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children of hurin chapter discussion: the death of beleg

Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jun 3, 3:30pm


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children of hurin chapter discussion: the death of beleg Can't Post

 
this chapter, though brief, gives is a lot of insight into elves as real beings, with sufferings to which mortals can relate. i find it unusually refreshing in that regard, and it's a shame there is not more of this sort of thing in tolkien's work.

we have three individuals in the spotlight here: turin, beleg, and gwindor. turin we know well. and although the entire book revolves around turin, it's these secondary characters that i'm most interested in as i read this chapter.

beleg
beleg is probably my favorite elf. he's good, he has all those great elven qualities, but he seems a lot more real and accessible than a lot of the better-known names like galadriel, feanor, thingol, luthien, etc. he also seems to have a love of mortals, to see what is worthy in us, and a wish to welcome us (his greatest rival in this is finrod; but finrod is not quite as accessible).

beleg not only values us mortals, but has great love in his heart for turin, which is rather the opposite of what many (most) of us mortal readers have. a great many of us mortal readers seem to find turin too angsty, self-involved, self-destructive.

with beleg's unfailing loyalty love for turin, and for mortals, he may well be the embodiment of a great purpose set to elvenkind: to be nurturers and shepherds of mortals, to help us find our way in arda. beleg fulfills this mission with a warmer, steadier, unfailing heart than any other elf, unfettered by grandiose ambitions of reclaiming jewels or realm-building.

1. is beleg's love and support for turin, whom many mortal readers find hard to love, a mirror of our own mortal intolerance for our own faults? a lesson that we need to love one another more mindfully?

2. or is beleg's love for turin unrelateble? is his love for turin too much a dictate of author intent: "turin inspired love in all -- i must have a character who depicts this love?" is beleg tolkien's literary factorum?



gwindor

gwindor. poor gwindor. a being who suffered much. before the battle of the unnumbered tears, he was a lord whose wisdom was highly valued. he was deep in the counsels of the king.

he is captured, and endures torture, torment, suffering in angband. fellow elves help him escape, but not without an additional loss -- one of his hands. he is a broken soul when beleg finds him, but not perhaps beyond healing.

for me, gwindor is one of the most relateable and approachable elves. he was an elven lord, yes, but his suffering and physical and mental debilitation have very tangible consequences. unlike the more lofty, similarly one-handed maedhros and beren, the loss of his hand and his physical deterioration has a real impact on his existence. he does not bounce back to rule elves or come back from the dead to live happily ever after.

1. it is said in the texts that elves who escaped angband were moreoften never trusted again by other elves. was this because of their physical marring? their emotional marring? if elves are supposed to be great healers and full in wisdom, why is it that these escapees, who were so deserving of compassion and healing, were shunned?

2. did gwindor seem, after his ordeal, more mortal-like to other elves? he was ravaged and visibly changed. was he a reminder to his fellow elves of their ultimate fading?




turin
the scene in which the three of them share the stage -- gwindor, beleg, and turin -- is so sharply drawn in my mind. and there is a storm overhead. the work of morgoth? a bit of dramatic flair from the enemy to highlight turin's next, great, horrible dead (the slaying of beleg)?

part of me -- for this particular deed -- is very sympathetic with turin. morgoth's curse or no, being assaulted and tortured by orcs, in a fevered stupor, suddenly awakening... i can well imagine his instincts taking over. perhaps morgoth didn't even need the curse for this one

1. is the death of beleg just happenstance, or is this also the curse of morgoth at work?

2. contrast turin with gwindor. does turin, with his superlative physical and charismatic attributes, seem more the elf than gwindor, who cowers in the storm and quails at the orcs (albeit thoroughly understandably)? does gwindor seem more edain-like in that moment?




anglachel

i'm adding the notion of a fourth character here, because anglachel is such a conundrum. not sentient, surely, but tolkien toys with language that seems to give anglachel some sort of dim agency, the ability to react to stimuli, the ability to choose.

just as beleg is freeing turin, cutting his bonds with anglachel, anglachel slips / beleg slips, and cuts turin, causing him to wake, rise, and slay his rescuer.

anglachel was forged by eol, the infamous, murderous dark elf. its metal came from iron that fell to earth from the sky.

melian warned beleg against taking this particular sword, warning, "there is malice in this sword. the dark heart of the smith still dwells in it. it will not love the hand it serves, neither will it abide with you long."


1. is anglachel imprinted with eol's dark, nasty, thoughts, which leads it to somehow purposefully cut turin, leading to beleg's death, slaying its master?

2. is anglachel imprinted with some dark force that was not eol's? was this sky-fallen iron a dark gift from morgoth? did this iron help to darken eol's heart (not the other way around)? if so, is anglachel doing morgoth's will, fulfilling the curse, with the injury of turin that leads to beleg's death?




some things to think about... what say you?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Jun 3, 3:35pm)

Subject User Time
children of hurin chapter discussion: the death of beleg Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 3, 3:30pm
    A few thoughts... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 3, 4:23pm
        agree with much you say, rem Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 3, 5:35pm
            Angrist, a failing blade Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 1:47am
        Morgoth's machinations CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 12:17am
            Why's Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 1:54am
    Answers Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 3, 4:41pm
        anglachel -- legacy from a dark spirit -- but which? Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 3, 5:09pm
            I'd tentatively say... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 1:34am
                yes, she said it, but... Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 1:51am
                    Could be either... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 1:58am
                        Eol's metal... Mikah Send a private message to Mikah Jun 4, 2:48am
                            love this line of thinking Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 12:24pm
                                Meteorites Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Jun 4, 6:13pm
                        hallo! : ) Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 3:23am
                    Dark Elves CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 2:38am
                        showered in the presence of a nice ainu? Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 2:44am
                            Maybe it was her pet birds that made him cranky. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 2:53am
                                "why do birds... suddenly appear... every time.... you are near?" Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 3:10am
                        yes, we cannot Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 12:42pm
                            Well, I had always attributed the Evil in Aman to... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 2:35pm
                                no doubt Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 3:40pm
    Norse sword and a link to Anglachel? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 3, 4:59pm
        i definitely think Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 3, 5:37pm
            Very much agreed. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 1:41am
        Swords: can't live with 'em, can't kill without 'em CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 12:21am
            Crocodile tears? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 2:08am
                i question this as well Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 3:30am
                    Sword thoughts Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 2:33pm
                        Some swords just want to watch the world burn. // Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Jun 4, 3:42pm
                            Since you're in the neighborhood, Meneldor CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 6:51pm
                                I would choose a sharp knife to cut ropes from people. Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Jun 4, 7:26pm
                                    I was thinking of Angrist Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 10:45pm
                                        Angrist would be my first choice Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Jun 4, 11:10pm
                                    thanks, melendor Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 5, 1:40pm
                        wow Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 7:48pm
                            The Disney animated musical of Kullervo was even more cheerful than COH. // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 7:56pm
                                "join our quest" Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 7:59pm
    Elves: can't live with 'em, can't--oh, never mind CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jun 4, 12:36am
        Gwindor, an Elven Turin Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 4, 2:18am
        The curse at work. Mikah Send a private message to Mikah Jun 4, 3:09am
        maciliel thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 4, 4:24am
    A few general remarks sador Send a private message to sador Jun 5, 6:23am
        mae govannen, sador : ) Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 5, 1:39pm
    Late is the hour...apologies! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 7, 12:21am
        late is the hour, but ever warm the welcome for brethil tengwadil -- mae govannen Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 7, 1:01am
        On Turin, the subconscious, and fear. Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Jun 7, 3:28am
            most interesting thoughts, terazed! Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 8, 12:25pm
                Interpretations of myth Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Jun 8, 3:50pm
        More sword thoughts... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 7, 4:52am
            even more sword thoughts Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 8, 12:08pm
                Nasssty swords punses! Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Jun 8, 9:34pm
                    re mithril / earth / good vs. meteor ore / heaven / evil Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 10, 4:44am
                Falling... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 8, 9:59pm
                    falling Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 11, 12:39am
                        Yup! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Jun 11, 1:08am
                            it is a bloodthirsty blade!!!! Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 11, 1:15am
    Answers (part I) sador Send a private message to sador Jun 8, 2:53pm
        i don't quite understand why folks blame gwindor for the NE, either Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Jun 13, 6:00pm
            Short answers sador Send a private message to sador Jun 15, 5:26pm
    Answers (part II) sador Send a private message to sador Jun 9, 3:34pm

 
 
 

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