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Free will

Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 2 2013, 12:45am


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Free will [In reply to] Can't Post


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I agree that the Valar should be taken as literary creations.
However I´m slightly confused by your seeming admiration for the treatment of the Norse and the Greek gods and gods who are very actively involved.
Is it for instance the gods and their functions and personalities/attributes that make the Iliad or the Oddysey interesting? Or is it mainly the fates of the human heroes within the stories and the particular creatures/dangers they encounter? Most of the time the Greek gods are just moving the odds perceptibly this way and that, interfering constantly in the story with simple motivations of revenge and jealousy. How interesting are these kind of properties in gods, when the same attributes can just as well be shared by any of the human heroes within the story?
The Norse gods are slightly different and can be quite interesting in themselves, but it´s worth noting that in the Norse myths there´s often hardly room for anyone else but the Gods and their biggest adversaries. The role that Men and other creatures play is often marginal.
Tolkien´s universe by comparison seems like a more diverse and balanced universe, where there´s room for specific stories and focus on selected gods, but where the lesser beings occupy most of the attention with the hint of the influence of other powers in the background.
***The fact that the gods keep their distance I attribute to Tolkien´s specific view on free will and a different view of the role of the lesser beings within the created world compared to Norse and Greek myth. *** It makes the stories less action-packed, but it makes the interplay between different forces much more interesting to investigate and much less obvious than when you have very active gods IMO.




Very important concept there, the maintaining of free will and how, though Fate exists in a very macro-scale, on the micro-scale of the individual free will and choice must always exist.

Curious here Elostirion - do you possibly see the obvious presence of the Valar in the early First Age as a statement about the Elven-dominated Sil having a bit more fate about and less free will - with a change to more free will occurring with their withdrawal and the rise of Men later on - having to do with the fates of the races? Or simply a maturing of the world in more of a literary sense on JRRT's part?

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!










Subject User Time
Letter #131 Discussion: Some Races in the Drama Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 2:30am
    The Genesis of Races in Middle-earth Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 2:32am
        There is more than one interesting word choice. Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 30 2013, 3:59am
            Races and perspectives Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 3:44pm
            Great insights, Dame! // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 4 2013, 5:03pm
            fwiw Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 5 2013, 2:07am
                Yes - it is Letter #153 // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 4:15am
                    The species problem! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 9:22am
                        By the same argument…Greco-Roman gods are the same species as humans… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 10:45am
                            And also true, Maiar and Elves Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 3:42pm
                                How delightfully appropriate: maybe what we have here are "Ring Species"! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 5:01pm
                                    (*applause*) // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 5:06pm
                                        How about the interbreeding prospects of dwarves? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 5:18pm
                                            I see you smiling over there - its like a laser pointer to a cat. And you know that! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 5:32pm
                                                What, my evil grin was that obvious? // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 5:47pm
                                                    Yes - endearing but obvious!!! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 6:05pm
                                                        Similarly I don't think anyone could be half-Halfling … noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 6:14pm
                                                            Hmm. on the other hand... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 6:27pm
                                                                "And the 1/2-ling 1/4 will stand" // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 7:48pm
                                                                    Tolkien: the Numerical Tales (?) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 8:01pm
                                                            LMHO (Laughing my half off!) // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 7 2013, 12:10pm
                                                maiar as a species Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 5 2013, 7:15pm
                                                    Not sure on the special dispensation Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 7:28pm
                                                        ah Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 5 2013, 7:42pm
                                                            Sitting with pillows was good advice!!!! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 7:58pm
                                                        i get the vibe from tolkien Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 5 2013, 7:51pm
                                                            True: the "I do not care" line Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 8:07pm
                                                                It would be thoroughly understandable if "make Middle-earth consistent with Real life genetics" was not high on JRRTs to-do list.// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 8:36pm
                                                                    Very true Furincurunir! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 6 2013, 3:02am
                                                                        Just having fun, anyway noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 6 2013, 9:17am
                                                                        Agreed CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 7 2013, 12:19pm
                                                                            Yes, I will sacrifice myself in the experiment. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 12:24am
                                                    Dispensation and family planning CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 7 2013, 7:22pm
                        Yes quite tricky!! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 5 2013, 5:48pm
    The looming East: Our Eden? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 2:35am
        Well, now I feel silly CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 8 2013, 12:31am
            Using my *middle names* again I see... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 1:04am
            Go west, young elf. Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Oct 8 2013, 3:24am
    Well, shall we say it baldly? squire Send a private message to squire Sep 30 2013, 2:56am
        I concur Bombadil21 Send a private message to Bombadil21 Sep 30 2013, 11:17am
            From an aesthetic literary stance... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 30 2013, 1:57pm
                The problems with pantheons Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 3:59pm
                Excellent CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 4 2013, 5:10pm
                well elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Oct 4 2013, 6:42pm
                    Yes. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 5 2013, 5:45pm
            Beautifully phrased Bombadil! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 3:25pm
        Great point Squire Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 3:16pm
        I think it's good the Valar aren't allowed too much of the blanket Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Sep 30 2013, 6:29pm
            Valar and Otherness (and Hello Faenoriel!) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 9:24pm
                Hi to you! Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Oct 1 2013, 12:35am
                    (*lights flaming torch*)... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 1 2013, 1:00am
                    No need to correct Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Oct 1 2013, 2:04pm
            I agree almost wholeheartedly.. elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Oct 1 2013, 7:50pm
                The pagan gods can be interesting Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Oct 1 2013, 10:37pm
                    Yep ......None of the political and sexual intrigues which wash around Asgard or Olympus // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 4 2013, 4:12pm
        well elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Oct 1 2013, 8:33pm
            Free will Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 2 2013, 12:45am
                I find the Valar utterly fascinating elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Oct 2 2013, 7:20pm
                    I find the Valar fascinating too: on both levels Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 2 2013, 11:32pm
                        clarification needed:) elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Oct 4 2013, 11:43am
                            Always glad to clarify! And musings on journeys of faith Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 4 2013, 4:17pm
                    Dissecting the Valar: the new creation CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 4 2013, 5:44pm
                        The Valar: fallible but moral noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 2:55pm
                            Exactly true Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 4:20pm
                                gods who need faith? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 5 2013, 4:38pm
                                    Valar and faith Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 5 2013, 4:53pm
                                        There's something more parental than godlike about the Valar noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 6 2013, 10:00am
                                            i think i may be the only one Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 6 2013, 3:10pm
                                                Not-parents…but… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 6 2013, 5:46pm
                                                Well there's parents and then there's parents, see? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 7 2013, 1:50pm
                                                    Siblings CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 7 2013, 7:14pm
    The Valar as guardian angels (sort of) Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Oct 1 2013, 2:01pm
        Angelic metaphor Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 2 2013, 12:36am
            Thanks for the approval! Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Oct 2 2013, 12:11pm
                Thanks for the insights! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 2 2013, 12:31pm

 
 
 

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