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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Silmarillion discussion: Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath
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noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Aug 18 2013, 8:11am

Post #51 of 100 (275 views)
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Could the Silmarilion ever have been finished? [In reply to] Can't Post

Prof Shippey, in "The Road to Middle-earth" has an interesting theory which I shall summarise brutally and from memory here (I spent the book!)

He suggests that, when Tolkien turned back to the Sil after LOTR, he was struggling with:
The increasing wish to make everything consistent - all those queries from fans helping to push him there.
And this was at odds with stories he'd got already for the Sil. from different starting points and eras of his writing career - which maybe didn't seem like they +wanted+ to be made consistent.
Furthermore, that Tolkien loved to create the impression of "depth": that the story you're enjoying is the current state of a tale which has already passed through many minds. A simple example is that throwaway reference in lotr to Ancalagon: a character that the author already knew about.

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

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


sador
Half-elven


Aug 18 2013, 5:44pm

Post #52 of 100 (249 views)
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Late answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Who comprised the Host of the Valar?
Your suggestion that Eonwe was just the titular leader is interesting, but isn't he named in the Valaquenta as the mightiest of all in arms?
In general, I', not quite sure about the Vala>>Maia equation. Are Vana and Nessa truly greater than Eonwe, Osse and Sauron? We see no reason to assume so, except for their being consorts of better-known Valar.
But I expect that had Orome or Tulkas gone, they would be the leaders; and for some obscure reason, they didn't. And I don't know of any other Vala who might have gone.

What would be really interesting to know, is whether any of the to-be Istari participated in this expedition.

Earendil's fight with Ancalagon is another great image from this chapter.

Hardly so. It is a cosmic event, which defies imagining - and Tolkien doesn't oblige us. Like the first chapter, Of the Beginning of Days, and on a lesser scale the assault on Dol Guldur, Tolkien never really told us what happened.

Where does the rest of the story take place?
Ha! Excellent question.

I must suppose somewhere in Eriador, right?

What do you think of this?
It is odd; and one wonders whether this is just because of their last crime, in attacking the camp of the Valar, or whether it was occasioned by the Kinslaying - and by which? The first - or only the repeated crimes? Had Thingol surrendered the Silmaril as Melian had counselled him, would it have done them any good?
Also, if they felt such a searing, unbearable pain - how much more must have Morgth felt continually? Does it make you pity him a bit? Or at least, to admire his preserverance?

And what do you think of their fates: one in the earth and one in the sea?
I'm not quite sure what to think. It sounds rather too neat - but probably that's the whole point.

What happens to Maglor? Is he still wandering around the seashore during the Third Age? Is he ever allowed to take a ship to Valinor?
Yes, I assume he is still wandering.
Although this has the makings for some interesting fan-fic; when I briefly considered dabblling in writing this kind of fiction several years ago, I was attracted by the idea of a meeting between Maglor and his nephew Celebrimbor on a distant shore.
But I never got around to writing.

Thank you for this discussion!




elostirion74
Rohan

Aug 19 2013, 12:59pm

Post #53 of 100 (253 views)
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simplicity one of the strong points of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

That is an interesting thought and it might work. Would you like more dialogue for instance or something else?

I understand the desire to get more detailed or expanded stories, it's one of the effects of the sense of depth that NoWizardme writes about and I sometimes feel the same about other characters in the Sil. And having read Narn i Hin Húrin/Children of Húrin as well as the stories about Tuor and Gondolin, it's easy to think that the same thing might be done successfully to other stories about individual significant characters.

The reason I'm more dubious about such an expansion of the chapter about Eärendil is the lack of driving forces or specific points/conflicts one could use to expand the story. Children of Húrin has a curse, Túrin's choices about leaving Doriath and not return even when he is urged to do so by his trusted friend Beleg, his ill-fated "murder" of the same friend, the choices of Morwen and Nienor, Túrin and Gwindor's love for Finduilas, Túrin's awareness of trying to escape his own fate by concealing his name etc, the list could go on.

The story of Beren and Lúthien contains many different elements as well, not the least Finrod's oath, the involvement of Celegorm and Curufin, Thingol's ill-will towards Beren etc.

I guess I feel that the haunting glimpses one gets of Elwing's and Eärendil's story draw their strength from their simplicity and the images Tolkien chose and how they allow the reader to use his/her own imagination to expand the story. The fact that the story is sparse seems to be one of its primary strengths. That's just my opinion, however.


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 21 2013, 2:03am

Post #54 of 100 (223 views)
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Expansion points [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That is an interesting thought and it might work. Would you like more dialogue for instance or something else?



I would love to see more dialogue between Earandil and Elwing...and maybe more details of the assault at Sirion, especially more about Elrond and Elros.

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!








Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Aug 21 2013, 4:31am

Post #55 of 100 (217 views)
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Voyage of Earendil [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That is an interesting thought and it might work. Would you like more dialogue for instance or something else?

I've always felt that The Voyage of Earendil had the potential to be an entire book in itself. Think of it as a kind of Middle Earth version of Narnia's Voyage of the Dawn Treader: sailing through unknown seas, finding strange islands and new creatures and societies, boldly going where no half-elf has gone before. Shocked Oops! Genres clashing!

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 23 2013, 1:58am

Post #56 of 100 (205 views)
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I wonder too Furincurunir... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Prof Shippey, in "The Road to Middle-earth" has an interesting theory which I shall summarise brutally and from memory here (I spent the book!)

He suggests that, when Tolkien turned back to the Sil after LOTR, he was struggling with:
The increasing wish to make everything consistent - all those queries from fans helping to push him there.
And this was at odds with stories he'd got already for the Sil. from different starting points and eras of his writing career - which maybe didn't seem like they +wanted+ to be made consistent.
Furthermore, that Tolkien loved to create the impression of "depth": that the story you're enjoying is the current state of a tale which has already passed through many minds. A simple example is that throwaway reference in lotr to Ancalagon: a character that the author already knew about.




Considering how much of a struggle it is to bring complete consistency to such a complex world. I for one am not sure if he would ever have reached the point where it was all fair and square with no contradictions...

I agree, with bringing together so many segments and ideas from many ages in his life it would have been a monumental task, and if the Sil was held up by that desire I don't know if we would have gotten it at all, or if CT would have been left with that much more 'noted' work to pore through.

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!








Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2013, 4:08am

Post #57 of 100 (199 views)
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earendil and ancalagon [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i think i might be the only one who finds the image of earendil in his ship fighting ancalagon ridiculous. it doesn't really work for me.

i accept the hallowing of the ship by the valar, and their raising it to the heavens with him and the silmaril (i have problems with it -- like he's an elda, and presumably needs air to breathe and his body can't really exist in a vacuum, etc.), but the thought that the ship is swooping down from its celestial place and cavorting in the air seems a bit much.

for those who like it, there is the image of the light of the silmaril (presumably still bound to his brow) careening wildly through the lower layers of air / sky of middle earth, flashing with its holy beauty, against ancalagon.

so, its mere light (presumably) would be injurious to ancalagon.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 23 2013, 2:25pm

Post #58 of 100 (187 views)
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Or we could have a Muppets mash-up..."Ellllllves....in...spaaaaace!" // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
That is an interesting thought and it might work. Would you like more dialogue for instance or something else?

I've always felt that The Voyage of Earendil had the potential to be an entire book in itself. Think of it as a kind of Middle Earth version of Narnia's Voyage of the Dawn Treader: sailing through unknown seas, finding strange islands and new creatures and societies, boldly going where no half-elf has gone before. Shocked Oops! Genres clashing!


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 23 2013, 2:31pm

Post #59 of 100 (190 views)
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Manueverability gradient [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i think i might be the only one who finds the image of earendil in his ship fighting ancalagon ridiculous. it doesn't really work for me.

i accept the hallowing of the ship by the valar, and their raising it to the heavens with him and the silmaril (i have problems with it -- like he's an elda, and presumably needs air to breathe and his body can't really exist in a vacuum, etc.), but the thought that the ship is swooping down from its celestial place and cavorting in the air seems a bit much.

for those who like it, there is the image of the light of the silmaril (presumably still bound to his brow) careening wildly through the lower layers of air / sky of middle earth, flashing with its holy beauty, against ancalagon.

so, its mere light (presumably) would be injurious to ancalagon.




Perhaps that is why it is not described. I wonder how JRRT saw it occurring - perhaps as you say the light of the Silmaril, purposed, was enough to cause harm in itself. Perhaps the prow of the ship as a weapon? Or might Earendil (trying to spell that right. Habitually spell it wrong!) also have armed himself with a nautical type of weapon for the battle, perhaps a long barbed gaff or spear?

It would make more sense if Earendil appeared suddenly, and swift and straight struck at the Dragon, versus wheeling about and such.

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!








Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 23 2013, 4:58pm

Post #60 of 100 (189 views)
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ok, i've come up with something that works (for +me+) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
1. i accept that earendil is in his ship space (EVEN THOUGH HE'S AN AIR-BREATHING ELDA -- MUCH SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF HERE)

2. i accept that he's a fighting participant in the war of wrath, and that he fights ancalagon

3. to make this work for +me+ (and this does not appear to be the way jrr wrote it, but it's too ridiculous otherwise)....earendil +stays+ in the heavens (in the vacuum of space), but it is the piercing, blinding +rays+ of the silmaril that spike down from above, hitting ancalagon. people on the ground, yea, not even ancalagon the black himself, ever see earendil... they only see the holy light of the silmaril shafting down from the heavens, withering all that is evil below.


ok. i did it. i made it work.


cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 24 2013, 3:10am

Post #61 of 100 (182 views)
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Completely as a side note... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love

<-----------------------

your avatar bit there. Exceedingly clever!!!! CoolCoolCool

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!








Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:12pm

Post #62 of 100 (182 views)
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Regarding Elrond and Elros [In reply to] Can't Post

Unless Earendil & Elwing knew for a fact that their sons were dead (and they obviously didn't), I find it reprehensible that they'd just leave them to be. And also, it doesn't sound like any parent I've ever met. Think of all the missing children in the real world. Natalie Holloway still gets coverage in the news every now-and-again. I really can't see Earendil and Elwing just deserting their kids.

I can easily see Elrond's parenting style being a reaction to his own parents' style.

So are you essentially saying that Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir were all given the choice between mortality and immortality because Elrond "messed up" and should have chosen the Gift of Mortality? It's certainly an interesting way to look at it. But I'm not sure how well that fits with Arwen's words that the gift is "bitter to receive".

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:32pm

Post #63 of 100 (175 views)
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Answers to your answers [In reply to] Can't Post

What I find neat and tidy about it is that they're both the main character surviving from the earlier tales, and of course they end up together.

I don't really have a preference to either version of The Elessar. I like them both. But (and I don't have my book here at the moment) I don't remember the second version contradicting the bit about Idril having it and giving it to Earendil - just the part about it not being Enerdhil. Personally, I just like there being some sort of history for Aragorn's stone. It doesn't really matter to me if it is the same one that Earendil had or a newer one made in the Second Age.

I don't necessarily think there were no men at all, but I do think they were a weaker bunch than the civilizations of the past few hundred years.

My thought was that she could have jumped from some sort of shallow cliff and that the Sons of Feanor either didn't see her escape or didn't care to attempt the same jump. I definitely agree it was out of desperation, but I'm not entirely sure it was with suicidal intentions.

Like I was saying to Brethil, I just can't see any father or mother just giving up on their captive children unless they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the children are dead.

The late writings of POME are often quite different, but I don't think that makes them any less valid. But that's probably a discussion for another time Wink

Elwing was already defying the Ban by stepping onto the shore, so I don't see why should couldn't have accompanied him into Valimar.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:37pm

Post #64 of 100 (179 views)
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Interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting that you think the shape and structure are so satisfying. I think, actually, I agree with you about shape and structure, but not about scale. For me, it suffers from the same problems that you mention about "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin". It's just too abbreviated for everything that's going on. It's one thing to be high and aloft and mythic, but I think this goes even beyond that. I think just about everything could have used extra detail.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:45pm

Post #65 of 100 (177 views)
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Unfortunately, there's not much source material [In reply to] Can't Post

The only thing of significance that was left out of the published version was a reference to the Second Prophesy detailing how the end of the world would come about.

Really, there's not a whole lot of material that was even written for this chapter. It seems that Tolkien was engrossed with finalizing the beginning of The Silmarillion and never made it back around to the end. Unfortunately really.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:49pm

Post #66 of 100 (171 views)
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Ah, I see. There's never enough time for something of [In reply to] Can't Post

this magnitude, even though he had a good long life. And it wasn't his main career.

Makes me think of what we missed from Mozart and Schubert as well.Unsure


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:50pm

Post #67 of 100 (171 views)
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The Problem of Ros [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm really not sure why Tolkien seems to think the whole concept failed. Surely Tolkien knew of "loan" words, so that's what I imagine this to be like. I love all the extra details given in the paper, so I'm personally not willing to let it fail, no matter what the professor said.

Well, even if Earendil didn't begin his great sea voyages until after the birth of his sons, he could still have been gone for their birth on one of his "voyages about the shores of the Hither Lands".

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:53pm

Post #68 of 100 (167 views)
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You add great insights! [In reply to] Can't Post

I especially love your thoughts about the Silmaril being similarly used like the phial of Galadriel.

I also love the image of Elwing as a bird and getting to meet with Earendil. Quite mythic and beautiful, IMO.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 4:54pm

Post #69 of 100 (163 views)
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Great thought! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with that. I love The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and I wouldn't at all mind having a similar book about the voyages of Earendil. It would be fantastic.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 5:02pm

Post #70 of 100 (170 views)
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More answers [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought the reason that they were Valar is because they were greater spirits. I agree, though, that I'm not sure if Vana or Nessa are "greater", though that's probably dependent on what constitutes greatness.

Cosmic events can still leave us with an image, and that's what I have, and I love it.

Elostirion notes up thread that the sinking might have been gradual, but I still like the idea that it's one great cataclysmic event similar to the drowning of Numenor. But, of course, that's just an opinion, and it could have been a gradual thing which would facilitate the remainder of the story.

Well, the Silmarils were in the Iron Crown, right? So does Morgoth still feel the pain from them? I'm not sure.

I like the neatness in this case. Perhaps the three elven rings were made to hearken back to the fates of the Silmarils?

I like the idea of Maglor still wandering around. Perhaps he's one of those elves from very early on in the legendarium that eventually just fades away.

Thanks for the answers! Discussions are only as fun as all participating.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 5:04pm

Post #71 of 100 (183 views)
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It's also interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

That the story of Earendil wasn't even ever written for the original Book of Lost Tales back in the 1910s. While it may have been the culmination of everything about the Elder Days, it just never seemed to be something Tolkien worked on much.

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 24 2013, 5:06pm

Post #72 of 100 (173 views)
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Bitter choices [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Unless Earendil & Elwing knew for a fact that their sons were dead (and they obviously didn't), I find it reprehensible that they'd just leave them to be. And also, it doesn't sound like any parent I've ever met. Think of all the missing children in the real world. Natalie Holloway still gets coverage in the news every now-and-again. I really can't see Earendil and Elwing just deserting their kids. Do you think it was a choice then, based on what was at stake? That's one part I would like to know more about - what did Elwing see and hear when the boys were taken - did she think beyond reasonable doubt that they were dead, and her leap was meant to join them? I don't know but I agree with you, its so difficult to imagine not going back for them.
I can easily see Elrond's parenting style being a reaction to his own parents' style. All true - I think it makes an impact that is felt for a long long time...can only speculate what it is like to be Elrond, looking up at the stars and knowing your lost father is one of them.

So are you essentially saying that Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir were all given the choice between mortality and immortality because Elrond "messed up" and should have chosen the Gift of Mortality? It's certainly an interesting way to look at it. But I'm not sure how well that fits with Arwen's words that the gift is "bitter to receive".Just about sums it up - but I wouldn't say messed up, because it is a valid choice given Elrond's split heritage...more like every means must be used and every chance offered to the blood of Men involved in this union of the races for them not to miss the *chance* to choose (free will) which fate they want for themselves and their children. I think Arwen knew in her mind that the gift would be bitter, but the emotions of it at the actual loss of Estel must have been overwhelming,...that's where it is bitter for her, and that is where her longevity is a curse rather than a blessing. And her having been immortal for the long duration before, and never experiencing either love like this or being used to loss (like mortals have no choice but to get used to.) Double whammy! Bitter too, because its another couple here, who area so complete within themselves (like maybe Elwing and Earendil, like Beren and Luthien seem to be) that even her children cannot provide her comfort and she leaves to walk in empty Lorien until she dies.


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!








Ardamírë
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 5:33pm

Post #73 of 100 (158 views)
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Very interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that's actually something I can get behind. It's not at all how I've ever thought about it before, but I really do like that. So by that thinking, Arwen not only made the right choice for her and Aragorn, but also for herself and all her offspring. Again, very interesting. Smile

THE SONG OF TUOR
Only the reeds were rustling, but a mist lay on the streams
Like a sea-roke drawn far inland, like a shred of salt sea-dreams.
'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Aug 24 2013, 5:34pm

Post #74 of 100 (155 views)
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That's interesting-- [In reply to] Can't Post

since it did catch his imagination enough to include in LOTR at some pivital spots. Maybe it's just one of those things that is hard to finish/fit in. Inspiration and imagination don't always respond the way we would like, almost like a wild animal we've tried to make into a pet (or very like a cat). I'm wondering if he found the story just too uncooperative in some way. Our loss, though, definitely.


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 24 2013, 5:56pm

Post #75 of 100 (164 views)
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I think she did make the right choice - and not an easy one either...! [In reply to] Can't Post

As one of your very poignant footers describe.. AngelicUnsure I think its another way that JRRT values true love; its more powerful than death and more valuable than immortality without it. Smile

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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