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Question about Cirdan

Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 19 2014, 1:48pm

Post #1 of 23 (778 views)
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Question about Cirdan Can't Post


Quote
’Take this ring, Master, he said.’ ‘For your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await you.’ -The Tale of Years,"


The first time I read this passage I thought that Cirdan would take ship with Gandalf. But of course there were many more White Ships to sail after the Three Keepers left.

My specific question is – somewhere it’s stated that Cirdan secretly put the Elostirion palantir on Gandalf’s ship. Does anyone know where this information can be found? Thanks. BG

(I hope this isn’t a ‘rerun’; I’m such a poor TORn searcher.)

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


Wilros
The Shire


Aug 19 2014, 7:23pm

Post #2 of 23 (425 views)
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In ROTK [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have my book handy at the moment, but from what I see on a Google Books search, there is a passage in ROTK:


Quote
The only Stone left in the North was the one in the Tower on Emyn Beraid that looks towards the Gulf of Lune. That was guarded by the Elves, and though we never knew it, it remained there, until Cirdan put it aboard Elrond’s ship when he left…


I believe this in the Grey Havens chapter, but sorry I am at work and can't double check!


Sebastian the Hedgehog
Rivendell

Aug 19 2014, 7:40pm

Post #3 of 23 (389 views)
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This is [In reply to] Can't Post

a footnote in part iii of Appendix A, describing the end of the Numenorean line in the North-Kingdom with the death of Arvedui Smile


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 19 2014, 8:30pm

Post #4 of 23 (365 views)
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Ah yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you both.

I've probably read that footnote a dozen times. I just couldn't remember where it was.

It does bring another question to mind.
Why did Cirdan put it aboard Elrond's ship?
As Cirdan apparently spent many more years on Middle-earth acting as "conductor" I would think he might want to gaze West on occasion.
Might it have something to do with the Three Rings passing? Hmm...
Or, as the Stones were originally given to the Numenoreans could it have something to do with Arvedui's death and the loss of the other two Northern Palantiri? Hmmm.

Thoughts?

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


squire
Valinor


Aug 19 2014, 8:56pm

Post #5 of 23 (366 views)
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The Age of Men begins [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember, Tolkien eventually decided that that Stone could only look back West, and did not communicate with the surviving stones in Isengard, Mordor, and Gondor. That's rather arbitrary to me, but I guess he didn't feel like making up the stories of how it was destroyed or lost, and why it played no part in the drama of the palantiri in the latter part of LotR. He went instead in the direction of making it of a piece with the Elven Towers themselves: a symbol of the Elves' unquenchable longing for their destined home across the Sea.

Since Elrond's, Gandalf's, and Galadriel's departure at the end of the Third Age, with their deactivated Rings, is the symbolic end of the Elven Ages in Middle-earth, I always thought it was only a neat little wrap-up, a catlike tidiness on Tolkien's part, to account for the most Elvish of the palantiri at the same time.

I never imagine Cirdan with any curiosity about Elvenhome, or rather any desire for it. That's not his role.

As to the Numenorean connection, we can speculate that the dispatch of Elendil's stone, by which he is said to looked back to lost Numenor, also stands for the closing out of that era as well: as Aragorn says to Arwen at the end of his life, "I am the last of the Numenoreans". We can conclude that the Men of Gondor and Arnor, in the Fourth Age, had no desire to recreate or return to Numenor, and the stone most in tune with that island was no longer needed either. (Although since it was Cirdan, not Elessar, who stowed the thing away, I think this is a less likely angle to take in understanding why it was sent West at this time).



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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 19 2014, 9:48pm

Post #6 of 23 (320 views)
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Good points as usual Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

but...
I think the Elostirion palantir looked only West to Valinor and was never ever in accord with any of the other six, only possibly/probably with the Master-stone in Avallone. I see it as more than a “symbol” but as an actual viewing device which could see the land of Eldamar.

I can’t imagine Cirdan NOT having curiosity about Elvenhome. Can we not have more than one role. Even a shipbuilder has to stop and have a beer on occasion.

And why would the Stone look back to Numenor? Numenor was gone, gone under the Sea. BORING wave viewing. Even though the Stones were brought from Numenor wasn’t the Tower Hills Stone most in accord wth Valinor not Numenor?

But, yes, as you say - "a neat little wrap-up" for Tolkien.

Cheers

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


squire
Valinor


Aug 20 2014, 12:37am

Post #7 of 23 (318 views)
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As you say, Numenor was gone [In reply to] Can't Post

But I have always read the relevant notes to suggest that Numenor was something Elendil hoped to see in that special stone:
...the Seeing Stone of Emyn Beraid was set in Elostirion, the tallest of the towers. Thither Elendil would repair, and thence he would gaze out over the sundering seas, when the yearning of exile was upon him; and it is believed that thus he would at whiles see far away even the Tower of Avallónë upon Eressëa, where the Masterstone abode, and yet abides. -- Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power".

One only remained in the North, the Elendil Stone on Emyn Beraid, but this was one of special properties, and not employable in communications. ... This Stone and its tower were maintained and guarded by Círdan and the Elves of Lindon. [Author’s note.] – It is told in Appendix A (I, iii) to The Lord of the Rings that the palantír of Emyn Beraid "was unlike the others and not in accord with them; it looked only to the Sea.
Elendil set it there so that he could look back with ‘straight sight’ and see Eressëa in the vanished West; but the bent seas below covered Númenor for ever."
-- Unfinished Tales, "The Palantiri" (emphases by squire)

So as I said, both of the highlighted parts of these notes suggest to me that Elendil had hoped to see Numenor -- as a vision of the past perhaps; it's never clear whether the Palantiri could see into the past in the same way they could see far distances. But clearly he always failed, and had to be content with a sight of Elvenhome, whence his friends among the Eldar had come in their visits to Numenor.



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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 20 2014, 4:08am

Post #8 of 23 (309 views)
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Thanks for the quotes but [In reply to] Can't Post

you have retreated from the original question over 3,000 years into the past -- from Fourth Age Cirdan to Second Age Elendil.

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


squire
Valinor


Aug 20 2014, 7:41pm

Post #9 of 23 (276 views)
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Sorry about that [In reply to] Can't Post

The reason I went back 3,000 years from the original question is that's when the stone was last used, as far as we know for sure. And by the time it was put on the ship it had apparently not been used by anyone for 1,600 years.

As the quotes show, only the Kings of Men would have used the Stones, but the one in Emyn Beraid was (implausibly but definitely) unusable for communication with any of the other six. Thus, after the loss of the other two northern stones with Arvedui the last King, "it is not known whether any of [the chieftains of the Dunedain], including Aragorn, ever looked into it, desiring to gaze into the lost West."

So admittedly Elendil's royal successors in Arnor, from the beginning of the Third Age to the fall of the North-kingdom, may have followed his example and taken a peek from time to time to see Eressea. Tolkien doesn't comment on that at all, simply noting its unusability compared to the other two. But there is seemingly at least 1600 years at the end when Cirdan's elves did nothing but dust the stone and oil the hinges on the tower door.

Cirdan himself is not said to have used the stone, and such an act would go against the very purpose of the seeing-stones, which were a gift from Elves to Elendil and his heirs. Probably Cirdan had his own ways of seeing things, much as Elrond and Galadriel seem to have.



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Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Aug 20 2014, 8:48pm

Post #10 of 23 (273 views)
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The Elostinion-stone [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So as I said, both of the highlighted parts of these notes suggest to me that Elendil had hoped to see Numenor -- as a vision of the past perhaps; it's never clear whether the Palantiri could see into the past in the same way they could see far distances. But clearly he always failed, and had to be content with a sight of Elvenhome, whence his friends among the Eldar had come in their visits to Numenor.



The text doesn't support the idea that the palanir in the Tower Hills could look back into the past; only that it could only look West. I do think that it could be used to communicate with the Master Stone in Avallone.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


squire
Valinor


Aug 20 2014, 10:30pm

Post #11 of 23 (270 views)
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"It is notable that in the present account there is no reference to this Master-stone." [In reply to] Can't Post

That's CT, making one of his droll comments on his father's failure to keep the notes in order.

In "Of the Rings of Power" (part of the Sil), the text mentions the Master-stone.

In "The Palantiri" (part of Unfinished Tales), the text mentions no Master-stone; CT appears to feel it's an odd omission in an essay specifically devoted to explicating the powers, limitations and operation of the seeing stones.

Since neither text was published under JRRT's supervision, they simply conflict. So, the famous Master-stone: now you see it, now you don't.

I certainly agree that the texts above, in so far as they are authoritative, clearly indicate that the stones could only see far in distance, not back in time. That's why I find it so intriguing that in the text wherein the palantiri were first described or invented by the author, Gandalf speculates to Pippin:
'Even now my heart desires to test my will upon it, to see if I could not wrench it from him and turn it where I would—to look across the wide seas of water and of time to Tirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Fëanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!’ (LotR III.11; bold by squire)

Another confusion: in Tolkien's only published text on the stones' powers, they seem to have the ability to look back in time. In the unpublished texts, written on reflection and with seemingly more 'world-building' and less 'fantasy' spirit, the stones can not see back in time.

So, the famous palantiri: now you see then, now you don't.



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Elthir
Gondor

Aug 21 2014, 11:57am

Post #12 of 23 (244 views)
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author published text [In reply to] Can't Post

Love the distinctions you are making here Squire... but I won't [yet again] digress as to why.

Smile


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 21 2014, 3:55pm

Post #13 of 23 (228 views)
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Not to beleaguer a point or attempt to be contrary [In reply to] Can't Post

but I have to add a final word about the palantiri – as I just can’t wrap my mind around the notion that the descendants of Elendil were the only ones to use the Elostirion-stone.

To back up a bit: The Seven Stones were given to the Numenoreans as a gift from the Noldor. I assume this gift was used by the Chief Numenoreans to look West to their friends in Valinor, as distance probably would not be a problem (the far-sighted could glimpse the Undying Lands from atop Meneltarma without a palantir); and likely also they were used for communication within Numenor itself. When the gift was given there was no knowledge that the world would change; that Numenor would vanish under the waves; and the Stones would end up in Middle-earth.

Therefore The Stones were not made, or given, to “look back” west to Numenor but to look back West to Eldamar. It seems ludicrous (to me) that any descendant of the Numenorians would look back west with Elendil’s Stone in attempt to see Numenor, as it was gone under sea.

Getting back to Cirdan and the Third and Fourth ages, I quote from the indefatigable Squire:

Quote
[1.] As the quotes show, only the Kings of Men would have used the Stones . . .
[2.] Cirdan himself is not said to have used the stone,
[3.] and such an act would go against the very purpose of the seeing-stones, which were a gift from Elves to Elendil [actually Amandil?] and his heirs. . .

But there is seemingly at least 1600 years at the end when Cirdan's elves did nothing but dust the stone and oil the hinges on the tower door.


[1.] I find no quote that states the Elendil Stone would be used ONLY by the Kings of Men;
[2.] Cirdan (or his Elves) are not said NOT to have used the Stone;
[3.] The purpose of the Stones was to “see”, their purpose was not a gift (non sequitur).

After the death of Elendil the Elves took back the care of the Elendil Stone (not the “gift”, just the care).
Beyond my wildest dreams I cannot imagine that the Cirdan and/or his Elves would just “dust and oil” and NOT use the Stone to peer back to Eldamar, their home. Not only would this not be disrespectful of “the gift”, it would surely be cheerfully encouraged by the remaining descendants of Numenor.

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


Wilros
The Shire


Aug 21 2014, 7:36pm

Post #14 of 23 (243 views)
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Gildor and others are said to have taken a peek [In reply to] Can't Post

Websites such as the Encyclopedia of Arda and Tolkien Gateway claim that Gildor Inglorion and others regularly make trips to the White Towers to gaze westward through the palantir, but I can't seem to find such a statement by JRRT. Can anyone find it?

References:
http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Gildor_Inglorion
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/e/elostirion.html


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 21 2014, 8:58pm

Post #15 of 23 (225 views)
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There is a reference to Gildor Inglorion [In reply to] Can't Post

in J.E.A. Tyler's Complete Tolkien Companion

. . .during the Third Age the leader of a Wandering Company of his Kindred, who dwelled mainly in Rivendell and made occasional pilgrimages to the Tower Hills for the purpose of gazing into the palantir which was kept there.

Where he, or the sites you name get their information is unknown (to me). I have found blatant errors on a couple internet sites, but Tyler, as far as I know is pretty darn accurate.

Thanks Wilros Smile

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


Elthir
Gondor

Aug 21 2014, 9:11pm

Post #16 of 23 (220 views)
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see RGEO about Gildor [In reply to] Can't Post

That's The Road Goes Ever On, published by JRRT in 1967.

"The High-Elves (such as did not dwell in or near the Havens) journeyed to the Tower Hills at intervals to look afar at Eressea (the Elvish isle) and the Shores of Valinor, close to which it lay. The hymn in Vol. I, p. 250, is one appropriate to Elves who have just returned from such a pilgrimage.

No doubt Gildor and his companions (Vol. I., Chap. 3), since they appear to have been going eastward, were Elves living in or near Rivendell returning from the palantir of the Tower Hills. On such visits they were sometimes rewarded by a vision, clear but remote, of Elbereth, as a majestic figure, shining white, standing upon the mountain Oiolosse (S. Uilos). It was then that she was also addressed by the title Fanuilos." JRRT RGEO

I'll just note that The Lord of the Rings at least arguably implies Gildor might have come from West of the Shire [as in lived there, compared to returning to Imladris or near Imladris], although that matter is a bit confusing.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 21 2014, 9:20pm)


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 21 2014, 9:39pm

Post #17 of 23 (203 views)
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Thanks Elthir, for the confirmation of my ‘feelings’ [In reply to] Can't Post

I don’t have a copy of “The Road”. Will have to get one for sure.

I was just checking the two sites that Wilros mentioned.

Tolkien Gateway states: Only Elendil was able to use it [The Stone] to look west across the Sea and see the Undying Lands;

Encyclopedia of Arda states: ... (and thus Elves out of Rivendell were sometimes encountered by the Shire-hobbits, travelling west to look into the Elendil Stone in Elostirion).

Oh, my! BIG WARNING! Always book-check anything found on the internet.

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


squire
Valinor


Aug 21 2014, 11:57pm

Post #18 of 23 (199 views)
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Who can argue with the Boss? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the quote, which completely destroys my idea that the Elves would not want to/need to/feel entitled to use the palantir in the Tower Hills!

Live and learn, as they say.



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squire
Valinor


Aug 21 2014, 11:59pm

Post #19 of 23 (202 views)
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Beleaguer away [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't say I want to agree with you, but thanks to Elthir's superior way with the textual corpus, I kind of have to, as noted in my recent post below!



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Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 22 2014, 2:06am

Post #20 of 23 (188 views)
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Aw, shucks Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

My instinct just got lucky...

I'm a league away from any more beleaguering. TongueTongue

Cheers to a sport..Smile
BG

“Uva uvam vivendo varia fit."


Wilros
The Shire


Aug 22 2014, 1:24pm

Post #21 of 23 (169 views)
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Thanks for digging that up! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't own a copy of RGEO, and didn't know it would contain tidbits such as this. Thanks!


Elthir
Gondor

Aug 22 2014, 2:47pm

Post #22 of 23 (178 views)
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RGEO [In reply to] Can't Post

I own RGEO but still did a copy and paste from the cobweb -- or internt as some call it [how lazy am I].

Tolkien's [boring to some] linguistic stuff often contains interesting Middle-earthian details: with RGEO you get some Gildor and palantir information [as above], some stuff about the forms or perceived forms of the Valar, something about the drink of the 'Gods', Celeborn is again published as Sindarin [take that 'Telporno' the Teler], an important thing about Galadriel is revealed [spoiler alert, do not look below the line below], along with the Sea-longing, and other stuff...

... and most importantly, the proper pronunciation of Sindarin short i Smile

So if you [anyone] are rich, and can find an old copy... I recommend it. I got lucky and found a copy for less gold than Jackson put inside Erebor.

And how else are you gonna say mithril properly, when it comes up in casual conversation at work Wink

__________
She is a banned leader of the Noldorin rebellion! Hey if that saddens anyone... I told you not to read this! She was unbanned at last, in any case.


Bracegirdle
Grey Havens


Aug 24 2014, 10:22pm

Post #23 of 23 (162 views)
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Thanks Elthir [In reply to] Can't Post

Just ordered a copy of RGEO off A-zon.

Pretty cheap soft-back, but it's the words that count. eh? Wink

Some say "Why"? - I say "Why not?"

 
 

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