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Terrific

CuriousG
Valinor


Jul 28 2013, 11:42pm


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Terrific [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for such a great chapter overview and insightful questions, Faenoriel, in addition to the information on how it was constructed. You're right about this being such a sad chapter that ends many sagas. The sadness is unrelenting by this time: first the Nirnaeth, then Turin bringing destruction to Nargothrond and Brethil, then Hurin dooming Gondolin and Doriath. This chapter stands out more as the death knell of Beleriand to me because Gondolin is in a tiny valley and isolated from the rest of the world, but Doriath was the original kingdom there, and the spiritual center of the map in addition to the geographical center.

Canon: given that Christopher made quite a few changes elsewhere, though not as substantially as here, it seems canon enough to me. His details vary, but he seems to have stayed true to the overall ideas behind the story.

Hurin: on 1st read, I was furious with his actions, but I've warmed up to him over time and see him as more of a victim of fate and divine curses and less of a trouble-maker. I'll probably never warm up to Turin, but Hurin was behaving the way any solitary, desperate, and justifiably bitter man would. It's disappointing in a spiritual way that his actions doom both Gondolin and Doriath; it seems that Morgoth's malice is winning even though Hurin had defied him for decades. I'm not sure his tombstone could say, "He was not conquered." Morwen was the only one who emerged unconquered, but she seems to have spent years of dragon-induced madness in the wilderness, so her timespan of being unconquered was very brief. That part always seems to me like Hurin is stretching the truth about her, desperate to believe something of his family was unsullied. And yes, that scene between them is Tolkien at his best. It burned an image in my mind of the two of them together at last, along with the tragic timing. Morwen's "I shall go with the sun" is heart-wrenching.

As much as I dislike Mim, I don't see what Hurin accomplished by killing him. I think it was wrong. And to be fair about the whole thing, Turin's band killed Mim's son first, so the blood started with him.

Thingol: He seems to be his true self again, and for that reason, the Turin chapter seems "non-canon" to me. That's a completely different Thingol in the previous chapter. His transformation could be explained by having some personal growth in Luthien's travails, but that transformation seems to have evaporated here. Oh well. This is the Thingol I expect to see. I don't feel any grief when he dies and feel like he's brought it on himself, not that I excuse the Dwarves.

Melian:
I hope Maciliel shows up for some Melian-bashing, because her last act is an ignoble one. I understand that she loves Thingol, etc, but she's been around those other Elves like Mablung for centuries. How can she abandon them so heartlessly? In her favor, I'll admit that she was a goddess married to an immortal, and whether she foresaw Thingol's death or not, she couldn't have known how she'd react to it, just as us mortals can't either. It would make sense that she's not only overcome by grief, but profoundly confused too. How could her lover be gone? She couldn't be killed, just temporarily unhoused until she re-housed herself. How long would Thingol be in Mandos? Could she pull some strings and win him an early release? What would life in Valinor be like with him, just the two of them with no kingdom? Wouldn't he be a different person if he weren't a powerful king? It's a lot to figure out.

B&L's family: yes, I find it odd that Dior pops up and then gets snuffed so quickly. He seems like he'd be an interesting person, especially with "Dior Eluchil set himself to raise anew the glory of the kingdom of Doriath." I'm never quite sure how he'd do that without his grandmother's Girdle, yet it's heroic of him to try. What happens to B&L's family is catastrophic. It seems particularly unjust that Nimloth is killed; the Sons of Feanor are killing women now, too? The fate of Elwing's brothers is an atrocity. How could the enchanted love of B&L come to such a rotten end?

The Silmaril: I agree with Brethil that it's a mirror of the soul, so it reflected and amplified Thingol's pride as it inflamed Feanor's pride and Morgoth's envy. Luthien is too wholesome to have it reflect any negative traits, but it's disturbing that it hastens her death. Just one more reason for me to think the world would have been better if those jewels had never been made.

The Sons of Feanor: they can't die soon enough for me! I think it's fate that keeps them alive to play their nefarious part in the Noldor's misery. Since you find redeeming traits in Feanor, what do you think of his sons?

Loss: Gondolin's fall is the saddest for me. I never get much of a sense of Hithlum or the Feanorian realms to conjure up much loss when they're overrun. Falas would come #2 in my sense of loss. Cirdan did everything right and was quite selfless in the coalition against Morgoth, so it's deeply unfair that he should lose his realm. (Though I always wonder why Ulmo didn't tell him to escape early, or help him do so.) Yet as much as I am not fond of Thingol, I reason that the majority of Elves in Beleriand were Sindar and looked to him as their king, and Melian was a goddess among lower beings, so Doriath's loss weighs heavily as the loss of the Elves' spiritual core.

Elves vs Dwarves: just a misunderstanding, like the basis of so much real-world racial hatred!

Sadness: I'm pretty numb by this point of the book after so much loss.

Thanks again for the excellent summary and analysis.


Subject User Time
Silmarillion discussion, chapter 22: The Ruin of Doriath Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Jul 28 2013, 4:13pm
    An excellent summary of the chapter Faenoriel elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jul 28 2013, 5:00pm
        Women madly in love with men not so worthy of them? Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Jul 28 2013, 10:29pm
    Thoughts Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jul 28 2013, 6:57pm
    Ruin of Doriath: awesome questions Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 28 2013, 8:56pm
    Own answers, and some additional thoughts about the chapter Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Jul 28 2013, 10:13pm
        Responses... and more responses! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jul 29 2013, 12:15am
        Answers at last (part II) sador Send a private message to sador Aug 5 2013, 12:23pm
    Terrific CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jul 28 2013, 11:42pm
        Fëanorians, Fëanorians everywhere Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Jul 29 2013, 12:48pm
        fashionably late for some melian-bashing Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Aug 5 2013, 4:57am
            Melian wasn't able to do enough to save Thingol and keep Doriath safe Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Aug 5 2013, 5:26am
                Thoughts. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Aug 5 2013, 5:36am
                her presence +was+ effective Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Aug 5 2013, 2:12pm
            That is actually an excellent point. sador Send a private message to sador Aug 5 2013, 8:10am
            All I can do is agree, agree, agree with you. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 5 2013, 2:53pm
                hey : ) Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Aug 5 2013, 3:14pm
                    Dan Brown using people as plot devices? Impossible! CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 5 2013, 3:19pm
            Isn´t this a bit harsh? elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Aug 5 2013, 7:30pm
                Just to clarify CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 8 2013, 9:27pm
                hallo : ) Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Aug 9 2013, 10:07pm
                    Hyberbole at it's most hyperbolic CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 11 2013, 6:41pm
                        Is hyperbole more hyperbolic than the Superbowl is superbolic? // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Aug 12 2013, 9:03am
                            Funny you should mention that. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 13 2013, 5:11am
                                O-o-ohhh, s-a-a-y can't you s-e-e-e… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Aug 13 2013, 9:20am
            some other points elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Aug 6 2013, 5:33am
    Maybe this should have been 3 chapters? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 29 2013, 1:38pm
    Wonderful summary and questions! Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 29 2013, 3:36pm
        "she was not conquered" noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 30 2013, 11:09am
        Silmarils and ladies noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 30 2013, 11:21am
            Well, I'd like to say Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 30 2013, 11:32am
                There would have to be several factors… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 30 2013, 12:13pm
                    Yes, you're right Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 30 2013, 1:22pm
                        Handing out Silmarils? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 30 2013, 1:38pm
                            *scornful laugh* Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 30 2013, 3:31pm
                                Maybe Melkor fed the Ethics Committee to Ungoliant? // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Jul 30 2013, 3:39pm
                                    No wonder the poor dear was still so hungry.// Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Jul 30 2013, 3:43pm
                        Silmarils and marriage CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Aug 2 2013, 6:17pm
                            I think it does, if it reflects inner need. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Aug 3 2013, 1:24am
    Discussion points Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jul 30 2013, 1:49am
    A few comments; answers to your questions will hopefully be on Sunday sador Send a private message to sador Aug 1 2013, 1:59pm
        I for one am eternally grateful for what CT gave us Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Aug 1 2013, 2:24pm
    one of the best chapters IMO elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Aug 4 2013, 11:18am
    Answers at last (part I) sador Send a private message to sador Aug 4 2013, 5:57pm
        Not the point of the book Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Aug 4 2013, 6:51pm
            That's not what I've meant; I apologise sador Send a private message to sador Aug 4 2013, 7:27pm
                No problem! Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Aug 4 2013, 8:11pm
                    Well, this is an example sador Send a private message to sador Aug 5 2013, 7:59am
                        Ah yes, I recall saying that Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Aug 5 2013, 1:38pm

 
 
 

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