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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Of the Coming of Men into the West, I: "A chance meeting, as we say in Middle-earth".
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telain
Rohan

Jun 12 2013, 5:57pm

Post #51 of 98 (161 views)
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shameless post to get Brethil and Maciliel involved! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

And I like where you are going with the SoF -- they need some redeeming qualities, right? A bit riding, a bit of hunting, a bit of Kinslaying to get a shiny jewel (OK, that last bit is a bit of a stretch...)

But your "what-if" is justified. Would Aredhel be so forgiving of her SoF cousins if she knew just how far that Oath would take them? I would be curious to see the Finrod-Amrod showdown (if only for the alliteration of their names); perhaps a Maglor-Finrod sing off for the Silmaril is more apt in light of this chapter. Beleriand Idol!

On Finrod's stalker angle: I wouldn't like to think of him that way, (but it is difficult not to let the mind wander there...) but strange things do seem to happen to people when they are alone (and yet not alone) in the Beleriand woods.

To step outside the narrative for a moment: the language is sometimes what gets us (me) in trouble. Not that I don't know what Tolkien meant, I realize well enough the difference in language in different contexts (time and space), but the possibility of innuendo is just so strong and the temptation too great to let some things pass. The interesting part about it is it lets us discuss possibilities that might not otherwise have been dreamed of, and I am a believer that sometimes the absurd opens the door wider to more and better understanding.

All that to say: in considering the possibility that Finrod was a stalker and a thief, do we get a better understanding of who he really was? I think so...


telain
Rohan

Jun 12 2013, 6:10pm

Post #52 of 98 (151 views)
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and I love obscure Tolkien-lore! [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose that post subject line was a bit on-the-nose...

I am not a linguist, but I think I might have been one had my studies taken me in slightly different directions. I do love language(s) and the subtle wordplay often discovered in Tolkien's works always makes me smile. But i could see how it could be a bit... quaint... from another perspective. And I like the reference to the Greek homonyms, FFH! Thank you.

I think he wanted to retcon the word "Gnome" like the word "Elf," but as FFH states, it was too far gone in modern usage to be saved and restored. The way he did it (to make it a old Edain word) I think works rather well.

As for the song, I think songs often have a way of imparting knowledge or understanding that goes beyond the spoken word. The melody, the subtle meanings afforded from the poetics of lyrics often speak to me in ways I could never actually explain, if I was asked to. That, to me, is what was going on with Finrod's song. If the Edain/Atani were ...erm..."uncouth"... as potentially depicted here, then perhaps music -- and referencing Eru's Song of Creation -- would be the best way to make a connection.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 12 2013, 6:13pm

Post #53 of 98 (161 views)
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Fun to tease him [In reply to] Can't Post

Using the language we're given, as you say. Joking aside, I personally find the story innocent in a childlike (but appealing) way in describing the behavior of Finrod and the Edain. That innocent sense of wonder and awe and (platonic) love at first sight. What's Finrod's first reaction? He makes me think of little kids and brand-new toys. You don't just play with them, you can sing to them and teach them. I used to put my toys to bed when I was a kid before I went to bed. I can almost picture Finrod doing that: tucking in the Men before he takes a nap himself. It's an oasis of innocence in a dangerous world, and a geographically isolated oasis too (well, until the Haladin are attacked, but is that a harbinger of the coming Ruin, where all oases of peace and innocence are defiled and dry up?).


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 12 2013, 6:46pm

Post #54 of 98 (154 views)
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Shameless indeed...! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What is that cloud of dust of eager fans headed toward Ossiriand for?
Otherwise, yes, in modern times Finrod would be a stalker at best, a home-invader at worst (home being loosely defined here), and he even grabbed their lyre to sing with, making him a thief. (Bilbo, as an Elf-friend and Elf-admirer, doubtless had Finrod as his burglar role model.)
To pick up on your point about riding with the cousins: the SOF are so often bad, it helps balance them to see them doing something recreational and not bad with their relatives from the other houses. Yet I wonder how deep that goes. What if Beren & Luthien recovered a Silmaril and gave it to either Aredhel or Finrod (the what-if includes those two staying alive). If Aredhel or Finrod refused to hand it over to the SOF, would the latter have killed them, using their Oath as pretext? I rather think they would, which undermines the bucolic "ridin' with the cousins" scenes we get. Though now I feel like I am definitely NOT the life at the Beleriand party.
**Did I mention RA was scantily clad?**




You know that bit will catch my eye CG....! Well all the bits really. May have to reverse my previous opinion and lobby for replacing scantily-clad in the text.

Back on topic...I think the 'normal' behaviors we see of the F-troop right now are a holdover from Ch 13, where JRRT writes that because of the impossibility of regaining any of the Silmarils "the Oath sleeps..." It seems to speak of a layer of normalcy, that with time may grow more and more comfortable and stable (like ice on a pond) but with the right conditions with crack and shatter. All it takes is for the whisper of a chance for the grabbing of a Silmaril for all that bucolic joy to transform into kinslaying.

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on Jun 12 2013, 6:47pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 2:40pm

Post #55 of 98 (151 views)
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Gondolin [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh yes, recreating Tirion in Middle-earth is awesome. I love all the little glimpses we get of it, especially all the ones in HoME. There's a line in Beren and Luthien that says something to the effect that after they were rescued by the eagles and flying over Gondolin, one of Luthien's tears fell down to the plain below and there was a fountain there ever since. It's too bad Christopher didn't include this.

Have you read the original Fall of Gondolin in BoLT? Definitely worth a read if you haven't!

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 2:46pm

Post #56 of 98 (143 views)
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No, as in "we choose not to talk about it". [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the skeleton in their closet that they just will not let anyone know about. What I find fascinating is that we are finally able to pry the information out of them but only in the obscure texts of Morgoth's Ring. It's like it's still hidden from us.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 2:59pm

Post #57 of 98 (138 views)
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Gildor and Galion [In reply to] Can't Post

Gildor seems to be the Galion of LOTR. Both are tertiary characters who only appear once, but they're a glimpse into the more "average Joe" peoples of Middle-earth. To elevate either of them to royalty would be too much, IMO.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 13 2013, 7:26pm

Post #58 of 98 (132 views)
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Fall of Gondolin [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried reading it in BOLT, but found the style odd. Not impossible, just odd. Isn't there another version of it in HOME that's more polished and more Silmarillion-like? I ordered the HOME volumes piece-meal on Amazon, and they haven't all come in yet. I was hoping to read it there when I get the right volume. Otherwise, BOLT it is.

(Truth is, as much as I want to read more about Gondolin, I don't much care for the story of Tuor going to Gondolin in UT. I really like his journey there, but my eyes glaze over at the description of each gate he comes to. Painfully dull, and I wouldn't think it would be possible for me to say that of anything Tolkien wrote.)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 13 2013, 7:42pm

Post #59 of 98 (128 views)
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What a lovely and touching detail Ardamire!! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There's a line in Beren and Luthien that says something to the effect that after they were rescued by the eagles and flying over Gondolin, one of Luthien's tears fell down to the plain below and there was a fountain there ever since. It's too bad Christopher didn't include this.


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


telain
Rohan

Jun 13 2013, 10:40pm

Post #60 of 98 (122 views)
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one more point on the song of wisdom... [In reply to] Can't Post

It does not feel like a spell to me, if for no other reason it actually wakes up the Edain (hello! there's a metaphor!). I find that spells in most fantasy and fairy tales usually try to lull someone into sleep or dream... Finrod is trying to get them to see and understand their world (reality,) whereas most spells are trying to obscure reality in some way.

This of course is entirely predicated on the slightly negative connotation that the word "spell" often has (and we see in Tolkien, as spell and magic often have negative connotations).


telain
Rohan

Jun 13 2013, 11:07pm

Post #61 of 98 (120 views)
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The Greenelves do a massive Facebook cull... [In reply to] Can't Post

This line always struck me as odd for several reasons:


Quote
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.


First of all, as nWm and CG have stated, it seems a strange lifestyle to be advocating against, given where they live. Having lived in a forest when I was younger, I can say finding food if you do not hunt game is ... difficult. I would say next to impossible for a large group of people. Absolutely there are plants and fungi that can be eaten, but not enough to sustain the population I envision here and certainly not throughout all seasons. Then there is the question of clothing -- what are they wearing if they are not using leather for shoes and other outerwear? And you cannot make a decent bow out of deadwood, so the "hewer of trees" thing becomes just a bit absurd.

Is it possible that the Laiquendi might mean that the Edain hunt for sport or hew more trees than needed? Certainly I could understand being upset at that, but then I wonder how possible it would be that the Edain would actually do that...

To go a step further, would there be much difference to Elves who revere Yavanna in eating plants v. animals? Just a thought... She did love both and I do not have the impression she privileged one over the other.

The Laiquendi come across as rather surly. Sure, they probably have a right to be, even more people are invading their territory and these don't even have the wherewithal to put out their fires at night! Don't they know about the curfew!

The Laiquendi also come across as rather uncouth. "Unfriend?" It just sounds a bit juvenile. Somehow these descriptions of the Laiquendi seem to diminish them in light of the nobility they showed in Denethor's time. I understand they chose to remain hidden -- and perhaps this meaning was intended -- but it seems hiding out very much diminishes one's standing. Those who stayed behind (both Elves and Edain) are portrayed as "lesser".

Perhaps, as mentioned upthread, it is necessary to journey and explore, but it is also necessary to act within the world for greater good. Simply hiding out and growling at those insufferable new neighbours doesn't get you anywhere.


telain
Rohan

Jun 13 2013, 11:14pm

Post #62 of 98 (125 views)
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the teasing just proves that we love him! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your description of "childlike wonder". Yes, he has been through quite a lot, but I still get the sense he has a bit of innocence about him (maybe that has to do with him having less of the Doomy Shadow of Noldor Doom about him.)

I also used to put my toys to bed at night. Sigh.

This whole Silmarillion thing is all about waking up to the real "adult" world, isn't it?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2013, 7:56am

Post #63 of 98 (107 views)
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"This whole Silmarillion thing is all about waking up to the real "adult" world, isn't it? "- now that would be a fascinating discussion! Might you do a paper for the symposium, telain?// [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!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2013, 7:58am

Post #64 of 98 (134 views)
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The green elves' Facebook cull [In reply to] Can't Post

… worried that Thingol was snooping on their personal data?
(The Prism of Melian?… )

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, 12:26pm

Post #65 of 98 (109 views)
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Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

"This whole Silmarillion thing is all about waking up to the real "adult" world, isn't it? "- now that would be a fascinating discussion! Might you do a paper for the symposium, telain?//

Furincurunuir makes an interesting suggestion!! // (as always!) Wink

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


telain
Rohan

Jun 14 2013, 2:30pm

Post #66 of 98 (106 views)
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(throws caution to wind) Oh, why not?! [In reply to] Can't Post

With support from such excellent RR Fellows, how can I refuse?


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 2:32pm

Post #67 of 98 (98 views)
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I'm sure you'll make it great, Telain [In reply to] Can't Post

The RR has gone from "pounce, and you prove it" to "pounce, and you write it." Smile


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 2:34pm

Post #68 of 98 (92 views)
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Love it! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The RR has gone from "pounce, and you prove it" to "pounce, and you write it." Smile


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


telain
Rohan

Jun 14 2013, 2:40pm

Post #69 of 98 (96 views)
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The Prism of Melian is always watchful [In reply to] Can't Post

Couldn't you see Thingol going for that? He always wants to know what is going on with everyone else, yet he doesn't let just anyone in. Not that he would listen to them anyway...

And I think if the Laiquendi were "Unfriending" everyone because of hunting of beasts, then shouldn't they Unfriend the Noldor and Sindar? They hunt!


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 2:52pm

Post #70 of 98 (97 views)
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The relative metabolic needs of Elves and Men [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Couldn't you see Thingol going for that? He always wants to know what is going on with everyone else, yet he doesn't let just anyone in. Not that he would listen to them anyway...

And I think if the Laiquendi were "Unfriending" everyone because of hunting of beasts, then shouldn't they Unfriend the Noldor and Sindar? They hunt!




I really like this point you make about the hunting and resource utilization idea upthread Telain:

"Is it possible that the Laiquendi might mean that the Edain hunt for sport or hew more trees than needed? Certainly I could understand being upset at that, but then I wonder how possible it would be that the Edain would actually do that... "

I've always wondered if because of their different lifestyles the Firstborn and Men had different dietary requirements, although JRRT makes it clear that they are biologically one species. Elves for example seem to be able to survive simply on 'less' in general (and as we see with Legolas, their body mass is different, evidenced by the walking on top of the snow.) Could the rather rustic and self-isolated Laiquendi perceive this difference as "overhunting" and overuse of resources, not perceiving that it is an essential metabolic difference and not a choice or expression of sport on part the newcomers?

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


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 3:11pm

Post #71 of 98 (89 views)
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Yes, that's a big one [In reply to] Can't Post

"Friend Finrod, we hate these men because they are hunters. Oh, BTW, what are those arrows in your quiver for, and why is there a dead deer strapped to your back? And are those charcoal briquets we smell on you? About that friend thing..."


telain
Rohan

Jun 14 2013, 7:03pm

Post #72 of 98 (88 views)
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Oh, good one... [In reply to] Can't Post

the "walking on snow" bit! Actually, that is something that I have gone back and forth on. Allow me to elaborate...

For a while I wondered if it was a "biological" difference -- as you put it, a difference in body mass. And that seems very likely and a completely reasonable explanation.

But if they are that light, how could they possibly be any good at fighting (especially with sword?) You need a bit of heft behind a blade to do any real damage. Of course, speed and sharpness of blade are nothing to sniff at, AND I don't want to get to technical about what mass v. speed v. curvature of blade vis-a-vis sharpness and arm length, blah blah blah... But it was something that crossed my mind.

So I wondered -- what if walking on snow is a skill more than a biological difference? Sort of like the Elves' ability to walk across a single rope stretched across a river (e.g., in Lorien, when Haldir brings the Hobbits across the Celebrant, they have to put in another rope for them to hang on to, but Pippin is "better" at it than the others and he hardly needs to hold on....) When one lives for thousands of years, you might just take a year or two practicing how to walk on snow...

I go back and forth on this topic, as well as some of the other differences between Elves and Edain. (Don't get me started on what they eat... Not entirely happy with PJ's Hobbit Rivendell scenes for that one...)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 7:22pm

Post #73 of 98 (97 views)
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Skill vs weight + some enchantment thrown in [In reply to] Can't Post

If it was just about weight, wouldn't hobbits weigh as little as an Elf, if not less? But they had no hope of skipping lightly across the snow.

I take that scene to be largely about skill instead of weight, as you say. Elves are lithe where Men are bludgeonly.

Then there's a smidgeon of enchantment thrown in, where an Elf can skip lightly over snow because of their greater affinity with nature. Not that it holds up elsewhere in the books, and this scene seems awkward to me because Frodo notices as if for the first time that Legolas wears little shoes like fairy slippers. You've traveled months with the guy and never noticed his footwear before? I'm a guy, and sooner or later, even we catch on to footwear, especially when everyone else 1) wears boots or 2) has shoeless, hairy feet. The scene makes Legolas out to be a sort of lightweight pixie that I don't find consistent with him elsewhere.

So I'll beat my drum again that centuries in the future, the Wise will notice inconsistencies in writing and conclude that there was no JRR Tolkien. He was a compendium of anonymous authors who added to the manuscript over decades if not centuries, which accounts for the variances in style and contradictions in facts. Then a rich but obscure family by the name of Tolkien bought all the manuscript rights and published the book under their name to become famous.It happens all the time in history.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 14 2013, 8:26pm

Post #74 of 98 (79 views)
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Its one of those 'assumed' things! [In reply to] Can't Post

Like that thread we had a few weeks ago - you don't get a full explanation but have a feeling about it and formulate and idea. I didn't form an idea until after I read Sil - at that point I concluded (haha, funny, no "conclusion' might be too strong a word!) that it was an expression of the destinies of the Firstborn and the Mortals. As a bound part of Arda, the Elves are just an extension of the land in a way, and thus I don't see them as having a 'seperation' from the ground in terms of gravity and therefore the same attraction between bodies of mass. (So their muscular mass would be the same, but their weight would be different.) OK, take this all with a huge shaker of salt...!!!!!

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


CuriousG
Valinor


Jun 14 2013, 8:38pm

Post #75 of 98 (76 views)
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You mean the salt they spread on icy roads? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aha! That's how Legolas cleared a trail for himself so easily--salty slippers.

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