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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
silmarillion chapter discussion -- "of tuor and the fall of gondolin"
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Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 14 2013, 3:04am

Post #76 of 82 (212 views)
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Tolkien's Evil [In reply to] Can't Post

Evil, in Tolkien, would always seem to follow the Augustinian(popularized by St.Augustine of Hippo) definition: Perversion of good.

I also agree that a personality would affect the kind if wrong choices we make.

A passive person might not respond to a daring challenge or taunts of an adversary. They might try to weather it out or use brain over brawn.

A more passionate person might go too far. I like to call it mad scientist syndrome. The guy that make the mutant monster.

A defeatist might not even try.

A thinker might scheme and plan. The genius guy that saves the day with the techno gadgets or duct tape and gum.

They might all fail, but in their own way.

Like the Ring, it did not offer the same temptation to each person(Ring: Sam you shall lead Gondor's armies!!! Sam: Uh, no.) We all have our weak points. Johnny Hothead might be tempted to punch, someone who insulted them, head in. While Gerry Schemer, might poison or undermine them at work.

Evil/wrong to the same end, but different methods. The effort put into the acts is not evil, it could have been used for good( chopping logs or solving math problems). It is the motivation that determines the morality of the act.


elaen32
Gondor


Aug 15 2013, 10:12pm

Post #77 of 82 (180 views)
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Really late to the feast but.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe just time to sneak some leftovers of dessert?
Interesting discussion, to which I don't have too much to add- loved the personality test, but overall, I never feel I really wholly fit into any one category in these things. Probably few do. I am mostly a #2 with a good dash of #4 and #5. But as Rembrethil says, we often have to adapt certain personae in day to day life to deal with different situations.
Re Maeglin- yes, I noticed the similarity to Grima- it's almost like the situation in Rohan is a pale imitation of the one in Gondolin. Eowyn is a beautiful shield maiden, but is no Idril Celebrindal. Grima is able but deluded, but not as able as Maeglin. Maeglin is under the thrall of Morgoth, while Grima has to make do with Saruman. Makes one wonder whether Galmod trapped Grima's mother in an isolated farmstead somewhere and "took her to wife"!


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 15 2013, 10:31pm

Post #78 of 82 (177 views)
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heya : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
a wonderfully welcome guest is never too late. : )

the feast goes on for as long as folks are hungry.

sometimes it's fascinating to try to see the patterns. other times, i'm happy to chuck the mirror over my shoulder and say, "who cares? i'll make my own choices." but there's a catch-22... without self-awareness, we probably have fewer choices. at the other end are folks who are subject to analysis paralysis.

btw, telain elaen, what sil character was your result? i must know, because from here forward, it will always dictate how i relate to and interact with you.

wow -- i had a weird flash.... grima had parents? but of course he did.

it's interesting how desire leads to downfall here... it's the way both grima and maeglin were entrapped. is it that they wanted the wrong things? or wanted them too intensely? or wanted them to possess them rather than coexist with their desires, whether they obtained their goals or not? (there are a lot of things we may want in life but don't get; it's probably better to develop a peaceable relationship with not getting what you want, lest it overwhelm you and forever dog your steps.)

or are we all vulnerable through our desires, be they "good" or "bad," intense or no? desires are perhaps like a hidden passage way through our mountain borders, that lead to our secret, well-guarded hearts. to want anything opens the way to be shaped by that desire, be it food or love or a fancy car eagle taxi.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 15 2013, 10:39pm

Post #79 of 82 (176 views)
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largely in agreement... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... but not entirely...

re this statement...

[rembrethil]
"It is the motivation that determines the morality of the act."
[/rembrethil]


i differ with you on this. example:

a 50-year-old falls in love with an 11-year-old. the 50-year-old wants to marry the 11-year-old, share a house, have children build a life together, share experiences -- and begins courting the 11-year-old, and things develop to the point at which the 50-year-old is having sexual relations with the 11-year-old.

the motivation of that 50-year-old is a motivation that many of us would agree with -- marriage, partnership, making a home, etc.

however, most of us (all of us, hopefully) would agree that -- whatever the 50-year-old's motivation -- it's absolutely immoral for a 50-year-old to have any sort of romantic relationship with an 11-year-old, even if the intention is "honorable."

i'm turning my own stomach here, but i used such an extreme example to isolate the "motivation" factor... because i think it's not the only part of morality. there are many things that are just wrong, no matter why they're done.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


Aug 15 2013, 11:26pm

Post #80 of 82 (174 views)
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Re: Sil characters... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't now remember whether this was from the quiz you set or your later link. But #2 equates to Beren/Luthien (aah, how sweet) but that's ok- I do like them, they'd just be a bit nauseating to know in real life!

Of course Grima had parents! Grima, Son of Galmod etc (yet another random useless fact that my brain chooses to remember). All I can say is that they didn't do a very good job!
More seriously though, in some ways both Maeglin and Grima have weak personalities. Especially Maeglin, who seems to have a sense of entitlement because of his mother's rank. Neither is going to get what they want by fair means, although initially they may well have aspired to that. When evil discerns these desires and effectively offers fulfilment if they undertake a certain act, then it does not take much to appeal to their sense of injustice and personal entitlement. This story is repeated in other stories from the Bible onwards, but the betrayers do not seem to learn from history it seems.


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Aug 15 2013, 11:43pm

Post #81 of 82 (170 views)
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dang : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i was hoping to know for sure what result you got from the test, as the result can differ from what one feels/thinks is the best-fitting profile.

well, your profession certainly suits your #2 profile, that's for sure.

funny, no one's remarked how beren and luthien are both #2s (according to my assignment). i did honestly assign them that way; i wasn't trying to be cute.

i think that the theme of betrayal repeats itself because there's no getting rid of desire. it is an eternal vulnerability.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Aug 16 2013, 12:57pm

Post #82 of 82 (197 views)
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Without getting TOO philosophical [In reply to] Can't Post

True, if they were they only person involved, it would carry pretty well in your line of thought.

Once we get out of theory and conjecture, philosophy and ethics are no longer tidy little problems. There are other considerations in RL, other people's motives and actions, cultural acceptability, religion, and natural law. It gets complicated very fast, and can confuse the issue.

We may(I hope all of us) agree that your example is an example of something DEAD wrong, with no adjudication necessary (We don't need to weigh the morality of killing an annoying neighbor, for peace and quiet) , but once we try to state a set of morals or genaral laws that apply for life it gets harder. It's easy to call out a wrong, but it is much harder to explain WHY it is wrong.

It might have been better stated, that in a morally tenuous situation, when there is actual doubt in a sane person's mind, motivation might shed light on the morality of the situation.

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