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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Thranduil, The Fisher King and Oberon; Why It Matters

News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Sep 15 2013, 9:58pm

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Thranduil, The Fisher King and Oberon; Why It Matters Can't Post



Ringer Marthe has sent us this interesting and thought-provoking article outlining comparisons of the Elven-king Thranduil with the legends of The Fisher King and Oberon, based on comments Lee Pace made in the August copy of Empire Magazine.


Thranduil, The Fisher King and Oberon; Why It Matters
by: Marthe

In the much-discussed article in the August issue of Empire Magazine, the three Mirkwood Elves we'll see in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug shared some information about their characters.

One particular statement from Lee Pace -- that he drew upon Oberon and The Fisher King as inspirations for Thranduil -- appears to have been overlooked.

This might not mean much to most people, yet I feel it carries more importance than most realise.

As usual, some backstory is helpful in order to understand the topic.
The Fisher King
The Fisher King was introduced by Chretien de Troyes for the first time (as known to us today) during the late 12th century. His story as well as his characteristics makes him one of the many important and memorable characters from the well-known Arthurian Legend, and he has continued to appear in popular culture, most-recently portrayed by Donald Sumpter in BBC's Merlin.

He is often believed to originate from Celtic mythology (a particularly noteworthy fact), and his connection to Bran the Blessed is strong. Today, it is possible to find many different versions of both The Fisher King's story and the character, but common to all is that he always is wounded (thus he is often called The Maimed or Wounded King), and his kingdom has become a wasteland.

Just as every king should be mentally connected to his kingdom, the Fisher King is also physically connected to his; because of his injury, he is unable to move by himself and he depends on help from others. This connection goes even deeper because the kingdom becomes a picture of him. Notably, he is also said to be the last keeper of the Grail (in some versions of the story this is why he survives despite his injury), and he is only healed when the right question is asked. This is usually known as the healing question. (But, again, this depends on the version you're looking at, because all of them are different.)

These are a few of the things we know for certain.

It is also possible to go further back because The Fisher King has a longer and even more interesting story that we know little of. There is a reason why he was wounded, and although it is not possible to say anything in particular, it is obvious that he fought against someone. As a king, it would make sense for him to lead his army into battle, which again would present him as a warrior. (In one version written by Howard Pyle, it was said that he was wounded by his brother, Sir Balin. However, this has no connection whatsoever to Tolkien's Dwalin and Balin.) In addition, we often hear how his kingdom is described as a wasteland, and because that, there are many reasons to believe that the kingdom used to be prosperous, fertile and very much alive.
Oberon
Moving forward to the early 13th century, we encounter another French character; Oberon. Although he is most famous for being the king of all the fairies in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, I do not believe that this version is the only version worthy of attention.

Looking at what Pace said (and more importantly what he did not say), he indicated he found inspiration in Oberon. Most fans have immediately thought about Shakespeare's Oberon, but notably, Pace was never specific. Just as he never specifies which version of The Fisher King he called upon as inspiration, the quote can be interpreted as him talking generally about the Oberon character.

Oberon first appears in French poems as a beautiful fairy dwarf helping the hero of the story. (This is a bit amusing if you think how Thranduil is an Elf who cannot be described as being fond of dwarves.) Oberon lives in a forest, and when one of the other characters is travelling through it, he is warned against the fairy dwarf. However, he greets Oberon because he is in need of his help to succeed in his quest of going to a court where he must perform various feats to win a pardon. It is only when he receives this help from Oberon that he is successful. Now does this begin to sound very familiar? Yes, I thought so too.

Looking at Shakespeare's version, the story changes a bit. But there is one particularly interesting thing. When Oberon fights with his wife, the weather is affected. In other words, their arguments affect nature, just as The Fisher King's injury affects the climate and his kingdom.

And consider: Lee Pace stated that the corrupt forest of Mirkwood is very much a reflection of Thranduil. In other words, this is a major parallel because the actions of and conditions to these three characters will set a visible mark on either the weather or the earth itself.
Morally ambiguous characters
Returning to Shakespeare's Oberon, closer character analysis reveals he appears to be quite ambiguous: he helps others, but also lets them suffer before doing anything. This makes him appear as a two-faced character; he can be kind at times, but not always. However, his motives are not revealed. That is also the reason why Oberon is seen as a contrary character, and it is difficult to place him in a definite category.

And now you may ask; is he evil or not?

The same applies to The Fisher King. In some versions, he is regarded as good, and in other versions, he is regarded as evil (and his injury is often a symbol of sin).

Looking at Thranduil, it is evident that some people believe that he is evil -- mostly because he imprisons and refuses to help the dwarves in their quest. Others would argue that he is good -- because he never actually hurt the dwarves, and he fought alongside with them during The Battle of the Five Armies.

The point however, is that he is a complex and morally ambiguous character. His actions can be argued to be both good and bad at the same time.
Thranduil's withdrawal from the world
Again, this can be connected with the character's unknown, mysterious past.

With Oberon it is very difficult to say anything, but with The Fisher King, one can assume quite a bit about his past and why he and his country have become what they are.

What we know for a fact however, is that Thranduil fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. And there are some indications this affecting (and probably injuring) him greatly, and it may explain why Thranduil has more or less shut himself up in Mirkwood.

[The Silvan Elves']...losses were thus more grievous than they need have been, even in that terrible war. Oropher was slain in the first assault upon Mordor, rushing forward at the head of his most doughty warriors before Gil-galad had given the signal for the advance. Thranduil his son survived, but when the war ended ... he led back home barely a third of the army that had marched to war.

And:

There was a long peace in which the numbers of Silvan Elves grew again; but they were unquiet and anxious, feeling the change in the world that the Third Age would bring... There was in Thranduil's heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor, and could not forget it. If ever he looked south, its memory dimmed the light of the sun...

Just as Thranduil is affected by the war and fighting, so is The Fisher King, although it may be argued that he is affected physically, while Thranduil is affected mentally. This can again be taken further because of Greenwood the Great turning into Mirkwood with the return of Sauron to Middle-earth.

Pace also points out to the corrupt forest being very much a reflection of who Thranduil is, and again the similarity between The Fisher King and the Eleven King is striking; both have been affected by something in their past, and now, their kingdoms and their people must suffer.

However, I do believe that it is also possible to say that the two monarchs perhaps are suffering the most because of this.
A series of overlapping similarities
There are other major and central similarities. There is nothing that indicates Oberon's age (although there are at least reasons to believe that he cannot be very young), but The Fisher King is often portrayed as very old, and the same thing applies to Thranduil (although his age is more exact). In addition, The Fisher King's wife is never mentioned (but we know that he had at least one daughter).

Again, there are similarities to Thranduil because we know little of his family (with Legolas the key exception). Also, a fun fact that applies to both Oberon and The Fisher King is that while Oberon is able to produce food and wine (with the help of a magic cup, often associated with the Grail), The Fisher King is associated with a cauldron that often is connected to the ability of providing food and that of giving life.

Immortality is not mentioned, but again, this can be connected to Thranduil and his feasts. Remember, Thorin and his Company were starving -- the Elves appear as the only possible source of food in a desperate situation.)

There are striking similarities among them all.

Still, the way I see it, Oberon covers more of Thranduil's story in The Hobbit. For instance, helping the quest can easily be linked with his role in The Battle of the Five Armies because the Elves become a force to be reckoned with.

On the other hand, The Fisher King covers more of Thranduil's character -- a great king that is strongly linked to his kingdom.
Will Jackson's Thranduil need healing?
However, there remains one big and important question. As I mentioned, The Fisher King must be asked the healing question in order to be healed. In most versions of the Arthurian Legend, Percival asks this question and when The Fisher King is healed, so is his country.

How does this work with Thranduil?

According to Pace, Thranduil "doesn't readily use his force", but we already know that something or someone will drag him out of his dragon-like isolation. In other words, it appears that Thranduil is also in the need of being asked the healing question.

If so, how will that play out?

Perhaps it is dangerous to read too far into the story, but the way I see it is that if they employ this twist, either an object or a person will step forward to urge Thranduil to do something.

For all we know, it could be the Arkenstone itself (with the help of Bilbo), and by doing it like this, Peter Jackson will be able to stand closer to canon. However, are there any possibilities that Tauriel may take the Percival's role?

For now, it is impossible to know.

Still, I would argue that Lee Pace's thoughts provides us all much more that it seems on the surface, and I firmly believe that this is the ultimate proof of Lee Pace truly understanding his character.

If somebody did their homework properly, it was Lee. And because of that, I think we all have a lot to look forward to.



About the author:

Although being Norwegian and growing up with traditional Norwegian stories, Marthe has been interested in English literature, legends and stories from an early age. Favourite authors include C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien since she has grown up very closely connected to their stories as well as Narnia and Middle-earth, and she has written various school essays based on their works. The Arthurian Legend has also been a big part of her life; partly because of BBC's Merlin (which she also has written school essays on), as well as various writings with Rosemary Sutcliff's "King Arthur Trilogy" being a favourite. Marthe is currently studying at university in order to get a degree in English.

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Sep 16 2013, 4:41am)


peleowyn
Rivendell


Sep 16 2013, 3:31am

Post #2 of 19 (289 views)
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Beautiful article! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, Marthe! Thank you for that beautiful and thought-provoking article! It is so well done - and makes me even more excited to see Thranduil's character and story line in the upcoming Hobbit films!

"Look! There is light, and beauty up there, that no Shadow can touch!"


cats16
Valinor


Sep 16 2013, 3:51am

Post #3 of 19 (283 views)
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Wonderful, Marthe! [In reply to] Can't Post

A very cool read!! Sadly I'm not very familiar with those stories. Although I am now! Smile

I agree that Tauriel does sound like a likely missing piece to this story's puzzle. The Arkenstone could very well serve the same purpose as it does later in the book, but in a slightly altered way in the final presentation. I'm eager to see how it all plays out.


(This post was edited by cats16 on Sep 16 2013, 3:52am)


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 16 2013, 4:44am

Post #4 of 19 (286 views)
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Very interesting indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't very familiar with the Fisher King or Oberon so that was an education as well as an interesting read. From various interviews I've seen, Lee does seem to choose his parts with care and he likes characters with layers to explore so I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with Thranduil.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 16 2013, 3:14pm

Post #5 of 19 (288 views)
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Thranduil and Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

Pace's take on Thranduil's relationship to Mirkwood is interesting, but quite a departure from Tolkien's portrayal. The Professor equates the darkening of Mirkwood with the presence of the Necromancer and his servants. The Elvenking affects the Woodland Realm in other ways (such as his influence on the Enchanted Stream). Even that is moe implied (inferred?) than clearly stated.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 16 2013, 4:52pm

Post #6 of 19 (277 views)
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Yes, I wondered about that.... [In reply to] Can't Post

.. but then I thought, even in the film the darkening of Mirkwood and the spreading of evil has been clearly shown as an influence leaking out from Dol Guldur. I don't think they'll go back on that.

So I think maybe he's talking about something more subtle. The parallels he draws between the Fisher King's wounds/illness and Thranduil's isolationism, deriving from his experiences in the war of the last alliance is valid, I think, and consistent with Tolkien. And Thranduil's kingdom does take on aspects of his character even if the wood as a whole is being influenced by the Necromancer.

It's an interesting article and there's a lot there worth thinking about.


Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 16 2013, 6:56pm

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"The king and the land are one." [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as Thranduil could affect the condition of Mirkwood, so could Mirkwood affect the condition of Thranduil.

No matter how it starts, it's a mutually sustained downward spiral.

But cure one, and the other could be cured...

******************************************
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Sometime hours and hours hence:
In The Green Dragon two ales could buy
And drank the one less filling I
And that has made all the difference.
- The Ale Less Filling, by Robert Frostymug


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Sep 16 2013, 11:04pm

Post #8 of 19 (239 views)
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Great read [In reply to] Can't Post

As a fan of Arthurian legend and the works of Shakespeare, I really enjoyed this. I hadn't ever considered the similarities between Thranduil, Oberon, and the Fisher King. I'm very much looking forward to Lee Pace's performance now if he plans to bring all this subtext to the character. While the source of Mirkwood's corruption is the Necromancer, I have to imagine that it has affected Thranduil as well. And since his realm is rotting and becoming more corrupt, he is essentially a king of a wasteland.

A couple minor points: In Malory, I believe the Fisher King's wound was caused by Sir Balin striking the "Dolorous Stroke" on him with a magic spear. That wasn't just Howard Pyle's invention. That said, Malory had both a Fisher King (Pelles) and a Maimed King (Pellehan) and tended to mix them up so I may be misremembering.

As for the Fisher King's wife, there was a woman called the Queen of the Wasteland who was one of the four queens that take the dying Arthur to Avalon. Could she have been the Fisher King's wife as he was lord of the Wasteland? In any event, they are never mentioned together so they may have been estranged. Thranduil also is without a queen so that's another similarity.


Nira
Lorien


Sep 16 2013, 11:23pm

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Thank you for sharing! [In reply to] Can't Post

That was a well written and thought out article. I enjoyed it very much. It will be interesting to see how Lee uses these two legendary characters to inspire Thranduil. I hope for a follow-up article after the movie comes out.

"Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?" -Samwise


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Sep 17 2013, 12:46am

Post #10 of 19 (246 views)
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Great Read [In reply to] Can't Post

And I have to say here that Lee Pace and the costuming they did for him is the epitome of elfness in both TH and LOTR films. This is the best piece of casting and costuming bar none.

CS Lewis uses the legend of the Fisher King in his Space Trilogy. Remember that Ransom receives a wound that does not heal and it too is in the heel of his foot. This is probably a reference to Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel. Referring to the snake of course.

Ransom is the king of a wasteland too. Oh and there is a bear in his story too. If you haven't read Lewis's Space Trilogy run right out now and get a copy.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 17 2013, 3:11am

Post #11 of 19 (273 views)
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Tradition has it that the Fisher King's -- [In reply to] Can't Post

or, in versions where he is not called the Fisher King, the Maimed King's -- wound is to his thigh. Such a wound affects his fertility, the thigh being a euphemism for the groin. As Darkstone points out, "the king and the land are one." However the land becomes waste because of the king's infertility or impotency; because of his wound. Though lame he is given exceptionally long life, sustained by the Grail. This is common to many versions.

Why a cure is affected by asking about the bloody lance and the Grail is not entirely clear to me, yet. What is clear is that this condition of his restoration is only related to versions where Percival achieves the Grail Quest. It may be related to Percival's failure to disregard all of his mother's advice, as he was told to do by the mentor who taught him to be a knight. It seems his mother told him to resist asking questions (perhaps to mask his lack of sophistication?)

Anyway it is true that in some versions the Fisher King (aka King Pelles, King Pellehan, Sir Galahad's grandfather, father of Lancelot's Elaine, or in all ways the Grail Keeper) is wounded by Balin's Dolorous Stroke (in others he's wounded by the Grail Spear). In Balin and Balan the land is made waste immediately by the stroke... apart from borrowing a name perhaps, I can see no connections between Tolkien's Balin and Arthur's, nor am I aware of any history between Tolkien's Balin and Thranduil.

It occurs to me that the equation "impotent king=infertile (waste) land" may be related to the idea that impoverishment follows the inability to produce heirs. Might this have anything to do with Thranduil? Where does his line end? With him or with his heirs? Does his kingdom languish through his personal lack of potency? Was Mirkwood always a mirkwood?

The only other connection I can come up with to justify Pace's bent is that the Grail Castle, Carbonic is about as difficult to find as Thranduil's halls. Would the party even have been able to find it if they hadn't been captured?


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Sep 17 2013, 3:18am)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 17 2013, 11:55am

Post #12 of 19 (247 views)
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Your questions pertaining to Thranduil [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It occurs to me that the equation "impotent king=infertile (waste) land" may be related to the idea that impoverishment follows the inability to produce heirs. Might this have anything to do with Thranduil? Where does his line end? With him or with his heirs? Does his kingdom languish through his personal lack of potency? Was Mirkwood always a mirkwood?

The only other connection I can come up with to justify Pace's bent is that the Grail Castle, Carbonic is about as difficult to find as Thranduil's halls. Would the party even have been able to find it if they hadn't been captured?



Impotency does not seem to be an issue in regards to the Elvenking. Thranduil has at least one heir in Legolas. The Heart of the Wild sourcebook for The One Ring role-playing game suggests that he has at least one other son, but that is probably non-canonical. We do not know if Thranduil's queen is still alive or what fate she might have met. We don't even have a canonical name for her. As for Mirkwood, before the coming of the Necromancer, it was called Greenwood the Great and was much more fair. After the War of the Ring the forest was cleansed and renamed Eryn Lasgalen ('wood of green leaves').

Presumably, the Wood-elves' path through Mirkwood would have led Thorin & Co. to the gates of Thranduil's Halls. However, it seems certain that the party would have been challenged by a patrol before they could reach it.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 17 2013, 3:18pm

Post #13 of 19 (223 views)
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I love Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra [In reply to] Can't Post

but when I came to That Hideous Strength I was more perplexed than anything else. I was upset at the sudden transition from Ransom's narration to... what's her name... I preferred Random. Ah, well.

Even so, Ransom remains the first literary thing I think of when I see the words 'Fisher King'. It was my introduction to that legend (apparently, all the versions of King Arthur I have read omitted that bit... weirdly enough Crazy). I had never thought of the similarities with Thranduil, but they're very interesting and well-drawn.

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

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


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 18 2013, 12:16am

Post #14 of 19 (229 views)
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Thanks for the info sir [In reply to] Can't Post

The bit about Mirkwood would seem to fit...


Quote
As for Mirkwood, before the coming of the Necromancer, it was called Greenwood the Great and was much more fair. After the War of the Ring the forest was cleansed and renamed Eryn Lasgalen ('wood of green leaves').


One might say (speaking only of the movie) Thranduil refusing to confront Smaug as he sacked Erebor was a kind of impotence. Or perhaps his love of jewels diminished his potency as a king? But neither of these bring to mind The Fisher King.

As keeper of the Grail, and lame, The Fisher King seems a prisoner (though he must live somewhere) of an enchanted castle amid a wasted realm... perhaps Mr. Pace will share his mind somewhat more in future.

If the statement is true, clearly Thranduil, and likely his domain, are fairly more developed than they are in Tolkien's piece.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 18 2013, 5:09am

Post #15 of 19 (199 views)
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It's pretty common... [In reply to] Can't Post

for actors to develop characters' lives and backstory in their heads, beyond what is in the script. So while it's very likely that the writing team has developed Thranduil and Mirkwood beyond the bare bones description of the book, Lee's comments should probably be taken mostly as his internal take on his character and not automatically those of Peter, Fran, and Philippa. He and they may have discussed these characters, or they may just be the pieces he is using in his own head to create his performance.

Not that you're necessarily conflating the two, but I think it often happens that people take actors' comments as being a sort of "canon" when they should actually be taken with the usual clause which comes with commentaries and op-ed features: the opinions expressed are those of the speakers only and may not reflect the opinions or intentions of anyone else involved in the production. So Lee is seeing these parallels, but the script wasn't necessarily written with them in mind.


Quote
If the statement is true, clearly Thranduil, and likely his domain, are fairly more developed than they are in Tolkien's piece.


Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 18 2013, 9:47am

Post #16 of 19 (189 views)
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Tolkien's Balin and Arthur's [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I can see no connections between Tolkien's Balin and Arthur's, nor am I aware of any history between Tolkien's Balin and Thranduil.


I don't think there is a connection between those two characters apart from the name. However it is possible that Tolkien was inspired by Sir Balin for another story since there is a slight similarity between Arthur's Balin and Tolkien's Turin Turambar since they both unintentionally create misery wherever they go and both characters wield an accursed sword.


In Reply To
Carbonic is about as difficult to find as Thranduil's halls. Would the party even have been able to find it if they hadn't been captured?


Yes, I can see a strong link there. I don't think the company would have happened upon the entrance to Thranduil's halls if they hadn't been captured. The halls come across as being one of those well hidden places, a lot like the other elven kingdoms. Not easy to find unless you know where to look. Smile

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 18 2013, 10:14am

Post #17 of 19 (193 views)
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Beautiful article [In reply to] Can't Post

This is very well written and enjoyable to read. It's amazing just how much of the storyline and characteristics of the Fisher King and Oberon can be related to Thranduil. It'll be interesting to watch Thranduil's story in the next films. The small amount of time that we saw him in AUJ left me quite intrigued. He was really very mysterious.



In Reply To
What we know for a fact however, is that Thranduil fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. And there are some indications this affecting (and probably injuring) him greatly, and it may explain why Thranduil has more or less shut himself up in Mirkwood.


I agree there is that however, I believe that story will only be known to Tolkien fans rather than something we will learn about during the films. There was also the suggestion, I think in the DOS preview, that he has had to fight other dragons before Smaug so, obviously the memories of that will have affected him. There is another possibility that the storyline in the extended prologue about jewels will also provide a way of understanding why he has shut himself away in Mirkwood. All in all Thranduil does come across as being a very complex character and I am keen to find out what storyline they choose to explain why his character is the way he is.Smile

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


glor
Rohan

Sep 18 2013, 11:58am

Post #18 of 19 (188 views)
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All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing [In reply to] Can't Post

Dol Guldur is leaking out evil because of inaction. The White Council are as yet inactive on this matter and Thranduil's isolationism is a deliberate policy of non-action.

The evil coming out of Dol Guldur is unchallenged at this point apart from Radagast's warnings and Gandalf's new(?) concerns, Thranduil's isolationism is allowing his own kingdom to be corrupted, would that make him a failed King? Thus drawing parallels with the other failed King, the one without a Kingdom, Thorin Oakenshield.


Elthir
Gondor

Sep 22 2013, 2:25am

Post #19 of 19 (304 views)
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Oropher [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
What we know for a fact however, is that Thranduil fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. And there are some indications this affecting (and probably injuring) him greatly, and it may explain why Thranduil has more or less shut himself up in Mirkwood.





Hmm, in the Third Age all the Elven Realms might be described as 'isolated', but in any case Tolkien already explains the returning Sindar's desire for relative isolation in Unfinished Tales, which is operative well before the Last Alliance.

Oropher came among the Silvan Elves of Greenwood as he and his Sindar: 'had no desire to leave Middle-earth, nor to be merged with the other Sindar of Beleriand, dominated by the Noldorin exiles for whom the folk of Doriath had no love. They wished indeed to become Silvan folk and to return, as they said, to the simple life natural to the Elves before the invitation of the Valar had disturbed it.' [UT Appendix B to The History of Galadriel and Celeborn]

This is echoed again, before the Last Alliance: 'despite the desire of the Silvan Elves to meddle as little as might be in the affairs of the Noldor or Sindar, or of any other peoples, Dwarves, Men, or Orcs, Oropher had the wisdom to forsee that peace would not return until Sauron was overcome.'



Quote

[The Silvan Elves']...losses were thus more grievous than they need have been, even in that terrible war. Oropher was slain in the first assault upon Mordor, rushing forward at the head of his most doughty warriors before Gil-galad had given the signal for the advance. Thranduil his son survived, but when the war ended ... he led back home barely a third of the army that had marched to war.

And:

There was a long peace in which the numbers of Silvan Elves grew again; but they were unquiet and anxious, feeling the change in the world that the Third Age would bring... There was in Thranduil's heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor, and could not forget it. If ever he looked south, its memory dimmed the light of the sun...

Just as Thranduil is affected by the war and fighting, so is The Fisher King, although it may be argued that he is affected physically, while Thranduil is affected mentally. This can again be taken further because of Greenwood the Great turning into Mirkwood with the return of Sauron to Middle-earth.




I note you quote a description of the long peace that followed the Last Alliance, in which Thranduil's folk increased. And in fact, roughly 1,000 years pass after the Last Alliance before Greenwood begins to change into Mirkwood, and event which ultimately caused many to flee or become wary, including Hobbits.


It is natural enough to flee the spreading Shadow in my opinion, and likewise to build underground [following Thingol], for the protection of a people if and when necessary. And yes there is a Shadow in Mirkwood, but are Thranduil's subjects 'suffering'?

Thranduil's Elves are feasting and merrymaking when we meet them, for example. Most of them live and hunt in the woods [generally seems the life of a Silvan Elf to me], and Thranduil appears to have wine and other goods by trade as well.

The reader is given text to explain why Thranduil has 'shut himself up in Mirkwood', or what changed the Greenwood [Sauron, not an 'injured' King connected to his Realm], and so far I see no great reason to try to see things through the cloth of the Fisher King here.

If Pace or Jackson want to add this element that's one thing, but that's very different from drawing a compelling connection to Tolkien.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Sep 22 2013, 2:31am)

 
 

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