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Silmarillion Chapter Discussion: Akallabeth (Downfall of Numenor)
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Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 2:47am

Post #1 of 45 (425 views)
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Silmarillion Chapter Discussion: Akallabeth (Downfall of Numenor) Can't Post

Hello, this is my first chapter lead, and this may be your first RR discussion, so let's work through this together, post away! Don't mind anyone else, if you have a thought/comment, share it! A copy of the book might help, but is by no means required. By reason of length, this discussion with be split into two parts- The rise, and fall of Numenor.


First, a refresher:
Earendil has succeeded in reaching Valinor, and the Valar have intervened on the behalf of the Free Peoples. There is a huge battle(The War of Wrath), the Elves of Valinor, Edain, and the host of Valar on one side, and Orcs, Balrogs, Dragons, and Dark Men on the other, In the end Morgoth got his due (Finally!). He's, chained, and put out of the world's sphere, not to return. In the chaos of the encounter, Beleriand is destroyed, and sinks beneath the waves. Many Exiled Elves, now pardoned, return to Eressea, but some stay in ME, among them Cirdan, Celeborn, Elrond, and Galadriel. The Edain are rewarded with an island home, Numenor, just within sight of Eressea.They were also granted a longer lifespan than the other houses of men, a reward for their faithfulness. Forbidden to sail to the West, they are content for some time, imperialising the western coast of ME, exploring the vast seas, and growing in skill and knowledge. All is well, until they begin to long for immortality.


We will focus on the rise of the Numenorians to the height of their power. Here is how I am going to do this: I am going to maintain a running commentary on the chapter, picking out the “shiny” bits that catch my eye, and posing discussion questions throughout.


The Akallabeth


First thing I notice, the title. We have come to the end of the Quenta Silmarillion. Presumably written in Quenya, it reflects a very Elf/Vala-centric portion of the Silmarillion. Now we have 'Akallabeth', an Aduniac title, foreboding the shift in focus, to Men, the Edain.



It is said that Quenya was used in Numenor, to record Lore and History.



Would the title suggest that this scroll came out of Numenor, and was recorded in Aduniac?


Was this a possible Editorial decision of the supposed compiler?


Men and Elves came into the world of ME under Morgoth's shadow. Some worshiped him, others- the Edain- turned West, seeking the Valar. They allied themselves to the Elves, and fought nobly. From both Kindreds, came Earendil who reached Valinor, and bestirred the Valar to intervene.
In the conflict that followed, Morgoth's stronghold was overthrown, and most Balrogs, dragons, and orcs are destroyed. Some men who fought for him- evil Men- dispersed through ME. Using the power they had gained from Morgoth, and manipulating others' fear, they became Kings of Men.


So my first thought here is, the Witch-King of Angmar!! This is where he comes from, the evil Men!!! These Men used their superior knowledge and power, to overawe their simpler kin, and become rulers. The Witch-King must be a descendant of one of these.

I wonder why he is the only one said to possess this kind of power?


Where did it come from, Sauron, or Morgoth?


If Morgoth, why did no other King seem to have the power?


We know that more than one Balrog survived, so where are the rest, discounting Durin's Bane in Moria?


Some dragons must have done so, escaping to breed on the Withered Heath, al a Smaug. What did they do in the interim?


The Valar leave the men of ME alone for a while, amid the terrors of Morgoth, the misshapen beasts and orcs. It was the report of these by Yavanna and Orome, that caused them to interfere on behalf of the Elves, at the first.


Why do they let it alone?


Do they think that Evil has been destroyed? They seem to have made this mistake before!


Have Yavanna, Orome, and Ulmo, forsaken ME? They were the most proactive Valar.


Morgoth is put beyond the Wall of Night, into the Void, beyond Arda itself. He cannot reenter the Circles of the World as long as the Valar keep watch. His influence remains, and his seeds of evil, hate, and destruction remain to trouble the world.


I assume that Sauron is the greatest evil left in the Outer Lands.



Why does he seem to escape punishment and destruction so easily here, and from Utumno as well?



Was he playing his own game all along, readying himself to seize power?


Why don't the Valar take a roll call here to find out who is still out there?


I mean, he IS a Maiar, with powers beyond the Men and Elves of ME. What is to stop him from setting up shop in ME, which he later does?


The Elves go to Eressea and renew its beauty, while Osse raises Numenor from the depths, Aule makes it fast, and Yavanna enriches it, for the Edain. The new island is ready, and to which they are guided by Earendil.


Why does Osse raise the Island, and not Ulmo?


Was Ulmo a rebel Valar, opposed to the plan of the others?



Did he not want the Elves and Edain to leave ME?


Did he fear a repitiotin of the rebellion and Kinslaying?


What is Ulmo's motivation?


Is he more foresighted, just a bit tired to do it himself, or something else?


It is also stated that the Edain are healthy, but bear few children.


Why? This was passed on to Gondor apparently.


Did it have something to do with the hard life in Beleriand?


Perhaps they didn't want to bring children into such a dark world, or they simply lacked the food to support them?


This harsh environment did not exist in Numenor, so why? Custom? Habit? Culture?



It is then stated that in the center of the island, upon a high pinnacle, was an altar to Eru Illuvatar.


This is the first, and only, mention of organized religion in Arda, that I can see.


Why do you think so?


Tolkien had a deep seated faith, why do you think that it found so little active expression in his literary works?


Was he perhaps, influenced by his friend, C. S. Lewis' example, in this aspect?


Elrond, Elros, and all of the descendants of Earendil. Are given the choice of which Kindred they will join their fate to. Illuvaltar makes an exception, leaving it in the hands of the Valar, who turn it over to the descendant themselves. Elros chooses the Fate of Men, and is appointed First King of the Dunedain. Elrond chooses the Fate of the Elves.


Now, this sets up any cross-Kindred marriages nicely. They simply have to be a descendant of Earendil, and change their mind as to their fate. Arwen takes advantage of this, but another question niggles at my mind.


Why do we have no descendants of Elros choosing Immortality? Was it even possible?


Elros' kids seem to have gotten the short end of the stick. Elrond's could live their life, almost forever, then choose death when they want.


Was their some ban on those born men, to become immortal? An expression of entropy in ME?


Lastly, how close do you believe that Elrond and Elros were?


Was there an argument over their choices, or did they both have to answer independently?


Sundered beyond the Fate of the world, it seems a bit tragic for the brothers.


It is then remarked, how the lands of ME devolved in the shadows of evil, as the land of the Numenorians increased in light. They learned of the Elves of Eressea and ME, much, and became mighty in crafts and skills of peace. They also became mighty sailors, exploring the wide seas, and even sighted the Far regions and Walls of Night. It is also told, of the the Ban of the Valar, forbidding the Numenorians to sail west, toward the land of Aman. They were happy to oblige, having more than enough to do in the meanwhile. Elves from Eressea came, bearing gifts, and knowledge enriching the island. They even brought the sapling of Nimloth, the White Tree, to Numenor, the image of Teleperion. Finally they begin to take interest in the lands of ME. Those wild Men are taught much of agriculture and crafts, and begin to shake off the yoke of the Evil Kings.


This darkening of ME couldn't have gone unnoticed by the Valar, but the Numenorians seem to have taken the initiative here.


Is this indicative of the reassertion of neutrality of the Valar?


Or is the Age of the Valar coming to an end, like the “Time of the Elves” and the “Age of Men”?


Are they drawing back from the affairs of the world, leaving it to the Elves and Men?


The Numenorians seem to be off to a good start, teaching the men of ME, but they do not stay to protect the seeds of light they have sown.


What might have happened if they had?


Now the Dunedain begin to long for immortality, and the seeds of the will of Morgoth begin to sprout. They begin secretly, then openly to dispute the Ban of the Valar, wishing to go to the Undying Lands. They begin to boast of their craft and mastery of the sea, over which they really had no control. They still progress as a society, though the foundations are beginning to be undercut.


This is very reminiscent of the rebellion of Feanor.


They began to believe lies and deceptions of Morgoth, and wanted something that was against the will of the Valar.


They also began in secret, but then openly defied the Valar.


Those loyal carried the words to the Valar, and they responded.


A lot of similarities.


Then the Valar send word, (Not themselves), explaining that they could not come to the Undying Lands, and that it would be no good to themselves, as immortality was not an external asset, but an internal trait of the one who possesses it. Also, that the land of immortality would consume their life even more quickly.


Now the Valar have explained the facts to the Dunedain, much like they had made their case to the Eldar.


They don't seem to do anything different, but is this complacency, or is it part of the Fate of the World?


Are they limited in their actions? They did not interfere in Beleriand until the “fated messenger” appeared in Aman.


Perhaps they are backseat powers, bound to follow the plan set out by Eru? They don't have any power to change anything, and are bound much more than Elves or Men, having less free will?


Perhaps they represent Fate itself?


On the topic of mortals in the Undying lands, it would appear that an irreconcilable dichotomy exists between mortality and immortality, being mutually exclusive of each other.


The shortening of mortal life in an immortal environment, would seem to hearken back to the deaths of Beren and Luthien in Tol Galen.


Perhaps this is the reason that mortal men cannot become immortal?


How, then, would the cases of Tuor, Elrond, and Earendil be explained?


Is this an ex Deus Machina?


How would you explain it?


The King of Numenor then replies. He cites Earendil as an example of mortal taking immortality, and asks whether he dwells not in Aman.


Now, as a matter of fact, no, Earendil is not in Aman. He has a fate separate from Men, Dwarves, Elves, and Vala.


(As a matter of fact, where are the Dwarves in all of this? Did they forsake Beleriand in their grudge?).


His wife is not even in Aman, she is in a tower, north of the Sundering Seas.


While we are on the topic, the King cites an example of a man who did truly great things.


How can he, realistically, liken himself to Earendil? What had he done to deserve immortality?


Lies, and deceptions, seem to be the only real power of evil in a loyal society, and the corruption of that loyalty.


How could all of theis been avoided, do you think? Could it have been?


The messenger doesn't address the above concerns directly, but does state the truth of the case. The Numenorians want the best of both worlds, to come to Aman, then to go to the mortal lands when they wish. It cannot be. It is also said that the rebellious Eldar are not punished, and it is explained that it cannot be otherwise. The Men think that death is a punishment, but the messenger explain that it is a gift of Eru, and that Evil had twisted the meaning of it. Vala are, for better or worse bound to the earth and its trials. It is then that they ask, which of them truly have the best part of the deal?
The Numenorians revolt from this explanation, possibly sensing the ignorance of the Valar in this matter, and the Valar admit their ignorance, and warnhem of the danger in defying Eru's plan, as Melkor tried to do. Most of them do not accept this explanation.


The Valar truly state the facts clearly, but they cannot change the minds of Men.


They cannot comprehend the gift of the Atani, death, or their special dispensation of free will.


Perhaps they are not the best to explain it to them?


Again it is shown that Morgoth has twisted the truth, in the matter of death.


What are your personal thoughts on the Fate of Men?


It is then that an obsession with life, and a fear of death, became rampant among the Numenorians. They shortened their lives in worry, or they clung on into madness. Except for the Elendili, the Faithful, who listened to the council of the Valar, while staying loyal to the House of Elros. They did not understand the Hope of Men, but also had the trust to believe that it would all work out. The civilization of Westernesse flourished still, in spite of this dissension. The Numenorians then begin to establish an Imperium in ME. They began to build great towers and harbors on the coasts, levying taxes of labor and material upon the native men. They began to become more complex a society, and aid Gil-galad against Sauron, eventually moving south.


Fear always drives us to something else. In the case of the Numenorians it drives them to feats of architecture and arms.


Are they trying to fill up the hole left in their longing for immortality?


Trying to replace it with something else, but not finding fulfillment?


No longer are they a simple society of adventurers, but become a complex society, with many schisms and much more opulent. A parallel to the shift of the Roman Republic to an increasingly nebulous political Empire, could be drawn here.


The Men don't seem to find what they are looking for, however.


Then we shift back to Sauron. What has he been up to? He appears once more in power in Mordor, far from the Elven havens, and raises Barad-dur. He seems to be operating for the same goal as Morgoth, Kingdom of the World and a position as a deity among men. He has a fear and hatred of the Numenorians, for their deeds of old, and the aid they gave to Gil-galad in Eriador. He drew in his strength to Mordor, fearing a direct conflict. He was forced to use subtlety and guile to gain his ends. He gave out the Nine Rings to men, ensnaring three Lords of Numenor. Now having the Ringwraiths by his side, and presumably weakening the Numenorians of strategic leadership, he begins an active campaign against the Men and Elves.


Sauron seems to be walking in the steps of Morgoth, in his own petty way.


In what ways are they similar, and in what ways are they different?


Is this similarity related the Fate of the World?


Does Sauron have less choice in his modus operandi? (See the discussion on personality limiting fate in the RR discussion, of Tuor and the fall of Gondolin)


How did he give out the rings? Did it have something to do with half-truths about immortality?


Then you have the others that he ensnared. Who do you think they were?


We have the Witch-King, but who else?


Were they strategically chosen, in anticipation of his assault?


Now we shift back to Numenor. A king ascends the throne under an Aduniac name, proscribing the use of the Elvish tongue. This is just the beginning of the end. Ar-Gimilzor, later, forsakes the tending of the White Tree and the altar to Eru, also punishing the Faithful, who still welcomed the ships from Eressea. He also forced the Elendili to remove themselves to the eastern side of the island, now separated from their friends in Eressea. They would still travel to ME to speak with Gil-galad, though, and many left, never to return. The king kept a secret service to watch the Elendili, and he took action to prevent any influence, beyond his own, to come to Numenor. Now this angered the Valar and they gave no more favors or council to the Dunedain Numenor had reached its high water mark. No more ships came to them from Eressea.


Now we have blatant disregard of the Valar and Eru himself. Ar-Gimilzor seems bent on a policy of isolation and breaking with the Elves.


He sets up a system of a secret police to watch and punish the faithful, a sure sign of tyranny anywhere. He then forces them to move from there homes, to a place that they can more easily be watch, away from aid of the Eldar.


Concentration camps any one?


On the other side you have the Faithful, still loyal to the King, they comply with his demands.


What was their object here? Political reform, or just an overtaxed sense of loyalty?


The real climax comes when the Valar break off communication with them. They had been favored and given many gifts.


Perhaps they were a bit 'spoiled', and the Valar began to act as a parent might in this case?


Does this mark a point in history, when the Valar become more withdrawn from the world, and it's fate?


They do not seem to directly involve themselves in ME after this.


Did they prohibit the visits of the Elves, or did they cease to come because of the lack of those to meet them?


Did the King threaten them, and would he have actually have harmed the Elves?


Wrap-up

How was that? Comments on my method and presentation, are solicited and accepted most graciously.


Anything I miss? Do you have your own views or opinions? I cannot wait to read them!


Part II will be posted next week, and we will discuss the steep slide of the Numenorians into destruction.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Aug 18 2013, 12:54pm

Post #2 of 45 (216 views)
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A few points [In reply to] Can't Post

It does seem a little bit all or nothing for the Valar. The men that are loyal to them have been given great reward, the rest are just left to the dangers of the world in their weak state. In fact, I think the men of Numenor had the bests of both worlds. Not immortal, but they do live for a long time. I mean, someone who is 100 would still be just out of his or her teens by their lifespans reckoning! Oh, and the Witch-kings power does come from Sauron via the Witch-kings ring and the One Ring, I suppose. Interestingly, it was the offer of immortality which was how Suaron entrapped the Nine. He just didn't say what type of Immortality!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 1:03pm

Post #3 of 45 (210 views)
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I had the (possibly wrong) impression... [In reply to] Can't Post

That the Witch-King had his power before he was endkaved by his ring. I mean, who would remember his title that he bore, before he was turned wraith? If he had it afterwards, then, I think l, that he would be unrecognizable.

It also could have been a name choice that carried a bit more weight than "Chief of the Nazgul!"


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Aug 18 2013, 1:09pm

Post #4 of 45 (213 views)
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Rather depends upon what type of power you mean! [In reply to] Can't Post

He probably was a lord of Numenor, possibly even a King or a member of the royal family. There is somewhere some speculation as whom he might have been but I am never sure if it is official or Home speculation Smile However if we are talking about the Black breath, been invisible or words of power I think those must have come from Sauron. Sauron was quite good at that type of thing!


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Aug 18 2013, 4:21pm

Post #5 of 45 (209 views)
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I like your approach! Half-Elven, and Religion [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the summary of the events you deem important mixed in with questions that they raise for you.

I have thoughts on a few of them (in two groups).

On mortality/immortality of Men/Elves:

Perhaps this is the reason that mortal men cannot become immortal? How, then, would the cases of Tuor, Elrond, and Earendil be explained?


I think the basic situation is that, as is explained to the Numenoreans in this chapter, immortality is intrinsic to Elves, and mortality (the Fate/Gift of Men) is intrinsic to Men. Men and Elves then proceeded to make a mess of this by, on a few notable occasions, choosing a mate from the other kindred. The descendants of these mixed unions, because of their mixed parentage, carried both these potentialities.

To deal with this, the Valar gave these Part-Elven a choice. Based on the failure of Elros' descendants to have a choice, this may have been accomplished by removing from Elros whatever it is that causes immortality so that he would in the long run, someday, die of old age. While for Elrond (or any other who made his choice), they may have done nothing, his Elvenness perhaps ensuring that he would, like a full Elf, live on indefinitely. If this was the mechanism through which the choice was granted, then Elros would no longer have this Elvenness to pass on to his descendants, and thus no choice for them would be possible.

Which leaves Tuor, how did this pure-blooded Man wind up immortal, and why could the Valar not do this for other deserving Men who wished it? I'm not a scholar of Tolkien's letters and unfinished works, but I looked it up in Wikipedia (English entry for Tuor) and there it is alleged that in a letter Tolkien explained Tuor's fate was a special one-time gift of Eru Illuvatar, for the sake of Tuor and Idril and the love they bore one another. Which makes some sense to me, making this sort of like what happened with Beren and Luthien - something special that is beyond the ability of even the Valar to grant.

On Religion and the Afterlife:

This is the first, and only, mention of organized religion in Arda, that I can see. Why do you think so? Tolkien had a deep seated faith, why do you think that it found so little active expression in his literary works?
The Valar truly state the facts clearly, but they cannot change the minds of Men. They cannot comprehend the gift of the Atani, death, or their special dispensation of free will. Perhaps they are not the best to explain it to them?


This somewhat random selection from your questions I am bringing together because to me they are all closely related. It seems to me that particularly this section of the Legendarium *is* about religion. I think Tolkien's approach was to write about ideas and problems of religion, without spelling it out or making it specific. Not to produce an allegorical or theological work addressing his particular religion precisely (Numenoreans are not Catholics) and/or instructing us how we should specifically believe (become Catholic), but instead to present key issues of faith as he sees them.

I do not think that the failure of the Valar to explain the Gift of Men comes from their limitations. The mysterious, never adequately explained Gift of Men, it has always seemed to me, is the Afterlife. Tolkien's world is a legendary past of our world, and Tolkien's Men specifically, are our forebears out of that legendary time and place. The Gift of Men is the same Afterlife we (as promised us by various real-world religions specifically including Roman Catholicism, Tolkien's faith) will experience following our deaths in our real lives. The Faithful are thus like those among us in real life who satisfy themselves with these promises of the assorted religions to which they adhere, even though (with apologies to any religious persons reading this) those promises are somewhat vague and/or not easily susceptible of proof. Al-Gimilzor and those of like mind are those who reject religious faith on the grounds that their God has not done enough for them and they can do better.

Tolkien is pretty clear on which approach he thinks is better. Wink


(This post was edited by arithmancer on Aug 18 2013, 4:27pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 4:52pm

Post #6 of 45 (196 views)
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I thought that I read somewhere.... [In reply to] Can't Post

That the Numenorians fought the Witch King and his men. I had thought that the barrow wights were the dead of that battle. I had thought that the WK was the leader of the men from Carn Dum.

Perhaps one closer to their reference books can enlighten us?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 5:29pm

Post #7 of 45 (190 views)
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Thanks, and thoughts... [In reply to] Can't Post

Good thoughts. A good way to explain the choice of Elrond and Elros. So perhaps it is a entropic expression. The loss of something to be mortal in Elros, and a non-change for Elrond. I like it!!!

The perspective you have given on religion and the Afterlife, is both insightful and fair. Speaking as a person with a heartfelt and deep seated faith, I wholly concur.

In context, Tolkien intended this chapter to relate to our own belief, or lack thereof, in the Afterlife. Though speaking to a varied audience, he did not feel obliged to mask his own opinions. Instead, he gives us a gentle nudge in one direction, and leaves the rest to us. (Granted, that in ME, religion does not seem to be a major factor, and Eru does not seem to be a demanding god)

I do not know if I am correct, but I see, (or have forced a personal opinion upon it) pattern and progression in his books.

In the beginning, the Valar,( gods, deities, or angelic figures) are very active in the world. Reminiscent if the direct involvement of the Norse gods, or the Bible's Old Testament. Evidence of the supreme deity(ies) is(are) given and people even meet or talk with them. A lot if cultures believe in a time when the deities were more active or physically present.

As we get to TH, LotR, New Testament, Present Day, they are more withdrawn. No more sightings of God, Valar, Thor, Odin, or co., and it is left more to faith and trust of the believers. Though not fully withdrawn,(we can believe that God, the Valar, Eru, Thor, Odin, Frey, or et al, still works unseen.) we can still admit that they are not as active as they once were. We still have things that we hold, in faith, them responsible for.

Fate in LotR could be interpreted as Eru. The Elves and men have heard the stories, and now it is up to them to believe, or not.

Good things today, people can attribute to Odin, Frey, God, Allah, Bhudda, or anyone else they want.

Tolkien gave us a little blurb here, supporting what he believed, and it is natural that his writings would mirror his beliefs.


So, am I reading too much into it or not?


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Aug 18 2013, 6:20pm

Post #8 of 45 (192 views)
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Old Testament [In reply to] Can't Post

No, I do not think you are reading too much into it, I agree that Tolkien's Legendarium is like to the Old Testament, or like any other set of myths about Gods and Heroes/Prophets from any of the non Judeo-Christian faiths.

The idea of God/the Valar withdrawing and becoming less active is sort of there. To me it is most tied to the Elves gradually leaving for Valinor, since it is only they who may go to where the Valar actually dwell. Men can't, so in a future where Elves are gone, yes, it seems there would be less contact with spiritual beings.

Viewing the LotR period (and a good deal before) as like the New Testament makes some sense to me as well. I would not compare the Wizards to Christ directly as there are significant differences. (One or more of the Wizards fell into error, and wizards are lesser then even the Valar who sent them, whereas Christ, to Christians, is both without sin, and the One God incarnate). But there are also similarities in that the Wizards were spiritual beings, and they came in the guise of men, only with greater powers. I don't know that Tolkien would have intended this deliberately, but as he was clearly very familiar with both the Old and New Testaments that may have informed his idea of what this sort of text "should" look like.

On the other hand - have we not been discussing the long periods of inactivity of the Valar even in the Silmarillion? In modern real world religions that exist today it seems to me the continuing possibility of angelic/Divine involvement in a less hidden, more active way, is there, either in the world today or in the future. I am most familiar with Catholicism as it happens, as that is the religious background of my family. And Catholics can believe in miraculous happenings in the present day, mediated by saints, people who have (recently) been alive. (I am thinking specifically of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 and is likely to be declared a saint before the end of this year). A different example is the position of some fundamentalist Protestant groups in the US, who expect the Rapture, or the Second Coming, or similar, in the near future. Finally, in both these groups the faithful may believe that they have received answers to their prayers.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 6:37pm

Post #9 of 45 (184 views)
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Definitely [In reply to] Can't Post

I would not do a 1 to 1, transliteration of themes.(Eru=/=God). Tolkien himself said that there was no intention of allegory, and that he detested it..

He pulled inspirations from MANY cultures,(Anglo-Saxon, Norse, European, Christianity, and others.) These cultures, in their entirety, could never mix, without conflict, it just couldn't happen. He took the inspiration from all of these, and more, and he put them into what we have.

I personally think that he has taken things from his personal faith, that were the most important to himself, and built his world around it.

Ex. He liked the active Norse deities, but was a monotheist. So he has put one Supreme Being over them, demoting the Ainur to the level of angelic expression of that Being.

Similar to C S Lewis' Mere Christianity?

Things that he was NOT willing to compromise upon.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2013, 9:35pm

Post #10 of 45 (166 views)
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As this discussion has seemed to have 'died'... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it my responsibility to make it more accessible. I will post a few headers for sub-threads, and see how it goes from there.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2013, 9:44pm

Post #11 of 45 (159 views)
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Loose ends [In reply to] Can't Post

There are a few loose threads in the climax of the story of Beleriand.

Dragons are present in ME, after the destruction of Angband.

We're they escapees from the War if Wrath--deserters?

Did a few rebel, like Glaurung did, and make their willful way, into the east?



Balrogs, more than one was said to have escaped.

What have they been doing all this time?
(Or ARE they doing? These earthquakes are a pretty sordid business!!)

Do they die in the depths, or just sleep?

Why did he say a few escaped? Did he have more Balrog stories in mind?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2013, 9:57pm

Post #12 of 45 (165 views)
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Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

He seems to feel no qualms in stepping up from 'Sauron the trusted lieutenant' to '!!Sauron: Dark Lord of All!!'.

Was he angling for more power, like Melko?

How did he escape Angband?

Was there a falling out, over 'The Isle of Cats Incident'? ( He was beaten by a 'mere Elf maiden' and I can SO see Morgoth as a macho man!)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2013, 10:16pm

Post #13 of 45 (152 views)
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The rings [In reply to] Can't Post

How did Sauron get the rings to the men?

Why didn't the Elves know, or help the men understand the true nature of the rings?

What power did they have originally that drew the men to them?


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Aug 19 2013, 11:05pm

Post #14 of 45 (155 views)
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Did Sauron actually do the world a favour [In reply to] Can't Post

In manipulating the Numenoreans to destruction? After all, he was the catalyst. The Numenoreans might well have been quite happy simply exploiting middle-earth for all it was worth with just a longing for immortality had Suaron not forced the issue. Could anything else have saved the world from Numenorean domination?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2013, 11:51pm

Post #15 of 45 (152 views)
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Hmm... Counter-factuals can get messy.. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'll have a go!

We can't prove a negative, and we cannot predict an alternate future without much error as we go on.We cannot say that they 'wouldn't have done this' anymore than we can prove that 'they would have done that'.

Assuming that the Numenorians would have continued their course of Imperialism, unimpeded by Sauron or the Elves, we can assume that a Munenorian hegemony would be formed in ME. The unattached native men, , who had been put into labor, would become subjects of the King. The tax of labor and material put upon them, would only increase. We would end up with a disposable slave class. Their sweat and blood would build a long coastal chain of strong harbors and cities on the Sea.


I can imagine a civil war breaking out, as the men who served the Sea-Kings out of gratitude, became embittered by their servitude. There were other kingdoms of men, allied, if only tangentially, with Sauron. These disaffected workers would receive help from these others, and become more dangerous. The Numenorians would be dealing with a the possibility of war, against the entire race of men in ME! (If the kings were not too busy fighting each other)

The Elves, would come under attack for being the freinds of the Sea Kings, and might aid them, unwillingly perhaps to support slavery, but for the sake of their friendship. They might only have aided in defense, urging the Numenorians to make peace, or withdraw.

I do not see such a scenario being allowed, whether by their pride, the Evil Kings, or Sauron.

The Elves would be besieged or killed, and the Numenorians would be in the same case, or go back to Numenor. The ant-Elf sentiment would not allow them to come to Numenor, so they would be stuck.

I think that this end, death of the Eldar and besiegement of the Numenorians would have been pleasing to Sauron. Using men to defeat both the Eldar and Numenorians.


squire
Valinor


Aug 20 2013, 12:11am

Post #16 of 45 (183 views)
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Sauron did Sauron a favor [In reply to] Can't Post

The self-destruction of the Numenoreans, due to their inability to accept the Gift of Men once their lifespans had been extended, was obviously fated. Driven by lust for the immortality of fame, for lack of immortality of the body, they had begun to imperialize the coastlands of Middle-earth as arrogant lords and slavemasters. A grim beginning. But would that have really resulted in the enslavement of the mortal world? No, because there was already a slavemaster of greater potential to the East: Sauron. The two empires collided, of course, and could only collide. What is curious about the story is the idea that Numenor was so strong that even Sauron could not command his armies to fight the Lords of the Sea, and he had to resort to subterfuge and subversion by moving to the metropolis as a hostage. I like the grandiosity of the vision at this point in the story, but I've never really believed it.

In any case, one side or the other was going to rule Middle-earth somewhat cruelly or totally cruelly -- pending something truly awful like the end of the known world. And that's what happened. Then how was Sauron doing the world a "favor" by destroying Numenor, when he was clearly set to clean up the remnants of the West after his return to Barad-dur? The triumph of the Last Alliance is what saved the world for the duration of the Third Age, not Sauron.



squire online:
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sador
Half-elven


Aug 20 2013, 2:12pm

Post #17 of 45 (133 views)
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At last! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the excellent job you're doing! And my apologies for taking so long.

Dragons are present in ME, after the destruction of Angband.
Well, I expect they could have fled - after all, some could fly by all accounts.
However, it is said in "later" works that the dragons did multiply, didn't they? Perhaps only two, one male and one female, escaped - but that was enough...

I have always suspected that somehow Sauron knew the secrets of the "dragon project", and was able to assist them in multiplying. It is also noteworthy that in the Third Age a variety of dragons is known - not just the unwinged and improved, winged, models, but also cold-drakes, dragons without any fire! To say nothing of the Fell Beasts of the Nazgul, which seem to distantly connected...

Balrogs, more than one was said to have escaped.
I didn't remember that! Is it?

This is odd, especially in view of Tolkien's statement I've cited in a recent thread thjat no more than five or seven are supposed to have ever existed. Five? Lemme count... two at least were killed in Gondolin, more than one escaped, so only one Balrog was destroyed! This contradicts Tolkien's statement in the previous chapter, doesn't it?

But even if we ignore this statement, and assume that there were originally seven such fellows - what was Eonwe doing, destroying only four out of the five? Isn't that a sloppy job of him?

What have they been doing all this time?
(Or ARE they doing? These earthquakes are a pretty sordid business!!)

Well, I have to link to an old post by Beren IV (another long-missed fellow of the RR circle, which I did have the pleasure to debate with). Your last statement just rang a bell.
Enjoy!


sador
Half-elven


Aug 20 2013, 2:26pm

Post #18 of 45 (136 views)
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Short answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Was he angling for more power, like Melko?
I don't really think so. He seems to be very loyal to Melkor, even after the latter is humbled and banished.

How did he escape Angband?

As we read in Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, he didn't. He was taken and, err, pardoned by Eonwe. I've discussed this in our previous reading.

Was there a falling out, over 'The Isle of Cats Incident'? ( He was beaten by a 'mere Elf maiden' and I can SO see Morgoth as a macho man!)

Maybe for a moment, but it didn't take Morgoth long to get beaten by the very same elf-maiden himself...


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 20 2013, 2:44pm

Post #19 of 45 (135 views)
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Missed citations added, with a thought on dragons [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, I had conflated this chapter with the previous one.

In the Voyage if Earendil it says:(page 251 of the '77 US edition)

"But it availed him(Morgoth) not. The Balrogs were destroyed, save some FEW (emphasis mine) that fled and his themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth;....."

More than one escaped, unless this is a faulty tradition, handed down. But them you have Gandalf's praise of old-wives' tales..... Hmmm....


I love dragons, I talk about them a lot, and Tolkien brought a sinister charm to them, that I am quite sorry for them when they die.

I wonder how many escaped to ME and the Withered Heath. It could have been two, as Thorin's line could be read- The Withered Heath where THE (i.e. only two) great dragons bred. Possibly more, how I had first read it, but it is unclear in the present grammatical construct.

I wonder if there are any notes on this topic...

^One of the many reasons that English is a mess^-- we cannot always determine the exact intent of the writer from the words themselves!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 20 2013, 3:17pm

Post #20 of 45 (143 views)
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Not angling for power, with no desire for upward mobility? Brainwashed? [In reply to] Can't Post

According to that reading, there IS honor among...Uh...thieves?..... in Arda.

I had just thought of Sauron, and evil in Arda, in the light of a vicious, egotistical, selfish, back stabbing variety. Just IMHO. Maybe I like over the top villains? Too much? LOL!

In otRoP:atTA, (<--check that acronym out!!) it is said that "Sauron fell back into evil," for the bonds put on him by Morgoth "were too strong".

Doesn't this seem imply that the acolytes of Morgoth were brainwashed into following him? Perhaps rather than beguiling those other spirits to follow him, he "daunted them", as it is said that he did to many in Beleriand?

I don't feel bad for Sauron( he is not innocent!), but the statement cited above, does raise an interesting question.

Were some of the lesser spirits "daunted"/brainwashed by Morgoth?

Now I think that you must make a choice to do evil, but they could be influenced to do so, They might just have surrendered to his Will, and become his servants. It was their wrong choice in the beginning, to commit to evil, so they aren't blameless here.

A great spirit like Sauron, I don't think, would be as susceptible to his mesmeric effect, but in choosing evil, he might have willingly accepted the servitude of Morgoth, putting him into a position of servitude, for which, whether by fear and intimidation, or limited fate (see the Tuor and Gondolin RR discussion on personality limiting your fate), he became bound to his evil course.

Can a parallel bond to a losing master/cause, be drawn between Morgoth-Sauron and Saruman-Grima?

Might the same psychological factor be in play?

On the Defeat of both by Luthien....

I can just see this scene:

Sauron comes to Angband after Beren and Luthien have escaped with the Silmaril. Morgoth is picking himself up off the floor, still half asleep.

Sauron enters and looks around. Knowing the cause of this scene, and sighting his master, he cracks a half smile. He thinks, " And he was mad at me for being beaten by a girl! Well at least I didn't end up on the floor!"

Morgoth looks up and says,"Don't say it!!!!"

*Sauron's grin widens*

"SHUT UPPPPP!!!!!!!!!"


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 20 2013, 3:26pm

Post #21 of 45 (138 views)
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Number of Balrogs [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone else, whose screen name escapes me, cited that quote, and I had replied with an answer, similar to this:

When considering the Number of Balrogs in Arda, we must specify the work and editorial draft, to which we refer. In LotR, a few would work. One in Moria, of an ancient order that was feared by the Elves.

But in the Sil, we have many more. Some are killed at Utumno, some at Gondolin, some at Angband, possibly more at the Nirneath Arnoediad (yes I spelled it from memory *chuckle*) ,and with a few left over to escape-- one being Durin's Bane.

It is this issue, and a few others, that bring us to the painful conclusion, that the dear Professor's works are not perfect nor complete!


(This post was edited by Rembrethil on Aug 20 2013, 3:29pm)


squire
Valinor


Aug 20 2013, 5:12pm

Post #22 of 45 (147 views)
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Beaten by a girl... [In reply to] Can't Post

That reminds me of an old drabble (100-word composition) of mine:
The void was boring. Dark, still, infinite, and boring.
During the break he lingered by the bar, cherishing the one drink an Age allowed those condemned to an eternity outside the world of light and life.
The spirit beside him, withered and legless, glanced over and whispered, You too?
Boss?
Yea.
Is there any hope?
Not in your wildest dreams. This is it, fool.
I dreamed I’d outdo you. My plan was perfect. But… but this… little creature…
Ah.
Three feet high. Three six, tops. How could I have been so blind?
At least you weren’t fooled by a girl.





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


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Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 20 2013, 8:10pm

Post #23 of 45 (130 views)
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What happened to the Ring? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron had already forged the Ring by now, but what if it's fate in the Drowning of Numenor?

Did he leave it in his underwear drawer, in Barad-dûr?

Wasn't he afraid that it would be lost? Was there not a certain level of 'addiction' inherent to it? He had possessed it long enough?

He could not have it with him in Numenor? Or could he?

Was it's power the thing that allowed him to take shape, after the destruction of Numenor?

How did he wear it, in order to wield it, without a physical shape? He needed its power in order to take physical form, but he can't wear it without hands? Seems like a catch 22.


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 21 2013, 1:54am

Post #24 of 45 (134 views)
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My replies to your great questions! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hello, this is my first chapter lead, and this may be your first RR discussion, so let's work through this together, post away! Don't mind anyone else, if you have a thought/comment, share it! Great discussion points Rembrethil! A busy work week has kept me as a spectator only until tonight, so sorry for being tardy!


So my first thought here is, the Witch-King of Angmar!! This is where he comes from, the evil Men!!! These Men used their superior knowledge and power, to overawe their simpler kin, and become rulers. The Witch-King must be a descendant of one of these. Where did it come from, Sauron, or Morgoth? f Morgoth, why did no other King seem to have the power? I would say that seems to leap from the page doesn't it? Certainly the Witch King was one of the three named. As far as power, I think these Kings of Men had innate power to dominate (that's how they rose to Sauron's attention) so they both had pre existing corruption of spirit in the sense of desire to dominate which would have been played upon by Sauron and used to his advantage.


We know that more than one Balrog survived, so where are the rest, discounting Durin's Bane in Moria? The trouble with Balrogs...initially I believe JRRT meant there to be many of them, and ran into the problem of them simply taking over the world themselves. Then they were summarily reduced in number, and I do recall 7 being a cardinal sort of amount; so the last one was Durin's Bane, sleeping in Moria.

Some dragons must have done so, escaping to breed on the Withered Heath, al a Smaug. What did they do in the interim? I suppose - ate things! I am unsure here of the number as well, obviously two being a minimum but maybe not that many more to carry on the species.


Why do they let it alone? Do they think that Evil has been destroyed? They seem to have made this mistake before! Have Yavanna, Orome, and Ulmo, forsaken ME? They were the most proactive Valar. I think it is a reflection of the general retreat of the Valar from Arda. Ulmo was very proactive, in his way, but it was very behind the scenes. I feel like Orome would have been involved in the War, but it seems that none of the Valar did - again, that withdrawal we see. As Men rise in number and awareness, the sight of the Divine seems to fade, requiring Men to function on faith versus direct knowledge and sight of the Valar and thus of Eru.

I assume that Sauron is the greatest evil left in the Outer Lands. Why does he seem to escape punishment and destruction so easily here, and from Utumno as well? Was he playing his own game all along, readying himself to seize power? Why don't the Valar take a roll call here to find out who is still out there? I mean, he IS a Maiar, with powers beyond the Men and Elves of ME. What is to stop him from setting up shop in ME, which he later does? I think the concerns of the Valar were with their own - Morgoth. Perhaps the distraction (again) of raising and building Numenor for the beloved Edain (again) distracted the from the needs of the rest of Arda? The Summoning on a smaller scale.

Why does Osse raise the Island, and not Ulmo? Was Ulmo a rebel Valar, opposed to the plan of the others? Did he not want the Elves and Edain to leave ME?
Did he fear a repitiotin of the rebellion and Kinslaying? What is Ulmo's motivation? Is he more foresighted, just a bit tired to do it himself, or something else?
I think that is a possible and very likely explanation, as Ulmo was not in favor of the Summoning either, and might see this as another disaster of too much intervention waiting to happen. Ulmo's way of intervening has never been heavy handed, and has followed Eru's Song in both allowing the Fate to unfold while making free will an integral part of the tale.


It is also stated that the Edain are healthy, but bear few children. Why? This was passed on to Gondor apparently. Did it have something to do with the hard life in Beleriand? Perhaps they didn't want to bring children into such a dark world, or they simply lacked the food to support them? This harsh environment did not exist in Numenor, so why? Custom? Habit? Culture? I think it is the relieved pressure of their Mortality, and in a not-so-good way. I think the illusion of the length of their life, and the perceived closeness of the Blessed Realm makes them feel a bit less Edain and more Firstborn...which may make them not so tied to their own mortality, and feel that need to create new life to replace that which will be lost. A Fool's Paradise.



It is then stated that in the center of the island, upon a high pinnacle, was an altar to Eru Illuvatar. This is the first, and only, mention of organized religion in Arda, that I can see. Why do you think so? Tolkien had a deep seated faith, why do you think that it found so little active expression in his literary works? I think organized religion appears with the rise of Men and the retreat of the Valar. It is the visible focus for faith, which Men live by, versus (as I said above) firsthand knowledge of the Divine as living beings among them. Even ever-proactive Ulmo has trouble getting Men to hear his messages, so that proof and knowledge of his works and existence will fade.


Was he perhaps, influenced by his friend, C. S. Lewis' example, in this aspect? Actually he states that Lewis' world IS a Christian one, and his is not. So he was quite alone in his method of bringing his own faith into the tale, in a distant and non-allegorical way. The cardinal faith is still monotheistic: Eru Illuvatar. And that faith is what Men will evolve to, as the Valar retreat and knowledge fades.


Elrond, Elros, and all of the descendants of Earendil. Are given the choice of which Kindred they will join their fate to. Illuvaltar makes an exception, leaving it in the hands of the Valar, who turn it over to the descendant themselves. Elros chooses the Fate of Men, and is appointed First King of the Dunedain. Elrond chooses the Fate of the Elves. Now, this sets up any cross-Kindred marriages nicely. They simply have to be a descendant of Earendil, and change their mind as to their fate. Arwen takes advantage of this, but another question niggles at my mind. Why do we have no descendants of Elros choosing Immortality? Was it even possible? Elros' kids seem to have gotten the short end of the stick. Elrond's could live their life, almost forever, then choose death when they want. Was their some ban on those born men, to become immortal? An expression of entropy in ME? No I don't see it as an entropic change - it is that the Gift cannot be withdrawn from Men; it is the centerpiece I think of JRRT's attitude towards the intrinsic value of the soul of Men and the value of our fate here in the real world.


Lastly, how close do you believe that Elrond and Elros were? I think they were close; the only had each other after the loss of their parents.


Was there an argument over their choices, or did they both have to answer independently? I think they answered each as they felt right; the bit about how they were found as babes in the cave, I believe with Elrond in the cave and Elros paddling in the water, seems somehow symbolic to me. Elrond within the Earth, bound to Arda (Firstborn fate) and Elros in the water (the human Mariner's fate).


Sundered beyond the Fate of the world, it seems a bit tragic for the brothers. Yes, especially for Elrond who had already lost his parents, and will also lose Arwen.


It is then remarked, how the lands of ME devolved in the shadows of evil, as the land of the Numenorians increased in light. They learned of the Elves of Eressea and ME, much, and became mighty in crafts and skills of peace. They also became mighty sailors, exploring the wide seas, and even sighted the Far regions and Walls of Night. It is also told, of the the Ban of the Valar, forbidding the Numenorians to sail west, toward the land of Aman. They were happy to oblige, having more than enough to do in the meanwhile. Elves from Eressea came, bearing gifts, and knowledge enriching the island. They even brought the sapling of Nimloth, the White Tree, to Numenor, the image of Teleperion. Finally they begin to take interest in the lands of ME. Those wild Men are taught much of agriculture and crafts, and begin to shake off the yoke of the Evil Kings.
This darkening of ME couldn't have gone unnoticed by the Valar, but the Numenorians seem to have taken the initiative here.
Is this indicative of the reassertion of neutrality of the Valar? Or is the Age of the Valar coming to an end, like the “Time of the Elves” and the “Age of Men”? Are they drawing back from the affairs of the world, leaving it to the Elves and Men? I think that after the fall of Numenor the Valar might be reeling a bit again...maybe Ulmo gives a sad shake of the head, a silent "I told you so." So yes, it might be another sign that again they must withdraw, and leave these Numenorians to their fate, for better or worse. It is a bit like the Return of the Noldor though, in that they depart to the West, and come back to Arda being knowledge and gifts (though not all is what it seems to be, is it?)


Then the Valar send word, (Not themselves), explaining that they could not come to the Undying Lands, and that it would be no good to themselves, as immortality was not an external asset, but an internal trait of the one who possesses it. Also, that the land of immortality would consume their life even more quickly.

Now the Valar have explained the facts to the Dunedain, much like they had made their case to the Eldar. They don't seem to do anything different, but is this complacency, or is it part of the Fate of the World? Are they limited in their actions? They did not interfere in Beleriand until the “fated messenger” appeared in Aman. Perhaps they are backseat powers, bound to follow the plan set out by Eru? They don't have any power to change anything, and are bound much more than Elves or Men, having less free will? I think they are limited by their actions, but also they are tainted by experience

Perhaps they represent Fate itself? Well "Fate" may be the cardinal outcomes of the Song, I think: the creation of the world, life arising, and Men inheriting Arda - and the End of this world with the Last Battle. I think much else is dependent on free will, and choice, though it will not be unforeseen by Eru (though it may be unseen by the Valar, especially in the matters of Men.) So I am not sure if I would say they are Fate itself...


On the topic of mortals in the Undying lands, it would appear that an irreconcilable dichotomy exists between mortality and immortality, being mutually exclusive of each other. The shortening of mortal life in an immortal environment, would seem to hearken back to the deaths of Beren and Luthien in Tol Galen. Perhaps this is the reason that mortal men cannot become immortal? It is part of the mechanics of how the Immortal and the Mortal differ. JRRT says they are biologically one species, but the races react differently I think based on how they are tied to the land, to the circles of Arda; maybe the tie of the Firstborn to the land allows them to absorb more of the lucency of it, and have it pass through them, without effect. While mortals can only experience so much light, since they aren't bound to the land and will leave it.

How, then, would the cases of Tuor, Elrond, and Earendil be explained? Well the initial choice of the Half-elven exists because of the essential inability of the Gift to be withdrawn. And Tuor and Earendil are separate, rather unique judgments versus part of a larger picture.

The King of Numenor then replies. He cites Earendil as an example of mortal taking immortality, and asks whether he dwells not in Aman. Now, as a matter of fact, no, Earendil is not in Aman. He has a fate separate from Men, Dwarves, Elves, and Vala. (As a matter of fact, where are the Dwarves in all of this? Did they forsake Beleriand in their grudge?). His wife is not even in Aman, she is in a tower, north of the Sundering Seas. While we are on the topic, the King cites an example of a man who did truly great things.

How can he, realistically, liken himself to Earendil? What had he done to deserve immortality? Lies, and deceptions, seem to be the only real power of evil in a loyal society, and the corruption of that loyalty. Indeed I think here the second part is the answer to the first - the desire for more than one has been given is a primal corruption in the legendarium.


How could all of theis been avoided, do you think? Could it have been? I think again the pseudo-summoning was probably not a great idea, as it gave Men a bit more than perhaps they could manage, and made them too dependent on the wills of the Valar. But of course as with the original Summoning it provides a ray of hope to ME, as the line of Aragorn will rise form these ashes and bring peace to Men for the Fourth Age, and enrich the bloodline through time.



The Valar truly state the facts clearly, but they cannot change the minds of Men. They cannot comprehend the gift of the Atani, death, or their special dispensation of free will. Perhaps they are not the best to explain it to them? They might not understand it true - it is not visible to them except for Manwe and Mandos I believe, and they do not share what they know.

Again it is shown that Morgoth has twisted the truth, in the matter of death. What are your personal thoughts on the Fate of Men? This is the beginning of Faith. Men must make their own choices, further and further from the living truth of creation and divinity.


Fear always drives us to something else. In the case of the Numenorians it drives them to feats of architecture and arms. Are they trying to fill up the hole left in their longing for immortality? Trying to replace it with something else, but not finding fulfillment? I think the skills of building and creating are like a second-generation of sub0creators, which is the mandate of Eru for the Firstborn in the larger picture and seems to be in the spirit of Numenor before it sadly sours based, as you say, on fear and lack of faith and understanding.

No longer are they a simple society of adventurers, but become a complex society, with many schisms and much more opulent. A parallel to the shift of the Roman Republic to an increasingly nebulous political Empire, could be drawn here. The Men don't seem to find what they are looking for, however. Yes! I would agree!



Sauron seems to be walking in the steps of Morgoth, in his own petty way. In what ways are they similar, and in what ways are they different? Is this similarity related the Fate of the World? It is I think proportional, as Morgoth is the opponent of the highest of the powers; and Sauron is the next enemy, of the next powers in Men.


Does Sauron have less choice in his modus operandi? (See the discussion on personality limiting fate in the RR discussion, of Tuor and the fall of Gondolin) How did he give out the rings? Did it have something to do with half-truths about immortality? Very likely - certainly to the Nine! I don't think that would necessarily fly with the Dwarves though.


Then you have the others that he ensnared. Who do you think they were? We have the Witch-King, but who else? Were they strategically chosen, in anticipation of his assault? I think he picked the strongest as he perceived strength: dominating and inspiring fear.


Now we have blatant disregard of the Valar and Eru himself. Ar-Gimilzor seems bent on a policy of isolation and breaking with the Elves. He sets up a system of a secret police to watch and punish the faithful, a sure sign of tyranny anywhere. He then forces them to move from there homes, to a place that they can more easily be watch, away from aid of the Eldar. On the other side you have the Faithful, still loyal to the King, they comply with his demands. What was their object here? Political reform, or just an overtaxed sense of loyalty? I think it was an innate sense of rightness, and detecting the sense of wrongness in the other side.

The real climax comes when the Valar break off communication with them. They had been favored and given many gifts. Perhaps they were a bit 'spoiled', and the Valar began to act as a parent might in this case? I think so - the creation of Numenor and the gifts bestowed from the West I think gave them a false sense of unity with the West, and thus the next step is to want to claim it!

Does this mark a point in history, when the Valar become more withdrawn from the world, and it's fate? They do not seem to directly involve themselves in ME after this. Did they prohibit the visits of the Elves, or did they cease to come because of the lack of those to meet them? Did the King threaten them, and would he have actually have harmed the Elves? I don't think they felt threatened by the King, but I think the writing was once again on the wall.


How was that? Comments on my method and presentation, are solicited and accepted most graciously. Wide selection of questions and ideas! Thanks for this Rembrethil!!! Looking forward to next post!!!




Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 21 2013, 2:01am

Post #25 of 45 (118 views)
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He had it... [In reply to] Can't Post


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Sauron had already forged the Ring by now, but what if it's fate in the Drowning of Numenor?
Did he leave it in his underwear drawer, in Barad-dûr?
Wasn't he afraid that it would be lost? Was there not a certain level of 'addiction' inherent to it? He had possessed it long enough?
He could not have it with him in Numenor? Or could he?
Was it's power the thing that allowed him to take shape, after the destruction of Numenor?
How did he wear it, in order to wield it, without a physical shape? He needed its power in order to take physical form, but he can't wear it without hands? Seems like a catch 22.




...because he feared to leave it behind. One thing not explained ever is how he flew out of the wreckage of Numenor as a shade yet still carried it. One of those inconsistencies for which I think there is no answer!

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!







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