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Sil discussion of Turin Turambar: Dragons and Vala
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Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 17 2013, 6:09pm

Post #1 of 34 (396 views)
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Sil discussion of Turin Turambar: Dragons and Vala Can't Post

Let us discuss some extrnal influences on Turin: The Dragon Glaurung, that fiery calamity; and of the Vala, the one we see the most of being Morgoth; but Ulmo's presence is around and about, and implied throughout the tale.


THE DRAGON

Glaurung arrives in Nargothrond with a job to do - and he does it well. He both waylays Turin, and sets Nienor in his path. Then, he does as he wishes, and routs his fellow dark minions for a nice long nap.


** Back in his youth Glaurung disobeyed Morgoth and went forth before his time, against orders. Now in his prime we see him following the commands as long as they suit him, but quickly indulging himself and withdrawing from the action to claim Nargothrond. And there is no loyalty among pillagers it seems - Glaurung does as much or more damage to nearby Orcs as any enemy. So is this an alliance of any sort between Morgoth and Glaurung, or merely a convenient and temporary merging of goals? And does this evidence potentially support or contradict the idea of Glaurung as a housed Maiar spirit, incarnate in his wicked, Wyrmy form?

**We see the genius in Glaurung's 'curse': in further seeding the anonymity of Nienor, never seen by Turin, by painfully describing her as a thrall in Dor-Lomin. The strength of a Dragons 'prophesy': if there was any sense of conscious recognition (perhaps a superficial resemblance to Morwen) when Turin finds the anonymous girl, can we say Glaurung's strategy makes it virtually impossible that Turin will even consider who the girl really is? Or that, based on his mother and sister being tortured, the impossibility that he would go after Finduilas, despite the words of Gwindor?

**The Mirror of the Dragon's eye...as Glaurung lays out Turin's life in appalling descriptions, can we see the evolution of the names that Turin has taken - is he so susceptible to the Mirror of Glaurung's eye because he has been fleeing these same entities all along? Mirrors have a special place in Middle Earth, and have inherent power; can we see the Mirror of the Dragon as the philosphic opposite of Galadriel's Mirror?

** The black, acid blood of Glaurung is one of the last tastes of blood that Gurthang has. He strikes down one more in Turin's hands - Brandir - and then breaks beneath Turin as he dies. We see broken sword blades often in the legendarium, and one may theorize that if the sword represents strength and prowess, than its breaking must represent death and defeat. Do we think that the blood of the Dragon could have affected this mighty sword, causing it to break? Or, in keeping with traditions we see with other characters, it is the death of Turin himself which breaks the blade?



THE VALA IN THE TALE

**Morgoth takes both Turin's sisters, in seperate and very distant ways. He uses contagion and then Glaurung to do his bidding, and both losses are cruel. Can we see these as a particular, continung device of Morgoth's design, corrupting the hearts of Men through grief by exploiting their mortality?

**At the waters of Ivrin, Turin is healed by Ulmo's power, which holds the power of the 'endless laughter' of crystal-fed springs. Having lost the laughter of Lalaith and having been cast into grief, we read about laughter again here at Ivrin, and it heals Turin, allowing him to weep and be free of his numbing grief. Do we see this as intentional, a cycle of sorts, or simply literary language? If it is cyclical, is this a gift from Ulmo and a chance for Turin to begin again? He seems to bloom in Nargothrond, where he earns the appellation Man-elf, and comes into his own as the known son of Hurin. Does this explain his pride, and his resolution over the Bridge? So can we see Gwindor's revelation of his name as the final nail in the coffin of Nargothrond, as that increased honor and renown allows Turin to make that decision, and because of Turin's high regard Gwindor's counsel - to cast down the bridge - is ignored?

**The message from Ulmo, and his foreseeing of the fall of Nargothrond before the fall of Gondolin. Interesting that the fate of Men is out of the sight of the Valar, yet Ulmo has seen the fall of Nargothrond - which is due to a man: Turin's choice, Turin's bridge, and his overarching pride in it. Is this a contradiction? Or not?





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.







noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 17 2013, 9:24pm

Post #2 of 34 (248 views)
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The Mirror of the Dragon's eye. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the dragons attack on Turin is very precisely judged- sounds completely plausible to me that it skewers him right in the parts of the psyche he's most afraid of: that despite being an overachieving glory hound, he's actually a failure.

I was musing about whether the dragon chooses the attack or whether it is a nightmare mirror, releasing whatever the victim fears (so Boromir would see Gondor ruined; Aragorn would see Arwen in distress; or Fredeager Bolger would see an empty larder…)

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

"nowimė 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


Jul 17 2013, 9:30pm

Post #3 of 34 (250 views)
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The swords that are broken… [In reply to] Can't Post

…are currently striking me as too susceptible to a simplistic Freudian analysis. So I'm having a hard time coming up with a more penetrating contribution. I probably ought to bone up some more and then see if I can erect a better theory.

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

"nowimė 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!"


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 17 2013, 9:50pm

Post #4 of 34 (254 views)
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We may just be on the same Wavelength! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that the instance in question, of Glaurung's disobedience, can be interpreted several ways. It also opens up quite a few points.

1. The ambition of Dragons

You can see the personal ambition of Glaurung here. His disobedience is possibly a foreshadowing of the break he would make with Morgoth. How much real control did he have over him? Then you have to consider the idea that later he seems to act in his own interest, but he would also seem to peddle to Morgoth's interests once in a while.

Those orcs are so helpful.

2. The Dragons are the Spirits of Maiar?

This explanation is not perfect, but I lean toward this theory, more than any other. It would also seem to support the vast ambition and greed of dragons in general. This theory would give them a greater measure of wisdom and power than simple beasts, but the rebellion of Glaurung also begs another question.

Why isn't there more rebellion against Morgoth chronicled?

Mutiny is contagious on a becalmed ship, what about a losing cause?

Why is there no record of more infighting after Morgoth was banished?

As I said imperfect, but I like it better than any alternative. These preceding questions, move us into my next point


3. T
he incomplete control of Morgoth

Denethor states that it is the wisest lords that use others as their weapons.

Morgoth never ventures out of his fortress, after his confrontation with Fingolfin(one of the best stories), but he seems to use others as their weapons. In the philosophy of Denethor he is however wise.

However, these are the ideas of a guy who turned out to be a madman.

Still, what was his downfall if he followed this advice, assuming it to be true?

Morgoth was a chessmaster, using his servants/pieces to wage war. He also had access to more powerful servants than Sauron, yet Sauron lasted longer than his former master. Why?

What would happen if these powerful pieces rebelled against Morgoth.(Say bishops?). These left him in a vulnerable situation, having been diminished in power over time.

Sauron too fell, however. What was his mistake?

He too had servants, less in power than Morgoth's, yet he more fully dominated them, and overshadowed them in power.

Glaurung's part in Turin's fate

The absolute power of Dragon-spell is doubtful, in my mind. I would liken it to hypnosis, and would see the words and actions of Glaurung, as a way to get rid of this dangerous warrior. He came up with a plausible excuse to get rid of Turin, and send him on a vain quest.

As to his part in Turin's non-recognition of Nienor, I do believe that a mundane solution could be correct. Looking at the size of the armies in Beleriand, what might of the size of the civilian population looked liked? We do not have a day by day record of what happened in Turin's life. He could have met many people and I think not unlikely that he would not recognize his sister, given the amount of people in Beleriand.

I can only imagine finding Turin's diary, and editing it.

Sample: Today I saw a fawn, leaping in the forest, and lo, I am that fawn, free unfettered. Then I saw a hunter take aim, and it fell to the ground. I am still that fawn, I cannot escape my fate, that arrow pointed at me will still strike. I know not when.

Though it might give us an insight into Turin's daily mental state, but sadly? it is non-extant.

The Dragon's Eye likened to a mirror

I have always believed that evil in Tolkien's world, fell under the definition of Augustinian Evil-- perversion of good.

Thus I do believe that the eyes of the dragon, the proverbial "Window to the soul", would reflect the thing seen in them twisted and misshapen by the evil in his heart.

The Broken Sword

As much as the Professor refuted the claims of allegory, I still believe that some symbolic imagery had crept in, despite himself.

I totally agree with the though that a broken sword represents defeat, loss of strength, and death. Contrast this with the broken sword Aragorn carries, while a Ranger. When reforged, it reflects the new strength and courage he has found.

Perhaps this explains the reason for carrying around a broken sword?

The Influece of Morgoth and other Vala

As a liar and trickster, I would be wary of anything he says, yet I do believe that he has accomplished some of his boasts, if only indirectly. All the Evil in the world, it is said, can be traced back to him, yet he like to play up his role in the matter.

Ulmo's part is taken to be true by us, mainly with little to no scrutiny. I am not calling him nor the chronicler, liars, yet in context, we should weigh both sides. He definitely interferes on multiple occasions, and give the hero new chances. He would seem to operate, opposing the schemes of Morgoth, but Turin does not seem to see this, or to take this way out.

I believe this to be both romance and tragedy:

A man struggles against "fate" and insurmountable odds, gaining some victory, yet tragedy comes in when he is given new opportunities to rise higher, and fails to take them.


(This post was edited by Rembrethil on Jul 17 2013, 9:51pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 17 2013, 10:05pm

Post #5 of 34 (237 views)
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More thoughts on the origin of dragons (I missed the edit window, drat) [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is another thought.

Could Morgoth have, possibly, imprisoned those who rebelled as Dragons?

They would be less in power and in threat to himself, seeing as they could be killed?

They could also 'choose' when to cooperate and would have a natural resentment of control by Morgoth. You have a lot of manipulation going on in Tolkien's works. Sauron-Saruman, Saruman-Grima , And could we add Sauron-wanted-Smaug?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 18 2013, 2:34am

Post #6 of 34 (225 views)
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I have the same question [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think the dragons attack on Turin is very precisely judged- sounds completely plausible to me that it skewers him right in the parts of the psyche he's most afraid of: that despite being an overachieving glory hound, he's actually a failure.

I was musing about whether the dragon chooses the attack or whether it is a nightmare mirror, releasing whatever the victim fears (so Boromir would see Gondor ruined; Aragorn would see Arwen in distress; or Fredeager Bolger would see an empty larder…)




As to whether it is a wee bit of supernatural (as the potential examples you cite) or is it the 'supernatural' wit and strategy of the Dragon himself, aided by the vision of Morgoth?

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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 18 2013, 2:37am

Post #7 of 34 (242 views)
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You may have the long and the short of it there Furincurunir. [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe Elaen can make some helpful suggestions for 'broken swords' in her Healing in Middle Earth essay.'

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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 18 2013, 3:34am

Post #8 of 34 (225 views)
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Fantastic points Rembrethil! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think that the instance in question, of Glaurung's disobedience, can be interpreted several ways. It also opens up quite a few points. It does! Thanks for posting them!

1. The ambition of Dragons
You can see the personal ambition of Glaurung here. His disobedience is possibly a foreshadowing of the break he would make with Morgoth. How much real control did he have over him? Then you have to consider the idea that later he seems to act in his own interest, but he would also seem to peddle to Morgoth's interests once in a while. You're right, I think it is a foreshadowing, because even as a young drake Glaurung disobeyed Morgoth and did what he pleased (as we saw when the Noldor return to Middle Earth.) I wonder if he 'peddles' to Morgoth;s interests when they serve his designs - like getting him his own palace to nap in by taking Nargothrond when it suited him.
Those orcs are so helpful. I wonder if they taste good, to Glaurung's palate? Sort of a walking snack bar.

2. The Dragons are the Spirits of Maiar?
This explanation is not perfect, but I lean toward this theory, more than any other. It would also seem to support the vast ambition and greed of dragons in general. This theory would give them a greater measure of wisdom and power than simple beasts, but the rebellion of Glaurung also begs another question.
I agree Rembrethil, I am inclined that way myself. JRRT describes the many spirits who came down into the world and chose to be incarnate; and having chosen incarnation I think the natural form fixes. In another essay by JRRT he refers to the fact that an incarnate spirit who reproduces is the most firmly fixed to Arda (and to its form, I think). That can perhaps explain their origins. It makes me think that they must be fairly strong spirits because they don't seem to 'fear' Morgoth - they work with him when convenient. I think that some of the other lesser spirits would be more cowed than that and would not risk disobeying like Glaurung does.
Why isn't there more rebellion against Morgoth chronicled? Mutiny is contagious on a becalmed ship, what about a losing cause? Do we think that the internal control was that strong? Or that the spiritual basis of Morgoth's empire holds the place together?

Why is there no record of more infighting after Morgoth was banished? Another good question - could it be because Morgoth's pocket Maiar Sauron was already prepared to immediately seize control?

3. The incomplete control of Morgoth
Denethor states that it is the wisest lords that use others as their weapons. Morgoth never ventures out of his fortress, after his confrontation with Fingolfin(one of the best stories), but he seems to use others as their weapons. In the philosophy of Denethor he is however wise. However, these are the ideas of a guy who turned out to be a madman. Still, what was his downfall if he followed this advice, assuming it to be true?
Morgoth was a chessmaster, using his servants/pieces to wage war. He also had access to more powerful servants than Sauron, yet Sauron lasted longer than his former master. Why?
That's a difficult technical question to answer Rembrethil - actually the First Age estimates vary from 4900 or so 'years' (those years being longer than Years of the Sun) all the way up to 65000 years! I had a try myself at a sort of calculation of years because of a theory I was working on about Dwarves and the Awakening...but depending on what sources are referenced the time span is awfully different and may actually be significantly longer than Sauron's dominion. So I'm not sure how well we can compare it. From a philosophic standpoint, I think JRRT had strong feelings about that type of leadership, as well as 'politically' (in terms of domination and exclusion) motivated war. But really, your point about Morgoth is spot-on; that strategy worked for him for a very long time. Really his downfall is brother Ulmo working behind the scenes, and the unity of Men and Elves that culminates in Earandil. Similar to Sauron's downfall, probably not in the least the sort of thing he was expecting, though we know he fears Turgon for some reason (that he never seems to fully understand himself.)

Sauron too fell, however. What was his mistake? Similar in scope - the individual will he never had any faith in, and another union of Men and Elves. Really its the same old battle all over again with different protagonists...I think that's why evil in JRRT's tale is never seen to be fully overcome: each Age will have their own battle with evil.

Glaurung's part in Turin's fate
The absolute power of Dragon-spell is doubtful, in my mind. I would liken it to hypnosis, and would see the words and actions of Glaurung, as a way to get rid of this dangerous warrior. He came up with a plausible excuse to get rid of Turin, and send him on a vain quest.
He seems to delight in it as well! I tend to believe in the power of Glaurung's speech as the 'magic', although as NoWiz pointed out upthread the possibility of some mirror-like enchantment isn't out of the question.

As to his part in Turin's non-recognition of Nienor, I do believe that a mundane solution could be correct. Looking at the size of the armies in Beleriand, what might of the size of the civilian population looked liked? We do not have a day by day record of what happened in Turin's life. He could have met many people and I think not unlikely that he would not recognize his sister, given the amount of people in Beleriand. True!

I can only imagine finding Turin's diary, and editing it.
Sample: Today I saw a fawn, leaping in the forest, and lo, I am that fawn, free unfettered. Then I saw a hunter take aim, and it fell to the ground. I am still that fawn, I cannot escape my fate, that arrow pointed at me will still strike. I know not when.
Oh dear, that has the potential for both great pathos and great satire Rembrethil! Maybe both at once! (Today some girl was following me. I don't know why. I heard that Thingol deems me innocent and I can go back to Doriath. I don't know why. Its raining again today. I don't know why.)

The Dragon's Eye likened to a mirror.
I have always believed that evil in Tolkien's world, fell under the definition of Augustinian Evil-- perversion of good. Thus I do believe that the eyes of the dragon, the proverbial "Window to the soul", would reflect the thing seen in them twisted and misshapen by the evil in his heart.
In conjunction with his words perhaps?

The Broken Sword
As much as the Professor refuted the claims of allegory, I still believe that some symbolic imagery had crept in, despite himself. I totally agree with the though that a broken sword represents defeat, loss of strength, and death. Contrast this with the broken sword Aragorn carries, while a Ranger. When reforged, it reflects the new strength and courage he has found. Perhaps this explains the reason for carrying around a broken sword?
Agreed. Although NoWiz has some interesting ideas too. ShockedSmile

The Influence of Morgoth and other Vala
As a liar and trickster, I would be wary of anything he says, yet I do believe that he has accomplished some of his boasts, if only indirectly. All the Evil in the world, it is said, can be traced back to him, yet he like to play up his role in the matter.
That he does! I fully believe this! Like choosing the name "Master of the Fates of Arda" - its good PR, even if you never actually change a thing. Bad events will be chalked up to you in the end anyway.
Ulmo's part is taken to be true by us, mainly with little to no scrutiny. I am not calling him nor the chronicler, liars, yet in context, we should weigh both sides. He definitely interferes on multiple occasions, and give the hero new chances. He would seem to operate, opposing the schemes of Morgoth, but Turin does not seem to see this, or to take this way out. Interesting that Arda sort of becomes their personal sort of battleground isn't it? Brothers arm-wrestling. Indeed among the Edain they seem to have trouble hearing the thoughts and intents of Ulmo as opposed to the Firstborn and Turin doesn't even seem to hear other Edain or Elves that often (like Morwen before him) much less Ulmo.

I believe this to be both romance and tragedy: A man struggles against "fate" and insurmountable odds, gaining some victory, yet tragedy comes in when he is given new opportunities to rise higher, and fails to take them. Great synopsis! So 'fate' is the challenge itself, the path to be chosen. The outcome, tragic or heroic, depends on the choice. Great! I think that is one way we can systematically consider the fate vs free will question, because the idea of free will is so pervasive in JRRT's work, yet so is the Divine and the concept of fate as described in the Song.


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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 19 2013, 4:12am

Post #9 of 34 (204 views)
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A bone to pick with you about your Freudian analogy... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
…are currently striking me as too susceptible to a simplistic Freudian analysis. So I'm having a hard time coming up with a more penetrating contribution. I probably ought to bone up some more and then see if I can erect a better theory.




...its made me reconsider that scene where Arwen so badly wants Aragorn's sword reforged. Maybe now I see why Elornd makes that face. I may never look at that scene the same way again.

You have damaged my delicate sensibilities forever I fear...

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.







Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 19 2013, 4:53am

Post #10 of 34 (193 views)
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Turin's Diary: A Chronicle of Sorrow [In reply to] Can't Post

ROFLO at your own humorous interpretation. I got this idea from an over the top melodrama, it was horrible.

It has been done before in the literary world, to write a "diary" for a character in a book/movie/TV series/historical figure, in order to flesh out their inner psyche. Turin would be an interesting case. Sometimes I just want to shake him!!!!


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 19 2013, 10:54am

Post #11 of 34 (197 views)
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Thorin's sword... [In reply to] Can't Post

...you will be pleased to remember, survives his death, a naked blade proudly displayed atop his tomb, still potent in its ability to warn of the presence of his enemies.
Shocked Should I post you a glass of water? It is a bit hot today.Wink

But Thorin's death is a defeated-but-not-vanquished one: The dwarves have recovered their ancestral home, have resolved a little misunderstanding with their neighbours, and defeated their enemies. Thorin has time to redeem himself from his earlier fall into selfish greed (which as usual, one could read as psychological or magical).

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

"nowimė 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


Jul 19 2013, 11:01am

Post #12 of 34 (189 views)
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On the point of the sword... [In reply to] Can't Post

When Turin kills himself, I read his motivations as anguish and despair, partly because he's giving in to the final blinding realization that he is an unwitting tool of Morgoth and should stop himself before he does anything still worse than what he's already done.
So Turin breaks Gurthang by falling upon it, and Gurthang breaks Turin - seems fitting, perhaps?

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

"nowimė 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


Jul 19 2013, 11:13am

Post #13 of 34 (187 views)
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Did someone say... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin, naked?

Wink

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

"nowimė 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


Jul 19 2013, 1:14pm

Post #14 of 34 (179 views)
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I agree - maybe that *should* be written! (Shaking a good idea.) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
ROFLO at your own humorous interpretation. I got this idea from an over the top melodrama, it was horrible.

It has been done before in the literary world, to write a "diary" for a character in a book/movie/TV series/historical figure, in order to flesh out their inner psyche. Turin would be an interesting case. Sometimes I just want to shake him!!!!


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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 19 2013, 1:17pm

Post #15 of 34 (171 views)
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Bound in death. Nice // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
When Turin kills himself, I read his motivations as anguish and despair, partly because he's giving in to the final blinding realization that he is an unwitting tool of Morgoth and should stop himself before he does anything still worse than what he's already done.
So Turin breaks Gurthang by falling upon it, and Gurthang breaks Turin - seems fitting, perhaps?


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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 19 2013, 1:23pm

Post #16 of 34 (204 views)
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Smelling salts too...oh you've got them. thanks...!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


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...you will be pleased to remember, survives his death, a naked blade proudly displayed atop his tomb, still potent in its ability to warn of the presence of his enemies.
Shocked Should I post you a glass of water? It is a bit hot today.Wink

But Thorin's death is a defeated-but-not-vanquished one: The dwarves have recovered their ancestral home, have resolved a little misunderstanding with their neighbours, and defeated their enemies. Thorin has time to redeem himself from his earlier fall into selfish greed (which as usual, one could read as psychological or magical).




Ok, I'm conscious again...pour that cold water on my head please....

Agreed on Thorin's death, with an intact sword: there is no defeat there. Death is an outcome, but not a punishment and *really* not a result of Thorin's actions. (Those danged Goblins were going to attack anyway. Having everyone armed and present was the BEST possible thing that could have happened, both for the Dwarves and the people of Laketown.) So the proud display of the Elf blade on his tomb is - and having it still work as a beacon of danger to the Dwarves - clearly shows that his death was honorable in terms of the metaphor.

Brilliant Furincurunir. Cool

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.







Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 19 2013, 5:03pm

Post #17 of 34 (170 views)
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Dragon-spell [In reply to] Can't Post

I would agree with you here. In the Hobbit, it is mentioned that Bilbo "was in danger of falling under" it. No matter how the Movie might play it( I liked it BTW), the greed/madness of Thorin is at least partially connected to the Dragon-spell/curse upon the hoard of Erebor.

Funny though how it doesn't seem to trouble Dain.

Perhaps there is a psychical residue left by Smaug, upon the hoard, and perhaps these negative 'vibes'(for lack of a better word) work on the subconscious minds of those in proximity to it, amplifying the similar feelings and desires in them?

Also, by way of explanation, perhaps the good 'vibes' given off when the Dwarves, Men, and Elves worked it all out, broke the Dragon-spell with positive thoughts?

(I hate the analogies of 'vibes', but no better words were coming to my mind.)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 19 2013, 9:23pm

Post #18 of 34 (158 views)
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I wonder whether it belatedly affects Balin, & so contributes to the doomed Moria adventure? // [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....

"nowimė 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


Jul 19 2013, 11:44pm

Post #19 of 34 (163 views)
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JRRT does write of the power of gold that has long been dragon-brooded. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I would agree with you here. In the Hobbit, it is mentioned that Bilbo "was in danger of falling under" it. No matter how the Movie might play it( I liked it BTW), the greed/madness of Thorin is at least partially connected to the Dragon-spell/curse upon the hoard of Erebor.

Funny though how it doesn't seem to trouble Dain.

Perhaps there is a psychical residue left by Smaug, upon the hoard, and perhaps these negative 'vibes'(for lack of a better word) work on the subconscious minds of those in proximity to it, amplifying the similar feelings and desires in them?

Also, by way of explanation, perhaps the good 'vibes' given off when the Dwarves, Men, and Elves worked it all out, broke the Dragon-spell with positive thoughts?

(I hate the analogies of 'vibes', but no better words were coming to my mind.)




So I think there is an implication there that applies to the Dwarves who first arrive, right in Smaug's wake and when the 'vibes' (it works Rembrethil) are still circulating. It is either that the malice of the Dragon wears off OR that positivity breaks it...more inclined towards it 'wearing off' as Thorin isn't particularly positive, and I don't think the rest are either in the beginning with so much uncertainty after returning to Erebor.

I would presume that the influence had faded by the time Dain moves in.

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.







elaen32
Gondor


Jul 20 2013, 2:27pm

Post #20 of 34 (140 views)
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Hmmm.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Brethil/delicate sensibilities/Brethil/delicate sensibilities?Crazy
Another oxymoron I fear!Tongue


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



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 20 2013, 2:37pm

Post #21 of 34 (145 views)
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Glaurung.. [In reply to] Can't Post

well, he makes Smaug look like a real sweetie, doesn't he? I was not sure whether he was an incarnate Maia under Morgoth's control or not. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Morgoth was said to have bred the dragons as fearsome foes- but he cannot create anew. So what would he have corrupted to make a dragon? A normal reptile of some kind? A pterodactyl ( btw I always see the Fell Beasts in LOTR as being pterodactyls). However, Glaurung does seem to have his own agenda, which happens to mostly coincide with Morgoth's.
I really am not sure which side I fall on in this- think I'll have to read more about dragons!


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



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 20 2013, 3:29pm

Post #22 of 34 (130 views)
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Figured you would catch that Elaen!! Hopefully it made you laugh. /// [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Brethil/delicate sensibilities/Brethil/delicate sensibilities?Crazy
Another oxymoron I fear!Tongue


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.







Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 20 2013, 3:38pm

Post #23 of 34 (141 views)
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Dragon origins [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
well, he makes Smaug look like a real sweetie, doesn't he? I was not sure whether he was an incarnate Maia under Morgoth's control or not. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Morgoth was said to have bred the dragons as fearsome foes- but he cannot create anew. So what would he have corrupted to make a dragon? A normal reptile of some kind? A pterodactyl ( btw I always see the Fell Beasts in LOTR as being pterodactyls). However, Glaurung does seem to have his own agenda, which happens to mostly coincide with Morgoth's.
I really am not sure which side I fall on in this- think I'll have to read more about dragons!




One of those lovely puzzles he left for us! And as we are incessantly curious as a crowd it a lot of fun too...

Glaurung IS wicked isn't he? CoolWink

I wonder if once the spirits incarnated themselves, chose their forms (based on their particular sensibilities - with Dragons I feel like its 'creating fear' and 'brooding') and once they bred I think become fixed forever, and their descendants are fixed in that shape (JRRT mentions somewhere that the Spirits who choose to breed are the most bound and fixed to Arda and their shapes). So I feel like maybe when Morgoth is 'breeding' them, its simply a matter of perhaps encouraging them to reproduce (thus fixing their forms) and providing the food and bedding to keep them happy and behaving...I dunno, soft red lighting? Red wine? Lots of fresh meat (of all kinds - maybe that's where all those poor Petty-dwarves went). The Angband equivalent of Marvin Gaye playing?

New meaning to 'hot date.'

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.







(This post was edited by Brethil on Jul 20 2013, 3:39pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jul 20 2013, 5:39pm

Post #24 of 34 (135 views)
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Cuddly dragon babies [In reply to] Can't Post

I have trouble squaring dragon origins with Morgoth's inability to create something new, especially since Glaurung clearly has his own will, unlike Aule's original, robotic Dwarves. Ungoliant might provide a clue. She was a spirit (Ainu or not) who gave birth to a race of spiders with no apparent mate. (Rumors in Angband said that Morgoth refused to pay child support and denied all paternity claims.) So maybe there was an initial dragon who somehow self-bred like Ungoliant to create the dragon race. But does anyone know if Tolkien ever explained where they came from? The Silmarillion certainly reveals no secrets about their origin.

I'm tempted to think Glaurung was a Maia or Maia-derivative given his independence from Morgoth, but I'm reminded of the rebellious Orcs of Mordor who said things like they hoped the Nazgul would be killed. That's not slavish obedience. Given his power, Glaurung could get away with a lot more defiance than an Orc could, and in one version (not very popular), Tolkien had Morgoth create Orcs from the earth, not from Elves who would have always harbored an inner hatred of him for corrupting them.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jul 20 2013, 5:43pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jul 20 2013, 6:10pm

Post #25 of 34 (122 views)
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Mirror, mirror, on the wall...and in the water...and in a dragon's eye [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
**The Mirror of the Dragon's eye...as Glaurung lays out Turin's life in appalling descriptions, can we see the evolution of the names that Turin has taken - is he so susceptible to the Mirror of Glaurung's eye because he has been fleeing these same entities all along? Mirrors have a special place in Middle Earth, and have inherent power; can we see the Mirror of the Dragon as the philosphic opposite of Galadriel's Mirror?

This is brilliant, Brethil. Yes, I'd call it the philosophic opposite of Galadriel, now that you've made the connection for me. Whatever Galadriel's Mirror does, it seems certain to reveal the truth. Glaurung's mirror can only lie.

Turin is a complex mix of chasing after and running away from his destiny. Glaurung has a malicious instinct for that dynamic and exploits it. Morwen and Nienor aren't conflicted like Turin, so they just get a mind wipe--he doesn't seem to have anything in them to twist to his purpose.


In Reply To
Do we think that the blood of the Dragon could have affected this mighty sword, causing it to break? Or, in keeping with traditions we see with other characters, it is the death of Turin himself which breaks the blade?

I vote for the death of Turin as the cause for the broken sword. Somehow his doom caught up Gurthang, because the sword seems to resent him for his unjust slayings, and it seems odd that it would sacrifice itself in tandem with Turin. I think their fates were so intertwined, and of course this story is all about fate, that no other outcome was possible. Gee, now I sorta feel like Gurthang is a victim of sorts. It's clear that evil beats good in this saga, in stark contrast to Beren & Luthien. There was an innocence to B&L that seemed to help them through their struggles, but Finduilas' and Nienor's innocence does nothing to help them, and Gurthang's muted morality doesn't help it survive either.

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