Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Children of Hurin Discussion: Turin in Doriath
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Mikah
Lorien

May 12 2014, 3:05am

Post #1 of 46 (1059 views)
Shortcut
The Children of Hurin Discussion: Turin in Doriath Can't Post

Welcome to week 3 of our discussion of “The Children of Hurin.” All thoughts and opinions are relevant and appreciated. Here we discuss Turin’s childhood in Doriath. While in Doriath a few events begin to weave the web of Turin’s eventual fate. Here is a summation of the notable events which occur during his time as fosterling to the King.

Turin is raised as foster son of King Thingol, however it seems as though King Thingol and Melian are a bit hands off in their approach to raising him. He appears to have two significant relationships during his childhood. At Melian’s request a maiden named Nellas spends time with Turin. She teaches him Sindarin speech and for a short while he seems content. His friendship with Beleg during his childhood also grows. As time progresses, Turin no longer receives word from home regarding Morwen and Nienor. Turin’s thoughts grow dark for concern over his family. Turin requests from Thingol mail, weapon, and companions in arms to make war upon the enemy. Thingol counsels him otherwise and appoints him a place among the guard upon the Marches. Upon return from the Marches one evening, Saeros an advisor to the King, instigates an argument with Turin taunting and ridiculing him. This does not bode well for Saeros. Turin casts a goblet at Saeros injuring him. In humiliation and rage the next morning Saeros waylays Turin and draws sword upon him. This confrontation does not go in Saeros’ favor either and ends in his subsequent death. Turin flees Doriath; and shortly thereafter Thingol returns to learn of the incident. With testimony from Mablung and Nellas Turin is eventually pardoned of wrong doing in his part of the death of Saeros.

During Turin’s childhood his personality begins to develop. Tolkien states that “fortune was unfriendly to him, so that often what he designed went awry, and what he desired he did not gain; neither did he win friendship easily for he was not merry, and he laughed seldom, and a shadow lay upon his youth.” This shadow and seeming ill fortune cast long upon his adulthood as well. Which brings me to my first question: Do you attribute these personality traits and misfortunes to curse personality, or circumstance? I interpret much of Turin’s childhood as lonely, would it have been as such if not for the curse of Morgoth? In Tolkien’s description we see Turin as a bit of a loner, very somber in spirit and attitude. Was this also due to the curse or do we see this same sort of personality before Hurin’s departure?

Although fate was not kind to Turin during this time, we learn that he was nonetheless held in high honor as fosterling of the King of Doriath. Although Tolkien notes that he was begrudged his position at a very early age by Saeros, and maybe to a lesser extent by Daeron. Privately Saeros treats Turin with contempt. What exactly was Saeros problem with Turin? Was it due to a general prejudice against mortals or was it toward Turin specifically? Could jealousy toward Beren have played a part in this? It seems to me to be a bit juvenile to hold a grudge against a child. Especially considering that Saeros is supposedly wise enough to be counselor to a King. What are your thoughts on Seaeros?

As Tolkien asserts, King Thingol holds Turin to be his foster son. However, as I point out previously, I find Thingol to be a bit absentee in raising Turin. Tolkien states that “Turin was watched over by Melian, though he saw her seldom.” Later in the story when Turin approaches King Thingol to request sword and armor it is said “Thingol looked at him in wonder seeing suddenly before him in the place of his fosterling a man and a stranger…” These instances indicate to me that perhaps Thingol and Melian did not know their fosterling well at all. What do you think of their approach to raising Turin? Perhaps this is the custom of a King raising his son? What exactly did it mean to be fosterling to the King? During this same conversation Melian counsels Turin “fear both the heat and cold of your heart; and strive for patience if you can.” What does Melian see here? It seems very much a premonition. Does she see his course unfolding or it simply a warning, given his personality? She also instructs him to “Beware of himself.”

When appointed a place among the March-Wardens of Doriath, Turin becomes a fierce warrior. He is strong and courageous. He was much feared by the Orcs. Turin was second only to Beleg in prowess of fighting. But Tolkien also affirms “that his doom delivered him from death.” Would this always be the case throughout Turin’s adulthood? Would the curse placed upon Hurin’s family spare Turin from a death that would kill ordinary men? Does this in any way unknowingly contribute to Turin’s inarguable courage?

At the climax of this chapter comes the confrontation between Saeros and Turin. Once humiliated by Turin after his injury, Saeros seeks out Turin and accosts him with sword and shield. Turin gets the better of Saeros and indirectly leads to his death. How accountable for Saeros death do you find Turin? Is he guiltless in all of this and are his reactions appropriate? Mablung believes that “some shadow of the North” has reached Doriath. Is he correct? Has the curse indeed followed Turin to Doriath and also touched those that dwelt there? Who ultimately is responsible for Saeros’ death; Turin, the curse, or Saeros himself? Also what did Saeros intend when he confronted Turin? Did he seek Turin’s own death in the encounter?

Beleg proves to be a faithful friend and comes to Turin’s defense. After all of the facts are made clear to Thingol, Turin is held guiltless by the King. Beleg offers to seek Turin and return him to Doriath. As a parting gift Beleg asks for and receives a sword. Against the wisdom and counsel of Melian Beleg chooses Anglachel, a sword crafted by Eol. This raises concerns on Melian’s part because she believes that malice dwells in the sword. Is Melian justified in being concerned here? Does the heart of the crafter indeed dwell in the sword? Does the sword influence the later fate of Beleg? Does the sword itself, contribute to the later events of the story?

Throughout Turin’s time in Doriath Beleg proves to be a very faithful friend to Turin. Arguably he loved Turin the least selfishly of all of those in Turin’s life. What are your thoughts on the relationship between Beleg and Turin? What did Beleg see in Turin that others did not?

Feel free to give your thoughts on any of the questions here which interest you. Also feel free to comment on any aspects of this chapter that I may have missed. Lastly, but certainly not least, Happy Mother’s Day!


(This post was edited by Mikah on May 12 2014, 3:06am)


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 12 2014, 6:01pm

Post #2 of 46 (762 views)
Shortcut
some quick answers [In reply to] Can't Post

(I need to complete this post pretty quickly, but hope that it will come across as brief but not terse! Smile )


In Reply To
What are your thoughts on Seaeros?

I think Saeros is a racist. And, of course, a foster-son of the King is likely to stir up envy anyway.


In Reply To
I interpret much of Turin’s childhood as lonely

yes, - he's homesick and worried about his family. Though it is more lonely than perhaps it might be - he has one admirer, but he's grown tired of her more than she's grown tired of him.


In Reply To
Later in the story when Turin approaches King Thingol to request sword and armor it is said “Thingol looked at him in wonder seeing suddenly before him in the place of his fosterling a man and a stranger…” These instances indicate to me that perhaps Thingol and Melian did not know their fosterling well at all.


I'm not sure whether suddenly seeing Turin as a man shows absentee foster-fathering Thingol might be used to the elven speed of growing up, and so is taken aback that it's all happened so fast in Turin's case. In real life think not a few human parents have been shocked by a sudden realisation that their son or daughter has grown up in some way


In Reply To
Melian counsels Turin “fear both the heat and cold of your heart; and strive for patience if you can.” What does Melian see here?


I think that is pretty astute: Turn is emotionally remote (cold) but has a bad temper (hot). Both these things & his impatience contribute to his troubles.

I'm not sure what I'd feel as a mortal, though, being counselled to be patient by an immortal. maybe something beginning "well, it's all right for you..."



In Reply To
When appointed a place among the March-Wardens of Doriath, Turin becomes a fierce warrior. He is strong and courageous. He was much feared by the Orcs. Turin was second only to Beleg in prowess of fighting. But Tolkien also affirms “that his doom delivered him from death.” Would this always be the case throughout Turin’s adulthood? Would the curse placed upon Hurin’s family spare Turin from a death that would kill ordinary men? Does this in any way unknowingly contribute to Turin’s inarguable courage?


Now that's an interesting thought - that what appears to be good fortune and virtue is actually a case of being kept for a worse fate!


More later, I hope - I realise I've not answered some interesting questions!

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 12 2014, 8:56pm

Post #3 of 46 (762 views)
Shortcut
Of bigots and simple minds [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for leading this chapter, Mikah! You certainly led off with some rich discussion, putting more thoughts in my mind than there are Orcs in Angband.

Something COH does is show us the non-heroic side of Beleriand. First Sador the crippled servant (and Morwen's haughty attitude towards him), then Saeros the evil counselor and Nellas the simple-minded girl. I thought Elves were all wise, especially when Melian is busy turning Dark Elves into Grey Elves with her enlightening presence. To some extent I see Saeros as plot-driven: a villain is needed. But Nellas could have taken any form.

And we get Turin, the lonely boy. Tuor had similar circumstances but never seemed lonely, and on his solo trek to Vinyamar, he even had some swans to keep him company. Where's Turin's familiar? I don't think the helm counts.

Anyway, this gets complex awfully quick, doesn't it? Nellas is simple-minded, and Melian tells her to befriend Turin, so she does. Aren't there any wise Elf-children to assign to Turin? Why pick the simple girl? If others were turned off by him, why wasn't she? What's up with the women in Turin's life when Melian plays distant mother-figure and Nellas plays his little sister who never grows up who also has a crush on him?

Turin is consistent as a character, I'll give him that. Shy at home, shy in exile. My take on the curse is that in this context it's amplifying his shyness because that's what it has to work with. Though it's funny that he is both shy and charismatic at the same time, winning admirers if not friends. If he were truly cursed, wouldn't everyone hate him and he'd be driven out of Doriath like Smeagol was from his people? Is the curse a part-time influence, only partially able to mess up his life, or biding its time until later when it can hit with a crescendo?


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 13 2014, 12:21am

Post #4 of 46 (746 views)
Shortcut
Thingol & Melian as parents [In reply to] Can't Post

They are distant, so distant that one has no surprise that Luthien lunged at the first Man who came along and said, "I love you."

From a realistic point of view, they are royalty and not his real parents, so I can imagine royals not having time for an extra child from a race they don't know much about. I tend to think as Wiz does that Thingol's reaction could be that of a parent belatedly realizing their cuddly little kid has grown into an adult--some parents never make that adjustment. Yet it seems if they were more attentive, they would have done something to muzzle Saeros. When you're a parent, you know who likes and doesn't like your kids, and Saeros wasn't subtle about it, no matter how he might have acted when Thingol was present--the king should have noticed the strain between them. Then again, a king can't fix everything, and maybe Turin had other enemies in Doriath that don't appear in the story.

Melian's advice to Turin is delivered in a non-intimate tone. Her tone and diction sound like she's counseling someone she's only known for an hour. I think of her dialogue with Galadriel in The Silmarillion as showing more familiarity and respect between them.

Would the curse placed upon Hurin’s family spare Turin from a death that would kill ordinary men? Does this in any way unknowingly contribute to Turin’s inarguable courage?
Very interesting! I never thought of this before, but I think you've hit on something. Turin's recklessness seems a part of his persona, yet it was probably aggravated by his Invincibility Shield. It seems that to bring about a character's destruction, a curse would exploit their weaknesses and turn their strengths against them, and that's evident when Turin effects the destruction of Nargothrond.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 13 2014, 12:39am

Post #5 of 46 (738 views)
Shortcut
Justice [In reply to] Can't Post

How accountable for Saeros death do you find Turin? Is he guiltless in all of this and are his reactions appropriate? Mablung believes that “some shadow of the North” has reached Doriath. Is he correct? Has the curse indeed followed Turin to Doriath and also touched those that dwelt there? Who ultimately is responsible for Saeros’ death; Turin, the curse, or Saeros himself? Also what did Saeros intend when he confronted Turin? Did he seek Turin’s own death in the encounter?
I find the Saeros episode to be a rather contrived part of the plot. Was he really going to kill Turin? It appears so, no matter how extreme that was, and of course risking Thingol's wrath when found out. It was premeditated and not instant retaliation, which would have been more believable. Was the curse behind it? Sure. Was Thingol really going to condemn Turin? That was another contrived cliffhanger in the courtroom, when suddenly Beleg appears with the surprise witness to change the verdict!

I'm mixed on Saeros and Turin regarding who's guilty. Both of them? Saeros is easily contemptible and invites violence upon himself, though he doesn't deserve death. Turin didn't kill him directly, but even if Saeros hadn't died, I think Turin's idea of justice was sadistic and twisted. Couldn't he just beat him up instead?

Is Melian justified in being concerned here? Does the heart of the crafter indeed dwell in the sword? Does the sword influence the later fate of Beleg? Does the sword itself, contribute to the later events of the story?
I think this is a neat idea, that makers live on in their works. Sauron certainly lived on in his Ring, and for that matter, Celebrimbor lived through the Three. (Feanor, however, seems wholly absent from the Silmarils in terms of agency.) If the sword is so dangerous, I wonder why Melian didn't get rid of it before or flat out refuse to let Beleg take it. By the way, why doesn't he pay more attention to his queen? It's one thing for Thingol to routinely ignore her advice, but even her subjects?

Melian is traditionally foresighted. Does she not see that the family of Hurin will ultimately deliver the Nauglamir to Thingol which will give him a crazy idea about the Silmarils and wind up dead? Or is she wrapping up her presence in ME, as Brethil says?

What are your thoughts on the relationship between Beleg and Turin? What did Beleg see in Turin that others did not?
In a tale full of woe, there's something redemptive in Beleg's steadfast friendship for Turin. I like to think that Beleg saw Turin as he ought to be, without a curse on him. I also think he sensed a kindred spirit as one exceptional warrior to another.


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 1:13am

Post #6 of 46 (735 views)
Shortcut
Perhaps Thingol is not a deadbeat foster dad... [In reply to] Can't Post

You make a really good point that I had not considered. Perhaps my own ummm...preconceived notions regarding Thingol made me judge him too quickly as a parent. I have a soft spot for Beren and I believe that Thingol's initial treatment of him may cause me to react a bit harshly to him. You point out that elves age very differently than mortals do. This is an excellent point. Thingol would really have no way to gauge the speed in which Turin would grow up, as opposed to his own daughter would he? He really would be startled in that a mere 17 years, a blink of an eye to an elf, Turin would already be a man. I am quite willing now to cut Thingol some slack in this regard. Thank you so much for your insight!

I'm not sure what I'd feel as a mortal, though, being counselled to be patient by an immortal. maybe something beginning "well, it's all right for you..."

I absolutely love this! What really is patience in the mind of an elf?? I can see Turin thinking that!


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 1:35am

Post #7 of 46 (724 views)
Shortcut
Admiration, respect...or something worse? [In reply to] Can't Post

I find Turin to be one of the most interesting and complicated characters in all of Middle-Earth. Perhaps, second to only Feanor. He is not my favorite character, especially in the mortal sense, that is reserved for Beren and Aragorn. I often wonder though, without the curse, is there any possibility that he could of risen to the heroic level of either of those aforementioned? He is courageous, often generous, and very cunning. We just often see his pride getting the best of him. A terrible fault that neither Beren or Aragorn seemed to much struggle with. All in all, I really like the guy and when I first read this story my feelings would fluctuate from mortification to sympathy. I even shed a tear or two.

Curious George, as you point out, he seems to provoke strong feeling in those he comes in contact with. Although I wonder if those feelings are closer akin to respect or envy than admiration. Or perhaps respect is admiration, isn't it? I believe that in a sense, a lot of these people, mortals and elves alike, feared Turin. We can admire and respect someone we fear, but usually are not quick to befriend them. Perhaps that is what is going on here?

I also wonder if the curse was not as strong on Turin while in Doriath, due to Melian's power? Do you think that this is a possibility??

Most of you are probably too young to remember, but as I read your post CG, the song "Lonely Boy" by Andrew Gold kept running through my head! It soooo fits!,


Brethil
Half-elven


May 13 2014, 1:35am

Post #8 of 46 (726 views)
Shortcut
Touching base quickly - to start with! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Although fate was not kind to Turin during this time, we learn that he was nonetheless held in high honor as fosterling of the King of Doriath. Although Tolkien notes that he was begrudged his position at a very early age by Saeros, and maybe to a lesser extent by Daeron. Privately Saeros treats Turin with contempt. What exactly was Saeros problem with Turin? Was it due to a general prejudice against mortals or was it toward Turin specifically? Could jealousy toward Beren have played a part in this? It seems to me to be a bit juvenile to hold a grudge against a child. Especially considering that Saeros is supposedly wise enough to be counselor to a King. What are your thoughts on Seaeros?





Looking forward to covering more tomorrow; but to start with, the Saeros/Turin dynamic reminds me a bit of Cain and Abel - not lifted at all, but some of the currents. The intense jealousy present (from Saeros' side), the attitude of Turin in refusing to accept guilt ("Am I my brother's keeper?") The guilt of Cain and Abel is upon Cain; in this telling it seems divided between the two but ending with a death - unintentional in this case.


Or is that too much of a stretch? Wink I do that sometimes.


Thanks for this Mikah! Can't wait to cover more.

The next TORn Amateur Symposium is a special edition: the Jubilee TAS to celebrate 60 years of FOTR! If you have an LOTR idea you would like to write about, we'd love to see your writing featured there!








Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 2:03am

Post #9 of 46 (727 views)
Shortcut
Courage or hopelessness? [In reply to] Can't Post

They are distant, so distant that one has no surprise that Luthien lunged at the first Man who came along and said, "I love you."

All the good girls are attracted to the bad boys aren't they? Sigh. Thank goodness Beren turned out to be a good one. Although, it always rubbed me the wrong way how Thingol stuck Luthien in a tree to prevent her from chasing after Beren. Sounds like so many stories of girls going a little wild for their first love!

You know both you and Wiz have made good points that have caused me to rethink Thingol as a parent. I guess I am a bit unclear as to exactly what the elven relationship of parent and child exactly consists of. Perhaps I expect the devotion that Finwe showed to Feanor in my idea of elven parenting and perhaps that was the exception and not the rule? My first picture of Elves as parents was Elrond in "Lord of the Rings." Although we do not see a whole lot of Arwen in the books I never doubted Elrond's devotion to her and something about the way Thingol and Melian raise their children just does not quite sit right with me. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Now perhaps the curse does contribute to Turin's courage, although my husband argues that he does not believe so. I can not help but wonder however, if consistently beating the odds does give him a bit of a feeling of invincibility. But then again, maybe his courage can be attributed to Turin believing that he really does not have anything to lose? A kind of courage that arises out of already having lost everything?


Terazed
Bree

May 13 2014, 2:18am

Post #10 of 46 (724 views)
Shortcut
Vitality and Mortality [In reply to] Can't Post

I think one thing that either draws or repels the characters around him is Turin's vitality. That vitality is tied in with his mortality. It draws the characters throughout CoH like moths to a flame whether they are human or elf. I think in the end that is the lesson of Turin as a hero. This type of hero, much like an Achilles, makes everyone around them more alive.

For an immortal like Beleg it is the vitality of this monumental but brief flame that is Turin that draws him in over and over to his doom. His intellect tells him to rebel against what his heart is drawing him into. Beleg tells us multiple times that it is a mistake for immortals to associate with mortals as he has. In the end the vitality that comes with being mortal wins him over.

Even for those who despise Turin like Saeros, his personality draws them out and makes them irrational. It seems to me that everywhere Turin goes he encounters peoples and kingdoms where everything is static and destined to remain static despite that fact that stasis will eventually bring their doom upon them. Doriath, Nargathrond, and Brethil are all doomed anyway in their apathy. Turin certainly does not save any of them from their fate but he makes all of them more alive whether they are with him or against him. He brings something that is both most feared and anticipated, change.

As to Turin's personality. I think he has to be a loner in order to be heroic. As the saying goes "a flat plain has many friends, a mountain stands alone." If he were completely engrossed in being part of the social order he would have become part of the static apathy and not an agent of change. To quote Byron again:


Quote
I could not tame my nature down; for he
Must serve who fain would sway—and soothe, and sue,
And watch all time, and pry into all place,
And be a living lie, who would become
A mighty thing amongst the mean, and such
The mass are; I disdain’d to mingle with
A herd, though to be leader—and of wolves.
The lion is alone, and so am I


It sums up Turin's personality succinctly.


(This post was edited by Terazed on May 13 2014, 2:20am)


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 3:15am

Post #11 of 46 (714 views)
Shortcut
Of swords and friendship. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have often wondered as well how Saeros planned to explain murdering Turin to Thingol. Maybe he had a diabolical plan in mind to twist the events and make it look like self-defense? Hard to say, but I am thinking it still would not have gone over well. And indeed Turin's idea of justice was twisted. I can understand the need to put Saeros in his place, but Turin really turned up the heat in this situation didn't he? I am rather surprised that Thingol judged Turin completely innocent in all of this, because I did not. Although there are definitely mitigating factors involved here.

I really like the idea as well; that makers live on in their crafts. When we think about it, it is not uncommon to speak such things when regarding a poet or great artist, so why not craftsmen? I personally believe that Melian is correct when she says that malice lives in the sword. It brings about the truly horrific deaths of both Turin and Beleg. Makes me shudder to think about them. Between the sword and the curse well, neither of them had a chance. Speaking of the curse once again, do you believe that Melian in any way was aware of a type of curse or darkness over Turin and if so, did she have any idea that Morgoth was responsible? As you point out CG, she does not see Hurin delivering Nauglamir to Thingol and the whole fussiness which follows. Or does she? Is it possible that she does indeed sense these things, but is in some way hindered in completely understanding them? Once again, I am thinking out loud again, because you propose a very good question.

I love your thoughts on the friendship of Beleg and Turin. I believe that you are right here. I believe that Beleg does bring a redemptive quality to Turin. I will go so far as to say that he brings a redemptive quality to the whole story. Part of me understands that if one such as Beleg believes that Turin is worthwhile to the point of dying for, than he probably is. What a warrior and hero he would have been had he not been cursed. Did Turin realize the rarity of a person who sees past all of the faults and loves you all the same? That was something the curse could not defile.


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 3:22am

Post #12 of 46 (712 views)
Shortcut
Take a stab at this question! [In reply to] Can't Post

Pun intended! Okay, okay it is admittedly a bad pun, but a pun nonetheless!.

If the sword is so dangerous, I wonder why Melian didn't get rid of it before or flat out refuse to let Beleg take it. By the way, why doesn't he pay more attention to his queen? It's one thing for Thingol to routinely ignore her advice, but even her subjects?

Melian is traditionally foresighted. Does she not see that the family of Hurin will ultimately deliver the Nauglamir to Thingol which will give him a crazy idea about the Silmarils and wind up dead? Or is she wrapping up her presence in ME, as Brethil says
?


For the life of me I can not figure out why Beleg ignored Melian's advice about the sword. These are all really good question CG, honestly they deserve their own thread. But I am at a loss to answer any of them. Does anybody have any ideas here? Brethil perhaps? I am most certainly stumped here.


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 3:42am

Post #13 of 46 (720 views)
Shortcut
A twist of Saeros? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am most sincere when I say, that I admire your gift for insight. When I read your response I knew exactly what you meant. In the story of Cain and Abel, Abel acts rather oblivious to Cain's jealousy. I am not certain that Turin is exactly oblivious, but he definitely does not seem to understand the seriousness of it, does he? Now that you mention it Brethil, it is also a bit like Jacob and Esau, rather than a blessing, we have a curse. These stories have the same dark elements at play here, treachery and envy. In all accounts one of the two seeking approval of a father figure, so to speak. With Cain and Abel, Cain is seeking acceptance from God. Jacob seeks a blessing from his father Abraham ( which his brother sells for a bowl of soup), and Saeros feels threatened in his position with Thingol by the fostering of Turin. In all cases something good is taken and twisted. After all, there is really nothing wrong with wanting to be loved, approved of, and accepted. It was in seeking the fulfillment of these needs that they became corrupted.


Mikah
Lorien

May 13 2014, 4:00am

Post #14 of 46 (708 views)
Shortcut
Excellent Post... [In reply to] Can't Post

And brilliant insight into the sociology of human behavior. Seriously. There are few conditions which bring about damnation as the condition of apathy. Even in a literal sense. Dante writes in the Inferno The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.'" Jesus states in the book of Revelations "I spew you who are lukewarm out of my mouth." Perhaps we all sense this. In the case of Middle-Earth at the time, they have all become woefully apathetic to Morgoth, seeking only to survive. And in the case of CoH, anyone or anything that motivates a person to have cause, in essence will make them feel more alive. That is a very attractive quality indeed.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 13 2014, 2:40pm

Post #15 of 46 (703 views)
Shortcut
Curses punching in and out. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, not to get too far ahead, but later it is said that Morgoth feared Turin's return to Doriath, lest he escape the malice intended for him, or stray beyond his thoughts. Horrible paraphrasing, but I hope you see what I mean.

Perhaps the curse is not at work here in Doriath, or at least within the Girdle? I can totally see the issue Turin has, coming from an unnatural upbringing.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 13 2014, 2:51pm

Post #16 of 46 (708 views)
Shortcut
Advice from the Elves and Warding Spells [In reply to] Can't Post

In the last chapter, we compared Galadriel and Melian. Someone else raised the point that Galadriel, like Gildor Inglorion, did not tell Frodo or the Fellowship what to do, as Melian counseled Morwen. Melian seems to take more of an indirect approach here, as you say. Maybe she is becoming more TA Galadriel-esque. If true, then Turin is the one to blame for his actions. I'll admit it, I'm not a huge Turin fan, so I realise that I tend to condemn him more than others, so I might be overstating things a bit, but what do you think?

This seeming invincibility remembers me of the spell cast on Hurin to keep him from death, but only slightly, as I do not think that Morgoth in anyway tried to preserve his life. To me, it seems more like the times in a heroes story where they reached a low point, and through very slim odds, managed to escape. The explanation being that 'They had a Destiny to fulfill', 'A high doom set before them', 'It was not their fate to die yet', or some other high sounding phrase that marked them out as someone special. Maybe the preservation of his life was akin to the extraordinary 'luck' possessed by all heroes? They needed to like, so they did. In Turin's case, he needed to live to fulfill his destiny (an originally great one like his cousin) but the curse, or his choices fed off this life force only to perpetuate the evil that festered inside him-- like a parasite brings down its host.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 13 2014, 2:53pm

Post #17 of 46 (700 views)
Shortcut
Very much agreed!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Who wants to follow an apathetic person to an obscure end? What warrior would? In warrior culture, or even where history was orally preserved, (as I imagine the case of Men to be) people want to stand out. Self-preservation might take a backseat to glory, even if it is a blazing flame of glory that ends in death.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 13 2014, 5:06pm

Post #18 of 46 (696 views)
Shortcut
Operation: Overwatch [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things I notice here is the constant attention Turin seems to have. Melian watches him from afar, and Nellas watches him when he ranged away from Menegroth. Once he comes into a man's estate, Beleg is there to teach him.

He is far from alone, yet, as you say, many people seem to take a distant position. I don't think there is anyone who comes as close as Sador, Hurin, or Morwen while he is a child. He seems left to his own devices, confirming his twisted path. No one thought he might need counseling or therapy? Maybe the hope of his mother and sister joining him replaced the intamacy he might have with someone else? I think any coldness towards those in Doriath was a personal choice or reflection on his character. Turin doesn't seem like a bigot or racist--he befriended Beleg and Mîn easily--so I think it is part of himself at work in distancing himself.


It is interesting, the three different approaches these people take.

Melian- distant benefactor, ignored counselor, and powerful political figure.

Nellas- follower of Melian (from the days she danced on the woods?), teacher or language, friend, playmate, and childhood companion.

Beleg- teacher of wood lore and arms, companion, comrade, and mentor

None the same, always different, but none a role model or parenting figure, something Turin seems to lack.

P.S. Anyone else get the sad picture of Nellas, perched high in a tree outside Menegroth, watching Turin enter the stone halls; feeling loss and desire, yet fearing the confinement and loss of freedom associated with the stone cage? I can only imagine that she stalked Turin whenever he left the fortress she could not penetrate, hoping he would call for her.....

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


May 13 2014, 5:16pm

Post #19 of 46 (695 views)
Shortcut
Addendum on warding spells and helms [In reply to] Can't Post

Turin took up the Dragon-helm to go to war. It was described to us as having a magical property of protection. How far did that extend? Turin took many wounds, we are told, while wearing it. Was there a defect in his use of it, or was the warding only protection from death? His doom seems to be credited with his deliverance as well. Which is it?

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Mikah
Lorien

May 14 2014, 12:38am

Post #20 of 46 (688 views)
Shortcut
Cowards and Courage. [In reply to] Can't Post

Rem, your post got me to thinking about courage. In pondering whether the curse contributed to Turin's courage to be more specific. Which also got me to thinking about what sets a coward apart from someone considered brave or valiant. I do not believe it to be fear, because I believe just about everyone in a given situation can feel fear. I believe that there is a saying that "it is only in fear that courage can be revealed." It can not be fear that separates them.

When I think about a coward in just about any sense, they seem to be all about self-preservation. Their main concern seems to always to be how any decision may effect themselves. In essence, a coward is oftentimes all about self-preservation. With a person of a more courageous constitution, they seem to have a higher purpose, calling, or in Turin's case, doom. Perhaps it was Turin's desire for retribution or his need to protect his family, those that he loved, that drove his courage. Perhaps, it was not the curse at all. Turin had many negative attributes to be certain, cowardice was not one of them. He was also willing to stand up for what he believed in, I do admire that in him. I could never imagine him as the cowardly commander sending his people out into a situation that he would be afraid to go into.

Anyway, I digress. Once again thinking out loud. Is it possible that his desire for revenge or protective instinct could be the driving force pushing him toward the fulfillment of his doom that you speak of? The need for revenge, combined with his pride would be akin to a parasite, would they not? Just a few thoughts on your post!


Mikah
Lorien

May 14 2014, 12:54am

Post #21 of 46 (685 views)
Shortcut
Guardians or Parents?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Turin does seem to have those in his life who watch over him. There is no denying that. However, as you point out, he definitely seems to lack parents. He seems to have lacked any real intimacy or affinity. Even from Morwen. He was cared for, in a very detached way. Was this due to Turin's personality? It is really hard to say. In Morwen's case, I do not believe the fault can be attributed to Turin, he was only a child. But it could not have been easy growing up asunder from those he cared about. I believe it probably contributed to his very reserved personality. However, I am not sure if Morwen raised him from childhood it would have turned out any different.

P.S. Anyone else get the sad picture of Nellas, perched high in a tree outside Menegroth, watching Turin enter the stone halls; feeling loss and desire, yet fearing the confinement and loss of freedom associated with the stone cage? I can only imagine that she stalked Turin whenever he left the fortress she could not penetrate, hoping he would call for her.....

Rem, you have a splendid imagination! I myself had not pictured that. But as I picture it now, I find myself with a strong compassion toward Nellas. The imagery is so lonely, but it is still beautiful.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 14 2014, 3:39am

Post #22 of 46 (675 views)
Shortcut
On to more discussion...! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Do you attribute these personality traits and misfortunes to curse personality, or circumstance? I interpret much of Turin’s childhood as lonely, would it have been as such if not for the curse of Morgoth? In Tolkien’s description we see Turin as a bit of a loner, very somber in spirit and attitude. Was this also due to the curse or do we see this same sort of personality before Hurin’s departure? The childhood of Turin, when Lalaith was still alive and Morwen was happier seem different. That loss seems like such a turning point for the family. So there is the relative loneliness of being the eldest son of an absent father - but then circumstance beyond Turin's control completes the description.

What do you think of their approach to raising Turin? Perhaps this is the custom of a King raising his son? What exactly did it mean to be fosterling to the King? During this same conversation Melian counsels Turin “fear both the heat and cold of your heart; and strive for patience if you can.” What does Melian see here? It seems very much a premonition. Does she see his course unfolding or it simply a warning, given his personality? She also instructs him to “Beware of himself.” I have a feeling that these Elves (and one Maiar) were a bit taken aback by their first intimate, day-to-day life with a human. Beren came and went, and he wasn't growing or maturing when they knew him, so the speed of changes in Turin may have taken them aback. Melian counsels with a mind and heart that knows Elves - as an even longer-sighted Maiar - so maybe the humanness of Turin seems volatile to her; and even proportionally, she may be right. But I wonder if the gulf was too wide between them for advice to be of help, even if Melian's sight is indeed premonition (which makes sense)? From the story perspective, it is another stage in life where, though honorable intent is there, Turin is left alone.

Would this always be the case throughout Turin’s adulthood? Would the curse placed upon Hurin’s family spare Turin from a death that would kill ordinary men? Does this in any way unknowingly contribute to Turin’s inarguable courage? If we read 'doom' as 'fate', that seems to relate back to the idea that he curse itself has agency; as if Morgoth's desire for vengeance on Hurin is a sort of shield for Turin. Since we have discussed JRRT's feelings for the potential power the curse does indeed have, perhaps that is why we get that sentence?

How accountable for Saeros death do you find Turin? Is he guiltless in all of this and are his reactions appropriate? Mablung believes that “some shadow of the North” has reached Doriath. Is he correct? Has the curse indeed followed Turin to Doriath and also touched those that dwelt there? Who ultimately is responsible for Saeros’ death; Turin, the curse, or Saeros himself? Also what did Saeros intend when he confronted Turin? Did he seek Turin’s own death in the encounter? The jealousy and prejudice of Saeros I think leads directly to his own demise; he instigated the interaction merely out of his own spite. His level of malice and the idea of it being under the same roof as Melian seems discordant - how would she tolerate such actions? It seems almost out of character (*if* she was paying attention). As we posted about earlier, that almost sibling-like jealousy is even more unattractive when it is combined with the racist elements that Saeros brings. It makes me question the wisdom of Thingol and Melian, for I wonder if the *only* personality flaw Saeros had was seen against Turin; it seems to speak of a greater ill that they did not perceive. So if there is a shadow, maybe it is the envy and spite (not character flaws in Morgoth, they just make him interesting...Laugh) in Saeros' heart that sends Turin even further on his path, further from safety and into the arms of the Outlaws. All occasions inform against Turin having a safe haven for long.

Is Melian justified in being concerned here? Does the heart of the crafter indeed dwell in the sword? Does the sword influence the later fate of Beleg? Does the sword itself, contribute to the later events of the story? I have wondered about this long; 1. why she lets Beleg take it at all (her waning concern again?) and 2. if the malice of Eol is lack of mercy and thus does contribute actively, in its narrow way?

What are your thoughts on the relationship between Beleg and Turin? What did Beleg see in Turin that others did not? Beleg is one of the few that sees Turin as an equal and without sentiment I think. They fight together and thus he earns Beleg's respect; and Beleg himself seems free from any hint of jealousy or spite or racial issues such as Saeros had. Unlike Thingol, Beleg does not see Turin as the shadow of his father, or as a responsibility. This seems to prove to me that there is basic and potentially great good in Turin himself: because Beleg sees it. Yet is Beleg drawn in by the glamour that seems to follow Turin - and as Terazed posted, act as a catalyst for change and reactivity? Possibly, yes; I also see Thingol's attachment to Turin as the same sort of lightning-in-a-bottle so this makes sense to me.


The next TORn Amateur Symposium is a special edition: the Jubilee TAS to celebrate 60 years of FOTR! If you have an LOTR idea you would like to write about, we'd love to see your writing featured there!








(This post was edited by Brethil on May 14 2014, 3:43am)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 14 2014, 3:55am

Post #23 of 46 (668 views)
Shortcut
Great post Mikah [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I am most sincere when I say, that I admire your gift for insight. When I read your response I knew exactly what you meant. In the story of Cain and Abel, Abel acts rather oblivious to Cain's jealousy. I am not certain that Turin is exactly oblivious, but he definitely does not seem to understand the seriousness of it, does he? Now that you mention it Brethil, it is also a bit like Jacob and Esau, rather than a blessing, we have a curse. These stories have the same dark elements at play here, treachery and envy. In all accounts one of the two seeking approval of a father figure, so to speak. With Cain and Abel, Cain is seeking acceptance from God. Jacob seeks a blessing from his father Abraham ( which his brother sells for a bowl of soup), and Saeros feels threatened in his position with Thingol by the fostering of Turin. In all cases something good is taken and twisted. After all, there is really nothing wrong with wanting to be loved, approved of, and accepted. It was in seeking the fulfillment of these needs that they became corrupted.




Another great element, in Esau and Jacob and the sold blessing: that sibling rivalry turned treacherous and deadly (though here is a father-figure versus an actual father). It is another element of the sense I get in this section of the story - thank you! All of these correlations make a lot of sense to me, thematically, especially with Cain story-wise, since as a result there is one death and one cast out to wander.

In addition - tying into this - that phrase about Turin's doom saving him from death; it (just now) reminded me of the cursed 'Mark of Cain' (told as a visible blemish - like the forehead), which protected the marked one from untimely death - specifically being killed. (I think) the idea being to serve appointed time of punishment on earth before even being judged after death.

The next TORn Amateur Symposium is a special edition: the Jubilee TAS to celebrate 60 years of FOTR! If you have an LOTR idea you would like to write about, we'd love to see your writing featured there!








(This post was edited by Brethil on May 14 2014, 3:59am)


Brethil
Half-elven


May 14 2014, 4:25am

Post #24 of 46 (665 views)
Shortcut
Found the citation I was looking for in Beowulf... [In reply to] Can't Post

Describing how Grendel and his mother were descended from Cain. Maybe another thematic link, considering JRRT's connection with he poem? It also mentions fleeing the joys of men and inhabiting the wilderness, rather like Turin leaving Doriath for the Outlaws (so substitute Elves for Men?)Wink.


'Grendel's mother,
woman, monster-wife, mindful of her misery,
she who had to dwell in the dread waters,
cold streams, after Cain became
the sword-slayer of his only brother,
his father's son, had gone forth guilty,
marked for his murder, fled the joys of men,
inhabited the wilderness. From him sprang many
fated spirits, of whom Grendel was one,
a hateful outcast, who at Heorot found

a watching man awaiting the fray.
'



The next TORn Amateur Symposium is a special edition: the Jubilee TAS to celebrate 60 years of FOTR! If you have an LOTR idea you would like to write about, we'd love to see your writing featured there!








nandorin elf
Bree


May 14 2014, 7:31pm

Post #25 of 46 (649 views)
Shortcut
Some quick answers [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Do you attribute these personality traits and misfortunes to curse personality, or circumstance? I interpret much of Turin’s childhood as lonely, would it have been as such if not for the curse of Morgoth? In Tolkien’s description we see Turin as a bit of a loner, very somber in spirit and attitude. Was this also due to the curse or do we see this same sort of personality before Hurin’s departure? I think his personality traits are part of who he is. If he takes after his mother at all I would expect him to be rather cold and stiff. He was a natural loner even before the Nirnaeth. While he was in Doriath, I think he was sheltered from the curse somehow by the Girdle of Melian.

What exactly was Saeros problem with Turin? Was it due to a general prejudice against mortals or was it toward Turin specifically? Could jealousy toward Beren have played a part in this? It seems to me to be a bit juvenile to hold a grudge against a child. Especially considering that Saeros is supposedly wise enough to be counselor to a King. What are your thoughts on Seaeros? Saeros was definitely racist. He resented all mortals in general but I think what really irritated him was Thingol having a mortal foster-son. Yes, it was juvenile. I don't know who thought he was wise enough to be a counselor to the king. But, then, there are a lot of things about Thingol/Melian/Doriath that don't make sense to me.

What do you think of their approach to raising Turin? Perhaps this is the custom of a King raising his son? What exactly did it mean to be fosterling to the King? During this same conversation Melian counsels Turin “fear both the heat and cold of your heart; and strive for patience if you can.” What does Melian see here? It seems very much a premonition. Does she see his course unfolding or it simply a warning, given his personality? She also instructs him to “Beware of himself.” I don't think theirs was the standard approach to raising or fostering children. If you compare Thingol's relationship with Turin to Turgon's relationship with Hurin and Huor, there is a pretty major difference. Elrond and Aragorn also had a good relationship. In every other case I can think of, there was a love and a familiarity between the foster parent and the child. The arrangement between Thingol and Turin feels like they never really knew each other. Like Morwen, Thingol and Melian are very formal and distant.

Would this always be the case throughout Turin’s adulthood? Would the curse placed upon Hurin’s family spare Turin from a death that would kill ordinary men? Does this in any way unknowingly contribute to Turin’s inarguable courage? I don't think so. As much as I like to criticize Turin, the man had some good traits and courage was one of them. I doubt the curse had anything to do with it.

How accountable for Saeros death do you find Turin? Is he guiltless in all of this and are his reactions appropriate? Mablung believes that “some shadow of the North” has reached Doriath. Is he correct? Has the curse indeed followed Turin to Doriath and also touched those that dwelt there? Who ultimately is responsible for Saeros’ death; Turin, the curse, or Saeros himself? Also what did Saeros intend when he confronted Turin? Did he seek Turin’s own death in the encounter? I have no idea what Saeros was thinking trying to kill the king's fosterling. As for Turin's revenge, I think it was a bit much. When he is about to quit chasing him, he sees Mablung who tells him to stop. Not wanting to make it look like he stopped because he was told to, he decides to chase Saeros a little bit longer. That is when Saeros falls to his death. I believe it was 100% Turin's idea to chase Saeros, but when his pride stopped him from turning around once Mablung turned up, was that the curse at work? Or was it still Turin? I don't know. Maybe a little of both. But then, I've always had the impression that Turin was safe from the curse in Doriath. We really need a manual: "The Basics of Cursing for Dummies" perhaps.



First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.