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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Chief matter?

Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 18 2013, 7:28pm

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Chief matter? Can't Post


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'These two kinsfolk (Feanor and Galadriel), the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor,* were unfriends for ever.'

*Who together with the greatest of all the Eldar, Luthien Tinuviel, daughter of Elu Thingol, are the chief matter of the legends and histories of the Elves.



Does Tolkien mean that the Eldar of Valinor and Luthien are the chief matter of the legends of the Eldar or that the two greatest Eldar of Valinor, Feanor and Galadriel, and Luthien are the chief matter in the histories?



CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 18 2013, 8:14pm

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I vote #2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Though from what we read of Eldar histories, there's not that much said of them, especialy Galadriel. Luthien is certainly legendary and gets her own Lay. Feanor must arise mixed emotions in the Eldar: pride for his expertise, and horror at his lack of scruples. So I'd think they wouldn't want him to appear too often in their histories (and he died almost after setting foot in Beleriand, where a lot of their legends came from).

Author's hyberbole, it seems to me.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jan 18 2013, 8:17pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 18 2013, 8:24pm

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Tolkiens mind [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, in Tolkiens mind Galadriel was greater then it seems to us. (For me she is great anyway, itīs just not that obvious, but Tolkien had his reasons). And in the UT and letters one can read more of her, if that reading justifies her place, is a question of taste. I donīt think he was overstating Galadriels importance, before claiming it, he one chapter long talked about Galadriel, her hair and itīs affect on Feanor, that she was matching those loremasters and athlets in Aman and her role in ME is important too, just not in the published work.

For Luthien it makes sense, for Feanor it doesnīt matter if they like him or not, itīs reasonale that he was a chief matter. But it can only refer to those 3, the Eldar of Valinor can not be their own chief matter of histories, chief matters can only be a few selected persons. In our world it would be Hitler, Napoleon, bin Laden, Jeanne d’Arc and so on and not the entire europe.


(This post was edited by Nerven on Jan 18 2013, 8:28pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 18 2013, 10:07pm

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Greatness vs quantity [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't mean to say that Galadriel isn't great, or wasn't written about as great, just that she doesn't quite qualify as a center of many Eldar histories. And I'm not quite certain how she would. Aside from the magical quality of her hair, how much more could be said about her in Valinor? Her own reason for leaving was that she felt she couldn't do much there. When she goes to Beleriand, she has no realm of her own and spends her time as a house guest, and one that doesn't seem to do much worthy of renown. I think she comes into her own in the Second Age.

Don't get me wrong--I think she's positioned as the most powerful person in the Third Age after Sauron, and like Gimli, I can never get enough of her and I wish there WERE more histories about her. But when I think of the stories that the Eldar seemed most concerned with, either building great things or fighting great wars, she came in late with Lorien and doesn't seem like she could have had a huge volume written about her.

Or maybe it's a matter of reverence. She and Luthien would be most revered, and Feanor revered if you look at his good side. But if I think of the quantity of what's written, including what's alluded to in in LOTR, it seems the Eldar had lots to say about Luthien and not so much as the other two.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jan 18 2013, 10:08pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 18 2013, 11:16pm

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OK, who would qualify as the centre of the elven history besides Feanor and Luthien? Maybe other things were more important for the Eldar than building cities and fighting wars. Galadriel may not haven beeing the queen of an elven kingdom, but she was the only one of the rebels who was unaffected by Mandos curse. (she alone never died) So she obviously made always the right decision and was throughout the ages very helpful.

In the end she was able to return by the grace of the Valar to Valinor as the only one who was undefeated (kind of) and she always remained true to her self, never lost hope and wanted the best for ME, but never in an aggresive way, like esstablishing a kingdom or control Men or something like that.

She never craved for her own kingdom, although it was her reason for leaving (in one version) but preferred learning lore from Melian and helping the people of ME. (leaving Beleriand in one version to unite wood elves and men against the dark lord and that not being approved in Beleriand or the mist she send to guard Eorls troops, she alone percieved that they couldnīt trust Annatar. I know Elrond and Gil-Galad didnīt trust him to, but I think in respect to Galadriel it was more explicit, something like that he beared her scorn with outward patience and that Sauron percieved at once that she would be his chief obstacle and of course her mistrust of Saruman. I do not recal that the other mistrusted him )
She had her dremas but her rationality was always stronger it seems, while Turgon for example was not able to abandon his kingdom as Ulmo advises him, because he became too proud. Or Fingolfin who went to fight Morgoth with hardly hope to survive that. Donīt get me wrong, that was very brave, but IMHO kinda pointless, I know Morgoth was after that for ever injured but it never hinded him that much. I just donīt see Galadriel behaving that rush, there is it again: Rationality! But thatīs not surprising, Tolkien described her to be brilliant in mind. Not to say that the other elves are dumb, but if he emphazises that in the case of Galadriel, I think she is outstanding in that aspect and called the equal of Feanor who is said to be the most subtle in mind.

Sure all those high kings had more glory, but had they in the end greater effect than Galadriel (if we leave out their decendants, thatīs destiny, nothing they self achieved) I think there could be much talk about her, alone the possibility that she, or more correctly her hair was the inspiration for the Silmaril. She is the only elf we know of which had a need for power and glory, more than her cousins IMHO, but she never became evil because of that, unlike her half uncle or his sons.

I think there is much to say about her in Valinor. She is IMHO more multifacated than Feanor ( who is kind of a bad boy) and Luthien (the Mary Sue) she is from everything a bit. Alone her reasons for leaving Valinor and staying in ME are not that easy to figure out, and her inner turmoil. The need for being Queen (political animal) and the need for being a nice person ( a wife and mother) and her take on the Valar. One the one hand she loves them, on the other hand she is annoyed by them and doesnīt want the tutelage anymore.

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she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget.

I could write entire books about her if I were an author.


(This post was edited by Nerven on Jan 18 2013, 11:25pm)


Elthir
Gondor

Jan 19 2013, 1:49am

Post #6 of 12 (795 views)
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I know Elrond and Gil-Galad didnīt trust him to, but I think in respect to Galadriel it was more explicit, something like that he beared her scorn with outward patience and that Sauron percieved at once that she would be his chief obstacle and of course her mistrust of Saruman.




I think Tolkien had a slight problem here, and in my opinion to try and fix it he abandoned Galadriel as the co-founder and co-ruler of Eregion. Christopher Tolkien noted:




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[No explanation is offered in this rapid outline of why Galadriel scorned Sauron, unless she saw through his disguise, or of why, if she did perceive his true nature, she permitted him to remain in Eregion.]




I think Tolkien scrapped this notion and made Celebrimbor a Feanorean and Lord of Eregion. He can be cozened by Annatar, but Gil-galad was not, and... well if I am correct I don't really know what Tolkien was going to do with Galadriel in Eregion when Annatar arrived, but not being its ruler was a start perhaps, which (if so) probably meant the Mirdain would not have had to revolt against Galadriel and Celeborn as rulers.

Just my opinion. Sorry to interrupt. Carry on.


And I'm getting the impression that you might be a Galadriel fan Nerven. Possibly ;)


Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 19 2013, 7:53am

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I donīt exactly know what Tolkiens final version was in respect to that. But I like the version in which Galadriel was co ruler of Eregion, it would give her a place in history, I mean we hardly hear of her and it would match with her need for founding her own realm. True, if she indeed was the boss there one might not understand why she allowed Annatar there, but maybe the wishes of her subjects were the reason and if the majorty of the people want Annatar there, I think she accept that, maybe even a sort of democracy to some degree.
She wanted to rule, but never wanted to suppress the elves. She hardly has a choice, if the majority is for his staying, then kicking him out is dangerous, she knew it, for it could easily to to some kind of rebellion or at least displeasure, she was no dictator and not really the queen of the Noldor.
Compare it to Elrond, say there is an elf he has doubts about but the majority of his household likes that elf very much and wants him/her to stay, do you think that he would kick that elf out of Rivendell?
I doubt the isolation in Lorien was the way of living Galadriel preferred, but it obviously was the wish of the inhabits, so she alligned to that. Being a good ruler is to respect the wishes and needs of the subjects and not only to pursure her/his own wishes, maybe Galadriel saw it similar.

Is there any proof that Tolkien abandoned his idea for Galadriel being the founder of Eregion? Which version was earlier? Celebrimbor being the lord or Galadriel the lady? I usually prefer the latest versions.



Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 19 2013, 8:20am

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Another example [In reply to] Can't Post

Same you can observe with Orodreth and Nagothrond. He was King there, but still allowed two of Feanors sons to remain for some time, although he doesnīt trust them, but he had no choice cause the majority was for them staying. Maybe this silblings were not content with forcing their wills on others.

Itīs not fair, there galadriel had finally her "kingdom" and then Tolkien decides otherwise (maybe) only because he couldnīt explain why Annatar stood there. IMHO there would be logical reasons and it would be a nice proof for Galadriel powers if she was able to see through Annatar to some degree or maybe it was just her knowledge. I donīt find the text right know, but didnīt Annatar claim that he was a follower of Aule but Galadriel said that there never was a follower named Annatar, that means that she would know all the followers of Aule.


Elthir
Gondor

Jan 19 2013, 6:18pm

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Is there any proof that Tolkien abandoned his idea for Galadriel being the founder of Eregion? Which version was earlier? Celebrimbor being the lord or Galadriel the lady? I usually prefer the latest versions.




I can't say proof positive but when Tolkien originally wrote the text in question (Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, Unfinished Tales) Celebrimbor was not yet a Feanorean. We know for sure JRRT alters this, and for the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings (1960s) Tolkien merely adds to Appendix B that Celebrimbor (the Feanorean) was the Lord of Eregion.

This extra bit of information did not appear in the first edition, although the general migration of the Noldor to Eregion was described in Appendix B.

There are two instances in Tolkien's Words, Phrases And Passages (very generally speaking, this was written between the first and second editions of The Lord of the Rings) that could be raised, but they are a bit vague: the first notes that Celebrimbor was Lord of Eregion at the time of the forging of the Rings. But was he Lord at the time because he had wrested power from Galadriel? Seems a somewhat important detail to leave out, but maybe Tolkien did simplify things here. And if I recall correctly, JRRT refers to Appendix B here too, but we should remember that he was only referring to the general migration of the Noldor to Eregion, as again, Appendix B as it stood at this time did not mention Celebrimbor as Lord.

Another instance reads...

'... many of the Noldor and Sindar went eastwards into Eriador and beyond. (Galadriel and Celeborn were the chief examples; but originally the settlement at Eregion under Celebrimbor was also very imortant.)

JRRT, WPP, page 53




I'm not saying JRRT couldn't have kept Galadriel as co-ruler of Eregion, and her 'scorn' of Annatar, and explained it somehow. Tolkien is quite imaginative of course, but I just think he dropped this, along with other notions in this same essay, like Amroth being Galadriel's son for example, which was surely dropped.

And Galadriel will still get her realm in Lorien in any case, if later Smile

Just to note it: Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn was hardly a finished text, noting Christopher Tolkien's characterization of it, and again I think it contains more than one abandoned idea.


Although as far as this question, as I say it's my opinion, not a certainty however.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 19 2013, 6:28pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 19 2013, 8:03pm

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We know for sure JRRT alters this, and for the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings (1960s) Tolkien merely adds to Appendix B that Celebrimbor (the Feanorean) was the Lord of Eregion.


OK, so Tolkien decides in the 1960s that Celebrimbor is Noldor and founder of Eregion, but wasnīt that stuff about Galadriel and Ergegion in the UT written later than in the 60s? Early 70s maybe (of course he had not that much time anymore). I just thought his writings on Galadriel were his last on ME (I read that somewhere)

I too think that much of that chapter in the UT was abandoned (like Amrod being her son, like you mentioned, but that detail too?) but still Christopher notes

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That it would have entailed a good deal of alteration in the narrative of the Silmarillion is evident; but that my father doubtless intended to do.


Speaking of abandoned ideas, which version was abandoned? Celebrimbor giving Galadriel the Elessar or Olorin giving Galadriel the Elessar from Yavanna?


Elthir
Gondor

Jan 20 2013, 5:19pm

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OK, so Tolkien decides in the 1960s that Celebrimbor is Noldor and founder of Eregion, but wasnīt that stuff about Galadriel and Ergegion in the UT written later than in the 60s? Early 70s maybe (of course he had not that much time anymore). I just thought his writings on Galadriel were his last on ME (I read that somewhere)




To clarify: in the 1960s Tolkien published that the Feanorean Celebrimbor was 'Lord of Eregion' (second edition of The Lord of the Rings). He does not publish 'founder' but neither is there anything about Celebrimbor wresting power from anyone. The stuff about Galadriel co-founding Eregion, being Amroth's mother and so on, hails from the text Concerning Galadriel And Celeborn which dates to the later 1950s.



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I too think that much of that chapter in the UT was abandoned (like Amrod being her son, like you mentioned, but that detail too?) but still Christopher notes: 'That it would have entailed a good deal of alteration in the narrative of the Silmarillion is evident; but that my father doubtless intended to do.'




This statement from Christopher Tolkien concerns the very late adumbrated tale removing Galadriel from the Rebellion. I can't agree that Tolkien necssarily intended to do this unless it can be shown that he had remembered or considered what he had already published in The Road Goes Ever On (RGEO), and still intended to contradict or revise it.

In other words, this late version might speak to intent of course, but to my mind an ultimate decision should truly consider already published material, and so far we have no evidence that Tolkien ever did so here. That the tale remained in an 'adumbrated' state might possibly reflect that Tolkien did, at some point, realize that RGEO would not easily allow this major revision, but obviously there could be other reasons too, and that much is pure speculation.

Christopher Tolkien goes on to note that Galadriel's story in The Silmarillion could be radically alterted, as no Silmarillion account had been published at the time, however he seems to forget The Road Goes Ever On here: meaning he does note RGEO right after his 'On the other hand' but if I recall correctly he only mentions (at least here) the contradiction with respect to Celeborn -- not the contradiction with respect to Galadriel had already been in print as a leader in the Rebellion, and specially banned for this too.




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Speaking of abandoned ideas, which version was abandoned? Celebrimbor giving Galadriel the Elessar or Olorin giving Galadriel the Elessar from Yavanna?




Not that you said otherwise but I think both versions were supposed to be internal variations, not external variations. In other words, both tales were heard, or existed in some form, within Middle-eath, and so which was true was to be left up to the reader.

The note at the end might be read as a revision of the whole 'two story' idea I guess, but I think it more likely revises the second version only, removing Enerdhil for Celebrimbor. Christopher Tolkien seems to confirm this in his following commentary, in my opinion. However remember that Celebrimbor was ultimately going to be published as a Feanorean, so (I think) this too might become problematic when we look back at the note at the end of The Elessar text.


I think The Elessar text has some problems too Smile

For example, why would Galadriel 'need' the stone in the Third Age (from Gandalf) when she could employ Nenya at this time?


Unless Tolkien meant this question to arise, possibly giving more weight to the Celebrimbor version.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 20 2013, 5:26pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Jan 20 2013, 7:46pm

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Galadriel [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, so the only book where rebell Galadriel exist is the RGEO (until the Sil was published of course). Maybe Tolkien would not care for this contradiction couse this is not so much a primary work, like "The Hobbot", the Sil or Lotr is IMHO. I really think if that version was really how he wished Galadriel to be, he would have done it. Alas there wasnīt that much time for him anymore. He wrote the last version on Galadriel in 1972, the same year he died, I think, so I would say that that is the reason this tale was adumbrated and not because he ditched it.
I agree with the Celeborn problem, they would be too closely related, but one can easily solve that problem and make Galadriel leave with someone else or alone and Celeborn could still be of the Sindar.

Iīm really not very familiar with the work of an author, but is it really that big a problem to change the history of a character if you already published otherwise. Clear, if it happens too often, people might not buy your books anymore, but with Galadriel it would be a minor change if you look at his entire world.



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For example, why would Galadriel 'need' the stone in the Third Age (from Gandalf) when she could employ Nenya at this time?


You have point, it would indeed makes no sense, but I like the version so much, when she gets a gift from a Valar but she already had Nenya to make Lorien beautiful and ageless, or maybe Yavanna didnīt know that Galadriel has Nenya, but is that likely? Or the Elessar has effects Nenya hasnīt, so that it was in some other way useful for Galadriel.
I like it much more, as a sign of hope from a Valar, that they leave ME not alone and the exchange between Galadriel and Gandalf has much more weight than the conversation with Celebrimbor where she complains that she canīt go to Valinor unless she begs for pardon (but she still being stubborn would never do so) and is mightier in ME .

Do I understand you right, he wrote the two versions on the same time and the reader should decide which version is true?

 
 

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