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Unfinished Tales Discussion: The Wanderings of Tuor, first part
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Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 25 2013, 4:14pm

Post #1 of 39 (369 views)
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Unfinished Tales Discussion: The Wanderings of Tuor, first part Can't Post

Welcome Fellowship of the Room! To lead off the discussion of Unfinished Tales, the first chapter ,'Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin' will be up for discussion over the next few weeks.

Enjoy!

Some points to lead off with that struck me as interesting...





The bloodlines of the brothers who fall together, Hurin and Huor. Both their sons are named in similarity to their father's name, and seem to have inherited their temperaments as well. Both Turin and his cousin Tuor are in similar appearance to Elves: though one is dark and one is fair. Is this use of contrasting appearances one of JRRT's examples of 'light and dark' being descriptive syllogisms for inner worth?

Given the information in this chapter, how many other ways can we compare and contrast the two cousins, Turin and Tuor?





Morgoth breaking pledge with the Easterlings - it drives them into Hithlum and thus they seem to especially hate the people there, and the Elves even more than before: so does it seem like a good policy versus random venom?




At the Firth of Drengist, in the hills of Lammoth, as Tuor at the First steps quite literally in what were Feanor's footsteps...we have two explanations for the echoing of sound: the echo of Morgoth's cries as he stuggled with Shelob over the Silmarils and the 'natural' idea that it isn't a geographical feature. Which do you prefer? Or can the ideas be integrated in the evolving 'myth within the myth' as the legendarium develops?

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Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 25 2013, 4:17pm

Post #2 of 39 (295 views)
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Ulmo and Feanor in the tale [In reply to] Can't Post

Tuor, Ulmo and the Sea.

Tuor seems very aware of the power of the water - different to other Edain, who we read cannot seem to understand the messages, even if Ulmo tries to send them? The call of the Sea in Tuor's heart - it seems to touch him before he even knows what it is. Is this because of his very nature and unique to him, which as we note seems to understand Ulmo a bit better? Or is it the inverse - that he longs for the Sea because of having been touched by Ulmo?

- The sudden decision of Tuor to arise and go: 'I will leave now the grey land of my kin that are no more," he cried, 'and I will go in search of my doom! But whither shall I turn? Long have I sought the gate and found it not." After this, Tuor plays a song, 'heedless of the peril' and a sign is seemingly given from Ulmo. How is Ulmo working here: is the sign a built-in device, inevitable, or is it the direct result of Tuor's imploring?

- We've have seen these 'sudden' decisions in other parts of the literature (Sam on Mount Doom for example, comes immediately to mind). Do you find the author's mechanisms the same or not: divine inspiration vs 'inner voice' or some foretelling on part if the characters involved?





The ghost of Feanor in Beleriand? He seems to appear quite a lot, (wraithlike?) in this first chapter.

- The lamps carried by Gelmir and Arminas, though not described in detail, seem to be (Note #2) in notes, 'Feanorian lamps', whose making is unknown to the Noldor at large. These lamps light Tuor's way to the Gate of the Noldor, its door in shadow. A cohesive plot device, JRRT's love of recalling the tales past or a deeper meaning?

- An interesting overlap of prophecies to be found in the tales of Feanor and Tuor. Annael says to Tuor, "And this land shall not be freed from the shadow of Morgoth until Thangorodrim be overthrown..." And many years before, as Feanor lay dying, he saw revealed to him this about Thangorodrim with the foresight of death: "...that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them..." So here, in these removed prophecies, a foreshadowing of the mechanism for the fall of the Dark Lord in the North?

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Nov 25 2013, 4:18pm)


Mikah
Lorien

Nov 26 2013, 1:11am

Post #3 of 39 (196 views)
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These are interesting questions. [In reply to] Can't Post

Morgoth breaking pledge with the Easterlings - it drives them into Hithlum and thus they seem to especially hate the people there, and the Elves even more than before: so does it seem like a good policy versus random venom?

This question also struck me while reading this passage. I am kind of at a loss to understand the Easterlings. I understand that the Easterlings after being betrayed by Morgoth still served him in fear. Tolkien states that they despised the elves and the house of Hador especially. But why? After Morgoth's betrayal why would they not want to at least form a sort of shaky alliance with them? You know...the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing. Was Morgoth's power as such that they 'could not' break free from him, even if they wished? Maybe someone who has a better comprehension of this lore could help me out with this?

Given the information in this chapter, how many other ways can we compare and contrast the two cousins, Turin and Tuor?

The thing that struck me regarding Turin and Tuor were the similarities of their situations regarding their circumstances. They both were fostered by elves after their father's fates Both also displayed the nomadic tendencies of wanderers after their perspective separations from their foster parents. Both of them at a point, considered themselves outlawed. It also seemed as though a very high doom called them both. Here is where the comparison ends and the contrast begins. Tuor seemed to me to not suffer the pride and anger that Turin did (probably due to Morgoth's curse on Hurin's household). In my mind, this caused Tuor to be a hero and Turin to be more of a tragic figure, if you will (although Turin is most definitely a hero as well). Turin's fate was definitely darker than Tuor's.

The third question...well, it is a very good question. I am going to have to think on it some. I will be interested to see what other's thoughts on this will be.





Mikah
Lorien

Nov 26 2013, 1:31am

Post #4 of 39 (193 views)
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The fate of Tuor??? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tuor seems very aware of the power of the water - different to other Edain, who we read cannot seem to understand the messages, even if Ulmo tries to send them? The call of the Sea in Tuor's heart - it seems to touch him before he even knows what it is. Is this because of his very nature and unique to him, which as we note seems to understand Ulmo a bit better? Or is it the inverse - that he longs for the Sea because of having been touched by Ulmo?

It has always been my impression that Tuor did long for the sea because of having been touched by Ulmo. When he came upon Gelmir and Arminas, Gelmir told Tuor at their parting "Yet I have heard that your House has the favour of the Lord of the Waters. And if his counsels lead you to Turgon, then surely you shall come to him, withsoever you turn" (22). This always led me to believe that Tuor's fate could be none other than what it was. Of course, this is just my perspective.

The ghost of Feanor in Beleriand? He seems to appear quite a lot, (wraithlike?) in this first chapter.

This is a really good observation. I honestly had not even noticed it until you pointed it out. I will be curious to see the perspectives of those who noticed this.





Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 26 2013, 2:23am

Post #5 of 39 (185 views)
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Answers.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that the especial use of specific words does have purpose-- He was a philologist after all. 'Shadow', 'darkness', 'fair', 'light', and other such words have a fairly consistent meaning. However, the words can, and are, qualified, or used in another sense than we would expect.

'Grim',--the word used to describe Tuor, and also Beren, Aragorn, Turin (I think), and others-- is usually thought to be negative in connotation, but in many cases it is an appellation applied to heroes. In this case, the word is qualified by the next few sentences


Quote
Yet it is said that Tuor's journeys were not made for the purpose of vengeance; rather he sought ever for the Gate of the Noldor, of which Annael had spoken.

This because...

Quote
...Tuor saw wisdom...




Maybe the Easterlings (Funny, I always imagine men, looking much like giant stripe-y Easter eggsCrazy) were more cognizant of the futility of fighting Morgoth, so they took out their frustration on the next people that came to mind. They were fighting them before, and at least were capable of inflicting great losses.

How do you think these Easterlings translated through time to the LotR Easterlings?

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 3:11am

Post #6 of 39 (182 views)
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A tale of two cousins... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Morgoth breaking pledge with the Easterlings - it drives them into Hithlum and thus they seem to especially hate the people there, and the Elves even more than before: so does it seem like a good policy versus random venom?
This question also struck me while reading this passage. I am kind of at a loss to understand the Easterlings. I understand that the Easterlings after being betrayed by Morgoth still served him in fear. Tolkien states that they despised the elves and the house of Hador especially. But why? After Morgoth's betrayal why would they not want to at least form a sort of shaky alliance with them? You know...the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing. Was Morgoth's power as such that they 'could not' break free from him, even if they wished? Maybe someone who has a better comprehension of this lore could help me out with this? I wonder here if the Easterlings had been so hardened already by the marring words of Morgoth about the Elves that he made it impossible for them to choose them as allies. I think there was the resentment they felt about the Gift, and the lies told to Men describing their mortality as a curse...he both stripped them of their natural, Eru-designed shepherds in Arda and them isolated them even further with anger and resentment. I asked here about 'policy' because it seems a good one, if you don't want groups uniting against you! All that might be needed were a few generations of angry and bitter Men to alienate the Firstborn forever (since they are Immortal: being insulted lasts the life of the earth.) Not sure if that's the most comprehensive answer, but it feels to me like a large part of the motivations: Morgoth's spawning those of the Easterlings.

Given the information in this chapter, how many other ways can we compare and contrast the two cousins, Turin and Tuor?
The thing that struck me regarding Turin and Tuor were the similarities of their situations regarding their circumstances. They both were fostered by elves after their father's fates Both also displayed the nomadic tendencies of wanderers after their perspective separations from their foster parents. Both of them at a point, considered themselves outlawed. It also seemed as though a very high doom called them both. Here is where the comparison ends and the contrast begins. Tuor seemed to me to not suffer the pride and anger that Turin did (probably due to Morgoth's curse on Hurin's household). In my mind, this caused Tuor to be a hero and Turin to be more of a tragic figure, if you will (although Turin is most definitely a hero as well). Turin's fate was definitely darker than Tuor's. I find the similarities to be quite striking, and I tend to feel that it is for a reason. I believe Turin's tale is older than Tuor's, so perhaps part of the role of Tuor's story can be seen as expanding on what Turin *could* have been; of the two so closely related yet having such different fates. In the stories it is based on their choices (with parallels, like how they deal with anger and being outlawed) but in a wider sense could it be an evolution from the early Finnish Kullervo (upon which Turin is based) model into his own evolving legendarium? Moving away from the hapless man to the higher ground that will create 'our' line of Men?

The third question...well, it is a very good question. I am going to have to think on it some. I will be interested to see what other's thoughts on this will be.

Do think on it and get back to us Mikah! Smile


The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 26 2013, 3:16am

Post #7 of 39 (184 views)
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More Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I see the passage:


Quote
...and every stream that flowed... was to him a messenger...;and he remained also in friendship, as of old, with Cirdan...(Emphasis mine)

And I am puzzled. Does this mean that the streams gave him messages, or that Cirdan helped inform him?

The words 'and' and 'also', seem to imply that Cirdan was an additional help. I think perhaps Ulmo worked on his sub-conscious and gave him a heightened sense of Intuition?

The decision was not quite as sudden as it wold seem. He seemed to realise that could not forever live as an outlaw-- he would be caught. He also heard news of the doings in Beleriand, and that would have helped him keep a wider worldview. He also had the desire to find Turgon. His wanderlust was quite natural, and also convenient for the plot



Feanor seems to pervade a lot of Beleriand, but then he was the major motivator. Perhaps JRR liked to keep him around a bit longer, and criss-cross his works with references?

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 3:21am

Post #8 of 39 (181 views)
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Fate vs free will in Tuor [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Tuor seems very aware of the power of the water - different to other Edain, who we read cannot seem to understand the messages, even if Ulmo tries to send them? The call of the Sea in Tuor's heart - it seems to touch him before he even knows what it is. Is this because of his very nature and unique to him, which as we note seems to understand Ulmo a bit better? Or is it the inverse - that he longs for the Sea because of having been touched by Ulmo?

It has always been my impression that Tuor did long for the sea because of having been touched by Ulmo. When he came upon Gelmir and Arminas, Gelmir told Tuor at their parting "Yet I have heard that your House has the favour of the Lord of the Waters. And if his counsels lead you to Turgon, then surely you shall come to him, withsoever you turn" (22). This always led me to believe that Tuor's fate could be none other than what it was. Of course, this is just my perspective. I brought up this idea because it seems to relate back to the fate vs. free will debate. If Tuor is born 'different' and has the special skill and calling for the sea and can also hear Ulmo in a way different to other men, it seems more of a 'fate' thing, doesn't it? If it is that Ulmo touches him because of decisions he has made, and thus is his heart changed, it seems more of a 'free will' process. Can one have both? Yes - but I was curious to see how everyone perceives this part of the tale. So I can ask as well - is it a textual conclusion or a literary sort of Rorschact test, how we the readers (if debating fate vs free will) perceive this?

The ghost of Feanor in Beleriand? He seems to appear quite a lot, (wraithlike?) in this first chapter.
This is a really good observation. I honestly had not even noticed it until you pointed it out. I will be curious to see the perspectives of those who noticed this. I am always guilty of being able to spot Feanor I guess...like my internal Where's Waldo! I feel like during the UT writing phase(s) JRRT was still very attached, very cognizant of Feanor and its like he still felt him here!(And thanks for the kind words BTW!)




The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 3:39am

Post #9 of 39 (174 views)
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Words...words...words...and Easterlings. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think that the especial use of specific words does have purpose-- He was a philologist after all. 'Shadow', 'darkness', 'fair', 'light', and other such words have a fairly consistent meaning. However, the words can, and are, qualified, or used in another sense than we would expect.
'Grim',--the word used to describe Tuor, and also Beren, Aragorn, Turin (I think), and others-- is usually thought to be negative in connotation, but in many cases it is an appellation applied to heroes. In this case, the word is qualified by the next few sentences
True...so you see the meaning being distinct? You are quite right, in that JRR uses the words very purposely. What do you think about the 'golden' versus 'dark' descriptions of the two cousins?


Quote
Yet it is said that Tuor's journeys were not made for the purpose of vengeance; rather he sought ever for the Gate of the Noldor, of which Annael had spoken.

This because...

Quote
...Tuor saw wisdom...


Maybe the Easterlings (Funny, I always imagine men, looking much like giant stripe-y Easter eggsCrazy) were more cognizant of the futility of fighting Morgoth, so they took out their frustration on the next people that came to mind. They were fighting them before, and at least were capable of inflicting great losses. All right, FIRST I have to stop picturing giant stripey Easter eggs weeble-wobble marching with pastel spears. (*wipes tear*) You slayed me a bit there Rem! LaughLaughLaugh

How do you think these Easterlings translated through time to the LotR Easterlings? They seem quite brutal still, but more organized. I'm being lazy here an not finding text...but it seemsto me they might not be quite the same people? The First Age Easterlings were descended from the brothers Ulfang and Co. and appeared far in the North. The later LOTR Easterlings seemed to be a more southern people...of course there is no reason they could not have travelled South, but I know some of the FA descriptions mention them coming from East of Rhun. So I wonder if this is a re-use of a name that was intended to indicate the same people, or sort of a parallel cultural evolution as JRRT saw it? "East" always carries that dark connotation...so 'men from the east' may be the intended idea? As I said I am being quite the subpar scholar-type and NOT checking text...LaughShocked


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Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 3:51am

Post #10 of 39 (172 views)
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More about Ulmo. One of my favorite subjects! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Well, I see the passage:

Quote
...and every stream that flowed... was to him a messenger...;and he remained also in friendship, as of old, with Cirdan...(Emphasis mine)

And I am puzzled. Does this mean that the streams gave him messages, or that Cirdan helped inform him?
The words 'and' and 'also', seem to imply that Cirdan was an additional help. I think perhaps Ulmo worked on his sub-conscious and gave him a heightened sense of Intuition?

Okay I had a read of it too. I believe that you are right on both counts: the streams did give him messages ('informing') and that his power (and wisdom) were shown in how he both befriended Cirdan and recognized his particular sterling worth. I think the 'he' in "every steam that flowed was to him a messenger" is Ulmo versus Cirdan - so I read it as the streams are in direct link with Ulmo. he decision was not quite as sudden as it wold seem. He seemed to realise that could not forever live as an outlaw-- he would be caught. He also heard news of the doings in Beleriand, and that would have helped him keep a wider worldview. He also had the desire to find Turgon. His wanderlust was quite natural, and also convenient for the plot
True - the wanderlust was very much a part of the tale. But as far as the decision itself, 'suddenly coming to his heart' : do you think that was plot or divine intervention?


Feanor seems to pervade a lot of Beleriand, but then he was the major motivator. Perhaps JRR liked to keep him around a bit longer, and criss-cross his works with references? We cross posted here Rem! Cool I said as much to Mikah in discussing Feanor and his shadow in Beleriand.


The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





Mikah
Lorien

Nov 26 2013, 4:00am

Post #11 of 39 (170 views)
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Tuor fated to Gondolin? [In reply to] Can't Post

I brought up this idea because it seems to relate back to the fate vs. free will debate. If Tuor is born 'different' and has the special skill and calling for the sea and can also hear Ulmo in a way different to other men, it seems more of a 'fate' thing, doesn't it? If it is that Ulmo touches him because of decisions he has made, and thus is his heart changed, it seems more of a 'free will' process. Can one have both? Yes - but I was curious to see how everyone perceives this part of the tale. So I can ask as well - is it a textual conclusion or a literary sort of Rorschact test, how we the readers (if debating fate vs free will) perceive this?

I stand corrected. Hmmm, there really is no easy answer to this, is there? Forgive my statement when I said that Tuor's fate could have been none other than what it was. After thinking about your latest question for a bit I come to recognize that I was not really considering all of the factors. In spite of my perception that Tuor was more in tune with Ulmo than most other men, Tuor could have ignored the calling of Ulmo. Although circumstances can be set that we are able to predict the behavior of most people in a given situation...we are not able to predict the behavior of all people. There would be no way to foresee with 100% certainty what Tuor would do in his situation. In that respect, although Tuor may have had a more open heart to Ulmo, so to speak, he is still free to ignore that calling. Tuor chose not to. When considering this I would have to suggest that it is free will, pure and unblemished. I am curious what theonering.net philosophers have to say regarding this. Smile


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 4:05am

Post #12 of 39 (165 views)
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Oh dear! No correction whatsoever ! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I brought up this idea because it seems to relate back to the fate vs. free will debate. If Tuor is born 'different' and has the special skill and calling for the sea and can also hear Ulmo in a way different to other men, it seems more of a 'fate' thing, doesn't it? If it is that Ulmo touches him because of decisions he has made, and thus is his heart changed, it seems more of a 'free will' process. Can one have both? Yes - but I was curious to see how everyone perceives this part of the tale. So I can ask as well - is it a textual conclusion or a literary sort of Rorschact test, how we the readers (if debating fate vs free will) perceive this?

I stand corrected. Hmmm, there really is no easy answer to this, is there? Forgive my statement when I said that Tuor's fate could have been none other than what it was. After thinking about your latest question for a bit I come to recognize that I was not really considering all of the factors. In spite of my perception that Tuor was more in tune with Ulmo than most other men, Tuor could have ignored the calling of Ulmo. Although circumstances can be set that we are able to predict the behavior of most people in a given situation...we are not able to predict the behavior of all people. There would be no way to foresee with 100% certainty what Tuor would do in his situation. In that respect, although Tuor may have had a more open heart to Ulmo, so to speak, he is still free to ignore that calling. Tuor chose not to. When considering this I would have to suggest that it is free will, pure and unblemished. I am curious what theonering.net philosophers have to say regarding this. Smile




Absolutely no wrong answer here, Mikah!!!!! I posted it to see what people 'gut' feeling was as they read the text, so you are certainly fine in having that reaction!

Its interesting, isn't it, the gamble that the Valar make with Free Will? Eru too I suppose, especially with Men outside the Song. It's like Eru has faith...

There is a good question. Whom does Eru have faith in???? Shocked

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Mikah
Lorien

Nov 26 2013, 4:25am

Post #13 of 39 (166 views)
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Faith and free will... [In reply to] Can't Post

Absolutely no wrong answer here, Mikah!!!!! I posted it to see what people 'gut' feeling was as they read the text, so you are certainly fine in having that reaction!

Its interesting, isn't it, the gamble that the Valar make with Free Will? Eru too I suppose, especially with Men outside the Song. It's like Eru has faith...

There is a good question. Whom does Eru have faith in????
Shocked


Your rephrasing of the question, just caused me to see it in a more philosophical light.Wink When you get down to the heart of the matter it really is a question of free will, isn't it? With free will, we are free to choose rightly or wrongly in any course of action. We can not negate the ability to make the ummm, bad decisions without negating the ability to make the good. Perhaps Eru did have faith that eventually the good; courage, honor; self-sacrifice, and love, as which was so often displayed by our Middle Earth hero's, would outweigh the bad. Could this be his faith? Or is his faith something more transcendent?



Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 26 2013, 5:46am

Post #14 of 39 (168 views)
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I love your answer here [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Absolutely no wrong answer here, Mikah!!!!! I posted it to see what people 'gut' feeling was as they read the text, so you are certainly fine in having that reaction!
ts interesting, isn't it, the gamble that the Valar make with Free Will? Eru too I suppose, especially with Men outside the Song. It's like Eru has faith... here is a good question. Whom does Eru have faith in????
Shocked


Your rephrasing of the question, just caused me to see it in a more philosophical light.Wink When you get down to the heart of the matter it really is a question of free will, isn't it? With free will, we are free to choose rightly or wrongly in any course of action. We can not negate the ability to make the ummm, bad decisions without negating the ability to make the good. Perhaps Eru did have faith that eventually the good; courage, honor; self-sacrifice, and love, as which was so often displayed by our Middle Earth hero's, would outweigh the bad. Could this be his faith? Or is his faith something more transcendent? Understood! (Rephrasing and rephilosphizing happen a lot around here!)

Your point about choosing light or dark ties in so well with the highs and lows of the Song construct: one is needed to have the other.

Eru having faith in free will, with the choices which affirm life. That's great. An interesting difference in Eru as a divinity: he is not what I would call 'neutral', even if he is arguably more distant then the gods of other mythologies. His bent and his perceived will in JRRT's mind seems quite clearly for 'good'. I suppose it could be faith in Men, if that is it, as a truer reflection of himself? He creates Morgoth as well, but also opposes him - maybe as a child of Eru but not his ideal.


The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Nov 26 2013, 5:47am)


Mikah
Lorien

Nov 27 2013, 1:04am

Post #15 of 39 (150 views)
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Haldir...philosopher of Middle Earth... [In reply to] Can't Post

Your post reminds me of a quote from Haldir in Fellowship of the Ring. "'The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” Perhaps, this is exactly why Eru created his children to have free will. Without the grief, we can not really know joy and from that love does indeed grow the greater.


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 27 2013, 3:23am

Post #16 of 39 (139 views)
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Perfect quote here Mikah [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Your post reminds me of a quote from Haldir in Fellowship of the Ring. "'The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” Perhaps, this is exactly why Eru created his children to have free will. Without the grief, we can not really know joy and from that love does indeed grow the greater.




to highlight that idea. I think the mutual need for the homely and the noble is such an important part of JRRT's philosophy.

Its a part of JRRT's literature I feel deeply and always walk away with: amidst sorrow there is that thankfulness for the even small signs of hope and joy that there can be. And I think that it makes me very appreciative of joy, and recognizing it for what it is.

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 28 2013, 1:55am

Post #17 of 39 (120 views)
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Golden vs Dark [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, 'Golden' to em seems to connote a bright, dashing hero. One who meets his obstacles head-on and is the archetypical Knight-in-shining-armor.

'Dark', can, and is, used to denote evil or villainous intent, but it also can be used, in a modified sense, to denote a hero who has to pass through trials and spiritual tests to be victor. Aragorn, Beren, and Turin seem to be up to their necks in trouble. much of it beyond their control or power. They are thwarted and cast down, suffer losses, but can rise again.

'Goldies' might be able to swing a sword, but the 'Dark' ones seem to be the deep thinkers, and able to fight more than the enemy in front of them.

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 28 2013, 1:57am

Post #18 of 39 (119 views)
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Divine Authorship [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien had final say, but I can see your point.

In context, I think it was the 'Hero's epiphany' of the tale; the turning point where he becomes the Hero.

Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 28 2013, 2:02am

Post #19 of 39 (114 views)
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Joy in the small things [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps it is meant to show that we need to be glad of the small joys in life. Kingdoms may fall, but friends, family, or even decent food are still a blessing. The noble things may fade, but the simple joys are what keep us sane when the world of high-politics is rife with despair.

'I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend'


Call me Rem. Rembrethil is a lot to type!!


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 28 2013, 3:20am

Post #20 of 39 (111 views)
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Well said Rem! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Perhaps it is meant to show that we need to be glad of the small joys in life. Kingdoms may fall, but friends, family, or even decent food are still a blessing. The noble things may fade, but the simple joys are what keep us sane when the world of high-politics is rife with despair.

'I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend'




Angelic

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





sador
Half-elven


Nov 28 2013, 8:24pm

Post #21 of 39 (104 views)
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Short Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Is this use of contrasting appearances one of JRRT's examples of 'light and dark' being descriptive syllogisms for inner worth?
No.
Not unless you consider Beren himself to be of less worth, being dark (a comparison Turin himself will make, to Arminas and Gelmir); and, following the same rasoning, Aragorn.


Given the information in this chapter, how many other ways can we compare and contrast the two cousins, Turin and Tuor?
Do you mean in this section, untill Ulmo reveals himself to Tuor?

Well, both seem to be led by destiny, capable of fending for themselves, and prefer the life of an outlaw to thralldom (real or perceived). But Tuor seems to be also able to attain an inner peace, which Turin years for in vain. In fact, Tuor is so enamoured of his peace and freedom, that Ulmo has to appear to him and compell him to go on. Turin is held back for a time by Niniel; but he never is at peace.


Morgoth breaking pledge with the Easterlings - it drives them into Hithlum and thus they seem to especially hate the people there, and the Elves even more than before: so does it seem like a good policy versus random venom?
This is one of the bits of Tolkien's writing I thoroughly dislike: must Morgoth always break troth, even with his own minions? It seems that he is so intent on making him evil, that he does not allow him anything which might be a redeeming feature.

Of course, in terms of Morgoth's policy this is an utter stupidity; he won the war only through the help of those Easterlings, and it will not serve to alienate them - not while three major foes of his are at large. And especially once he knows that one downfall of his already came from Men. Even if he was still wary of them, he should at least dissemble, and outwardly seem to keep his word.
In fact, this is too stupid to be credible.

At the Firth of Drengist, in the hills of Lammoth, as Tuor at the First steps quite literally in what were Feanor's footsteps...we have two explanations for the echoing of sound: the echo of Morgoth's cries as he stuggled with Shelob over the Silmarils and the 'natural' idea that it isn't a geographical feature. Which do you prefer? Or can the ideas be integrated in the evolving 'myth within the myth' as the legendarium develops?

With Ungoliant, of course.
But IIRC, in the Sil it is said that the echoes of Morgoth's cry still echoes there. And the geographical feature serves to enhance his cry - and incidentally, it was that which trapped him, and kept him at bay in the first place.
This is just another case were both explanations work simultanously, and reinforce each other.


sador
Half-elven


Nov 28 2013, 8:46pm

Post #22 of 39 (109 views)
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Yet another one! [In reply to] Can't Post

Tuor seems very aware of the power of the water - different to other Edain, who we read cannot seem to understand the messages, even if Ulmo tries to send them? The call of the Sea in Tuor's heart - it seems to touch him before he even knows what it is. Is this because of his very nature and unique to him, which as we note seems to understand Ulmo a bit better? Or is it the inverse - that he longs for the Sea because of having been touched by Ulmo?
I think Tolkien strongly hints here at Tuor being chosen, and therefore more receptive to the call of Ulmo. Remember that Huor prophecied "with the eyes of death" a great future for him.
But this is always a chicken and egg question. Was Moses sent to the Israelites in Egypt because it was time for them to be redeemed, or was he simply the one whose own greatness made him respond to the summons? To put it otherwise - how long has the bush been burning, with nobody paying attention to it, before he approached? (Ex. 2:4)

After this, Tuor plays a song, 'heedless of the peril' and a sign is seemingly given from Ulmo. How is Ulmo working here: is the sign a built-in device, inevitable, or is it the direct result of Tuor's imploring?

Same question as above. Tolkien would like the answer to be "both", even if from a philosophical point of view the two contradict. But after a hundred years of quantum physics, can we just accept the two together?

Do you find the author's mechanisms the same or not: divine inspiration vs 'inner voice' or some foretelling on part if the characters involved?
As I have hinted above, I think Tolkien believed in this dual nature of history in the Primary World as well. So I do not consider this "mechanism" a flaw of his fiction, but rather a feature - and one with a clear applicability to our world.

The ghost of Feanor in Beleriand? He seems to appear quite a lot, (wraithlike?) in this first chapter.

Well, Tuor is on a mission to redeem Feanor's rebellion.

A cohesive plot device, JRRT's love of recalling the tales past or a deeper meaning?

Another parllel with the tale of Turin - remember Gwindor's lamp?

So here, in these removed prophecies, a foreshadowing of the mechanism for the fall of the Dark Lord in the North?
I doubt it. This seems a bit of a stretch; pure coincidence, more likely - after all, once the Siege of Angband was overthrown and the League of Maedhros defeated, the Noldor must surely hope for the fall of Morogth, and realised this could not be achieved by their own power? And Arminas and Gelmir were actually sent to achieve this very aim. And I doubt Tolkien was actually thinking of Ancalagon the black when he wrote either passage.

An intersting parallel, though, would be with Galdor's words regarding the earth itself as the only entity having the power to resist Sauron.


(This post was edited by sador on Nov 28 2013, 8:46pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Nov 29 2013, 7:18pm

Post #23 of 39 (84 views)
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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Is this use of contrasting appearances one of JRRT's examples of 'light and dark' being descriptive syllogisms for inner worth?

I don't know about inner worth, per se, but I do think that perhaps it's indicative of their respective personalities and ultimate fates. Tuor has the "light" tale that ends on a fairly happy note (with him being joined to the Noldor and his offspring essentially being the savior of the Noldor). On the other hand, Turin's tale is nothing if not dark, and of course it ultimately ends with the deaths of him and his sister. Ultimately, I think the description just serves to highlight the differences between the two of them.

At the Firth of Drengist, in the hills of Lammoth, as Tuor at the First steps quite literally in what were Feanor's footsteps...we have two explanations for the echoing of sound: the echo of Morgoth's cries as he stuggled with Shelob over the Silmarils and the 'natural' idea that it isn't a geographical feature. Which do you prefer?

I prefer the first, as it lends a beautiful mythic quality to the story. As sador said, though, it's possible that Tolkien wanted both to be the answer, especially when both cannot be the answer. If it can't be both, then I think it needs to be the first, as the second just seems random and pointless.

'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


Nov 29 2013, 7:30pm

Post #24 of 39 (87 views)
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Sea-calling [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutely love this motif of the sea-calling running throughout Tuor's life. There seems to be something very calming about it just when reading it. And I love how at the end of the (whole) story, Tuor succumbs to the calling and sets out with Idril. I have in my footer a few lines from Tolkien's poem about this, and I think they're incredibly enchanting.

'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.


Anyway, I don't really have an answer to your question. I think maybe it's because he was touched by Ulmo specially. This possibly answers your next question about the sudden nature of Tuor's decision to leave. It's probably some inner urgency put in his heart by Ulmo. That would be my take on it. And I think Ulmo's hand in all of this story (at least the early part) is evident. How else would Tuor and Voronwe meet up at the perfect time?

I think the Feanorian lamps are just another way of showing Feanor's great craftsmanship. I mean, Tolkien could have written that Gelmir and Arminas just used regular torches, but I like this touch. It's a wonderful addition, I think.

'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.


(This post was edited by Ardamírë on Nov 29 2013, 7:32pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 30 2013, 12:50am

Post #25 of 39 (70 views)
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Thoughts back! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is this use of contrasting appearances one of JRRT's examples of 'light and dark' being descriptive syllogisms for inner worth?
I don't know about inner worth, per se, but I do think that perhaps it's indicative of their respective personalities and ultimate fates. Tuor has the "light" tale that ends on a fairly happy note (with him being joined to the Noldor and his offspring essentially being the savior of the Noldor). On the other hand, Turin's tale is nothing if not dark, and of course it ultimately ends with the deaths of him and his sister. Ultimately, I think the description just serves to highlight the differences between the two of them. I think there is intention here too. As Sador points out, we have other dark-haired heroes through the writing but with these two so close in time it feels to me like he is using it to compare - maybe not worth, but choice? destiny? So maybe not singly the coloring being a factor by itself but with the similarity in their backgrounds it adds to the highlighting, so I agree there. So much of Turin and Tuor's differences are based on their choices - their free will - and they have so much on common but those always seem to be different.

At the Firth of Drengist, in the hills of Lammoth, as Tuor at the First steps quite literally in what were Feanor's footsteps...we have two explanations for the echoing of sound: the echo of Morgoth's cries as he stuggled with Shelob over the Silmarils and the 'natural' idea that it isn't a geographical feature. Which do you prefer?
I prefer the first, as it lends a beautiful mythic quality to the story. As sador said, though, it's possible that Tolkien wanted both to be the answer, especially when both cannot be the answer. If it can't be both, then I think it needs to be the first, as the second just seems random and pointless. For myself I also love the mythic idea of Morgoth's echo. If we accept that as the fact, what I like about the idea that its a geography feature is like the myth evolving in the legend itself. I think he was quite fascinated in the growth of the 'faery' and I feel like he brings that to his writing in ways like this, with layer upon layer whose origins get lost in time. It makes it feel old, antique. (great to see you back again!) Angelic


The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!




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