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


Nov 30 2013, 1:11am

Post #26 of 39 (117 views)
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Echoes and politics [In reply to] Can't Post


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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.

I see your point here - I guess what I see in the comparison of light and dark here are two both chronologically (and circumstantially) close to each other so it seems like a statement about them. I wonder if the two would feel different to readers if they were described as the same, or looking like brothers.

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. Yes even early they have essential differences and you put your finger right on a huge one I think. The only peace we see with Turin is that false peace with Niniel which is so devastating when it is shattered. Tuor also seems to have an inner compass earlier on: that's what gets him through slavery and keeps him on the road to find Turgon. I like how Ardamire compares their coloring with their tales: light and dark endings.


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.

Here I have to say I see it as a policy that might bear fruit. Having marred the minds of Men in regard to the Gift, I think having them 'happy' and 'loyal', considering he has taken the higher plane of existence and the spiritual away from them, he recognizes they might not be the best allies to have close to one's chest. So am I making a moral statement - I guess I am: that the situation Morgoth himself created makes these allies not ideal for close quarters. I think he correctly assesses their capability for loyalty at perhaps very situational - *if* you accept that their ethics and spirits have been significantly marred my Morgoth in the effort to subvert their intended destiny: to befriend the Firstborn and be guided by them, and to look forward to a higher reward/post-Arda life and to accept the spirituality and more long-term nature of of existence. So my though was once you have transformed them thus, 1. keeping them at a distance is safer - they will never be entirely trustworthy and 2. divide and conquer at work; it is unlikely they will join with the Elves so setting them at odds with each other serves his purpose just as well.
So I was looking at it as a direct result of the stripping away of the Gift from Men (in their minds), and it having (perhaps both unforeseen and unintended) consequences for Morgoth as well as the Easterlings. (And that miserable and unhappy Easterlings would serve his purpose more than happy, confident ones.)

(BTW Sador, I was discussing with Rem upthread: do you see the FA and the TA Easterlings as the same people or not?)
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.
Creating a myth within the myth...I like that both ideas can work, with the first being the 'actual', long-forgotten reason and the second our rationalization of it. Like the basis for faery-tales! (Also glad to see you here Sador! Sorry my reply is a bit tardy but work interfered!) Laugh


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(This post was edited by Brethil on Nov 30 2013, 1:13am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 30 2013, 1:52am

Post #27 of 39 (84 views)
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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?"
That is a simply fantastic question and point Sador. And in the mind of a man that loved the duality of the faery notion, I think they *have* to nestle together, simultaneously (I'm picturing those magic rings that seem complete yet pull apart, back and forth)- and that is what we strive to see in fantasy.


D
o 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.



- All of the above brings to mind JRRT's dual nature, and as you say the almost inseparable and unanswerable questions of one's perception of reality, and individual limitations, being the only guide to deeper answers. This brings up a great point about perceptions among the races. In addition the perceptions in JRRT's works vary between mortals and immortals: Huor sees greatness with the eyes of death, and Gelmir seems to see the same after just meeting Tuor. The dividing line, presumably as I read it, being the closeness to the spirit world: so impending death in a mortal and the sight of a Firstborn perhaps overlap?

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

- Intriguing quote to bring up Sador (since we are discussing tortured earth...which Sauron and Morgoth seemed to have the ability to do) - he mentions the earth there, but is he using it to assess its power or is it a puzzling reference to Bombadil (thus adding to that enigma) versus making the statement about the earth itself?


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 30 2013, 1:54am

Post #28 of 39 (84 views)
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In context, I think it was the 'Hero's epiphany' of the tale; the turning point where he becomes the Hero. Very neat idea Rem. So you would say that the decision to push on alone and unsure is the inner, epiphany moment for Tuor?

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 30 2013, 2:06am

Post #29 of 39 (86 views)
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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?


That touching idea of the horns you never forget - reminds me of Pippin, tearing up whenever he heard horns. Great quote there Arda. The motif of the call of the sea is so timeless and I think it speaks to so many people... I grew up on an island (still live here) and it is such a part of life: there is a great hill (one of the highest points here, I believe a whopping 175 above sea level or something) and no matter whether you are going north or south you come to the crest and see water either way. It always gets my attention even after so long. (Swordwhale wrote a lovely TAS piece about this BTW). Another difference between Turin and Tuor...Turin never seemed to look past the forest, as it were. Tuor seems aware of that higher calling.

I love the activity of Ulmo. As Sador brought up, its perhaps almost impossible to separate the internal and external influences, since they may overlap a but in someone touched by the divine in the person of Ulmo.

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.I love the lamps and I love that Tuor walks right in Feanor's footsteps. I can see the greyed-out ghosts in that part.


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Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Nov 30 2013, 5:21pm

Post #30 of 39 (84 views)
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It was an important point [In reply to] Can't Post

A critical point, if not the critical point. I think of Galadriel's quote:

'Your quest stands on the edge of a knife. Stray a little, and it will fail to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains if all the Fellowship remains true.'

Of course it did fail, in a sense; the Fellowship did not defeat Sauron or destroy the Ring. However it was redeemed and Frodo and Sam's fellowship saw it through to the end.

I think that if Tuor had despaired, or had refused the Sea-calling, there would have been a hope for redemption of the mistake. He might have suffered a hardship-- a theme in Tolkien, a Purgatorial redemption(Al a Frodo)--, or it might have passed to another to fulfill(Al a Boromir).

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


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 30 2013, 7:09pm

Post #31 of 39 (79 views)
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I think that if Tuor had despaired, or had refused the Sea-calling, there would have been a hope for redemption of the mistake. He might have suffered a hardship-- a theme in Tolkien, a Purgatorial redemption(Al a Frodo)--, or it might have passed to another to fulfill(Al a Boromir).




I like the way you used that quote there Rem - the edge of the knife being that free will and the choices that have to be made.

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





Ardamírë
Valinor


Nov 30 2013, 7:44pm

Post #32 of 39 (76 views)
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Actually, Tuor's quest failed, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Turgon didn't heed the warnings, and so Gondolin fell. Of course, it was ultimately through Tuor that Eärendil came and the salvation of the Noldor. But really, Ulmo's purpose of sending Tuor ended in failure. I wonder if Ulmo knew this would happen. Perhaps the sea-longing instilled by Ulmo in Tuor was a plan B sort of thing. The sea-calling is what led to Tuor's leaving Middle-earth, and that in turn was partly the impetus for Eärendil's own voyages.

'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 30 2013, 7:58pm

Post #33 of 39 (66 views)
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I do think Ulmo knew it [In reply to] Can't Post


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Turgon didn't heed the warnings, and so Gondolin fell. Of course, it was ultimately through Tuor that Eärendil came and the salvation of the Noldor. But really, Ulmo's purpose of sending Tuor ended in failure. I wonder if Ulmo knew this would happen. Perhaps the sea-longing instilled by Ulmo in Tuor was a plan B sort of thing. The sea-calling is what led to Tuor's leaving Middle-earth, and that in turn was partly the impetus for Eärendil's own voyages.




I think Ulmo's part of the plan ultimately succeeded - to get Tuor to Gondolin and Idril, and to have Earendil, the Star, born. He always foresaw the falls of both Nargothrond and Gondolin...but they both served their purposes in the larger picture.

So that sea calling - maybe from the touch of Ulmo - can be said to have the immediate effect on Tuor and his choices (like following the sign in the water to find the Gate) as well as longer term effect in that that longing seems to be passed down to Earendil too, which is what turns out to be Arda's salvation.

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





Ardamírë
Valinor


Nov 30 2013, 8:15pm

Post #34 of 39 (65 views)
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The warnings to Turgon were just a ploy? I really do think Ulmo was trying to save Gondolin. He may also have foreseen Eärendil as coming from Tuor and Idril, but I don't believe that his thoughts were solely of Eärendil.

'Twas in the Land of Willows that I heard th'unfathomed breath
Of the Horns of Ylmir calling - and shall hear them till my death.


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 30 2013, 8:30pm

Post #35 of 39 (60 views)
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Not a ploy - maybe a forlorn hope? [In reply to] Can't Post


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The warnings to Turgon were just a ploy? I really do think Ulmo was trying to save Gondolin. He may also have foreseen Eärendil as coming from Tuor and Idril, but I don't believe that his thoughts were solely of Eärendil.




*knowing* what was coming and grieved for the idea of losing both beautiful Gondolin and everything Turgon had built - hoping that it would save the Elves themselves though since I think he had a great personal fondness for them.

I think from the beginning the 'love not to well' idea shows that Ulmo knows about the inevitable fall; and I also like to think that his liking for Turgon grew over the years and he valued them over the city itself, thus the warning.

(Ok, so my pet theory is that the dream given to Turgon and Felagund are just that: visions of the places that would bear fruit in Earendil's birth, and then the passage across the Sea. Even the path from Gondolin, following Ulmo's beloved Sirion down to the great water seems like Ulmo has it all laid out. NOT to the exclusion of all else, but the cardinal purpose of both strongholds...

...NB: I did say *pet* theory! LaughLaugh)

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 30 2013, 9:11pm

Post #36 of 39 (54 views)
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Hope for the best; prepare for the worst? [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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


sador
Half-elven


Dec 1 2013, 6:15am

Post #37 of 39 (57 views)
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Sorry my reply is a bit tardy but work interfered


Although with me it is work/family/the holidays/simple laziness lately... Wink


Now, regarding the Easterlings...
Well, I'm not sure the Third Age ones are supposed to be directly related to Tuor's friends. Perhaps distantly.
This is more of a regular fear of the Christian civilisation in the westren corner of Europe - after the Germanic incusrions on the Roman Empire, the vast East was the major threat; it turned out that many Men lived there, and every couple of centuries a new horde of, let's call them easterlings, would burst from the Asian steppes and invade the fertile corner of the world in which the Pope held spiritual sway: just count the Huns, the Arabs, the Bulgars, the Magyars, the Mongols, the Ottomans... in a way, the fear of the Russians throughout the 19th and 20th centuries carries on those collective terrors.
Were these people related to each other? I'm no ethographer; but some of them were, and others were probably not. However, to the Christian mind, which divided the sons of Noah to Shem, Ham and Japheth, all those (with the exception of the Arabs) went under the category of "others". So I think it is the same with these Easterlings.
However, I must note that this is a trauma of Central Europe; the scourges from the East never really got to England.


Asger
Bree


Dec 1 2013, 12:55pm

Post #38 of 39 (59 views)
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Now, regarding the Easterlings...
Well, I'm not sure the Third Age ones are supposed to be directly related to Tuor's friends. Perhaps distantly.

My opinion after reading Sil, UT and HoME many times is, that the Sil Easterlings were related to Haleths people and during the second age those who remained in Eriador survived to become the Dunlendings. There was some strife between Hadors folk and groups of Haleth's before they entered Beleriand; this might be the source of the enmity between the easteregg-peoplePirate and Hithlums inhabitants.

"Don't take life seriously, it ain't nohow permanent!" Pogo
www.willy-centret.dk

(This post was edited by Asger on Dec 1 2013, 12:56pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Dec 4 2013, 1:18am

Post #39 of 39 (45 views)
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Although with me it is work/family/the holidays/simple laziness lately... Wink (Bingo.)


Now, regarding the Easterlings...
Well, I'm not sure the Third Age ones are supposed to be directly related to Tuor's friends. Perhaps distantly.
This is more of a regular fear of the Christian civilisation in the westren corner of Europe - after the Germanic incusrions on the Roman Empire, the vast East was the major threat; it turned out that many Men lived there, and every couple of centuries a new horde of, let's call them easterlings, would burst from the Asian steppes and invade the fertile corner of the world in which the Pope held spiritual sway: just count the Huns, the Arabs, the Bulgars, the Magyars, the Mongols, the Ottomans... in a way, the fear of the Russians throughout the 19th and 20th centuries carries on those collective terrors.
Were these people related to each other? I'm no ethographer; but some of them were, and others were probably not. However, to the Christian mind, which divided the sons of Noah to Shem, Ham and Japheth, all those (with the exception of the Arabs) went under the category of "others". So I think it is the same with these Easterlings.
However, I must note that this is a trauma of Central Europe; the scourges from the East never really got to England.
I agree with you here Sador; I think the philosophical positioning of 'the East' as the place of looming and multi-cultural and ongoing threat accounts for the term Easterling. Certainly there can be a relationship, perhaps farther back in time and at appoint of common origin, between the FA and the TA folks but I don't think its a 100% clear connection. I think the linguistic term is more uniting of the Easterlings than the cultures! And although these threats in the RW histories did not make it to England, since the cardinal direction is the same I think it applies to his transparent Middle-earth/RW world view.

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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