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Would it be fair to describe Eöl's death as resulting from an interrogation gone wrong?
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 2:30am

Post #1 of 39 (3178 views)
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Would it be fair to describe Eöl's death as resulting from an interrogation gone wrong? Can't Post

Are there other deaths in Tolkien's work that better fit that description? Gorlim's perhaps? But Sauron was always going to kill him, no?

Another random question: does Aragorn ever identify himself as having Elvish ancestry? I cannot recall. Did he perchance think it was inappropriate, given the many generations between himself and Elwing/Eärendil? Would the Elves have objected if he did?

But what about Imrahil, being as he is closer in time to Mithrellas? (A mere 22 generations.) Legolas certainly describes him as the descendant of Elves.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 3:21am

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Is Smaug the victim of Bilbo's interrogation? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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squire
Half-elven


Oct 16, 3:42am

Post #3 of 39 (3084 views)
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On Aragorn's claim to Elvish ancestry: Is Elrond an Elf? Do the Appendices count? [In reply to] Can't Post

'Would that Elrond were here, for he is the eldest of all our race, and has the greater power.’ - Aragorn at the Houses of Healing, LotR V.8.

[Gilraen:] "...it is not fit that mortal should wed with the Elf-kin.”
‘“Yet we have some part in that kinship,” said Aragorn, “if the tale of my forefathers is true that I have learned." - LotR App. A, 'Tale of Aragorn and Arwen".

As for the more provocative question, I guess we'd better be clear just how "an interrogation gone wrong" differs from a death sentence imposed due to what was revealed under interrogation. The one suggests a method of torture that inadvertently and unintentionally proved fatal; the other is the usual method for suspected spies and traitors, with no suggestion of accident or mischance.

In Eol's case, I think it's the latter situation, although a hearing at court is not really the same as what we call an interrogation. Still, by defying the King and killing someone to show that defiance, Eol proved he was 1) untrue and 2) a murderer. So his subsequent death resulted from what came out of the 'interrogation', not from the methods of the interrogation itself.



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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 5:14am

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Maybe. Yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for that reminder about Aragorn sort of questioning whether "the tale of my forefathers is true". He's been told that he has elvish ancestry, but how would it be proved? Very interesting. Though as you note, somehow he seems to have been convinced by the time he reaches Minas Tirith.

Still racking my brain trying to come up with examples of unpremeditated murder of a captive in Tolkien. Of course you're right that Eöl is deliberately put to death (though arguably as a result of his behavior during an interrogation, which is why I thought of it.) And Smaug is not Bilbo's prisoner!


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Dunadan of North Arnor
The Shire

Oct 16, 12:11pm

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Random questions indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

I’ll try and thread the needle as carefully as you.

If we are talking about interrogations gone wrong, maybe Eol over Gorlim. But if we’re talking about execution and a sinister ruse, where the villains are the captors, not the captive, then it’s Gorlim hands down; not to mention the legit love interest on the sidelines. Gelmir brother of Gwindor was an interrogated captive eventually dismembered, but that was done openly and initiated a catastrophic battle, so we hope the comparison ends there.

As for claims of heritage, the Imrahil scenario seems most apropos, as there’s a little more mystery and proximity than any of the line of Elros who may ‘claim’ Elvish ancestry, which I don’t think they ever really do, as their Numenorean ancestry always seems their primary impetus.

Now, there’s of course the Took story of an Elf in the woodpile. No claims that I know of from any Took on record, but it’s not inconceivable that Frodo from time to time retold the story at the Green Dragon. There’s no DNA here (or is there?), but surely in Eressea he may have learned that he was 1/64th or 1/512th Elf, pleasing him no end...

Wink


(This post was edited by Dunadan of North Arnor on Oct 16, 12:13pm)


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 16, 1:00pm

Post #6 of 39 (3034 views)
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Aragorn ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In that extract from the Appendices, he's only just found out who and what he is. By the time he comes to Minas Tirith years have passed, during which time I assume he talked to Elrond, Elrohir and Elladan, and maybe spent time reading in the Rivendell library. If he's heard stories from Elrond and family about their shared history that would probably serve to convince him.
As for interrogations etc, there don't seem to be many. Most seem to get away, either by luck or by surrender.

Storm clouds


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 4:43pm

Post #7 of 39 (3022 views)
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Right! What about that "fairy wife"? [In reply to] Can't Post

A one-time stalwart of these forums, now long absent, once made a good point in a Reading Room discussion of The Hobbit: in the first edition of that book, the narrator does not say that the idea of one of Bilbo's Took ancestors having married a "fairy" (elf) is "absurd".


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 4:44pm

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Beorn kills two prisoners after interrogating them. [In reply to] Can't Post

But that's presented as a deliberate and somewhat unsettling act.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 5:19pm

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Some Rohirrim disparagingly call Aragorn's rangers "Elvish wights". [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder how many of the Grey Company besides Aragorn can claim elves among their ancestors.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Dunadan of North Arnor
The Shire

Oct 16, 7:04pm

Post #10 of 39 (3004 views)
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Speaking of Rohan, and the nature of this thread... [In reply to] Can't Post

How is it that Gríma was selected to the high court of Rohan when he surely would have demonstrated a lack of temperament for such a position, not to mention a possessive tendency towards women?

Did his appointer Saruman, wrongly selected in hindsight to head the governing of the Free Peoples, really hold that much sway over the Rohirrim, a good people by all accounts? It took Gandalf the White, returning from his demise, and maybe regretting his previous decision to decline the head of the White Council, to belatedly, and barely, win the day.

Hey Joe... Smile


(This post was edited by Dunadan of North Arnor on Oct 16, 7:07pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 7:11pm

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I'm Tu-rg-on the first I am. [In reply to] Can't Post

This whole thread was inspired by a comment I saw on Twitter yesterday, from the account of one "Henry Tudor":

"BREAKING - The beheading of Anne Boleyn was an interrogation gone wrong."

Accordingly, I should probably have noted that Aredhel was the first to die as a result of Eöl's interrogation.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 7:16pm

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Like Saruman himself, Gríma probably was genuinely talented. [In reply to] Can't Post

When Théoden says at Helm's Deep that he misses Gríma's counsel, I take that to mean, as Aragorn later chides the hobbits concerning Saruman, that he actually was quite skilled, and that he rose on the basis of good service rendered, keeping his darker impulses in check.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 16, 9:20pm

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An Elf's viewpoint on Aragorn's ancestry [In reply to] Can't Post

From Appdx A, LOTR, when Aragorn meets Arwen for the first time:


Quote
‘“Estel I was called,” he said; “but I am Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, Isildur’s Heir, Lord of the Dúnedain”; yet even in the saying he felt that this high lineage, in which his heart had rejoiced, was now of little worth, and as nothing compared to her dignity and loveliness.

‘But she laughed merrily and said: “Then we are akin from afar. For I am Arwen Elrond’s daughter, and am named also Undómiel.”

She doesn't hesitate to make that connection, and she's never met him before, so it's something she knows in general about Elendil/Isildur's lineage. True, she doesn't say, "You are an Elf like me," but I have always found that "we are kin from afar" to be an equalizing kind of comment. To put it another way, she doesn't dismiss him as just another mortal.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 10:58pm

Post #14 of 39 (2988 views)
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"It is as if the taxi drivers of modern Kidderminster were to commission their gravestones in the language and style of Beowulf." [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, by seeing a Tolkien connection to every little thing I encounter in the media, I am behaving rather like the ancients described in this Times Literary Supplement review of a new book by Richard Hunter called The Measure of Homer:


Quote
But nowhere does he address the most baffling question of all: just why was it (and when was it) that Homer came to occupy his extraordinary position in the ancient Greek imagination? Today, the idea that a pair of long narrative poems could provide a society with its entire educational curriculum, ethical framework, and philosophy of life may well strike us as flatly bizarre. The puzzle of Homer’s reputation is usually waved away with a simple aesthetic judgement: “because the poems are so good”. But this isn’t much of an answer. Virgil and Shakespeare are pretty good too: but no school curriculum has ever focused on the Aeneid or King Lear to the exclusion of everything else, nor have those equally good texts ever been mistaken for encyclopedic lifestyle guides.



Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 16, 11:01pm

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"as just another mortal" [In reply to] Can't Post

Good catch! Interesting then that Lindir, pressed by Bilbo on his inability to distinguish Aragorn's verse from his own, lumps them together under the heading of mortals.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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squire
Half-elven


Oct 16, 11:54pm

Post #16 of 39 (2981 views)
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An underwhelming review of an underwhelming book? [In reply to] Can't Post

After showing us how extensive Hunter's thesis is, the reviewer just dumps it all in the ashcan in the final paragraphs rather than try to engage with it.

Even from the teaser in your post, "the idea that a pair of long narrative poems could provide a society with its entire educational curriculum, ethical framework, and philosophy of life may well strike us as flatly bizarre," my reaction was, instantly, the Bible served the same completist function in medieval European society.

And on reading the review, I saw that he made that analogy quickly, and returned to it several times. But he doesn't work on whether it's the correct response, and if it is, why later eras or other cultures (India, China, Persia, etc.) don't also have a one-stop shopping curriculum. In the end he seems to say that the concept of Homer being all there was is "bizarre" and so cannot be true, no matter what examples Hunter provides.

I was left wondering whether we are supposed to care about the "Beowulfian" gravestones in Christian Byzantium, or not - after all the time he, and Hunter, seem to put into the puzzle they pose?



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 17, 7:38am

Post #17 of 39 (2951 views)
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You read my mind; I was thinking of Lindir in Rivendell & Bilbo when I wrote that. [In reply to] Can't Post

 Lindir's POV vs Arwen's:


Quote

‘It is not easy for us to tell the difference between two mortals,’ said the Elf.

‘Nonsense, Lindir,’ snorted Bilbo. ‘If you can’t distinguish between a Man and a Hobbit, your judgement is poorer than I imagined. They’re as different as peas and apples.’

‘Maybe. To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different,’ laughed Lindir. ‘Or to shepherds. But Mortals have not been our study. We have other business.’



(This post was edited by CuriousG on Oct 17, 7:41am)


sador
Half-elven


Oct 17, 8:24am

Post #18 of 39 (2953 views)
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Considering that you've posted in Main and not the RR [In reply to] Can't Post

Would a reference to Jackson's movies be out of place?


But seriously, I would consider Finrod to be the best example in the Silmarillion. After all, the wolf was not sent for him - this seemed to be an enhanced interrogation technique of Sauron's, which somehow got the wrong person.
Two other examples, briefly mentioned in the Silmarillion but expanded in later works are Brodda (who Turin apparently had no intention to kill) and Dorlas, who tried to attack the questioning Brandir. But neither case was a formal interrogation.
In The Lord of the Rings, a clear casualty of an interrogation gone wrong was Grishnakh; true, he was the interrogator - but this should not disqualify him. Arguably, his death was the result of external (by which a mean unconnected to the interrogation) interference - so the best example of someone who dies by mishap would be Snaga; but his death wasn't in the midst of an interrogation.



Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Oct 20, 6:20pm

Post #19 of 39 (2771 views)
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Unpremeditated murder of a captive… [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you think the Witch-King taking Earnur captive and killing him in Minas Morgul counts? It says it was believed in Gondor that he died in torment there, trapped by the faithless enemy. I'm not sure what exactly the main question posed on this thread means: an example of a captive wrongly killed during an interrogation?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 20, 7:05pm

Post #20 of 39 (2767 views)
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If Eärnur perished. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've long speculated that King Eärnur of Gondor might not have died outright, but could have been tortured with a Morgul-knife and been transformed into a lesser Wraith.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Oct 20, 7:42pm

Post #21 of 39 (2762 views)
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That's an incredible idea [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always wondered about poor Earnur. If he was a Wraith, hopefully he would have died in the cataclysm of Mount Doom, or else Aragorn usurped the crown. That would have been a great plot for The New Shadow: in the days of King Eldarion, a wraith-lord shows up in Minas Tirith to tell the people that the throne of Gondor was wrongfully taken – from him! Get on it, Tolkien.
What are your best plot ideas for New Shadow? How do you think it would have progressed, and what would have happened? Or should that be saved for a separate thread?

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 20, 7:51pm

Post #22 of 39 (2757 views)
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Wraith-Eärnur [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never pursued the idea of Eärnur as a Wraith very far. One or more of Wise might have discovered the truth of it but kept the information from becoming well known so as to not dishearten the Men of Gondor. Such a creature, not being directly tied to the Great Rings, might have conceivably survived the Fall of Sauron to continue into the Fourth Age and so could have been tied into Tolkien's New Shadow if he had continued with that work.

There have been previous discussions involving The New Shadow, but it's been a while. This probably isn't the forum for that unless we are looking at possible spin-offs from Amazon's Middle-earth series.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 20, 7:55pm)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Oct 20, 7:54pm

Post #23 of 39 (2749 views)
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Someday I'm gonna write The New Shadow [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I would need the Tolkien Estate's approval, I guess. Hmm…too bad. Well, after I get my own books published, maybe they'd be more willing to pursue that idea.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 20, 7:58pm

Post #24 of 39 (2746 views)
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Fan-fic [In reply to] Can't Post

You wouldn't be the first to write a M-e fan fiction. The problem would be the inability to publish it! Wink

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Oct 20, 8:14pm

Post #25 of 39 (2738 views)
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Yeah, there's always a catch! [In reply to] Can't Post

But honestly, I guess I should be glad the Tolkien Estate hasn't ever allowed that sort of thing; I read a book once by some author who decided to continue the P.G. Wodehouse series, of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves – and I remember it was awful. And I know if anybody did try to write new Middle-earth books, with the permission of the Estate, it would be a Brandon Sanderson or somebody; that man's books are so boring, IMO.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."

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