post #8 of 98 (233 views)
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Better to break them up, I think [In reply to] Can't Post

Just giving a quick peek while I'm at work, Sador, and from the experimenting with post length that I and others have done, I think it's better to break up a long post into smaller chunks, even if it's on one theme. The reason being that even a single theme will have sub-themes, so there are logical break points.

I notice that lengthy posts and lengthy replies don't get answers like those that are 3-4 paragraphs. Partly it's the internet culture, where ideally, everything fits into a tweet, or even better, a 10-word text message. Kidding on that. But despite people's willingness to still read books that have page after page of unbroken text, they don't seem willing to read web pages that involve a lot of scrolling down.

I think there's another pragmatic angle to it. If, hypothetically, you broke your post up into 3, such as war, peace, and migration, it's easier for specific discussions to arise from responses to each of those subtopics. Another pragmatic consideration is that people may dash online and want to reply to a chunk and come back later to reply to a different chunk; keeping them separate makes it easier for people to see where they've left off.

Just my observations. I think I tend to be a little old-fashioned in liking to see long essays in a single post so I can see a writer's thoughts holistically. But my pragmatic, modern side says I'm short on time, and I want to jump in, reply to a shorter post, and be sure that I answered it completely, then come back for another. Just my 2 cents.

Look at how long this post is--I should have broken it up.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 10 2013, 5:06pm

Post #9 of 98 (225 views)
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Excellent idea, Wiz [In reply to] Can't Post


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Possibly at some point in this readthrough, we should have a thread discussing which discussions worked particularly well, & why we think that was?

I may have missed them, but I don't recall any past, thorough, post-read discussions on what worked and didn't in a read-through, and best practices, etc. It would be good to have one. Not to criticize anyone BY ALL MEANS. Only to share views on what works best so that people who were frustrated by lack of replies could get some pointers about the future. I think that's every chapter leader's #1 concern/anxiety/frustration: why am I not getting replies? What did I do wrong? Why did I put all this work into something that no one apparently reads? Why is the question most important to me the one that everyone skips so they can debate Frodo's eye color?

As you say, the replies really depend on who shows up and what's on their minds, so there's a lot beyond the poster's control. There can be big world events like earthquakes or tsunamis that distract readers from replying; I've seen that happen before. But it would still be good to discuss the process. I hope that we never, never come up with a template to follow; I am wholly unwilling to have one. I agree with you that different chapters lend themselves to different formats. One Ring can rule all, but one size can never fit all


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 5:13pm

Post #10 of 98 (238 views)
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They certainly hit it off, unlike elves and dwarves... [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't get a similar first-encounter story of the meeting between elves and dwarves, do we?

I'm wondering why the elves like Men so much better initially. http://m.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge. maybe it helps that the Men are so full of admiration for all things elvish- very gratifying to the Elven ego. Whereas dwarves had their own culture they wanted to stick to- and perhaps felt was every bit as good. The dwarves were also the first other sentient race the elves met: maybe they were in shock.

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:33pm

Post #11 of 98 (221 views)
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I'll try [In reply to] Can't Post

Something on the lines Maciliel did before. Let me know if it works!

'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:40pm

Post #12 of 98 (230 views)
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17/1, Story Time A - Finrod rides alone [In reply to] Can't Post

I am trying to break this discussion into more chewable chunks, while keeping its integrity. I hope this works!
The downside is that this is a double posting. If you like this method - I'll make the next thread simpler tomorrow.




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When three hundred years and more were gone since the Noldor came to Beleriand, in the days of the Long Peace, Finrod Felagund lord of Nargothrond journeyed east of Sirion and went hunting with Maglor and Maedhros, sons of Fëanor. But he wearied of the chase and passed on alone towards the mountains of Ered Lindon that he saw shining afar; and taking the Dwarf-road he crossed Gelion at the ford of Sarn Athrad, and taming south over the upper streams of Ascar, he came into the north of Ossiriand.



Isn't this a bit too much like Aredhel in the previous chapter? What is it about the Noldor noblepersons which entice them to ride alone, with no thought for security? Do they believe so much in Fingolfin's boast regarding the Siege of Angband being unbrerakable?
Or – is this a mythical device, preceding an unexpected discovery? If so, were both set approximately a hundred years before the Dagor Bragollach, as the period during which solitary roaming the mysterious, magical Elflands was conceivable?

So Finrod rides (I assume so – or did they hunt on foot?) to the foothills of the Mountains which none of the Noldor has yet crossed to the East, and suddenly –



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… he saw lights in the evening, and far off he heard the sound of song. At this he wondered much, for the Green-elves of that land lit no fires, nor did they sing by night At first he feared that a raid of Orcs had passed the leaguer of the North, but as he drew near he perceived that it was not so; for the singers used a tongue that he had not heard before, neither that of Dwarves nor of Orcs.



And so the newcomers, the Atani, are discovered! Finrod watches them, and love for them stirs in his heart. He waits until they all fall asleep by the fire where none keeps watch – as if they did not come from a wide world infested by enemies, nor do they realize the dangers of leaving a fire alone!
Is this innocence a bit too much to be believable?
And what about the strange language? Later on, this chapter states that the first Men learned their speech from dark-elves – surely Finrod would have recognized it? Conversely, would he know the secret tongue of dwarves had he heard it?





'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:43pm

Post #13 of 98 (238 views)
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17/1, Story Time B - A mutual love [In reply to] Can't Post

The sudden love that Finrod felt for the strangers is truly remarkable. In Arda Reconstructed page 157, Douglas Kane (Voronwë the Faithful) suggests this would have been better explained, had Christopher retained a sentence from the later Quenta Silmarillion, published in The War of the Jewels (HoME vol. XI) p. 216, which describes them as: "tall, and strong, and comely, though rude and scantily clad" and their camp as "well-ordered" (but what of the unkept fire?).
What do you think? Do you agree that the longer description should not have been omitted?
Just for the sake of completeness, I refer you to squire's
critique of the description.

Once all are sound asleep Felagund, as he is called throughout this chapter (more of this below), takes up a rude harp which Bëor their chieftain had played before, and sings them a song in the Elvish tongue, which conjures up before the listening Men which awake a vision "of the making of Arda, and the bliss of Aman beyond the shadows of the Sea".
At first they believe him to be one of the Valar, of whom they had heard rumor – but he teaches them true lore. So they name him Nóm, which stands for "wisdom" in their language, and following that they name the Noldor Nómin, the Wise; and they take him for their lord.
What do you make of this "song of wisdom"? Is it a spell? How does it compare to similar songs Tolkien describes – The Lament of Galadriel Frodo hears? Legolas' peception of the Rohirrim's song when he first enters Edoras? To those who have read The Lost Road and/or The Notion Club Papers, the song of King Sheaf as a child? Any other parallels?

As Voronwë recently
noted, this name for the Noldor is a throwback to his original name for them, "gnomes", which he had used throughout the first twenty years of his writing; thus becoming a retroactive justification for it's use, and for the inexplicable statement in chapter 3 (Of the Coming of Elves): "Next came the Noldor, a name of wisdom, the people of Finwë. They are the Deep Elves…"
Do you like this kind of "Tolkien-lore"? does it enhance you understanding, or appreciation of the professor's work? Or do you find this just boring obscuriatae?


'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:45pm

Post #14 of 98 (222 views)
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17/1, Story Time C - Balan, or Beor if you wish [In reply to] Can't Post

Bëor, or Balan as he should still be named, tells Finrod quite a lot about two other migrating clans, which are heading west; however, he tells little (and probably knows little) of his people's history, saying only:



Quote
A darkness lies behind us, and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.


We will discuss this ominous darkness which lies behind Men in the next thread; but one question must be asked:
Is this credible – that the foremost leader of the first people to cross the mountains knows nothing of their history? Is he just a petty warlord, to which the folk-wisdom was simply not imparted? Or did he really keep his knowledge even from Finrod?


The Green-elves of Ossiriand are however very much displeased by the newcomers, so they beg Felagund to order them back, or to go on westward. So they move to the lands of Amrod and Amras, which they call Estolad, the Encampment. Felagund stays with them a year before returning to Nargothrond; but Balan their leader begs leave to come with him, committing the lordship of his folk to his son Baran. "In this way he got his name… for Bëor signified ‘Vassal’ in the tongue of his people".
Is this a name given out of affection? Is it a honorary title? Or is it the opposite – an expression of contempt? What do you think of this bold leader of free Men, going as the only specimen of his race to dwell among the lordly Elves?
Once again, how does this compare to other leaders who go to live among their betters – for instance, to Ingwë? Are there any other examples we know? And is the comparison valid – by which I mean, are the Elves as superior to Men as the Valar to them?
Or another idea – how does this compare to Bilbo, ending his life among the Elves? To Frodo taking ship? To Gimli?




'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:46pm

Post #15 of 98 (225 views)
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17/1, Text and Tradition A - King Felagund [In reply to] Can't Post

It is noteworthy that Finrod is named in the chapter by his proper name only once, while he is called "Felagund" seventeen times, and "Finrod Felgund" twice more. This would make sense, had it been a name in the tongue of Men; but according to chapter 13, this is actually a dwarvish name, meaning "hewer of caves"!
Did you ever notice this? What do you make out of it?

Perhaps Tolkien was simply over-eager to introduce this name; but this was the original name for Finrod, supposedly in good Elvish; the using of an Elvish-sounding word for a dwarf-given appellate was just a "fortunate" coincidence ('caves' are about the one thing for which the dwarves would not need elvish help in naming!), much like the coincidence which made sense in the Mannish tongue of the name "gnomes" to the Noldor. Wink
However, the whole character of Felagund was introduced to be a "man-friend"; and it makes sense that he was also the one Elvish lord (with the possible exception of his sister) who treated dwarves generously. It would behoove us to look at the history of this character (not the person!) and how it evolved.
A fair warning: the next three paragraphs will attempt to sum up a very complicated topic; if you are uninterested in a HoME-based discussion of the evolving drafts, skip to the next section! Also, I might have gotten some of the facts wrong – if anyone catches a mistake, please correct me!

As far as I understood, Finrod was the last of Finwë's grandsons to be added to the Royal House. As late as the 1926 Sketch of the Mythology, he did not exist; however, in the Lay of Leithan (a long poem about the love and exploits of Beren and Lúthien), he had emerged – with his oath to Barahir, his argument with Celegorm and Caranthir, his combat with Sauron (at that point named Thú the Wizard) and his heroic death. In 1930, his meeting and befriending of Bëor was added, making him the patron of all the Edain; in the late 1950s, when Tolkien turned to explore the philosophical and theological ramifications of his secondary world, he made Finrod as the spokesman of the Elves in the Athrabeth. Other aspects of his character were added between 1930 and the writing of the Athrabeth – his rôle in the rebellion of the Noldor in the 1937 Quenta (The Lost Road, HoME vol. V page 234), as was the story of his founding of Nargothrond (ibid. p. 254); and his rôle as Thingol's senior Noldo relative in the post-LotR Grey Annals.
At first, his name was just Felagund; and he was conceived from the first to be a son of Finrod Fingolfin's brother, which stayed behind after the Curse of Mandos (he was added to the geneology sometime between the 1926 and the 1930 drafts – The Shaping of Middle-earth, HoME IV p. 15). However, in both the 1937 Quenta and the parallel Annals of Aman he was named "Inglor", a name which persisted until 1955, when it was printed in appendix F to The Lord of the Rings. However, this name was dropped soon after – as in the draft of the Athrabeth which Christopher dated to the latter half of the 1950s, the name "Finrod" was used, with Finarfin for the final name of his father; the second edition of LotR was corrected accordingly.

One important corollary of this account, is that when the first chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring was written, "Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod" was clearly intended to be Felagund's son!
Do you see any parallels between the two? All Gildor-fans – this is your opportunity!

I wonder what made Tolkien change his mind regarding Gildor, making him just one of the lords of Finrod's household. Or was his name left unchanged by mistake? Christopher probably did not think so, as he retained the story of Amarië, who did not follow Finrod to exile. But her story might have been not the cause of Gildor's "demotion", but rather both might have been side-effects of the same thing: Tolkien's shifting ideas regarding how to incorporate the last King of the High Elves to the Royal House of the Noldor, which I have discussed
here.
In short, at first Gil-galad was said to have been a descendant of Fëanor, then Inglor's son (which would make him Gildor's older brother), then Fingon's, then Orodreth's – who according to later writings by Tolkien, was to be removed from Finrod's brother to his nephew, becoming the son of Angrod. When preparing The Silmarillion for publishing, Christopher was convinced that the Fingon-ancestry was his father's dominant idea, but later he has changed his mind.
At any rate – the character of Gil-galad was for a long time perceived as a heir of Finrod's in some way.
Do you see a connection between the two? Which?
And likewise, how did Finrod's character (which was more or less fully drawn before The Lord of the Rings was written) affect Tolkien's portrayal of his sister, Galadriel?



'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:49pm

Post #16 of 98 (221 views)
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17/1, Text and tradition B - The long-awaited newcomers [In reply to] Can't Post

If I may, I would like to return to the description of Finrod's first meeting with Men.
It closely parallels Oromë's first meeting with the Elves, in chapter 3:



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And on a time it chanced that Oromë rode eastward in his hunting, and he turned north by the shores of Helcar and passed under the shadows of the Orocarni, the Mountains of the East. Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Oromë wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing.
Thus it was that the Valar found at last, as it were by chance, those whom they had so long awaited. And Oromë looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder, as though they were beings sudden and marvellous and unforeseen; for so it shall ever be with the Valar.



Do you like this parallel? Or does it feel like overworking a theme?

The curious thing is that this theme was originally written for neither the awakening of Elves nor Men.
According to Tolkien's first conception in The Book of Lost Tales, Manwë suddenly knows that the Elves have awoken, while Varda is singing a joyous song (HoME vol. I, page 113); the tale of Oromë coming upon them is mentioned laconically in the 1926 and 1930 versions, and only described in the 1937 Quenta.
Men are found by the dark-elf Nuin, who serves the independent wizard Tú, greatest of all the spirits who dwell out of Valinor. Christopher did publish a draft of a really stunning description (pages 232-233):



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Suddenly afar off down in the dark woods a nightingale sang, and others answered palely afar off, and Nuin well-nigh swooned at the loveliness of that dreaming place…
Now did Nuin ascend deeper into the vale, treading softly by reason of some unknown wonder that possessed him, and lo, beneath the trees he saw the warm dusk full of sleeping forms…
Then seized with a sudden fear he turned and stole from that hallowed place… and Tú was little pleased thereat; nor any the more when Nuin made an end of his tale, telling of all he there saw – "and methought," said he, "that all those who slumbered were children, yet was their stature that of the greatest of the Elves."
Then did Tú fall into fear of Manwë, nay even of Ilúvatar…



More about Tú in the next thread; but here, I just note in passing another case of Tolkien using descriptions from discarded versions in different settings – the nightingales in the dark woods were later used in Thingol's bewitchment by Melian.
Any comments on this parallel? On Tolkien's system of re-using his own imagery? A riddle for HoME scholars: where did he re-use the BoLT description of Manwë and Varda's sudden knowledge that the Elves have come?

The origin of our descriptions of the arising of both Elves and Men is found in a short prose fragment describing the coming of the Noldor to Middle-earth, which Christopher dated to soon after The Book of Lost Tales. It was published in The Shaping of Middle-earth, pages 7-8:



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Now it happened that Fëanor got him beyond to the hills that girt Dor Lómin… and he had no small company and his three sons were with him. Thus came they on a day nigh evening to a hilltop, and afar off descried a red light leaping in a vale open… There they saw an armed company no less than their own, and they sat around a mighty fire of wood. The most were asleep, but some few stirred, and Fëanor stood then up and called…
Then a great clamour broke forth in the vale and the folk of Fëanor knew full soon that here were no elfin folk, by reason of their harsh voices and unlovely cries, and many arrows came winging in the dark towards that voice…


Shocked
Orcs! Comments?



'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


sador
Half-elven


Jun 10 2013, 5:54pm

Post #17 of 98 (224 views)
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17/1, Text and Tradition C - The Laiquendi of Ossiriand [In reply to] Can't Post

We have copied above (Story Time, A) the mysterious description of the Green-elves lighting no fires, and not singing after dark (does this make sense for Moriquendi, who abided in starlit Middle-earth before the first Sunrise?); we have also discussed the Green-elves in telain's thread.
To these curious traits, we must add their own reasons to shun Men, as given to Finrod:


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For we desire no strangers in this land to break the peace in which we live. And these folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends, and if they will not depart we shall afflict them in all ways that we can.



Based on these two descriptions – how do you imagine the Green-elves?
This question was raised in the previous discussion by Elizabeth; for your reference, see question 3
here.

The Green-elves appear once more in The Silmarillion: when Beren and Lúthien return from Mandos, they live among them in the land which is called Dor Firn-i-Guinar, the Land of the Dead that Live (the first paragraph of chapter 20).
I think that at this stage they assume a mythical, rather than a physical, dimension.
What do you think? How do they compare to the elfs found elsewhere in European myths? Is this apparent already in our chapter?
How do the Green-elves compare to (although as far as Tolkien writing is concerned, they draw upon) the mysterious wood-elves in Flies and Spiders (The Hobbit, ch. 8)? Or to the invisible spirits inhabiting the island in The Sea-Bell (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, no. 15)?


'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 8:13pm

Post #18 of 98 (218 views)
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I'm beginning to see those green elves… [In reply to] Can't Post

… as "green" in the modern sense. But to the extreme Maybe they are hard line Eco-fanatics? Hence no breaking our trees or hinting in our lands. No fires. No singing.

It would be a difficult lifestyle.
I think it's an intriguing idea to link them to the elusive Mirkwood elves. They seem to be the extreme form of elvish elusiveness and solipsism.

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Lothwen
Rivendell

Jun 10 2013, 8:26pm

Post #19 of 98 (217 views)
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So firstly, Finrod on a hunt.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Awesome, now I feel like I can get my head around this post! (Stunning BTW, I really enjoyed reading it and thinking about all your questions Smile)

What is it about the Noldor noblepersons which entice them to ride alone, with no thought for security?

Hmmm, Finrod does seem careless about safety here. Possibly he was hunting in a familiar place and didn't expect any trouble? Maybe too, he was confident in his own ability to defend himself should he encounter some sort of danger (orcs, etc.). He was, after all, a Noldorian lord.

So Finrod rides (I assume so – or did they hunt on foot?)

Weird this, because I actually imagined them on foot as there are no horses mentioned! Later, when I looked back on the chapter I decided that hunting on foot was a bit illogical...

Is this innocence a bit too much to be believable?


Quote
and they sang because they were glad, and believed that they had escaped all perils and come to a land without fear.


A land without fear? Where did they get that idea from?Wink
But seriously, one would have thought they'd encountered something threatening on the journey that would have broken this, um, fantasy.

And what about the strange language? Later on, this chapter states that the first Men learned their speech from dark-elves – surely Finrod would have recognized it? Conversely, would he know the secret tongue of dwarves had he heard it?

As others have mentioned, over time language changes, and while the language of the Men might be similar to the dark-elves, it had certainly changed enough to seem completely different.

Finrod probably could have recognized the Dwarves' language IMO as he'd had dealings with them in the past; but wouldn't, I don't think, have been able to understand it.

That's all for now; I'll get to the other questions later. (BTW, I'm totally loving the TORn Forums, esp. RR Smile)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 8:41pm

Post #20 of 98 (206 views)
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Welcome to the Reading Room lothwen [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree- no guards on the camp?! It all sounds a bit Arcadian
BTW i for one am Glad we got rid of the "scantily clad " bit: it may once have suggested "noble savage". That whole thing seem dodging racist and imperialistic thee days (as per Squires critique). Perhaps worse, there's a snigger factor to it now.

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 10 2013, 8:54pm

Post #21 of 98 (203 views)
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I like the sense of a repeating pattern… [In reply to] Can't Post

…the Valar find the elves, the elves find the Men.
On each occasion the "senior" race has to decide how to handle the newcomers.

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, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 10 2013, 11:38pm

Post #22 of 98 (199 views)
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Stonehenge was built by Elves? I thought it was Dwarves. :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 11 2013, 12:02am

Post #23 of 98 (201 views)
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The Lone Ranger [In reply to] Can't Post

Discovery: I guess I don't seen any parallels between Finrod and Aredhel. I think he is meant to be pure Orome in the role of finding the new race. Actually, Orome usually seemed to ride with a host of fellow hunters, but he discovered the Elves while alone. I think Tolkien likes lone discoverers (Tuor discovered the Sea while alone; I'm sure there are more). Since he's emulating Orome, I assume he's on horse.

I like that Finrod starts out riding with his cousins. This is another sign of the personal comradery of the Noldor that seems more like the character-based narrative in LOTR, which we don't get much of in this chronicle-toned book. Though of course we don't get any dialogue between them, just the mention.

Innocence: I think part of the relief of finding the Promised Land is that you no longer keep watch at night. Aragorn says when they reach Lorien that he'll have the first good night's sleep he's had since leaving Rivendell since he won't be on guard against anything.

And what about the strange language? Later on, this chapter states that the first Men learned their speech from dark-elves – surely Finrod would have recognized it? Conversely, would he know the secret tongue of dwarves had he heard it?
I'm not sure what you mean here. The Dwarf language has no origin in common with Elvish, so I don't see how Finrod could meet and understand them the first time, but men speak a variant of Elvish, and between reading their minds and figuring out their dialect, he's able to understand them, but he doesn't understand their dialect at first, and they don't understand him at all. A Spaniard meeting a Romanian for the first time would find their language wholly alien until they started finding some similarities, then they could build on those (especially if the Spaniard can read minds).




CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 11 2013, 12:19am

Post #24 of 98 (197 views)
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I love the obscure! [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I'm glad he didn't call them gnomes, which I would always think of as Dwarves and be very confused by the difference.

Scantily-clad: That was a great edit by Chris. I think leaving it in would make the Men seem more primitive, and they seem primitive enough. Even looking ahead, I have trouble picturing the Lords of Dor-Lomin as sophisticated. They seem like Rohirrim at best, but nothing like Gondorians. I suppose Tolkien may have wanted to show what a great civilizing effect the Eldar had on the Atani, but it comes across well enough, and I don't need to see them coaxed out of caves and taught to cook their meat to believe they climbed the social ladder.

What do you make of this "song of wisdom"? Is it a spell? How does it compare to similar songs Tolkien describes – The Lament of Galadriel Frodo hears?
You're comparing Finrod's song to his sister's? Because I find that an apt one. Galadriel is telling Frodo more in her song than he can understand at the time, but later, at least in Valinor, it will all make sense to him. Likewise, Finrod is bestowing a vision of things lofty yet real to these need-to-be-enlightened Men, and I find it an elegant scene that shows what a class act Finrod his, for his contact to be one of generously sharing enlightenment and beauty with people he hasn't even said hello to yet, and that it sets the tone for the historic Edain-Eldar relationship of the Edain (the good ones) always looking up to the Eldar as wise teachers and moral role models. It's a great scene on many levels for me.

Spell? When Aragorn meets Arwen, he first thinks he's conjured Luthien in a song the way Elf minstrels can do, but those are not mere conjuring tricks, I think they're in the same magic category of making ropes and robes that are enchanted because you've poured your creative love into them. So the song has an unintended magical effect and is more than a song, certainly.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 11 2013, 12:29am

Post #25 of 98 (194 views)
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History and vassals [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with PhantomS that nomads have trouble recording their history with accuracy; oral tradition keeps alive the themes but not the details of the past. The Men have some dark past, the fear and/or influence of Morgoth that they're fleeing, and that's as far as it goes. I think oral tradition is similar to how parents relate family history to children. "Why did Uncle Joe disappear for a year?" The reply is not, "Because he went to prison for robbing a bank," but "He needed to travel somewhere where we couldn't see him, and don't ask again." That's a shadow on the past that denies you the detail, but you keep the sense that something wasn't right with Uncle Joe, and he did disappear for awhile.

There is such a love fest between Finrod and the Men that being called Vassal is certainly a term of affection by the Elves and an honor for the Men. I like all the other examples you list. It's a repeated motif in Tolkien's world, isn't it? Merry and Pippin became vassals as well, and in Merry's case, it was a sign of affection.

Though for the last three you mention: Bilbo, Frodo, and Gimli, I see them as "Elf-friends," meaning a term of affection of privilege among the Elves, but not servants to them as Edain Elf-friends were. It was a different status. Maybe because the Elves felt so remote from other races by the Third/Fourth Age, just being on intimate terms with someone from another race was a big deal to them as well as to the object of affection.

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