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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Question regarding Sauron and Finrod.

Mikah
Lorien

Oct 7 2014, 2:42am

Post #1 of 21 (1251 views)
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Question regarding Sauron and Finrod. Can't Post

Since there is a bit of a lull in the Reading Room, I assume that this is as good of time as any to post a question which has bothered me for years regarding the Tale of Beren and Luthien. If it pleases you all, let me jump right to it. The Sil tells us that Sauron and Finrod strove in songs of power, but as we know Sauron got the better of Finrod. Following this the text reads "Sauron stripped from them their disguise , and they stood before him naked and afraid. But though their kinds were revealed, Sauron could not discover their names or their purposes." Later Tolkien adds that Sauron meant to save Finrod for the last, because he deemed that in him lay the secret of their errand.

My question is this; how did Sauron not recognize Finrod??? Were they not in Valinor together and would it not be in Sauron's best interest to remember who all of the King's and Princes of the Noldor are? I mean, if you intend to bring down a whole race of people...in this case elves...would it not be in your best interest to know who the captains of your enemy are??

As I previously stated, this question has plagued me since the first time I read The Silmarillion. Any theories would be greatly appreciated, I am completely at a loss here.


sador
Half-elven


Oct 7 2014, 6:58am

Post #2 of 21 (860 views)
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For one thing, [In reply to] Can't Post

they were not. When Melkor was captured and taken to Valinor, Sauron was not found by the Valar, and was left at large in Middle-earth.

And even if Sauron would have known who Finrod was, he did not know anything of his present name (who the heck is this 'Felagund'?), the whereabouts of Nargothrond, or its purposes. I'm not sure he even knew of its existence.


Elthir
Grey Havens

Oct 7 2014, 12:17pm

Post #3 of 21 (859 views)
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Grey Annals [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm, in the early 1950s Tolkien wrote:

'But none had betrayed them, and Sauron could not learn the errand upon which they went. He left the Elven-king to the last, for he knew who he was, and deemed that he was the mover in whatever venture was devised. But when the wolf came to Beren...' JRRT, The Grey Annals, section 198

Christopher Tolkien notes the difference in wording from Quenta Silmarillion, but does not explain why he chose the wording in QS over GA here for the 1977 Silmarillion.


Cari
Bree

Oct 7 2014, 1:03pm

Post #4 of 21 (806 views)
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Nargothrond [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe your right, Sauron and Melkor at this point in the Sil didn't know that Nargothrond even existed. It wasn't until later that they learned of it.


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Oct 7 2014, 1:39pm

Post #5 of 21 (871 views)
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was Sauron ever in Valinor? [In reply to] Can't Post

As Sador points out, Sauron was not in Valinor when the Elves arrived and, therefore, would not know who the children of Finwe were, if he indeed knew who Finwe was. In fact, Sauron might never had been in Valinor. He served Aule when the Ainur arrived in Arda, but the first dwelling of the Valar and Maiar was the island of Almaren. We don't know when Sauron exactly joined forces with Melkor, but if he did so before the destruction of the Two Lamps and the end of the Spring of Arda, he might never had ventured to Valinor.


Once Almaren was abandoned, the Valar decamped to Aman. Melkor, and presumably Sauron, remained in Middle Earth. I don't recall any passages written by Tolkien that indicates or implies that Sauron ever had been in or visited Valinor (although he could have secretly slipped into Valinor as Melkor and Ungoliant did, but this is debatable). As noted, when Melkor was captured before the awakening of the Elves, Sauron was not found and remained at large. The same thing happened at the end of the First Age, when he again remained in hiding in Middle Earth.


To get to the point, it would appear that Sauron was never in Valinor and therefore, could not know who the princes of the Noldor were because the princes were all born in Valinor.


As to the point made by Elthir, it could be that Sauron knew that Finrod was someone important, but not necessarily know who he was. If you capture a troop of enemy soldiers, even if they do not speak, you might be able to figure out who the commander/leader of the platoon/squad/troop/etc. by how they interact with one another. So he might not know who Finrod was but he divined that he was important in some manner.


Mikah
Lorien

Oct 7 2014, 11:36pm

Post #6 of 21 (761 views)
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You all make very good points. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mikah waves at Sador!

I do believe that you make excellent points here, it does clear up some confusion for me. I had speculated that in captivity one of the elves would be tormented to reveal the names of elven kings. But, as Sador pointed out, even if Sauron would know the name Finrod, he would probably not know the name Felagund. This was something that I had not considered.

You also make a good point HeWhoArises, that it would not be difficult to discern who the leader of the quest may be by observing simple interaction. Sauron was many things, but witless is not one of them. So I can completely accept that Sauron may not know the exact status of Finrod while deeming he was a Noldo of great importance as Tolkien states.

Previously in the story Tolkien states regarding Beren that "at length Morgoth set a price upon his head no less than the price upon the head of Fingon, High King of the Noldor...." It is kind of horrifying to consider what Beren and Finrod's fates had been if Sauron had discovered their true identities. It gives great credit to their company that they did not betray them.


Mikah
Lorien

Oct 7 2014, 11:45pm

Post #7 of 21 (745 views)
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Elthir... [In reply to] Can't Post

I do remember the quotation of which you speak from the Grey Annals. I always preferred the wording, it left less confusion for me. I really also prefer the way his thoughts and words are composed here as well. Thank you for bringing it up.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 8 2014, 12:35am

Post #8 of 21 (745 views)
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Loyalty at its best [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Previously in the story Tolkien states regarding Beren that "at length Morgoth set a price upon his head no less than the price upon the head of Fingon, High King of the Noldor...." It is kind of horrifying to consider what Beren and Finrod's fates had been if Sauron had discovered their true identities. It gives great credit to their company that they did not betray them.

That's something that I really like about this part of the story--the profound, intense loyalty they all have to each other. It's a good contrast to the treachery elsewhere in The Silmarillion.




Mikah
Lorien

Oct 8 2014, 2:28am

Post #9 of 21 (731 views)
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You are so right CG... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love that part of the story too. Although The Silmarillion is hands-down, my favorite book ever written, I do not deny it's darkness. There is a lot of treachery in parts, isn't there? But the more complex characters in the book are also my favorites. However, as you point out, there is something very endearing about that kind of loyalty. It kind of makes me wonder about the type of person who draws such loyalty and respect. Hats off to Beren, Finrod, and Company...bright lights in a very dark tale!


ltnjmy
Rivendell


Oct 8 2014, 4:49pm

Post #10 of 21 (724 views)
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Very fine analysis HeWhoArisesInMight about Sauron/Valinor [In reply to] Can't Post

and the entire thread/postings are mighty fine. I never thought of it that way but that is true - if he was an early follower of Melkor - he may have never even been to Valinor but only contributed to the destruction of the Valar's early abode on Almaren. Professor Tolkien keeps that oblique, as there are so many other issues in the wonderful Silm....Crazy


PhantomS
Rohan


Oct 9 2014, 3:48pm

Post #11 of 21 (724 views)
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Finrod doesn't have Twitter yet [In reply to] Can't Post

Finrod and the first generation of High Elves are relatively unknown to Sauron. While Morgoth was familiar with Finwe, Thingol and Feanor Sauron did not know them at all- he was Morgoth's shop steward while he spent time in captivity, tending to Angband and occasionally re-timing the DVD player when it went out of sync.
The Noldor coming to Middle Earth was a bit of a shock to everyone, including Sauron. He might have heard the names, but he had never actually seen Galadriel, Maedhros, Fingon or Aegor.

he targets Finrod because he is a high elf in Beren's Company- remember that Sauron, like High Elves exists in the higher and lower planes of existence and will know. Luthien is a bit different because she had control over massive powers that go beyond the 'Elf aura' Frodo sees with Glorfindel at the Ford.


Mikah
Lorien

Oct 10 2014, 2:15am

Post #12 of 21 (682 views)
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You make an excellent point PhantomS [In reply to] Can't Post

What Morgoth would have given for Twitter, Facebook, and facial recognition technology...conquering Middle Earth would have been so much easier!Wink


HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell


Oct 10 2014, 1:35pm

Post #13 of 21 (646 views)
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Well they did have instant messenger... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Palantíri had super-fast WiFi connections, but alas, no emoticons Frown


noWizardme
Half-elven


Oct 10 2014, 2:30pm

Post #14 of 21 (664 views)
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Does Sauron have an account on Wraithbook? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~

"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!"

This year LOTR turns 60. The following image is my LOTR 60th anniversary party footer! You can get yours here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=762154#762154


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2014, 4:58pm

Post #15 of 21 (646 views)
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Can't wait to see those status updates.. [In reply to] Can't Post

'Just had a life changing experience. The Big E has no musical taste at all!! Some people can't abide artistic expression. Go #TeamMelkor'

'Just changed into a big wolf. Feeling so gooooood!!! Ready to bite someone. #Huan'

*Update* Loved the awesome feral power, hated the fleas...never forget the fleas.... Oh, yeah, and it turns out you can't bend a prophecy to your will. Got to remember that one in case one of my underlings get too cocky!'

'Staus: Unemployed. When the Boss goes crazy and gets thrown into the Void, that really puts a damper on the retirement package. I still had a few centuries of sick pay saved up!!'

'Guess what! Just got me some new bling! I must say that it really is the best one out there. You could say it will 'rule them all'! #Worlddomination #Elves #Men #Dwarves

'Well, I just lost my bling, but what do they say? ''Leave it alone and they'll come home?'' Sure, I can do that. Just keep it away from that molten Lava pit! #Feelingblue'


The possibilities are endless!!!

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


noWizardme
Half-elven


Oct 10 2014, 5:11pm

Post #16 of 21 (635 views)
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Wraithbook update: "Sauron changed his bodily status from "incarnate" to "it's complicated" " // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~

"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!"

This year LOTR turns 60. The following image is my LOTR 60th anniversary party footer! You can get yours here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=762154#762154


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 10 2014, 5:41pm

Post #17 of 21 (633 views)
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"Build me a friend list worthy of Mordor!" / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

******************************************
"My friend,” said Gandalf, “you had horses, and deeds of arms, and the free fields; but she, born in the body of a maid, had a spirit and courage at least the match of yours. Yet she was doomed to wait upon an old man, whom she loved as a father, and watch him falling into a mean dishonoured dotage; and her part seemed to her more ignoble than that of the staff he leaned on.
“Think you that Wormtongue had poison only for Théoden's ears? ‘Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among their dogs?’ Have you not heard those words before? Saruman spoke them, the teacher of Wormtongue. Though I do not doubt that Wormtongue at home wrapped their meaning in terms more cunning. My lord, if your sister's love for you, and her will still bent to her duty, had not restrained her lips; you might have heard even such things as these escape them. But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?”

“I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
And I’ll be on my way!

“If a land don't understand you,
No matter how many regimes,
Saddle up, do not wait,
Don’t waste time at the weapontake.
Muster out of that roll call.
Ride Windfola out to your dreams!

“If the house of Eorl is nothing more,
Than a barn where brigands drink,
Their brats and dogs roll on the floor,
Then you know what the door is for,
Muster out of that roll call,
Wash Rohan into the sink!

“I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash Rohan right outa my hair,
And I’ll be on my way!"

-Rodgers and Hammerstein, The Lord of the Rings


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Oct 10 2014, 7:07pm

Post #18 of 21 (679 views)
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Surely you have all seen... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Ringwraith email, yes?








Mikah
Lorien

Oct 11 2014, 3:56am

Post #19 of 21 (611 views)
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I am so going to friend him! [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh You guys have me laughing myself silly...lol.


squire
Half-elven


Oct 11 2014, 4:02am

Post #20 of 21 (669 views)
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an oldie but goodie! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Oct 14 2014, 1:14pm

Post #21 of 21 (675 views)
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Whoa, I think I missed those. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the link!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


 
 

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