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The Look of A Dark Lord
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Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Feb 29 2008, 5:30am

Post #1 of 74 (498 views)
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The Look of A Dark Lord Can't Post

Does anyone know what Sauron or Morgoth looked like as Dark Lords or seen an artists rendering?
Can you provide any links?

What facts do we know?

Sauron: In the Second Age, we don't even know his form for much of the time. We know he went about as Annatar, 'Lord of Gifts' to deceive the Elves when making the Rings of Power until S.A. 1500 & that was in a fair (probably) Elven form. Certainly when taken hostage to Numenor by Ar-Pharazon near the end of the Second Age he must've been in a fair form also. It was upon coming out of the abyss after the drowning of Numenor that Sauron could only take an evil shape henceforth......

The Silmarillion says 'in 'Akallabeth':

'His (Sauron's) spirit arose out of the deep & passed as a shadow ....over the sea, & came at last back to Middle-earth & to Mordor....& dwelt there, dark & silent, until he wrought for himself a new guise, an image of malice & hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.'

I can't think of much else that describes Sauron, but this, and I believe The Eye is not only a metaphor for Sauron's spiritual ability to search out like he did when Frodo was on Amon Hen or like Galadriel says "The Eye seeks for me" - The Eye is most certainly not a Lighthouse on top of Barad-Dur like in Peter Jackson's movies - but I also believe if you read Tolkien's description, the Eye is part of the image of malice, the guise that Sauron wrought. He was a Dark Lord with one Eye like a cyclops - funny as it sounds.
Moreso, Tolkien says, 'The Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure' - if a methaphor, why could few endure it?
How hard is a methaphor to endure? Shocked
The Eye was hard to endure because it meant being brought into the very pressance of Sauron the Terrible as Gollum was........


The next thing is Sauron's shape in the Third Age, which after PJ's 'Sauron the Lighthouse' needs to be cleared up I guess.
Sauron was indeed a physical being at the end of the Third Age. Tolkien writes several times that 'Sauron began to take shape', etc. The clincher is Gollum saying "he (Sauron) has only 4 fingers on one hand but they are enough", which is of course a reference to Isildur cutting off the Ruling Ring .You can't see the hand of a spirit......

Finally, what's Sauron's size?
I've heard 13 - 14 feet. Don't ask me where they got that as I've never came across it in my readings. PJ made Sauron about that big though I guess.
Tolkien wrote 'Man size but greater', whatever that means exactly. I'd take that to mean 8 - 10 feet, but 13 - 14 could fit. Balrogs would be the same I guess.


Morgoth: I think we have little to go on here directly, but maybe more if we search a bit......

Melkor puts on the form of a tyrant, a Dark Lord, 'tall & terrible' right before visiting Ungoliant when they attack the Two Trees. That's all we get.
Yet, there's more if we dig a little bit:
Morgoth has an iron crown with the three Silmarils on it.
Morgoth's face is the scar that Thorondor made when swooping down on it.
His right hand was burned from the Silmaril.
Morgoth's left foot limped from the wound Fingolfin gave him with his sword.
The Balrogs 'became most like him (Morgoth) in their corruption' The Silmarrion says. Therefore, we must assume that Morgoth was very much like a Balrog: dark, shadowy, with a fiery center (possibly). Well, dark & shadowy I bet. Possibly feiry eyes or something.

Finally, what was Morgoth's size? Again, I've never read anything exact, but I've heard 19 feet & 70 feet given. Personally, I find 19 feet more believable & in line with 7 feet for Numenoreans, 7' 7" for Turgon & Thingol & 13 feet for Maiar. 70 feet just seems a bit much, although it does say when Luthien dances before Morgoth & he falls asleep that he 'falls like an avalanche'. I guess 19 feet is still quite an avalanche. Let us not forget what Morgoth wants to do with Lutihien too. 70 feet on 6 feet is a bit of a stretch......

Can anyone add anything or supply any artist renderings online?


(This post was edited by Tolkien Forever on Feb 29 2008, 5:30am)


Beren IV
Gondor


Feb 29 2008, 6:40am

Post #2 of 74 (245 views)
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That still tells us very little [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, let me point out again that Morgoth's desire of Lúthien might not have needed or required any sort of compatible anatomy.

We can imagine that a "dark lord' is a tall, imposing figure, but that still doesn't tell us much. Should we picture a hulking, armoed figure with a face-concealing helmet, except for two fiery eyes sunken into its eyeslots? Or should we see a king in black-regal garb with perhaps fair skin but a wrinkled, evil visage? Or a tall, imposing, thin, manga-style villain walking around with a smoldering aura of smoke and brimstone?

And that's even without accounting for height.

Frankly, I don't think that physical height really matters if you're a powerful Ainu. You can be a giant if you wish, but I imagine that most of the time they weren't really huge. They used magic to fight, not sheer physical might that comes just from being huge.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Darkstone
Immortal


Feb 29 2008, 6:57am

Post #3 of 74 (228 views)
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Jackson's Annatar [In reply to] Can't Post

From the ROTK-EE appendices:



This is who Aragorn was originally fighting at the Morannon. They replaced him with the troll at the last minute.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



(This post was edited by Darkstone on Feb 29 2008, 7:02am)


Ashkan1984
The Shire


Feb 29 2008, 9:18am

Post #4 of 74 (251 views)
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An image of Fingolfin fighting Morgoth by Ted Nasmith [In reply to] Can't Post

 I think I found it in Wikipedia's page for Morgoth.
Attachments: Fingolfinmorgoth.jpg (137 KB)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 29 2008, 9:29am

Post #5 of 74 (218 views)
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Size doesn't matter [In reply to] Can't Post

if you're a magical being - I suppose you can take any form you want. Even the Ring has the power to change size, so surely Sauron himself can do so.

I agree with your interpretation of the Eye being a metaphor for Sauron's power to see and control. (It's interesting that Big Brother was created the same year - two very different novels but perhaps their authors were responding to a danger they sensed around them.) I suppose you can imagine a physical cyclops eye if you like that image, because Tolkien never pins this kind of thing down. To me, it's just a metaphor. (And in fact to me, Jackson's lighthouse-eye is just a visual metaphor. But I guess that's open to interpretation too.)

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Feb 29 2008, 1:20pm

Post #6 of 74 (227 views)
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Not Really [In reply to] Can't Post

They used magic to fight, not sheer physical might that comes just from being huge.

Actually, Tolkien is pretty clear in 'Morgoth's Ring' (Myth's Transformed) that Morgoth was pretty well spent by the time of the First Age, having dispennsed all his power into the vabric of Arda & it's evil beings, hence the term 'Morgoth's Ring, echoeing how Sauron poured his power into the One Ring. Tolkien goes so far as to say: 'Sauron (effectively) had more power in the Second Age than Morgoth had at the end of the First'!
Think about it:
Morgoth could no longer change shape (yet Sauron could). Morgoth couldn't fight off Ungoliant without the Balrogs (his servants help - and weaker servants than Sauron [Tolkien also says that in Myths Transformed]). Morgoth couldn't go up against a Maia, Arien either, and that at the beginning of the First Age. Morgoth was not the Vala he once was....

BTW, Beren IV, I said there wasn't much to go on, did anyone have anything to add, right? Blush

Height just seems to be an interesting area & Tolkien opens the genie's lamp with his statement 'of man-size but greater'.....

BTW II: I don't think anything PJ did matters much in taking it serious, ya know?
Certainly not 'Sauron the Lighthouse'. Cool (pet peeve, as if you didn't notice yet)


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Feb 29 2008, 4:56pm

Post #7 of 74 (206 views)
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Cool Picture [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a nice picture of Morgoth fighting Fingolfin & interesting to note Morgoth would be about 19 feet tall if Fingolfin is about 6' 6", which is about what I guess he is since Turgon is the tallest elf ever at 7' 7" (I remember reading that in HoME or UT somewhere).

The two things I would guess are a bit off are that Fingolfin is a bit too well built for an Elf & Morgoth's feet are too well armoured for Fingolfin to wound Morgoth to go around 'halt of one foot' for the rest of his days.....

But, I've seen some doozies in the past in the Tolkien Calendars. Two that come to mind are 'The Battle of Sudden Flame' with a marvelous drawing of a FLYING dragon & this 'Beren & Luthien' with is picture of Luthien that looked more like a scantilly clad Demi Moore after here breast enhancement surgery. Tolkien must've been rolling over in his grave......


(This post was edited by Tolkien Forever on Feb 29 2008, 5:00pm)


Beren IV
Gondor


Feb 29 2008, 6:51pm

Post #8 of 74 (190 views)
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That's only in Morgoth's Ring [In reply to] Can't Post

The earlier versions of the Sil don't say that explicitly. However, you miss my point: Gandalf the Grey isn't able to change shape either, and yet he clearly is a far more capable fighter than some old man, whether his sword is an Elven artifact or no. There is a lot more to martial power than pure, physical might in Arda, and a lot more than just might and skill. There is magic.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Feb 29 2008, 7:37pm

Post #9 of 74 (192 views)
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What Magic? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just what magic does Morgoth do in the First Age?
I can't think of one instance besides the binding of Hurin to the seat on Thangorodrim by his will where he then sees through Morgoth's eyes.....

A mighty piece of magic indeed, I will grant you. But the working of destoying Hurin's Children is done by one of the creatures that Morgoth's power has been poured into, Glaurung.

Can we come up with another?
Meanwhile, we have Sauron in his limited role creating a phantom of Beren's companion's dead wife to get him to betray the 12 outlaws in Dorthonian, Ruling in Tol Sirion & Defeating Finrod in a contest of magical songs, turning into a werewolf & fighting Huan & losing after a bitter battle, then changing shape again into the form of a vampire.
He's at least showing he can still use magical power whereas Tolkien explicitly states that Morgoth's power was dispensed & it is constantly shown, as I listed, that he was growing weaker & ruled more out of fear & by his mighty name & built up military power.

BTW: Earlier versions of The Sil?
'The Fall Of Gondolin' has Tuor killing 5 Balrogs too..... Crazy


(This post was edited by Tolkien Forever on Feb 29 2008, 7:40pm)


Beren IV
Gondor


Feb 29 2008, 11:41pm

Post #10 of 74 (167 views)
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The Elves use it, and so does He [In reply to] Can't Post

The Elves use magic either in warfare or in reproducing themselves. We know this. THere is no other way that the Elves with their slow birth rates could survive being in competition with Humans over more than a few centuries, let alone several millennia. They very fact that there are still Elves - few of them, perhaps, but more than zero - at the end of the Third Age is testament to their magical prowess, because otherwise they would quickly be hopelessly outnumbered and overwhelmed (or else they wiped Humans out as soon as they found them, which also did not happen because there are Men at the end of the Third Age as well, and several races of them!).

And yet, in their war with Morgoth, the Elves lose, which means that whomever they are up against has more than just strength and numbers to throw at them. Humans have that, and they don't wipe the Elves out. Conclusion: Morgoth fights them using magic. Like most magic in Arda, this is fairly subtle or else kept under the table, but still, Morgoth must use it, if he is to defeat the Elves. And he does; he defeats them individually, as in the case of Fingolfin, and collectively, as in the step-by-step withering of Beleriand and its turning into a wasteland beginning with Dagor Brollach. There he pours forth rivers of molten lava! And if we accept Unfinished Tales, then Ulmo has a hard time guiding Tuor through Beleriand due to Morgoth's power, even though Tuor walks on snow... which is a form of water.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Mar 1 2008, 1:24am

Post #11 of 74 (165 views)
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????? [In reply to] Can't Post

Huh?

The Elves use magic either in warfare or in reproducing themselves. We know this.

We know this?

And where do we know this from?
I never read either one in The Hobbit, TLOR, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Hurin, The Letters of JRR Tolkien or The History of Middle-earth.
Is there some other writings by Tolkien I have missed?
If so, please point them out to me so I can read them......

Warfare & magic can be mutually exclusive & often are in Tolkien's writings.
Take Fingolfin versus Morgoth. There's nothing in there that gives us any idea of magic, just 'mano y mano' (or Vala y Elf) so to speak. One on One, battle to the death, skill in combat.
Then, there's magical battle, like Gandalf versus The Nine on Weathertop, with the 'lightning' off the hilltop that Strider sees from afar.
Then there's the combination of the two, like Gandalf versus the Balrog at the various stages from The Chamber of Mazarbul to Durin's Tower.

Finally, I haven't read the account of Tour & his coming to Gondolin in a few years, but I've read it at least 20 times & I don't recall it saying he walked on snow - I could be wrong though. In fact, I recall that he almost dies & tells Voronwe that he must forgoe secrecy & lead him in the most direct pathway lest he perish......

If there's a passage that says Tour walks on snow, I'd like you to reproduce it here, so I can be refreshed, OK?


squire
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 1:52am

Post #12 of 74 (204 views)
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Here are some renderings of the Dark Lord and the other Dark Lord [In reply to] Can't Post

As part of my 2004 RR Valaquenta discussion, I put together portfolios of fan art of the various Valar, etc.

Here is Melkor,

And here he is again as Morgoth!

And of course, Sauron .

If I remember, when looking through the web, I found it was often difficult telling an uncaptioned Morgoth from an uncaptioned Sauron. Both, in the eyes of many modern fan artists, seem to combine a Disneyfied demon with a kind of kinky S&M runway outfit. I purposely avoided the very large number of Saurons out there that reproduce the New Line designs.

Overall, I and most of the participants in the discussion agreed that the Valar are ridiculously inappropriate to visualize as anthropomorphic beings. Yes, they did assume that form, Tolkien assures us. But he also reminds us that their spiritual power was so great that their physical appearance was the last thing anyone perceived when in their presence. As you've noted when thinking about Sauron's gaze.

I think it's absurd to picture Sauron in his final incarnation as a "cyclops" with a single eye in the center of his face. Tolkien's people are people. If Sauron has only four fingers on one black hand, it's reasonable to assume that he has focused his mind's farseeing power into one of his two eyes. Like the Norse Odin, he may be blind or patched in the other eye.



squire online:
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a.s.
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 2:21am

Post #13 of 74 (166 views)
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that eye [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if few could endure "the eye" of Sauron, that doesn't mean he didn't have two of them. I mean, even us humans often say (to our kids, for instance) "I've got my eye on you!" or (about a piece of real estate) "I've had my eye on that deal for a few weeks".

And nurses generally ask each other to "keep an eye on" a patient while we take a break. Or receive instructions to "keep an eye out for a spike in temperature".

And we generally have two eyes.

I agree, not a cyclops.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Just look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of them."

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.

"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Mar 1 2008, 2:43am

Post #14 of 74 (185 views)
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Absurd? [In reply to] Can't Post

glad I didn't use that word or I'd get flamed.....

Still, I hold my ground (big shock) on the Eye being literal because I have my 'scripture' to back me up:

As I posted before, with text inside:

Moreso, Tolkien says, 'The Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure' - if a methaphor, why could few endure it?
How hard is a methaphor to endure? Shocked
The Eye was hard to endure because it meant being brought into the very pressance of Sauron the Terrible as Gollum was........

Now, as for 'The Eye', Tolkien says Sauron 'wrought a new shape..the Eye of Sauron', not the eyes of Sauron' or the Face of Sauron' or 'The big toe of Sauron' - odd choice if not literal.......


Now onto the pictures you posted, Squire.....

The Melkor ones: The best of the lot is the one where he looks like Satan (being chained), which is of course where Tolkien got his inspiration for Melkor. The cartoon one is too, uh, absurd. Wink

Morgoth: The best of the lot is the one versus Fingolfin I think. The other I like is the one in the right hand corner. But, in most, they either have a sword, or no crown...

Don't these artist know the text? It's a hammer & an iron crown with 3 silmarils - this isn't rocket science.

Sauron: I didn't realize that Sauron was a Goth dude in his 20's......
The one in the upper right hand corner looks like Nosferatu or some guy hiding until night in 'I Am Legend'. The one in the middle looks like Sauron on steroids.
The only one I cared for is the one from PJ's movie.

I guess the ultimate Dark Lord look is that loveable DARk lord of the siTH, VADER (duck quickly, TF). Laugh


(This post was edited by Tolkien Forever on Mar 1 2008, 2:47am)


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 3:05am

Post #15 of 74 (167 views)
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who cares, frankly? [In reply to] Can't Post

Who cares if Sauron has one eye or two, frankly? What does it matter?

I know THE TEXT and what THE TEXT says. And I agree with squire (in this instance, don't faint squire) that thinking about Sauron as a cyclops is absurd.

But I am perfectly fine with you having a conception of Sauron that way, based on YOUR INTERPRETATION of THE TEXT. I don't mind that you read THE TEXT and see Sauron this way.

But I don't. And I've read THE TEXT at least 35 times, too.

If you are going to try to "win" every conversation by quoting back THE TEXT whenever anyone has a differing opinion, you are going to end conversation quickly. And the purpose of the RR is conversation, it's not winning on some esoteric bit of Tolkien trivia that is meaningless out of context.

And by the way, there is a spell check function on this board, which is a vast improvement over the previous board (well-beloved as it was) and is easy to use.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Just look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of them."

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.

"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 3:27am

Post #16 of 74 (155 views)
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we all walk on snow, when we walk on snow [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
then Ulmo has a hard time guiding Tuor through Beleriand due to Morgoth's power, even though Tuor walks on snow... which is a form of water.




Quote

If there's a passage that says Tour walks on snow, I'd like you to reproduce it here, so I can be refreshed, OK?




During the Fell Winter, when Tuor and Voronwe walked for many miles during the unceasing snow, they walked ON snow. I don't think Beren meant they walked ON TOP of snow, as Legolas does in LOTR.

I believe Beren's point was that Tuor was walking under Ulmo's cloak (under his "protection") and that snow is a form of water (which is how Ulmo manifests his presence in ME), and that Ulmo experienced difficulty protecting Tuor even though Tuor was literally walking on water.

His point had nothing to do with snow-walking abilities, and everything to do with the presence of Ulmo in water (or snow) in ME, in other words.

Beren, correct me if I'm wrong and I'll stand corrected!

a.s.


"an seileachan"

"Just look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of them."

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.

"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Mar 1 2008, 3:41am

Post #17 of 74 (157 views)
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I Guess You Must Care [In reply to] Can't Post

Relax dude, we're just having a discussion.

I'll do likewise, OK?

No need to jump ugly if we are on opposite sides is there?

Really who does care if Sauron has one eye or 2?

I've read that piece as many times as you or more because I've picked it up 25+ times to quote it besides reading it 25 times, but it's not important because it's not a contest, so why bring it up?


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 3:44am

Post #18 of 74 (137 views)
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disingenuousness does not assist your point // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"an seileachan"

"Just look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of them."

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.

"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Mar 1 2008, 3:45am

Post #19 of 74 (137 views)
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Ulmo [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember correctly, Ulmo's power was in the running water in Middle-earth, and the other water that the running water ran into, like the pool of Ivrin. I don't recall anywhere that it is ever stated that Ulmo has power in falling rain or snow......


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 1 2008, 4:24am

Post #20 of 74 (133 views)
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How do you know what Satan looks like? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Mar 1 2008, 4:27am

Post #21 of 74 (161 views)
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I've seen Him [In reply to] Can't Post

Just kiddling.....

I shoulda know that was coming. - Why don't they have a 'rolls eyes' icon here? Wink

Come on, we've all seen the classic picture of Satan.
If you haven't, go to a grocery store & buy a can of Deviled Ham.


Beren IV
Gondor


Mar 1 2008, 6:16am

Post #22 of 74 (133 views)
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Because if it didn't, then Arda wouldn't work. [In reply to] Can't Post

It is plainly obvious that there is quite a lot of magic in Arda; things happen too much by coincidence, and it is described in the text as either miraculous or malicious when they do. When and where good prevails, nature itself becomes vibrant and healthy, and where and when evil triumphs, the land itself withers. Peoples become strong and numerous when they have a noble or otherwise powerful leader, and they weaken when such a leader is taken away. This is true for all of the races, not just the Elves, and it is strongly implied that this happens because of powers like hope or darkness.

Generally speaking, magic on Arda focuses on making the possible happen, not the impossible possible. It's the flashy stuff that you cite that is rare. So, when applied to people, it makes people better at the things in which they are already capable, instead of giving them new powers. And yes, the great and powerful warriors have a "power and a terror" that goes before them, and their prowess in war is thus much greater than their physical skill and might allows for. Likewise, peoples become strong and numerous amazingly quickly when they have the grace to do so.

Nowhere in Tolkien is it said explicitly that this happens, it is true, but the implications are everywhere, and in bulk they are quite inescapable.

Unfortunately, I don't have UT with me, but Tuor and Valandil have to find Gondolin in winter when the land is snowy, and the snow hinders them, rather than helps them, and the reason is attributed to Morgoth.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Beren IV
Gondor


Mar 1 2008, 6:28am

Post #23 of 74 (132 views)
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a. s. is correct [In reply to] Can't Post

Ulmo claims that his powers are in all water, I think, not just running water. The Sea is not running water, and yet that is Ulmo's home. But I seem to recall reading that Ulmo can see through cloud and snow as well as liquid water. Certainly, in Ainulindalë, Ilúvitar comments to Ulmo that Melkor's chaos has created wonderful things with Ulmo's water, such as snow and clouds. But Melkor might not be fully evil by this point - the spark of good of the old, primal, good Melkor still dwells in these substances.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 7:07am

Post #24 of 74 (143 views)
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*mods up* Best laugh I've had in weeks. Thanks, N.E.B.! [In reply to] Can't Post



Radhruin
Rohan


Mar 1 2008, 8:45am

Post #25 of 74 (133 views)
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Deviled Ham [In reply to] Can't Post

had more substance in my youth. And that's not saying much.

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
~Chesterton

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