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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Of the Coming of Men into the West, III: "Weariness which they knew not in themselves".

sador
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 10:36am


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Of the Coming of Men into the West, III: "Weariness which they knew not in themselves". Can't Post

It appears that I have failed.
Between RL constraints (health problems in the family is one major factor) and an initial underestimating of the importance of this chapter, and the complexity of the topics it is connected to, it is unfeasible that I will be able to prepare the third and last discussion in a way I would deem presentable. I'm sure not all will regret it.

Rather than making a futile attempt to finish it, I will just give the outline of the projected thread. I will not divide it to Story Time and Text and Tradition but will give them together. Comments, questions and all kinds of discussion are welcome.


I wanted to point out that at long last, Morgoth had realized the way to attack from the East; and to ask why he tried to win by lies and deceit first.

The independent homesteads of the Haladin. Is this loose form of government typical, or even practical, for migrators on the move?

Haldad being hemmed in and slain. Comparison to Thorin's charge at the Battle of Five Armies, and to Thoden's desperate charge from the Hornburg.

Caranthir rescuing Haleth timely, or overlate? Could Caranthir have come earlier? And whether this is an example of Tolkien's theory of eucatastrophe; another comparison, to the Siege of Minas Tirith.

Haleth refuses to be guided or ruled. Contrast to the Folk of Bor, and of Marach. The journey through the Mountains another one! Does this take away from Beren's later exploit?

Thingol granting the Forest of Brethil to Haleth; comparing Thingol to Caranthir. Haleth's proud words.

Surprisingly, we know of the Haladin more than of the other Houses of Edain here, in the tale of Trin, and in The Wanderings of Hrin (I intended to add a few words about that tale as well).

The Ladybarrow and the Mound of Finduilas.

Haleth as influencing warrior-princesses later writings regarding Aredhel and Galadriel. Her character as influenced by Brynhildr, Gudrun, owyn; compare to Ibsen's Gunhild Borkman (I would love to get to Voronw's critique of the published Silmarillion and the omission of female characters but that couldn't be done in a short space).

Originally, Haleth was a male character the leader of the second House of the Edain, and the peer of Bor and Hador. Is this the only name Tolkien used for both male and female characters?

The moving of Hador from the leader of his people's migration to the fifth generation. Tolkien's insisting upon his greatness based on what? Tolkien later intended to move him to the third generation, so that he would be the brother of Adanel. Does this make sense?

This would have been followed by tracking the changes in the chronology. The first chronology (in the earliest Annals of Beleriand, The Lost Road page 297) runs:
70 Bor is born in the east.
88 Haleth (father of Hundor, father of Handir, father of Brandir) is born in the east.
90 Hador the Goldenhead is born in the east.
100 Felagund finds Bor; Bregolas son of Bor is born.
102 Barahir son of Bor is born.
120 Haleth and Hador come into Beleriand.
155 Dagor Bragollach.
158 Haleth leads his folk to the marches of Doriath (Brethil).
163 Swarthy Men enter Beleriand.
172 The year of sorrow.
The last chronology existing is reproduced here (omitting, however, the date of the talk described in the Athrabeth; a footnote in it indicates it occured on 409). What do these changes reflect, and effect? Should Christopher Tolkien have included a chronology in the published Silmarillion?

The physical descriptions of the members of the Three Houses. A comparison to the Three Kindreds of the Elves.

The Elves reaction to the Death of Bor. Compare to Legolas' words regarding Elves' grief at the swift change of the rest of the world in The Great River. Similar expressions of "Elvish time" Elrond's reflections at the Council, Frodo's experience at Dol Amroth, Legolas and Gimli entering Minas Tirith (The Last Debate), Treebeard's farewell to Celeborn and Galadriel (any complete discussion of this needs reading Verlyn Fleiger's A Question of Time, and some fascinating observations of Shippey and probably other sources I haven't read myself Blush).

The whole question of dating of texts of this period our chapter, the Athrabeth, Laws and Customs of the Eldar, the second rewrite of chapters 5-9, Myths Transformed. Christopher himself is not quite sure, and the evidence he cites to back up his conclusions is not always full and/or convincing.

But this leads to the thing which struck me most when thinking of this chapter the sheer weight of philosophical questions raised in it, or by it. These questions deflected Tolkien from completing his re-write of The Silmarillion, leaving the final preparation of it for publication to Christopher, who did it with Guy Kay. Were these reflections prompted by this chapter, with its confrontation between mortal and immortals? Or does it reflect an already-existing tumult?
My gut feeling is the former that this chapter was enlarged because of issues Tolkien raised in The Lord of the Rings, as well as by The Norton Club Papers and the evolving history of Nmenor; however, Christopher's piecemeal remarks about the dating of texts suggest otherwise (to the best of my knowledge, he hasn't published a complete discussion of it).
Either way it is a great pity that Tolkien never got to rewrite the Great Tales of mortal-meets-immortal those of Beren, Tuor and Erendil!

And finally, the concluding paragraph and a comparison to the words of Sador and Trin quoted in my footer.


Well, the full discussion will probably never be properly written down. Do with this summary as you wish.

'But my father loves them,' said Trin, '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!

Subject User Time
Of the Coming of Men into the West, III: "Weariness which they knew not in themselves". sador Send a private message to sador Jun 13 2013, 10:36am
    Children of Arda CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 13 2013, 12:41pm
        I agree - far from failure! // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jun 13 2013, 4:33pm
        "It seems like Men's mortality should make the Elves emotionally withdraw from them." noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jun 16 2013, 10:04am
    No a failure in the least Sador! And lots about Haleth Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 13 2013, 7:37pm
        As usual, a Breth of fresh air CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 13 2013, 8:12pm
            Many thanks CG! And about the melon... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 14 2013, 12:18am
                "Great leaders are not born, they are made" CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 14 2013, 1:04am
                    Interesting question! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 14 2013, 1:16am
                        That's a neat thought CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 14 2013, 1:29pm
                            Good Queen Haleth noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jun 14 2013, 9:35pm
                                Nice use of that line! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 14 2013, 10:48pm
                                    Succession down the male or female line noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jun 15 2013, 7:04am
                                        All depends on the cultural law Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 15 2013, 1:30pm
                                            The Tudors - a somewhat dysfunctional family noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jun 15 2013, 1:54pm
                                Absolutely NoWiz elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jun 15 2013, 7:40am
                                    "We shall fight Morgoth on the strands, in the passes, amidst the peaks, and before the plains of Valinor." squire Send a private message to squire Jun 15 2013, 1:46pm
                                    Haha, just saw this Elaen...! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 19 2013, 12:16am
    I am thoroughly enjoying your discussion, sador... telain Send a private message to telain Jun 13 2013, 11:43pm
    Time and Tide.... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 14 2013, 10:38pm
    Sorry to hear about your family issues Sador elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jun 15 2013, 8:02am
    ah, sador Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 20 2013, 2:40am
    Summary, and my own responses sador Send a private message to sador Jun 30 2013, 5:12pm
        Responses to responses CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 30 2013, 6:11pm
        Ah, not quite what I meant Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 3 2013, 3:33am
        Now there is an understatement! Voronw_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronw_the_Faithful Jul 3 2013, 7:09pm
            Thank you! // sador Send a private message to sador Jul 4 2013, 2:30pm
            i would +love+ Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jul 4 2013, 2:53pm

 
 
 

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