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Of the Coming of Men into the West, III: "Weariness which they knew not in themselves".
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sador
Half-elven


Jun 13 2013, 10:36am

Post #1 of 28 (388 views)
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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 Théoden'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 Bëor, 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 Túrin, and in The Wanderings of Húrin (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, Éowyn; compare to Ibsen's Gunhild Borkman (I would love to get to Voronwë'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 Bëor 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 – Bëor 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 Bëor; Bregolas son of Bëor is born.
102 – Barahir son of Bëor 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 Bëor. 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 Númenor; 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 Eärendil!

And finally, the concluding paragraph – and a comparison to the words of Sador and Túrin 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 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!


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 12:41pm

Post #2 of 28 (243 views)
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Children of Arda [In reply to] Can't Post

You haven't failed at all, Sador. It's like saying you built one great pyramid instead of two. You certainly brought to light many ideas that underpin this chapter, and thanks for doing so with the constrains on your RL time.

Aule and Yavanna deals with fundamental creativity, Beren & Luthien with the deep aspects of love, and this chapter, as you point out, is the collision of mortals and immortals. Two Themes of the Great Music are brought together harmoniously. I suppose they already were when Men met Dark Elves, but we don't get to read about that. It's in Beleriand that we see Elvish excitement and angst about the younger race. Does Finrod get all the credit for the harmony? The SOF are slow to appreciate Men, and the Green-Elves want to drive them off. Could there have been strife instead of hugs?

Caranthir: the cavalry arrives just in the nick of time, Rohan-style. I admit this is a bit contrived. Anyway, the rescue and Caranthir's ensuing pity for the Haladin puts him in a rare good light. That he doesn't know about the orc-raid until late makes him look like a poor ruler who's not on guard against Morgoth's attack.

Haleth: I find her one of the best characters of The Sil. Plucky, stubborn to a fault, fearless, beloved by her people, needing and accepting help from no one. None of her people go off to mingle with the Elves or revere them, and aside from following Haleth's steel will, they keep their sense of self-rule vs centralized authority. For all these things I find commendable, they seem unglamorous compared to the other two houses of Edain, even uncouth, like the rough country cousins opposed to the city folk. Haleth's speech is blunt and unpolished. She dares to speak of Thingol with mild scorn! She'd be interesting as either a man or woman.

Haleth seems more like a tough bar maid than a "Lady" to me, and to contrast her with diaphanous Finduilas by fating them to be buried in the same mound is an incongruity in personality (not to mention race and lineage). It seems to add extra dimension to both characters/

Yes, it is odd that we hear more about the Haladin hear, then they go secretive and we don't hear much more of them until Turin. Something tells me Tolkien likes these down-to-earth types.

Back to philosophy: one way in RL that we confront mortality is when an elderly relative such as a grandparent dies. We grieve for their permanent absence from our lives and also get a tingle of internal angst that we too shall grow old and die. Then you have to realize that you can't lead a normal life by always fearing your death. It's a balancing act, and a profound one. How similar is the process for Elves? Do they begin to doubt that they're immortal, that as Children of Iluvatar, maybe they won't age as quickly as Men, but that ultimately they will weaken and die of old age? In their own sense, isn't that what happens to them? They don't die, but they fade over time. How is that different from aging and losing one's youthful abilities? Was this ever something the Elves had to contend with in Aman, or is it a new phenomenon to them in MEarth?

It seems like Men's mortality should make the Elves emotionally withdraw from them. Why become fond of someone that you'll outlive so easily? Yet real-life humans grow attached to pets that live 10-20 years, so emotions and mortality and don't seem to involve withdrawal.

How jealous do Elves seem of the Gift of Iluvatar? There's often the sense that they are STUCK to Arda Marred and grow weary of it. Doesn't it seem like Men are given a cheerful ticket out of this place and its woes and weariness? Are they the favored Children of Eru, getting to spend a brief time on Arda and then go live with him while Elves are stuck on Arda almost forever? This collision of consciousness seems to upset the Elves, yet Men remain remarkably unenvious of Elvish immortality. Why is that?

Thanks again, Sador, for another great chapter discussion. Look at how many things you provoked me to think about.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jun 13 2013, 12:44pm)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 13 2013, 4:33pm

Post #3 of 28 (234 views)
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I agree - far from failure! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, 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!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 13 2013, 7:37pm

Post #4 of 28 (228 views)
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No a failure in the least Sador! And lots about Haleth [In reply to] Can't Post

It has been a deep and revealing discussion! I hope RL issues work themselves out for you! AngelicSmile

In regards to the looser chieftain style of government among the Haladin, I think it works well for a traveling people who may come under siege or attack at any moment, as a centrally consolidated government may then prove ineffective. Their strength lies in their flexibility and independence of thought, and as it is possible that one small faction may be wiped out it is necessary for the others to continue to function. In a way it harkens to far-forward, to how the Dunedain live in Northern exile. I see many parallels there actually.

Haleth reminds me too of Aragorn in how JRRT writes that her people follow her out of love and that she leads trough sheer will, very much as he writes Aragorn and the Paths of the Dead. As the blood of Haleth's family line (through the male line) eventually ends up in the family trees of Elros and Elrond, and thus in the union of Elessar and Arwen and thus into the Fourth Age, I think its particularly important that the Haladin seem to live in a separate culture and I think it was JRRT's way of underlining their significance. In short I see a lot of foreshadowing in the tale of Haleth and her people to the birth of Aragorn and his growth as a Ranger: he looks like them, he lives like them, he is the wanderer - like them, and there is an old, uncorrupted pride and honor in that line that predates and taint from the darker side of Numenor. I think the language issue, whether they spoke the same tongue as the other houses, I think was an evolution based on how singular he wished the Second House to be. And I think that is why we know so much more about the Second house - another underlining of their importance in much later histories.

Ahh - Haleth! My favorite Sil character (and the inspiration for my nick as well.)

I am so glad to discuss Haleth herself. Initially to be written as a man, I think it is a sign of how JRRT truly and honorably did esteem women in that he saw their potential for leadership, purely in their own, singular stead and not purely as a consort (which in that sense actually easier to write I think as a woman than a man: a man as a leader may still have a family, yet a female chieftain must commit entirely to the welfare of the people.) Thus part of his making the leader of the Haladin a female also entails that sacrifice will have to be made. Not to be overly imaginative (haha - me?) but Haleth wed the people I think, and thus did not wed one man...she therefore gave up family or even having her own bloodline continue, yet gave leadership and hope to the Haladin (I give hope to Men, I keep none for myself - in an early philosophic incarnation?) This explains too I think why it must be a rare thing, and not a garden-variety warrior-princess in each camp of Men...that bloodline because of the demands of leadership almost has to die there with a woman Chieftain. A unique honor he wrote for Haleth, and I think some of the uniqueness comes from they fact that the seeds of both the Star, Earandil, and Elessar are sown in the tale. Her legacy is the people she saved and the tales of her deeds, and the memorial of the Ladybarrow.

Her sass to Thingol is utterly priceless. Elegantly scornful, and from the hip. One of my favorite lines ever in JRRT's work. I like that the Haladin feel no need (led by Haleth) to subjugate themselves, and of course I snicker at her leaving Caranthir rather flat in the dust.

Haldad's death stands a bit alone I think, as it showcases Haleth as both a warrior (we know she defended the stockade) but also as a nurturer (ie: the role Théoden would ask of Eowyn) in holding the people together after the loss of the Chief. I do see a similarity to the leaping out from Under the Mountain, as with no food left I think Haldad was going forth to try to secure goods for his people: so in both cases there was need to leave the security of the fortification, and the loss that resulted changed that people's history. I think Caranthir's assistance may come late, but that is what is needed as a story element for the independence of the Haladin to flower, harsh as the losses are.

Hador's 'greatness' isn't very clear, except for the family tree significance. Is it simply retroactive based on how his descendants play out? The generation move from fifth to third - would that have put him around during the time of Andreth's prophesying of Turin, and brought that part of the foreshadowing into the tale? Unsure of why else it would have made a difference...I may (probably am) be missing something though!!!! Wink

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on Jun 13 2013, 7:46pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 8:12pm

Post #5 of 28 (224 views)
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As usual, a Breth of fresh air [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Haleth reminds me too of Aragorn in how JRRT writes that her people follow her out of love and that she leads trough sheer will, very much as he writes Aragorn and the Paths of the Dead. As the blood of Haleth's family line (through the male line) eventually ends up in the family trees of Elros and Elrond, and thus in the union of Elessar and Arwen and thus into the Fourth Age, I think its particularly important that the Haladin seem to live in a separate culture and I think it was JRRT's way of underlining their significance. In short I see a lot of foreshadowing in the tale of Haleth and her people to the birth of Aragorn and his growth as a Ranger: he looks like them, he lives like them, he is the wanderer - like them, and there is an old, uncorrupted pride and honor in that line that predates and taint from the darker side of Numenor. I think the language issue, whether they spoke the same tongue as the other houses, I think was an evolution based on how singular he wished the Second House to be. And I think that is why we know so much more about the Second house - another underlining of their importance in much later histories.

That is sublimely stated, Breth. As usual, you made connections I've never made before, but they're rather obvious once revealed, sorta like saying "Mellon" to a Moria gate (though I think Gandalf really wanted a cantaloupe and just got lucky). The post-Arnor Dunedain really are like the Haladin, and it's as if their ancestors prepared them for this role. The only connection I ever made before was the language used for Haleth's leadership (her will, their love for her, etc) being so similar to that used for Aragorn in the Paths of the Dead, which is similar in horrors to Nan Dungortheb, but I never connected the rest. Thanks for illuminating it.

Can we take an informal poll on if Haleth is the strongest female character in The Sil, as in physically toughest and most obdurate leader? Luthien has more magic, Galadriel more serene leadership, Idril more pragmatic leadership, but isn't Haleth someone you would just NOT want mad at you and would not want to argue with, and that you would follow, even reluctantly, if you disagreed with her? Morwen is more proud, but I feel like she has less to base her pride on. Haleth is clearly accomplished. Interesting to say that she's wed to her people. She has given it up all up for them, hasn't she? She reminds me in some ways of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Hatshetsup of Egypt, two women rulers who didn't marry mostly because they didn't want their husband to take over their throne, it seems, but also because they seemed wedded to their role as queen and didn't want any distractions from that duty. Haleth demands a lot from her people, but no more than she demands from herself. She's like a modern-day workaholic.


telain
Rohan

Jun 13 2013, 11:43pm

Post #6 of 28 (206 views)
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I am thoroughly enjoying your discussion, sador... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I sincerely hope that health problems will be resolved and that peace returns to your house.

We will endeavour to pick up the excellent threads and questions that you have provided for us and will continue the discussion. I hope you'll be able to rejoin us soon!


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 12:18am

Post #7 of 28 (204 views)
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Many thanks CG! And about the melon... [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile ...for the kind words! (BTW - Do we think Gandalf wanted to throw the melon at the door? At Pip? Or was he judiciously warding off scurvy? Maybe he had some prosciutto we don't hear about.)

I agree about Haleth's resoluteness. It seems like she has not just the mind to conceive a plan but the heart to carry it out even under the worst circumstances.

Interesting I think too that her motives for preserving and aiding her people do not stem from the 'passing on of the dynasty' or any immediate concerns like securing the future of her own offspring - she has none. Her deeds are more for the whole of her people.

Well poll wise, I am all about Haleth being in the #1 slot!

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


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 1:04am

Post #8 of 28 (202 views)
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"Great leaders are not born, they are made" [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a what-if. What if the Haladin lived happily in Thargelion with no Orc attack, and Haleth's father and brother lived. What do you think Haleth would have been like? Unlike Frodo and the other hobbits, who needed circumstances to pull a lot of their inner steel into the outer world, I imagine Haleth as feisty as ever. It doesn't seem like she hesitated to take over the leadership when her male kin died, and people didn't hesitate to follow her. So I think she was more born a leader-in-waiting than made, despite the quote.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 1:16am

Post #9 of 28 (200 views)
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Interesting question! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Here's a what-if. What if the Haladin lived happily in Thargelion with no Orc attack, and Haleth's father and brother lived. What do you think Haleth would have been like? Unlike Frodo and the other hobbits, who needed circumstances to pull a lot of their inner steel into the outer world, I imagine Haleth as feisty as ever. It doesn't seem like she hesitated to take over the leadership when her male kin died, and people didn't hesitate to follow her. So I think she was more born a leader-in-waiting than made, despite the quote.




Well it does seem in the read that she was part of the defense of the stockade even before her father's death...so as you say, already feisty and I think a sign of the steel within. Even in peace, had her male relatives lived, perhaps she might even have married, but been a bit of a grande dame in her own way.

Single or wed she might have left the family compound to found her own outpost some day, she seems to have that spirit, like Galadriel does, to seek her own space. I wonder if she would have married or not had peace reigned?

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


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 1:29pm

Post #10 of 28 (186 views)
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That's a neat thought [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Single or wed she might have left the family compound to found her own outpost some day, she seems to have that spirit, like Galadriel does, to seek her own space.


I can easily see that happening, and it's fun to think about. She might very well have gone off to Estolad with a group of people even if the rest stayed happily in Thargelion. She's got an independent streak that's mile wide, and I can see her unknowingly imitating Galadriel.

Not sure if she'd marry or not. She doesn't marry after they find peace in Estolad or their last stop, Brethil (now who does that forest remind me of?). I would say she's too feisty to marry, but Aredhel did, not wholly unwillingly. I'm sure it would just take a rare, special guy for her.





noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2013, 9:35pm

Post #11 of 28 (166 views)
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Good Queen Haleth [In reply to] Can't Post

Does this Lund like her:

Quote
She gave to her country the love that she never entirely reposed in any one man, and her people responded with a loyalty that almost amounted to worship. It is not for nothing that she has come down to history as Good Queen [Haleth]

History of the English Speaking Peoples Vol II, Winston S Churchill
(The last word should really be "Bess", obviously: Queen Elizabeth I of England, who I also recently quoted here http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=610752#610752


Out of interest though, why can't the great queen have kids, perhaps with someone to will help with maternity cover ?

And Btw, does anyone else think Tolkien and Churchill sound a bit the same? An ear for English declaratory cadences, perhaps?

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!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 10:38pm

Post #12 of 28 (165 views)
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Time and Tide.... [In reply to] Can't Post

in Reply to:
The Elves reaction to the Death of Bëor. 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, Legolas and Gimli entering Minas Tirith (The Last Debate), Treebeard's farewell to Celeborn and Galadriel .

Just basing this on the above-named JRRT sources, and not Fleiger's or Shippey's (as I don't have these currently).

The death of Beor: "But Beor at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them."
Legolas in FOTR: The Great River: "Nay, time does not tarry ever...but change and growth is not in all things and places alike. For the Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves. The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long stream. Yet beneath the Sun all things must wear to an end at last."
Gimli and Legolas entering Minas Tirith, ROTK: The Last Debate:
"And doubtless the good stone-work is the older and was wrought in the first building," said Gimli. "It is ever so with the things that Men begin: there is a frost in Spring, or a blight in Summer, and they fail of their promise,"
"Yet seldom do they fail of their seed," said Legolas. "And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked-for. The deeds of Men will outlast us Gimli."
"And yet come to naught in the end but might-have-beens, I guess." said the Dwarf.
"To that the Elves know not the answer," said Legolas.
Treebeard says goodbye to Celeborn and Galadriel. ROTK: Many Partings.
""I do not think we will meet again." (Treebeard)
But Galadriel said: "Not in Middle Earth, nor until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan may we meet again in the Spring. Farewell!"

Commonalities in the statements include both sadness at the passing of Men and of the life of the world and the knowledge of endings - as Legolas puts it, 'beneath the Sun': the light of Marred Arda, and to the High Elves the light that will always be second best. The word 'spring' in both upper and lower-case are used in these statements with some differences in meaning.

Interesting though in Galadriel's statement we get a treasure trove of prophecy: Beleriand will rise again, along with the Willow-land of Tasarinan. There will be a second Song and a remade world because she refers here to a second Spring (the first ending with the Lamps). She also sees both the Firstborn and the Ents returning to the newly remade/repaired world. I guess this would be after the defeat of Morgoth: she says nothing of Men and what their place will be.

Legolas does not seem to see this same future. He speaks of grinding endings beneath the Sun, whose coming heralded the awakening of the inheritors of Arda as well as the coming of the Oath to Middle Earth. That unconventional theme by JRRT of the Sun not as a divine feature, but as a harbinger of a new age bringing the Elves closer to their end. His vision is different, I think a shorter-term one, than Galadriel's.

Gimli refers to Spring as well. Since Spring refers to early, new glory, I wonder here if the "frosty' Spring he is thinking of is the rise of Numenor and its frost of death and destruction, having turned away from the Light of Eru and become cold and lifeless. His analogy speaks of not the immortal perspective but certainly one that is long-lived, longer than Men's lives, to have this sense of proportion in their timeline. Interestingly Legolas also uses "spring' as a verb, lower case, in referring to Men: in this case their perennial skill in returning from low points to rise again and flower. So Men's journey, unlike the Elves, is not a straight, declining timeline but a convoluted, cyclical and unpredictable one, a balance of light and dark. As befits the people whose fates are outside the Song that governs the Elves. That is why I think Legolas says he has not the answer - the fates of Men are unseen and even in Legolas' time, thousands of years after the death of Beor, the Gift of Men remains a mystery to the Elves. As we see above Galadriel does not see their fates in the new world either.

I wonder here if the Dwarf concept of the Spring of Men would be the same as the longer lived Elven idea of their Spring of Men. I wonder if or how the Elf reckoning of the timeline of Men is different from the Dwarves? Does anyone else have another sense of what the timelines of Spring and Summer might refer to in Men's history?




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


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 10:48pm

Post #13 of 28 (161 views)
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Nice use of that line! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Does this Lund like her:

Quote
She gave to her country the love that she never entirely reposed in any one man, and her people responded with a loyalty that almost amounted to worship. It is not for nothing that she has come down to history as Good Queen [Haleth]

History of the English Speaking Peoples Vol II, Winston S Churchill
(The last word should really be "Bess", obviously: Queen Elizabeth I of England, who I also recently quoted here
http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=610752#610752


Out of interest though, why can't the great queen have kids, perhaps with someone to will help with maternity cover ?
I think its because leadership can take the place of children in a way, so maybe it is not always desired if that need is filled. Plus certainly in the First Age of Middle earth I think the demands and the dangers would be too much...and of course there would have to be a man involved somewhere. In many maybe cultures that would turn the good queen into a good consort?

And Btw, does anyone else think Tolkien and Churchill sound a bit the same? An ear for English declaratory cadences, perhaps?
I suppose that would make sense Furincurunir!!! Interesting comparison! They certainly share the same time period and some of the same experiences.


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


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 7:04am

Post #14 of 28 (150 views)
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Succession down the male or female line [In reply to] Can't Post

My "Good Queen Bess" example, I later realised, provides a good example of the problems facing the family-friendly queen. Had she married, he husband would have expected to rule England, including use of its military forces in the continental war then raging. So Bess' availability to be married was one of her big diplomatic levers, and offering marriage alliance negotiations was a recurring way of manipulating other powers.

But if power and succession passes through the female line (the Queen-husband does not assume power) that difficulty is removed. Any leader with children has to divide their energies between family and work: but many women and men do that nowadays, in both commercial and military contexts.

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!"


elaen32
Gondor


Jun 15 2013, 7:40am

Post #15 of 28 (151 views)
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Absolutely NoWiz [In reply to] Can't Post

Haleth does seem to have a lot of similarities to Elizabeth I and one does wonder how much the Elizabethan history influenced Tolkien here in terms of character. There are other broader similarities eg compare Haleth's determination and defiance, taking her people through Nan Dungortheb to ultimately finding a safe (relatively) haven in the Forest of Brethil (that Brethil is getting a bit above herself- has her own Tolkien forest now!Wink), not veering from her purpose. Compare this with Elizabeth's stance during the Armada- determined to withstand enemies and find peace for her people despite overwhelming odds.

I always find I want to know more about Haleth and for her character to be fleshed out more. It is great to have such a strong female character who is a mortal, and thus more easy to identify with. Eowyn is obviously another strong mortal female character, but in a different way to Haleth. One cannot imagine Haleth having a death wish because the man she is obsessed with is not interested in her (ok, Eowyn also had other factors causing her depression, but...). Like Brethil, I love the way in which Haleth stands up to Thingol (who for somebody supposedly wise comes over as one of the most obtuse beings in Arda!) and in effect to any Eldar who are thinking that the Edain are Morgoth's tools. " If the King of Doriath fears a friendship between Haleth and those who have devoured her kin, then the thoughts of the Eldar are strange to Men" Maybe this was one of the earliest examples of sarcasm in Arda!! I think that the only thing that can be said for Thingol in this instance is that he does not disregard Haleth purely because she is a woman- after all Thingol's own woman is mightier than he and he has learnt to respect women perhaps more than some of his peers.

Re your point comparing Tolkien and Churchill, I wonder if some of the similarity in style related to the educational methods of that time. Although Churchill was born before TOlkien, they were both educated in the late Victorian/Edwardian period. At this time, the teaching of Latin, Greek and Classical history was a mainstay of British education, so they would have read the works of the great orators such as Cicero and these would have had a big influence on them. Certainly most aspiring politicians were expected to be familiar with and to be able to quote from the great speeches of the Classical era and these would inform their own public speaking style. Tolkien's education would have been similar to Churchill's in this respect and hence some similarity in style

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


elaen32
Gondor


Jun 15 2013, 8:02am

Post #16 of 28 (161 views)
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Sorry to hear about your family issues Sador [In reply to] Can't Post

I do hope that things resolve soon and that you all can settle back to normal life. It's a shame that you haven't been able to finish your chapter discussion in the way you would wish,, since you've obviously put an awful lot of work into it.

Re some of your earlier points- Yes, it does seem strange that Morgoth doesn't sneak out East and attack from that side before now. It seems in keeping with his modus operandi of deceit, certainly. Perhaps, though, the lies and deceit are more in keeping with his character. He can corrupt and claim souls more thoroughly in this way rather than just physical attack. Morgoth is about destruction and marring, for sure, but seems to take greatest pleasure in the corruption of that which is great and good (cf Feanor) to start with.

Re the Haladin- A wandering community does not want too tight a government. When a population settles in one place and a number of people are all in one place, rules are needed to keep the peace, to determine boundaries etc Eventually this becomes more of a bureaucracy which seems to become a means and end in itself. The last things that a wandering community needs are bureacratic dictats which may limit their ability to protecct themselves, feed themselves etc. Hence a looser form of government is more practical in this instance. As somebody upthread stated, it is also easier to escape (although maybe not to defend) from attack in smaller groups rather than en masse

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


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 15 2013, 1:30pm

Post #17 of 28 (139 views)
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All depends on the cultural law [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
My "Good Queen Bess" example, I later realised, provides a good example of the problems facing the family-friendly queen. Had she married, he husband would have expected to rule England, including use of its military forces in the continental war then raging. So Bess' availability to be married was one of her big diplomatic levers, and offering marriage alliance negotiations was a recurring way of manipulating other powers.

But if power and succession passes through the female line (the Queen-husband does not assume power) that difficulty is removed. Any leader with children has to divide their energies between family and work: but many women and men do that nowadays, in both commercial and military contexts.




In a Salic Law type of culture of course there would really be no Good Queen Bess (or Haleth) at all...then there are all shades of primogeniture in inheriting power. (Did England swap over to absolute primogeniture a while ago? Thought I read that somewhere.)

Elizabeth is a fascinating character study. Her early exposure to male and female dynamics I think left her (quite rightly based on observations) with a sense of danger and isolation. And as you say Furincurunir she played the marriage card politically and adeptly during her younger years.

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


squire
Valinor


Jun 15 2013, 1:46pm

Post #18 of 28 (141 views)
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"We shall fight Morgoth on the strands, in the passes, amidst the peaks, and before the plains of Valinor." [In reply to] Can't Post

Churchill maintained, I believe, that because he was a terrible student of Latin he focused on teaching himself to how to orate in approved classical style using the English language, with its large supply of shorter and punchier, non-Latinate, Anglo-saxon words and syntactical structures. It is not hard to find examples of just how cumbersome and bloated the rhetoric of most public men of that time seems to us now, compared to Churchill, even if Churchill's prose now also seems rather formal and elongated with the passing of time and the modernization of style.

We've speculated here that Tolkien too was 'suspicious' of over-using in his writings the longer and more formal words from our Latinate vocabulary. Instead, due to his rarefied taste in the sounds of languages, he is supposed to have favored shorter, more descriptive, and at times more obscure words descending from Old English - a subject he made himself a master of only after completing the standard Classical education you describe.

Tolkien and Churchill can be difficult to modern readers, but a lot less difficult than a lot of other writers of their generation. I guess their two approaches to English rhetoric are linked enough that we readers may see connections between Tolkien and Churchill, for all the disparate subjects of their literature -- not to mention the fact that Tolkien seems to have despised Churchill's leadership style during the second war.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 15 2013, 1:54pm

Post #19 of 28 (159 views)
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The Tudors - a somewhat dysfunctional family [In reply to] Can't Post

Very much agree: Elizabeth's father had her mother executed, then executed another later wife and divorced a further one. For the young Elizabeth there must have been frequent dangers of being used in someone's plot and ending up on the block for treason (Tudor intrigues are one of the things I think of if someone says Game of Thrones is too violent and intrigue-laden to be believable). Politics and her social status apart, she might have found relationships a bit difficult.

Yes, the British crown goes to the eldest royal child since 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...by-Commonwealth.html

So I guess it depends upon the customs of Haleth's people as you say. I guess also that, in a tight corner there are opportunities for unexpected leaders to come forward (e.g. How Bilbo ends up as the virtual leader as his party struggle through Mirkwood).

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 16 2013, 10:04am

Post #20 of 28 (133 views)
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"It seems like Men's mortality should make the Elves emotionally withdraw from them." [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps this is actually what we see happening come the Third Age - where, for whatever reason the elves seem largely to want to keep to themselves and their projects.

Quote
The elves have their own labours and their own sorrows, and they are little concerned with the ways of hobbits, or of any other creatures upon earth.

Gildor to Frodo


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!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 19 2013, 12:16am

Post #21 of 28 (110 views)
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Haha, just saw this Elaen...! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There are other broader similarities eg compare Haleth's determination and defiance, taking her people through Nan Dungortheb to ultimately finding a safe (relatively) haven in the Forest of Brethil (that Brethil is getting a bit above herself- has her own Tolkien forest now!Wink),




Yes, its all mine. Its very nice too. Cool

I see none of us addressed "Brethil being claimed as part of his realm by King Thingol..." Poor deluded Elf. He was most displeased to be turned down and even more irate when I said who it was that I did find attractive.

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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jun 20 2013, 2:40am

Post #22 of 28 (105 views)
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ah, sador [In reply to] Can't Post

 
it saddens me to read the first line of your post that you think you have failed (which would be saddening wherever it was in your post, i must admit).

i see no failure here, just conscientious, diligent presentation, and good, ensuing discussion.

i sincerely hope for the best with you and your family. perhaps whatever is taxing your resources in real life is skewing your perspective about your wonderful contributions here. it would be understandable.

but there are many here who will (and have) happily reminded you that your thoughts and contributions are highly valued. and while we understand that your love and duty to your family and real life always must come first, we are always (always) appreciative of the time you generously choose to share with us here in the reading room.

you, sador, are thoroughly a part of the fellowship of the room. we are always here to be a distraction for you when you need it, and always welcoming of your always thoughtful posts.

thank you for gathering the kindling; you and others have made a crackling good fire, which illuminates our understanding of the works of one of our favorite authors.


many cheers (and sincere care) --

.


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 telpemairo


sador
Half-elven


Jun 30 2013, 5:12pm

Post #23 of 28 (82 views)
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Summary, and my own responses [In reply to] Can't Post

Many of you have protested, claiming that this discussion wasn't a failure at all; only elaen32 understood my meaning. Perhaps qualitatively it wasn't; but as I couldn't fulfill the goals I've set to myself, I do consider it as such.
I might not be able to finish this in one go; we'll see how far I get.


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.
As elaen32 wrote, this seems indeed to be Morgoth's modus operandi; he seems to take greater delight in corrupting than in destruction. Is thios the same as Satan? I am reminded of CS Lewis' "discussion" of the opportunities that WWII provided, in The Screwtape Letters.
An odd point is that Sauron managed to deal better with Numenor (and as a matter of fact, with the High-elves as well) by pursuing a policy of dissembling and deceit. Is there a moral point in the statement that the Good is always physically sronger than Evil? What is it? Doesn't The Lord of the Rings contradict it?


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

Brethil, CuriousG and elaen32 all suggested that I loose form of government is better for people on the move, but I'm still unconvinced; after all, the folk of both Beor and Malach seem far-better organised, and they do have a clear leadership. elaen32 actually described a process, according to which after settling down a bureaucracy naturally developes - although the Shire seems to contradict this theory.
I personally think that once Tolkien had decided to make Haleth not the leader of the migration but his daughter, he wanted to keep the name "the Folk of Haleth" and had to state that before her time, the whole government of these people was loose - a narrative need, rather than an anthropolgical one. Even later, neither Dorlas nor Turin dares to formally supplant Brandir, and in The Wanderings of Hurin, Manthor does (at least initially) accept Haradang's authority despite his own claim to the lordship.
The problem with this theory is that it makes the name "the House of Hador" even less understandable - is he The father of his people just because he completely submitted to Fingolfin, and recieved the fief of Dor-lomin? But that's just another question regarding Hador's role.


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

Nobody took this up!
However, I don;t think either of these two comparisons is really apt; a far better one is to the death of Helm himself, as described in appendix A to LotR.


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.

Yes, it was rather late. CuriousG argued that this actually cast a poor light on Caranthir as a ruler, but I am not quite clear regarding the geography. Did the Haladin live under his very nose? Considering what we no of them, surely not. And I suppose whoever it was who instructed the Orcs to attack them, would have taken great care to properly spy upon neighbouring armies and give them the slip; also, the Haladin seem pretty unlikely to call upon Caranthir for help.

I haven't read Beowulf, but according to Shippey the nearest to eucatastrophy moment in that book is when the Geats are relieved at dawn by their relatives, and rescued from a surrounding army. If so, this is a clear parallel (in the Siege of Minas Tirith the delivery is far more mystical and divine, with the crowing cock and the sudden light; also, some fans seem to presist in thinking that Gandalf would have anyway beat the Witch-king silly and saved the day, so the whole build-up of the chapter is hollow Crazy).


The journey through the Mountains – another one! Does this take away from Beren's later exploit?
Personally, I think so. As does Aredhel's journey near Nan Dungortheb. Once a horror is too often repeated, it becomes a commonplace. Not a great idea of Tolkien's' IMHO; it is enough to have Beren do it, and much later Sam (it began with Bilbo, of course - but Bilbo's exploit doesn't take away from Beren's that much).


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

It appears that Haleth is the favourite of many of our posters - the paean which were written about her here! Brethil stated she also left Caranthir in the dust (???), and elaen32 that this is one of the earliest examples of sarcasm in Arda - of course, after Morgoth's, and the sons of Feanor's regarding Thingol.
Haleth was compared by some (notably noWizardme and elaen32) to Queen Elizabeth I, who never married, stating that she was "married to England". But Victoria did marry, as did Elizabeth II (and earlier, Mathilda) - I'm not sure one could truthfully say that a Queen need never marry. Brethil considered it as a sacrifice for her own people. like Arwen did (??? I guess she mixed up the books and films - it the LotR appendices the sentence she quoted was said by Gilraen).

If I really wanted to be provocative - well, let's do it! So: what do you TORnsibs think - did her priceless sass (or uncouth rudeness, if you wish) actually create too high a barrier between her and any would-be suitors?


Surprisingly, we know of the Haladin more than of the other Houses of Edain – here, in the tale of Túrin, and in The Wanderings of Húrin.

CuriousG suggested that Tolkien liked those down-to-earth types. That's an interesting idea. I'm not sure Tolkien himself did, but based on the success of his hobbit-centered books - I daresay his readership did!
I would guess that he needed the folk of Haleth as the most backward people forthe setting of Turin's tale, and then he wrote The Wanderings of Hurin in which they prominently figured, but he became so much immersed in them that he had to create this magnificent backstory! (According to Christopher Tolkien, this chapter was likely written much after the other ones in this stage of writing the Sil. If I may say so, the arguments he gives to this placement are not entirely convincing - but he never calimed to present all, or even most of his reasons for dating different texts)


The Ladybarrow and the Mound of Finduilas.

CuriousG wrote that Haleth doesn't fit with the diaphanous Finduilas, and that tt is odd that they were fated to be buried in the same mound.
But they weren't! I was wondering whether the Ladybarrow was an idea of Tolkien, to replace the Haudh-en-Elleth as the place of the final act of Turin and Nienor's tragedy. But he never made any move towrds it - so we are left with two different barrows at approximately the same vicinity.

As an aside - I actually like Finduilas a lot; but that's for a later chapter.


Haleth as influencing warrior-princesses – later writings regarding Aredhel and Galadriel. Her character as influenced by Brynhildr, Gudrun, Éowyn; compare to Ibsen's Gunhild Borkman.

I didn't expect any Insen-comparisons, much as I would like them!
But I think it is clear that Haleth (who was a very late addition to the story) was influenced by the character of Eowyn; she also has some similar traits with Morwen - the same pride, courage and stubborness (if a little less nobility and courtesy). Perhaps the idea of the Ladybarrow was to reinforce that connection? After all, Morwen was buried next to Turin.
If I remember correctly, the character of Aredhel achieved its final development after Tolkien wrote about Haleth, so the idea of the warrior-princess might have been influenced by it.

I haven't read yet Sigurd and Gudrun, so I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on characters from that saga as sources. I have read The Nibelungenlied, and like neither Brunhild nor Kriemhild. But I expect that Tolkien did find them more palatable than me - who knows, he might even have liked Hagen!


I would love to get to Voronwë's critique of the published Silmarillion for the omission of female characters – but that couldn't be done in a short space.
So I won't. This requires a long discussion, or none. Voronwe did receive some heat for this conclusion. Will you folk ever discuss Arda Reconstructed chapter by chapter, like bruinen does The History of the Hobbit?



Originally, Haleth was a male character – the leader of the second House of the Edain, and the peer of Bëor and Hador. Is this the only name Tolkien used for both male and female characters?
Odd, isn't it?

By the way, this was intended as a riddle - what male character was named Haleth? No, the original one doesn't count...
Well, I expected nobody will answer this, so the answer is Helm the Hammerhand's son. (By the way, Jackson et.al. gave them a nod by the boy Haleth son of Hama).



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?

I don't know. At first Hador was the leader of his people's migration, the peer of Haleth (still a male!) and Bregolas and Barahir the sons of Beor the Old. Beor was to have died a short time before the Dagor Bragollach, and Hador (already pretty old) would have fallen defending Fingolfin and Fingon, pretty much like Barahir died for Finrod.

Later Tolkien decided that Men should live at peace in Beleriand for a century or so, but Hador was still to be the hero of the Bragollach - so he was moved to the fifth generation.

Once Tolkien wrote the Athrabeth, he wanted to move Hador to the third generation, as he wanted Adanel to be his sister. It would clearly be good to have the wise-women of the Third House of the Edain as the sister of the most illustrous hero of them! But on the other hand, this removal would have made him lose all his distinction... he would assume the role of Magor, as the sire of Hurin and Turin and no more. Gone would be the Helm of Hador (or at least, the story about it would be quite pointless), and the naming of the Numenoreans after him (by Faramir) would have made no sense anymore.
Tolkien sometimes, based on peripherial ideas he had, decided that the whole edifice he has built was wrong - as with the Falt World, the Light before the Sun, and the origin of the Orcs. This is a minor occasion of the same tendency - but I don't think it would have improved the story at all.


What do these changes reflect, and effect? Should Christopher Tolkien have included a chronology in the published Silmarillion?
Okay, no answers to this one - another too long topic! But Tolkien wrote three seprate works: The Quenta Silmarillion, The Annals of Aman and The Grey Annals - and while I think combining them into one coherent narrative was a good idea, I still regret that a Tale of Years was not included.


The Elves reaction to the Death of Bëor. 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).

Another long topic! I'll excuse myself, and thank Brethil and CuriousG for their thoughtful responses.
As a side-point - noWizardme mentioned Gildor's words to Frodo in this context; in a previous summary, I have stated that Gildor's own action belie his words - and that he himself had far more empathy with mortals than was common among Elves.


The following three paragraphs contained my own reflections; it is needless to copy them here again.


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

So what do you think? Was Hurin right, and should Men have come West and joined the Elves? In my first point, I've suggested that Denethor at least, preferred Sador's approach.

Rationally, I don't see what Men have gained from this trek towards the Light; and Sador's misgivings were all, one by one, proven right (as were Bereg's in this chapter). But I think Tolkien would have stated that fleeing Morgoth and going West was the Right thinkg to do, and doing Right is ultimately rewarded, even if not in our own mortal span of life.

'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!


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 30 2013, 6:11pm

Post #24 of 28 (78 views)
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Responses to responses [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
An odd point is that Sauron managed to deal better with Numenor (and as a matter of fact, with the High-elves as well) by pursuing a policy of dissembling and deceit. Is there a moral point in the statement that the Good is always physically sronger than Evil? What is it? Doesn't The Lord of the Rings contradict it?

I think that in just about all stories, the Good guys are physically weaker than the Bad guys, so the good guys have to be smarter, develop inner strength, and learn to fight better physically too. Most important is to find the enemy's Achilles' heel (like a Ring, or a Nazgul-susceptibility to a blade from Arnor). Morgoth and the Eldar are at a stalemate, but he's been able to invade their lands several times, even if he fails each time. They never even attempt an attack on Angband. So I think Evil is at least equally strong here and elsewhere, and usually more so.

The use of deceit only works one way, which doesn't true up with the real world. The Allies used as many spies and as much propaganda as Hitler did, yet Tolkien's Allies never do. Why don't the Eldar send spies to stir up the thralls of Angband? Why doesn't Gondor have spies in Harad and the East to disrupt Sauron's alliances? Glaurung and Sauron are ambitious: why don't the Allies try to pit them against their master to take his place? Tolkien shows absolutely no taste for intrigue by good guys. The most I can think of is Gandalf in The Hobbit, but not other works.


Quote
If I really wanted to be provocative - well, let's do it! So: what do you TORnsibs think - did her priceless sass (or uncouth rudeness, if you wish) actually create too high a barrier between her and any would-be suitors?

Haleth is admirable to me, but not attractive in terms of romantic personality. She seems like my grandmother, who was equally admirable, smart, proud, and outspoken, and had a rather miserable marriage to my grandfather because she'd never compromise or admit she was wrong. I don't think Haleth had to give up a husband to be a queen, but she'd have to give up some insistence on always being right.


Quote
So I won't. This requires a long discussion, or none. Voronwe did receive some heat for this conclusion. Will you folk ever discuss Arda Reconstructed chapter by chapter, like bruinen does The History of the Hobbit?

Remember, Sador, you are one of us folks! Wink I can't say that I personally would join a chapter-by-chapter discussion of Arda Recon. I like reading it as a companion to The Silmarillion, but on its own, I don't think I'd find that much to say, unless we spoke in generalities across chapters.


Quote
Rationally, I don't see what Men have gained from this trek towards the Light; and Sador's misgivings were all, one by one, proven right (as were Bereg's in this chapter). But I think Tolkien would have stated that fleeing Morgoth and going West was the Right thinkg to do, and doing Right is ultimately rewarded, even if not in our own mortal span of life.

That's my inescapable conclusion about Tolkien's thinking. Men did what they needed to do because it was the Right thing to do over time. They died in the thousands in Beleriand, then were rewarded with Numenor as a gift where they reached new heights they would never have seen if they'd stayed in MEarth. Even with that coming to a bad end, the Dunedain remained a superior race back on the mainland. It was right for history.

I think the same about the Eldar. It's tempting in some ways to side with Ulmo, who said they shouldn't be summoned to Valinor and should stay in MEarth and make it better, but I don't think the Moriquendi accomplished that much, nothing compared to the Calaquendi. So while the Noldor came to a bad end like the Numenoreans, it was still better for Elves that they went. And the Teleri and Vanyar did just fine in Valinor, and there were those wonderful ships they built that no one ever equaled.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 3 2013, 3:33am

Post #25 of 28 (63 views)
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Ah, not quite what I meant [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Brethil considered it as a sacrifice for her own people. like Arwen did (??? I guess she mixed up the books and films - it the LotR appendices the sentence she quoted was said by Gilraen). Actually I meant the use of that line to apply to a comparison between the thoughts of the line of Aragorn, and the sacrifice made by Gilraen relating to keeping no hope for oneself. I saw a parallel between Gilraen's use of the phrase, and Haleth's leadership to enrich her people without having a family of her own. So I acknowledge it is a stretch, a *distant* interpretative one. Thematically it had a similar feel to me.

Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work.






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