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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day One - "Galadriel, political animal of Middle-earth", by Demosthenes
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elaen32
Gondor


Nov 10 2013, 11:26pm

Post #26 of 106 (217 views)
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Yuck!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

That's all I can say to you and CG re your culinary tastes!Frown


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


Nov 10 2013, 11:45pm

Post #27 of 106 (214 views)
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but was it really a compromise? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
was it really a compromise?

she chose to leave aman at that moment, but she was not following feanor. there were different groups within the host, all following specific leaders.

finarfin -- he turned back, and his host followed him.
feanor --
fingolfin


those were the main houses, and perhaps there were subdivisions within them (e.g.., house of finrod, house of fingon, house of turgon).

so, did galadriel lead her own sub-host, or was she attached to the host of fingolfin, or one of her brothers (or cousins)?

my impression is that galadriel would have wished to push on even if feanor had changed his mind. i'm not seeing how it's a compromise on galadriel's part to leave at the same time feanor was leaving.

i've always been curious if -- after that night -- if any elves in valinor wished to leave. at any point afterwards. a week later. a year. 100 years. an age.

i would find it hard to believe that no elf wanted to follow suit (even knowing they'd be self-exiled), but we have no word of it. nor any word of a ban on travel by the valar.


.


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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 10 2013, 11:59pm

Post #28 of 106 (218 views)
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i always come back to that as well [In reply to] Can't Post

[ mikah ]

In Reply To
I have often thought about Galadriel denying the pardon of the Valar. I am in complete agreement with her. I am not exactly sure what it is that they believe that she needed to be pardoned for. I understand that they were angry regarding the kinslaying at Alqualonde, however there is no indication that she participated. As a matter of fact. there are accounts that she fought in defense of her mother's kin. I will even take it a step further and say that I am not sure it was wise of the Valar to have called the elves to Valinor in the first place. It seems to me if Eru wanted them there he would have put them there. This is a topic of another essay, however!

[ / mikah ]

mikah, this has been my eternal question regarding galadriel: for what does she need pardon? they weren't forbidden to leave aman. she did not partake in the kinslaying.

you can search the reading room threads, and you will see scads of comments and threads by me regarding the ill-intentioned summoning of the elves to aman by the valar. we are in sync.


.


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


CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 12:06am

Post #29 of 106 (209 views)
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Opportunist? [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you saying she's an opportunist rather than a compromisist? It's true that Tolkien thought of her as wanting to go have her own queendom outside of Aman regardless of what the rest of the Noldor did, so maybe she was sitting on the docks at Alqualonde, so to speak, waiting for a boat, when the rabble showed up, and she went with the crowd while having an agenda of her own?

And oh, don't get me worked up about the Valar and their peculiar sense of justice again! I was finally getting over that.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 12:09am

Post #30 of 106 (217 views)
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fwiw [In reply to] Can't Post

 
cg, fwiw, i think the relationship between feanor and galadriel was more uncle / niece (or half-uncle / half niece).

at least his name wasn't finaenor. i mean, enough is enough with those fin names.

.
.


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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 12:14am

Post #31 of 106 (203 views)
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who knows? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
being such a great planner, galadriel might have been crafting travel plans for years.... asking boons of her relatives in tol eressea (dinghies, life jackets, etc.), stocking up on lembas, getting silken banners sewn with the crests of all the great houses so they could be flown gaily on launch day (and then on arrival day) -- she even was planning on a blessing from mandos.... but then uncle feanor gets all fey and all, and trashes everything.


.


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


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 12:18am

Post #32 of 106 (201 views)
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well... there was a limit [In reply to] Can't Post

well, there did seem to be a limit.... she was passed over as high-queen of the noldor.... even when gil-galad was gone.

in one of tolkien's letters (he was itemizing how the proposed script of lord of the rings he had seen had missed many marks), he +decidedly+ corrects someone who cast and referred to galadriel as queen of the elves. he emphatically stated she was not a queen.

so.... a sort of limitation, and it seems to be attributable to her gender. i don't agree with the way tolkien decided to bar females from the line of succession, but it's his myth-making. i would have expected more from the elves.


.


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


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 11 2013, 12:39am

Post #33 of 106 (204 views)
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It's certainly an interesting contrast... [In reply to] Can't Post

to her reaction when Feanor asked for the same thing. But it seems to me that Feanor's reaction to beauty was a desire to possess and control - one only has to look at what happened when he lost his favorite jewels to see that. Galadriel was not about to give any part of herself into his possession. On the other hand, Gimli seems to be acting out of admiration without acquisitiveness. His heart was moved by the words of one he'd always been taught to view with suspicion and enmity. He wants a single strand of her hair to remember her by (she's the one who chose to give him three). He says he would cherish it and make it an heirloom of his house as a sort of memorial stone.

Galadriel rejected the request of perhaps the greatest and most proud member of her race, and then, ages later, grants the request of that of a member of another, and often despised, race. Was it because Feanor asked in pride and Gimli in humility, or is it yet another sign of her change of heart and her willingness to diminish that she is willing see and value the good opinion of those who are "lesser" and chooses to give a little piece of herself to a true admirer?

Silverlode

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



CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 12:53am

Post #34 of 106 (197 views)
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Wait, Fwiw was part of the family too? [In reply to] Can't Post

All those f-names! Was Fwiw the brother of Btw, or the son of Fwd? Or both?

Thanks, I got my family tree one branch off. Now it seems more creepy than a cousin-cousin thing. "Hey, niece, can I have some of your radiantly beautiful hair?" Ughhhhhh! That was one troubled family.


Demosthenes
Sr. Staff


Nov 11 2013, 12:53am

Post #35 of 106 (195 views)
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Probably a mixture [In reply to] Can't Post

Human motives are rarely clear-cut, and looking at the Silm, I think it's fair to say that elves are riven with the same sorts of confusions (even if they've finally matured a little by the Third Age).

TheOneRing.net Senior Staff
IRC Admin and Hall of Fire moderator


CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 12:55am

Post #36 of 106 (189 views)
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It's a slippery slope. [In reply to] Can't Post

First you let Elf-women become queens and try to run things themselves, and the next thing you know, they wind up all over the Internet, which everyone knows was invented by men for men.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 12:57am

Post #37 of 106 (188 views)
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of course -- don't you remember [In reply to] Can't Post

 
do you not remember the fabulous deeds of the great fwiwingolfin? geeesh.

fwiw, feanor thinks your hair has a nice sheen.

.


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


CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 12:57am

Post #38 of 106 (192 views)
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It's all in the asker's motivation, methinks. [In reply to] Can't Post

Very eloquently stated!


Quote
Galadriel rejected the request of perhaps the greatest and most proud member of her race, and then, ages later, grants the request of that of a member of another, and often despised, race. Was it because Feanor asked in pride and Gimli in humility, or is it yet another sign of her change of heart and her willingness to diminish that she is willing see and value the good opinion of those who are "lesser" and chooses to give a little piece of herself to a true admirer?



Mikah
Lorien

Nov 11 2013, 1:07am

Post #39 of 106 (183 views)
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So then it would seem that I am not alone? [In reply to] Can't Post


[ / mikah ]

mikah, this has been my eternal question regarding galadriel: for what does she need pardon? they weren't forbidden to leave aman. she did not partake in the kinslaying.

you can search the reading room threads, and you will see scads of comments and threads by me regarding the ill-intentioned summoning of the elves to aman by the valar. we are in sync.


.



I have always kind of wondered if anyone else was of like mind on this question regarding Galadriel. Regarding all of the Noldor who left Middle Earth in fact. I will definitely search your posts regarding this issue. I have often questioned the Valar's motives regarding calling the Elves to Valinor. They loved the beauty of the elves and wished to be surrounded by it? That would seem to be a bit self-serving to me. I have had people tell me that they probably intended to keep them safe from Morgoth. But as Feanor so rightly points out in his...ummmm....farewell speech, they "did not keep the elves or their realm secure from the enemy." This question perplexes me. And then to have the audacity to grant pardon to Galadriel...for what??? I can certainly understand her indignation in this matter.

This is in no way to knock the Valar, as Ulmo is one of my favorite Tolkien characters. However, I believe that they do hold some responsibility in the whole Middle Earth/Morgoth mess. I have never agreed with everything that Galadriel has done and at times her motives may be less than honorable. But, in this instance I completely agree with her.


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 11 2013, 1:15am

Post #40 of 106 (181 views)
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Interesting question here Ioreth [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
aladriel strikes me as the kind of person who likes to be the biggest frog in the pond so she goes and finds a pond that suits that goal. I've always wondered what it was like for her stepping off the boat when she reached the West. Back there, she was such a little frog compared to her status in Middle Earth.




Wonder if at that point her goals and needs had changed - with Sauron defeated and with her many successes in M-e the desire to rule, per se, has been fulfilled?

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


Nov 11 2013, 1:33am

Post #41 of 106 (179 views)
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True Telpemairo, she could have left at any time [In reply to] Can't Post

but did choose that time, and it is the words of Feanor himself that kindle the desire to go. So I suppose do see a bit of compromise there - not to her detriment, but certainly pragmatic.

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


Nov 11 2013, 1:35am

Post #42 of 106 (177 views)
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How quickly we fwiwget. // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
do you not remember the fabulous deeds of the great fwiwingolfin? geeesh.


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!





squire
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 2:11am

Post #43 of 106 (198 views)
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'He saw there love and understanding.' [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, this is a very interesting approach to Galadriel. I suggest that in making the case for Galadriel as a 'political animal', you may at times slight the non-political aspects of her personality that are equally powerful. For instance, when you argue that she speaks with the skill of a diplomat:

In fact, with a handful of words she turns Gimli into a firm ally and admirer:

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


I disagree that it is these words that win over Gimli. What follows, in the voice of the narrator, is a lot more telling:

She looked upon Gimli, who sat glowering and sad, and she smiled. And the Dwarf, hearing the names given in his own ancient tongue, looked up and met her eyes; and it seemed to him that he looked suddenly into the heart of an enemy and saw there love and understanding. Wonder came into his face, and then he smiled in answer. - LotR II.7 (bold by squire)


Clearly, Galadriel finds Gimli lovable, and loves him. Not in a political way, or a diplomatic way, or in a balance-of-power and dwarf-soldiers way, but in the way that one human heart can love another regardless of sex or station. We might say that Galadriel pulls this off as a trick to win over an enemy, but I don't read it that way. Sure, it's to her advantage that she can seduce Gimli by showing him a love that he obviously craves, but it's not done for that reason. I see this moment as a reminder to us that Galadriel is great-souled, perhaps even more so because she is female and cannot override her feelings as easily as males are trained to do.

And I think this is another moment where the author wants to remind us that the reason the forces of Good ultimately win in this story is that they are more than politicians. After all, Sauron is the ultimate politician, who can never be beaten on his own ground.

Gandalf, Aragorn, the hobbits, Galadriel and most of the other heroes of the story repeatedly show their ability to transcend politics and power. They remember that the point of politics, the point of rule and reign, is to preserve and protect the ability of common people to live and love undisturbed by external evil.

I've never been comfortable with all the portrayals of Galadriel in the Silmarillion, for that reason. Tolkien had to retroactively write her into a existing set of stories, after he had invented her for LotR. Clearly he became fascinated with her character as a woman of power - which is your primary focus in your essay - but he never brings her to more life than she already had in two chapters of LotR. In fact, I feel he diminishes her - paradoxically, in the opposite way from her comment at the end of the Mirror scene. In the Silmarillion he simplifies her into a purely political animal, while at the end of her original story she regrets that by rejecting the Ring she will be simplified into a loving and lovable woman. At the height of her glory as one of Tolkien's most interesting and unique characters, she was both.



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'.
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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 2:42am

Post #44 of 106 (177 views)
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so.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That's all I can say to you and CG re your culinary tastes!Frown


elaen, i'm selling horse jerky to buy uniforms for the school band. does that mean i can put you down as a no? what about that box of horse mints?


.


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


CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 11 2013, 2:55am

Post #45 of 106 (167 views)
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well, looking at your avatar [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope you have the good taste to NOT eat horse jerky while riding upon your horse. Especially if it came from a relative.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Nov 11 2013, 3:02am

Post #46 of 106 (165 views)
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you must know [In reply to] Can't Post

 
you must know that i am totally kidding about eating horse jerky.

monkey jerky, on the other hand....


.


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


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Nov 11 2013, 3:24am

Post #47 of 106 (181 views)
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She was undoubtedly remarkable as you say [In reply to] Can't Post

so much so that Tolkien named her as being one of the two greatest of all the Eldar (therefore of all Children of Illuvatar) along with Feanor, leaving open the option that she may have actually been the greatest. Now that is not just of the Noldor but of all Eldar, including the Vanyar and Teleri.


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 11 2013, 8:18am

Post #48 of 106 (159 views)
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I think you answer my question... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Clearly, Galadriel finds Gimli lovable, and loves him. Not in a political way, or a diplomatic way, or in a balance-of-power and dwarf-soldiers way, but in the way that one human heart can love another regardless of sex or station. We might say that Galadriel pulls this off as a trick to win over an enemy, but I don't read it that way. Sure, it's to her advantage that she can seduce Gimli by showing him a love that he obviously craves, but it's not done for that reason. I see this moment as a reminder to us that Galadriel is great-souled, perhaps even more so because she is female and cannot override her feelings as easily as males are trained to do.



Quote
Is there any sincerity behind it?


I'd go for yes, yes there was.



Demosthenes
Sr. Staff


Nov 11 2013, 11:31am

Post #49 of 106 (150 views)
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Ambition in Galadriel and Feanor. Similarities and differences [In reply to] Can't Post

There have been a few comments comparing Feanor and Galadriel, and indeed it's a natural comparison to make.

But I'd like to especially the aspect of ambition.

They're both wildly ambitious. Driven to achieve things.

(Aside: for us humans, this is stereo-typically held to be bad trait in the ladies, and culturally disapproved of, and encouraged within blokes... within limits. Is what Tolkien does a gender flip? An ambitious lady succeeding where an ambitious man fails? Food for thought.)

But the ambition of these two is qualitatively different, and I think this is really important. Feanor is willing to walk over broken glass and sacrifice anyone and anything along the way. He slays his fellow elves to get there, and damn (literally!) the consequences.

For Feanor, ANY act is justified to achieve what he wants. (He becomes a mini-Morgoth in the end, emulating that which he hates).

Galadriel, on the other hand. Well, I still fancy she's willing to walk over broken glass to get what she wants ... because that's a cost to HER. But she's not willing to sacrifice others along the way on the altar of her ambition. That's my impression at least. Her ambition is tempered with the realisation that the will/decisions/lives of others are important, too. Her ambition to be lady of a realm is clean and honest in a way that Feanor's ambitions can never be.

That doesn't stop her trying to get her way, but she has limits.

Although, one could maybe argue that her testing of the fellowship is morally ambiguous. There's a discussion in that I reckon.

TheOneRing.net Senior Staff
IRC Admin and Hall of Fire moderator


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Nov 11 2013, 11:44am

Post #50 of 106 (145 views)
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Galadriel and leaving Middle-Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

The decision by Galadriel and those of the Noldor who decided to remain in Middle-Earth rather than leaving for Valinor might have been done out of pride possibly, but it was good for those remaining in Middle-Earth that they did. If the Valar had had their way, all of the Noldor would have left and much of the Sindar as well. This would have been a serious weakness for those that remained in the later struggles against Sauron!

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