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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Sil discussion of Turin Turambar: Prophesy and Premonition
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noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 17 2013, 12:46pm

Post #26 of 65 (254 views)
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Who is messing with Turin Goatsinger? [In reply to] Can't Post

["Goatsinger?" you ask? I've read that the word "Tragedy" originates from a Greek root meaning "song of goats", but the Learned Scribes of Oxford do not know why.
Oh, I have a theory - I think that badly acted melodramatic grief might sound like goat noises. Maybe, like "baroque" it started out as an insult and ended up being a technical term. Anyway, "Goatsinger" does sound like one of the increasingly fantastic soubriquets Turin collects.
Anyway, back to Turin....]

Turin is eminently capable of messing up his own life, but in addition (and aside from people trying to give him conventional advice and help) we have these possible candidates for Whose Messing With Turin:

  • Morgoth might be hexing him, or not.
  • Glaurung definitely affects Turin and later Nienor (either as part of a Morgothian master plan, or you could see it as an opportunistic thing)
  • Ulmo's waters restore Turin from his first bout of madness, maybe the big U is doing other things (apart from failed embassies via Cirdan).
  • The orcs might be right that the terrific thunderstorm during which Turin is rescued "comes from the west" in more than a simple prevailing wind sense
  • Anglachel nicks Turin during his rescue leading him to kill his friend - mere accident, or does the sword do it on purpose?

Hmm - I propose a "Turin Test" - if after a reasonable period of discussion you can't prove a person is cursed, they are not cursed (or, possibly, they are cursed....Crazy )

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!"

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Jul 17 2013, 12:46pm)


elaen32
Gondor


Jul 17 2013, 1:21pm

Post #27 of 65 (235 views)
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I am assuming [In reply to] Can't Post

that CG means the Kulavela and the tale of Kullervo, from which Tolkien derived the story of Turin


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, 1:41pm

Post #28 of 65 (222 views)
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Anyway, everything is Hunky-Dori now.... // [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!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Jul 17 2013, 3:24pm

Post #29 of 65 (225 views)
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See upthread [In reply to] Can't Post

Brethil cited some places where Tolkien said the Kalevala had inspired this story.

It wouldn't be the first time; Gandalf was based on another Kalevala character, the wise one who directed events like a chessmaster (not literally playing chess, of course).


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 17 2013, 5:29pm

Post #30 of 65 (220 views)
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Dragons and curses [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Given how adapted this story was from another source, I suspect Tolkien needed a demonic character to originate the curse that hangs over the Hurin family that showers them with fateful choices that they tend to disregard in their exercise of free will. There seem quite a few one-offs in Tolkien (Caradhras is the only sentient mountain we know of), and I guess the Morgoth curse is one of them. Though I equally agree that Morgoth would take the credit for a plague of locusts he had nothing to do with.

Not that the curse was all-powerful. Glaurung had to deliberately help it along. So its potency is in doubt.






For the record, I'm sure he curses regularly.

Indeed Glaurung goes along with the plan, and can be said to be an agent of Morgoth's malice and therefore his curse - to a point. When he decides its time to take Nargothrond for himself and hole up for a while, he does so with little regard for Morgoth's thoughts. So it seems Dragons are only your 'ally' if they happen to be on board with what's happening at a give time. Bit of a treacherous instrument, and not one with 'honor' (even in a dark sense) to Morgoth or to his enemy, as we see at the Bridge between Glaurung and Turin.

***BTW more on Glaurung later today. Watch for more threads.***

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 17 2013, 5:30pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 17 2013, 5:33pm

Post #31 of 65 (210 views)
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Correct Elaen [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
that CG means the Kulavela and the tale of Kullervo, from which Tolkien derived the story of Turin




Can't underestimate how taken JRRT was with 'hapless' Kullervo and his circumstances, told in a language that appealed to his classical soul; and how much inspiration that tale has for the Silmarillion origins as a whole. (Interesting that Geordie had posted some things about JRRT's fairy inspiration as well - I think we can sort of see the Sil and later LOTR as a blending of the darkest, grimmest old world tales with the more hopeful and distant 'magic' of the legends JRRT wanted to give England.)

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 17 2013, 5:35pm

Post #32 of 65 (213 views)
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"Song of Goats" ???? [In reply to] Can't Post

The audience wailing that results from a rollicking good tragedy?

(Maybe the sound of RA's fans once he is spotted?)

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 17 2013, 5:49pm

Post #33 of 65 (210 views)
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Excellent points here Furincurunir [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

  • Morgoth might be hexing him, or not. Indeed, the start of it all, one way or the other.
  • Glaurung definitely affects Turin and later Nienor (either as part of a Morgothian master plan, or you could see it as an opportunistic thing) I see it as both - opportunistic cooperation!
  • Ulmo's waters restore Turin from his first bout of madness, maybe the big U is doing other things (apart from failed embassies via Cirdan). Maybe - I think he was busy in the last chapter trying to hold the dream of Earandil being born together. Wonder if he is a bit tied up with that right now? (Next threads will contain more about the Vala in the tale.)
  • The orcs might be right that the terrific thunderstorm during which Turin is rescued "comes from the west" in more than a simple prevailing wind sense Oh that's a wonderful point !!! maybe Ulmo is in there potentially - sending a storm from over his water...oh that's just a great idea.
  • Anglachel nicks Turin during his rescue leading him to kill his friend - mere accident, or does the sword do it on purpose? <Ok there is one of my unanswered questions: the motives of Anglachel. Was it an accident, did the 'malice' of the sword have action or agency? Yet it mourns the Elf it causes to be killed ... to taste Turin's blood? Or is it something else?
  • Ideas wanted please!!!!!!!!

Hmm - I propose a "Turin Test" - if after a reasonable period of discussion you can't prove a person is cursed, they are not cursed (or, possibly, they are cursed....Crazy ) OR - YOU are cursed, to never get the truthr: the Imlach-ing the Answer Curse.


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 17 2013, 5:52pm

Post #34 of 65 (219 views)
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Niniel's Leap [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You've touched on her intuition in other areas, Breth, but what do you think about her and that last desperate leap to death? Her ultimate despair "Oh, happy to be dead!" is one of the haunting lines from Tolkien that never leaves me. How spiritually destitute do you have to be that death seems a source of happiness to you? It seems to me that people commit suicide because they see only a hopeless future for themselves, not happiness in death.

Was her intuition operative in perceiving that no matter what she and her family did (and Turin appeared lost to her), it would come to a bad end, so that prompted her to seek an end to this unrelenting curse? Was happiness in death her only "hope" in escaping it? Or did she just plain give up, overwhelmed by emotion and not making any rational decisions? I wish I could peer into her mind as she gathered herself for that leap. Was there any way to talk her out of it?

Meanwhile, I don't question Turin's suicide. He was overcome by guilt many times over in addition to realizing that he'd been caught up in the curse; he understood that much more fully than his sister did. I don't need to see inside his mind; his motivation is all on the surface.




That's why I was wondering about the child - its such a harbinger of doom, when she conceives, as sadness pervades her life. I think that because of the inability of her to accept the birth of such a child, and the subsequent loss of her 'twice-loved' Turin, she DID lack all hope of life after that knowledge comes to her. I think the baby dooms her - its something she will never be able to get past.

The cruelty of Glaurung. (More on him in a bit, and about Niniel and Turin.)

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 17 2013, 6:14pm

Post #35 of 65 (216 views)
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A thought on the motivations of Dragons [In reply to] Can't Post

Bringing up this topic has stirred a question in my mind.

"Created" or at least originally master to the Dragons, how much control did Morgoth have over them?

They seem to have left their roost in Angband after the Nirneath Arnoediad, never to return. Did they receive orders from Morgoth, or did they do their own will, which happened to coincide with his? Glaurung commanded a group of orcs, but this could have been a contingent put under him for another purpose, then coerced by force to follow him. Those orcs sure are handy in gathering a treasure hoard!

Was this a case of rebellion on the Dragon's part, left unchecked by Morgoth for the moment?

Then there is the account, given in the Annotated Hobbit's appendix, where Gandalf tells part of the remaining Fellowship, of his fears that Sauron might use Smaug to effect destruction in the North.

But is this simply a hope that Sauron may have harbored? Did he think that he could master a Dragon, or did he seek to use Smaug as he did Saruman?

What are your thoughts?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 17 2013, 6:18pm

Post #36 of 65 (215 views)
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Finduilas [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm wondering how to read that...
  • Is there some happy alternative joint future for Finduilas and Turin, in which she knocks some sense into his silly head?
  • Is it that if Turin and Finduilas are an item, he doesn't accidentally marry his sister (which is the final straw for them both, as things work out)
  • Is Gwindor really just trying to save the woman he loves, and making the only kind of argument that would matter to Turin (i.e, that it is to the benefit of Turin...)
  • (Related to the last one) is the idea that if Turin saved Findilas as a kind gesture to his mate Gwindor, then this might set Turin's life along a new happier road.

or many another theory, no doubt!

BTW - is this another gnomic "last hope" comment: we've found a few as we've gone through this book




All four of your options re: Finduilas make perfect sense. Certainly we cannot discount Gwindor's own feelings - to want to save her. I think to that line comes together with the 'last hope' point you make; in this sense a hugely important bit of insight coming right before death ( as we saw with Hour as well.) So I think if he had gone after Finduilas he may have:
- had Elvish wisdom to help him with insight and choices
- had better Karma
- not found Nienor and married her.

The editorial decision here - making Finduilas a simple Elf known to Turin, and not loved by him - takes a lot of the immediacy and import of that decision. It would be heroic to save the screaming Elf-girl, but really, with believing that his mother and sister were in danger, what else could he do? It would have taken a tremendous amount of his own insight or faith in Gwindor to choose her I think, after Glaurung got his claws into the mix..

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 17 2013, 6:21pm

Post #37 of 65 (207 views)
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Oooo - well done!!!! You read my mind Rembrethil! [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually just about four minutes ago posted that very same sort of question about His Wyrmishness. He plays such a big role in the tale, and *seems* like a servant...but I don't think so. I wonder if the way he is portrayed gives us insights into his origins too...

(Have a look at the new thread!)

(Maybe you can read my mind because our nicks are so close...!) 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.







noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 17 2013, 8:24pm

Post #38 of 65 (200 views)
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Yep, "goat song" is etymologically sound. But I'd have thought… [In reply to] Can't Post

…that "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Shower Scene" would get a reaction that was more cat like than goat-like?

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, 9:06pm

Post #39 of 65 (206 views)
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It's a good question! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug comes across as an independent intelligence.
But
In earlier parts of the Sil. Tolkien decides that only Eru can create true life: until blessed by Eru, Alue's dwarves would be sort of biological automata Ents and eagles get retrofitted into this scheme - perhaps dragons ought to have been re-explained at this point.
Rembrethil, are you offering a third possibility- that Morgoth operates dragons by "remote control" (to give a probably crude engineering equivalent)? What I mean is, is the idea tgat,when characters are talking to the dragon, are they actually talking remotely to Morgoth?
Ps wrote this before seeing that A tread specifically Bout dragons and vala was up http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=627139#627139

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!"

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Jul 17 2013, 9:11pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 17 2013, 9:58pm

Post #40 of 65 (198 views)
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My personal thoughts on Dragons [In reply to] Can't Post

As this will be explained more fully in my Symposium essay, I do not want to give away too much, but I will say that I believe them to be Maiar spirits, empowering a physical frame created by Morgoth. In taking physical form they "lose power" much like Morgoth. This loss of power could have fueled a change within the created frame, allowing it to transform into a 'living' frame, making it more suitable for permanent residence.


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Jul 17 2013, 11:41pm

Post #41 of 65 (196 views)
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I didn't know which post to reply to. [In reply to] Can't Post

So I'm just replying to the whole thread (more or less). I don't wander in the Reading Room very often; please bear with me.

On the subject of Turin's curse, I always imagined (from something written on the dust jacket of my Narn i Hin Hurin copy, so it may have been referencing something said by Christopher Tolkien, but I am too lazy to go find the book to look it up) that Morgoth, as the supreme evil of Arda, cursed Turin and set about to fulfill said curse through the efforts of his own gigantic will. Or maybe it was the introduction. Like I said... too lazy.

Now, as I understand it, a curse is a wish of harm upon someone or something. Sometimes no higher power is invoked to carry out said harm upon the accursed person or thing (for example, I find the amusing, "May rocks fall on your head," does not invoke any supernatural or preternatural powers). More often, a higher power is invoked. This higher power may be angels, gods, demons, etc. Morgoth, however, is the diabolus of Arda, and so he has no higher power whom he can ask to dump rocks on Hurin's head (and on those of his family, of course). He is the higher power himself. Therefore, his curse took the first form, and he sets about to fulfill his own curse.

I have imagined his curse taking two parts or two 'forms', if you will. One, I think he kept some remote portion of his mind and will continually focused upon Hurin and all whom he held dear, silently willing bad things to happen to them. As a Vala, his wish had effects in the material world. He was watching over them from afar, but for ill not for good. It was a sort of demonic obsession, to use the technical term - that portion of his mind kept bombarding Hurin and his family (primarily Turin), discouraging him from the path of wisdom, confirming him in his pride, driving wedges between him and any safe haven, blinding him to all friendly counsel. Of course, Turin is not guiltless in all this (poor stupid sort-of hero), as he chooses to listen to the subconscious whispers of Morgoth, and follow the path of pride and stupidity.

Two, I think Morgoth was just really good at predicting his enemies sometimes and put a lot of stumbling blocks out there for Turin, as some of you have already put it much better than I can.

As regarding the subject of Mannish free will in Arda, I have always viewed that (as in real life) a paradox: we have our destinies, but we are free to choose to fulfill those destinies or not. If we choose so, well and good. If we chose not to, they may yet be fulfilled in spite of us. If we choose not to, and yet later repent, we may still be brought to fulfillment and glory - a higher glory even, perhaps, than had been our original destiny, but not the original one. Not the unbroken, unstained one we would have had. Even so, the beauty of the sorrow of the original, broken destiny and the repentence for it may make the second, fulfilled destiny so much more beautiful and deeper for that.

(Great. I've used the word 'destiny' one too many times and now I keep thinking it in the voice of Darth Vader. 'It is your destinyyyyyyy." *headbang*)

Thinking over Turin and destiny now, I would guess that Turin's destiny of sorts was to kill Glaurung. Others may disagree with me, but I think that was sort of his purpose (not Tolkien's purpose for him, but his in-universe purpose) in life. I don't think he consciously was aware of this, though he does have a certain, almost-Elvish prescience about things (I have wondered if he is sometimes able to sense the deeper life of things in his own wonky way, and perhaps because of that couldn't really figure out real life and other people, like some artists). I think he was meant for great things, but he tried running away from his fate all the time and ended up doing his 'great' things (some great but terrible) at the right time for some wrong reasons. He killed Glaurung, but it was almost in his despite. Okay, I'm rambling now...

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 18 2013, 3:38am

Post #42 of 65 (176 views)
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Hmmm. Might hear a lot of thumping, fainting type sounds. // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
…that "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Shower Scene" would get a reaction that was more cat like than goat-like?


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, 4:01am

Post #43 of 65 (186 views)
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Glad to see you Werde Spinner! Addressing all your great points... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So I'm just replying to the whole thread (more or less). I don't wander in the Reading Room very often; please bear with me. Indeed, we are Beren with you!

On the subject of Turin's curse, I always imagined (from something written on the dust jacket of my Narn i Hin Hurin copy, so it may have been referencing something said by Christopher Tolkien, but I am too lazy to go find the book to look it up) that Morgoth, as the supreme evil of Arda, cursed Turin and set about to fulfill said curse through the efforts of his own gigantic will. Or maybe it was the introduction. Like I said... too lazy.
We'll let you slide this one time W-S. But watch out for CuriousG, he's been talking about burning people lately.

Now, as I understand it, a curse is a wish of harm upon someone or something. Sometimes no higher power is invoked to carry out said harm upon the accursed person or thing (for example, I find the amusing, "May rocks fall on your head," does not invoke any supernatural or preternatural powers). More often, a higher power is invoked. This higher power may be angels, gods, demons, etc. Morgoth, however, is the diabolus of Arda, and so he has no higher power whom he can ask to dump rocks on Hurin's head (and on those of his family, of course). He is the higher power himself. Therefore, his curse took the first form, and he sets about to fulfill his own curse.
I have imagined his curse taking two parts or two 'forms', if you will. One, I think he kept some remote portion of his mind and will continually focused upon Hurin and all whom he held dear, silently willing bad things to happen to them. As a Vala, his wish had effects in the material world. He was watching over them from afar, but for ill not for good. It was a sort of demonic obsession, to use the technical term - that portion of his mind kept bombarding Hurin and his family (primarily Turin), discouraging him from the path of wisdom, confirming him in his pride, driving wedges between him and any safe haven, blinding him to all friendly counsel. Of course, Turin is not guiltless in all this (poor stupid sort-of hero), as he chooses to listen to the subconscious whispers of Morgoth, and follow the path of pride and stupidity.
Curse points all excellent W-S. I take your point about Morgoth being unable to call upon another power - because on his side, he's it. So in a way, in your equation, if we consider Fate vs Free Will as fate=events and free will=choices, then Morgoth is rather the hand of Fate, and Turin's reactions to his little events are the expression of free will. (Morgoth as the Hand of fate: still serving Eru?)

Two, I think Morgoth was just really good at predicting his enemies sometimes and put a lot of stumbling blocks out there for Turin, as some of you have already put it much better than I can
. Agreed. I think that is a built-in Vala skill, that he might lose some of but never all.

As regarding the subject of Mannish free will in Arda, I have always viewed that (as in real life) a paradox: we have our destinies, but we are free to choose to fulfill those destinies or not. If we choose so, well and good. If we chose not to, they may yet be fulfilled in spite of us. If we choose not to, and yet later repent, we may still be brought to fulfillment and glory - a higher glory even, perhaps, than had been our original destiny, but not the original one. Not the unbroken, unstained one we would have had. Even so, the beauty of the sorrow of the original, broken destiny and the repentence for it may make the second, fulfilled destiny so much more beautiful and deeper for that. So we can liken your description here (and its quite lovely) to the concept in JRRT's works as the Song being variable, and changeable, even reversible, but all in the sight of Eru. And maybe some of that sadness at a changed destiny or lost chance being wisdom perhaps?

(Great. I've used the word 'destiny' one too many times and now I keep thinking it in the voice of Darth Vader. 'It is your destinyyyyyyy." *headbang*) Actually I was picturing Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein...Des-tiny, Des-tiny, no escaping that for me!

Thinking over Turin and destiny now, I would guess that Turin's destiny of sorts was to kill Glaurung. Others may disagree with me, but I think that was sort of his purpose (not Tolkien's purpose for him, but his in-universe purpose) in life. I don't think he consciously was aware of this, though he does have a certain, almost-Elvish prescience about things (I have wondered if he is sometimes able to sense the deeper life of things in his own wonky way, and perhaps because of that couldn't really figure out real life and other people, like some artists). I think he was meant for great things, but he tried running away from his fate all the time and ended up doing his 'great' things (some great but terrible) at the right time for some wrong reasons. He killed Glaurung, but it was almost in his despite. Okay, I'm rambling now...and there is the idea of the Second Prophecy of Mandos, in which Turin will use a reborn Gurthang to destroy the escaped Morgoth - thus avenging Hurin and ALL men for the harm Morgoth has done them. So I think in some way JRRT saw Turin (based on Kullervo) as the symbol of the hapless mortal, beset by Fates on all sides. Hurin and his family pay their price for ensuring Earandil's voyage; and the reward in terms of vengeance and justice will come through the hand of his son Turin. Fallen, imperfect and long-suffering Turin. So I can see that the destruction of Glaurung is the Ardaic foreshadowing of the later event. Great parallel W-S! And we hope to see you around here more often too! AngelicCool


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, 4:02am

Post #44 of 65 (172 views)
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Can't wait to post it BTW!!! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As this will be explained more fully in my Symposium essay, I do not want to give away too much, but I will say that I believe them to be Maiar spirits, empowering a physical frame created by Morgoth. In taking physical form they "lose power" much like Morgoth. This loss of power could have fueled a change within the created frame, allowing it to transform into a 'living' frame, making it more suitable for permanent residence.


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.







telain
Rohan

Jul 18 2013, 6:21pm

Post #45 of 65 (169 views)
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interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like where you are going with this and I cannot wait to read your essay. Gives them both allegiance to Morgoth as well as independence...


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 18 2013, 6:47pm

Post #46 of 65 (163 views)
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An explanation [In reply to] Can't Post

Really it is only brushed in my essay. Once it's been put out there though, I'll gladly answer any questions you have. It is not really a complete statement of what I think about them, but is casually reference in a supporting role to the main topic.

Maybe a new thread on dragons will be in order then?


telain
Rohan

Jul 18 2013, 6:51pm

Post #47 of 65 (171 views)
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Anglachel, the psychopath with a heart of meteoric iron [In reply to] Can't Post

Good, bad, or neutral? With agency or no?

Part of me believes that Anglachel is a little like a psychopath; it really seems to delight in killing (maybe like Dexter, it prefers killing bad guys?)

Take, for instance, its maker, to whom Melian specifically refers: Eol. As we discussed in chapters previous, is certainly a questionable character. He doesn't know how to meet Aredhel in a normal way, so he uses enchantments -- and am I making this up or did he not enchant her path so that she had to come to him? Creepy. He also had no problems isolating both Aredhel and Maeglin in his hermetic forest home, all the while convincing Maeglin that his Noldo half is morally bereft (So, wait, who is morally bereft?) The sword's maker is morally questionable and the sword's maker willingly gives it up, separating it from its twin (Anguirel). I think the sword has is headed for the psych ward...

Intentional or no? I would argue that Anglachel may not have necessarily known that Turin would have killed Beleg; I don't think the sword has foresight. But perhaps it was just too excited, with all the orc killing, that it just had to have one more bite and Turin was the closest thing. The closest not-exactly-a-saint thing. (I admittedly have problems with Turin that I hope to explain in the other chapter thread.) Maybe the mourning for Beleg is in part it feeling guilty for causing it to happen. I can't believe I am continuing to suggest this, but it is a little like the character of Dexter, who has "fond" "feelings" for those people who are close to him and are morally good. And like Dexter, whether you think Dexter (or Anglachel) is morally bad or morally good depends on whether you think all killing is morally bad, or whether you think killing bad people is morally good. Tricky, tricky stuff.

I think the sword does have agency, as it clearly has sentience when it kills Turin (and, again, happily!) I just don't think it is particularly reflective or savvy when it comes to its actions; it acts spontaneously, then regrets .

Maybe its other-worldliness imbues the sword with a totally different moral code? OK, yes, enough Star Trek...


telain
Rohan

Jul 18 2013, 7:06pm

Post #48 of 65 (171 views)
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What if... [In reply to] Can't Post

Nienor/Niniel is the Edain equivalent of Miriel?

I don't have the book in front of me (for shame!), but in reading the above post it occurred to me how alike there circumstances seem. Upon birth of a child, both seem to give up; Miriel to give birth to a complete overachiever whose actions define the word "rash" in most dictionaries and Nienor who has been married to a complete overachiever whose actions define both "rash" and "unwise". There is an immense amount of sadness surrounding both of them.

And not only do they give up, they both take their own lives. Miriel decides to die and is in fact the only being able to do so in Valinor and Nienor also decides to take her own life and both seem to be far happier for it. (!!!)

And "Niniel" and "Miriel"? Speaking of the significance of names, those two sound very similar...

Any ideas? Or am I clearly too tired for rational thought and should go home and take a nap?


sador
Half-elven


Jul 18 2013, 8:20pm

Post #49 of 65 (173 views)
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Well, if i suddenly can post, I might as well have a go at it... [In reply to] Can't Post

But perhaps the long break will teach me moderation. Who knows?

Are the names and the order of naming a foresight? Or is Nienor born to Mourning because of her sisters untimely loss and Hurin's capture?
Well, Tolkien is rather heavy-handed with his names, is he not? Just like telling us that Turin was born "with omens of sorrow" (The Grey Annals). I'm glad Christopher omitted that from the published Silmarillion!

Regarding you question, however, the answer might be simle - Urwen was named Lalaith for her laughter after she was born, at a time of high hopes indeed (another detail Christopher left out, in a perhaps less happy decision); and Nienor was named after her people were defeated, her father lost and her brother sent away.


Beleg the Elf still chooses to take this blade. But is her prophesy fully correct?
Well, it did not seem to love Turin - although it did mourn for Beleg (per Gwindor, and see its last words), so arguably Melian was wrong!
Also, why would it break upon taking Turin's life? Is this a sign of his greatness, or did the sword really love him? (Note that this detail is not in the Kalevala excerpt you've posted)
At least the second part of Melian's prophecy proved correct!


If these things are foresight, do we think that Turin as an Edain simply does not perceive them for what they are?
Would an elf even notice it? You seem to be assuming that Turin is just a blind Man, ignoring the signs. But he could be a hyper-sensitive who tries to learn to ignore such things as omens.


Is this all an example of the higher vision and comprehension of the Firstborn and a Vala, and how it all tells against the hapless, clueless Edain?
I would rather say that Gwindor had learned from bitter experience how Morgoth's evil works.


Is there premonition in Niniel's refusal of Turambar's proposal?
Tolkien indicates so. But is there premonition in Brandir's warnings, or merely jealousy? And perhaps Niniel simply heeded Brandir's advice for a time, before love proved stronger than gratitude.


We have already read of pure, uncorrupted love in the immediate connection of Beren and Luthien.
How?

Yes, I know that's what Tolkien meant. But did he write it down anywhere - or are we readers just romantic-minded?


Do we have its moral opposite here, deep yet sadly corrupted love, unknowingly impure at its base, in the hesitation of Niniel?
If it is "unknowingly impure", can we call it "corrupted"? You seem to consider love an independant force, rather than an interaction between the two characters.
In the world of Greco-Roman myth, this is natural and obvious. But Tolkien's pantheon does not include any Vala who is in charge of love, and as a rule the Holy Ones appear to be quite ignorant of such quirks of the Children's psyche.



ltnjmy
Rivendell


Jul 18 2013, 9:21pm

Post #50 of 65 (161 views)
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This entire thread - and all of the postings - quite impressive [In reply to] Can't Post

I am quite impressed by all of the wonderful commentary in this marvelous thread. Thanks for sharing. It was an awesome read.Smile

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